Posts Tagged ‘stress’
Friday, February 28th, 2014
My bully boss enacted a posse of others to support her gossip and lies. She ran several major grants at a public university. I was her star employee, the go-to for all the hard tasks that she felt she did not want to do (or procrastinated on doing). She relied on me to support more than $8 million in grant-funded project activities. And, she never gave me credit or praise for any of my hard work or dedication. I remained behind the scenes as her “secret weapon.” She called me on weekends, evenings—just about any time she pleased. She gossiped, slandered and complained about everyone in the organization. I listened to her endless lies and complaints—all generated from her own insecurities—for nearly 7 years. I always knew, listening to her, that it was a matter of time before I became her next target.
After nearly two years of working for her, I had my first warning sign that I was under unusual stress. I went the the emergency room at my local hospital with stroke-like symptoms; they told me it was a TIA and sent me home with aspirin. That first warning should have been my last, but it only incited the bully to heap on more responsibilities and a little bit more monetary compensation to keep me in her grasp.
At year five, a fellow employee attempted to expose her bullying and discriminatory behavior. Courageous soul; the university backed her up because she brought in millions from government grants. He left distressed, distraught and demoralized. I knew that I was next—I had complained to several co-workers and one higher-up about her bad behavior. I had started to capture the outrageous lies, the slander, the falsified data she used to support her claims that she was “doing good” for students in need.
My second TIA was more dramatic. It happened nearly two years after the first one. I ended up in the hospital emergency room again, but this time the doctor issued a warning: Get rid of the stress. After that second TIA, her madness escalated. My productivity had plummeted. I scarcely realized that I was depressed and could not focus or function much. Thoughts of suicide were daily and normal. I dreaded each new day … even the weekends, because I knew that she would probably call me to continue her gossip and lies.
When she realized that I was planning on leaving, she resorted to keeping information away from me, using our shared social network to malign me and my good work; she even paid off several of my colleagues with “new” contracts and enlisting them in spreading lies about me, anything to keep me dis-empowered.
I did finally get up the courage to leave. My doctors helped me to make the decision. Medication also helped with my depression. It’s been over a year and a half, and my health has rebounded in the most miraculous ways. My spirit has been set free from the tyrant and her posse. I only hope that I can help others to break free and claim their right to greatness and joy.
Tuesday, October 30th, 2012
WBI's Administrator and licensed mental health counselor, Jessi Eden Brown, MS, LMHC, LPC, NCC is forming a support group for targets of workplace bullying. Jessi's private practice is located in the North Seattle area. If you're interested, please email Jessi Brown to find out more.
Monday, August 27th, 2012
A great graphic gift from Sarah Wenger
Tuesday, February 28th, 2012
Bullying is part of a worker’s psychosocial work environment (a set of external stressors) to which a person can have a stress response. Advances in stress measurement are replacing subjectivity with hard science physiological evidence of the human stress response in reaction to stressors. Stress is not a matter of opinion available to targets and deniable by bullies and their apologists.
Cortisol, an important hormone secreted by the adrenal gland during the stress response, can now be measured easily in saliva samples. Its primary function is to raise blood sugar by converting stored glucose in the liver. There are new studies linking workplace bullying and stress using corisol measures.
Wednesday, February 15th, 2012
WBI colleague, Peter Schnall (editor of the definitive book, Unhealthy Work and founder of the Center for Social Epidemiology) regularly points out that normal human blood pressure is 100/60. Unfortunately, only people living outside the industrialized world enjoy such a healthy BP. We are told our “normal BP” is 120/80, but that’s an average, according to Schnall. Working in our hurried world accounts for the difference.
The informative longitudinal Whitehall studies that track coronary health, including ambulatory BP of British government workers for 40 years, reliably find that workdays differ from weekends and vacation days. Metabolism differs. Just showing up for work carries a set of health risks.
Tags: blood pressure, Center for Social Epidemiology, dignitarian, Peter Schnall, stress, stress-related diseases
Posted in Bullying-Related Research, Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, Tutorials About Bullying | 5 Archived Comments | Post A Comment (
Thursday, January 12th, 2012
Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience, January 12, 2012
If you spend your workday avoiding an abusive boss, tiptoeing around co-workers who talk behind your back, or eating lunch alone because you’ve been ostracized from your cubicle mates, you may be the victim of workplace bullying. New research suggests that you’re not alone, especially if you’re struggling to cope.
Wednesday, November 30th, 2011
Bullying bosses can make life a misery in the workplace. But research shows they could also wreck a marriage.
Thursday, September 30th, 2010
by Jessi Eden Brown, MS, LMHC, LPC
A recent online poll conducted on the Workplace Bullying Institute's website supported the common sense argument that workplace bullying strains the target's primary relationship at home.(more…)
Wednesday, July 7th, 2010
People who attended the Cardiff conference, WBI University or have heard my speeches or workshops, know that I emphasize the science of stress to convey the seriousness of bullying’s impact on people. The primary impact of bullying is the onset of stress-related diseases and other health complications.
Elizabeth Blackburn won the 2009 Nobel prize for Medicine and Physiology. I previously wrote about her work. Briefly, she discovered 20 years ago the telomere, chromosome-protecting caps at the end of strands of DNA. Telomere damage or shortening translates to advanced cellular aging. (more…)
Saturday, June 26th, 2010
Finally, read about the health consequences of joblessness, the human side of a “down economy” in response to the heartlessness of politicians.