February 25, 2008

Coping, surviving, fighting back

UCU are you listening?
Local MPs and Higher Education spokesmen/women, are you listening?
In fact, is anybody listening?

'...the big challenge is to come up with a programme of action for surviving and thriving in the face of mobbing. That's a tall order. Davenport, Schwartz and Elliott describe options ranging from grieving, building self-esteem, using humour and taking care in choosing professional help. They also give advice on how family and friends are affected and how they can help. All this is quite valuable, but it is clear that there is no guaranteed way of getting through a serious case of mobbing. It often may be best to leave for another job...'

From: Martin Brian, 2000, Insight and advice about workplace bullying

'...Thus, these individuals [targets of bullying] find themselves in a prolonged stress- and in a prolonged trauma-creating situation. Instead of a short, acute (and normal!) PTSD reaction that can subside after several days or weeks, theirs is constantly renewed: new traumata and new sources of anxiety arise in a constant stream during which time the individual experiences rights violations that further undermine his or her self-confidence and psychological health. The unwieldy social situation for these individuals consists not only of severe psychological trauma but of an extremely prolonged stress condition that seriously threatens the individual's socio-economic existence. Torn out of their social network, the majority of mobbing victims face the threat of early retirement, with permanent psychological damage...'

From: Heinz Leiman, How serious are Psychological problems after mobbing?

'...Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a natural emotional reaction to a deeply shocking and disturbing experience. It is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation...'

...It seems that Complex PTSD can potentially arise from any prolonged period of negative stress in which certain factors are present, which may include any of captivity, lack of means of escape, entrapment, repeated violation of boundaries, betrayal, rejection, bewilderment, confusion, and - crucially - lack of control, loss of control and disempowerment. It is the overwhelming nature of the events and the inability (helplessness, lack of knowledge, lack of support etc) of the person trying to deal with those events that leads to the development of Complex PTSD. Situations which might give rise to Complex PTSD include bullying, harassment, abuse, domestic violence, stalking, long-term caring for a disabled relative, unresolved grief, exam stress over a period of years, mounting debt, contact experience, etc...

...The UK has one of the highest adult suicide rates in Europe: around 5000 a year. The number of adults in the UK committing suicide because of bullying is unknown. Each year 19,000 children attempt suicide in the UK - one every half hour. in the UK, suicide is the number one cause of death for 18-24-year-old males.

...The prolonged (chronic) negative stress resulting from bullying has lead to threat of loss of job, career, health, livelihood, often also resulting in threat to marriage and family life. The family are the unseen victims of bullying...

...The person who is being bullied often thinks they are going mad, and may be encouraged in this belief by those who do not have that person's best interests at heart. They are not going mad; PTSD is an injury, not an illness...'

From: http://www.bullyonline.org/stress/ptsd.htm

'... Consider leaving - regard it as a positive decision in the face of overwhelming odds which are not of your choosing, not of you making, and over which you have no control. Serial bullies are obsessive and compulsive in their behaviour; once they start on their target they won't let go until that person is destroyed. For most people, the top priority is to be financially stable. What's more important - job or health? You may need to make the decision to move on and find an employer who values you and your skills. Refuse to allow your health to be destroyed and your career wrecked by an idiot...

... Consider suing for personal injury - solicitors may now do this on a no win no fee basis. Bear in mind that this might take 3 years (County Court - awards up to £50,000) or 5 years (High Court - awards over £50,000) or more. For many though, especially those suffering trauma, the legal system can be more abusive than the original bullying. Defence lawyers will often string out the proceedings as long as possible in the hope you'll get fed up and go away, or run out of money, or become so ill you'll have to withdraw, or even die. What a nice world we live in. They're also likely to go through your past and dig up any trauma (including bereavement) and claim that is the origin of your present ill health. This process is similar to victims of rape being portrayed as "loose women" and therefore responsible for the rape...

...Consider going public - awareness is rising, the media are interested and sympathetic; ask for anonymity at the outset if required... Bullies think they are above the law - but insist that you stay rigidly within the law...

From: Helpline4u - control a bully

'... Abuse victims should first name the behavior, which gives them a feeling of legitimacy and banishes their shame, Namie said. Then, they should take some time off to heal, check their mental and physical health, explore legal options and build the business case against bullying.

Finally, employees must expose the bully for the sake of their mental health, while knowing they may lose a job, he said.

"In most cases, the bully is believed and the person is not," Namie said. Still, if you remain silent and "leave shrouded in shame, you never get past it."

From: http://www.workdoctor.com/press/newh050505.html

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Naming the behaviour for me was an important part of the process -
I believe that I have been bullied. I have said that over and over again.

I believe I am a target of bullying.

I remain in post saying that ....

Aphra Behn