What are work-related emotional injuries?

When the topic of workplace injuries comes up, most people would think about physical injuries, such as a concussion from falling off a ladder or broken bones from getting one’s hand caught in machinery. You and other Texas residents might not realize that many types of emotional injuries can be just as devastating as physical ones, including impacting your ability to do your job.

Consider, for example, the depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder that can result from working in a toxic environment or being in an accident. As the Mayo Clinic explains, these emotional disorders can affect your quality of life and make it difficult, if not impossible, to perform effectively at work. You might develop a work-related emotional injury in the following ways:

  • Being seriously injured in a workplace accident or witnessing a co-worker’s death
  • Working in a noisy, high-paced or dangerous environment
  • Being subjected to sexual harassment or racial discrimination
  • Experiencing verbal, emotional or physical bullying from a supervisor or co-worker

In addition to being psychologically damaging, emotional injuries can also take a physical toll. After suffering for several weeks or months from PTSD or depression, you might start developing such physical symptoms as headaches, high blood pressure, fatigue, increased heart rate or joint pain.

Most stress-related emotional disorders do not resolve themselves on their own. Often, you would need a diagnosis from a doctor and a recommendation for medication or therapy to improve your mental state. You may need to pursue workers’ compensation if your job contributed to your emotional injuries. Since this topic is complicated, this blog post is not meant to replace the advice of a lawyer.

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