PTSD in the Workplace

PTSD in the Workplace

I was very interested to read the following article on the occurrence of psychological trauma reactions in those who have experienced an accident in the workplace.

Head space – managing PTSD following a workplace accident

Over the last 12 years, I have assessed and treated hundreds of people who have been affected by personal injury and other critical incidents whilst at work, ranging from falls in confined spaces, road traffic accidents and assaults, to armed robberies and suicides of a colleagues. It is not unusual for people to experience such things as sleeplessness, tearfulness and irritability following an incident – they can in fact be seen as ordinary reactions to extra-ordinary events. There are times however when those ordinary reactions can become severe, long-lasting and impactful in many areas of a person’s life. That is when the possibility of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder needs to be a consideration.

This article illustrates the development of PTSD using a case study of a commercial diver. The authors, Jane Whitaker and Anne Harriss outlines the different approaches to helping someone who has been through life-changing circumstances. I particularly welcome the description of Eye-Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), an evidence-based intervention for PTSD. CBT or Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy is the most well-known talking treatment. Increasingly, and certainly in my own practice and experience, EMDR provides a very effective way of helping people towards recovery and a return to work and valued activities and relationships.


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