Why employees returning to the office may show signs of PTSD

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Hurricane Harvey blasted ashore in Port Aransas, Texas on August 24, 2017 as a category 4 storm. Harvey lumbered up the coast of Texas into Louisiana over the next several days, causing catastrophic flooding; 50 inches of rain pelted the Houston area alone.

As the rising waters approached Rahel Abraham’s condominium building, residents gathered what they could and stayed on the upper floors until the water receded. Thankfully, no lives were lost in her community. However, Abraham’s car and all her neighbors’ cars were totaled in the flood, making it extremely challenging for them to mobilize for the salvage and recovery process. That crisis spurred an idea for Abraham that became ClimaGuard, a temporary enclosure made of heavy-duty, waterproof materials to protect cars and other belongings in a flood…READ ON

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Why employees returning to the office may show signs of PTSD

When you think about post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, you probably connect it to soldiers who were in combat or victims of horrific crimes. But the symptoms can actually plague anyone who’s gone through a stressful situation. And as employees start returning to the workplace, some may show signs of PTSD.

“If an employee at work is suffering from PTSD, you may notice them being irritable or having angry outbursts.”

“PTSD is tied to an event of trauma,” says Keita Franklin, Ph.D., chief clinical officer at the workforce solution provider Loyal Source. “It’s a fear of trauma and the potential for re-experiencing trauma. Our service members deal with it when they’re downrange and deployed; their survival is at risk. When it comes to returning to work, some people may fear that their health is at risk and their own sense of survival is threatened.”

Employees may also have had traumatic experiences during the pandemic, says Franklin, who specializes in PTSD and has worked in behavioral health for the U.S. Department of Defense and the Department of Veteran Affairs. “Many of them may have been caretakers for people that had COVID-19, and many may have lost parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and neighbors,” she says. “They’ll be returning to the office having been through something, and they’ll have to adjust to a new normal.”…READ ON

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