According to NCBI, the prevalence of occupational PTSD varies from 8.4 to 41.1%. This is a number that we cannot ignore because almost half the workforce, according to recent studies, experience some form of workplace PTSD. A healthy workplace is the backbone of the long-term success of any organization, and in order to keep the mental and physical well-being of employees intact, serious steps have to be taken by companies across the globe. 

What is Workplace PTSD?

Workplace PTSD is caused by distressing work situations. After a traumatic experience, people may acquire PTSD, a mental disease with long-lasting symptoms. Workplace trauma can include collisions, violence, abuse, and other stressful occurrences. A military or emergency services worker may get PTSD after witnessing or experiencing life-threatening scenarios. Bullying, discrimination, or a serious workplace accident can potentially trigger PTSD.

Employees with PTSD may have flashbacks, nightmares, excessive anxiety, problems concentration, and avoiding circumstances that remind them of the distressing incident. These symptoms can impair job performance, colleague interactions, and quality of life. Workplace PTSD sufferers frequently receive support from coworkers and CBT or exposure treatment. Helping people overcome workplace issues Creating a more accepting workplace might also benefit PTSD.

How to Spot Workplace PTSD?

PTSD can be detected at work by noticing changes in behavior, mood, and performance. Below-listed are some of the common signs shown by people with workplace PTSD, but keep in mind that actual diagnosis has to be done by a professional:

Mood changes

Long-term mood changes shown by employees must be monitored. They may become irritable, irritated, or upset about little issues. PTSD can create mood swings and mental instability, affecting coworkers and the job. Consider whether these mood swings are out of character and if they occur with stress. PTSD patients may fail to articulate their feelings, causing emotional numbness. Although mood changes may not indicate PTSD, they may require special care and monitoring.

Avoidance Behavior

Find habits that avoid objects that remind you of the trauma. Steering clear of places, people, and activities that bring up bad memories may help. PTSD patients may avoid situations to deal with their sadness. PTSD trigger concerns must be distinguished from avoidance behavior. Avoidance can eventually damage job performance, teamwork, and morale. You must be kind and understanding to understand why PTSD patients avoid situations.


Hyperarousal increases physiological arousal and reactivity. PTSD patients may be hypervigilant and scared by loud noises or unexpected movements. They may have trouble focusing due to perceived threats or triggers. Heart palpitations, shaking, and trembling are symptoms of hyperarousal. Stress or danger causes hyperarousal, not choice. Making the workplace serene and helpful reduces overarousal and improves safety.

Intrusive Thoughts and Flashbacks

PTSD patients often have vivid, frightening memories of stressful events that recur without warning. These unpleasant memories may distort the person's thoughts and feelings, making them feel like they're recreating the tragedy. An intense flashback might trigger anxiety, disorientation, or fear. Some workplace noises, smells, and sights might bring back memories. Help someone stay present during flashbacks by being patient and helpful. Managing employment triggers and changing plans or workspaces reduces memory frequency and intensity.

Work Performance Changes

Track your productivity, quality, and goal achievement to assess work performance. PTSD patients may struggle with fatigue, attention, and memory loss. Increasing mistakes, missing deadlines, or decreased effort may suggest underlying difficulties that need help. Be compassionate when discussing work performance and acknowledge that factors they can't change may be making things harder. PTSD workers may benefit from open work, supplementary training or resources, and changing job expectations. Helping the person recognize their concerns and set attainable goals and growth plans can help them tackle job challenges.

Body Signs

PTSD symptoms might result from prolonged anxiety. Symptoms include headaches, tight muscles, GI issues, and sleeplessness. Chronic stress impairs the immune system and promotes illness. Know that PTSD has physical symptoms. They are the body's persistent stress and trauma response. Prioritizing exercise, sleep, and stress management can improve health and symptoms. Healthcare tools and support for physical health can help mental health treatment and recovery.


PTSD patients may isolate due to shame, guilt, or criticism. They may exclude themselves from coworkers and avoid group gatherings. Isolation can increase loneliness and workplace exclusion. Lonely people should be handled with respect and provided opportunity to meet and get help. Making the workplace inviting may reduce guilt and increase help-seeking. Trust and understanding with coworkers might help PTSD sufferers.

Drug Use

PTSD patients may self-medicate with alcohol or narcotics to ease anxiety, which is harmful. Drugs momentarily soothe anxiety, despair, and negative thoughts, but they damage mental health and raise addiction risk. Drug use changes like drinking more or becoming more dependent on prescription drugs may suggest mental health difficulties. Drug talk demands empathy, not judgment or blame. Promote long-term PTSD and drug addiction recovery through expert treatment. Private therapy and addiction programs can assist people manage mental health and addiction.

How to Fix Workplace PTSD?

Workplace PTSD prevention and intervention must be addressed together. Because no matter how much we intervene, nothing changes until things actually start to change. Here are some ways that can be used to fix workplace PTSD:

Promote Mental Health Awareness

To promote awareness, hold frequent mental health trainings, workshops, and lectures, including PTSD. Promote mental health talks at work to help people feel supported when seeking treatment. Make sure mental health practitioners understand PTSD, its symptoms, and treatment choices. Give your employees informative brochures, internet tools, and employee-only hotlines.

Apply Trauma-Informed Practices

Teach leaders and customer service reps trauma-informed practices. Understanding how stress impacts ideas, behaviors, and relationships and modifying norms and processes is required. To protect trauma survivors at work, promote respect, empathy, and nonjudgment. Keep your organization's guidelines updated to guarantee trauma-informed procedures.

Offer employee assistance programs

EAPs should include therapy and more. Legal, financial, and work-life balance activities are needed. Use email, the company website, and employee orientation to promote EAPs. Work with EAP providers to accommodate all workers, including those with PTSD or other mental health issues. EAP evaluations should include staff surveys and usage statistics.

Provide Manager Training and Support

Create programs that help managers and supervisors recognize, assist, and adjust for PTSD. Teaching managers how to talk to staff about mental health shows compassion. Ask managers to emphasize mental health and inclusive teams.

Make Workplace Accommodations

Work with PTSD workers to make workplace changes that help them succeed. This may include allowing individuals work from home or set their own hours for treatment or medical visits. Changing jobs can reduce PTSD stress and triggers. Accommodations should be examined and altered often as employee requirements or duties change.

Encourage Communication Open

Town halls, focus groups, and employee resource groups allow mental health discussions at work. Respectfully and effectively discuss mental health issues with bosses and workers. Support workers share their struggles and seek help via trust and honesty. Regularly assess staff mental health awareness and communication efforts.

Deal with Workplace Stress

Regularly analyze how heavy workloads, uncertain employment, and colleague disputes affect employee health and happiness. Apply task management and conflict resolution approaches to lessen workplace stress. Stress management and resilience training for managers and staff is essential. Make it comfortable for workers to address difficulties and relieve tension.

Give trauma-specific training

Explain trauma's neurological and psychological effects and how to cure them. Use role-playing games or case studies to teach your staff how to handle challenging situations. Promote trauma-informed care conferences, training, and peer learning. Assess employees' knowledge, attitudes, and actions before and after trauma-specific training.

Monitor and Assess Progress

Set goals and benchmarks to evaluate workplace activities for PTSD and mental health. Gain insight into staff attendance, turnover, and support service use. Check your progress toward your goals regularly and make modifications for best results. Ask employees about workplace PTSD and mental health via surveys, focus groups, or one-on-ones.

Encourage Self-Care and Resilience

Provide your workers self-care and resiliency programs. This may involve mindfulness, stress management, and relaxation classes. Provide meditation apps, self-help materials, and online support groups. Encourage staff to enjoy sports, exercise, and family outside of work. Provide a safe area for employees to take breaks, set limits, and prioritize health.

Workplace PTSD Is No Joke

People can get PTSD from their workplace and this is an increasing concern among the modern workforce. As the priorities and goals of the employees change, companies have to focus on providing enough work-life balance and mental wellness to employees. Want to know where your employees stand in terms of mental health? Make use of customized surveys by ThriveSparrow to get detailed insight into the minds of your employees.