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  • Writer's pictureClara Wajngurt

Bullying and Anxiety

When someone gets bullied it can be a traumatic experience for the target. The pain that a target feels can be so intense that it impacts every moment of one's existence. This means they can feel lonely, isolated, vulnerable and anxious (Gordon, 2017).

Sometimes the target develops anxiety disorders as a result of the constant bullying:

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can exhibit in the form of flashbacks, nightmares, being startled easily or just withdrawing socially from others.When your boss screams at his/her team and shows uncivil behavior to colleagues around the boss--this can possibly elicit symptoms of social withdrawal or nightmares about the boss and other colleagues for both targets and bystanders.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is exhibited by targets who have worries and fears that distract them from day-to-day activities. If I think that my colleague will exclude me from the team project, I could conceivably develop worries that I am socially excluded from a project that I have expertise.

This disorder can develop to insomnia, restlessness, physical symptoms and fatigue. The target starts to worry that something bad might happen even if in reality nothing bad happens.

Panic attacks occur when targets experience feelings of terror that strike suddenly without warning.Other symptoms may include sweating, chest pains or even irregular heartbeats.So an overbearing boss can lead to a target being absent continuously from the job.

Social anxiety disorder occurs when the target is afraid of humiliation or of being seen negatively by others. The target is afraid others are judging him/her.This happens when a personal attack is made continuously about someone on a job.The best way for a target to deal with this situation is to avoid the situation and to avoid social situations which include this colleague.

If one is being bullied, and has these reactions, we need to seek professional help in order to develop coping strategies that deal with these situations. If your workplace has bullying prevention policies, this would minimize the occurrence of such situations.


Please consider my services by looking at my website at: or write to me at We offer individual consults as well as workshops for small or large scale groups.

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