Trauma, especially any kind of abusive relationship, can leave us feeling inadequate, incompetent, and with a giant dollop of imposter syndrome. Not a great position to be in when wanting to put your best foot forward! The good news is that awareness of trauma’s big little lies can remind us that they’re just that—lies.
Facing triggers at work can feel extra-challenging due to worries about maintaining a professional reputation, keeping your job, and looking competent. If you don’t have a coworker who knows that you’re dealing with PTSD and is supportive, being triggered at work can also feel lonely and isolating. You’re not the only one dealing with this, and here are some strategies that have helped others like you cope.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (often known as PTSD) is more common that you might think. Since approximately 8% of the U.S. population (24.4 million people) has this issue at any given time, chances are good that you work with someone who has or has had PTSD. People can develop PTSD from lots of different experiences, not just combat. They might have been in a car accident, a natural disaster, an abusive relationship, or any number of dangerous events. Regardless of the cause, here are some ways you can be a supportive coworker.