Personal Development

Healing From Workplace PTSD and Thriving in Your New Job

Leaving a toxic workplace can be such a relief, but the impact that is on you will still be there. It’s important to recognize that the impact of such an experience can linger. Why? Because it may cause an issue with your new job.

Workplace PTSD

Believe it or not, there is a term for it and people call it workplace PTSD, or workplace post-traumatic stress disorder. It happens when someone experiences traumatic events at work, like abuse, bullying, or accidents. This can affect how they work and their relationships.

In a toxic workplace, individuals may encounter various types of situations, such as mistreatment, micromanagement, discrimination, and a negative workplace culture. For example, individuals who have experienced someone with narcissistic tendencies at work may be more hypervigilant about their surroundings at their new job. The individual may try to identify and recognize signs of people with toxic tendencies, making them appear more distant and careful when interacting with others.

Here are some of the few signs that someone could have gotten after leaving a toxic workplace:

  • Hypervigilance
  • Questioning self-worth
  • Anxiety and fear
  • Depression
  • Flashbacks
  • Physical symptoms
  • Avoidance behaviors
  • Sleep disturbance

What can you do about it?

Avoid self-sabotage

This negative coping mechanism can prevent someone from meeting their own goals. For example, rather than successfully achieving that goal, a person may try to work excessively and work long hours to impress their bosses. When this happens for a long , they will be working at a slower pace, making more errors and reducing productivity at work.

Acknowledge it

Don’t be so hard on yourself. Notice the negative emotions that surface and acknowledge them. This way, individuals can find better ways to turn these negative emotions into a healthier coping mechanism. For example, despite working hard, you receive disappointing feedback. Instead of being frustrated and doubting yourself, practice self-compassion to cultivate resilience.

Practice self-care

This involves prioritizing activities and strategies that promote emotional well-being and recovery. It may include setting boundaries to protect oneself from triggers, seeking support from trusted colleagues or professionals, engaging in relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or mindfulness, and taking regular breaks to rest and recharge.

Have coping strategies

By learning techniques such as deep breathing exercises, grounding techniques, and mindfulness practices, individuals can effectively navigate triggers and symptoms stemming from work-related trauma. These coping mechanisms help individuals stay present and grounded in the moment, promoting a sense of calm and stability in the workplace.

Surround yourself with supportive people

Never go through a situation alone. Surround yourself with supportive friends, family members, or colleagues who can provide emotional support and understanding. While it may be burdensome to vent to the closest one, talking or having discussions in a community with strangers online can be another way.

Seek professional help

If the symptom persists or worsens, book an appointment to meet and seek support from others or professional help.


Healing from workplace PTSD and thriving in a new job involves acknowledging the impact of past toxic experiences and recognizing signs of workplace PTSD. To overcome it, it is important for individuals to practice self-care and their own well-being so that it won’t impact their performance at their new job.

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