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Long-term effects of workplace discrimination and harassment

Although workplace discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace is against the law in California and the rest of the country, it still occurs in many companies. Studies over time have concluded that not only do these negatively affect the employee's income and reputation, but there are also long-term mental and health effects.

According to The Journals of Gerontology, women who have experienced age discrimination in the workplace have issues with their mental health throughout their lives. Discrimination due to age often causes financial strain which can lead to symptoms of depression and a lower self-esteem. Many also report they have lower overall life satisfaction. Although men can be affected by age discrimination, women especially are at risk for declining mental health symptoms.

According to NBC News, those who have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace not only have declines in mental health, but there are also health consequences. Common diagnoses in sexual harassment victims include PTSD, anxiety and depression. Acute stress is also seen in the majority of women who have experienced sexual violence. While more severe effects can be expected with assault, sexual harassment leads to more subtle problems in the long run. 

Many who have experienced harassment are in denial, which can lead to physical ailments over time. Physical symptoms and problems can include:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • Blood sugar issues
  • High blood pressure
  • Stomach pains
  • Hives
  • Weight loss or gain

Because the long-term physical and mental effects can be debilitating, it is important for victims of harassment and discrimination talk with a mental health professional or other trustworthy individual. This can lower the effects of stress and help victims find healthy coping mechanisms.

 

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