WorkWise Q&A: How can I cope at work with P.T.S.D.?

culp@workwise.netJune 30, 2013 

OCCUPATION

Q: Dear doctor. I am a veteran in emergency services and I need some advice for my personal battle with P.T.S.D. Thank you and God bless.

Taking Steps

A: Dear Taking, Thank you for emailing.

Fortunately, PTSD has truly come out in the open, which means you have a lot of resources at your fingertips. You might start with ideas in a column I wrote: http://www.modbee.com/2012/11/10/2450578/workwise-veterans-employers-can.html.

You’ll see that your occupation puts you in an extremely vulnerable spot, that while you’re likely good at it, it might well set off triggers. Some of the veterans discussed in the column developed tactics to cope with PTSD on the job, including speaking with bosses and co-workers. The nation is so proud of servicepeople now that it’s much easier to find sympathetic ears than in the past.

Is there a Veterans Administration near you with a program for people with PTSD? If not, find a psychiatrist who’s skilled at helping patients become aware of the triggers.

Although another work environment might seem dull, you might consider a career-change. The ADA provides for an accommodation for PTSD. Keep mum until you have an offer.

mlc

CEILING

Q: Dear Dr. Culp, I’m very discouraged. I’ve been with this company since 1998, but I haven’t been able to get into senior management. My performance reviews are good. I get along with my boss and his boss. I put in long hours and never turn down a request. Something isn’t right. Either I’m being discriminated against or I’m not doing something I should be doing. Can you help?

Immobile

A: Dear Immobile, You won’t be if you make some changes.

You sound as if, buried yourself in your work, you never lift your head, except to take on the next assignment. Getting promoted isn’t just about being hard-working and excellent at your job. It has much more to do with building liaisons.

Think about a person who might have given you a plum assignment. How did you develop the relationship that led to it?

Find excuses to get up from your desk and speak with other people at least a level above you. Ask them about their work and whether they have projects that need to be done that will involve your working with other people. Listen for opportunities with high visibility, including meetings, training or presenting, and serving as a company expert on a topic.

mlc

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