Causes and Effects of Stress at Work

If you’re like most Americans, you experience a certain degree of stress at your job. While some workplace stress is normal, an excessive amount of pressure can impact your job performance and can even lead to psychological distress. In California, mental and emotional injuries that occur as a result of workplace stress are covered under workers’ compensation. However, proving that a psychological condition is work related can be challenging due to a lack of physical evidence. That’s where having a workers’ compensation lawyer becomes invaluable.

At the Law Offices of Gerald D. Brody & Associates, we’ve helped countless workers get the benefits they deserve, including those who have suffered psychological trauma due to excessive stress at work.

What causes stress at work?

Though stress is a highly personalized phenomenon, the primary cause of job stress across the board is having little sense of control over what happens in the workplace. Here are some common job stressors that fall under this umbrella:

  • A heavy workload with unrealistic deadlines

  • Poor interpersonal relationships in the workplace

  • A work environment that makes you feel insecure or unsafe

  • Having little to no flexibility in your work hours and schedule

  • Routinely being exposed to dangerous situations

  • A workplace with organizational confusion and unclear policies

  • Poor communication up and down the chain of command

  • Workplace bullying or sexual harassment

  • Uncertainty about whether your job is secure

  • A blame culture where you’re afraid to admit mistakes

  • An authoritarian management style that undervalues employees

The effects of workplace stress

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 56 percent of employees report that workplace stress has an impact on their job performance, and 50 percent say it affects the quality of their work. For many workers, job related stress also spills over into their personal lives and negatively affects their health.

Stress is your body’s natural response to feeling threatened. When you feel stressed, your nervous system responds by releasing a flood of adrenaline and cortisol. Repeatedly experiencing this “fight or flight” response can lead to serious health problems. Emotional effects of workplace stress include depression or general unhappiness, anxiety and irritation, moodiness, anger, feeling overwhelmed, loneliness, anxious or racing thoughts, and constant worrying. Prolonged job-related stress can also accelerate the onset of heart disease, stroke, peptic ulcers, hypertension, and other physical ailments.

Requirements for claim eligibility in California

To file a workers’ compensation claim for an emotional injury caused by stress, the following requirements must be met:  

  • The worker must have a diagnosed psychiatric condition that causes disability or the need for medical treatment.

  • The worker must have been at his or her current place of employment for a minimum of six months.

  • The worker has to provide proof that the emotional injury was more likely than not caused by circumstances in the work environment.

Stressed at work? You may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim

Three out of four Americans report that workplace stress interferes with their daily lives. If you’re under a tremendous amount of stress at work and have suffered a mental or emotional injury due to exhaustion, sexual harassment, a hostile work environment or witnessing a traumatic event on the job, you may be entitled to file a worker’s compensation claim.

At the Law Offices of Gerald D. Brody & Associates, we know all of the tricks your employer and its insurance company will try to pull in order to disprove your emotional injury and avoid paying the benefits you deserve. Our experienced attorneys know exactly what to do to prove the legitimacy of your claim and will fight hard on your behalf to help you collect the compensation you need to recover. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.