Health & Wellness

Workplace Bullying Tied to More Prescriptions for Antidepressants

Researchers from the University of Helsinki Department of Public Health found that people who experience and witness bullying at the workplace are more likely to have prescriptions for antidepressants, tranquilizers or sleeping pills, the Medical News Today reports.

Tea Lallukka, PhD., and colleagues asked 6,606 municipal employees, aged 40 to 60, regarding their encounters with bullying in the workplace between 2000 and 2002. They found that 5 percent of all the employees who took part in the survey were currently being bullied; 18 percent of females and 12 percent of males said they have been bullied at some time, either in their current or previous place of employment.

Approximately half of the participants said they had witnessed workplace bullying occasionally or more often. Women who had been bullied at work were 50 percent more likely to be prescribed with antidepressants, sleeping pills or tranquilizers. Men who had been victims of workplace bullying were twice as likely to be prescribed a psychoactive medication.

In addition, women who had seen someone at work being bullied had a 53 percent higher risk of being prescribed a psychoactive drug, while men were nearly twice as likely to be prescribed psychoactive medications if they had witnessed workplace bullying.

“Our findings highlight the significance of workplace bullying to subsequent psychotropic medication reflecting medically confirmed mental problems. Tackling workplace bullying likely helps prevent mental problems among employees,” the researchers concluded.

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