Yet another study links workplace abuse to suicides. When is enough enough?

Uncategorized Aug 11, 2020

I reported earlier that a Norwegian study revealed that abused targets are twice as likely to have suicidal thoughts than those who were never abused. Pioneer Heinz Leymann estimated that 10 percent of those bullied take their lives.

Researchers defined bullying as harassment, badgering, and freezing out that generally:

  • Occurred repeatedly over a period of time.
  • Involved two parties in which one had a higher ranking than the other.

It happens so often that there’s now a term for it. “Bullycide” happens when the cause of suicide is attributable to the victim having been bullied.

Now researchers in Australia report similar findings. Australian researchers determined that workplace bullying or harassment was associated with 1.54 greater odds of suicide ideation.


How workplace abuse can lead any of us to suicide (“bullycide”)

Findings show that none of us have a thick enough skin to be exempt from the workplace abuse-suicide connection. Not only did researchers find nothing to support the idea that targets are those with a weakness that brings on psychological assaults, but evidence shows that targets are often high performing, highly ethical employees whose competence poses a threat to their low performing, low ethical bosses. The bully’s only real motivator is to battle the target while having the upper hand – an unethical tactic used to uphold the image they long for but are unable to get through competence:

  • They abuse their power. They care about hurting, manipulating, controlling, and eliminating the target (generally after two years after the employee’s start date). They are kiss up, kick down managers who are masters of deception.
  • They deceive others into thinking the target is the problem. They use the emotional abuse they caused to convince others that the target is mentally ill, setting the stage for mobbing, in which coworkers join in to isolate the target.

Normally having competence and ethics would help someone sleep at night. But with these traits, a target of workplace abuse can find themselves on a slippery slope to bullycide – and it can happen to any of us. It's a natural response that to long-term stress that impairs decision-making by changing brain chemistry — and it can begin to reverse when the stress stops. 

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