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What emotional effects can sexual harassment cause?

As you may know, being in a toxic work environment can affect your work performance and, in some cases, might make you fear for your job. Sexual harassment is a particularly insidious way a job can go from pleasant to unbearable, but you and other Floridians who have been sexually harassed may not realize the true emotional and psychological damage until months or years later.

NBC News points out that the long-term effects of sexual harassment can involve more than merely having bad memories of working for a crude manager or putting up with physically “touchy” customers. First, you will need to understand the definition of sexual harassment. This involves unwanted behavior of a sexual nature that makes you feel uncomfortable, threatened or degraded at work. You might be subjected to this treatment by your coworkers, superiors or customers. Often, sexual harassment leaves victims feeling confused, ashamed, guilty and afraid.

This is where the long-term effects come in. It is coming to light that those who have experienced sexual harassment at work often develop psychological issues similar to those who are victims of emotional or verbal spousal abuse – anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder commonly result from sexual harassment. If you suffer from an anxiety-related disorder for too long, physical effects often follow. These can include panic attacks, high blood pressure, blood sugar problems and heart disease.

You should not have to work in a situation that causes ongoing emotional and physical stress. This information is meant to educate you on your rights regarding sexual harassment, but should not replace the advice of a lawyer.

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