Discrimination in the workplace may have a very direct impact on your employment. Maybe you’re feeling pressured into quitting due to a hostile work environment. Maybe you never got the promotion you know you deserved. Maybe you were fired in favor of a younger worker or someone of a different race or gender.
While employment is very important, it’s crucial to really think about the long-term impact of discrimination. It has been linked to health issues and increased stress levels. Even if you can get through the work day, you take these issues home with you.
The 2015 Stress in America Survey showed that they who were discriminated against put their own stress levels higher than people who said others generally did not discriminate against them. That was true for all ethnic groups and racial groups.
With increased stress come mental and physical challenges. Blood pressure can rise. You could suffer from anxiety that never seems to fade. You could be depressed, going beyond simply “feeling down” and entering into the territory of clinical depression. Some reports even tie stress to substance abuse, which can then bring about health problems of its own.
Experts also warn that chronic stress is a serious issue. Even if you’re not being actively discriminated against at the moment, you could be stressed simply because it’s happened in the past and you’re worried that it will happen again.
As you can see, discrimination in the workplace can be incredibly problematic on many levels. It’s also illegal, so make sure you know what options you have if it’s happening to you.
Source: American Psycological Association, “Discrimination: What it is, and how to cope,” accessed Dec. 30, 2016