Psychopathology in the Workplace

Posted: August 13th, 2013


















Psychopathology in the Workplace

Psychopathology refers to the branch of medicine, which deals with the origin, development and ultimate manifestations of mental and behavioral disorders. It can also mean the behavioral tendencies or reflections of any mental disorder or simply symptoms of psychological impairment. This area of study is often conducted by professionals such as psychiatrists and clinical psychologists, whose constant research aims at looking for the best curative solutions for these symptoms. From these explanations, it is easy to see how treatment of these symptoms is of primary importance to anyone that experiences them. Their manifestation among office workers is of particular concern due to the resultant effects that they can cause (Larsen et al 2010, p. 2).

The readings in this book are critical in helping to contain any mental disorders that may arise at the workplace. As managers, it is necessary to always be on the lookout for any such symptoms and rush to contain them before they affect the productivity of employees. Mental disorders can be dealt with in several different ways. As mentioned earlier, psychopathology aims at establishing the origin of mental disorders and through these findings seek the best method of treatment. At the workplace, numerous factors can lead to poor mental health, especially because of the stressful environments that workplaces can sometimes provide. Though most of these are centered on internal workplace mechanisms, some of them can actually be externally instigated.

Some of the manifestations of mental impairment as witnessed in the work setting include anxiety and stress. With regard to psychiatry, anxiety can be described as a state of unease, apprehension, uncertainty and fear of future events or situations. These feelings cause the impairment of an individual’s physical and psychological functioning. Stress is pressure exerted on one’s body because of events or situations that make them feel frustrated, nervous and sometimes angry. These symptoms are often triggered by various events taking place at the workplace. Many people in organizations experience stress and anxiety whenever they need to change or adapt to new situations and responsibilities, such as undertaking a different task from the one they were used to in a short period. As a person involved in management, it is necessary to evaluate one’s employees for any signs of mental disorders. This is not only done by mere observation but by engaging the services of clinical psychiatrists, just as the authors of the book recommend.

Depression is another manifestation of poor mental disposition. It is whereby a person feels moody and has lost interest in most if not all activities. Burnout on the other hand has been attributed to stress at the workplace (Kahn et al 2003, 85-97). Depression can be due to burnout, which is generally a state of mental, physical and emotional exhaustion mostly because of doubts about one’s competence at work and the value of their work. Such people become increasingly disoriented about their work and eventually lose interest and perform poorly. In order to prevent this from happening, the organization needs to be actively involved in the welfare of their employees. Psychopathology is a necessary procedure at the workplace as a measure of implementing mental health policies and helping their workers.

Psychosis is one of the more severe symptoms of mental illness. This is because it completely distorts one from reality and can be caused by psychosocial factors at the workplace. Psychosis can lead to abnormal behaviors among employees such as hallucination and bizarre beliefs. Work related stress and disruptions that cause change in a person’s life such as a transfer from one area of work to another contribute heavily to the mental state of employees. Lack of attention to these problems is what eventually leads to mental issues at an advanced stage like psychosis.

Mental health policies are standards set in place, which define the issues surrounding mental health including measures to manage them. They are pre-formulated schemes with details and plans containing strategies to be implemented to tackle mental disorders. These policies transcend into the workplace where they strive to achieve the same purpose with that aimed at the general population. Management, as I have learnt is very essential in helping to implement these policies to maintain good mental health among their employees. Such policies are incorporated into those of administration and work hand in hand with other welfare policies to achieve and maintain a positive work environment for employees. This is not to say that psychopathology only targets employees. Its scope includes managers who exhibit symptoms of mental disorders.

In conclusion, the readings provide the way forward in dealing with mental health issues at the workplace and acknowledge the importance of mental health policies. Psychopathology is equally important as it helps in containing mental problems before they get to an aggravated point. The workplace has its challenges, which may lead to stress and ultimately result in poor mental health. Being in a managerial position makes one liable for employee welfare and thus measures such as psychopathology should be undertaken to ensure promotion of mental health among employees. Additionally, it is of essence that managers and others in administrative offices should take part in creating an environment at the workplace that would not pose any threat to the mental health of workers at the organization (Schmidt 2010, 299).







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