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Psycho-Emotional Distress Caused by the Supervisor in a Professional Setting

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As someone who is passionate about mental health, I am all too aware of the impact that supervisors in professional settings can have on our psychological well-being. While a good supervisor can be a source of support and guidance, a bad one can cause significant psycho-emotional distress that can have long-lasting effects on our mental health.

We often talk about the importance of taking care of our emotional and mental well-being. We prioritise activities that promote self-care, such as exercise, meditation, and therapy. However, there is one aspect of our lives that can have a significant impact on our mental health that we often overlook: our supervisors.

Many of us spend a significant amount of time at work, interacting with our supervisors on a daily basis. While a good supervisor can provide support, guidance, and encouragement, a bad supervisor can cause significant psycho-emotional distress.

One of the most common causes of psycho-emotional distress in the workplace is the behaviour of a supervisor. This can manifest in a number of ways, from bullying and harassment to micromanaging and criticism. Whatever form it takes, the result is often the same: individuals who are left feeling stressed, anxious, and unsupported.

One of the most insidious forms of supervisory behaviour is bullying. This can take many forms, from verbal abuse and intimidation to constant criticism and belittling. The impact of this behaviour on an individual’s mental health can be profound, leading to feelings of worthlessness, anxiety, and depression.

Another common form of supervisory behaviour that can cause psycho-emotional distress is micromanaging. This is where a supervisor is overly controlling and involved in an individual’s work, often to the point where they feel they cannot make decisions for themselves. This can lead to feelings of frustration, helplessness, and a loss of confidence in one’s abilities.

Perhaps the most damaging form of supervisory behaviour is harassment. This can be sexual or non-sexual in nature and can take many forms, from unwanted advances and comments to physical intimidation. The impact of harassment on an individual’s mental health can be devastating, leading to feelings of shame, guilt, and anxiety, as well as significant damage to self-esteem.

So, what can be done to address the psycho-emotional distress caused by supervisors in professional settings? First and foremost, it is important to recognise that this behaviour is unacceptable and to speak out against it. This can be difficult, particularly if the supervisor in question is in a position of power, but it is essential if we are to create a culture of respect and support in the workplace.

It is also important to seek support from others, whether that be colleagues, friends, family, or a professional therapist. Talking about our experiences and feelings can be incredibly cathartic and can help us process what has happened and move on from it.

It may be necessary to take more formal action, such as reporting the behaviour to HR or seeking legal advice. This can be a daunting prospect, but it is important to remember that we have the right to work in an environment that is free from harassment and bullying.

Psycho-emotional distress caused by supervisors in professional settings is a serious issue that can have significant negative impacts on our mental health. If you are experiencing distress caused by your supervisor, take action to address the issue. Remember, you deserve to work in a safe and healthy environment. It is important to recognise this behaviour for what it is and to take steps to address it, whether that be through speaking out, seeking support, or taking formal action. By doing so, we can create a culture of respect and support in the workplace and ensure that everyone is able to work in an environment that is safe, supportive, and conducive to good mental health.




Jimby Casquete is a social media manager at Psychreg.

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