Humiliation by Healthcare workers

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Scroll down or click link to read : 1️⃣ Definition 1️⃣.1️⃣ Humiliation Info-graph 2️⃣ Being humiliated makes you feel 3️⃣ Impact on your health treatment. 4️⃣ Being humiliated activates the freeze stress response. 5️⃣ Tips to deal with humiliation. 6️⃣ NHS legislation 7️⃣ Audio Version of this page

1️⃣ Definition

The behaviour of Humiliation is the act of being unfairly judged and it is this judgment that makes you feel worthless and powerless. Nine times out of ten, they abuse the power imbalance to make you feel ashamed or stupid. It’s a hurtful way to be treated but it’s an effective way to gain and maintain power over you. While you are distracted by your hurt feelings hurt and the need to protect yourself from further hurt.

1️⃣.1️⃣ Humiliation Info-graph

2️⃣ Being humiliated makes you feel:

▶️ anxious

▶️ miserable

▶️ stunned into silence.

▶️ It feels unfair

2️⃣.1️⃣ and this behaviour is a form of:

▶️ dismissing,

▶️ minimising or trivialising

your concerns.

3️⃣ Impact on your health treatment.

This often results in a further loss of trust in the Healthcare setting. And the use of avoidance behaviours to defend yourself against being humiliated again.

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Under normal circumstances, you would avoid this organisation and never go back to them. But this is an establishment that is essential to your survival. So you can’t avoid them as this will mean you will have no access to medical treatment. Or that much needed apology or an explanation to find closure.

4️⃣ Being humiliated activates the freeze stress response.

Because your survival may depend on being able to access healthcare, you cannot turn on the ‘fight stress response’ or turn to the ‘flight stress response’ and walk away. So you do the only thing you can to protect yourself and you withdraw emotionally.

Because the stress response of freeze is activated. you feel you have no control over the situation, and you are left feeling powerless.

5️⃣ Tips to deal with humiliation.

▶️ Yes, the shame and embarrassment are hurtful. But remember: you are in control of your thoughts. So if you think of your thoughts as a vehicle. Such as a bus but any mode of transport works for this example. If you discover you on the wrong bus heading in a different direction. Then you would get off and take time to replan your journey. Possibly the next time the bus stops. But you may need to stay in the bus until it reaches a stop where there are more choices of buses and destinations.

from the pen of tips to deal with humiliation

▶️ Try not to react to the feelings of hurt, anger or sorrow. Remain calm and clearly state the reasons why you are unable to accept being treated like this. The biggest risk here is that they may chose to distort your words and use this against you to dehumanise or demonise you.

▶️ If you walk away to protect yourself, it’s probably in your best interests to put the reasons for your decision to leave in writing and send via email as soon as you feel it is safe for you to do so.

▶️ It’s perfectly normal to feel hurt and angry. By all means go and have a good cry, or fire off an ink missile to your draft folder. Feel free to smash a plate against the wall or turn the volume up to max and dance along to your favourite song.  As these all soothe the vagus nerve, they are important to your recovery. But only for a while. It is in your best interests to time limit this.

▶️ Just because one organisation chose to treat you in this badly behaved way, does not mean that you are stupid or a worthless person. Take the time to fill out the ‘5 things I like about myself’ worksheet to remind yourself that your self worth should not be based on what one persons or one organisations says or does to you.

▶️ Try not to get into the intrusive thought ‘wrecking balls’ as the more you think about being humiliated, the worse you will feel. So ride the wave of discomfort until the uncomfortable feelings of humiliation have run it’s course. This is not about minimising their behaviour but about allowing you to feel better about yourself.

▶️ When you are able to take a step back from the discomfort, guilt and self blame, remind yourself that everyone feels humiliated at times and try to find comfort in this.

▶️ It may be very helpful to Download and complete the ‘Before I feel guilty and blame myself worksheet’.

▶️ Then sit down and decide what skills you have that you can use as coping strategies to help you get over this setback and back up and running as quickly and painlessly as possible.  

▶️ Laughter is great medicine. When you have got back up and dusted yourself off, try to find the funny in the situation.  

6️⃣ Read the Legislation that is designed to prevent this behaviour

7️⃣ Audio Version of this page

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