Photo: Janerik Henriksson/Scanpix
women most affected

More Swedes bullied at work

"Your self esteem will be destroyed"
2:31 min

Bullying in the workplace is on the up, according to figures from the Swedish Work Environment Authority, the agency responsible for health and safety at work.

Some 7.3 percent of all work-related illnesses were caused by bullying in 2011, the agency says, that is up on the previous year, and eight out of ten of the victims of bullying are women, the agency says. More cases are also reported from female-dominated workplaces, the report claims.

Stefan Blomberg, a psychologist at Linköping University Hospital, thinks the strain on Sweden's economy in the past few years could explain the increase. A higher workrate and organisational changes may have taken their toll.

"It could be the economic cutbacks in societ. Fewer people should do more, which causes stress. When we are stressed, we take less time to take care of each other and be nice," Blomberg says, adding that the consequences can be grave.

"When this kind of process continues, your self esteem will be destroyed. Eventually, you could see a lot of health problems with anxiety, depression, trauma symptoms and so on," he says.

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