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Microsoft and PTSD

Microsoft and PTSD

I was reading today on the BBC News site about two former Microsoft employees suing the company for allegedly not protecting them from the psychological effects of their jobs. Their jobs were to view disturbing images which were communicated via Microsoft services and then reporting these images to the authorities.

Not wanting to comment on the specifics of this case, as I am far from qualified to do so, it did make me think that we as a society may have missed this wrinkle in the manifestation of PTSD. PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, was first recognised in the First World War. In those days it was referred to as shell shock, this condition was not always looked upon as being a pathology sadly during this period many commanders saw it as a sign of weakness at best cowardice at worst. Interestingly, it was this (and the need for anaesthetics in field hospitals) which brought hypnosis back from the therapeutic cold.

Most of us will, thankfully, not have to deal with the horrors of conflicts like war. This, however, does not mean we will not experience PTSD. I can only imagine the ghostly images that get circulated on the internet and it is right and proper that we do all we can to protect the vulnerable people depicted in these images. We owe these unknown and unsung heroes a debt of thanks and we certainly owe them access to the care they need when the job causes them more distress than they are able to safely handle.

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