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Do stress-related problems count as workplace injuries?

For most people in Illinois, work brings on a lot of stress. Studies have shown that this problem has only been trending upward over the years. Workers don't feel like they have control over what goes on in the workplace, but they do feel like there are a ton of demands, and they're stressed out as a result.

Stress hits everyone differently. It can cause people to feel sick and tired. It can bring about a heart attack. It can cause hypertension or make it worse for those who suffer from it. People often can't sleep and never feel rested. So, when stress causes serious issues—like a heart attack—do they count as work-related injuries?

In some cases, they absolutely do. Some police departments even give out compensation to officers who have heart attacks—whether they have them at work or not—because they believe that the stress of being an officer is so intense that it leads to these issues directly.

One thing that is hard to do, though, is to make a blanket statement about when workplace stress causes injuries in certain professions. For example, a teacher in a small-town school with 10 students in every class may not feel nearly the same stress as a teacher in a huge, inner-city school with 500 students in the class. These people have the exact same job title, but their jobs are quite different.

Additionally, different things stress out different people. Some people find repetitive work to be relaxing and easy, while others are stressed by doing the same thing over and over again.

If you think that workplace stress put you in the hospital, make sure you know if you're entitled to any type of compensation.

Source: The American Institute of Stress, "Workplace Stress," accessed Oct. 06, 2015

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