THE workplace moaner who seems to plague almost every office in Britain could be suffering from a mental disorder similar to post-traumatic stress, researchers have revealed.
Workers who whinge about their job and their boss, and spread vicious gossip while doing as little work as possible, may have fallen victim to 'post-traumatic embitterment disorder' it is claimed.
The new complaint was identified after a two-year study by researchers at the University of Berlin, published in the latest issue of scientific journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.
Workers are struck down by the disease if they are passed over for a promotion, feel their true worth is not recognised or are humiliated in front of colleagues.
The disorder impairs the person's performance at work and at home and traps them in a vicious circle of underperformance and despair.
As well as moaning about their job to colleagues, symptoms include throwing 'sickies', feeling helpless or aggressive, feeling downhearted, and experiencing nightmares and phobias about people or places linked to the job.
But patients examined with the disorder were able to raise a smile when entertaining thoughts of revenge.
Professor Michael Linden, who led the study, said post-traumatic embitterment disorder, PTED, affects people exposed to negative life experiences where bitterness becomes the person's chief psychological feature.
Those with the disorder were usually people who did not have a good work-life balance and who derived too much of their self-esteem from their job.
Researchers suggest the antidote is to invest as much emotional energy as possible into other areas of life such as hobbies and social activities.
Wow, I had that for over 22 years, and I've never recovered...