Being laid off and depression (+How to cope)

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Page last updated: 10/11/2022

This article will discuss how being laid off of your job can cause you to feel depressed. Along with that, it will discuss what are the best ways for you to deal with this situation.

Does being laid off make you depressed? 

Being fired is always something that can have a huge impact on you. It can cause some damage to your self-esteem, make you stressed, and affect your relationships since it can make you isolate yourself. 

And although it may be hard to understand what happens, it is important to know that losing a job can be a traumatic experience, and those can lead to depression.

It is not only the job loss, but all that is implied in it. You need to consider your financial condition, how you will handle the bills to come. The health care, school costs, and pay your rent. 

All of that is put on the balance when you are laid off. But it is important to set a difference between sadness and depression when you lose your job.

Pretty much anyone will experience a sense of sadness when it happens. But it is a fleeting situation, and will not touch every other aspect of their lives. But a person that is depressed can feel the intense sadness, and loss of purpose and pleasure that can encompass all the aspects of their lives, not only their professional part.

Not only that, a person that is just sad due to the loss of their job won’t experience a change in their sleeping and eating habits, as well as their level of interest in other matters, and motivation as well. Their energy level and ability of focusing won’t be altered either, and they won’t consider self-harm or suicide.

But a person that experiences being laid off to a point that causes them to be depressed can experience many of those symptoms. And even though this can happen to everyone, people may react differently to it. 

Can gender change how people feel?

Although women are usually more susceptible to developing depression, when it comes to being laid off from their job, it can happen more often to men. This may be related to the role men play socially as the provider, which can have a greater effect on their self-esteem. 

Can age change how people feel?

Age also seems to play an important role in deciding if people will get depressed or not. It seems that people around, or that are close to retirement, have a higher chance of getting depressed if they get laid off, even more if they were people with low income. 

This may be related to them feeling like they are reaching a moment of financial limbo, in which they won’t be able to provide anymore. Along with that, the notion that they won’t be able to find other job possibilities is something that can terrify them.

Being laid off and depression (+How to cope)

Main symptoms of depression when you are laid off

Along with the common symptoms of depression, getting depressed because you got laid off can make you feel like you lost your identity. So much of your life may have been focused on that career, that as you are fired you don’t know who you are anymore. 

Along with that, losing your job may cause you to feel lonely since you won’t be able to be in touch with your work colleagues as you have been before on a daily basis. 

The stress that unemployment causes can also make you depressed, and the lack of routine, and consistency can be a sign you are feeling depressed because you got laid off. 

You can feel like you have lost control of your life, and can feel guilty, or ashamed as if you have done something wrong that caused you to lose your job. But fortunately there are some ways you can cope with all of this. Let’s discuss what can be done.

How can I handle the depression caused by being laid off? 

If you not only feel sad because you got laid off, but feel like depression has become a part of you, here are some things you can do. 

Allow yourself to feel 

Being laid off is a horrible experience, and trying to get out of it quickly can be extremely negative. You may not allow yourself to feel the sadness that can come from it, which may only make it worse. 

Allow yourself to feel every stage of the pain that comes with being laid off, it is a grieving process, and if you go through you will probably recover from it better.

Don’t blame yourself 

Much of the depression of being laid off can come from blaming yourself. It can make you question how good an employee you were, if what you knew was enough, and if you had what it takes. Don’t surrender to these blaming ideas and understand that there is a reason for why you were laid off, and it isn’t all related to your capability.

Find what you are grateful for 

Although it may be hard to find positive things at this moment, you may want to look at the bigger picture and discover what are things that you can benefit from. It can be the chance to spend time with your family, or pursue a new career path, but there is surely something positive that can be considered about being laid off.

Open yourself up 

Being laid off can make you feel like such a failure that you can close yourself up to everyone. But that is the opposite of what you should do. Allow yourself to talk with your friends and family members about what you have been feeling. Not only to vent, but also to help you get a new perspective in all of this.

Keep a routine 

As you start to stay home because you got laid off you might not feel like there are a lot of reasons for you to do much of anything, especially care for yourself. Try to set a routine of home chores, send resumes, and get in touch with your professional network. 

This will make you not lose your focus and keep on taking care of yourself, improving your self-esteem.

Try to relax 

But it is also important to take some time for yourself. Try to find activities such as Yoga, or even small walks around town that will help you relax and center yourself from all the stress that unemployment can bring.

Focus on what is good on you 

Try to do a daily exercise to think over your qualities. This will help you to not lose focus on what is good about you, even though you have moments of self doubt.

Focus on what you can control

There is so much being laid off that is impossible to control. You can’t control why the company will fire you, and what other company will hire you. But you can work on sending resumes, being in contact with people, and putting yourself out there. So try to focus on that, instead of what you can’t control.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Does being laid off make you depressed? 

How do I survive a layoff? 

Surviving a layoff is difficult, but you first need to allow yourself time to grief. Don’t blame yourself or feel ashamed. Know that this could have happened to anyone. Know that this is a temporary set back. And that you will soon be able to look for other opportunities.

If you feel anxious or fearful of looking for another opportunity, it might be important to look for professional help. This will help you deal with the feelings that being laid off triggered on you.

Can being fired cause Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

Yes, in some situations being fired can lead to a person developing PTSD. Although that is not completely common, being fired is always a traumatic experience. And depending on how invested you were at your job, if you got fired as a surprise, and how you can cope with it, it can lead to PTSD.

This condition is usually caused when a person experiences an event that is seen and felt as traumatic, and everytime they go through something that triggers similar feelings, they will have an extreme reaction.

Is it normal to grieve a job loss? 

Yes, it is completely normal to feel grief after you have lost your job. As with the end of any relationship, the end of this work relationship can cause you to mourn what was, and what could have been.

You can feel like all you had planned for yourself professionally has changed, and that finding a sense of stability and security is hard. You might have to integrate this loss in your life, before you are able to move on and look for other opportunities.

How do I move forward after I lose a job? 

When you get fired, to help you move on from it, it may be important to set yourself new goals. Visualize your future, what you want, and how you can get it. Think about your options, to discover what you can do to reach your future goals.

So having a plan to get there is extremely important. Doing things without considering why you are doing what can cause you to lose yourself, and put effort on unnecessary things.

How do I gain my confidence back after losing my job?

Losing a job can affect your confidence, but to rebuild it, there are some things you can do. Give yourself a routine to keep you motivated and still have a sense of control in your life. Be in touch with people that support you, and will help you boost your self-esteem.

Try to have a routine of telling yourself positive affirmations, and do things you love. This can make you look forward to doing something, and even show you how you can do things well, improving your self-esteem.

It is also important to give yourself time to heal. Understand there are days you will feel good, and others when you might not feel like your best self. And put yourself out there. Know that this is a difficult road, that frustration will surely come with it, but that doesn’t define who you are.

Conclusion 

This article discussed how being laid off of your job can cause you to feel depressed. Along with that, the article explained what are ways you can cope with the depression that can come from you being laid off.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write it in the section below.

References

https://hbr.org/2015/07/how-to-bounce-back-after-getting-laid-off
https://helpcenter.stanford.edu/resources/work-related-resources/coping-emotional-impact-layoff