This article will discuss how being unemployed for a long time can affect your mental health. It will also explain how it can lead to depression. But not only that, this article will show what are ways you can cope with this feeling.
Long term unemployment made me depressed
The longer a person is unemployed, it seems the higher is the chance for them to get depressed. And this may be related to some factors. Let’s discuss what they are.
Being unemployed can affect your sense of financial security, and this can have an enormous effect on your mental health. Not knowing of you will be able to pay your rent, or provide for your family, can be a traumatic experience that leads to depression.
Losing the ability to plan your life
It is not only your financial security that is affected. Your whole sense of life security, of being able to predict how each day would be like, changes. This can lead you to worry about the future, and what is next for you.
People may feel depressed if they realize they have been fired because of a structural problem in the company, which they were powerless to handle. Having other people’s decisions affect how you live your life can make you feel like everything is out of your control, and the inability to cope can make you depressed.
Losing your sense of identity
Having a job is something that helps you build a sense of self-worth, confidence, and motivation. It is what gives you some sense of identity and belonging in the world. It is through work that you are able to achieve some of your dreams, and have positive social relationships. It also makes your self-esteem higher and makes you feel accomplished.
Maintaining a positive view of yourself is what makes it easier to get a job once you are employed. But as the time of unemployment progresses, you can feel it gradually changing. And that can become evident to people that are interviewing you. Which can cause you to not move forward in interviews.
With every rejection, you may start to question your worth, or how much you know about your profession. The more professionally driven the society you are in, the harder this feeling may be.
For example, in a country like the United States where people are constantly worried about what your profession is, being unemployed for a long time can even make you distance yourself from social contact.
This can happen in any line of work. And unfortunately, due to COVID-19, and the economic distress that came with it, many people lost their jobs. In those situations, it might be a little easier to not take the matter too personally, but it doesn’t make it easier being unemployed for a long time.
All of this can have an extremely negative impact on the person. And not only that, it can lead to intense stress, which can lead to high cortisol levels, and in time lead to depression.
Being unable to get a job can cause you to feel hopeless, without purpose, and empty. You may feel your mood changing, and you can become more irritable. When that is the case, it is safe to say you may be depressed. If you are going through long term unemployment, and feel depressed, there are some things you can do.
What are ways to cope with depression due to long-term unemployment?
Going through long-term unemployment is extremely hard. It can affect you to a point that you may feel depressed. Here is what you can do in those cases.
Take a deep breath
When going through long-term unemployment, the first thing you should do is breathe. There may be times when you get stuck in those negative lines of thoughts. And those may only harm you at the moment, but it also makes it harder for you to move forward.
You may try to have some breathing exercises in hand so you can do them when it is necessary. Yoga is also a great way to learn to breathe, as well as to practice mindfulness.
Look for professional help
If you are feeling depressed, or have started to notice signs of it. It may be that your sleep and eating patterns have changed. Or your mood, and how you feel about yourself. These are all symptoms of depression.
You may discuss it with your friends and family members to know how they have been seeing you. And if it seems it is depression, you may want to look for professional help.
Having a therapist and a psychiatrist caring for you will help with the symptoms of depression. But not only that, it can help you understand your emotions better, and get a handle on them in a more positive manner.
The longer you stay unemployed it seems the harder it is to keep yourself motivated. Depression itself can affect how motivated you feel. But try to keep in mind that it is only by trying that you will achieve it.
For sure there will be those times when you just need to think of something else. But have a routine, and maybe even a schedule, of how you are looking for a job. This will make it easier for you to keep trying.
And keep moving
Exercising can be a great way to deal with depression. It can make you more energetic, and feel a lot better because of that rush of endorphins you will get after you are done.
Know that when you are depressed it may be hard to do an intense workout, but even going on short walks can help. So you can start by doing those, and move from those on.
Find ways to feel motivated
Human beings feel great when they feel useful. So if you are not working, you can benefit from taking part in other activities that will make you feel useful. You may take on volunteering, helping around your house, or joining groups, such as the PTA for your kids’ school.
That won’t let you feel like there is nothing to live for. You can get a sense of belonging and accomplishment in those activities that can reflect positively on your mood and depression.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
The longer you go without a job, the harder you tend to be on yourself. Try to be caring with your emotions, and your health. Know that this is momentary, even though you can’t control how long it will last. And support yourself for all the effort you have been doing.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Why does long-term unemployment make me depressed?
How can other people help me when I am unemployed?
Your friends, family, and former colleagues may have a huge role in your life when you are unemployed. Your family and friends may offer you toms of support, and help you through this emotional situation.
But there is another group of people, that is usually made by former co-workers or people you had contact professionally, that can help you a lot. Those are part of your work network, and when you lose your job it is extremely important to look for them.
You can share with them what has happened, and what job opportunities you are looking for. They may be able to connect you with other companies or job slots that fit your desire and needs.
That is why it is always so important to keep a good relationship with the people you work with and have worked with. You never know what the future will be like.
What are the careers with the highest rate of depression?
The career with the highest rate of depression is people that work on public and private transportation, in which 16,2% are depressed. They are followed by people in real estate, with 15,7%, and social services with 14,6%.
14,3% of the people that work in manufacturing or production are depressed. The same way as people that work with personal services. After them, 13,4% of people in legal services feel depressed. And at the same rate are people that work in environmental administration and waste service.
13,3% of the people that work with organizations and association administration are depressed. Followed by 12,6% of the people that work in security and commodities broker. And finally, 12,4% of the people that work in print and publishing are depressed.
How can I live without an income?
If you are living without an income, you may want to use the money you have saved up. This is why it is important to save money when you have a job. Not dealing with housing bills is also important when you don’t have an income.
You may want to move in with family or friends. Also, try to save on food. You can get those food stamps to get them cheaper, or if it is the case, you can go to a soup kitchen where they will give you food.
And when it gets cold, you can get clothes for that in places where there are charity drives. And try to have a means of transportation. You can get a bike, or take buses, but try to have a way to move around in town.
What are 5 ways to make money online?
If you think working online is something you are interested in, you may want to try and sell courses or sell products online. Aside from that, you can study to become a freelance designer or even a freelance writer.
People that work online can also be virtual assistants, meaning you will support clients from a company online. It is a form of customer support that you do everything online.
Can I develop PTSD after I lose a job?
Yes, you may develop PTSD after you lose a job. The condition happens after a person goes through a traumatic event that will, from then on, trigger an emotional reaction whenever something similarly affects them.
So if being fired was perceived as a negative, traumatic experience for you, you can develop PTSD. It can also happen if while you were still working in the company you went through a traumatic experience.
This article showed how long-term unemployment can have such a severe impact on a person’s mental health that it can lead to depression. But not only that, but it also explained what ways you can cope with this situation.
If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.