Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Unemployment and Depression

Unemployment rates are up, down and any number of varying levels in between. People who still have their jobs are constantly worrying about if they will be next to join the line of the unemployed. If we were to ask anyone who has recently lost their job, I’m sure they will tell you their stress level is at an all time high and they battle with bouts of depression that they have never dealt with before.

People who are unemployed have a constant worry list. Eviction, credit card dept, vehicle repossession, providing food for the family, and trying to find a job are just a few of the worries that cross the minds of those who are out of working and looking.

A study by Dr. David Fryer, a psychologist from Stirling University in Scotland, did a 14- year study on the psychological effects of unemployment. His research showed that up to 40% of unemployed people suffered from psychological distress.

Unemployment is often out of the control of an individual. Yet, people who are unemployed are seen as lazy and considered second- class citizens to those who are part of the working community. This is often not the case, and it is damaging to the confidence of people find themselves unemployed. Typically, the jobless are hard enough on themselves and battle with their self-image on a daily basis because of being out of work.

If the above describes you, please look at these tips to keep your confidence up and cope with your unemployment:

First, if you lost your job because of a major lay off within your former company, work to come to terms that you are not at fault for losing your job.

• Occasionally, job loss is due to the individual. If you lost your job due to your actions or words, spend some time examining the actions/words and improve on those issues.

Create a schedule: Just like you were getting up to go to the office, design a schedule that gets you out of bed and out the door. Schedule time to look for a job, run errands, exercise, and be a part of social activities.

Eligibility of Benefits: See if you qualify for unemployment or welfare benefits. If so, get the paperwork done quickly so you will be able to pay bills while looking for a job.

Reduce your expenses: Check out my blog, “Save Money, Live Frugally” for helpful tips in saving money day to day.

Go out: I know money is tight but you can’t stay in the house 24/7! Get out and do something that is low- cost and fun. It’s out there, you just have to look!

Seek Support: Everyone needs someone to talk too. Talk to friends and family about your situation. Just talking things through can relieve a lot of stress.

Let people know your looking for work: NETWORK! Tell people what type of work you can do and remind them to let you know if there is something that becomes available.

Reward yourself: Sound silly? Maybe so, but it helps. Whenever you complete something that helps your situation, do something good for yourself. It could be as simple as taking an hour to yourself with a glass of wine and a good book or your favorite movie.

KEEP BUSY: This is so important. The more you do, the less you think about your situation. Don’t isolate yourself --it may lead to a deeper depression because all you will be doing is thinking about being unemployed.

For those of you who are unemployed, remember that you’re not alone. There are resources available to you if you choose to take advantage of them I’ve compiled a few of them for you here:

Today’s economy has put people out of work who never thought they would be. Keep your head up and remember tomorrow will be a better day.

Are you battling with depression because you are unemployed? Do you have a story to tell or helpful suggestions that can help people going through this time of disparity? Leave your comments so I can post for others to read.

Thanks for reading and commenting! I appreciate your feedback.

Carly Sabato

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