3 MIN READ | Mental Health

How Job Loss Impacts Mental Health

Dennis Relojo-Howell

Cite This
Dennis Relojo-Howell, (2019, October 7). How Job Loss Impacts Mental Health. Psychreg on Mental Health. https://www.psychreg.org/mental-health-impact-of-job-loss/
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When you lose your job, do you feel like you still have meaning in your life? 

Unfortunately for many, losing their job may feel like the end of the world. Many individuals feel as though their success and worth are measured by being employed. While money can’t buy happiness, it cannot be denied that money is needed to afford even your basic necessities. Without it, survival becomes difficult.

If you ever find yourself in the unfortunate situation wherein you lose your job, it’s normal for your stress levels to spike.

Unemployment can happen when you least expect it, especially when termination without cause may even be legal in some cases. That said, your mental health can suffer as a direct result of job loss.

The following are how job loss can impact your mental health:

1. You tend to feel more anxious

Anxiety is one of the more common results directly attributed to a job loss. When you no longer have a source of income, you become anxious about everything. How are you going to afford paying for your rent, meals, utilities? Are there medications that you have to pay for? How are you going to pay for the needs of your children and family?

Thoughts like these can hound your mind all the time. When you’re anxiety levels are high, you will naturally find it very difficult to relax.

Sleeping may even be trying. In severe cases of recurring anxiety attacks, you should talk to a mental health professional or seek help. Moreover, you should also be open to your family or a trusted support group. Talk things out, and see up to what extent you can work things out while you’re still trying to get a new job.

2. You begin to develop self-doubt

Self-doubt is very common with individuals who have gone through a job loss. The longer it has been since their last employment, the more deep-seated their doubt becomes. Because you’re unable to land a job immediately, you might begin to question your capabilities and skills. The downside to this is that it might lead you to believe that you’re no longer worthy of a job, hence the tendency to shut off from the world or to keep to yourself in isolation.

3. You’ll start to develop depression

When you’re unemployed, there’s a natural tendency to feel a sense of hopelessness. Others may feel disappointed in themselves. Some even disconnect from family and friends, and may refuse to attend social gatherings because they’re ashamed to be asked about where they’re working or what they’re currently doing – questions that often come up during conversations. 

When finding another job seems to be a futile effort, stress starts to build up, leading to feelings of worthlessness and depression.

When you suspect that you or any of your unemployed friends and family is developing depressive tendencies, you should seek the help of a professional. Because of technology, you may even talk to a chatbot therapist in order to fight depression. In that manner, you’re able to avoid these thoughts from progressing, which can lead to suicide. 

Symptoms of depression include:

  • Depressive mood and thoughts
  • Lack of interest in a lot of daily activities
  • Significant weight loss
  • Decrease or increase in appetite

Conclusion

Unemployment and lack of job security aren’t uncommon today. Especially with the competition getting stiffer and stiffer, unemployment rates have gone higher as well. If you’re not one of those who are affected by it, then you’re in luck. But nothing is certain and you might find yourself in the unfortunate situation of not having a job.

Undeniably, job loss is one of the most common factors that contribute to mental health problems. If you feel you’re one of these individuals, don’t lose hope. While you’re in the process of finding a job, don’t neglect your mental health and seek the help of a professional if you must.


Dennis Relojo-Howell is the founder of Psychreg. He is also the editor-in-chief of Psychreg Journal Psychology, and writes a weekly column for Free Malaysia Today

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