Depression and Unemployment

The unemployment rate in America has remained around 8 percent for the past several years. This has caused a lot of people to be without work for long periods of time. Of those who have found work, a lot of it has been for reduced pay and benefits. When a person is working, that person has a sense of pride and purpose in his or her community. A person who lacks purpose will often times fall into a state of depression.

A Man Wants To Provide For His Family

While it is true that many (or most) families rely on two incomes to survive, there is still a sense in this country that a man is supposed to be a provider for his family. What’s worse is that even though a man’s depression is no worse than a woman’s depression, men are less likely to share these feelings with others, often holding this information back from friends, doctors, and even spouses. So if an unemployed man already thinks he’s seen as lazy, uncaring and otherwise useless – he’s certainly not going to show more “weakness” by revealing his problems with depression.

This is true even if the unemployed person is volunteering in the community, spending hours searching for work each day or otherwise staying productive. Men in career counseling groups have said they feel like they’re walking around with UNEMPLOYED stamped on their foreheads. When the bills come due, the wage-earners in the household want to be able to provide for their families. And, quite realistically, no mom or dad wants to tell their kids that there will be no presents under the Christmas tree this year. It may sound corny, but these are the real feelings of people living with depression.

Women seem to be slightly ahead of the curve on sharing their feelings. But recently, society seems to be more aware and open about men’s emotional problems. For instance, the men’s e-zine “” gives some specific examples of things that you can do to beat the blues while you are unemployed. The good news is that there are lots of good tips for both men and women to help you cope with your unemployment.

Unemployment Provides You With A Lot Of Downtime

There are only so many things that you can accomplish when you are unemployed. After awhile, looking for work just gets depressing when all you hear are rejection letters from employer after employer. Your home can only be cleaned so many times before it is spotless.

When you have no job to go to, it can start to take a toll on your mental state. You may find that you are sleeping more, are fighting more with your spouse and generally have a bleaker outlook on life. In an effort to self-medicate, some people turn to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain.

While it would seem that turning to drugs and alcohol will help you forget your problems, they can actually make them worse. Studies have shown that those who abuse substances such as alcohol may actually feel worse than those who do not drink or do drugs. This is because many substances are actually depressants.

Unemployment Creates Desperation For Any Sort Of Payday

Those who don’t have a paycheck coming in may feel like they have no choice but to accept any offer of money. Even if it means stealing, scamming others or making money by other dishonest means. Worst case scenario is that some people who are not making money will actually turn to crime to get paid. The thought of stealing from someone will make most people feel even worse about themselves. This is even more true if you are stealing from close friends or family members to get by. Despite the fact that you are “getting paid,” you still feel no better about yourself as a person.

If you are ever caught selling drugs or stealing, you could be sent to prison. If you end up in prison, you are going to have to admit that you are a criminal for the rest of your life. That will certainly weigh heavily on you if you have always considered yourself an honest person in the past.

Your Finances Fall Further And Further Into Disrepair

Your finances are going to take a severe hit if you are not employed. The fact that you cannot pay your bills is going to be painful enough. However, the thought of losing your house, having a low credit score and seeing your retirement savings slip away can put you over the edge.

Having everything you worked so hard for just taken away from you can be the last straw. Who wants to work for 30 years only to see that hard work result in nothing because of a poor economy? It can be nearly impossible to make enough money to retire if you are already middle aged when you lose everything.

Think about how you are going to get money to survive on a daily basis if you have no paycheck coming in. You may need to rely on payday loans and other predatory lenders to have any money at all. That can add to your debt even more if you don’t find a way to repay those loans quickly. The stress of having creditors calling you each day demanding money that you don’t have can be heartbreaking.

Unemployment can lead you down a dark place if you’re not careful. The loss of your job can not only leave you without an income – but it can deprive you of a sense of purpose. This could lead you to doing drugs and drinking alcohol on a regular basis. From there, you may turn to crime in an attempt to make ends meet for your family. That will certainly cause anyone to go into a deep depression. Obviously, getting a job will help, but if you’re truly depressed, do some research on depression and talk to a doctor or find a support group. Depression can be tricky, so don’t assume that “getting a job” is the only answer to dealing with depression.