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Unemployment and Depression

Updated on January 18, 2013

Overcoming Depression When You're Unemployed

The use of antidepressants has increased by 47% over the past five years.

It's easy to become depressed when you're unemployed. Job loss affects our level of self-esteem and in a recession, these issues become more widespread. This lens explores what to do about it, and how you can survive and thrive a period of unemployment.

Plus check out the Resources section below for lots of free and cheap resources.

Unemployment and Depression

It's easy to become depressed when you are unemployed. The question is: what can you do about it?

You can't buy the things you want to buy. You can no longer sustain your usual lifestyle. Your friends are going out dinner or to see a movie and you're not sure whether you can afford it.

On top of that, you have the stress of paying your bills, rent or mortgage.

Studies show that most people become depressed within six months of becoming unemployed.

Symptoms of Depression

When you are depressed, you feel "down", or have what is called "low mood".

The symptoms of depression can range from mild to severe.

People who suffer from depression often lack energy. You may not feel able to get off the sofa, or even get out of bed.

Your may have trouble sleeping. If you experience insomnia, this will contribute to you feeling even more tired. It is common for people suffering from depression to wake up in the early hours of the morning and find it difficult to get back to sleep.

If you are depressed, it is much harder to take massive action such as contacting employers or sending out resumes or cvs.

In order to change this, you need to change your thoughts and feelings.

Why Do We Feel Depressed?

Causes of Depression in the Unemployed

Unfortunately, unemployment and depression often go together.

When you are unemployed, you may feel depressed for a number of reasons.

Our thought processes often contribute to depression.

For example, you may fear that you will never find work again, or that you will never find the kind of work you want.

You may think you are being rejected by people who fail to hire you.

You may have anxieties about how you come across in interviews.

Freud said that depression was "anger turned inward".

If you find yourself sending out one cv or resume after another, and filling out loads of application forms, without getting anywhere in your jobsearch, your feelings of helplessness may lead to anger, rage and depression.

We spend most of our waking hours at work. Many people define themselves by their job title. If you lose that, you may feel as if you have lost your identity.

You no longer have your daily routine.

You no longer have contact with your work colleagues, which may lead to feelings of isolation.

All of these factors can contribute to feeling depressed.

Predicting Self-Esteem during Unemployment - Article on Predicting Self-Esteem during Unemployment

The negative impact of unemployment on psychological health has a long research history.

Breaking the Patterns

You can break the patterns of unemployment and depression.

If you are experiencing this kind of negative thinking, you need to break the pattern.

Your negative thoughts will need to more negative thoughts and feelings. You go round and round, deeper and deeper into depression and the cycle of despair.

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) can be a very effective means for breaking your negative patterns. For more about how you can use EFT to break your negative patterns and to hejp you in your job search, see: Achieving Fabulous Success.

Your Strengths and Skills

One Way to Overcome Depression

If you have been unemployed for a long time, you probably have a distorted, negative view about yourself and your capabilities.

The fact that you are not being valued in the way you want to be may cause you to undervalue yourself.

It can help to list your skills and strengths. Think about the things you have achieved in your life - in jobs, in your hobbies, at home and in your relationships. This can help you to identify your strengths and skills.

The more confident you feel, the more likely you are to be able to create the positive results you want.


Some of these links will help you to create more positive habits and patterns of thought and feelings.

Others are practical resources to help you with your jobsearch.

Reader Feedback

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    • Zhana21 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      @JJNW: Thank you so much for your comment.

    • JJNW profile image


      8 years ago from USA

      Depression is so hard to overcome, especially when faced with additional issues. You do a good job spreading awareness.


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