General Question

workaholic's avatar

How do I handle the depression that inevitably comes from unemployment?

Asked by workaholic (194points) July 21st, 2014

I thought it would last a couple weeks, a month at most. It’s been much longer, and I feel like I’m going crazy. This question isn’t “how do I find a job” but rather, how do I not feel worthless?


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14 Answers

Dan_Lyons's avatar

1st of all you must get out of your head the notion that your worth has anything to do with your job. Next you must change your attitude regarding being fired. Whenever I was fired from the myriad jobs I’ve been fired from, I always felt elation as I walked away from the clowns for whom I had once worked.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I’m sorry you’re having such a difficult time, and I do hope you’re able to find work soon. That said, the most simple advice I can think to give is this: know that your worth isn’t only measured by the job that you have (or don’t). There are many, many things in life that define you and make you a worthwhile human being.

marinelife's avatar

Are you able to look for work? Are you networking? Or are you too depressed?

chyna's avatar

Get up each day and exercise. Whether it is to go for a walk each day, or just do some exercises at home. It’s a reason to get up. Then spend a few hours a day looking for a job on line. That should be your new job for now, finding a job.
Focus on finding a job and don’t look back at what you had. Also, if you can volunteer somewhere a couple days a week should help keep getting you out of the house and off the couch. I suggest the library or animal shelter if you like animals. The key is to keep busy so you don’t have time to be depressed.
I’ve been there, so I know what helped me.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

VOLUNTEER! So many places, so many people. Your help is neede. YOU are needed. You absolutely have value. Look over yourself, within and without.
Are you a good reader? Have you any idea how many people suffer in nursing homes, hospitals, and other places because they have no visitors, and little if anything to entertain them? I used to go to my local VA hospital and made rounds of the long term patients. I chatted, played cribbages, read their letters, poured the darnwater pitcher they couldn’t reach. I have done the same at nursing homes. You don’t want to know how sad was the county care facility I visited when I was a kid. Back then, it was also where poor unmarried girls went to finish out their pregnancy. I met a teen girl who was soooo lonely

You could volunteer at a food line or food bank.
Zoos and museums use volunteers.
You could volunteer at a shelter.

It would be great for your self esteem to do volunteer hours. It would be great for the people (or animals) you are helping. It also looks good on a resume.
If you have trouble deciding where to volunteer, talk to a probation officer. They always have a great list for sending people to do community service.

You are NOT worthless. Just put your worthiness to some tasks. :-)

Pachy's avatar

I second everything @Jonesn4burgers said!!! And I will add that once you throw yourself into these kind of projects, you’ll be adding acquaintances to your network and greatly increase your chance of finding a job.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Have you considered a life of crime? It’s a sick joke, but then consider the source. First and foremost you MUST disabuse yourself of the notion that in this present economy, your status of unemployed has anything remotely to do with your self worth. The way the world works these days, it’s equivalent to feeling responsible for the weather. Considering your handle, you were probably taken advantage of at your last place anyway.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes, keep busy. I’m in the same funk. I’ve been holding off doing any kind of active job hunting because I was 90% certain I had a job starting this month. Yesterday I found out they hired some one else.
I just wanted to crawl in bed and stay there. Instead I sent out 4 applications and signed up with a temp agency. I felt much better.

LostInParadise's avatar

I know what you are going through. I ordinarily have a fairly mild depression, but I had a serious bout the last time I was unemployed. For a week, unemployment did not feel so bad, but after that the depression hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks. There was no way to crawl out from under it. The best I could do was to distract myself for short periods, but then the depression came rushing back. If you can afford it, you might want to try therapy. Your insurance should cover at least part of it. I found therapy to be helpful. I was on medication for awhile, but I don’t think it made any difference, and I was glad to go off of it. I continue to see a therapist, because I am scared of having a relapse. I do not think of therapy as a cure, more as a way of helping me to get by.

Coloma's avatar

I too have been dealing with a near ” Drink the Kool aide” depression due to being tanked by this economy the last few years. Yes, try to keep your mind active, search as many job sites as possible, eat well, rest well…( not that I have been super successful in the self care realm ) and try to not give up. It’s a jungle out there and the competition is fierce, it is very stressful to get your hopes up and then have them dashed again as @Dutchess_III has just experienced.
I don’t care what anyone says this economy is NOT getting better and there are many of us coping with this same issue.

Best wishes from one who is right there with you,

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

I think that your question contains the answer that you seek – unemployment depression is inevitable. Even if you’re in no way to blame for your lack of a job, unemployment makes one feel worthless and very frightened about the future. Would it help to adopt the mantra, “It isn’t me, it’s unemployment, and it’s not my fault”?

If my mantra seems silly and simplistic, I apologize. There simply aren’t any quick and easy solutions to your current situation. All I can really do is wish you all the best.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Tell yourself this is an opportunity to reconnect with family, Travel, etc…Work is all-consuming, find the positives!

Dan_Lyons's avatar

@stanleybmanly Have you considered a life of crime?


Strauss's avatar

I would los reiterate what @Jonesn4burgers posted. Also, find a reason to get out of the house every day. As someone said, volunteer. Find a worthwhile project and focus on that.

Don’t feel desperate. You have been given the opportunity to seek your next career step.

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