FileUnemployment

Unemployment & mental health: How losing your job takes a toll on the psychological state

Updated : March 6th, 2020

Employment is undoubtedly essential for meeting one’s basic requirements. It promotes self-esteem, self-realization, and satisfies creative urges. Conversely, unemployment has adverse effects on mental health. Read on to know more about how unemployment and mental health are interconnected. 

According to statistics, the unemployment rate in the United States rose to 3.6% in 2020. Several factors, such as changing policies, climate change, widespread epidemics like coronavirus, etc. have contributed to the rise in the unemployment rate. 

Unemployment and Mental Health

With that said, unemployment, particularly when involuntary or unexpected, takes a toll on one’s mental balance. An unemployed person displays lower levels of psychological well-being than the employed. When one experiences unemployment for an extended period, he/she can report several mental disorders & conditions such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, substance abuse, to name a few. In some extreme cases, psychological distress can lead to violent and suicidal behaviors. Let us have a brief look at the impacts of unemployment on mental health.

Depression 

As per statistics, about 6.7% of US adults experience major depressive disorder after a job loss. When individuals remain unemployed for a longer time, it is natural for them to feel a sense of hopelessness. Some just feel disappointed, and others may disconnect themselves from family, friends, and social life as they find it difficult to face people and questions on the unemployment that arises during the conversation. Some of the symptoms of depression include:

  • Social isolation
  • Irritability 
  • Feeling of hopelessness
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of concentration 
  • Hypersomnia 

In some extreme cases, individuals can also experience hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, and delusions. 

Anxiety 

Anxiety is another major psychological disorder attributed to long-term unemployment. When individuals no longer have a source of revenue, they become anxious about everything. How to fulfill the needs of the family? How to pay utilities, rent, medical, meals, and children’s school fees? Such thoughts can haunt them all the time. Some of the symptoms of anxiety are:

  • Restlessness
  • Excessive worry 
  • Irritability 
  • Specific phobia
  • Sleep disturbance 
  • Muscle tension

Long-term anxiety or chronic anxiety can result in physical health issues such as respiratory and urinary problems, and many more. 

Low self-esteem 

Unemployment and mental health conditions, like self-esteem, are closely linked. When employed, individuals would feel a sense of purpose and critical contributors to society. But when they lose the job or remain unemployed for a longer duration, they experience the feeling of worthlessness, incompleteness, and lack of confidence. Further, due to low self-esteem, the unemployed person might see disapproval or rejection even when there isn’t any. Some of the common signs of low self-esteem are as follows:

  • Social isolation
  • Sensitive to criticism 
  • Indecisive
  • Fear of failure
  • Easily annoyed
  • Constantly seeking reassurance
  • Trouble being alone

Low self-esteem can also manifest physical health problems and erode individuals’ life in every way. 

Develop low confidence

Being unemployed can unknowingly cause psychological damages like lack of confidence or self-doubt. This is common among those who are unemployed for a longer period. Self-doubt deepens when they are unable to find a job within a short span after losing a source of income. The individuals may feel they are not worthy of a job and start doubting their skills and capabilities. Common signs of lack of confidence are as listed below.

  • Constructive to feedback
  • Emotional turmoil
  • Continuously trying to find a loophole in skills 
  • Keeping mum during job regarding conversations 
  • Finding excuses for actions 

Individuals developing low confidence can eventually lapse into conditions where every action appears personal. 

In the worst scenario, the unemployed can also turn to illegal drug use. Unemployment is undoubtedly one of the significant factors that affect mental health. However, the impact varies with the duration of unemployment. 

If you are one among the unemployed, do not lose hope, and pay attention to your mental health. If you are employed but know people who are currently facing such unfortunate situations, ensure to motivate them and ask them to stay positive! 

If you are in need, you can avail of unemployment benefits. Ensure to check your eligibility criteria before applying for filing for unemployment benefits. 

 

Related Tags : , ,

Did you find this article helpful?   YES | NO   image

  1. I work for a church pre school program and I have lost my job due to coronavirus. When I applied for unemployment in Texas it says that two does not except this employer as my last employer. I’ve been working there for 13 years. What do I do?

  2. Chad ….. how do I get thru when it wont accept my ID or my password. I change it 5 times and it still wont work. Calling is not working at any time when I spend and whole day calling back to back to get thru. why don’t they just help or force the employers ( company) to place they claims in for their workers like GM did……I NEED HELP…PLEASE.

    1. Chad,

      We understand this might be a difficult time for you. We’re anticipating a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications considering the pandemic. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response instantly.

      Your state may have activated “Extended Benefits (EB)” authorized by the federal government. We recommend you apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official Unemployment website.

  3. i live in ga…all the day cares have shut down my wife and i have full time jobs,,,but i have to leave my company which i have been there for over two years,to take care of our child….can i still collect unemployment…this covid virus is why i have to leave my job…

    1. Gary,

      We understand this might be a difficult time for you. We’re anticipating a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications considering the pandemic. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response instantly.

      Your state may have activated “Extended Benefits (EB)” authorized by the federal government. We recommend you apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official Unemployment website.

  4. are you kidding me my son lost his job on 10/17/2020 hes mentally challenged and cant file on his own because he doesn’t know how so I started going to sites trying to file for him and the residence inn Marriott promised to help him and have done zip . ive tried 10 different sites and I keep getting dropped wen I complete forms and push submit. 12 days now n still cant file a claim.

    1. Martin,

      There’s only one website you should be trying from. Please let us know your state and we’ll share the website information.

  5. I have submitted my forms EXACTLY as I was instructed too on line. Even though I have filled out the paperwork correctly I keep getting emails asking for me to fill out the form that I have done multiple times already. Remuneration – Claimant Questionnaire is the issue. I got online and requested a phone call. 3 days ago. I just need to know that you guys received everything and I don’t owe any more information.
    Nobody answers the 617-626-6800 number. Just get directed to the internet. Well, you can’t speak with the internet. I am getting mixed messages and I fret that this will delay any benefits.
    Could someone please give me a call.

    1. James,

      Please try finding answers online since there might be limited phone support due to the shortage of staffing. This is a private forum and we’ll not be able to arrange a callback.

  6. I work for a church that has grown it’s congregation over almost 40 years and we now have 26 mostly full time employees, most being here many years. Will our employees be able to file and receive benefits since we are an EXEMPT from paying unemployment industry? State of Florida

  7. My unemployment benefits ran out 3/1/2020 am I able to file for extended benefits ? I live in California and am 62 years old.

    1. Ariana,

      We understand this might be a difficult time for you. We’re anticipating a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications considering the pandemic. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response instantly.

      Your state may have activated “Extended Benefits (EB)” authorized by the federal government. We recommend you apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official Unemployment website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please answer a simple Math question: *

https://fileunemployment.org