Unemployment and depression – How does unemployment affect mental health?



In these trying COVID-19 times, many people have lost their jobs due to economic instability. Unemployment is rising, and many people have become dependent on financial assistance. However, it’s not just wallets and bank accounts taking the hit; but these people are often affected mentally. Some of them develop depression. Unemployment and depression are linked, and the effects can be quite severe.

Unemployment and Depression’s Effects on the Mind

Many people want to earn money to support their lives and rely on themselves. If the person has a family to provide for, the feeling is even worse. Being unable to provide for one’s family often creates feelings of helplessness. This is often the case when a person is recently laid off. In the COVID-19 pandemic, this is a common reason as to why people lose their jobs. Not only do the unemployed feel helpless, but there might even be feelings of humiliation and self-debasement.

The latter two often surface as time goes on. As the person struggles financially, emotionally, and even physically, they start to become very pessimistic. People who have to provide even more to extended family and friends are hit harder. The lack of a structured day is also unsettling, especially if the person has been accustomed to following the same work schedule for a long time.

The Dangers of Isolation

Unemployed people are also prone to staying at home since that helps them save money. This minimizes contact with others physically and adversely affects mental health. Loneliness is a devastating contributing factor to many other mental conditions as well. Being cut off from social interaction can greatly increase loneliness, especially if close friends and family are not kept in regular contact, even by phone or other digital methods. This can cause feelings of doubt to arise, and being unemployed makes things even more difficult. Embarrassment can also prevent the person from contacting close family and friends, locking them in a downward spiral.

How to Combat Depression Due to Unemployment

If this spiral of depression continues, there can be severe consequences. If you’re suffering from depression or are recently unemployed, you should be aware of some of the methods of fighting the dreadful feeling that can arise from this mental health disorder. Depression stemming from unemployment can be very deadly, just like clinical depression.

Seeking treatment should always ideally be the first course of action, as diagnosis and treatment for your depression will start from there. Therapy is proven to be an effective method to fight depressive feelings, as a psychologist is trained to help you. While therapy can be expensive, there are more affordable options. Some colleges and universities offer free services where their students can help you. Of course, their professors will be guiding them.

If you have the opportunity to seek therapy, you can also reach out to friends and family. They are a great source of comfort since they know you on a personal level. Even a shorter phone call will be a great way to start the recovery process. Tell your family and friends your struggles and feelings. Supportive family members are friends who tend to help the person feel heard and understood. With the help of your loved ones, you can gradually build yourself up again.

A change of perspective is also important. Try to see things in a different light. This might be a chance for a new beginning or just a small temporary setback. This sort of paradigm shift will give you the motivation to push on.

Distracting yourself with other tasks and actions is also useful. Taking a walk outside, reading a new book, cooking a dish that takes more time, or even just doing some push-ups will take your mind off your unemployment. Going to a friend’s home to play some video games or enjoy a beer is even better since you get to enjoy their company.

A Spotlight on Depression Hotlines

If you or someone you know have depression, you can ask for help. There are hotlines available 24/7 and require no fees. Furthermore, these services are private and discreet, and professionals are ready to help you.


Unemployment and depression can combine and form a deadly cocktail, and it should not be underestimated. Make sure you take steps to combat depression. Unemployment is not the end of the world. After this bout, you can try to get back into the workforce. Prove to your potential employer that you’re a genuine applicant with a background check, which increases your chances of being hired.



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