Losing a job can be stressful, especially during a recession. You might be concerned about financial security or grieving the loss of your work relationships. You’re not alone, and there are strategies to help you navigate symptoms of job loss depression.
In this article, we’ll discuss what causes job loss depression and what steps you can take to navigate it, improve your self-esteem, and generate positive mental health outcomes. We’ll cover—
- The causes of job loss depression
- Job loss depression symptoms
- Tips for coping with job loss depression symptoms and improving emotional health
If you want convenient online access to depression treatment to help you cope with job loss depression, Klarity is ready to help! All you have to do is take our brief survey, and we’ll connect you with a licensed healthcare provider within 48 hours.
This article discusses suicide, suicidal ideation, and self-harm. If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or is in crisis, contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline immediately at 800-273-8255.
What Causes Job Loss Depression
While everyone may feel sad after losing a job, there are several factors that can contribute to depression after a job loss. These factors include:
- Financial strain: Losing a job often means losing a source of income, which can lead to financial stress and insecurity.
- Loss of identity: For many people, their job is their identity, and losing a job can lead to a sense of loss of self or a lack of purpose.
- Loss of social connections: A job often provides social opportunities through coworkers and professional networks; without it, you can feel isolated and alone.
- Stress and anxiety: Finding a new position can be stressful and anxiety-inducing, especially in a competitive job market.
Unemployment impairs mental health and can contribute to pre-existing mental health issues. Job loss can lead a person to cope with depression and anxiety symptoms through substance abuse and other unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Symptoms of Depression After Job Loss
For many, symptoms of depression are often noticeable problems that show up in your daily activities. Losing your job can feel destabilizing and defeating, but if you have consistent symptoms like the following, it’s time to seek help.
- Persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or worthlessness
- Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Changes in sleep patterns, such as insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Changes in appetite, such as weight loss or weight gain
- Physical symptoms, such as fatigue or body aches
- Thoughts of death or suicide
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12 Tips to Cope with Job Loss
There are steps you can take to cope and move forward after losing a job. It’s important to remember that you won’t feel this way forever, and resources are available that can help you.
- Allow Yourself to Grieve
It’s natural to feel a sense of grief after losing your job. Give yourself time to process your emotions and come to terms with the loss. Allow yourself to experience and express your feelings, whether talking to a friend or therapist, writing in a journal, or participating in a stress-relieving activity like exercise or art.
- Lean on Your Support System
Don’t be afraid to reach out to your support system for help and comfort. Talk to friends, family, or a therapist about your feelings and concerns. Living this life takes a village, and it can be helpful to have someone who will listen and offer guidance as you navigate this difficult time.
- Continue a Daily Routine
Maintaining a daily routine can provide structure and a sense of normalcy during a time of uncertainty. Try to stick to your usual schedule as much as possible, including getting up at the same time, eating meals at regular intervals, and participating in activities you enjoy. Let yourself take space to find calming ways to fill your day.
- Focus on What You Can Control
It can be easy to feel helpless after losing your job but focus on what you can control. This might include updating your resume, networking with professionals in your field, and actively searching for job opportunities. Concentrating on the things you can control can help you feel more confident and able to move forward without putting too much pressure on yourself.
- Spend Time Relaxing
Take this time you have after losing your job to care for your physical and mental well-being. Maybe that includes exercising, reading, or spending time with loved ones. It can be hard to stay present when you’re worried about the future, but try to carve out space to unwind without rushing to the next step.
- Start The Job Search
While it’s important to take time to grieve and relax, you should also start actively looking for a new job. A job search can give you purpose and direction, providing a sense of accomplishment as you take steps toward your next career opportunity. Finding another job can be a job in and of itself, so take your time to prepare your materials and reach out to your connections.
- Pursue a New Hobby or Interest
Engaging in a new hobby or interest can be a great way to distract yourself from the stress of job loss and to focus your energy on something positive. Whether it’s learning a new skill or exploring a new hobby, it can help you feel more productive and give you a sense of purpose.
Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community while also boosting your own sense of self-worth. It can also help you build new skills and make new connections that could lead to future job opportunities.
- Practice Mindfulness
Practicing mindfulness techniques like meditation, deep breathing, or yoga can be a great way to reduce stress and anxiety and improve your overall mental health. It can also help you stay present in the moment and focus on what’s important.
- Network With Your Professional Contacts
Use your professional connections to network and reach out to people in your industry. Attend events, connect with people on LinkedIn, and let others know you are looking for a new job. You never know who might be able to help you find your next opportunity.
- Consider Freelancing or Contract Work
If you’re struggling to find a full-time job, consider freelancing or taking on contract work in your field. It can help you build up your skills and experience, and it could even lead to a permanent job down the road.
- Talk to Someone About What You’re Feeling
Reaching out for support to talk to a trusted friend or family member can be a great first step toward understanding your needs and gaining insight into how you’re feeling. If your inner circle isn’t available, you can also ask your HR department for resources so that you can advocate for yourself and get the help you need.
You can also consider speaking with a trained mental health professional who can use their expertise and training to diagnose your symptoms and identify the right treatment method for you.
When to Seek a Mental Health Professional After Job Loss
It’s common to feel sad after a job loss. However, it’s important to know the difference between sadness and depression and when it’s time to seek help from a mental health professional.
Sadness vs. Job Loss Depression
Sadness is a normal emotion that can arise at different points in life. It’s a natural response to loss and is usually temporary. However, depression is a more serious and persistent mental health condition that can significantly impact your daily life.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression after losing your job, seek help from a mental health professional and report psychological problems to a qualified mental health provider. A mental health provider can provide support and treatment to help you manage your symptoms and move forward.
Remember, it’s okay to seek help when you need it. Seeking help is a sign of strength and can be crucial to improving your mental health, self-esteem, and well-being.
Do I Need Insurance to Get a Diagnosis and Treatment?
While insurance can help offset the cost of depression treatment, you don’t need it to receive a diagnosis or mental health care. If you don’t have insurance, you can seek out providers who offer sliding scale options, where they’ll work with you and your budget so that you can afford care. Or, you can try telemedicine, which is often less expensive and more accessible.
Talk to a Healthcare Provider on Klarity in Just 48 Hours
When navigating job loss, it can feel like you’re in an uphill battle with yourself and the job market. You deserve relief from depression symptoms while you search for a new job.
At Klarity, we work hard to provide access to convenient depression treatment so that you don’t have to wait forever for an appointment and endure inconvenient commutes. The licensed mental health providers on our platform can help you find relief from your job loss depression right from the comfort of your home.
Your mental health matters.
Get the depression treatment you need—take our brief mental health survey to get started.
Craig Sawchuk. “Depression (major depressive disorder)” Mayo Clinic
Davina Tiwari. “Signs of Depression After a Job Loss & 9 Ways to Cope” Choosing Therapy
Michael Kerr and Erica Cirino. “Depression After a Job Loss: Statistics and How to Cope” Healthline