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.
If you want convenient online access to depression treatment from licensed providers, Klarity is here to help. The care providers on our platform can develop a plan to address your symptoms so you can move through your day-to-day feeling a bit lighter. Take our brief mental health survey, and we’ll connect you with the right 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 job loss. These factors include:
- Financial stress: 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 job can be stressful and anxiety-inducing, especially in a competitive job market.
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
How 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 Looking for a New Job
While it’s important to take time to grieve and relax, you should also start actively looking for a new job. This 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.
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. 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 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 some relief from the heaviness of living with symptoms of depression.
At Klarity, we work hard to provide accessible 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 will conduct a thorough evaluation to determine the best treatment plan for you. Initial visit is $149, and the follow-up visit/monthly refill only starts from $25, with no insurance required.
We make it easy, from seeing your provider from the comfort of your home to convenient prescription refills delivered to your door. Your mental health matters. Start taking care of it today and get the depression treatment you need.
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