Job Loss DepressionQUESTION: Job loss depression - Why me? How do I recover?ANSWER:
Job loss depression occurs when someone loses their employment. It can have long-lasting effects on the individual, sometimes lasting as long as two years. Job loss depression is not solely caused by the single event of losing one's job. The loss of employment can trigger a series of events, called a "cascade of negative life events."
For example, the loss of employment almost always means financial stress will follow. The financial difficulties may hinder one from being able to make their car payment. The car may be repossessed - a negative life event. Without transportation, finding new employment becomes very difficult - another negative life event. The longer one is unemployed the more financial difficulties one may experience. In addition, one may have lost healthcare benefits. This in turn, makes caring for others with health problems extremely difficult, thus putting more strain on their relationships.
Using the above example, you can see how job loss depression can escalate throughout the period of the person's unemployment. In addition to the financial and relational strain that job loss causes, individuals usually suffer from feelings of insecurity, inferiority, and suffer from low self-esteem. They also may suffer from feelings of uncertainty about their current and future job stability. These feelings, associated with job loss depression, can last up to two years even if they have become gainfully employed. In addition to the emotional impact of job loss depression, studies have proven job loss depression can also influence a person's physical health as well.
Since anyone can lose their employment at any given time, anyone could be susceptible to job loss depression. Since it is not so much the initial act of losing one's job that causes the depression, but rather the crisis that job loss causes (or the "cascade of negative life events") you can prepare yourself for these situations by planning ahead. This preparation could encompass both financial planning for the future and mental health techniques that encourage you to find your value and self-worth outside the job market.
This can be accomplished by knowing and remembering how much God loves you and how much value He places on you. Finding your value and self-worth through God's eyes, seeing yourself as God sees you, is a lasting, immutable way of finding and keeping a positive self-image. Your value is not subject to change and is not based on the fluctuations of the job market. Rather, it is based on God's unchanging faithful love, a love that is so overwhelming and complete that He sent His only Son
to die for you so that you might live with Him throughout eternity.