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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Long Term Unemployment Can Bring On Depression, Anxiety and Poor Physical Health

Evening Standard logo
Evening Standard logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
"Depression is the inability to construct a future"...Rollo May

If you are not familiar with Rollo May, he was an American psychologist (1909-1994). The above quote is succinct and direct, very easy to visualize. May also offered his definition of anxiety: "the apprehension cued off by a threat to some value which the individual holds essential to his existence as a self."

London Evening Standard reports on the hidden cost of youth unemployment

Last week we came across an interesting article in the London Evening Standard which discussed that there are hidden costs of youth unemployment which are depression, anxiety and poor physical health. A general practitioner, Dr. Jackie Applebee, commented:
“We have many young unemployed people registered with us and the most overwhelming thing for them is a sense of worthlessness. They leave school with expectations but their dreams come to nothing. They get depressed and that leads to inertia. You see people with low mood and an inability to see a future.”
While Dr. Applebee shares her observations from her experiences in Great Britain, it is almost certain that many American physicians, psychologists, and social workers are observing the same phenomena among their patients and clients.

Long term unemployment risks include alcohol abuse...

Addiction treatment professionals know that many people seeking treatment for the disease of addiction have often reached "their rock bottom" and that rock bottom often includes having lost their job as a result of their addiction. So one might posit did the lack of employment start the downward spiral of one's health (including abusing alcohol and drugs) or did the existing disease of addiction cause the unemployment?  It is like the old adage "which came first the chicken or the egg?"

An important part of recovery includes taking one day at a time and the process of rebuilding one's self-esteem; recovery professionals stress the importance that enhancing one's self-esteem can start with finding "a get well job" and then slowly working one's way back to full employment. This assists the recovering addict by allowing them to construct or see a future.

A British cardiologist, Dr. Aseem Malhotra, reports that it is undeniable that a connection exists between unemployment and social deprivation, poor mental health and poor physical health. He adds: “There’s strong evidence that the unemployed are more likely, through boredom and low self-esteem, to indulge in excessive alcohol consumption and smoke."

Additional health risks stemming from long term unemployment

  • Self-harm
  • Insomnia
  • Panic attacks
  • Isolation
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer

The unemployment problem can have creative solutions

The economic conditions worldwide have had an impact on the unemployment rates. And each country has begun to recognize the many devastating long term effects brought on by unemployment. Many young women are no longer worried about the "glass ceiling", long term unemployed men and women everywhere are not worried about getting to top of the ladder of success...they just want an opportunity to take the first step on the first rung on the ladder.

You might be interesting in London's campaign to help unemployed young adults into work. It is called the Ladder For London.  It could be this model would work in villages, towns and cities across the United States. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain by trying.
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1 comment:

  1. Hi,It's a fiasco in the long haul: the more you're unemployed,the harder it is to get vocation.In the event that your mood goes then you won't eat soundly.Liquor is an enormous danger for this age group.In a later article in the New York Times from Feb. 20, 6.3 million Americans are said to have been unemployed for six months or more.This is "the biggest number subsequent to the administration started following along in 1948." Thank you.
    ~Iris West.


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