Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

12 Depression Busters for the Unemployed

depression for unemployed.jpegThe unemployment rate today has skyrocketed to approximately 10% and is forecasted to stay above 9.5 percent for the rest of 2010. For the first time in American history, more women are working than men because close to 80 percent of the people laid off in the recent recession were men.


According to a recent study published in the “International Journal of Epidemiology,” unemployment is a major risk factor for depression, even in people without previous vulnerability. Because my husband is an architect–the housing market is dead, remember–whose work has slowed down substantially, I have an invested interest in this topic and wanted to know what I could do to help him stay physically and emotionally healthy, since, theoretically, one of us should be. Here, then, are 12 steps to bust your depression when you’re unemployed.


1. Take a breather

Whether you like it or not, you’ve just been given a breather. And chances are that you desperately needed it. One exercise to make you feel better immediately is to think about everything you hated about your job. In fact, make a list! Doesn’t that feel good? You will rejoin the rat race soon enough, so allow yourself some rest right now … a chance to actually eat a meal at home and not watch the minute hand of your watch so much. Try to appreciate the moment in present time, without constantly rushing. This hiatus from the pressure of corporate America will teach you more lessons and make you more resilient than you know.

2. Identify symptoms

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression affects 6 million men each year. But most men’s depression goes undiagnosed. They are much less likely to seek help because of the macho thing (they feel like they are supposed to tough it out) and because their symptoms are different than those we typically associate with depression (women’s). So it’s helpful to look out for these clues of male depression: irritability and anger, blaming others, alcohol and drug abuse, feeling ashamed, insomnia or sleeping too little, strong fear of failure, using TV, sports, and sex to self-medicate.


3. Get to work!

Before you get too cozy in your robe and slippers and watch too many episodes of “Orpah,” there’s this piece of advice: Get to work! Just because you don’t have a nice sum of money being deposited into your bank account every other week does not mean you don’t have a job. You have several, actually, and the sooner you start, the easier they will be: 1. Polish the resume. Like, for example, take out the part where you said you were class president of your freshman class in high school. 2. Network. That’s easy today with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You’ve got tons of contacts right there at your finger tips. 3. Evaluate your career. Maybe it’s the wrong time to ask the question “Is this really what I want to be doing?” But it could also be the right time, if there ever was a right time. If you really hated your job, entertain the possibility of doing something totally different! And if it doesn’t work out, please don’t blame me.

Click here for more depression busters for the unemployed!

  • pam M

    been following you for months, love it. read your book too. type in spelling Oprah. you spelled it Orpah.

  • Lily

    I get tired of listening to people who have jobs, dole out advice to those who don’t and in many cases, haven’t gotten a paycheck in over a year. No matter how hard you network, twitter, talk on facebook, etc…new jobs aren’t being created…they are disappearing. Try being 55 years old and looking for work next to recent college grads who don’t have a problem with less money, or moving across the country in a weeks time. The only thing that can lift depression and foreclosure, is a job with real money.
    Get a life.

  • David Stein

    Great list I think it is hard sometimes when between jobs, or school for that matter. In my case I have 3 months till I start my MA program. I have no job, and have been spending an inordinate amount of time writing, playing video games and isolating myself.
    I think the greatest problem is complacency. When you are out of work, you get into a rut. It becomes easier to isolate oneself then to actually get out there and address the problems of life.

  • Jarrod @ Optimistic Journey

    These are great tips! I love the “take a breather” tip. Sometimes we hold it in and the best thing we can do is take a breather. I also love how you mentioned to make a list of things that you actually hated about the job. I think this piece of advice will work all the way around the clock. Thanks for sharing, Therese, Great advice as always.

  • Megan Zuniga

    Great article! You’re right about men though. They will never admit that they are depressed. I guess is to be preoccupied, keep yourself busy. If you’re having trouble finding a job, try thinking of starting a small business. Or you can volunteer for non-profit org where you can find people in greater need than you. It tends to put things in perspective.
    About connecting with friends, I used to be unemployed for some time and there is shame involved if you trying to meet up with old friends. Coz the first thing they usually ask is “so where do you work now?” or “what do you do?” And then the worst part is you see how successful they are compared to you. Now, that’s depressing.
    PS…Sharing an uplifting article for the rough times.

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  • Lily31

    Yes, those of us who are out of a Job, and Can’t find one are really at a low point, but that doesn’t mean that You can not start Creating a New Carreer out of all of Your Mental, Emotional, and Skills that were never utilized by Your past employer. By taking a Pad of Paper, and with pen in Hand, list ALL OF YOUR SKILLS so that YOU can meditate on this with your Buddhist Practice of Meditation, and come up with a New type of Career Move for Yourself that You Really have A Passion for.
    Now it may not be the Regular stream of thought, or Ideas, but if it fills a already in the “HIDDEN MARKET” then start now by using Your 9-5 Old Skedual, and Design a Business From Scratch at Your Kitchen table, and Laptop to Make the following that will create Your New Business that You have this secret passion for, and have dreamed about in the former job you help when times were dull, and you had nothing to do, but wait for that fax, or return telephone call.
    Then when you have ALL of that. Follow these Tips, in this exact order to start creating a New Venture that will be funded by Grants. You don’t need to spend penny’s or Your Unemployment funds to get started.
    A* – Recognize the Need out in the Public. Then make a Service Title for it. This may take some time, but at least you are starting the process.
    B* – Then with words that discribe it, write each of them down, and mix the words around to create a simplier Title.
    C* – Then start making or designing the Further Details of a Logo if You are a Graphic Artist. Or start doodling with your pen and pad, by taking all of the already made symbols. Start shifting them around to make the final logo you really, really like, and are totally happy with.
    D* – From here start looking at Your Grant amount that you will need for each thing to get this Business up and running, and off the ground. List everything needed. Then make a Budget for the Proposal for the Grant, and a Request Proposal that is upbeat in Optomism tone, and wording just like an interview with your next boss would be.

  • Lily

    Continueing on the Self Creation of a New Venture Career you will need to keep a very positive, and patient attitude when asking for that Grant.
    Also get Your Wifes oppinion about what She would like to do, and how much it would cost to Employ her if She is out of work. Grants always want you to consider that it only lasts 1 year. So make sure you put everything that you will need, including Insurences for Business, Home Office, Maintence of Home Office, Telephone, Advertising, Gardening [ for you will not be doing that any more, and will have to outsource that chore to a New Gardenor.] Animal Walker, Baby Sitter, and Doctor Medical Insurences, Advertising on the Net, Office Equipment, and Necessities. Aflac Insurences for when you have an accident, and still need to pay bills. This and the Business Car, or New Van that will house the Locked up Equipment in the Van out of sight from burglers. Don’t forget about Entertaining New Clients, and Travel costs in Your Grant Request.
    All of this, besides learning how to form a Grant Request, Cover Letter, Proposal, and Business Budget are all of what you need to get started. Never allow any type of Negative none optomistic Thoughts to creep in at any time while hunting, reqesting, and waiting for the Grant to Come to you. That is why I alway go over the 12 Facets of Gods Law that Help me cope with this process. Integrity, Persistance, Endurence, Self-Control, Mercy, Peace, Joy, Faith, Goodness, Kindness, Patience, and Charity all help to keep me in that positive mood, and Great Mental Health. You can do it too. For God will answer Your Prayers much faster, and in ways that will help you, rather than just be disallusioned in the end.

  • Shelly

    This article is a check up, on me included. Networking on Facebook is a fabulous idea: Readers visiting my page see I’ve added helpful ideas for Those going through tough times, near my Profile Picture. This is an encouragement for me as well every time I go to that website, but any one you mentioned would work. That little zinger can help us all remember to stick together during depressive times. We all have a voice of experience right now, that can let Others know what worked for you, can maybe work for them.

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