Mental and Physical Outcomes of Unemployment

It is not a doubt that many people who have lost their jobs through several reasons such as being laid off, positions named redundant, sickness, or being fired suffer from several mental and physical effects due to unemployment. Today, the percentage of people not having jobs is at an all time high rate. It is alarming news for too many of the unemployed. It may de-motivate them to go out and look for jobs when they continually see on the news that more and more people are unemployed. Mentally, they get drained over the thought of how to look for a new job. Physically, it will consume their energies and when unable to face the situation positively, can cause serious body illnesses.

In a study by Margaret W. Linn, PHD, Richard Sandifer, BS, and Shayna Stein, PHD entitled Effects of Unemployment on Mental and Physical Health and published in the American Journal of Public Health in May 1985, it was concluded that unemployment can have unpleasant results on the unemployed person’s psychological function. Some of the symptoms associated with unemployment are anxiety, depression, and a concern for bodily symptoms when compared to people who continued to work. This study was done on 300 men who became unemployed before joining the study, and they were compared to an equal number of 300 men who continued to work. Both groups had a mean age average of 49 years.

The summary of the study indicated that among the unemployed, incidence of somatization, depression, and anxiety was significantly greater than the employed. These are now the mental effects of not being able to cope up positively with unemployment. Meanwhile, they are also prone to more visits to physicians, more medicines to take for maintenance, and spent more days lying in bed sick. It was also observed in the study that those unemployed who have higher self-esteem and more support groups coped better than those with lower self esteem.

It is therefore important during unemployment to remain positive and be in the company of family and friends who can understand the situation to avoid the detrimental effects of unemployment to our physical and mental well-being.