Losing a job for a short period of time can generally cause some stress and depression, but picking up a new job can alleviate these mental issues in most cases. In long-term unemployment, psychological problems can linger and the only real solution in sight seems to be getting a new job.
However, in this economy, finding a job quickly after the initial unemployment stage is not always easy. This leaves the predicament of an increased likelihood of mental and physical health problems that are more long-lasting (in the case of a long-term unemployment).
In my last article, I mentioned one woman who was emotionally resilient, so even before she found a new job she bounced back to her original emotional state. However, even for short-term unemployment there could be longer and more serious mental and physical problems than this woman experienced. It seems more likely that long-term unemployment would produce these longer and more serious problems.
According to a U.S. News article from Oct. 2009, “5 million workers were out of work for six months or more in August.” The article continued to talk about the effect on mental health, which includes physical, psychological and spiritual effects.
Thomas Cottle, a sociologist mentioned in the article, said these effects can even extend the jobless period, since a person may be incapacitated and not functioning correctly in the above ways. Those who cannot function normally are generally not capable of looking for a job or succeeding in obtaining a job, or are severely limited in these areas. This is because stress, depression, anxiety and other mental problems can cause psychological and physical difficulties.
Depression, decreased self-esteem and identity crises are some common side effects of long-term unemployment, according to the article. Stress is also an effect to consider and all of these effects of long-term unemployment can affect family members of the unemployed person.
In a more recent article in the New York Times from Feb. 20, 6.3 million Americans are said to have been unemployed for six months or longer. This is “the largest number since the government began keeping track in 1948.”