Dealing with Depression After Losing Your Job


Everyone knows that losing one’s job – being fired or laid off – is a tough life experience and can level the best of us. Yet, for those living with depression, it can be a seemingly “nightmare scenario” that threatens both one’s health and basic human stability.

In this case, the depressed person actually begins this time with a leg up on the competition.

Many who lose their jobs find the biggest and most important challenge they face is not succumbing to their depression—to use the word colloquially—over the setback in their professional lives.

The depressed person is at an advantage here, because he or she has already invested considerable time and energy in managing those feelings. He or she must simply be mindful that this could trigger a depressive episode and be read to work through it like before.

It is important immediately after being laid off to take time to relax and to recharge one’s intellectual and emotional batteries. This is a dangerous time though, because while binge-watching the season of that show the depressed person never got to watch is okay, allowing that to turn into three weeks on the couch buried deep in the Netflix library and empty pizza boxes is not. Setting limits on the relaxation is a good idea, as well as structuring time for productivity.

Even those who don’t need to find a new position immediately find adhering to daily structure is beneficial in staving off depressive episodes. It can also reveal potentially new career opportunities that may have never been considered before. Something that starts as simply “busy work” can turn into “a calling.” The depressed person can treat this time as a chance to start a whole new career if that is where his or her passions lie.

The great irony here is that being laid off is not necessarily a bad thing. It is almost always inconvenient, but it is also just as likely that someone – depressed or otherwise – can emerge from it better off than they were. The trick is knowing how to seize that opportunity when it presents itself.

Photo credit: Madgerly via Flickr Creative Commons


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