As the global economy has struggled many are facing financial hardship, mounting debts, unemployment, and lower salaries which can be quite overwhelming and cause us to feel anxious and stressed.
Depression has been closely linked to on-going financial hardship. Anxiety, depression and stress are rapidly increasing due to the recession. This has resulted in the term ‘recession depression,’ a real and growing concern.
The impact of job uncertainty, recession and lower pay depends on the individuals coping strategies, support network, gender, age and health. Employees who are faced with uncertainty in their job are more likely to deal with mental illness than those in employment.
Over time, stress and anxiety can really take its toll. Worry, fear, hostility, aggression, sorrow, depression, loneliness are among the emotional responses to financial difficulties and in more extreme cases, self-harm and suicidal thoughts.
Health, emotional functioning, self-confidence and self-esteem can be affected. We can lose sleep, Family relationships can deteriorate. If depression is left untreated an individual’s ability to find work can be affected. Job insecurity and unemployment are also linked to an increase in alcohol and drug consumption. Suicide rates are also said to increase.
Personal coping strategies, practical help and emotional support received from family, friends and services can determine how an individual is affected by unemployment and job insecurity. Talking to family and friends can really help.
Talking to a trained professional can provide a stable and supportive relationship that can help to ease emotional distress and provide emotional support. It can help an individual to work through depression, stress and anxiety and find a better way to understand and manage it. It can look at ways to expand and improve an individual’s social relationships, problem solving skills and can help many clients deal with stressors in a direct, constructive, and proactive manner.
Jennifer Foran is a counsellor and psychotherapist at AnneLeigh Counselling and Psychotherapy, Naas and Celbridge, Co Kildare.