Study Shows Unemployment Increases Risk of Depression

A recent study has shown that unemployment can significantly increase the risk of depression, with those out of work being twelve times more likely to suffer from moderate to severe depressive symptoms than those employed. The study, published in Demografie, drew on European Health Interview Survey data.

The authors Marie Kuklová and Michala Lustigová noted that “mental illness, like physical illness, occurs more frequently in individuals with lower socioeconomic status.” The research revealed that 7.2% of employed people had depressive symptoms, compared with 25.1% of unemployed people. Senior citizens were found to be twice as likely to suffer from depression as those who were employed.

The study also found a correlation between education and depression, with 26.2% of respondents with a primary education reporting depressive symptoms, compared to 13.7% of those with a secondary education and 7.6% with a university education.

Psychologists have suggested that the stress caused by job loss can gradually lead to depression, mainly if the individual cannot find work. The longer the person remains unemployed, the more their self-esteem can suffer, and the harder it can be to stay motivated.

Jan Urban, a psychologist, and author of the book Psychology for Everyday Life, has argued that the loss of a job is one of the most stressful experiences a person can face. He believes that the stress can be compounded by the fear of not being able to find work in the same profession, which can lead some individuals to consider a complete career change or relocation.

It is essential to distinguish between normal feelings of sadness and the onset of depression, according to Urban. Symptoms of depression can include feeling a sense of hopelessness, withdrawing from social activities, and struggling to concentrate.

If you have been experiencing symptoms of depression for a prolonged period, it is essential to seek help from a medical professional. Psychologist Martina Viewegová recommends seeking help when negative feelings persist and everyday activities become difficult.

The study highlights the importance of supporting individuals who have lost their jobs, particularly those unemployed for a long time. By providing support and training, it is possible to help these individuals find new employment and reduce the risk of depression.