What is it
Job loss refers to a life event in which paid employment is involuntarily taken away from an individual (McKee-Ryan, Song, Wanberg & Kinicki, 2005). People who experience job loss may feel grief, decreased life satisfaction, loss of self-esteem, feelings of shame and loss of identity. Job loss can also lead to financial strain and a loss of personal control which may increase a person’s risk of health problems, depression and anxiety (Price, Choi & Vinokur, 2002). People experiencing job loss may notice changes in their social groups, daily routine and family dynamics.
What does it include
Research shows that job loss and unemployment can lead to poorer physical and mental health and increased suicide risk (Wanberg, 2012). If you have been suffering from a number of the symptoms below it might be a sign that you could benefit from professional support.
- Low mood, feeling “blue” or teary
- Reduced energy
- Decreased activity levels which may include social withdrawal
- Reduced capacity for enjoyment and decreased interest
- Reduced concentration
- Becoming easily fatigued
- Changes in sleep
- Changes in appetite which may result in weight gain or weight loss
- Reduced self-esteem and self-confidence
- Ideas of guilt or worthlessness
- Loss of libido
- Thoughts of suicide
- Anxiety or stress
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Poorer physical health
- Muscle tension
Difficulty adjusting to changed life circumstances and the experience of low mood or anxiety are treatable through psychological intervention. A psychologist can help you engage in a number of evidence-based treatments, such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), to help you adjust to job loss.
How can a psychologist help
Treatment may include helping you increase your coping resources, manage stress, re-establish routine, increase social supports, challenge negative self-talk, decrease unhelpful thoughts and behaviours, and learn skills to help with successful reemployment.
McKee-Ryan FM, Song ZL, Wanberg CR, Kinicki AJ. (2005). Psychological and physical well-being during unemployment: a meta-analytic study. Journal of Applied Psychology, 90(1):53–76.
Price, R.H., Choi, J.N. and Vinokur, A.D. (2002). Links in the chain of adversity following job loss: How financial strain and loss of personal control lead to depression, impaired functioning, and poor health. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 7(4), 302-312.
Wanberg, C. R. (2012). The individual experience of unemployment. Annual Review of Psychology, 63, 369-396.
If you require additional information, please call our office on 07 3256 6320. Our mental health focused reception staff will be only too happy to assist you with your enquiry about our service and can suggest the most suitable Psychologist for your concern.