From one of our Community Correspondents
I want to talk about two things that affect me; depression and unemployment, or unemployment and depression. For the third year running I’ve found myself unemployed at the same time of year.
I was first diagnosed with depression after losing my job, and it’s hit me after every job loss. But even when I’ve found work, the same feelings plague me. Feelings of inadequacy, not being good enough, being a loser and the niggling feeling I’d lose my job again.
These niggling feelings began affect me at work. I felt my mood spiralling. I had panic attacks and severe anxiety. I drifted away from my friends and family, which didn’t help much. I felt suicidal, properly suicidal.
Every time I’ve lost my job, I’ve been hit hard, but I’ve picked myself up to hunt for work. I take medication, and I’ve had some therapy, including CBT which has really helped.
At one point, I got a job I felt was perfect , a good company with prospects and a chance to prove myself. Things were looking up!
I found the job difficult. My anxiety was through the roof and I had to retreat to the bathrooms hyperventilating. My work suffered and in three months I was let go. They didn’t keep me beyond my probation as they could see I wasn’t coping.
For two days I could barely get out of bed. I was convinced I was destined to a miserable life of broken dreams and a failed attempts to make something of myself in the world.
After two days I picked myself up and started job hunting. It’s all I could do. It’s all I’ve ever done.
I wrote down goals. Nothing enormous, just the type of job and company I wanted, and things like getting out of debt and passing my driving test. These goals helped me pick myself up and start job hunting.
In 2011 I was unemployed for 12 weeks, 2012 8 weeks, by 2013 I had refined the process and found a job in a month. By 2014 it only took me a fortnight.
I was delighted. It wasn’t a great job, the pay was a huge drop but the people were friendly and it was a relaxed atmosphere.
Life was looking up!
After three months the job ended suddenly. That was 3 weeks ago and I’m here again. I’m job-hunting again as its all I can do, but I’m trying to put more effort into finding something better. I think I deserve better.
Everything feels uncertain. I’m lonely, confused, angry, frustrated and miserable about 75% of the time. The other 25% of the time I feel ok. Simple things cheer me up such as a trip to the gym, a cycle on my bike, music, a couple of beers, or the feeling of coming out of a good interview.
I’m hopeful but scared as hell. I think every time I’ve been made unemployed and my depression has kicked me again, but harder, I’ve become more resilient and more convinced I’m due a break.
What I’m trying to say is you need to keep going and seek the help you deserve. There is always going to be trouble around the corner so you just need to work on how to deal with it. When you do, you become a little better as a person. My depression is never going away so I might as well use it to my advantage and gain strength from it.