Psychological Effect of Unemployment

Unemployment is a factor that includes many negative psychological as well as economic dimensions and affects people negatively. The stress situation that arises due to unemployment not only affects the individual, but also negatively affects the people around him. Unemployment of a married man is reflected not only on the physiological/psychological distress, but also on the increase in arguments with his wife and even on his children.

Working for human being as a social being; not only to provide economic income, but also to make life meaningful, to create a regular life and positive self-perception. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs; In order for a person to realize himself, he must have met his lower-level needs. A person cannot achieve self-actualization unless physiological needs, safety needs, love/belonging, and esteem needs are met.

Being unemployed; In addition to being in a financial difficulty, it can cause separation from colleagues who spend most of the day, moving away from the sense of being useful, breaking away from the sense of belonging to the job they do, and falling into a great psychological void.

The biggest cause of anxiety for the person is emptiness and uncertainty. Uncertainties such as not knowing when to find a new job or whether it will be the job they want can increase the anxiety of people. The prolongation of the job search period and the inability to find a job in the time they set for themselves are factors that reduce motivation.

Working in a job allows to produce, and producing allows one to feel valuable and successful. The greater the meaning a person attributes to work and the more educated the person is, the higher the status is; decrease in self-worth, thinking that it does not work, stress, hopelessness, introversion, anxiety and depressive symptoms.

How a person perceives himself/herself about unemployment is very important. Being angry with oneself for not being able to find a job, feeling ashamed of being unemployed, anger about not being able to find a job can damage people’s self-perception and in cases where unemployment is prolonged; This situation leads to learned helplessness in people and creates the idea that “I can no longer find a job no matter what I do” and people experience identity crisis, loss of self-confidence and sense of value. As this situation continues, the person stops looking for a job and has a firm belief that he will no longer be able to find a job.

The reactions of people during the process of being unemployed are shaped in childhood and affect today’s behaviors. If a person saw success as the only way to express himself in his childhood, he can also express himself with a successful working life in his adult life and experiences a feeling of failure in case of being unemployed. If being successful is a way of being valuable and respected, being unemployed will trigger the feeling of failure, which in turn will trigger the sense of self-worth.

In this process; Believing that negative things will happen all the time, fears/concerns about not being able to find a job can put people in a negative mood and negatively affect job search. It’s important to recognize that work isn’t the only success in life that makes you who you are, and being unemployed doesn’t measure one’s worth. It is very important for the person to question what unemployment means, to share his feelings with his relatives instead of being alone and withdrawing in this process, and to find what he needs in his past work experiences by seeing this process as an opportunity to get to know himself.

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