Depression as a Result of Redundancy
Just about everyone affected by redundancy is going to feel, at the very least, a little upset by it. Like divorce or the death of a relative, it is one of the major life-disrupting events. Being unhappy at losing your job is perfectly natural. But for some people it goes beyond that. From mere unhappiness they slip into a sense of helplessness, despair and, ultimately, depression.
Who is at Risk of Depression?Potentially anyone is at risk of depression. There is no easy way to tell who is likely to fall victim to it. Research has shown that genetic factors play a role. So if there is a history of depression in your family, you are certainly at higher risk. But even in the absence of any family history that you know about, you are by no means free from risk.
Women tend to be diagnosed as depressive at about twice the rate of men, but it is not known whether this indicates whether they are genuinely at greater risk of depression, or are simply more open about expressing their feelings.
Psychologists believe that depression emerges from fault lines in the psyche which, during normal times, remain hidden. The experience of extreme disruptions to your normal pattern of life can aggravate these fault lines and tip you over into depression. Facing several life-disrupting events either at once or in short succession can accentuate the risk considerably. Other major life-disrupting events would include such things such as moving house, changing school, going through a break-up in a long term relationship, experiencing a serious illness and facing a bereavement of a family member or close friend.
Signs of DepressionThe following can often be signs that depression is setting in :
- Isolating yourself from others. Just because you have no job doesn’t mean your social life has to end.
- Frequent physical illness. When you experience depression, your immune system is weakened. You may therefore fall prey to illness more often than is typical for you.
- Loss of weight. Often, depression results in a loss of appetite and, consequently, a loss in weight.
- Insomnia. Disruptions to normal sleeping patterns are extremely common in depression.
How to React to DepressionLeft untreated, depression often acts like a vicious circle. As you cut yourself off from the world, you may lose social competence and personal confidence. Your most important relationships may disintegrate, leading to even deeper despair. As a result of the downward spiral, your prospects for getting a new job and finding a way out diminish accordingly. You will probably make fewer job applications, telling yourself there’s no point, and, if invited to an interview, are less likely to impress any prospective employer because of your morose demeanour.
If you are exhibiting the signs of depression outlined above, you should seek help. Your first recourse should be your GP. Your GP will be able to prescribe anti-depressant medication for you or refer you to a counsellor for therapy sessions, whichever seems most appropriate to your personal circumstances.