Whether it’s related to your job performance or not, losing your job can be a real punch in the gut.
The emotions that follow are huge: fear, insecurity, self-doubt, humiliation, vulnerability and self-pity.
While it’s very common to feel that way, it’s what happens next that counts. Consider this quote by Confucius:
“Men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that separate them.”
In other words, it’s normal to feel lousy after you lose your job, but it’s your reaction to that loss that will define your future.
Job Loss Depression Symptoms
For some people, losing their job sends them on a downward spiral into depression. That’s not so surprising considering that depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States among those ages 15-44, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Symptoms of depression include:
- A persistent sad, empty or anxious mood
- Feelings of hopelessness and pessimism
- Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Restlessness and irritability
- Physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment such as headaches, stomach pains and chronic pain
It’s important to note that untreated depression is a risk factor for addiction. In fact, more than 50 percent of people who abuse drugs also have at least one mental illness diagnosis, according to the American Medical Association.
Making a New Path Forward
Losing your job is kind of like peeling back the layers to discover who you really are at the core.
If your self-worth was tied up in your job, this is your chance to rebuild your foundation. Are you going to be a victim and blame other people, or are you going to work on your coping skills and learn from the situation?
This is the time to look for the silver lining in the cloud, get the support of your family and move forward with strength.
At the end of the day, you are not defined by your job.
Think about all the other things you are—a son or daughter, brother or sister, mother or father. Community member. Lover of music or books. Hiker. Guitar player. Guy who makes people laugh. Woman who can balance any budget. Dog owner. World traveler.
You are so much more than what you do for a living. At the very least, losing your job may help you learn that lesson.
Finding Hope—and a Future—at The Raleigh House
If job loss sent you on a downward spiral into addiction, you may be feeling more hopeless than ever because, now, you have two problems—your life and your job. But if you think rehab is just about detoxing from drugs or alcohol, you’re in for a pleasant surprise.
A good treatment program gives you the skills you need to navigate—and enjoy—life without drugs or alcohol. A good treatment program is also built on the cornerstone of therapy. This is your time to remake your life as you want it to be. This is your chance to get everything you have lost back—and maybe even more.