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How Unemployment And Depression Fit Together

Jun. 9, 2014 Forbes

I’ve written before about my friend Sharon and her job search travails. For two years, despite days when she felt so discouraged she was ready to give up, she kept on networking and finally landed a position that paid well and offered new challenges. But only a year into the job, the organization got hit with a funding cut and she found herself out of work again. She valiantly mounted a new job search but after slogging to interviews, writing countless peppy cover letters and opening herself up to jobs outside her field, she was still unemployed after a year. She finally succumbed to depression and went on medication that is screwing with her digestive tract. But at least she isn’t crying every day.

Her experience is all too common, according to new research by Gallup. “The longer that Americans are unemployed, the more likely they are to report signs of poor psychological well-being,” says the study. “About one in five Americans who have been unemployed for a year or more say they currently have or are being treated for depression — almost double the rate among those who have been unemployed for five weeks or less.”

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