Redundancy & depression - Coping after job loss

Published: Monday | February 2, 2009

Latoya Grindley, Gleaner Writer

Your post was recently made redundant at your organisation or it is perhaps pending and you feel tones of anxiety. You are not sure what your next step will be as you embark upon a new phase in your life . The hardest part of this period is actually coping with the initial stages of trying to accept that you have in fact been given the boot, (not because you did something to your detriment).

You might begin to think about the future and how you will manage to pay the bills, get out of debt, support a family and of course care for yourself during unemployment. All these things just seem like too much for one to handle. Right? Well, people are known to handle similar situations differently and unfortunately for some people after being given the pink slip, they fall right into depression.

Psychologist YvonneBailey-Davidson says there are different types of depression, but as it relates to redundancies, major depression can be associated with it. The psychologist says some signs seen in people suffering from major depression can be obvious. "They may be sleeping too much or not getting enough, may be overeating or not eating enough. They may become isolated and begin to lose motivation and some may even become suicidal."

Varying types of emotions

After someone's post is made redundant, he can experience varying types of emotions. "They can go through a state of shock, possibly in a state of denial thinking that no this cannot be happening to me. They can become even angry which at times result in them becoming aggressive. And it is for this reason that some companies give immediate-effect notices so as to avoid any mishaps. Some people out of anger could possibly damage company properties," noted Dr Bailey Davidson.

The psychologist says after the initial stages of shock and perhaps denial, depression normally follows suit. "They can fall into depression because they are grieving the loss of a job. The final stage is, however, accepting the situation as is."

Major depression

For cases of major depression, Dr Davidson-Bailey recommends counselling sessions to cope with the fact. She says there are also other factors that can enable people to better deal with the situation. "Family members can be supportive and understanding. For those who have lost their jobs, they can be proactive and start seeking another job and try networking."

She also recommends sticking to the counselling sessions and taking the prescribed medication as a way of coping through the difficult period.