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Depression Helps To Contribute To My Unemployment! - Paula


I first started out with Depression, well over two years ago. Since then, I have lost my job and feel like I am stuck in chicken limbo! I have had more down’s than you can imagine!

I’ve tried to take my own life twice because of the financial state this depression has left me in! I have my own house with a mortgage that I am just holding on to with a thread!

Because of the amount of time of me being unemployed I have thrown myself into furthering my education. I have completed numerous courses to try and achieve a goal in life before I retire!

I feel now though, with me being out of work for so long, that this has in fact, affected me more than I thought! Browsing through the job vacancies, I decided to try for a few in one of the roles that I just recently qualified in completing my level’s 2/3 in Peer Mentoring with youth.

After applying for the post and receiving the application forms on line, I started filling them in. When I got to the end though, and went to press send, I couldn’t do it! I panicked and felt all my anxiety returning. I felt scared to return back to work!

So, how do I get over that fear of getting back to work, without me falling deeper into my depressive state?

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Depression and anxiety almost always go together. In fact, as long as you fail to send these applications because of your anxiety, you will remain depressed. Remember, depression is partially caused by feelings of helplessness. Your state of unemployment causes you to feel helpless and, therefore, depressed.

However, your immediate question is what can you do to get yourself back to work? I understand that you are having financial difficulties at the moment. However, it would be a good idea for you to enter psychotherapy. In particular, you need to enter into Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in order for you to learn to reshape your thinking about your life and yourself and to learn how to reduce the thinking that leads directly to anxiety. There are low cost clinics where treatment could be affordable for you.

Yet, time is an important factor for you and I believe that you need to get yourself back to work as soon as possible. This is not only for financial reasons but for your sense of self esteem and well being. People feel better about themselves when they are working and supporting themselves. Your interest in youth counseling makes a lot of sense and you are certainly needed in that field.

There are many self help things you can do to reduce anxiety and depression. First, our online self help book is available and free and can be found by pressing this URL:

There are also many self help manuals in the book stores.
I would urge you to learn and use meditation and deep breathing and muscle relaxation techniques to help you reduce anxiety.

Our own Dr. Elisha Goldstein has many articles here at this website that explain how to reduce anxiety and he has many other links for you to go to for help.

One more suggestion: Even though you feel anxious about sending application I am urging you to force yourself to press the "send button." "There is nothing to fear but fear itself." First, pressing the send button will not, by itself result in a job but it just might get the process going. Second, you need to remind yourself that your help and your contribution to young people are greatly needed. I would even encourage you to visit some of the youth services agencies in your area as a way to get yourself familiar so that will seem less threatening. Learn who is in charge and ask to see those people and interview them.

This is a matter of mind over matter. Therefore, keep in mind that you are interviewing them and keep in mind that you do not have to take any job that does not feel right. But, for your own sake, it is important that you start now.

Best of Luck 

More "Ask Dr. Schwartz" View Columnists

  • Meredith

    I can relate to that. I am currently employed but I need to work on finding a better job and the depression and anxiety are making things difficult. I’m definitely overqualified for my current position but the thought of all that is involved in the job search process (interviews and possible rejection) terrifies me and the economic situation only serves to make the task seem more daunting. I know that transitions like looking for a job are tricky even for people who are not struggling with depression, but its particularly challenging when doing the most basic steps seems impossible. Despite being depressed I have always pushed myself to stay busy with work and school but sometimes I try to take on too much and I crash because I am unable to cope with it. I’m in graduate school right now but getting this far has been a slow process because I have often had to take fewer units when I’m really overwhelmed. I’m glad that I’m doing it, but I just wish that there was less of a struggle to get things done.

  • Paula

    Thank you Allan for getting back to me!

    You mention something about Psychotherapist or CBT. Well I went to see my Therapist today, & it didn't go down to well I'm afraid! Before I go any further, is this what you mean by getting some other help?

    She said that I was making her job very difficult by not talking my problems over with her! I informed her that "if & that's a big if, I wanted to talk about my problems with her or anyone else, I would talk about them when I was ready to talk about them & not because I have to talk about them!" I also informed her that my problems were my business!

    I also told her that I didn't mean to sound rude or insulting, but that I know that I have problems which could get seriously out of hand with my financial situation, unless I get a job, But... in the same breath... I feel that my depression is holding me up from getting a job, & I don't only mean the Anxiety & Panic taking over. I mean... In my head! Somehow, I don't feel capable/able to start a new job, well not just yet... So... I feel at the moment... My main priority is to try and get well, well enough to feel like whatever job I go for that, that job will have all the attention & consideration, that is needed for that role! What do you think Allan? Is it a wise decision?

  • Meredith

    I’m only speaking from experience but it seems like it would really benefit you to really challenge yourself by looking for a job. I think that there is something to be said for just getting out there and doing it. Maybe you could start small with a part time position or volunteer work that would not be to overwhelming to you. when I started working at my current job a few years ago I had extreme anxiety about the application and hiring process, but I forced myself to do it and I’m glad that I did because I have really learned a lot and grown in ways that I never thought possible. I was dealing with extreme social anxiety, but working and interacting with other people on a daily basis has really helped me to learn better social skills. There was a time when I thought I would always be the same way--that I just had to live with it. But I really pushed myself to do things that were uncomfortable for me and I ultimately benefited from it. Lately I’ve realized I’m going to have to put myself in situations that might be uncomfortable to me, but hopefully I will be better off because of it. I don’t know about you, but I’m a fearful person and if I waited until I was comfortable with something I would never actually get anything done.

  • Paula

    Hi Meridith & thank you for replying.

    You mention about me doing voluntary work, well I already do that! I work voluntary for the CAB (Citizens Advice Bureau) Here in the UK. It advises anyone & everyone on the Law & their rights!

    Actually, I've been shadowing on the Outreach Sessions this morning with Jane, one of the advisers. The problem is... it's a 12 month training Course because of all the different Benefits, Rights & Laws involved! To try and help my Financial situation, I need work now, but... To help my Mental Health, I need to lay of work for a bit yet!

    So... I'm in a catch 22 situation! I need to work to pay my Mortgage & Bills, yet... If I start a job now with the state my mental health is at the moment, I know I am not doing myself a favor!

    So... What do I do?

  • cece

    I am so where you are right now. I have been unemployed for almost a year now, and i am depressed beyond measure, and often i am sick, weight is up and down because I am so uset to working, and supporting myself,and I don't i rely on my boyfriend, and his family to help me out. My boyfriend is not working either, and he's not looking, and I don't get unemployment. Also I have no family in this state, and at the age of nine I was abandon by my mother,and lived with friends. So i feel stuck, and i want to just clock out, but i keep telling myself to hold on, be strong, and God will come through. He wont put to much on you that you can not bear Meridiath.

  • Tria

    I can relate to how everybody feels on here. I've been unemployed for 4 months now after resigning from a job that was causing me extreme anxiety and depression (in a nutshell, I took that job as a knee jerk reaction because of unreasonable demands and bullying in the job I had before it and as I was already mentally fragile, I then could not cope with the big relocation, drop in status and very high demands of the new job. I had to leave for the sake of my mental health!

    I moved back home and had to take a couple of months down time just to pull myself back together. I started taking medication which works a bit but not completely. I find it very difficult to even search for jobs as I feel so overwhelmed. I fear taking something on that I can't handle and don't want to go back to what I was doing as it is so insecure and stressful, but I don't have the finances to retrain in something else and don't particularly want to (after two degrees), nor do I know what I want to do any more, so I feel like I can't really focus on one thing and move forward.

    I too now feel absolutely trapped by fear. I find it extremely difficult to even search for jobs as it makes me panic. As well as depression and anxiety I also have a bit of social phobia so the whole process of recruitment is my worst nightmare. I can't even send enquiring emails sometimes! It's fear of rejection. I am extremely sensitive to it and become depressed with each and every rejection I get. I haven't applied to many jobs for that reason but have crumbled with every rejection.

    A fortnight ago I finally got an interview for a job I was absolutely certain I would get as I had exactly what they wanted, but I didn't get it. The company didn't even bother to inform me whether I had got it or not, and despite promising to give me feedback, I've heard absolutely nothing from them. I was so high in the days running up to the interview (depression gone because of the glimmer of hope) then feeling suicidal as the supposed decision deadline passed with no other word. That rejection hit me so hard and I haven't been able to attempt to job hunt since. I don't now what to do to get myself out of this.


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