Work means so much to us Americans that without it some people don’t want to get out of bed in the morning.
That is likely one reason unemployed adults and those not working as much as they would like are twice as likely to be depressed as Americans employed full time.
That’s the conclusion of a Jan. 1-July 25 survey of more than 100,000 Americans conducted by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. It says 16.6% of unemployed Americans are depressed compared to 5.6% of those who work full time.
“Self-esteem and self-worth are closely aligned with working,” says psychotherapist Charles Allen, who estimates about 10% of his clients are out of work or worried about losing their job.
When you have a job, you have a continuous source of feedback that you are a contributing member of society, he says. That’s not to say you go to work thinking, “Hey, I’m a valued member of society.” The idea is largely subconscious.
“You feel it in the depths of your brain,” he says.
Being employed helps you feel wanted and that you’re contributing to your finances, says psychotherapist Elizabeth Lombardo. It also gives you social support — “a buffer against depression.”
In his practice, psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert sees a lot of unemployed people who are depressed.
He describes them as usually feeling hopeless and helpless, their sense of identity greatly diminished.
Source : USA Today