Unemployment Could Take Toll On Person's Mental Health

Friday, August 14th 2020, 4:17 pm

Every since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, thousands have been without a job in Oklahoma and millions across the country.

Maria Trapp, a doctor with OU Medicine, said losing your job can take a major toll on your mental health. It can cause anxiety, depression, insomnia, agitation, negativity, isolation, and withdrawal.

Trapp said a job gives a person a feeling of belonging and a sense of identity,

“Even if you don't care for your job, you have a sense of purpose, a sense of providing,” Trapp said.

The loss of a job can feel like a major blow to your self-esteem, and the lack of control can make it that much worse.

"Some people can go ravenously hungry to fill this void or I don't want anything, I’m not hungry,” Trapp said.

The grief symptoms can vary everyday.

"Maybe today they have a headache and maybe tomorrow they're able to be a little better,” Trapp said.

But what can you do to get to the other side of the loss?

Trapp said it's acknowledging how difficult a time this is.

"This is hard. It's very, very hard," she said.

Trapp said the worst thing you can do is ruminate over the loss. It’s best to get out of that negative loop and focus on what you can control.

"Looking into a different job, staying connected with our people that care about us and support us, trying to maintain our mental health, trying to maintain our physical health,” Trapp said.

Trapp recommends if you've lost your job, it's best to try to find a therapist, if you can.

And, while it also sounds counter-productive, it's best to also get out there and have some fun, go out and get a hobby.