Job loss causes depression, but few long-term effects

By Staff Writer

Following the loss of a job, many individuals become depressed. Especially given the fact that the economy is so weak, this depression can force some job seekers to use drugs as a coping mechanism, eventually requiring drug rehab treatment. However, the unemployed may take solace in the findings of a new study from New York University researchers.

Reporting in the journal of the American Psychological Association, the team of investigators found that those who have experienced long periods of unemployment generally show few long-term effects.

For the study, the researchers collected data on 774 participants, all of whom lost their job some time between 1984 and 2003. The participants were asked about their life satisfaction for three years before their job loss and up to four years after.

The team found that, while life satisfaction dropped significantly after losing a job, it tended to pick back up within a year. The long-term effects of unemployment were minimal.

Given the fact that the unemployment rate is currently so high, some have speculated that many individuals may be struggling with depression. However, the researchers said that they hope their findings will show that this may not be the case.