Shocking poll: if you're unemployed, you're twice as likely to be depressed

"depressed woman covering her face by the hands over dark wall," Shutterstock.

Photo: "Depressed woman covering her face by the hands over dark wall," Shutterstock.

A new Gallup poll says Americans who are unemployed are about twice as likely as Americans who have jobs to be depressed – 12.4% versus 6.4%, Gallup reports.

The longer a person has been out of work, the greater the chances that he or she will develop a clinical case of depression, according to data from a new Gallup poll. Among Americans who have been without a job for three to five weeks, 10% said they were depressed or were being treated for depression. That figure rose to 17% for those who have been out of work for six months to one year. Among people who have crossed the one-year mark, 19% were battling depression, the poll found.
More at the LA Times.


Notable Replies

  1. Not surprising, at all. Being unemployed sucks.

  2. You are assigning the unemployment as the cause. What may be occurring is that depression causes the loss of employment or prevents a person from gaining employment. Or it may be both a cause and an effect. So while people are saying "tell me something I don't already know", there is a lot of value in doing research here. It may also turn out that unemployment impacts health insurance and the ability of a person to treat depression. Obviously, there are a lot of issues at stake. I'd be curious to see how the US values compare to places that have had universal healthcare.

  3. I'd be really depressed too if somebody photoshopped out all the ports on my MacBook Pro. (note the reflection. how can shutterstock not even notice?)

  4. I became unemployed because of depression - my bipolar boss went bat guano crazy after the death of their parent, and before that my codependent supervisor went off the deep end when their mom died from Alzheimer's. So yes, job loss due to depression - other people's depression. .

  5. As someone who has been laid off three times (!), and fired once for reasons that were not my doing, nope, being unemployed fucking sucks. I don't do well when I'm not working. Now, there may be other reasons involved as well for many people -- it's not a simple, black and white issue -- but being unemployed in this society REALLY SUCKS. You feel like a loser. Trust. I know the feeling well. Our society does not look kindly on unemployed people. That's a BIG part of it.

    I'm not a depressed individual until I'm unemployed, really. Which is a reason why I tend to volunteer even when I'm unemployed (otherwise I spend too much time thinking, which just leads to getting even more depressed about my situation).

    So while people are saying "tell me something I don't already know",

    I didn't say that, btw, or even imply that. I just know very well how much being unemployed can suck.

    And I think a LOT of it is the stigma of not working. Don't have a job? Or a car? You're a lazy bum. That's how our society works.

    I moved to a different state due to being laid off again -- and my car decided to die the day before I got laid off, to boot, because I have all the luck. This means I'm unemployed, although I'm still getting plenty in unemployment insurance to keep me fine and dandy now that I'm not paying rent (I am living with family), but I ALSO don't have a car. And I'm living with family (after 14+ years of living on my own).

    Try dating without a car. Or a job. That's fun.

    And btw, getting laid off so much does not make me confident in myself. That is part of it as well.

    I'm fine right now, but eventually it WILL catch up to me, and I WILL being to feel like a loser, which then will start the depression... Even though the reality is that I work my ass off, even when I don't get paid for it. And yet, that feeling of being a loser is still there. Ugh. It's the worst.

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