The Psychological Effects of Unemployment

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 8 January 2017

The Psychological Effects of Unemployment


I. Introduction
A. Opener:
B. Thesis Statement: Unemployment not only affects the country’s economic status but also leads to various psychological impacts on the unemployed group. II. People who are unemployed have a higher risk to suffer from depression. A. Depressed most of the day as indicated by subjective reports or observation B. Occurs when people lose their jobs and feel unhappy

C. Become slow, less productive, indecisive, uncertain and careless in doing things III. A person who is unemployed may become aggressive. A. Become dangerous to themselves or others and change in mental status or sudden behaviour change B. Feels frustrated due to lose of job and want to vent his emotion C. Family abused and cause injuries

IV. Inferiority complex might be another effect of unemployment. A. Social avoidance, high sensitivity and fear of making mistakes B. Being look down by the people around and the society C. Feeling bad, ashamed, depress and also limited potential to success V. Conclusion:

The Psychological Impact of Unemployment

According to Cambridge Dictionary, “Unemployment is defined as the number of people who do not have a job which provides money or the state of being unemployed”. In fact, every country has a certain unemployment rate depends on the country economic status. Research by Poatsy and Martin (2010), “unemployment rate is defined as the numbers of workers who are at least 16 years old who are not working and who have been trying to find a job within the past four weeks and still haven’t find one” (p. 48). There are four different types of unemployment which include frictional unemployment, structural unemployment, cyclical unemployment and seasonal unemployment. As Poatsy and Martin (2010) find out that, “frictional unemployment means temporary unemployment in which workers move between jobs, careers and locations; structural unemployment is the permanent unemployment associated when an industry changes in such a way that jobs terminated completely; whereas cyclical unemployment is the unemployment caused by lack of demand for those who want to work; and finally seasonal unemployment is those out of work during the off season” (p. 48).

Now, let us roughly explore the factors of unemployment among people nowadays. First, the rapid changes in technologies have attributed in this issue. For examples, a factory which at beginning use manpower as manufacture basis but now has changed to mechanical machine instead of manpower. Thus, this advanced in technologies have change to economic world. Then, attitude towards employers, willingness to work, perceptions and values of employees these are also consider as the factors of unemployment. In fact, unemployment not only affects the country’s economic status but also leads to various psychological impacts on the unemployed group.

As we all know, a person who lead a better life condition, he or she will feel satisfy and happy with his life status. What does it mean? A better life condition basically means that a person having a secure place to live in, getting sufficient food and drinks, having sense of belonging, getting love from people and having a fix career which can generate income to a person. However, if a person who fulfill his physiological, safety and belonging needs but do not own a fix job, he will definitely unhappy, unsatisfied and some even get into emotional problems such as depression. Hence, we can see that people who are unemployed have a higher risk to suffer from depression. As recorded in Cambridge Dictionary, “depression is a mental illness in which a person is very unhappy and anxious for long periods and cannot have a normal life during these periods”. In fact, a person who suffers from depression can be recognized easily.

First of all, the particular person will fell depressed for most of the time and this is based on nonobjective reports or ascertainment made by others (Butcher, Mineka, & Hooley, 2008). Besides, another symptoms will be significantly lessen passion or bliss in almost all daily activities, burnout of energy very easily, markedly sudden weight loss or weight gain, and even think of death or suicide frequently (Butcher et al., 2008). These are the symptoms for those who are in depressed. Hence, you should put more attention to the one who is unemployed so that you can find out whether he or she is getting depress and quickly get the consultation from psychiatrist. How depression occurs on the unemployed people? When a person gets fired and in the state of unemployed, he will think of his working ability and skills whether it meets the company needs or the employer’s expectation. For this reason, he may think that he is less productive and become obsolete in the particular working place.

Since then, the person feels unhappy. His worries accumulate from days to days and therefore, he become depressed. Furthermore, if the person has a family burden, he has to face a bigger challenge when he is getting no job. This is because the expanses for a family is quite a big portion nowadays. These expanses include the cost for children education, daily necessities, daily food and drinks. Thus, the unemployed person is totally stress up and has to find way in order to cover these family expenses. Due to this cause, stress on financial problems can also lead to depression. When a person gets depression, his working ability is affected (Aufiero, 2010). This means that he cannot perform his job well and successful. He may tend to be slower in working and cannot stay focus on his work. Hence, his working productivity decreases. Moreover, in the family bonding aspect, he may lack of interest, emotional response and participation in his family life and recreational activities (Aufiero, 2010).

As a result, his family members may feel being relinquished. As he lose his job, he might also think that he cannot carry the responsibilities to take good care of his family so he become low self esteem (Aufiero, 2010). Let us move to another topic which is also generates a great impact to the unemployed. For those who get fired and lose their jobs, they may feel frustrated and unsatisfied. For certain people, they will blame on either their employers or colleagues who directly or indirectly make them to be unemployed. The feeling of anger and frustrated that aroused and make them emotional unstable. Therefore, they will try to vent their emotion by harming others physically or mentally in order to get comforted. In other words, unemployment can also leads to aggression. People usually relate aggression with anger, emotional unstable, violence and irritable. However, in Baron, Branscombe and Byrne (2008) point of view, “Aggression is any behaviour directed toward the goal of harming another living being who is motivated to avoid such treatment” (p. 338).

The symptoms of aggression are very obvious which include emotional unstable as mentioned above, very sensitive to other people comment and judgement, and the most important is being harmful and causes injuries to themselves or others either in physical or verbal. The way they harm others may be threatening, irrational or even suicidal behaviour (Better Medicine, 2011). A person who is suffering from aggression, he may undergo sudden changes in mental status as well as personal behaviour (Dementia Guide, 2006). For example, people who are normally gentle and calm suddenly become aggressive and hostile towards others. In fact, the causes of aggression are tightly linked to being criticized, judged and despised by other people. When they get unemployed, they may be judged by the society about their capabilities and abilities. For those who have family burden, they may also being look down by others because the society will think that they cannot brace their families since they are jobless now. Hence, various social judgments, comments and burden to them, and they want to get rid of these by becoming aggressive and violent so that they can get acceptance by the others and stay comforted.

The consequences of aggression can actually involve both malefactor and the victim. For the victim side, he may get injuries whether physically or verbally and lastly emotional trauma or even worst that is deadliness (Hong, 2004). In the physical aspect, the victim may suffer from various violent acts such as get beaten and being abused. Another kind of aggression act will be sexual abuse. As the consequences, the victim encounters sexual trauma or victimisation. In a Norwegian study, domestic violence causes severe chronic pelvic pain to the victim. In short, aggression acts and violence causes serious injuries which range from bruises and fractures to chronic disabilities (Lum, 2010). For medical treatment, the victim will also have to bear a financial cost due to the injuries cause by the malefactor.

Whereas in the psychological aspects, the victim will be impaired with mental and psychological illness such as depression, apprehension, post-trauma stress, anorexia nervosa, nightmares and lethargy (Lum, 2010). On the other side, the perpetrator will get charged by the courts and even imprisoned for a period of time (Hong, 2004). Besides, the perpetrator will also regret on what he had done and face the hot soup due to his conscienceless. Have you ever heard of a baby being afraid to play with another baby simply reason that he thinks he is not good as others (Radwan, 2012)? The answer is surely no. No one knows to be inferior since he is born. We feel inferior solely because our culture and past life experiences have shaped us to have such personality characteristics (Radwan, 2012). Same to the unemployed group, they will start facing inferiority complex when they get into no jobs and result in low self esteem.

Thus, we can say that inferiority complex is another psychological impact of unemployment. First of all, let us have a better understanding for this term, inferiority complex. As Oxford Dictionary shows that “inferiority complex is an unrealistic feeling of general inadequacy caused by actual or supposed one sphere, sometimes marked by aggressive behaviour in compensation”. Next, what are the symptoms for this personality disorder? When a person is having this illness, he may practise social avoidance. This means that he will withdraw himself from any social activities or interactions. By applying to my topic, the person might avoid to attend any meetings, discussions that held in the workplace. The reason behind this is that he thinks he is not good as others. Furthermore, he becomes more sensitive to others opinion or comment towards himself. For instance, a person is demeaning others due to his high sensitivity even though the comment means no harm.

Another indicator will be the person might fear of making mistakes. Since they fear of listening bad comments, they will face difficulties when they are trying new things (Lalwani, 2012). How unemployment causes inferiority complex? When a person gets unemployed, his or her dignity somehow can get affected. What comes to his mind is that the employer is not satisfied for his working performance or he has made many mistakes. This will result in low self esteem. Since then, the person is not confident as last time and also fear to make mistakes as I mentioned above. Another point of view, social judgment also contributes to this issue. A jobless person portrays certain images that society will think of such as low productivity, careless, incapability and irresponsible. The effects of getting inferiority complex include the person will afraid of taking any risks and thus this will limit his success potential. Besides, he also will fear of making mistakes since he is in low esteem and fear of being scold.

Moreover, this illness makes people feel bad, remorseful and can a make person dejected in a long run (Radwan, 2012). Nonetheless, this kind of people will also have to vent their emotion and cope with their illness, so they choose to engage in substances abused which is totally wrong like alcoholism and smoking. As we can see, the issue of unemployment actually not only affects the stability of the country economic status but also brings a lot of serious psychological impact to the category of unemployed. Besides depression, aggression and inferiority complex, there are other mental illnesses that come along with this issue. This has clearly showed that unemployment is not a light issue and even government must take it seriously.

Although a country is rich in terms of wealth and it is well-developed; however, its people is suffering from various illnesses, this particular country still not be regarded as a developed country which is full of prosperity. By resolving this issue, Malaysia has organized a national organisation that manages employers for any private sectors named Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) which carries a function as advertise and escort the employer’s rights (Narayanan, 2012). Besides, this organization has also established Unemployment Insurance. It is for providing coverage for those retrenched workers who are still unable to get a career in a period of time. For those who are qualified to get this offer, they will get a portion of their last taken salary. This is helpful because it assists those workers to help them in sustain in their living life when they are looking for a new career (Narayanan, 2012).

Aufiero, B. (2010, Apr 25). Consequences of depression. Retrieved from Baron, R.A., Branscmbe, N.R., & Byrne, D. (2008). Social Psychology (12th ed.). United States, America: Pearson Education, Inc. Better Medicine (2011, May 2). Aggression: Symptoms. Retrieved from Butcher, J.N.,
Mineka, S. & Holley, J.M. (2008). Abnormal Psychology Core Concepts. United States, America: Pearson Education, Inc. DementiaGuide (n.d). Aggression. Retrieved from Depression. (n.d.). In Cambridge Dictionaries online. Retrieved from Hong, L.J. (2004, Jul 25). Concept Analysis: Aggression. Retrieved from Inferiority complex. (n.d.). In Oxford Dictionaries online. Retrieved from Lalwani, P. (2012, Feb 28). Inferiority Complex Symptoms. Retrieved from Lum, M. (2010, Jul 25). Violating our health. thestar online. Retrieved from Narayanan, S.V. (2012, May). Unemployment Insurance blues. People’s Edge, Volume 2(Issue 1), 26-28. Poatsy, M.A. & Martin, K. (2010). Better Business. United States,America: Pearson Education, Inc. Radwan, M.F. (2012, June 28). Inferiority Complex. Retrieved from Unemployment. (n.d.). In Cambridge Dictionaries online. Retrieved from


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  • University/College: University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 8 January 2017

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