Does not having a job lead to depression and feeling like a ‘non person’?

2 Mar

I’m beginning to wonder if we’re becoming more defined by our jobs – whether that’s men or women.

As more women become the breadwinner in the household, and more men become victims of the ‘mancession’, psychiatrists warn that the loss of traditional male and female roles could prompt more depression in men.

The fact that men are suffering disproportionately more than women in this recession was first reported in 2009 in the US, in when it became apparent that more men had been affected by this difficult economic climate, because of the loss of traditional male jobs in construction and manufacturing.

A new report in the British Journal of Psychiatry by Dr Boadie Dunlop from Emory University School of Medicine says that if men are now required to fulfil a caring role at home, it could affect their mental health. “Men’s failure to fulfil the role of breadwinner is associated with greater depression and marital conflict,” says the article. However, while Dr Dunlop says that women are still twice as likely to have depression than men, this could change in the coming decades.

Yet, for women, staying at home and not working can also lead to negative feelings about themselves, according to TV and radio presenter Kirsty Young. Quoted in the Daily Mail, Kirsty said that women who give up jobs to stay at home with their family can feel like ‘non persons’. While she is publicising her new BBC2 programme The British at Work, I can just imagine the responses Kirsty’s comments will provoke from people happy to stay at home with the kids. Surely what’s right for one person isn’t necessarily right for all.





One Response to “Does not having a job lead to depression and feeling like a ‘non person’?”

  1. Karen Ramirez 02/03/2011 at 10:21 pm #

    Interesting point! In addition, it has recently been reported that many WOMEN are losing out on jobs as men are being asked to go part-time as a result of cost-cutting, and thereby taking many of the jobs that women would previously have taken.

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