Worthlessness, Depression, and Unemployment

I am almost impressed by how worthless depression and unemployment can make you feel.

If you have depression, chances are you already question your worth. Unemployment can seem like confirmation of your worthlessness. Job searchingย is like a really un-fun game to see how many times you can be rejected and still get back up after. Every rejection can make you question your own worth. Am I not good enough for that job? Am I not smart enough, skilled enough, nice enough? Am I not worthy of a job?

Since I graduated, I’ve been looking for full-time work. The job search isn’t going that well. I place some of the blame on the poor job market, and some of the blame on myself. Yes, it doesn’t help that I live in a city that was hit hard by the recession and hasn’t really recovered. Yes, it doesn’t help that I’m overwhelmed by anxiety every time I send out a resume. There are many reasons things aren’t going well. It’s a complex problem. Yet my brain likes to tell me that it’s a really simple thing – I mean, isn’t it clear? I’m unemployed because I’m worthless!

The truth is, I’m probably not worthless. You’re probably not worthless either. I’m not sure if I’ve met a person without any worth.

So how do you combat the feelings of worthless that come with depression and unemployment?

I really wish I knew the answer to that question!

I’ve been trying to do a few things to keep my mood up. I’ve been doing some exercise. I’ve been taking some vitamins. I try to get out of the house once in a while. I’ve been doing some writing (though not on this blog obviously, oops). It all helps a little, but it’s not a perfect solution. I still have to fight the feelings of worthlessness.

But if I stop fighting the feelings, I know I will just get more depressed, and feel more worthless. If that happens, I don’t think I will have the strength to continue my job search, which would make me even more depressed and worthless-feeling. Vicious circle, no? So even though I’m tired and sad, I keep going. Hopefully that’s enough for now.


Have experience with depression and/or anxiety and unemployment? Have tips? I’d love to hear your stories or advice, and I’m sure other readers would too! Why not leave a comment below? ๐Ÿ™‚


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  1. I feel the same way the majority of the time, every time I apply for a job I think ‘hopefully this will be the one’ but a week or two later I get an email saying we wish you well on your job search and it puts me right down in the dumps and no matter how hard I try to bring myself out of it, it just doesn’t seem to work, I apply for jobs daily hoping to get some purpose and happiness and to feel worthy but the constant rejection slowly takes its toll, yet I still keep a smile on my face and keep everything hidden from family and friends which is definitely not the thing to do, I suggest telling your friends and family how you feel about yourself and your situation. Get up in the morning and think positive about your job search because one day (sooner than later hopefully) you’ll get the job you’ve trained for or dreamed of and everything will be back on track and you’ll feel worthy, I may have gone off track in this comment but I hope you get the jist of what I’m saying and I hope I’ve helped someone!

    • I tend to keep everything hidden from friends and family too, but I think you’re right: it is better to talk to somebody about it.

      Thanks for your positive message; and good luck in your job search! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. You are not worthless. Those are ‘just thoughts’, they aren’t true.
    Take one day at a time. I know depression but I have never had it coupled with job hunting, that must be tough.
    Graduating is often a stressful time too. Such a big change and so much pressure to find a job and start paying back those loans. But you can do it.
    This is big, it would be for anyone but with depression even harder.
    You are not worthless, you are worthy, valuable and special. There is only one job out there for you, you just haven’t found it yet.
    I am praying for you.

  3. noimnotok

     /  February 29, 2016

    I’d love to know how to combat the feelings of worthlessness that come from being unemployed. I graduated from my Masters degree two years ago with exceptionally high grades. Since then I’ve done a few bits of freelance work, much of it unpaid, and I’ve been living on benefits while trying to put my life back together after “coming out” about having been sexually abused as a child.
    Life sucks.

    • Life certainly is hard! I guess all we can do is keep trying to move forward and hope for the best. Good luck to you ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Arsarsars

       /  May 29, 2016

      Hi. Really? I have graduated from master too and not yet landed a job nor freelanced work. How you get your freelance work? Stay cheers and happy struggling!

      • Honestly, I wish I knew where to find lots of freelance work. Anything I’ve done has been for people I know, or things I’ve spotted on job boards. Some people have luck with freelance websites like UpWork or Freelancer, but some people really dislike them. I wish I had a better answer!

  4. I certainly understand the feelings of worthlessness (a close kin to hopelessness, my particular affliction). I’ve been steadily employed for the last decade, but it is only within the last few years that my depression has asserted itself so strongly. I don’t have any experience with both unemployment and depression. I can say that back when I was job searching, I just got myself into a routine: visiting a half dozen online job seeking websites, writing templates for submission letters, sending out resumes to many possibilities no matter how remotely matched they were to my experience (or interest). I kept busy with the job-search effort as a way to fight the feelings of hopelessness and defeat. It might work for you.

    • I have heard that keeping to a routine can be helpful, and I’m definitely going to try making some submission letter templates (writing those letters always feels like such a pain!).
      Thanks for the tips! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Just keep looking.

  6. I dont have experience of looking for a job but I do have experience of depression. I’m sorry you are feeling so worthless. It is true though you are not worthless. Sometimes it is the employer who has the issues in not accepting you and you are not the one at fault. XX

    • It’s so easy to blame ourselves when we have depression though, isn’t it?

      Thank you for your kind words ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. lifeofmiblog

     /  March 18, 2016

    Hi Michelle, long time between drinks all round! The only thing worthless about the depressed is their feelings of worthlessness! (Sorry that’s the extent of my wisdom!)
    It is a bad time anywhere to get jobs unless you just happen to have exactly what they are looking for. In one “dry” spell I sent out dozens of applications out and didn’t even get an acknowledgement from any of them. Anyhow good to see you are still out there…while some of us have dropped off the page. Take care.

    • Hi Michael ๐Ÿ™‚ it has been a while; good to hear from you!

      It does seem like you have to be the -perfect- candidate these days! Maybe I just haven’t found the -perfect- job to apply for yet…

  8. lifeofmiblog

     /  March 24, 2016

    Sorry that was a bad joke…as usual! ๐Ÿ˜•

    • haha that’s okay, I like bad jokes, i must have just missed this one – sorry! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • lifeofmiblog

         /  March 25, 2016

        Yeah my life is full of misses these days. Some days are just worse than others, a lot of stress at the moment. Take care

      • Well, here’s to hoping things get less stressful for you soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Yes, I completely understand. The whole vicious circle thing . . . It’s amazing how quickly it spirals inside my own head. Thanks for your honesty, and your humor.

  10. I just found your blog, I love your style of writing.. it’s similar to mine. i totally get that feeling of being worthless. In so many ways having a job means status. Not just any job, but some fancy job that impresses people can somehow attach worth to you. I’ve had my battles with looking for jobs while being depressed and it really is horrible. I feel your pain!!!

  11. Hi. You can try talking to a psychiatrist to seek professional help. Presently, I am on anti depressants now. Yes, exercise is a great help but the medications help me get up in the morning and go to work. Prayer and faith also helps a lot. I have been active in our church lately. You can also make a gratitude journal so that you will appreciate simple things more. Hope this message helps.

  12. I got fired from my job five weeks ago. It’s difficult. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  13. I’ve been unemployed due to depression too. Know exactly how you feel, feeling worthless. I’ve just started working from home and it is helping me feel much better. Try to work from home, if you can, and get a routine. There really are work from home opportunities out there. I’m trying Freelancer.com. Wishing you all the best. Please also check out my site: http://www.ibeatmysocialanxiety.com, John

  14. Nice piece. Can so relate to your feelings of worthlessness. I have been without work for the last 14 years, due to my illnesses. You just become numb after a while. I’ve recently started working again though, from home. You do have so much to offer. Please know that it’s only our illnesses that tell us differently. You’re a very special human being. Please check out my site: http://www.ibeatmysocialanxiety.com. Sending you lots of healing vibes. John

  15. Dee

     /  June 15, 2016

    I just found your blog, and I just relate to this post so well. I’ve been unemployed due to depression and anxiety, which has not helped my job search the past year, and I know the struggle, and the feelings of worthlessness and the hopelessness and the pain of each rejection letter (or lack of rejection letter, because some places don’t even bother). I’m glad, at least, to know that I’m not the only one struggling, because I don’t think my family, or my friends quite understand just how hard it is for me to even to fill out a job application and send in my resume, time after time, and after a while, their “just try harder”s make me feel even more useless.

  16. Laurie

     /  June 29, 2016

    Due to my illness, I have had difficulty holding down jobs my entire life. I always think I am doing 110% at work, make friends, get along with everyone, then I am blindsided when I get fired by management. This is a recurring cycle. Being depressed most all the time, work was my only outlet to leave my feelings at home. Now without a job again, I am having to face that I must be in denial of my abilities and admit that I cannot read situations very well. I am trying to work thru things with a new therapist and admitting to things that happened to me as a child/teenager more than I ever have in the past. I cry a lot but I am finally starting to let go of the years of resentment towards my family and my self hatred. The load is starting to get lighter. I have always taken challenging jobs that were extremely stressful and difficult to leave at the job. Now I am about to start a much less stressful job and taking it slow building up to a full time job, if I can do it. I just can’t take losing another job and I am too young to retire. The last 5 months have been very hard and ‘worthless’ is a key word. I have been avoiding getting another job and have been isolating. But we’ll see what happens with this new position. Giving up is not an option in this economy.

  17. What’s the update with your search?

  18. I hope that is enough for me to. I am fighting the same feelings, although the circumstances are different. Keep us updated on your progress. All the best , Awa

  19. Lillian

     /  August 31, 2016

    When you get thru this–and you will–you will be a superhero. There’s hardly anything harder. I had to do it with depression and without cellphones. That meant staying at home at a time when I really really needed to get out. Most people can’t write as well as you can and haven’t created a blog. Be patient with yourself. A good work match will come.

  20. Henry Becket

     /  December 11, 2016

    Why dont you try using Hemp Oil?

  21. Diane Marilyn Stevens

     /  January 16, 2018

    I was a Registered Nurse for 47 years and had a job I loved. I decided to move nearer to my family, a distance of 2000km and checked out jobs prior. I was promised a job in the local hospital and they phoned me every week asking when I was coming etc.I sent them my resume so they knew ny experience.When I got to my new town I went for an interview. The person who I had been speaking to was away so I was interviewed by another person. After several weeks i was told I had not got the job. During the interview the person was smirking when she asked me questions. It seemed unbelievable to me because I had excellent references. I tried to get other nursing jobs but no one wanted me even though I had a degree. I became very depressed and felt worthless and ashamed. Eventually I stopped visiting family because I felt embarassed and a low life. I had nothing to contribute when they all discussed their workdays. I couldnt sleep and spent hours crying. I was applying for any job such as cleaning or in a shop but no one wanted me. I have now been unemployed 8 months and sometimes feel like taking my life to get out of this misery. The state of being unemployed has made me feel so degraded and unwanted.As I am now 65, I am feeling huge discrimination I feel I will never work as a nurse again. Hope you are doing better than me

  1. Worthlessness, Depression, and Unemployment | anondepressive
  2. Worthlessness, Depression, and Unemployment | hippygurl61's Blog

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