The Prolonged Effects of Job Insecurity on Mental Health

Published on: April 5, 2022 

Job uncertainty is a growing problem in today's economy. More and more, workers are finding themselves at the whims of their employers, and it's having a severe impact on mental health.

It's a fact: our jobs are becoming less stable. As it becomes easier for employers to outsource their work, more and more employees find themselves at the mercy of job cuts, layoffs, and downsizing. As a result, an increasing number of workers are feeling insecure about their employment status.

Unfortunately, this insecurity doesn't just affect our pocketbooks—it can have an impact on our mental health.

The reality of job insecurity is pervasive. The average person changes jobs 12 times over their career and holds an average of 4.4 positions at any given time. People tend to stay at their jobs for 4.2 years, but almost half of them are open to new opportunities.

Job Insecurity as a Cause of Mental Illness

Having job insecurity means feeling that you are not secure in your job." This can take many forms, including being laid off or fired without warning, being forced to work longer hours without additional compensation, or receiving no raises or promotions for an extended period.

Often, individuals concerned about their jobs will find it very difficult to concentrate on their work, which can lead them to make mistakes at work that they never made before. These mistakes may lead to even more stress and tension at work. Eventually, if the situation does not change, this stress and tension can become debilitating enough that the employee has difficulty functioning in any aspect of their life, including work.

How Job Insecurity Affects Mental Health

This study found that people who felt insecure in their jobs were more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and alcoholism. They also found that those experiencing job insecurities were more likely to experience problems with concentration and memory.

It's important to note that the researchers in this study didn't find a direct link between job insecurity and poor mental health—but rather, an indirect connection through the work environment. For example, if you feel that you're about to lose your job, you'll probably be less motivated at work, resulting in stress and poor performance (which could lead to your firing).

This is especially true for people who have more responsibilities at home. Those people will probably be more worried about losing their income than people without children or other dependents.

Work Environment

If you're experiencing job insecurity, you may be in a work environment where you are constantly under evaluation. As a result, you may have to report on your progress regularly to prove that you are still performing at your employer's expected standards. Unfortunately, this can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety, and substance abuse.

In such a work environment, it can be difficult to focus on your work, especially if you are focused on maintaining your position or securing another position within the company. You might also find it difficult to get along with other employees in the office if they are aware of your unstable situation in the company.

Coping Methods

When you're facing job insecurity, you must have coping methods to help you manage your anxiety and stress levels. If a layoff happens, you'll need to be able to rely on these methods to get through the experience without damaging your mental health further.

  • Talk about your feelings with someone you trust.
  • Find healthy ways to relieve stress. Some ideas include exercise, yoga, and meditation.
  • Find distractions—focus on something outside of work
  • Open up about your concerns with others at work—if everyone is feeling the same way, it can help to know that you're all in this together.

For more information about Mental Health Conditions. Visit our Mental Health Library page.  To understand and cope with your psychological symptoms, get help from our Top 10 Psychiatrists, Psychologists, and Therapists who are known for providing the best mental health treatment and psychiatry services. To book an appointment please call us at (800) 457-4573 or submit an appointment request.

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