Depression, Drug Abuse, Suicide and Smoking, All Linked to Unemployment

//Depression, Drug Abuse, Suicide and Smoking, All Linked to Unemployment

Depression, Drug Abuse, Suicide and Smoking, All Linked to Unemployment

October 1, 2018
2020-06-05T15:31:44+00:00 October 1st, 2018|Well Being|0 Comments

This problem is not just in Kenya, but in the whole of Africa. Unemployment has frustrated us, especially the youth! We have young people now experiencing the symptoms of a “midlife crisis.”

When you are unemployed, you are actually facing one of the most difficult times in your life. And we need to make sure that we can work with you to manage this stress effectively.

Unemployed people are more likely to have poor health habits, such as excess drinking, smoking, lack of exercise, and a sedentary lifestyle etc. Also, unemployment is one of the major causes of depression among youth. This shows the overall effects of unemployment on psychosocial health and general wellbeing of a human.

What Are Effects Of Unemployment To People

Although, unemployment has numerous health risks, the longer you are unemployed and the more frequently you are unemployed, the greater the cumulative risk.

Below are the examples of unemployment danger to your health.

  • Stress

High stress that unemployed people encounter make them prone to different diseases such as ulcer, hypertension, stroke, diabetes, infections, cancers, heart diseases, kidney diseases and psychological disorders like depression & anxiety etc.

  • Depression

Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed and can lead to suicide.

  • Anxiety

Anxiety is a medical condition or disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worrying. These disorders affect how we feel and behave and can cause physical symptoms.

  • Alchoholism

A stressed/depressed and unemployed person tends to drink excessively to escape reality, which can lead to alcoholism, a disorder of alcohol abuse, that can cause more damage to the body.

  • Drug abuse.

Just like alcoholism, most unemployed people tend to partake in recreational drug use and eventually abuse. They get addicted to drugs like codeine, marijuana, tramadol and cocaine etc.

  • Smoking

Most unemployed people become  heavy smokers due to emotional instability and the urge to escape reality by getting high.

  • Poor nutrition.

Being unemployed means you’re broke, being broke means no money for feeding. Most unemployed people, without other source of adequate income, can’t afford a simple balanced diet meal, instead, they eat whatever food they came across, which most time is excessively fatty, low protein, a high sugar that does no good to their body.

  • Suicide

Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one’s own death. Risk of mental disorders such as depression, low self-esteem in an unemployed person can make the person commit suicide.

  • Secondary Diseases.

All of the above effects can cause some secondary diseases in the body. Diseases such as hypertension, cancer, diabetes, heart attacks, stroke, kidney diseases, liver diseases, psychological disorders, infections and cardiovascular disease are known to be associated with unemployment.

What Needs To Be Done?

First, unemployment should be considered a health-risk  factor. Addressing the psychological and lifestyle effects of unemployment could significantly impact the longer-term health of these individuals.

Raising an awareness of health impacts of unemployment on people so that they can know what to do in such situation.

Jobs creation that will increase employment rate.

Encouraging healthy lifestyle among unemployed people.

Lifestyle modifications that include:

  • Balance diet.Healthy foods that are rich in vitamin, low-fat protein, water, and omega-3 fatty acids are good for your health, while high-fat foods, excessive sugar intake and high carbohydrate foods need to be cut down. Examples of food you should take are beans, groundnuts, green leafy vegetables, fruits, low-fat milk, fish & seafood, and avocados etc. Consumption of such foods should be encouraged especially if accessible and affordable.
  • It helps to stay fit and reduce stress. playing sports can help to relieve stress, take your mind off your trouble and beneficial to your health.
  • Reduced drinking and smoking.Social alcohol intake is normal, but excessive drinking can make you prone to alcoholism, so by cutting down your liquor intake, you’re not just reducing your chance of alcoholism, but also improving your overall wellbeing.


The psychological risks following unemployment are not only manifested in increased stress, but also in the increased risk of suicide.

Counselling for the unemployed should focus on addressing the sense of demoralization, helplessness, shame, low self-esteem and purposefulness that many unemployed people experience.

Unemployment is not just a short period of trouble; also, it may conceive greater danger that can affect you years later.

Acknowledging unemployment as a risk factor for both mental and physical wellbeing will help us seek preventive measures, and help people cope with long-lasting unemployment effects.

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