Taboo Topic Among Unemployed? We're Really Angry

unemployed angry

I haven't seen too many articles about anger in connection with unemployment, especially long-term unemployment. So I thought I'd write one.

Now and then, I do feel angry. Angry that I was laid off, angry that I can't find my "dream" job no matter what I do, angry that my chances of finding a job diminish with every passing day, angry that I'm forced to spend now what I'd put away for my retirement, angry that I can't replace it, angry that I need to think two or three times before I make a significant purchase. I'm not normally the kind of person who likes to acknowledge feeling angry. It's too strong of an emotion. Instead, I might say that something makes me "mad." But anger? That suggests an out-of-control rage to me; "anger" feels upsetting and a little scary. So while I occasionally recognize feelings of anger in myself, I usually try to channel them into more positive, productive activities. It's good to acknowledge anger, but not useful to dwell on it.

There's no question, though, that there's a powerful undercurrent of anger out here among us un- and underemployed people. And we all deal with it differently. The sad thing is, the anger may end up only hurting us more. When I did a search for articles about anger and unemployment, the information I did find was pretty bad.

More: Recession Shortens Lifespan Of Older Workers Who Lose Their Jobs

One article on the Everyday Health website notes that "Long-term unemployment brings depression, anger, stress, and a lack of self-confidence.... Over time, it can produce self-destructive habits such as drinking, smoking, drug use, and relationship problems."

It may also lead to the self-destructive habit of overeating, according to an article on the Psychology Today website. "Research has shown that anxiety, defeat, anger and depression are common in the jobless," it notes. "These are symptoms of 'threat stress'... constant exposure to threat stress can release a flood of hormones that have the potential to alter body shape and eating habits."

All this stress can trigger an increase in the hormone cortisol, which can make us crave sweet, fatty, high-calorie foods. While these foods make us feel better, temporarily, because they increase the production of what the article calls "reward" chemicals, like dopamine and serotonin, too much of these foods can cause weight gain, which can adversely affect our physical health in many ways.

How do we deal with all of this? We can watch out for "emotional eating" when we're not really hungry. It helps if we exercise more, which increases opioids -- feel-good chemicals -- and decreases cortisol production. In general, we need to find healthy ways to reduce our stress, like massage, yoga or meditation. (Of course, good jobs would help even more.)

So anger is a very real part of this unreal unemployment mess. It wasn't supposed to be this way for us baby boomers, you know? At one time, we had it all. I think that's what makes this that much harder for us to accept.

Too many boomers have been hurt terribly by prolonged unemployment and, frankly, I wish this were a lot more obvious to the rest of America. I encounter these people every day at the online discussion boards, where we "gather" to share our stories.

I think that one of our stories, about the actual negative impact of chronic unemployment on one real person's life, should be told on the network news every single night.

Then maybe we wouldn't be the only ones feeling so angry. And then maybe something would be done about it.

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What's really frustrating is that employed people don't realize that it's not the unemployed who are being picky about what jobs they take. Employers are the ones who are being picky, not because the unemployed LACK skills and experience but because they ARE skilled and experienced. I was shocked how hard it was to find a part time retail job when I went back to school after being laid off. When I was a dopey teenager, I got hired at a department store the day I walked in and filled out an application. Now that I'm a responsible adult, I'm not good enough to say, "Will that be cash or charge?" Hell, you don't even have to key in the inventory number and price anymore.

Like Ms Hopkins, I also find the lack of news coverage frustrating, not just on the TV networks but on public radio as well. It makes the unemployed invisible, which makes it harder for their loved ones to understand their predicament.

October 27 2012 at 6:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Accept any work that is legal. I too am tired of people moaning and groaning about being without work.
Stop thinking that this or that job is beneath your level. You're NOT entitled to a job.

October 05 2012 at 2:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to walk1111's comment
Kay Publique

You make a good point - but employers are wise to this game. I have been turned away from grocery stores.

They don't want to hire someone who is overqualified. They can get a thankful non-English speaker who they think is guaranteed put up with anything and everything.

April 10 2014 at 11:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dr. D

Oh really? Having a job in this country is a means to SURVIVE, since a job helps pay for food and shelter. So if you're saying that I'm not entitled to a job, that means I'm not entitled to survive. YOU are the one who isn't entitled to be breathing, and by God, I will see that your existence ends.

July 03 2015 at 6:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

TO SAVANNAHSWITHGOD.ty & god bless you.

September 20 2012 at 12:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It is frustrating to be in a job environment where many are graduating college without job prospects just as older, more experienced workers are being laid off or are still without jobs. But the real question is what can you, as a job seeker, do about it? Continue to network and reach out to those in your industry. Look for niche communities and job boards, volunteer to build experience and use your skills, as opposed to sitting at home alone. Get involved, get out of the house, get off the couch. The more active you are in the community, the more you network and build connections, the less you'll feel like you're not utilizing your skills in a positive way. And who knows, maybe a volunteer opportunity could turn into a job!

September 20 2012 at 9:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Russell Dot Voice

I am so sick and tired of people whining they can't find a job as I am medically disabled and can no longer take advantage of the limitless opportunities in this throw away society where if you have a vehicle and can use simple hand tools there is no reason anyone able to bend and lift up to 25 pounds cannot make a minimum of $25/hr recycling metals, collecting ''free'' firewood from craigslist then reselling it as mixed full 4x4x8ft cords for a minimum of $100-$150 & more if you can deliver've seen those ads on craigslist for free gas bbq grills & lawn mowers, the bodies of these are almost always cast aluminum or the bbq may be stainless steel which will bring you a minimum of $25 & lost hubcaps along the road can be very valuable even if plastic,here in Ciolorado there is or was a company called hubcap Annie that 15 years ago would pay anywhere from $5 up to $50 for the plastic Lexus hubcaps there's unlimited free money to be had once you learn what to look for and simply go get it
search your area for the nearest scrap yard/recycling center take the 50 cent tour to learn how to identify & process different metals for the best price and go into business for yourself

September 19 2012 at 5:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Monsterdeadhead. You payed taxes friend. That's not a handout. Don't feel bad about it.Do what you have to do.Good Luck.

September 19 2012 at 4:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

to belenda .we get some food from welfare.and i hate it.i am no crybaby.i work when i can.i look for dose my wife.25 year as a welder.never a hand make me sick.i use to think like you.but now i no .we our one payday to homeless.i hope is never hits you.then you can (lol)and i hope it never dose happen to you.dont be so other's it hurts.

September 19 2012 at 4:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Unemployed and angry? Mitt Romney can fix it.

September 19 2012 at 4:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Most think they are to good to work manual labor, I have been looking for someone to do some work on my house . Contractors come by and look, say I'll get back with you, that is the last you hear. I'm talking a $10,000 or $12,000 job.

September 19 2012 at 4:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Leighton's comment

Yeah, I'm a 40+ yo office worker; I don't have any form of construction experience whatsoever. Let me load up my station wagon with some stuff from Home Depot and I'll be right over. Yeah, I will need a $5K deposit first, though, sweetie.

September 20 2012 at 12:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

looking for work.due to lay off .for years ago.was makeing $22.50 per i get offer's of $8"25 to $10:50 per hour.i take them there all part time.i am a welder with 25 years exp.i am not saying there bad jobs.but cut off is 32 hours a week .no med or orver time.i will take it to freed my wife and wife worked at b.o.a. she lost job due to cut back's.she get's unemloyment.$210 a month.8 years at b.o.a. my unemloyment run out 2 times .i get $69.00 a month cuz i take on any job i can get.are home is gone.we now live in apt.bad hood.i dont care about pay just need 40 +a week.i dont feel like a man.

September 19 2012 at 4:01 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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