Websites For The Week of March 18th

March 18, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Posted in Health, Weekly Readings | 2 Comments
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Previous weekly website lists can be found here.

This week’s theme may be one that’s tough to face, especially for the women out there.  Gaining weight while unemployed is very common.  I was on NutriSystem for about 9 months before losing my job.  I lost 23 pounds.  Not only did I gain that weight back, but more.  It made me start to research the correlation between unemployment and weight gain.  I’ve also looked into diets that are a lot more inexpensive. I’ve included both insightful and helpful sites this week.

That’s it for this week.  If you choose to start a weight loss plan, good luck and stay healthy!
See what you like here. I’d love to hear from you about it. This week’s list is on a subject that I really think people can contribute to. Remember you can submit a website for the Sunday Readings on my How-To/Forum page.

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Your Mental Status While Jobless

June 13, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Posted in Health, unemployed | Leave a comment
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My earlier post mentioned the physical and psychological stress on the unemployed.
I’m a big believer in the word disease actually meaning dis-ease, a lack of ease.  That’s one reason, among several, that I’d like to pay close attention to the stressors of life now.  We need to keep our minds healthy to keep our bodies healthy.  It’s strange to think that most researchers and doctors don’t believe in this correlation.
Psychological stress is defined by JAMA as:

Psychological stress occurs when an individual perceives that environmental demands tax or exceed his or her adaptive capacity.

It’s normal to feel hurt, vulnerable, or angry after losing a job.  A lot of the feelings are in the same stages as grieving the loss of a loved one.  HelpGuide.org has some great tips on managing those feelings go over those tips here. I particularly liked these suggestions because it shows a step by step process with action, not just things to think about or meditate on.

Some feelings that are lasting for a while may seem foreign, but are actually very normal.  You’re supposed to feel exhausted, depressed, angry, or anxious.  Unemployment is a health hazard.  It’s a totally different state of mind for most people.  It’s dreary, repetitive, and it can be unhealthy.  It’s a cause of stress and a cause of anger.  The trick is not to let all of this get out of hand.  This file from the University of Georgia has a lot of positive tips:
Surviving Tough Times

One of my favorite tidbits of information comes from The Resiliency Center.  How wrong can it be if the first idea is to write about how you feel?  See if the skills presented help you: Resiliency Skills for Handling the Emotional Side of Job Loss and Job Search
These are just a few pages that helped me If you Google “psychological stress of unemployment” you’ll find pages and pages of information, pick what’s right for you.
Always remember that the world is too big for any of us to get through it alone. 

Let’s stick together.Finally if you get to the point where you are becoming too depressed or want to harm yourself there are always people to help you.

1-800-273-8255

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No Health Insurance Is Bad Enough

June 10, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Posted in Health | Leave a comment
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As someone who has several somatic problems to deal with and the medications that go with it I began to wonder about the health of those that are unemployed. Not only because of the lack of funds to go to doctors and clinics, but the stress.  The stress of home life, paying bills, taking care of children, but the stress of the job search, especially the endless interviewing.

According to Live Science unemployment is proving deadly.

“Our big finding is that unemployment does increase the risk of premature mortality by 63 percent,” said Eran Shor, a member of the study’s research team and a sociology professor at McGill University. “There is probably a causal relationship here.”

The new study showed unemployment increases men’s mortality risk more than 40 percent over women’s. The increased risk of premature death is particularly high for those who are unemployed and under the age of 50.”In our society, men are more expected to have a job and bring home a salary,” he said. “When they can’t do that, it is very stressful.”

Mental health also suffers among those who are unemployed. Since I previously worked in the mental health field for six years, this area has my particular attention.
A new Gallup poll finds that a majority of unemployed and underemployed Americans describe themselves as “struggling.” They’re also more likely to report depression and feelings of sadness and worry than their employed counterparts.
The bulk of unemployment research has been pessimistic, including a 1998 study from the University of Wales that found the unemployed in England and Wales were twice as likely to die from suicide as the employed.
People who lost jobs since the recession started in December 2008 were 13 percent more likely to report thoughts of hurting themselves and four times more likely to show signs of mental illness, said Dr. Neal Walker, a clinical psychologist with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
People who are unemployed are also twice as likely to report concern with their mental health or use of alcohol or drugs within the last six months than individuals working full-time.

And what can be done to ease these problems?
Cincinnati psychologist Kenneth Manges said the unemployed need to pay extra attention to their health while they are out of work to avoid picking up bad habits that could cause problems later.
“They have to be mindful of the likelihood that they could fall into an unhealthy lifestyle,” said Manges, noting habits such as a lack of exercise, overeating, smoking and excess drinking could be easy ones to form. “They might get overwhelmed, and use those (things) as tension-relievers, when in fact they are tension-exasperators.”

I’ll have further reading and tips on dealing with the stress of unemployment in my next post.

References and Reading

Bureau of Labor Statistics, May data, published June 3 2011
McGill and Stoney Brook Universities, published in the March 2011 issue of the journal Social Science & Medicine.
SAMSHA studies on employment and mental health
National Jobless Mental Health Study

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