Top 10 Men’s Issues – # 1 unemployment.
These days the number one issue that is driving men to counseling is unemployment. If they have a job they are afraid they will lose it. If they are out of work they wonder if they are ever going to find a new job. Some become so profoundly depressed that even getting out of bed and facing another day seems like beyond their ability.
Women certainly face the same issue. The difference is in the way that lack of employment affects them, though the gender gap for depression as a result of unemployment is certainly narrowing.
Men’s self-esteem has been so caught up in the whole “good provider” role that long periods of unemployment can shake a man’s concept of himself as an adequate male. I have had men who could face any amount of danger professionally, break down and cry in the counseling room because of how that lack of work has affected their self-esteem.
Telling them that lots of people are out of work, that they’re not getting the job is nothing personal, just does not ease the pain. They just keep saying they should be able to provide for their families.
One of the hardest things a man can have to say is that he cannot afford to give his children things they need. Most every parent has to tell their kids no some of the time. Not getting everything you want is needed to build character. What pains these fathers is that they are no longer able to provide the things their family has been used to having. They begin to have to take things away. It feels like punishing your family for your failings.
What can you do if you find yourself in this situation?
Work on your depression.
If you have become depressed over the loss of a job or a period of unemployment you need to get help for the emotional part first off. If you are too depressed to get up each day and look for work then you are going to stay stuck in the depression.
Not everyone has access to counseling these days. If you do have that option, make use of it before they opportunity closes. For more on finding help, see my post on 10 Ways to get Emotional help when you don’t have much money.
Consider all your options.
Can you relocate? Sometimes there are jobs in other places that need your skills. But are you willing to relocate or have to commute? Could you work somewhere else for a while till your situation improved?
Could you switch careers? A career counselor can help you look at other possible careers and the skills needed to move to a new field. Employment Development offices may offer this service and there are online resources.
Reduce expenses any way you can,
Economic hard times can teach us just how much we really need and what we can do without. Too many times I see people wait until they are almost homeless and on the street before they accept that they can’t afford the things they used to expect.
Remember that the time you spend with your family will influence them more than the things you bought them.
Adults mostly talk about the times they spent with their parents not the things they bought them. When I do hear adults say that they feel their parents did not get things for them it is because they saw that parent buying things for themselves and leaving the kids out. Kids understand if you really can’t afford things.
Please don’t hide these things from the kids. They might get the idea that it is their fault, that you can’t afford them. Let them know that these are hard times. Teach them that a family pulls together when times are tough.
This whole discussion assumes that the man is still living in the home with his family. If you are divorced or living apart that creates an additional set of problems.
How do you stay connected to your children when you don’t have much of an income and every penny counts? The topic of what to do when you don’t live in the home is a whole nother subject. Unfortunately lots more men have to deal with both the unemployment and the parenting from distance problems these days.
If you are going through any of these problems consider reaching out for professional counseling, for depression, career choices or parenting issues.
You might also want to check out my post Top 10 Men’s Issues
For more on our counseling and therapy services in Fresno California see the David Miller Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist page at http://www.counselorfresno.com/
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