Unemployed and Socially Anxious? Twice the Odds of Remaining Jobless

Finding a way to deal with the stress of unemployment helps in treating the symptoms; isolating the source of unemployment, however, can be a painful road of psychoanalysis.  Lie back on the couch, dear unemployed reader, and begin the examination.

For some, the answer is simple: finding a job in this economy, despite every effort, is a numbers game of supply and demand. Too many people are out of work and there aren’t enough jobs–duh. Luckily, persistence usually rewards in this case. When crunch time hits and an employer is desperate, he or she will remember the bright-eyed college graduate asking if the manager reviewed applications yet. Every. Single. Day.

Other unemployed folk have more complex issues to deal with, one of which is twice as likely to foster unemployment: social anxiety disorder. From crippling cases in which a simple “hi” is a source of overwhelming stress to mild discomfort with meeting new people, social anxiety has a massive impact on a person’s ability to function in daily life.

Understandable, too, with the way human beings treat one another. Who wouldn’t be anxious in meeting a stranger when the world is rife with cases of random violence? That “hi” could turn into a bloodbath for no apparent reason–just read the news.

Ironically, one of the most successful ways to overcome social anxiety is by immersing oneself in a social situation. Cue the groans of socially anxious everywhere. Yes, one of life’s many little jokes.

Fortunately, socially anxious human beings have the comfort of the anonymous interwebs (lessening social pressure and promoting cute cats since 1990). Here, social immersion can be possible amidst forums and MMOs, without ever actually having to leave the room. Of course, one should leave the room after besting the strain of social anxiety and put newly aquired skills to use.  Think of it as leveling up and heading off to the next realm.

Once in company of friends, whether online or off, try practicing such basic social skills as small talk and witty banter.  This helps in initial meetings with potential employers, as well as during formal interviews.  Learn to make ‘em laugh or think, and they’ll remember your name.

In some extreme cases, social anxiety requries professional therapy and medication.  If the manifestation is truly severe, some individuals may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) under the American with Disabilties Act.  This assistance allows individuals time to focus on treating their social anxiety.  For more information, visit Social Security Online and talk to your therapist.

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