By DR EDMUND NG
When there is job loss, whether one is fired due to poor performance or laid off due to the company’s poor performance, there is ensuing grief as grief is a natural consequence of all types of losses.
This grief needs to be addressed. If the grief is bypassed or suppressed, one runs the risk of getting into depression or other mental health problems in later years.
Emotional impact of job loss
Following job loss, grief can emerge in a number of ways.
Over four decades ago, a psychiatrist named Elizabeth Kubler-Ross identified five stages of grief for terminal patients facing death in her hospital.
They are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
Although losing one’s job is not the same as the prospect of losing one’s life, the same elements of these stages from denial to acceptance can still manifest in our emotions.
In the early stage, for example, an employee facing potential lay-off may tell herself as part of her initial denial that it will affect some of her colleagues but not herself.
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