Recession, unemployment take toll on men - Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

Recession, unemployment take toll on men

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Researchers say men are struggling as they try to emotionally navigate unfamiliar territory during the recession. Researchers say men are struggling as they try to emotionally navigate unfamiliar territory during the recession.
ATLANTA -

Everyone has been affected by the tough economy over the past few years. But one group is being hit especially hard.

Researchers say men are struggling as they try to emotionally navigate unfamiliar territory. Many men feel a sense of shame if they can't support their families. Experts say if men continue to stay closed up, it could open up a floodgate of emotional problems down the road.

There are thousands of them walking around everyday. They are highly educated, dedicated, hard working men who can't find work. They're dealing with it in agonizing silence. Men like Juvernia Smith, who's been laid off twice.

"How can you actually express ‘hey, I'm not working, I'm not the breadwinner my wife is.' I don't bring home any money so I have to rely on her to give me money. From my era that doesn't happen. There are no words for that," said Smith.

Smith calls it the man-code. Newsweek magazine recently dubbed it the man-cession: The devastating emotional toll the recession is having on unemployed men.

Emory University's Director of Mood and Anxiety Program, Dr. Boadie Dunlap, says there could be a substantial jump in cases of male depression if high unemployment and the changing role of men as breadwinners continues.

"Men going through long term unemployment feel despondency, hopelessness, trapped feelings and later loss of self worth. It eats away at confidence and self esteem and if it goes on long enough they can develop true clinical depression features," said Dunlap.

His advice for men stuck in the house all day? Get out of the house!

Some men did just that. While they were unemployed they came together to bond, to network and to remind themselves they may be unemployed but there was still one very important job they still have – spending time with the family.

As for Juvernia Smith, he's now promoting a book he's written to help other men who are struggling with unemployment. His advice to the men struggling to find work is don't give up.

"Every pathway is not the same. What worked for me may not work for someone else. But there is something that will work for them and they have to find it. If they don't look into themselves to find what that thing is, it can destroy their family and mentally themselves."

Both Smith and Dunlop say the one thing you don't want to do if your mate is struggling to find work is to be disrespectful or non-supportive. He already has had one blow to his ego. Heaping more emotional baggage on him will hinder his job search and not help.

For more information visit http://www.mandownbutnotout.com/#/

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