I'm not alone. People who are looking for employment commonly become discouraged and depressed. This doesn't make the job search any easier, because after a while, you start to feel like you're facing inevitable failure. When your head hurts from banging it against the wall so many days in a row, eventually you're going to want to stop what you're doing to hurt yourself.
Some depression might happen because in our culture, so much of our identities are tied up in our work. "What do you do?" is nearly as ubiquitous as talking about the weather. The article I linked to earlier suggests that unemployed women suffer less depression than unemployed men. This might be because men internalize the message that it's their job to provide for their families financially, so if they aren't succeeding, they feel like failures.
For me, as a stay-at-home mother for many years for whom staying at home induces insanity, the causes for discouragement are much more complicated. Personal issues aside (I must do all the things! Right now!), the search for work after stay-at-home parenthood brings the job hunting to a whole extra level of stress.
It's not just Is there a position for me? Will an employer see my potential? How am I going to pay the bills if I can't find work? For someone who's been out of work for a while, there are extra questions:
How do I explain the gap in my resume?
Are my skills and knowledge outdated?
Will I have to start over since I've been away from the workforce for so long?
Can I handle work again after all these years?
Are my kids going to freak out over all these changes?
I know I can work because I'm a parent, but will anyone actually want to pay me in real currency for my work?
After a while, these questions start to take on a life of their own. I've often wondered if my situation is permanent, and if I'm doomed to some sort of tortuous job hunting Groundhog Day, where I repeat the job search process over and over.
For now, I'm not looking. But I can't resist checking the job ads online. Because torturing myself has become so familiar...
My question is this: If you're searching for a job, and it's not going well, how do you keep your spirits up? What things do you tell yourself so you don't just give up?