Is Your Job Making You Depressed?

Photo by Mizuno K

It’s normal to have bad days at work. But what if every working day is a bad day? What if your work is damaging your mental health? Below are a few signs that your job could be making you depressed – and what you can do about it.

What Causes Depression at Work?

Work-related depression can often be caused by conflicts with colleagues. Working with toxic people could make your day-to-day life miserable. A well-run company will try to prevent bullying and discrimination by regularly checking in on employees and investing in workplace harassment training. A badly run company is less likely to do this, which could result in the formation of cliques and a blame culture—all of which can make a workplace very depressing. 

Of course, the duties of a job can also make it depressing. It’s possible the duties could be mind-numbingly boring – if you’re constantly doing the same things every day with no variation or progression in sight, you could start to feel unfulfilled and depressed. Alternatively, if the duties are very demanding and stressful, you could also find yourself getting depressed (especially if you feel you have no support and are being expected to do things beyond your capability). Having to work very long hours with little time off can also be a cause of depression. 

3 Signs Your Job is Making You Depressed

There are a few tell-tale signs that your job could be making you depressed:

#1 You constantly have anxious thoughts about your job outside of work.

Do you dread going back to work every Sunday? Are you unable to enjoy your evenings or days off because you’re constantly thinking of tasks you’ve got to do at work, colleagues/clients you’ve got to talk to, or deadlines you’ve got to meet? If you’re unable to enjoy your time at work or your time away from work, it’s a sure sign that you’re depressed. 

#2. You’ve lost all interest in your work duties.

Some jobs are challenging or mundane but still rewarding. A depressing job on the other hand provides no joy. You may feel that everything you’re doing isn’t having any impact and as a result, you may start slacking. Once you start deliberately underperforming, it’s a sign that you’ve given up – and are likely depressed. 

#3. The stress is affecting your physical health.

Job-related depression is often accompanied by ‘burnout’ – when you become so mentally exhausted from your job that you become physically sick. Alternatively, you may not have reached the point of burnout yet but may be experiencing headaches, insomnia, or stomach issues as a result of the stress. This debilitating stress could be a sign that you are also depressed.

How to Beat Job-Related Depression

The most obvious solution to job-related depression is to quit your job. Of course, most people cannot afford to be jobless, so you may have to find another job first. If you do this, it’s important that you find a new job that doesn’t have the same depression triggers as your current job. If you’re unsure what type of job is right for you, it may be worth hiring a career coach and doing some career personality tests to help you identify that perfect job. 

If you feel you cannot quit or need to prepare first, consider instead taking some time off. This should be at least a week away from work to help you de-stress. Taking off two weeks could be particularly beneficial as you could spend the first week completely distancing yourself from work and trying to focus on other important things in your life. You could then spend the second week thinking of solutions to make your work less depressing or even doing some job hunting so that you can find a new job. 

In all cases, make sure that you talk to people about your feelings. Start by talking to colleagues or your manager if you can. If you cannot talk to these people because they are the cause of your depression, open up to your friends and family. If you feel you cannot talk to these people, see if you can book a session with a counselor. By talking to people, you can come up with solutions to make your job more enjoyable or find a new career. 

Ready for a career change? Love to write? Want a fun side-hustle? Check out my post on 270+ ways to make money blogging.

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