Can Your Career Be The Cause Of Depression?

This blog will discuss a career as a cause of depression, how to recognize the signs of depression, where to get treatment, and what you can do to stay mentally well, and also answer frequently asked questions. 

Can Your Career Be The Cause Of Depression?

Yes, a person’s career can also be a cause of depression. 

You are not alone if you are sad at work. Sadness, worry, lack of motivation, trouble focusing, unexpected episodes of sobbing, and dullness are just a few of the symptoms you can be facing at work if you’re depressed.

Every year, depression affects nearly 17 million individuals in the United States. The number of persons seeking therapy for depression climbed dramatically from 2019 to 2020, according to statistics from the State of Mental Health in America’s 2021 study.

The number of participants who completed the survey’s depression screening increased by 62%, with 8 out of 10 coming back positive for indications of clinical depression.

When you realize that full-time workers work an average of 8.5 hours per day on weekdays and 5.5 hours on Saturdays and Sundays, it’s no wonder that many of them will feel signs of depression when on the job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What is the definition of work depression?

While work may not cause distress, the setting might exacerbate symptoms in persons who already have it.

“Based on the extent of the burden and accessible assistance at the employment, any organization or employment might be a possible cause or significant contributor for depression,” said Rashmi Parmar, MD, a psychiatrist at Community Psychiatry.

A bad workplace environment, according to the World Health OrganizationTrusted Source (WHO), may lead to:

  • Physical and mental health concerns
  • Absenteeism
  • Lower productivity
  • Increased usage of substances

Depression is one of the top three work-related difficulties for employee support providers, according to Mental Health America. As with any other health issue, awareness and early detection are critical, according to Parmar.

“Depression is a complex condition characterized by a wide range of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that can affect anyone, anywhere,” she continued. “A range of job and non-work-related reasons may be at work when we assess someone suffering from work depression.”

What are the symptoms of work-related depression?

Workplace depression has symptoms that are comparable to depression in general. Some, on the other hand, may appear to be better suited to a professional setting.

Depression, according to Parmar, will impair your capacity to function at work and at home.

Some of the most common signs of job depression include the following:

  • Anxiety levels rise, particularly when dealing with unpleasant events or procrastinating while you’re not at work.
  • dullness and indifference about your work in general
  • lethargic and enthusiasm to perform things, which may occasionally show as task tedium
  • Melancholy or depression that persists for an extended period of time.
  • a lack of enthusiasm for your job obligations, even those that you enjoyed and found satisfying
  • Hopelessness, powerlessness, uselessness, or overpowering remorse are all common experiences
  • difficulties concentrating or paying attention to work activities, as well as difficulties remembering or retaining information, particularly new information
  • making a lot of blunders at work on a regular basis
  • A change in appetite or weight gain or loss
  • Headaches, weariness and an upset stomach are examples of physical ailments.
  • increasing absenteeism or late arrivals and early departures
  • a lack of decision-making abilities
  • impatience, rage, and a limited tolerance for frustration are all symptoms of impatience.
  • Workplace weeping episodes or emotional instability, with or without obvious reasons
  • Having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much (like taking naps during regular work hours)
  • Using alcoholic beverages or other substances as a form of self-medication

If you’re good at hiding or internalizing these signs of workplace melancholy, they can go unnoticed by your coworkers. There are, however, certain signs and symptoms that they are more likely to notice.

Warning signs of depression

  • Isolation or separation from other individuals
  • a substantial change in appearance or inadequate self-hygiene
  • Absent days, late arrivals at work, or skipped meetings
  • postponement, missed opportunities, decreased productivity, poor work performance, increased mistakes, or difficulties making choices are all examples of procrastination.
  • Insensitivity, apathy, alienation, and disdain in things seem to be present.
  • a look of exhaustion for the majority or a portion of the day 
  • irritation, rage, stress, or emotional outbursts during dialogues (may start wailing all of a sudden  over insignificant things)
  • a lack of self-assurance while performing things

Why are you depressed at work?

There are a plethora of factors why you could be experiencing more depression symptoms at work. While no two individuals — or situations — are alike, several similar features emerge when determining the origins or triggers of work-related depressive symptoms.

The following circumstances, although not comprehensive, may lead to job depression:

  • having the impression that you have little authority over work-related concerns
  • having the sense that your career is in peril
  • operating in a hazardous workplace
  • being undervalued or overworked
  • being harassed or discriminated against at work
  • working at odd hours
  • a lack of equilibrium between work and home
  • working in an environment that is incompatible with your own ideas
  • working on projects that don’t further your professional aspirations
  • working in unfavorable or dangerous situations

Workplace anxiety vs. workplace depression

Workplace stress is widespread, but symptoms of sadness should not be overlooked. It’s critical to understand the distinction.

Workplace anxiety

  • When the stress factor is removed, the intensity reduces.
  • Anxiety and irritability on rare occasions
  • headaches or muscular strain

Depression at work

  • Sadness and tears have become more intense.
  • Anxiety symptoms that remain
  • greater inability to concentrate and focus
  • bored and dissatisfied with your work

A psychiatrist and regional medical director of Community Psychiatry, Leela R. Magavi, MD, said she deals with many people who are negatively impacted by doing something they don’t like.

“People might become detached and disheartened as a result of mindlessly doing duties throughout the day, which can increase anxiety and depression symptoms,” she noted.

Others may not have enough time during the day to eat or drink, which Magavi believes might exacerbate weariness and inattention.

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

What should you do if you’re depressed at work?

Monitoring signs at work, no matter what job, may be difficult. When you’re sad, the good news is that there are things you can do to help yourself:

  • Have a rest period from your workplace or desk.
  • Eat lunch and go for a walk in the park.
  • Throughout a break, go for a brisk stroll – even if it’s inside, exercise is beneficial to mental health.
  • Take a day to focus on your mental wellness.
  • Employ mindfulness techniques for a few minutes.
  • Include breathing exercises in your daily routine.
  • Say no to one simple item that can help you feel less stressed during the day.
  • Take a look at an amusing video.

How is work-related depression treated?

If you’re experiencing depression symptoms as a result of your job, don’t delay getting treatment. A smart first step is to speak with your supervisor or manager, provided you feel empowered by them.

A shift in job or place inside an office or business could sometimes lessen symptoms.

You may also inquire about your firm’s employee assistance program with the hr team. This is a work-based program that provides mental health assistance for both personal and professional issues.

When it comes to treating depression outside of the workplace, a mix of psychotherapy, medication, and lifestyle changes is often advised. Professional assistance is available in various contexts.

Employers and coworkers, according to Parmar, may play an important role in detecting a vulnerable person.

“It’s critical to foster a worksite culture that promotes mental health awareness and reduces the burden of mental health issues,” she continued, “so that afflicted persons are compelled to pursue treatment freely and without bias when they need it.”

Indeed, according to a 2014 study, uniformly offered organizational mental health treatments — especially, cognitive-behavioral wellness programs — may lower the severity of depressive symptoms among employees.

Managers, supervisors, and workers may be educated to begin such talks with persons who need assistance and to assist them in their quest for timely treatment with this in mind.


When you’re dealing with depression symptoms at work, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. The first step to receiving treatment is recognizing symptoms such as anxiousness, weeping, boredom, and loss of interest.

If you’re worried about work-related depression, talk to your boss or the human resources department. Through an employee assistance program, they may aid you in finding a counselor.

You may also consult a therapist or a psychologist for help. Keep in mind that you are not alone. Schedule a doctor’s appointment or a mental health expert if you’re not available to hit out at work.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Can Your Career Be The Cause Of Depression?

What are the three different types of depression?

Depression symptoms affect all aspects of a human’s life, including jobs and social connections. Depression may be mild, moderate, or severe, as well as melancholic or psychotic.

What to do when your employer has a negative impact on your mental health?

Job instability, a lack of harmony between home and work, a hostile work environment, and overwork are some of the most prominent reasons of depression connected to work. Depression may impair your ability to make choices, manage time, execute physical chores, communicate, and conduct social interactions.

How long should you be off work if you’re depressed?

So, how long can you be labeled as depressed? For as long as it takes you to improve. Some workers may need to take time off for treatment, while others may just need a few of days off. Before a fit note expires, you may be able to return to work.

How do you tell your supervisor you’re having mental difficulties?

Communicating about your mental health doesn’t have to be intimidating or hard; you may simply say, “I need to get something off my chest” or “Do you have time to listen?” to start the discussion. Just keep in mind that you should only inform your supervisor what is absolutely required.

Is it possible for me to leave my work due to stress?

Talking about job stress with a supervisor or employer may be difficult and uncomfortable. A frank talk, on the other hand, may situate you in such a manner that you may regulate your stress while keeping your work. A talk about your worries should at the very least be the first action you take before departing.

Is it possible for me to take a mental health leave of absence from work?

If you have a physical or mental health condition that is interfering with your employment or causing you to miss work for more than two or three weeks at a time, your employer may refer you to occupational health. It is critical to seek guidance if you differ with their evaluation.


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