In this blog post, we will understand what the best jobs for people with depression are. We will also determine if work can worsen depression, what employment accommodations can be made, and tips and suggestions. Finally, we will list out a few jobs that people with depression must typically avoid.
People with depression experience prolonged periods of depressed mood, anergia (lack of energy), fatigue, unmotivated to engage in previously enjoyable activities, excessively low self-esteem, and sleep difficulties (e.g., insomnia or excessive sleeping), and other symptoms. In severe cases of depression, they may experience self-harm/suicidal ideations or attempts.
Best Jobs for People with Depression
Depression need not stop people from working despite being a serious issue. There are career options that cater to people’s mental health challenges, and can sometimes even improve their condition. Choosing jobs that are not stressful, helps one hone their skills, provide mental stimulation, and provide opportunities for career growth is important.
Here is a list of best jobs for people with depression:
Although certain librarian positions may require a master’s degree, there are opportunities to work as library technicians or clerks in public libraries. The job entails organizing books, taking charge of the circulation desk, scanning documents, and helping patrons find whatever reference material they need.
Moreover, a public librarian typically feels satisfied as they are contributing to their community. Furthermore, if a person is interested in research, there are archives sections in libraries, wherein the librarians are required to help people with research projects. Those who like working with children can be in charge of the kids’ area of the library.
There are many options in this field, including gardening, working in a greenhouse, landscaping, and even working in a botanic garden. Those with a green thumb must consider a career in this area. Apart from physical benefits, there are many psychological benefits, including elation of mood, decrease in stress, anxiety, and fatigue.
It is a low-stress job that allows you to expose yourself to ample vitamin D and exercise. There is also a need for creativity. One may be self-employed or work with a company. Overall, horticulture is a highly rewarding job.
This job provides adequate flexibility in terms of work environment and schedule. If it gets lonely to work alone, you can go to a co-working space or a local cafe. If you have a specific skill to use while being at home or traveling, freelancing is an excellent choice.
Further, various industries offer freelancing job opportunities such as blog-writing, administration, computer programming, and design. This occupation is a great option for individuals suffering from depression.
Own a Small Business
This profession offers psychological stability. A massive advantage of running a small business is personal satisfaction. The session is perfect for people with depression, as they do not have to interact much with large crowds. Further, timing and workspace are flexible.
This job can be a great way for people to get back on track, particularly for those wanting to explore something new. One can own a retail store, a marketing agency, or any low-stress job that is easy to handle.
Pet-sitter or Babysitter
These jobs do not induce much stress, and they are highly rewarding, particularly for those depressed people who love being around babies and pets. There is ample flexibility in terms of timings.
Pet sitting has the additional benefit of exercise, which is extremely helpful for people with depression. Further, pets are known to be great companions to humans and can also cure loneliness.
Computer programming is one of the best options. It also allows you to work as a freelancer. Entails using state-of-the-art technology and work with other experienced professionals. Furthermore, it offers an excellent chance to develop various technological skills, which increases the likelihood of finding a job.
This job is particularly great for people who rejoice a combination of physical and mental work. It is a low-stress job and can help with symptoms of anxiety. Moreover, the background music played in massage studios is usually soothing, and the repetitive acts involved in a massage could be therapeutic for the individual.
For those people interested in gaining and imparting knowledge, online tutoring is an excellent career option. It is a well-paying job and offers flexible hours. For people with specific areas of expertise, payment can also be increased. Further, schools and tutoring agencies provide excellent opportunities for those wanting stability and job security.
Finding the Right Job
Certain people thrive on deadlines, work pressure, fast-paced environments, and high risks. Stress motivates them, making them work better and be more productive. They are highly successful in high-stress jobs such as air traffic controllers and stockbrokers.
However, people with depression might worsen their condition in such strenuous environments. It would be nothing short of torturous for them.
Finding the right job would mean professions with low stress, a calm and peaceful work environment, not many social interactions, and no tight deadlines. Moreover, positions that cater to your interests would be ideal because even if you are currently experiencing a depressive episode, the job might motivate you and be something to which you look forward.
- Introspect to understand your employment history and become aware of your interests and passion;
- Try volunteering at an NGO to get a sense of whether the job may be a good fit for you; and
- Assess the demands of the job, associated stress, and work environment.
It is crucial to understand the stress that comes with a job as stress is known to increase the risk of developing a major depressive episode twofold.
Can Work Worsen Depression?
Yes, work can worsen depression. People staying in a harmful work environment can exacerbate their depression, making it more challenging to treat as the severity of the symptoms increases. Risk factors for depression include:
- Biological makeup;
- Psychological predisposition
One particular manner in which people can manage depression while employed is to request their employers to make accommodations at the workplace. On the other hand, finding a job that accommodates your mental help is another way you can navigate through work while being depressed.
Accommodations in Employment
For people with depression, specific job accommodations can be made upon request of their employers. Some of these job accommodations may be:
- Flexibility in work hours;
- Stress management resources, employee assistance program, and health insurance that also covers mental health treatment;
- Peaceful designated spaces away from other parts of the office;
- Paid leaves that also include sick leaves for taking care of your mental health;
- Options to work from home; and
- Specified breaks and adjustments whenever deemed necessary.
The workspace must provide:
- Conducive work environment, such as ample lighting, fresh air, and minimal distractions;
- Co-workers who are supportive and considerate of their mental illness;
- Opportunities for career growth; and
- Supervisors who are open to suggestions from employees.
Tips and Suggestions
Understand Stressors or Triggers
There may be several emotional, psychological, and physical stressors that may trigger your depression. A person with depression must be even more aware of their environment. It is recommended that they monitor it closely. While dealing with depression, it is best to avoid situations that may be exhausting, for example, too much noise, big crowds, and stressful jobs.
People with depression must learn not to over-exert themselves, as this can lead to professional burnout. Such an occupational burnout is harmful to everyone, but even more so for people with depression. Therefore, it is best to understand your limits and learn to say that you cannot commit yourself to a particular project.
Accommodations can be made at workplaces for people with depression to work more effectively. You need not work in those organizations that deny such accommodations. Keep in mind that there are plenty of opportunities available.
If a job opportunity stresses you out, do not be afraid to quit. Continuing to work in that environment would worsen the condition as it takes a considerable toll on your mental health.
Apart from understanding your limits, it is essential to monitor your anxiety levels. To do so, understanding and regulating stress could help. Stress management could include learning relaxation techniques, like deep breathing and calming meditation. Positive affirmations and a proper social system in place could also aid in managing stress.
Jobs People with Depression Should Avoid
A career in itself is a stressful feat, but specific jobs take a tremendous toll on one’s emotional health.
Here is a list of jobs that negatively affect people’s psychological well-being. For people with depression, the jobs mentioned below are particularly capable of harming individuals’ psychological health. Hence, these professions can perpetuate depression.
Let us take a look at jobs that people with depression must try to avoid:
- Healthcare Worker
- Financial Advisor
- Office Clerks
- Social Worker
- Food Server
- Maintenance Worker or Tradesman
In this blog article, we understood the best jobs for people with depression. We also learned that work could worsen depression if the job and the workplace are toxic, but specific employment accommodations can be made. We listed out separate tips and suggestions to manage depression while employed. Finally, we listed a few jobs that people with depression must avoid.
Depression may be severely debilitating. However, it does not have to come in the way of pursuing your career interests and experiencing professional growth. The jobs listed above may be an excellent place to start. There are great resources to utilize and get the right help, which would aid in personal and professional lives.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
Frequently Asked Questions: Best Jobs for People with Depression
Which profession has the most number of depressed people?
Five industries have the most number of depressed people: public and private commute, real estate, social services, personal services, and manufacturing.
Which professions are ideal for mental health?
Several professions are ideal for mental health, including:
Emergency room nurse;
Is there an ideal job for people with anxiety?
Yes, there are various ideal jobs for people with anxiety, such as:
Can people with depression claim disability benefits?
Yes, people with depression can claim disability benefits. To be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, the individual must meet one of two sets of criteria mentioned by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Which job is the most exhausting?
Following is a list of the most exhausting or stressful jobs:
Broadcaster or reporter
Public relations manager
What we recommend for depression
If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.