Depression and Full-time job- How do they go together?


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Page last updated: 10/11/2022

Depression and Full-time job- How do they go together?

This article will discuss how having a full-time job and a diagnosis of depression can affect you. The article will show how the condition can affect your job, and what can be done about it.

Depression and a full-time job-how do they go together?

Depression can have a huge impact on a person’s life, it can make them question their capability, and sometimes it may seem impossible to keep a full-time job. Let’s discuss what are the main reasons why it may be hard to keep a full-time job when you are depressed.

The fixed schedule

When you are depressed, staying at a company from 9 to 5 can be hard. This means you will be surrounded by people this whole time and will have to tell your bosses each time you need a break. The schedule is somewhat fixed for every employee, and it is hard to comply with each person’s individual needs. 

The pressure of your career

Aside from that, in many work environments, such as finances, or even healthcare jobs,  people have to deal with intense pressure. And their stress level can skyrocket. Which can make them feel even worse when they are already depressed. 

The different needs of someone that is depressed

It is also necessary to contextualize the needs of a person with depression, which can pile on in those difficulties. That is because once you are depressed, especially if you have major depression, keeping to a routine can be hard.

Major depression can sometimes even make it hard for you to get out of bed. So on those days staying at a full-time job can be even harder. And because depression can cause your mood to swing, one day you may have trouble getting out of bed, and the next you feel super productive. Which can impact how you will do your work.

Sitting in the same place for this whole time, and how hard it is to set personal boundaries at work can make you more anxious while you are there. And this is only discussing the general aspects of keeping a full-time job while depressed.

And even though all this may seem discouraging, or as a warning for people with depression to not get a full-time job. It is more of a consideration. Know that you will be able to have a full-time job, but there are some things you need to think about when you have one and are going through depression.

But let’s understand a little more about what depression is, so we can discuss ways you can make working a full-time job better, even though you are depressed.

What is depression?

Depression is a mental health condition that affects pretty much every aspect of your life. It causes you to experience intense sadness. But not only that, it can make you lose interest even in things you used to love. 

You may feel empty, and as if your life has lost its purpose. Aside from that, depression can make you more irritable, besides making you feel guilty and ashamed.

It tends to make you view the world, and yourself, in a more negative way. So your self-esteem and your sense of self-worth will usually go down. It can make you isolate yourself, and you may feel less energetic, and more fatigued. 

When a person is depressed, they can cry more often than they did before, and even harm themselves.

To some, depression may also bring thoughts of death, and suicidal thoughts. And even though these are the most common symptoms of depression, it is important to keep in mind that each person will manifest it differently. 

But for someone to be diagnosed as going through a depressive episode, they need to experience its symptoms for more than two weeks.

It is important to highlight that contrary to some people’s belief depression is not a choice. It can happen due to genetics, meaning that when a person has a family history of depression, they have a higher chance of developing it. 

The condition may also occur when the person’s brain is experiencing a chemical imbalance. And lastly, depression may be related to what is going on in the person’s life. 

This means that a person that is going through a traumatic situation, such as the loss of a loved one, the end of a relationship, or harassment in the workplace, can become depressed.

How can I do a full-time job when I am depressed? 

When you are depressed and work a full-time job, it is pretty safe to affirm that at some point someone will notice you have depression. You spend 9 hours a day in that place, and sometimes, even on weekends.

So trying to pretend that nothing is going on may be worse. It won’t help the company, and for sure it won’t help you, it can even make it worse. It will just add on the pressure. So here is what you can do if you have depression and have a full-time job.

Depression and Full-time job- How do they go together?

Talk with your boss and your company’s HR

When you have a full-time job, as soon as you are diagnosed with depression, you may want to have a conversation with your boss and your company’s HR. Letting them know what is going on will allow all of you to think together about the best way to handle this.

You can discuss how you feel depression has been affecting you. For example, you may be having trouble with the morning routine, but in the afternoon you usually work well. This will allow them to consider what form of flexibility they can have so you don’t feel so pressured, but still get the job done.

You can also discuss your need for breaks during the day. Anything that can be done so you can keep working well, without affecting your mental health. Although this may seem like a difficult conversation, having it will prevent you from resenting your job and your boss. It will also allow you to see how supportive the company can be in those cases.

Be in treatment

Another extremely important thing is to be in treatment. It can be therapy, medication, and even both. But for you to be able to keep some sort of structure, even though depression, treatment is key. It will help manage your symptoms, and make it easier for you to get a handle on your emotions.

Besides that, when discussing with your boss that you are depressed, letting them know you are already in treatment is an important way of showing how you are trying to get better.

Choose a career path that brings you joy

Having a full-time job, or any job will always have stressful moments. So if you can, try to work in a field in which you can relate to, and feel good about. 

This is because you can be in a career that usually deals with a huge stress load, and even though people can get depressed, doing it will be a source of something positive.

When that is the case, when there is a meaning or a goal to what you are doing, it is easier to stick to it. And that, combined with treatment, may make it possible for you to maintain a full-time job, even when depressed.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): How can I keep a full-time job when I am depressed? 

How do I find balance when working a full-time job? 

If you work a full-time job, and you want to balance it with your personal life, and mental health, you may want to take breaks, and use your vacation days to have fun. Don’t use them to deal with bureaucracies and so on, enjoy your vacation, and spend time doing things you like, with people you love. 

Have a routine at your job, and set boundaries as a way to maintain that routine. This way you will have a clear-cut sign of when you are during working hours, and when it is personal hours. It also helps if you can choose to work in a company, or with a boss that values the workers not just as a product, but as an individual. 

And have your goals and priorities straight. You may need to look back at them every once and a while to guarantee you are still doing something that makes sense to you. But ultimately doing things that make sense to you usually makes it a lot easier to enjoy.

Can I keep on working even though I am depressed? 

Yes, you can keep working even if you are depressed. As said in the article, what is extremely important is to be in treatment, and discuss it with your boss so you can find the best way to work, and still care for your mental health.

And although finding that balance may be difficult at first, having an open line of communication with your employers can make it all a lot easier.

Can I be fired because I am depressed? 

No, unless you made a big mistake, or wrongly took advantage of the flexibility your work gave you because of depression, being fired can be a sign of prejudice, and you may be able to take this in a legal matter. Just be sure to get in touch with a lawyer to know your rights if that is the case. 

Should I quit my job if it is affecting my mental health? 

Although this may seem like a good decision, you shouldn’t just go on and quit your job if you feel it is affecting your mental health. Many things need to be taken into consideration in this. The financial security you will have if you quit, and how quickly will you be able to get a new job.

If you feel your job is affecting your mental health, you may want to guarantee you have tried all you could. So you may want to discuss it with your boss, and even start looking for another job opportunity. 

Looking for treatment, such as therapy will also help you understand what it is, in this job, that is having such a negative impact on you. Keep in mind that every job will have its positive and negative aspects. You should try to balance that with caring for your mental health.

How long does it take to adjust to a full-time job?

It is said that it can take around 6 months before your full-time job stops feeling overwhelming to you. This is the time it takes for you to go through all the new experiences, and learn how to manage all of them feeling secure about it.


This article showed how people with depression can be affected by working a full-time job, and what are good ways to handle this.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.