Is depression a reason to quit your job?


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Page last updated: 10/11/2022

This article will discuss how depression can cause people to quit their job. It will discuss this in two ways, the first is why taking care of your mental health is important, so maybe quitting your job can be a part of that. 

But it will also discuss how depression can make it hard for people to stick to their previous routine, causing them to be absent at work, to a point they might need to quit it. Along with that, the article will show ways how to not let depression impact your work life.

Can depression cause me to quit my job? 

Yes, depression can cause you to quit your job. When a person is depressed their entire view of the world and themselves changes. They start to see things in a more negative light, and this can impact their job.

Depression can also make you feel less energetic, with a lower ability to focus, and you lose interest in things that you used to love. All of this can make it hard for a person to perform as well as they did before in their job, and sometimes can even make it difficult for you to get out of bed and go to work.

All of these situations can start to make you feel even worse. You can feel guilty for not doing the best job you can, and this summed up with the depression symptoms, can cause you to isolate yourself even more, to a point it might seem better to quit your job.

When you make this decision, it is not an easy one. But it might be looked at from two perspectives. People can think they are failing because they decided to quit, or they can look through the perspective of taking care of themselves and their mental health first.

If you manage to take this moment to focus on improving yourself, you most likely will get on the other side of this stronger. This can also help you realize where your depression is coming from, and what are the best ways to handle it.

Depression could be caused by some situations that were going on in your job, or by something in your personal life. Depression is always a multifaceted matter, but now let’s discuss in what ways can your job be prejudicial to your mental health.

How can my job affect my mental health?  

Nowadays the main reason people quit their jobs is related to their mental health. The constant rush to be a better employee, the need to produce more and better and the high expectations you might have in your career can make you anxious, and at some point even burn out. 

People have a hard time navigating the balance between personal life and career, and most companies tend to demand their employees to be available all the time, even more so now, when they are just a text or call away. This makes taking some time to yourself virtually impossible.

One other thing that tends to make it harder for people to distance themselves from their work is how society has been defining who you are based on your career. This causes people to tolerate things they might think is overwhelming because it is what constitutes their identity, and how they get social recognition. 

Looking attentively at this tangled web one can notice how work influences many aspects of a person’s life, especially a person’s mental health. Going through the years living in this demanding environment in which you have very little leisure, can cause people to develop mental illnesses, such as depression.

There are some signs you can look for that show it might be time to quit your job. The first thing is if you are bringing negative energy from work to your home life, this will show how work has been contaminating the rest of your life. Not wanting to go to work, and making careless mistakes can be a sign it is time to quit.

You can also think it is time to quit if you realize you are too comfortable in your role and keep telling yourself this is just a job. You need to quit when this job environment seems toxic to you, and you are feeling physically or mentally unhealthy.

When you run into those situations, it might be time to prioritize your mental health, focus on your well-being and maybe take some time off from work, or look for a new work opportunity in which you might feel better.

Is depression a reason to quit your job?

How can I prevent my job from harming my mental health?

If you figure your job is taking a toll on your mental health,  maybe you can get in touch with your boss and discuss ways your needs can be better met at work. You can discuss with them the possibility to have a more flexible schedule, with a break in which you and your colleagues can relax a little.

You can also discuss how the working hours can be reduced without impacting the deadlines. Having the possibility of working from home for a few days can also help your quality of life. Discuss with them the possibility of having a quieter work environment in which you can focus better.

Discuss with them what better way they can guide you to achieve what is asked of you. Maybe tell them, to give you clearer instructions, have more objective meetings, and in which you can draw your tasks list.

All of this can help you organize the efforts you need to direct at work, and how you can balance your time to better enjoy some of your leisure hours and weekends. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Can depression make me quit my job?

Is quitting my job the right thing to do?

If you are wondering when is the best time to quit a job, here are some pointers. It might be good to quit your job when the environment seems unhealthy for you. And of course, there might be periods when you are not as dedicated as you could be.

 But if you realize the lack of motivation has more to do with the place you are than with your own ability to focus, it might be time to quit. But always have in mind to quit only if you have another job lined up. This will make you less anxious, and feel safer about your decision.

It might be time to quit your job when you want to make a career change. If you are going to a different field, it is hardly possible that the company you are in now can have anything to offer you. You can also consider quitting your job when you feel you lost your motivation in what you are doing. 

This means your job has lost its meaning, and it is extremely hard to keep doing it. And it might be time to quit if you figure your job is demanding too much of your mental health. Of course, every job will have its most stressful times,  it shouldn’t be a habit.

How long do I need to stay away from work because of depression?

You should stay away from work as much as you need to. What will define this is how you feel. Don’t get too anxious about going back before you feel well, this can only make it easier for you to relapse. 

Have this discussion with your employers and your doctors. If you are under medications, make sure you are responding well to them, and that their side effects won’t make it hard for you to work. For example, some medications can make you sleepy, so if you work operating machines, it might be necessary to review your work chores.

Don’t rush this, take this time to focus on yourself. Find ways on your day-to-day to improve your mental health, it can be by exercising, meditating, finding a new hobby, or spending time with people you love.

How do I tell my boss I need some time off work because of my mental health?

If you notice you need a mental health day off, it might be good to notice how your company reacts to those needs. If they are open, you can explain to your boss how you feel, and say you need a day off. 

But if it seems that your company is not open about this, you can just tell your boss you need a day to deal with some personal matters. Don’t force yourself to say things you are not comfortable saying, especially to people you think won’t be supportive.

How do I tell my boss I have depression?

The first thing to do is to ask yourself if you want to tell them. This means you are opening up a very private part of your life. But if you feel your boss and company are supportive of you, invite your boss to a conversation.

Tell them how you have been feeling your depression, how your symptoms manifest themselves, and how it has impacted your work. Try to propose ideas of how your HR and company can help you in doing your job. It can be by adjusting your workload or having flexible hours.

If you are in an empathetic company, you both can find a common ground of how you can keep working, while coping with depression. 

Can HR tell people in my company about my depression?

No, neither your boss nor the HR of your company can tell other employees about your mental health condition. You don’t need to disclose with them anything about your mental health condition unless this affects your work tasks.

But if you decide to tell them as a way to discuss ways depression won’t affect you too much at your work, they are giving them private information. The only way HR is allowed to disclose about your condition is if, at any point, you and the company go through a legal matter, and as a way to defend the company, they might need to show it


This article showed the link between depression and a person’s career. It showed how it can harm a person’s mental health. And how a person with depression can have trouble sticking to their usual tasks, such as going to work.

Along with that, the article showed how people can prevent their jobs from taking a toll on their mental health.

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