Is My Job Ruining My Mental Health?
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Is My Job Ruining My Mental Health?



It doesn’t matter if they’re working from home or in an office. According to a 2021 Gallup survey on the State of the Global Workplace, 57 percent of workers in the United States feel daily stress — this is an 8 percentage point increase from the previous year’s study.


Lots of people struggle with high rates of stress and anxiety at work, and these issues can lead to problems with their mental health and well-being. However, these same people don’t always know what to do to address their issues, improve their work-life balance, and improve their quality of life.


Some common questions about how a person’s work can impact their mental health are answered below.



Table of Contents

(click on a question to be directed quickly)

How do I know that my job is affecting my mental health?
Should I take a day off of work for my mental health?
Is it okay to quit a job that is making me depressed or anxious?
Can you get unemployment because of anxiety or depression?






How Do I Know That My Job Is Affecting My Mental Health?


It’s not always easy to tell if your job or working environment is affecting your mental health. This is especially true if you’ve been struggling for a long time and have just gotten used to feeling a certain way.


If your job is having a negative impact on your mental health, you may experience some or all of these symptoms:


  • Lack of positive emotions: If you never feel happy or optimistic at work, that’s a red flag.
  • Exhaustion: If you regularly find yourself feeling exhausted at the end of the workday, or if it takes you all weekend to recover, that might be a sign that your job is affecting your mental health.
  • “Sunday Scaries”: If you feel stressed, anxious, or irritable on Sundays as you start prepping for a new work week, that could be an indicator that your job is bad for your mental health.
  • Poor sleep: Many people who are struggling with depression or anxiety caused by their job may experience poor sleep, especially on weeknights.
  • Poor physical health: If you’re regularly taking sick days, your immune system may be taking a hit because of the stress or negative mental health effects of your job; you may start to experience health issues problems like frequent infections, headaches, etc.


If your job is ruining your mental health, you may also find that your personality is starting to change.


You might withdraw from friends and family, for example, or you might feel bitter or cynical more often than not. This can impact your relationships with family members and friends, which can also harm your mental health and exacerbate your symptoms.



Should I Take a Day Off of Work for My Mental Health?


There is nothing wrong with taking a day off of work if your mental health is suffering.


This study published by the US Travel Association shows that 52 percent of Americans don’t use all of their vacation days. If you’re able to take time off without being penalized, it may be helpful to give yourself a break and take an extra day to relax.


At the same time, if your job is affecting your mental health, taking one day off every now and then might not be enough to address serious issues like depression and anxiety. Even PTSD or OCD may develop. You may need to look into more long-term solutions, such as finding a new job.



Is It Okay to Quit a Job That Is Making Me Depressed or Anxious?


If a job is wreaking havoc on your mental health and contributing to issues like depression or anxiety, it is okay to quit and find something new. In fact, this may be the best option if you want to prevent your condition from getting worse.


This study from the National Institute for Health and Welfare shows that heavy stress — including heavy stress caused by your job — can shorten a person’s life expectancy by 2.8 years.


Chronic stress and long work hours can lead to several other physical health problems, too, including an increased risk of musculoskeletal disorders, respiratory disorders, cardiovascular disorders, and hormonal imbalances, according to the American Psychological Association.


Your long-term health and well-being are more important than any job. However, not everyone has enough money in the bank (not to mention alternative health care and insurance options) to quit their job and look for something new.


If you’re in this position, you may need to stick it out at your current job while you start looking for a new one.


Job Depression Anxiety

Photo by Startup Stock Photos




Can You Get Unemployment Because of Anxiety or Depression?


It is possible for you to receive unemployment benefits because of the anxiety or depression brought on by your job. However, there are a lot of hoops you’ll need to jump through before this can happen.


For example, you will need to prove that quit with “good cause.” This might mean showing how your employer’s actions caused severe mental health challenges or showing how your working conditions were not good for your mental health.


Unemployment laws also vary by state, so you’ll need to look at your state’s specific rules and regulations before you try to qualify for unemployment.




State of the Global Workplace: 2022 Report

US Travel Association :State of American Vacation 2018

National Institute for Health and Welfare: Heavy stress and lifestyle can predict how long we live

American Psychological Association: Stress effects on the body





Written By: Natalie T.

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Kyle Zrenchik, PhD, LMFT

Last Updated : 04/18/2023


Disclaimer: ALL IN Therapy Clinic aims to improve people’s lives. We do this through providing effective mental health counseling by passionate professionals. Inspired by this, we write content for your own education. Also, our content is researched, cited, reviewed, and edited by licensed mental health professionals.  However, the information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Additionally, it should not be used in place of the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.






Written and reviewed by

Dr Kyle Zrenchik, PhD, ACS, LMFT

Dr. Kyle Zrenchik is the Co-Founder of ALL IN, the Creator of the Couples Erotic Flow model for treating sexual issues in individuals and couples, Designer of the Deep Dive programs at ALL IN, and is one of the most well-respected couples counselors in the Twin Cities.

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