Worker Says He'd Rather Be Depressed At Work Than At Home — 'At Least I'm Making Money, Right?'

Is working when you're depressed a healthy coping mechanism?

Screenshots of @kvngg_hh TikTok @kvngg_hh / TikTok

Working can feel extremely depressing. The federal minimum wage is barely enough to cover one fast-food meal, workers are often expected to work for long hours with minimal breaks and barely any paid time off, and issues like understaffing, wage theft, and other common forms of worker exploitation are rampant.

However, having a job isn’t all bad. Even when you feel horrible, at least you’re making some money, as one TikToker pointed out.


A Panda Express employee posted a TikTok saying he’d rather be depressed at work than at home.

TikTok user @kvngg_hh recently posted a video of himself at work that garnered over three million views. The text in his video reads, “Why be at home depressed when you could be depressed at work making money?”

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The sentiment was shared by thousands of other TikTok users who found his video relatable.


Many commenters praised his mindset, and some talked about how going to work actually helped them when they were feeling depressed. “My sweet customers and coworkers help take my mind off things and they don’t even know,” one user said. Others added, “Work is honestly a great distraction,” and, “Going to work just takes away all my inner thoughts most of the time.”

While certain aspects of work have the potential to improve your mental health (such as interacting with people and completing tasks), you still need to be able to maintain a work-life balance. If you overwork yourself in an attempt to distract yourself from your problems, you’ll likely become burnt out or end up breaking down.

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“Word, until your anxiety gets so bad and all you can think about is how sad you are,” one person replied to the TikTok.


Others talked about crying, having breakdowns at work, or being tempted to take it out on customers when they were struggling. One comment read, “Until you get a rude customer and have a breakdown because you can’t take it anymore.” Another stated, “I went to work the day after my dad passed, cried at work too but money is not gonna make itself.”

Having a job doesn’t have to be destructive to your mental health. As some comments expressed, interacting with others, honing a skill, and making progress toward a goal can all be beneficial.

worker would rather be depressed at work than at homePhoto: Roman Samborskyi / Shutterstock


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The nature of having a job in today’s world, though, is not necessarily healthy.

Survival should never depend on employment, but for so many people, being able to comfortably afford food, healthcare, clothes, housing, and other needs means working as much as possible. Working for hours simply to be able to afford to eat for the day is depressing.

Work doesn’t need to be miserable, but as long as employees aren’t valued — for instance, given adequate paid time off and compensated fairly for their labor — people will feel compelled to come to work, even when dealing with serious mental health issues.


No managers want their employees to take out their struggles on customers, or to have workers breaking down on the job. Work can (and should!) be rewarding without being harmful.

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Jessica Bracken is a writer living in Davis, California. She covers entertainment and news for YourTango.