Am I Depressed? 5 Questions To Ask Yourself If You Feel Like Your Job Is Causing Depression

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Am I Depressed? 5 Questions To Ask Yourself If You Feel Like Your Job Is Causing Depression
Self, Health And Wellness

If you're struggling to get out of bed in the morning to go to work or find that the idea of returning day after day is causing you severe stress or anxiety, then your job itself might be causing depression.

You may not realize the signs of depression at first, but job-related mental health is a very real issue and requires you to ask yourself, "am I depressed?" and learn how to deal with depression and get the help you need.

RELATED: 9 Subtle Signs Of Depression I Was Too Depressed To Notice

Do you dread the idea of interacting with your co-workers? Is concentrating on your work increasingly difficult? Does the thought of going back to work one more time upset you? Do you feel agitated or distracted by even the simplest assignment and struggle to meet deadlines or get projects done at all?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, or if the ideas at least seem familiar, then it could be that feeling depressed at work is a thing and that it could affect your health and your happiness.

How do you figure out if you are feeling depressed at work or it’s something else? If it is about work, what part of work is it about or is it just the whole thing?

Here are 5 questions to ask yourself to determine if your job is causing depression:

1. What’s happening outside of work that might be causing depression?

The first thing to ask yourself is what's going on in your life outside of work.

Has something big happened in your life? A relationship break-up? The death of someone you were close to? Some kind of financial shift? Anything else that might cause you to be overly stressed out?

When you get depressed about one thing, your depression can spread to other areas of your life. It’s like a tornado that starts small but captures everything in its path and becomes increasingly damaging.

So, it's possible that there is something else going on in your life that's making you depressed, but the depression shows up most during those long working hours because they might be stressful or boring.

2. Am I depressed when I'm not at work?

A big question to figure out whether you feel depressed at work is really about the work is to ask yourself if you're feeling depressed outside of work.

Do you wake up on a Saturday morning feeling like you can take on the world? Are your Sunday mornings full of fun and good food and time with friends?

Do these good feelings carry over until Sunday night or Monday morning when you're filled with hopelessness and dread at the idea of going back to work?

If you are feeling depressed at work but feel otherwise fine about your life, then it's definitely possible that work is, in fact, the source of your depression and that is something to take a good hard look at.

RELATED: 7 Easy-To-Miss Signs Of Depression That Keep You In A Cycle Of Sadness

3. Do I get along with my co-workers?

Okay, so you've figured out that feeling depressed at work is about work and not about the big picture of your life. How do you figure out what it is about work so that you can to fix it?

A big part, for some people, of feeling depressed at work is that they don’t get along with their co-workers, or even one co-worker in particular.

I know someone who loved her job and loved the people she worked with, but her boss was not a nice guy. He would torment her regularly, and she felt constantly in fear of losing her job. This conflict made her depressed about her job and everything else in her life.

In spite of the insecurity she felt about her ability to do her job — insecurity that was created by her boss being so hard on her — she took the initiative to find a new job. She found a job very similar to the one she had before, but with a boss who was kind and supportive. Her depression disappeared.

You spend a lot of time at work every week and a lot of time with your co-workers. If there are issues with some, or all, of your co-workers, then it’s important that you either try to work things out or get a new job.

Think about what you can do to change your relationships with co-workers if necessary. It could really help you manage your depression at work.

4. Do I like what I'm doing?

Another part of feeling depressed at work is that you might not like what you are doing.

I remember when I was working the front desk at a hotel. I loved my job when it was busy, but I hated it when the times were slow. I had to stand behind the desk and smile at people walking by, but in general, was bored and got in my head. As a result, I started feeling depressed about my job.

I loved my job though and didn’t want to leave it, so I set out to figure out what I could do to make my job less depressing during downtimes.

I asked around and learned that I could help the concierge group with managing local information brochures. I would figure out what we needed, copy them, and fold them. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but it was far better than just sitting there.

Once I found a task to do, I was able to be happier at my job.

So, do you like your job? Does the prospect of doing what you are doing now for the next few weeks or months fill you with dread or joy?

If you don’t love what you're doing, see if you can change it, either by tweaking it where you are working now or finding something new!

5. Does the idea of a new job improve my mood?

OK, pause a minute and think about what it would feel like if you had a new job.

If, when you woke up in the morning, you liked where you were going to spend the next eight hours. If your co-workers were good, and your commute was doable.

How would that feel? Does the thought give you a feeling of elation or a feeling of hopelessness?

If it’s the first, it could be that it’s your job that is making you depressed and a job change could change everything. If it’s the second, I'm guessing you're depressed outside of your job and a job change won’t make a difference.

Feeling depressed at work is something that is really hard to deal with because work takes up so much of your life.

There are some ways to tell if you're depressed because of work or if it’s something else. These questions should help clarify for you.

If, after answering these questions, you see that you are not depressed because of work, then it’s important that you see your primary care doctor as soon as possible to see about treatment for your depression. Depression will get worse the longer it goes untreated, so do it now!

If the answers to your questions indicate that it is work that is making you depressed, make an effort to change it, either by adjusting your job where you work now or seeking a new one.

Life is too short to spend it being depressed. Make a change now so that you can be happy.

RELATED: 5 Red Flags You Need To Do Something About Your Depression (ASAP)

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Mitzi Bockmann is an NYC-based certified life coach and mental health advocate who works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be. Contact her for help or send her an email.

This article was originally published at Let Your Dreams Begin. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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