Depression at Work-3: Should You Change Your Job or Your Life?

Sooner or later depression forces you to make changes in your worklife. If adapting at your present job doesn’t help, then it’s probably time to look at other possibilities. However difficult, impractical or even impossible the alternatives might seem, it’s worth considering what else you could do.

This post looks at three strategies that could help you manage depression by changing your work situation: frequent job changes, getting out of a toxic work environment, or changing the type of work you do. These are a few ideas to help you come up with your own solution. At the least, they might help you ask the right questions about what you want and need.

1. Moving from Job to Job

Many people have learned to handle depression by shifting jobs frequently. Their experience tells them that if they try to stay with one job too long, the limits imposed by their illness will undermine performance and probably lead to their being fired anyway. They need full-time employment, and this way they avoid having a job history with a long string of dismissals.

Others know they can’t handle the stress and social interaction of a steady job. Doing temporary work that moves them from one short-term assignment to another is one solution. Finding a way to earn money from home could be another. However they manage, they’ve adapted, in many cases, to earning just enough money to get by.

You might well feel that this approach carries too much uncertainty for you. Or perhaps you need to have steadier work to feel like your doing something productive with your life. If that’s the case, but you can’t deal with your present job, you could look at the work environment you’re in every day. That could be a major problem.

2. Finding a Better Work Environment

A damaging work environment that overloads you with work and high stress is getting to be the norm. Surveys report 40-50% of US workers work under high stress and need help learning how to manage it. Stress is linked to many health problems, including depression. If you have severe and recurrent depression, a toxic workplace will only intensify your illness.

As Tony Giordano describes his experience in It’s Not All In Your Head, his workplace had become punishing, abusive and unfair. He faced a combination of impossible deadlines, job insecurity, backbiting among workers fearing for their jobs and managers taking out their own shortcomings on staff. Combined with depression, these conditions gradually undermined his ability to function.

If you’re trying to manage a job in a workplace like that, while also living with major depression, you could run the risk of a collapse like the one Giordano went through. You may have to find a better work environment, hard as it is to find one, just to keep going.

But if these strategies don’t help, maybe it’s time to look at the type of work that you’ve been doing.

3. Changing Your Work, Changing Your Life

It’s not easy to figure out if the work you know best and have been doing for a long time is actually making your illness worse. In the midst of severe depression, it can be impossible to function well in any occupation. After the worst is over, however, you may be able to return to your job or profession and be as effective as before. Hopefully, you would also find it just as fulfilling and rewarding as it has always been.

But it could be that any progress you make in treatment is lost as soon as you get back to your familiar work. After trying other strategies, you may realize that the problem is not about employers or clients, not about the atmosphere of the workplace, or the number of hours you put in each day or anything else in the conditions of your work. It must be something about the work itself that is worsening depression and generally undermining your well-being.

Barriers to Change

Personal Investment: That’s a conclusion, though, that you might resist and avoid for years because you have so much invested in doing this particular type of work well. Admitting that it’s become impossible to pursue might seem like a terrible defeat, a surrender to the illness.

Financial Risk: You ask yourself: How else could you possibly earn a living? There’s no way you could swing it financially. You can’t afford to lose your income, even for a few months. You’re sure that it’s totally impractical, nothing but dreaming.

Depressed Thinking: When depressed, you probably have trouble making any decision, let alone one about changing the life you now lead. You also tend to underestimate yourself. You may be convinced you’re not talented enough to do anything else, even an occupation you’d always hoped you could do.

You may feel too empty and lacking in energy to make the effort. Depressed thinking is also telling you that there’s no point in trying since you’d probably fail. You’re convinced you couldn’t learn new skills, especially if it means going back to school or enrolling in a more limited training program.

In the end, even if all these thoughts and beliefs win out, you have still made a choice – to do nothing. For many years, I couldn’t get around obstacles like these. Staying with it, however, ultimately led to a collapse in my ability to function. Doing nothing was no longer a choice. Like it or not, I had to take the leap.

Finding Alternatives

Temporary Work: The problem is that the longer you wait to take action, the fewer alternatives you have. At that point, you may have to take the first job you can find, often at low pay. You might try the strategy of frequent job shifting or relying on temporary work. Or, if depression is too severe, or other opportunities too limited, you might need to get out of the workforce altogether.

Leaving the Workforce: If you’re fortunate, you might have a retirement option or a good severance package from your last job. If you work for a large company or public agency, they might offer an early retirement incentive as they try to reduce the workforce. Or you might qualify for a disability pension – either from an employer or from Social Security.

Planning Ahead: If you give yourself enough lead time, you could plan ahead with the help of a therapist who specializes in transitions of this type. I think it’s important to consult with someone who has a good grasp of the possibilities. The more depressed you are, the more help you need to open your thinking to new possibilities, identify the skills you have, and focus on the practical possibilities of finding more fulfilling and less stressful work.

There’s no formula for this and no easy way to do it. But you may have to make such a major change to manage depression. It’s a matter of balancing practical needs with the more basic ones of regaining health, saving relationships, perhaps even staying alive.

Have you had to make changes in your worklife to adapt to depression? What strategies have you tried, and how much have they helped? Have you been able to deal with the financial problem? Are there barriers that still stand in your way?

Image by oedipusphinx at Flickr

208 Responses to “Depression at Work-3: Should You Change Your Job or Your Life?”

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  1. Malibu says:


    I started a new job 3 months ago , and this involved relocating with my family. I have been diagnosed with depression and anxiety as I cannot stand the new job and feel lonely . I miss the familiarity of my surroundings and this job is requiring more than I can give , I have constant body aches, panic attacks as I cannot stand the environment , you see I went back to an environment I swore I was done with , out of desperation I went back and now feel I am stuck . It’s like getting back with an ex boyfriend and then realizing a few months in the reasons why you broke up in the first place.

    I feel ungreatful for this job as I prayed for a new job due to my family relocation but it’s not what I want , why don’t i honour myself, why don’t I ever choose me , why do I always put others’ needs before mine . I am also afraid to leave this job because an old boss who is now a senior leader afforded me this opportunity , I don’t want to let her down but I am unhappy , I cannot

    I’m depressed because I am 34 and I have never chosen me , I’ve lived for others and I feel empty , feel like an empty shell, my life has always been to do for others but I don’t even know myself right now or what I want. Please help em I feel I am in this deep whole and I dont know how to get out

  2. Margaret says:

    In my job I can’t do anything right. I work in the claims department at an insurance company and it is very stressfull. I got a verbal warning for a mistake I did not realize I was making and had been doing the step on other tasks without being told it was a mistake for a year. I am so depressed about the thought of going back to work each and every day, but I have no choice. I have been putting resumes out in order to find another job, but no how matter how hard I try to find another job, I have a feeling that it will be a long time before I find another job. On top of that, I have severe depression in which I take anti-depressents and anxiety medication and I also get migraines from stress and I am now on migraine preventative because I have been getting frequent migraines from the stress of my job and on top of that I don’t have the support of my family with the exception of one or two family members.

  3. Rachel says:

    I have insomnia, depression and anxiety all because of the people at work. I am a good person and efficient at my job but i have been maligned by a few people at work to the point that everone thinks ill of me. Now they think im the problem and im the one with mental Issues. I work with special needs autistic kids and im very experienced and very good with what i do. But i work with old and inept or inexperienced people. So they find fault in everything i do. To the point of backbiting me and acusing me of horrible things. Nothing is true but in their eyes im doing horrible things . Easy to frame me because of the nature of my work. Im a target because they are the ones doing hocus pocus or are inept at their jobs and i am doing what’s right and proper. So i am in a fishbowl and an unfair target because im not like them. I dont work like them so i have to be pushed out. Gossip and backbiting is the name of the game. They are successful in making everyone think ill of me even the psychologists at work. So i really am swimming against tide here. Depression comes from the fact that i have never done anything wrong. I know that 100% . I am a good decent happy human being of sound mind and body. I could not even hurt a fly. I am mentally healthy and resilient yet for the past few jobs ive encountered so much hardship all because of women at work making false witnesses against me. People believe them because they are professionals and im the new girl and these people are in these jobs for the longest time. I realised false accusations can hold traction as long as majority believes it. It doesnt matter if you are innocent. People will think ill of you and this is mainly the cause of why i am hurting so much. The world is so unjust and Unfair. I dont know what tk do anymore. I feel like i lost and i dint know how to recover back my good reputation which i value so much.

    • Chris says:


      I have almost the identical situation at my job! I’m in a union with a degree I cannot use. I’ve been framed for false doings as well! I am also “salary locked” meaning I can’t leave unless I take a drastic pay cut. So I can’t get out doing that either. I don’t relate to the others because like you I’m of sound mind and don’t want to cause mental harm to others. Diversity in our job means you can “sleep” on the job and not be reprimanded for it while I get more work on my plate. So unfair.

  4. akira says:

    I usually don’t comment but right now i am feeling like an idiot , i don’t like my job my interest is in coding i am automation engineer and the work i am doing is all manual. no automation at all . company environment is good. but i came to the point where i don’t to talk to anyone in and i don’t feel like coming to office.all day and nights i think about changing my job and cried each night . But company is paying me good and have only 1 year experience . i don’t know where i go and what should i do. i am really depressed and tensed at this time . i had already let my manager know that i am interest in development i want to move in to dev. he din’t promise to me but i don’t know how much time he would take to do that or he would do or not i am really not sure. please suggest what i should do till that time?

    • Maybellina says:

      Hi Akira,

      I feel your pain. I saw your comments was few months ago, I hope by this stage you have come to a better ground.

      You can still keep applying for other jobs while working in your current company, if nothing change. I know is hard, I have been doing the same too. But who knows?? At least we try, throw something out there, might got a chance of getting a better job, never try never know.

      It is not easy, many times I wish there is a better solution or change that can shorten my unhappiness at work too. But on the other hand, I tell myself, if I can’t get out yet, treat it like a training, train my emotional, my abilities, my skill, my tolerance. These will be my strength, and will be my friend too.

  5. Anna says:

    I very much appreciated the article.
    I am in a terrible workplace situation. I work with what I believe is a narcissistic bully. He has publicly insulted me, yelled at me, tried to take credit for my work, lied to my face and has gotten management to “test” me.
    I dread every single day at work. Although he is just my editor and we are supposedly colleagues he treats me with almost daily disdain and makes my a living hell. But management is taken in by his obsequiousness. To most people he seems like a nice guy but even my co-workers have caught the occasional glimpse of his true nature.
    He has gotten much worse in his treatment lately and today I took the step of telling my supervisor. I don’t even care if I am fired at this point…but I would hate to give him that satisfaction.
    In nine years I haven’t cried until lately.
    I wish I could leave but that is financially impossible as I am the sole support of five people. In addition I am an “older” and female worker. I am an excellent worker and my supervisor just last week said I was getting a raise as one of the company’s top performers. He reiterated that when I told him about the situation today (although I didn’t tell him exactly how awful it has become).
    My family knows what I am going through and they are as supportive as can be expected but frankly, I think they are worried what would happen should I get fired or quit.
    Work has become so intolerable that I am depressed by Friday that I have to work again on Monday.
    I could deal with the ever-increasing workload (eight-ten articles a day plus editing five-ten more) but this situation only becomes more miserable. He constantly criticizes me, expects me to respond to his 20-30 emails per day instantly and sets the bar ever higher. As a family member said, “You can’t do anything right with that guy.”
    I don’t expect constant praise nor do I expect any praise. I just want to do my work without an ever-present sense of doom as he manipulates others and tries to make me leave. I have never been anything but civil to him but a co-worker told me he is very jealous of me and to be honest, he treats me even worse after I have received any recognition from his superiors.
    This is, no question, the worst work situation I have ever endured and I have had terrible bosses and co-workers like most of us have, but nothing like this. I am so depressed that I am finding it difficult to live the rest of my life and take pleasure in my family and friends.
    It helps to write this down. I feel a little calmer already.
    I am keeping a record of his abusive and insulting emails as well as documenting the incidents of harassment should I need it.

    • Christy says:

      Anna, I feel like I could have written your post. I also work with a bully and, although the situation is different, the stress is very much the same. I sometimes feel like everyone has been fooled the way I was when I first started working with him. On the surface, he seems like an affable guy who is just trying to have a “healthy” work-life balance. But over time, the more you work with him, the more you see how very little work he actually does – and how very much he takes advantage of his support staff. He complains about his support staff behind their backs – to each other, in many cases. He complains about his bosses to his staff. And, worst of all, he LIES to support staff about his expectations. At best, he is a lousy communicator and an even worse manager. But at worst, he is dishonest and manipulative. Having to come to a job dealing with this jacka$$ is beyond stressful. Many times, I wonder how long it would take to get onto SSI or SSDI, rather than have to deal with him on a daily basis.

      I’ve tried to find work elsewhere, but my particular field is *very* tight-knit. All it takes is one person at one firm who recognizes the name of the firm I’m at, who then calls someone they know at this firm, and then POOF… job opportunity gone. They’re not supposed to black ball people but, if anyone can find a loop hole to do so, lawyers sure as hell can.

      What you’re doing – keeping a record of his abuse and documenting the hostile work environment – is exactly what I started doing. If nothing else, it serves as a reminder to me on those days when I lose perspective and start to think that it’s all in my head… then I imagine how I’d feel if a friend told me about the incidents I was documenting and I realize that it’s NOT all in my head. He’s really just an abusive slacker who would throw his own mother under a bus to save face, because he’s not smart enough to do the work or mature enough to take responsibility and be a true leader.

      Anyway, I just wanted to say that your story is all too common so, while it may be little comfort, you’re not alone. I hope you can find another job – or at least an assignment to a different superior. Work isn’t always fun, but it shouldn’t be hazardous to one’s health – physical OR mental.

  6. Marilyn says:

    I’ve found relief from depression by taking on temp work. I can’t commit to anything without feeling depressed and this way you can accept contracts with the temp agency when you’re feeling well and not when you’re not. It would be better if I had a full-time job with benefits, but I know I couldn’t do that, so I do temp work.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I don’t usually comment on these things which is why I haven’t put my name as I feel a bit embarsssed/weird writing on here. In some ways it’s comforting to know I am not the only one in similar positions of being depressed and hating their job but at the same time it worries me that their is so many people in my position. Makes me think I have no hope of ever escaping thus if it’s happening to so many people.

    Long story short is I have been struggling with major depression/anxiety since I was 15, I am now 23. I don’t really have any education/qualifications. I left school after year 10 something I now regret. I have never really liked any of my jobs that much but have had a few friends at previous jobs which got me thru but even the ones I had friends at were horrible so I quit and went to another job thinking it would be better, things would be better and life would be better. I was wrong. Went to a receptionist job and it flared up my social anxiety, I was having massive breakdowns – crying everyday, no friends there and the job was so boring – no work to do so day went so slow. I wanted to die so after 5 months I resigned. Felt massive relief and I took about 10 months of work to get better as I was going through a major depression. I finally got another job and had been feeling really good before I started. I got an admin assistant role so was really happy not to be working in reception because of my social anxiety but less then a month being there I realized it’s a horrible place to work. It’s a toxic environment, everyone is negative and you can tell hate there job. I am scared of our boss because of what everyone has told me and he does have an aggressive nature about him which I’m not use to. I have now been here for over 2 months and oh my god I hate it so much. I’m back to feel so depressed. This job makes me want to kill myself. I feel like I’m always making mistakes and my manager is lovely on a personal level but to work for is just horrible. She gets stressed easily and takes it out on others and is very vocal when she is in a bad mood. I’m to scared to ask her things but there’s always lots I need to ask her because I’m still learning. She gets snappy really quickly and made me cry plenty. I dread work and even on weekends just thinking how much I don’t want to go back to work. I’m to scared to even ask her for a day of leave. I don’t know what to do. I have anxiety stacks and crying almost everyday, I have to hide in the bathroom till I calm down. I live at home so it’s not like I have bills and such but if I quit I have to deal with my family. Plus not going to lie it’s hard not having money. Plus my resume is already so butchered from taking 10 months of. It was hard enough to explain in interview why I took all this time of because unfortunately it’s not acceptable to say I had some mental health issues. I feel so depressed and back where I started. I feel like I’m always going to be depressed and unhappy and I’m trying to figure out the point if this is how it’s going to be. I just feel trapped and lost like i can’t do this life thing. I don’t feel smart enough to study anything either so I’ll always be in dead end jobs. I don’t know what to do.

    • Anonymous says:

      I hope this helps and isn’t too preachy, I’m trying to be helpful and you sound like you want some to listen, I’m listening.

      1) You are ok, don’t pressure yourself so much to be doing things like you “THINK” they should be. You are not doing things wrong or in a way that is wrong, so in essence, you have to accept that you are an emotional person and that’s ok. In fact, I think that’s a great quality in a person!

      2) Bosses have issues in general. If you want to be a boss or a manager, it means you want to be in a position of power, that generally means, somewhere along the line, they felt (and still do feel powerless) so they take it out on you. The type of people that need to be in power… are exactly the type of people who feel like they NEED power. The fact they desire to prey on insecurity themself shows sociopathic tendencies.

      3) And most importantly. Nothing anyone says to you… your boss, a king, your parents, me, is better than you. No matter what their training, their degree, what types of robes they are wearing, how tall they are, how beautiful they are, how smart they are. All of that is just BS people build themselves up with. You have all the gifts they have been given in life. Just explore your gifts and use them to find you own happiness.

      peace and love my friend

  8. ChaRie says:

    Hi there. I am also depressed and my job makes it worst. I was recommended by my boss to another job to someone she knows very well. So, I had no choice but to say yes since it’s very hard for me to decide on immediate offers. I worked there for a month now, at first, it was just fine but as weeks passed I started to feel a bit bored and I don’t like what I’m doing anymore. It’s even hard for me to wake up in the morning especially when I know that I have to go to my job. Every day was so stressful that I wished I could not woke up in the morning. I can’t even say to my boss that I want to resign coz she was a friend of my other boss and she’s somehow nice. I just don’t like my job. I’m the type of person who always pleased others even if I sacrifice my happiness. I think I’m getting worse and worse. I thought it will help me overcome my deppression. I was wrong. I always feel that even my co workers hate me even if they do not tell me. I just feel that way.

    • Maybellina says:

      Hi ChaRie,

      I noticed your comments was few months ago, I hope things are a bit settle for you now.

      I can relate to you as myself is also a type that’s very sensitive to others emotions, and many times, don’t want to upset others even though is causing me distress.

      From a different perspective, as an outsider of your situation, I think is no harm of start finding another job, remember that you don’t owe your boss anything. Sometimes forcing yourself to stay in a position that you feel resentful, can damage the good relationship you currently have with your boss, as one suppress for long time, when is out of control, exploding… You can’t even control well what you will say during that time.

      There are many reasons people change job, and sometimes not necessary is because of not getting along with colleague, boss etc. It could also be traveling, change of needs, monies etc. Thus, please don’t hold yourself back, thinking by changing another company will upset your boss.

      As for your colleague, don’t try to guess what they feel or think. A lot of time, especially during stressful time, people can be misbehaving, after all, not everyone is good in EQ. As long as they don’t say it to your face, well, it never happens then!

  9. Leo says:

    in my experience, learn to be grateful, empathy and mindful could be beneficial in dealing with depression. These may also help to reduce the stress associated with thinking of changing jobs.
    physically, I also found multi-day solo trekking (most times will meet other people on the trek) can greatly clear my mind and help for the recovery.

  10. Taylor says:

    I have suffered from depression due to a toxic work environment. Before I had this job, I had issues, but working at this job has made it worse and I had to leave. I realized it was really the job not me. Previous to this job, I was a pretty happy person. I loved to socialize, talk on the phone, go to church, but after this job, I just felt depressed. I didn’t want to talk to anyone or do anything. When I tried to tell my mother and one of my best friends, they were convinced it was me, but my other co-workers have been feeling the same way.

  11. Tim says:

    Sounds like what I have going on. I have 3 college degrees in a field I don’t want to work in. I recently finished my Masters degree and finally entered the field I studied so long to be in, and I hate it. I was recently working a job that made me want to kill myself every day I went to it. It made my depression and anxiety levels sky rocket. I decided I didn’t want to keep doing the job, so I quit and moved across the country to be near my family. So now I’m living with my brother and I know I need to get a job, but everything sounds terrible to me. The jobs “in my field” all sound God awful. And everything else I see pays garbage or I am unqualified for. The thought of work makes me cringe. It seems like what I would enjoy doing is too far out of reach and I’m just stuck. So what options do I have? Seems like I have none. I’m extremely depressed and don’t really feel like doing anything at all, but I know I have to do something, so my anxiety is off the charts as well. This situation seems impossible to overcome.

    • Michelle says:

      At my company it doesn’t matter what your degree is in as long as you have one. If you’re under 40 you’re in for sure. All that matters is a GOOD ATTITUDE (even fake ones). Unfortunately it is just like being in high school.

      • Anonymous says:

        High school would be nice, mine’s like 2nd grade at best.

      • Chris says:

        I’ll add to this in saying that being at a company with a union makes it more worse, if that’s ok grammar. My company is on Nursery Road and I’m not kidding. Maryland has a road named nursery road. It’s exactly perfect for the way the company is run. They paid for my degree and refuse to look at me seriously. I only stay for the pay. Salary locked cause the jobs my degree are in don’t pay! And they won’t consider a lateral move. They are dead to me! Stuck in the crap. -Chris

  12. Jo says:

    Hello, my life has recently spiralled out of control. My mother passed away, and it subconsciously highlighted to me that I was really unhappy in my job. I have always struggled at finding a job I love, and have moved companies/jobs etc thinking this will make the difference and at times this has been fine. My current job isn’t high pressured so I thought it was good, but there is no clear direction in the company and projects just feel worthless and most people have little accountability to deliver. Then a recent restructure meant my boss that I liked was made redundant, then my new boss had no interaction for 7 weeks and the business is still directionless. I have now developed insomnia and am signed off work, however I know I don’t want to stay but am paralysed with fear of starting again. I am 41 but know I don’t want to go back into the city but also know I don’t have many other skills or projects that I could turn into a career. I just wanted to go away and travel, I guess escape from reality, but my husband is happy with his job and doesn’t want to. However I think I have to face facts that I am not well, but am worried I just spiralling down. I just never felt like this before. I just wondered if anyone had any similar experiences and found a way out.

  13. Trudging Through says:

    Great article. I have struggled with severe and chronic depression ever since my early 20s. I am 30 now, so I guess it has been about 10 years. I have never made it more than a year in a job and I am afraid the trend is continuing, even now as I sit in a comfortable local municipal government job earning more than most of my former classmates from graduate school. Beginning my career as a nonprofit employment professional, I’ve always been more than aware of what these short stints are doing to the resume. Still, because I have always been a go-getter overachiever with a 4.0 GPA and many impressive experiences on the resume, I always end up being offered a particularly challenging position. For example, I recently applied for an entry-level position in my field and didn’t get it only to be offered a mid-level position a few months later (apparently I wasn’t the right fit for the entry-level position). I really did not want a high-stress position, which is why I had applied at entry level, actually a temporary position. Flattered and happy about the compensation, I took the job. The six months since the have been absolute hell. It did not help that I got into a car accident two and a half months in, injuring my neck and back. Now sitting at a desk all day is killing me. Prior to that, I had bicycled with my now husband 4,000 miles across Europe for six months. I had never felt so alive and in such great shape. Now the daily inactivity and isolation is just unbearable. I sit there just feeling my spine degenerate. In my mid-twenties, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease after experiencing increasingly declining health and I am sad to say I am no stranger to car accidents. Now my problem is two-fold. I am completely burned out from striving and striving for years with very little payoff AND I have a very in-the-present outlook given my health problems. It doesn’t help that I stuck in an environment I hate (moved here for my husband’s job) with very few of the activities that used the provide me with real joy (wilderness and adventures). I just feel so trapped. My husband is just starting his career (he is five years younger than I am), though he is a year and a half in. I hate to be the wet blanket, but I am not sure how much longer I can do this with no friends and family, lifestyle satisfaction, or job satisfaction. Basically, my husband and my cat are my only real source of happiness. I am not currently depressed (maybe just mildly), but I certainly feel myself going that way. I had promised myself I would never ever again do this whole put off happiness now for the future (I feel like I have been doing this my whole life), but practical considerations always seem to win the day. Still, if I lose my health, what would there be to live for? Anyway, sorry for rambling, but it has been so nice reading about everyone’s experiences here that I just had to contribute.

    • Melissa says:

      Thank you for sharing, this actually helped me get through my day. Sometimes I feel like giving up on work and being a stay at home mom. My son is 6yrs old and I have a sickly parent so that isn’t an option for me.

      Thanks again.

    • Serena says:

      I can’t tell you how much it helped to see that someone is in a similar position as me, but I am so sorry for what you’re going through. I too am in a job where my performance is praised but which gives me zero satisfaction or desire to get out of bed in the morning. My husband is also 26 and five years younger than me and finishing up his PhD, so in the meantime we’re both stuck in a city that we don’t love, far from or loved ones and far from long-term stability. I’m actually American and he’s French and we both live in France so its a bit easier for him, but the cultural difference over the long term has left me feeling extremely isolated (self – imposed in part, granted). I miss everyone at home and I just wish I could feel happy about my overall lifestyle instead of only finding happiness in my husband. It’s not fair to him to have that much pressure, so I often have to hide the extent of my unhappiness. Sorry for the rambling, it’s just been a particularly difficult morning.

      • Maria says:

        Serena, when I read your message I could not believe how relatable it is. I moved with my husband to his country 5 years ago. I have a pretty good work, people seem to like what I am doing, but I have zero satusfaction. The job gives me constant worries and depressed thoughts. In addition to that I really don’t feel like the country I am in is my home. Just doesn’t click. I feel isolated, feel powerless. I am completely apathetic of life around me and the only happy times are when I plan travels and actual traveling. I start thinking lately that maybe I have to change a profession, do something completely different from what I do now, but I really don’t know what… nothing looks like something that feels right doing.

  14. Bessie says:

    There should be a job/career support forum for folks like us. I’m so frustrated with my new job and am pretty much socially isolated so I have nobody to talk to about it.

    Got this job a month ago in an industry I’ve wanted to work in and the office is close to home. The position is underpaid but I figure the experience I gain will be a springboard to something better. The hours are nice, I like the work and my boss is not demanding.

    So what’s the problem? Although I work in a room full of people, I am alone. My co-workers are all of a different generation than me and have extremely different values. They spend up to half the day loudly chatting and gossiping with each other. They have no filters and every seedy detail of their personal lives in shared in great detail. Not much work gets done and my supervisor, who is also very young, doesn’t seem to mind. I am virtually ignored and feel like the high school geek. To top it off, my glasses were stolen off my desk last week and it had to be one of them doing it as there is no public access to the office.

    I have experienced workplace bullying before so I am trying not to be triggered. I’m trying to focus on the positive aspects of the job, it’s not all bad, but damn I feel so drained and depressed at the end of the day! Been drinking more to cope, which certainly doesn’t make things better. I can’t up and quit. I need to stop wallowing and invest in my job search. Experience has taught me that if I don’t fight these feelings of hopelessness, it will get worse.

    • Iain says:

      Oh Bessie, I feel your pain. I feel very much like you do. 12 years until retirement and I’ve had a great job where I felt respected and I was able to associate well with others. That was until the boss brought in some nit wit that speaks off the cuff and thinks that all her ideas are earth shattering and she hasn’t a clue. Her degree isn’t even in business and she thinks she knows how to run a business. She’s morphed into the bosses right hand and the boss doesn’t seem to notice that she’s a divisive, hateful individual who has caused trouble in the workplace. I was once surrounded with professional individuals who honored and respected one another and now I am viewed as the “old dog” surrounded by chatty, “millennial” types who do nothing but gossip and make up fluff work and nothing important actually gets done anymore. Corners are cut, no one cares about accuracy or regulations, they don’t understand about reconciling anything or balancing accounts. Whatever is easy or fast is what they want to do. Like you, I feel so drained and depressed. I am too old to start over and too young to retire. So I figured that I just need to try to “start over” and am currently in the job market, but things don’t look good. I am above the salary level for my what my position pays out in the market, so if I make a move, it will be probably be at a lower salary. I have engaged a few executive recruiters and hope that something will come along. For now, all I can do is smile through it all and tolerate it, but that is becoming harder and harder to do. I am trying to focus my job search not on my background, but instead on what I am good at and have experience in. Instead of just going to the next job and do the same thing, I am trying to find something different where I can continue to learn and grow. I am at the mid to high management level, so I am trying to mold my career experiences into something applicable that is different from my Finance background. Operations, Human Resources, Administration, anything. I wish you luck. I know how hard it is. Try to find something good in every day and focus on the good and not the bad. Iain

      • Susan says:

        How timely. I am 49 and have been working in a government job for the past 7 months. I really hate it. I came from a very challenging busy job in a company that was going through a lot of changes. There were two women who went out of their way to be nasty, but I did truly love my job. My boss wasn’t very supportive and the layoffs eventually made me find a new job because of talk if eventually closing the plant. I now have a very long commute and an unchallenging, boring job. I find myself getting very depressed and crying at my desk when I don’t have enough to do. I am trying to study for the CPA exam but I get discouraged so easily. I was so desperate to get out of this job that I accepted a worse job with lower pay. Fortunately they were willing to hire me back, and I pretty much said that I would stay for at least one to two years. But now I am finding myself back to square one, with now the inability to change jobs for at least one year. I put a countdown clock on my phone just to remind me it is only temporary. Sometimes I wonder if I should go on antidepressants just to get through this. I don’t fit in and nobody talks to me. At least at my old job I had people talking and saying hello. This place has been said to have a lot of drama, and I try to keep my head down and just be nice to everyone, but there are some who clearly don’t like me. I just don’t fit in, period. I have been trying to remind myself that I am blessed to have a job. But I so miss doing more challenging work. I am studying for the EA exam which is not as intense as the CPA, as I need a small victory, something to complete and make myself marketable during this year. I would really like to do freelance Bookkeeping. I am great at it and would love the autonomy. Thank you for listening. It helps to know that I am not crazy or alone.

        • Zam says:

          Though we are in a bad situation, I feel a little relieved that there are other people who feel the way I do. I am young, 19, and I am currently in a job as an Office Staff. I accepted the job because I did not want to be a part of the unemployed population of new graduates. Also, I badly need to earn because my mom does not have a job and I have two younger brothers. My father passed away 2 years ago. However, as I observe my situation now, I feel like I have rushed my career really hard.
          During my first week, I already felt irrelevant and at the same time, restless. There are days when I got really nothing to do and I would just have to read a book, learn a language, or surf the internet to pass the time. Lunch breaks are both heaven and hell. Heaven because I have survived the half of the day and hell because I would take my lunch crying and self-pitying. I hate it. I keep reading on the internet and most sites say that your first job most likely will not be the job that you have expected for yourself. True. But I can’t stop comparing myself with my batchmates who have decided to go to law school, or graduate school, or some of those who have already found bliss at their very first job. Though I have also decided to take teaching classes during weekends to have something to look forward to every week, and which will allow me to take the licensure exam for teachers next year, I still feel depressed. I can’t stop thinking about my accomplishments and learning way back in college that I cannot use in my profession right now. I feel so small, so useless.
          I have been searching for a job, though, but there is no good news yet. I need to find a job. Because what’s most dreading is, even how much I want to leave the job, I should secure another one because I have to support my family financially. This makes me feel so trapped.
          I have already talked to friends and even religious persons regarding my feeling and situation. Temporarily, I feel okay and I get the courage to be patient but when I am already in my workplace, I feel dreadful again.
          I hope we all get through this. (This was a good outlet. I wrote the entire thing during my work hours. That’s how vacant [or useless] I am)

          • JJ says:

            Zam, you are not useless!!! You are doing more than many your age. You are helping to support your family, working in a job because you need to. You ought to know that this takes an enormous amount of strength. Try to find peace during the quiet times at work when you have nothing to do. Find a way to improve yourself and create goals, even if small, for yourself. Celebrate the fact that you are only 19 and so mature and self sufficient!! Take time to discover who you are. You may feel trapped, but you are not. Also, do NOT compare yourself to others. Think of that quote from the beginning of The Great Gatsby: “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”

            Know this, Zam: YOU are extraordinary. You are there for your family and the experiences you are going through now will only make you stronger, an inspiration to your siblings, and will make you more aware and empathetic to others. For now, do things that will empower you. Be OK with who you are and where you are in life. You are only 19!! And look how far you have come.

            Take care, Zam. You are a great person.

          • Chris says:


            You’ve been forced to grow up fast! I’m sorry to here about your dad! A lot of 19 year olds aren’t dealing with that. I lost mom and brother in the same year in 1996. And job jumping to keep a roof over my head so I get it. Thank you for sharing your situation with the rest of us! I’m in a similar job situation but the tech field. I’m 52 now and part of this problem for the older and youth coming into the working class is that companies are taking away and more from the employees. Benefits are shrinking to nothing and companies treat most of us like tolit paper. Great on the shelf at the store but when used flushable. I’m sorry you are coming into a crap (I’d like to use the other word) situation where corporate America is not the “dream” believed to have. No matter what anyone says to you about your attitude, you are justified to feel and think as you do!! They can’t take your dignity even though companies try hard. Your advantage is this puts you ahead of other 19 year olds who have been silver spooned. Hang in there Leo, you are not alone!

        • Imi says:

          I am in the same position I feel isolated and have no one to talk to

  15. M says:

    I never comment or write anything on any blog or article. This one is just so relatable to me that i have to. I work at a bar and i have been struggling with this for 4 years but only recently as i turn 29 i feel as if time is running out. I know this is the cause of my depression and anxiety because the rest of my life is perfect. My wife is amazing, my family is great, friends are great but i only feel this way when i think of what i do for a living. The only reason i stay is because i make more than most people i know with actual careers or degrees…so i stay because i feel this is all i can do, but the job is toxic. Im surrounded by bad people and very bad habbits that i never indulged in before…but No more!!! Today i start to plan, and find my way out. By july of this year i will be out of this lifestyle and this article made me feel like im not the only one going through this…so thank you.

  16. Reader says:

    Always relieving to see so many people are in the same boat – I just made up my mind leaving my current employer for good. I have had a series of short-termed job stunts and never a career and I’m 44! I sometime doubt I have ADD but I am extremely organized and successful in personal life (healthy, good family & friends, solid in personal finance) so I don’ t think that’s the case.

    When comes to job, seems like I can never succeed. It seems I always get into one bad job situation to another – my spouse tells me I have great work ethics. I work well with others and an advanced degree in fairly high demand field, and have a good skill set. Despite of all that, I always get a job with a high turnover, and have a boss no body likes.

    After I finished my graduate degree, I got a job from hell, but hey I need to pay my dues, I thought – so I bit a bullet and tolerated that job. Very few people stay that job beyond two yrs, and I know it was a dead-end and people generally loathed the place. Basically I got bullied out of that place so I left. Then I got a new job with extremely low paying and under my skill-set. The owner basically mislead people saying you get promoted quick and can make very good money if you worked hard. That was all lies. The place was a dead-end, no promotions unless someone leaves, they will keep you as an “assistant” with low pay as long as they can. The place was extremely disorganized, coworkers without any drive or skills. Only two of owner’s favorite makes good money.
    The owner does not pay overtime. One woman refused to work overtime for free and ever since she’s been a target for bullying. She never got any raise. At the same time, I was hired at a different line of work on spot but I had been hesitant to accept the offer. It offered more money, and far more future. But since it was totally unrelated from my background that I had invested so much – I wasn’t able to decide. I already knew I will leave my current under employment situation, and had been looking else where in my field but nothing was really biting. Same ole hundred calls from “recruiters” who have no real leads. Well yesterday my boss told me how I’m doing well. With all my honesty, I have been disengaged from this job after finding out his lies. I never sabotage my duties, but I stopped go far and beyond what’s been asked for. But…I’m resentful for what he said, but also this helped me to finalize my decision to accept the new offer.

    • Reader says:

      Sorry I meant to say the owner said how I’m “not” doing well. Anyway I can’t help but blame myself even though I know fully well that this place was very toxic and terribly managed. I feel like I should bite a bullet again and find a new job in my own field instead of accepting a new offer from a completely new field.
      Life involves a series of decision making. On the other hand, my co-worker whom I started this under skilled job together – is doing extremely well in her job. She’s much better received with coworkers. She doesn’t have expertise or specialized knowledge like me, but hey this job does not require any of that. I admit that I was jealous about her. We have become good friends. But I know her personal life is a complete mess. She is almost incapable of making a wise, solid decision. Because of that, she is very unsuccessful in her personal life, despite the facts she has so much potential. I always wonder about that. We sure can’t have it all, can we.

  17. Annon says:

    I am at a stage of i cant do this anymore even thinking of calling in sick tomorrow. I cant take the drama its a family business and they just throw anyjob at you without asking . I cant do this anymore it makes me physically sick being here. Been here 3 years now under paid I cant afford to get a house I live from paycheck to paycheck its not fair.

  18. Frank says:

    I have worked for the same company for over 9 years and took a promotionew about 2 years ago.
    About 3 months ago the company got any extra buildingand me and the Co worker got moved into a small bright white room with a small window that looked at athe racking.
    2 months ago to my disapproval was forced into shift work.
    I have pretty much no one to talk to most of the time. I had to give up my evening sports as the shifts always interfered except 1 day every fortnight.
    I have been on holiday for about 2 weeks and I can’t seem to find any energy any more. I dread having to go back to work. I told the boss and HR team who seem to just ignore me.
    I have expressed that I have nothing to look forward to outside of work. Just go home, eat and then bed.

    It is nice to be able to have a small chat and see people throughout the day. I don’t mean chatting and not working.
    Just a friendly hello.

    I have even asked about getting fully demoted and apparently that can’t happen until a job comes up. I asked about job swapping and was ignored.

    I have had increasing thoughts about just not going in at all.
    I really don’t know what to do. I am looking for jobs even part time at super markets but I never seem to get interviews despite a very good current work record. 7 years I have never missed one day of work even in some really nasty winter storms.
    I have a small photography job which makes me happy being self employed and I am happy when I get weddings to do but I don’t get enough to get me by.
    The draw back of small towns is that not many people live in them.

    I just want a job that allows me some time to enjoy myself and the ability to have a break with someone to talk to.

    • Iain says:

      Hi Frank. I understand. I just wanted to stop and say hello. I know how the isolation can make you feel. I too have a small photography business. It’s not enough to pay the bills, but it keeps my spirit “alive” because I can do something creative. If you want to chat, let me know. Try and have a good day. Iain

  19. The fatigue says:

    I’ve had depression since I was young. I’m an introvert and don’t like socialising unless I’m close with the people. I’ve changed jobs many times I think I’ve had around 10 jobs in 7 yrs I never stay longer than 2 yrs in a job.
    I’m 2mths into my current job and facing depression and burn out due to long working hrs and demanding roles and responsibilities. I feel like resigning again but it seems every job I have problems staying. I’m over sensitive and many things bother and worry me. I feel like I keep undergoing the viscous cycle that keeps draining me. Today I spoke with a counsellor and I told her that I would try a little longer and see if I still have this problem perhaps I would change to a temporary or part time employment. Financially it would be a burden but I’m tired of repeating this vicious cycle and undergoing all this suffering again and again it’s driving me insane.

    • Losing my sanity says:

      I am in the exact same boat! My job history is unsteady, but not because of my work ethic. Actuslly, i have consistently good reviews and promotions, never been fired. But my primary reason for leaving jobs is toxic work environment. In this economy, just having a job with some benefits is a blessing. If you even gently express your concerns to your employer, there is someone in line ready to take your job. So you have no recourse. I did temp work, but the pay was horrible, no benefits and people treat you like dirt. There is no opportunity to build connections as a temp, and you still have to put in your 8 or 9 hours sitting at a computer without a soul to talk to.

      A few years I took a huge paycut to land a permanent job with work life balance. At first I felt like I landed my dream job. Now I feel taken advantage of, doing the job of three people, unable to take off quality time from work and they don’t offer pay raises! Ownership changed after two years and that’s when things went downhill. It seems that there is no way out. I live alone, so part time work is not an option. I’m financially dependent on myself. I’ve never been more terrified. Held onto the hope that good things would come my way, but now utterly hopeless.

    • Maude says:

      Welcome to the club, as my dad always said. I’m an introvert, I don’t like socializing either until I really know someone. I’ve been like that since childhood. Doesn’t help I was harrassed by a group of girls for my interests and bad habits back in grade school. I’m in my 3rd week in my current job at the hospital. A simple yet physically demanding dead end job in the dishroom. Thankfully it’s only my first job since getting my associates, so I have more chances I think? Idk. I’m almost 23 and I already feel old. I’m trapped in a hometown with few opportunities in the art field. At least I’m not alone in the introversion depot.

  20. Andy says:

    I work with a guy who’s been with the company for 10years and he get bullied, treated unfair etc more than myself. Do you know why? It’s because he’s just a nice guy with a good heart. First off if you don’t like materialistic things / money working is not for you but in the life we live money ‘yes a materialistic item made by mankind controls our lives. Do you think you are in a bad situation? How about if I tell you there’s many out there in worst situation, homeless, incurable illness, death of loved ones kids etc. Kidnapped family members… every and I repeat every individual have the ability to love no matter age race time place etc. Once upon a time I was in a dark place for a very long time. I never knew what love happiness etc is. Never got a hug or love you from anyone just beaten and physically abused upon. I brought this darkness into my adult life and met someone. She had all reason to leave me because of the things I put her through…but she didn’t. If she had given up on me I would’ve probably been dead. Now back to work, think about the ppl who are making your life miserable and ask yourself what will happen to them if I give up on them. Treat them with love and kindness even if it’s a burden you WILL help them change, you might become their mentor parent idol etc in their heads because “do you really know what torture ppl actually go through to treat someone else unfair harshly etc”? There’s a different with treating others with respect and hurting them. If you find a way to accomplish this you will eventually open up many doors in your life . You cannot fix/heal or get better by helping yourself without helping others. That guy that worked for 10 years, never complained never looked sad or even gotten mad. He said it’s only a job and I was in the same situation like my co workers at one point but someone helped me …. Hang in there my friends you are way more than who you think you are

  21. Mike says:

    The biggest problem I have is that I work as a Construction Manager with project durations usually being about 2 years long. I am a 36 year old single male and the most depressing thing is not being able to find someone who is willing to accept this as a part of my job. I’m not an extrovert when it comes to social settings and I’m passed the point of going to a bar or club.

    Point is, my work is stressful enough but the position itself is what is making me depressed. I don’t have a ‘home’, just a place to live in temporarily until the next project opens up.

    Anyone in a similar situation with some advice?

    • Kendall says:

      I feel we are in a very similar situation. I’m a Pipefitter by trade. I’m real good at. Absolutely hate it. I don’t even know if I’ll get a response so if you receive this, hit me back an well discuss it. Merry Christmas bud

    • Maybellina says:

      Hi Mike,

      Reading at your comments, it almost 2 years ago, I hope things have been better for you since.

      I am also in the Construction industry, and I can relate to you. I also want to say, there are many women that I know of, just like myself, not keen into pub/ bar/ clubbing. Especially after work, we tend to appreciate some down time or quiet time. After all, construction industry is a little bit insane, stressful and noisy.

      Through many years, I have come to realization, I need to find contentment and peacefulness in myself, then home is where my heart is, not merely is a location.

  22. Robert says:

    It seems once you get depression it’s pretty much sure to return. Yet one will then know now how to deal with depression when it returns. And how to stay away from things like alcohol, drugs excedra…self medicating. A person can then know to get on a medication that works, and see a psychiatrist if needeed.

  23. Sheryl says:

    It is very nice to know I’m not alone, as I’m sure you all feel the same. I have been working the same job for over 17 years. I work 3 – 12 hour night shifts. It was always nice to have 4 days off, especially to spend time with my daughter who is my world. I don’t think i would make it without her. I was diagnosed about 3 years ago, but about every 6 months i hit rock bottom, and have to go for help. I take a couple of months off work, and then try again. But its not working. I hate coming to work. I hate working nights now, i hate working 12 hour shifts. I feel like it is killing me. I don’t want to do this anymore. And i feel like no one at work understands. Its so frustrating!!! Its impossible to get enough sleep working these hours, and sleep is the most important thing for those of us with depression. But I’m a single homeowner, and a Mom, so i don’t know what to do. I do know that there are others out there, that understand how i feel. I recently took 6 weeks off work, and had my insurance claim denied, because they thought it was more of a work issue than a depression issue. It should be easier!!
    Good luck to us all…thanks for reading 🙂

    • aspie nick says:

      well at least you have someone. im a 28 year old aspie. im born with asperger. im working in a banking industry as you already how stressful it is. the working environment is very toxic. due to my autistic nature i dont know how to communicate when i need to defend myself. healthy politic is non existence here. im very depressed and a person suffered from asperger syndrome, getting a finance degree was my biggest mistake in life.sorry for the bad english. english is not my primary language.

      • aspie nick says:

        and ive become a chain-smoker since im working in this toxic, malicious environment.

        • Kanishk says:

          Kindly mediate or swim or run… It helps ….. Take up a hobby and travel

          Though I agree, you would have to go back to same toxic space… How about you change your job….. Life is long and cruel,,,, find a way out… Study a new course or start something new

    • terrell says:

      I feel your pain. I have been dealing with depression since my teens and it seems to get worse with time. I have a job that has become unbearable to me, and to make matters worse I don’t have a car so its a struggle to get there and back home everyday. Sometimes I feel so defeated I don’t want to wake up, I feel trapped, helpless and alone. Seems noone understands, so I turn to alcohol as an escape, and I hate doing that it only makes me feel worse but its the only way I can get a temporary release of this pain inside.

    • Robert says:

      Sheryl, you probably should sign up for disability and only work part time, for working full time will knock you out of the disability. And you may can work for cash as well for someone needing your talent.
      It takes anywhere from 5 months to a year to get approved for disability. In the mean time you can again work part time and for cash as well.

    • Bruce says:

      I have been depressed for a long time. It all revolves around my career choice a long time ago. I spent a 100K (todays dollars) on my education and I can not turn back. The bullying in my profession is at such stammering heights, I have gone through 15 jobs in the last 20 years. I work for a year or two until the abuse becomes so intolerable, I have to leave and go find another job. I have become an expert on sociopathy, and how to recognize it. Some reports show that 3 our of 10 Americans are sociopaths. It is rampant in American culture. There is no escape regardless of how many jobs changes. One time I lost my cool with the office manager after months of being bullied by her. They could hear me yelling all the way at the other end of the building. After that, I knew it was time to leave. My career has been a total disaster because of this. I have no retirement, or 401 K because of the numerous job changes..The only saving grace is being able to help my clients.

  24. Jamie says:

    I’m in my mid twenties, engaged, and I was happy in the service industry making cash everyday before taking on the responsibility of paying for my partners school + bills on my own. I switched to a 6am-5pm job as a delivery driver making what should be a stable amount of money but it’s simply not enough, were broke again days after every paycheck (and we aren’t stupid with $) .I’ve been a trainee capped at 40 hours only but expected to work 5 days a week, waiting for a promotion that most people recieve after 2 months (I’m going on 8 now) I constantly work off the clock to meet my bosses demands and not get fired or punished. I have an extremely physical job and summer is coming so add in the threat of heat exhaustion (no ac in truck in the south… Ouch)add the humiliation of hearing my boss tell me I’m not fast enough = I live every day at work pretending I’m happy and excited about my future with the company I.E walking on eggshells, and I go home thinking about how much I hate everything about this job. I get the Sunday night blues… But on Friday afternoon right as I punch out. I have no energy mentally or physically to meet my partners emotional needs and her feeling neglected and ignored is something we fight hard at least twice a month to where we’re sleeping separately. She’s told me a couple times she feels more like we’re room mates. There is so much more I could write but I’ll spare you the rest I know you get the picture.
    She’s telling me I have to stay or switch to another job that can pay her way through school or at least keep our bills at bay, but at this point I’m so drained the only thing I want to do is go back to my old job (less pay, less stability but something very low stress and actually fun) to recuperate myself and obtain freedom from all these anchors I’ve put on myself. She will not compromise and I’m ready to say screw it to the job AND the girl. I feel resentment about having to put what I want on hold for a number of years while she chases her dreams (which I feel guilty of because I told her that I’m happy to do so before I realized how bad this all would go)

    Do I take the leap of faith and rebuild my life from the ground up again or do I suck it up and try to make it work somehow? My gut is telling me to get out of the job regardless of what anyone else thinks or says and regardless of the potential to make a very decent amount of $ for someone of my age. And to see where the chips fall with the lady afterwards. I’m so miserable that I don’t really care what financial/emotional blowback comes, as long as I can regain the person that I used to be and love.

    It just sucks to learn that the best of intentions don’t necessarily translate to positive outcomes. I still love this girl, I think we’re just at different stages in life :/

    • Shelley says:

      It sounds like you’re right about that, you’re in different stages in life.. Well, something’s gotta give, right? You can’t keep up like this, so it’s a matter of trying to figure out what the best way of changing is. If you can find a better job, great, but otherwise I’d tell her sorry, she’s gonna have to do something different herself, like work part time and go to school part time. It sucks but that’s how it is. I can’t get my partner to agree to what you did, so I’m just going to school as much of the time as I can. I don’t yell at him over it, even though he makes enough that if he was just better with money it’d be okay. Relationships are give and take, and it sounds like it’s unbalanced right now. Maybe a session or two with a counselor would help too. I see one regularly, and depending where you are you can find ones for free/cheap.
      Best of luck. Don’t run yourself into the ground.

    • Robert says:

      get out of the job I would think.

  25. Wendy says:

    I am like Nick – it’s getting to the point where I am thinking of leaving my permanent job, with great pay, pension, conditions etc to take a temporary one without all of those things. I am frightened as I am the only wage earner for me and my son and as I own my own home, I can’t decide to go onto benefits as they only cover rent, not a mortgage. Every hour outside of work is spent worrying about going back to work.

    • Robert says:

      sometimes we got to do things we dont want to, dont worry about material stuff, focus on feeling better first then can tackle the financial issues.

  26. Nick says:

    I’m more depressed than I have ever been and my anxiety is at its worst because I absolutely hate my job. I constantly have panic attacks during work and outside of work when thinking about having to go back. When there I’m either having a panic attack or having an inner rage because I can’t leave. I don’t know how much longer I can stay, it literally feels like I’m slowly dying everyday. It’s getting to the point of self sabotage to get myself fired. I just…I can’t do it anymore.

    • dermo39 says:

      i know how u feel, sunday nights are the worst

      • Frank says:

        Same. The worst thing is that the dread is seeping from Sunday nights into Saturday nights.
        It’s only a matter of time until I spend my commute home on Friday thinking about how miserable I am going to be on Monday morning.

    • Linds says:

      Might not be a good idea to self sabotage I think I have done this. I had a meltdown then went off with stress because of work situation. Issues with co-worker I became very negative and dispondent went to management to help sort situation who says we should have it out with one another we had mediation previously which never helped. I got Union involved and asked for a transfer but the whole situation and the way I was feeling has made me question if it’s the job or was it my negative attitude that lead to depression and ultimately to irrational self sabotaging behaviour. My job pays well and has good holidays but I have been really unhappy. You might be better to listen to affirmations on you tube, to change your attitude to your current job and start looking for another. I really wish I did and was more grateful. I think I might have damaged my credibility and have left on bad terms but not taking actions in a positive way either but getting a new job or changing my attitude. Good luck think happy positive thoughts.

  27. Monica says:

    Hello all,

    I am pleased to read your stories as it helps me realize I’m not alone. My story begins in college. I chose my career path without much research before hand. I like numbers and math and my dad has his own business, which I liked, so I thought I would combine all that and go for accounting. Fresh out of college, ready to work, I couldn’t find a job. It was 2008-2009, just after the economy hit a real low. I took a few random jobs in education and decided I would try my luck at going back to school to get a master’s in education. My first teaching job lasted about two months. It was a disaster. I “taught” geometry to 170 tenth graders, most of whom could care less about learning. I had severe anxiety. It was awful. I quit that job, but had nightmares afterward for six months. I was too scared to set foot back in the classroom. I’ve had other random jobs since, but nothing that has stuck.

    I find myself stressed and depressed over every single job. Some jobs aren’t even that difficult, but the environment or the people I work with really affect me negatively. I’ve had jobs in different fields, and I’m afraid there is no field that will work. I’m currently working as a legal assistant, and those old negative feelings are creeping in. I’ve been fighting this battle for a few years now. I really hope and pray that things turn around for all of us.

    • Scott says:

      I can completely relate (also graduated 2008)… bounced around jobs, got a Masters, still have no idea what I want to do, stuck in positions that are fulfilling. Anyways, good luck and keep at it…

  28. Michael says:

    I am a 55 year old male.

    I have just taken an early retirement from a job of 18 years with a County Social Services Department because I have been depressed about going to the job for several years now. My net income has been reduced to 50% which has created a whole new issue.

    It had gotten to the point I was having panic/anxiety attacks at night because I dreaded getting up to go to the job. I had asked for help yet the managements response was cold to say the least.

    I was put on trazodone by my doctor in 12-15 for sleep. It does make me tired yet I still am not having a restful night sleep.

    I feel that I have failed my wife who is on disability as we now no longer have insurance as of the end of the month.
    I have applied for hardship VA medical insurance yet it will take 3-4 weeks for them to decide whether I am eligible.

    I obsess about not being able to find a job, the early mornings and days are the worst and it has only been a week since I took early retirement.

    I have tried to reframe my thinking to the positive aspects but those even seem bleak.

    Thanks for listening.

    • Kirk says:

      You are describing me. Anxiety that won’t go away, early mornings are the worst. I’m in the process of divorce, my whole life feels like a nightmare. I’m sorry to hear about your pain and suffering.
      Do you think it will ever go away?
      When did it start?
      Has it progressively gotten worse?

      • michael says:

        The anxiety over the job started several years ago. I just kept dealing with it.
        It got to the point that I was physically ill about going to work.

        Early mornings are the worse for me and day time can be stressful also as you have all that free time to think about what has happened.
        I feel that it has gotten worse yet cannot really say anything because I don’t fell my wife understands the situation we are in.
        I hope it does go away yet I was in this position several years ago and it took a lot of work to get past this.
        I am middle aged now and don’t really see getting a job in the near future.

        I am sorry to hear about your divorce. I went through a divorce the first time this happened which was very stressful.

        I hope that things will get better for you. I keep telling myself that they will it is just convincing myself of it.


        • Sheryl says:

          My anxiety first thing in the day is crazy to. I work nights, but it takes me hours to psychologically prepare myself. I even cry in the shower, I just don’t want the day to start.
          Waiting for a psychitric assessment. Hoping that may help me ??

  29. Michael says:

    I found this blog while doing job search.

    My situation is that I had worked at my last employer , a County Human Services Department, for 18 years yet was not happy and felt I was ineffective. I asked for help but felt the response from my manager was lukewarm to say the least.

    I was eligible for the rule of 70 early retirement starting in 2014 yet decided to try to hang on for the health insurance due to my spouse being disabled and only receiving Medicare.

    My mood started to get even worse and was having panic/anxiety attacks at night dreading the time I had to get up and go to work. I was reaching the end of my rope.

    I went to my doctor in 12-15 who prescribed me trazodone for sleep which makes me tired but does not help with a deep sleep.

    Well I decided to immediately resign from my job on 01-20-16 and take the early retirement yet now my net income has been reduced to 50% and I will have no health insurance as of the end of the month.

    I have applied for VA hardship medical insurance as I am a veteran. It will take them 3-4 weeks to make a decision.

    I feel that I have failed my wife and myself by doing this even though logically it was probably for the best.

    It has only been a week and I am stressed out about whether I will find another job or not, whether I will have medical insurance and whether I will survive this.

    Thank you for listening.

    • Karen says:

      Michael. I don’t know where you live or what youre opportunities are geographically, but hang in there. I too am 55 and facing some similar issues. You will be okay if you stop to consider all the good in your life. What helps when I get anxious is basically being grateful. For the roof over my head, for food in the fridge and gas in the car. That my lights and heat are on. Take this time with even with a 50 percent income, to breath and explore new avenues of employment now that you are no longer balled and chained to a job that literally made you ill. Try to remember or discover what truly interests you, what you are passionate about, who you care about. Veterans ? Animals ? Bartending ? Photography ? While it may not feel this way right now, but you did the best thing you could have done by leaving your job. What good will you be to you and your wife if you too are sick or worse. Many baby boomers are going back to school to learn new skills and doing things they love in this period of their lives. It may be scary, but I implore you to allow yourself to feel better and recover from your life sucking job so you can put your energy into an occupation that fits ! I wish you the best.

      • carol says:

        That’s great advice. I am 55 too. I work for a public agency as well. I am single and take care of animals and a home. Have no backup family wise either. I have been very depressed as I have worked in a bully toxic environment for 15 years. I need to stay at least for five more years, but maybe three – it is so unbearable. I don’t want to do anything rash. The depression and anxiety and hopelessness are almost 24/7. I am so exhausted. I have worked for cold, cliquey, mean people. Gained weight and feel like I have aged the last year or two years. So I know how you feel, but I think there is a better life. Narcissistic and psychopathic managers and enablers everywhere. It is rampant It’s important to keep it together and keep going keep moving forward. Try and add some structure to your life like exercise and write down some goals and interests and figure out a plan. Bad environments suck your spirit dry. Trick is finding what you are passionate about. I thank you for being honest as this helps to know I’m not alone.

        • Alanna says:

          I’m 55 as well, and work for a public social services agency. You’re not alone. I have severe depression and anxiety and cannot stomach the job and boss any longer. I literally get sick on my way to work. If I was not sole income, I’d never go back. I haven’t been there long enough to retire. After a few weeks of antidepressants, I was hoping I’d feel better. Nope.

    • Karen says:

      Check out the “Life Reimagined” on the AARP website…. they have some really inspirational articles.

  30. vijay says:

    Hi I am 35 now and married to 9 years having 4+ year baby , my problem is that I am very introvert from childhood & had very poor academic records & had very much aggressive behavior which turn into the fights with school mates so often , by reaching at 20 or something I went into the social phobia & chronic depression so had to stop studying in regular school my depression was continue till I turned into 28 as the time passed by I got married ,the martial relationship was too involved with frequent fights with wife & just one year before I tried to commit suicide by taking care the excessive dosage of anti-depressant perhaps I was lucky enough that I could saved before anything happens to me.I see last two year from now I had frequent job changes approx 3 jobs in one year time.
    I am in front line sales position & which add acute damages to my mental health since the pressure of performance & losing job always take away the mental well being now I do not want to be in this profession.

    what should do I do????

    pleas help

    • Chris says:

      I’m in the same position as you sir, minus the wife and kid. Sales jobs produce the worst kind of anxiety and stress. I have 0 job security, and today my boss even talked to me saying I should consider quitting if I felt that I was unable to handle it. I have never had a job that I hated so much or that has affected my life in such a negative way. I have worked many jobs, construction, management, teaching, etc but this job seems harder than all the others combined. Some people just aren’t meant for certain jobs. I have changed my job twice in the last 10 months. I know thought that once I find that perfect job for me life will be good. Hang in there bud, and keep the faith.

      • Vijay says:

        bro thats really the same position we are in, infact still i m jobless the former job I quit just b’cus i was not good in numbers even I tried to cop with the challanges but could’nt overcome the fohbia and anxiety not being good in maths as my job sought this & my boss have started scolded frequently many a times so I start developed anxiety n depression finaly had to give resgin from me

  31. lala says:

    Hello I work with kids and my co workers don’t treat me well and it makes it so hard for me each day when I get up to go to work I feel sick as if I want to throw up. I get pains all over my body when I need to go into work I have bad pains, I feel like I can’t trust anyone for a while and my bosses treat me like an outsider when I try to talk to them about work problems I feel like I have to second guess my self and double check everything I do they micro manage my work I feel stupid always I am so stressed out I just don’t know what to do anymore and I need my job, but I am hurting really bad

    • denyse says:

      Hello, lala

      I work with kids too and I have the same problem. The first four years at my workplace were o.k. However, all that changed when my daughter had to have surgery on her leg. I had to leave quite often at the end of the day for her physical therapy appointments. Instead of being supportive, my co-worker and teacher started bullying behaviors. One of my co-workers told me how they were saying I was acting weird. It’s like she’s here but not all there. If she doesn’t want to be here she should leave. All kind of mean and hateful things. They were angry with the fact that they had to pitch in and help. It really hurt because I was researching information about the different students we serve with special needs in order to help them more. The teacher never did this or helped with discipline. They started sitting at another table from me, ignoring me and twisting things against me. I went to the prinicipal, I had everything documented. However he wanted to brush it under the rug. I wanted to stay in the classroom and just address the problem and move on. Instead they played nice for the end of the school year. Then, they moved me out the next year. I know that they considered me the problem. It hurt so bad because I loved what I did. I truly had a passion for helping children. Then with me gone. My old teacher got a prestigious award and the next year she began a campaign about autism awareness. No once before was she ever interested remoely in this. Also, when I left that classroom you would think I would at least get a hello. Not for one year, I was ignored by this teacher as if I didn’t exsist. Now that I have a new teacher.. I confided in her as to what happened. Now, I wish I hdn’t. The old teacher is now smoozing up to my teacher and making comments like” Lets go to the meeting together, all we need is our sparkling personalities”. They are starting to become great friends. I can’t be fake. In hind site , I wish I would have by passed the principal and went higher up. They believe that this manipulative, charming woman is who she says and puts off to be, when in reality she is very afraid that I was outshining her and she wanted to get rid of me.
      Anyway, I too had the same physical problems. When I went through what I did I would vomit everyday before work, burning sensation. My doctor would not up my depression anxiety medication. He felt I would just need to take prilosec and this was just normal workplace issues. I should have went somewhere else. Instead I stopped taking my medication.I felt victimized by everyone.The physical symptoms went away but are coming back, because my new teacher has asked for the old teacher opinion on placement of our kids. So the old teacher is coming in our classroom to observe. I cant be fake and act like nothing happened.
      My advice is to see a docotr or therapist. If you cant afford it, get help from local resources. Find someone who will listen. Don’t let anyone make you feel inferior. You deserve the best. I decided to fake it.. I know crazy right, but I will not allow this woman or my co-worker to have the upper hand even if everyone thinks she is the most charming person in the world. Bullying in the workplace does happen.
      At my part time job, I had a temporary boss for several months. I do not know how I survived!
      He was a mico-mager from hell! Thats to put it nicely. He called with pop quizes. And god forbid if you didn’t know the answer he would make me feel stupid. He was known to give e-mails everyday with a list of everything for every team member. He would call relentlessly asking what we were doing, etc. Do not second guess yourself. Remember you are smart! Micomanagers do this, its part of their nature. If you have a list of duties to do, document them or leave a e-mail trail! If you come with an idea send it in a e-mail. This way they cant steal ideas or credit. Dont feel bad for asking questions, write down the answers. Be confident.
      I would love to hear how you are doing!!

    • carol says:

      wow I sure understand what you are saying. I feel the same way. Everything you are saying exactly. Bully environment it sounds like and specifically you may work with narcissists.

  32. Annie says:

    I have never posted or responded to a blog, but this topic has touched my life and I want to share how I have not only coped, but actually thrived. I have had jobs that have caused or led to significant depression. The jobs caused me outright anxiety, a panic attack that I was sure was a heart attack, many sleepless nights, crushing loneliness by not having any friendships or support where I was working, chronic diarrhea, weightloss, and listlessness where I was dragging myself through the day just to appear to get by. In the span of three years I had three job changes because I felt so unsupported, lonely, disregarded and simply out of place. These feelings only added to deeper drespression. I really wondered if I would ever be a valued and productive team member in my professional career ever again. The lack of professional fulfillment, contribution, and being a part of a team made me feel so broken. But my story does not end there. There were some crucial events and people that helped me get out the deep hole. One was the right combination and dosage of medication. It took some time and adjustments, but I have found a combination of three meds that help me deal with the negative, cynical people I do face at work. The second part was finding an excellent pyschologist who helped me learn that sometimes there are really ugly people at work and ugly situations that you can’t fix and you don’t deserve to suffer through. My counselor also taught me how to begin to trust people again and that not everyone you meet at work has manipulative intent. The third event that helped was that I found a supportive Director in a new role for me that finally was a good fit for me. The take home points: don’t give up–there is a positive work place for everyone and you don’t need to go through life suffering because of your work. Sometimes medication is needed to help point you in a positive direction. Also, don’t let your professional work alone define you. Don’t let your job consume your every waking minute. I was once letting my job and all of the negative cramp going on at work take complete control of me. Remember, we are so much more than what we do for a living.

    • karina says:

      Wow!That was relieving annie.Thanks for sharing.It’s good to know that there are many people going through the same situation.

    • Jenn says:

      Thank you Annie this made me feel a lot better and not as alone. You’re basically describing my exact situation right now . i had been avoiding going back on medication but my depression and anxiety is getting so bad I don’t think I can make it without the help of medication and going back to therapy.

  33. Tanya says:

    Hi to all.
    2.5 Yrs. ago, I performed self sabotage with the plan to get fired from an abusive work environment. With the help of a psychiatrist, I decided on a voluntary hospital admission immediately. For the 3 days in hospital., I wrote to help process how I got to that point in life. The next 1.5 years, I rehabilitated myself with the help of many others and medication. I now work 3 jobs…doing similar, but different things at each one…my career has been in office nursing. I’ve always functioned at a very high level, however, feel that functioning at my usual level is a struggle. Although I’m proud of getting myself back together, I feel myself spiralling down again because its challenging dealing with the shifting of moving from job to job different days of the week. I enjoy the people and the work I do in the small office at one of my jobs, which is 2 days/wk. My husband is fully supportive. What’s your advice to me…any help is appreciated.

  34. Bee says:

    Almost 6 months ago I moved across country to take a new job. I thought it was sort of a dream opportunity: a job in a cutting edge area of environmental law (solar energy), a warmer sunnier region of the country, away from my then toxic workplace that had left me sad and hopeless, and my partner left his miserable job to come with me. It sounds great, right? Wrong. My partner is still heavy on the job hunt, so I’m the breadwinner for now. That would be fine if didn’t hate my current work so much. After just over a month or so, I realized how much I hate this work.

    At my previous workplace, I wasn’t entirely sure what was causing my unhappiness: the toxic workplace or just the nature of the work itself. Now that I’m in a positive work environment, I realize that it’s the work itself (being a lawyer) that I hate. I also realize now that this work has caused or contributed to depression. I didn’t think of it as depression until recently when I realized that I have an overwhelming sense of emptiness and hopelessness every time I think about going to the office. I don’t sleep well. I crave unhealthy food constantly. At the office, I’m always tired, totally unproductive, and sometimes even on the verge of tears. My libido has gone downhill. I am just so unhappy and sad most of the time (like for weeks and sometimes months) and almost unable to believe that I can change anything about this situation. I’m scared that folks at work will begin to see it, and I can’t afford to lose my job right now, nor do I want to burn bridges by resigning too soon.

    I’m seeing a counselor and hoping to talk to him about this more. But it’s just so hard to get through every day at the office. Yet when I do the work I actually love–working on my novel and working on my web business–I can do it all day long and hardly ever feel tired or uneasy. I’m trying to turn what I love into a career, but my day job as a lawyer is just sucking out all my energy and hope. I don’t know what to do and how much longer I can keep up the facade. I’m scared.

  35. Natalie says:

    Hi I started a new job 4 months ago and noticed that this was when most of my troubles appeared. It was supposed to be the dream job the most amazing company and great pay. But I was lonelier than ever. You walk in say hello no one answers everyone is in their own world with their own ppl
    Doing their own thing. A simple coffee lunch nothing I’m Completely ignored almost like I don’t exist!! I wanna try and make it work and earn the big bucks but it’s hard going in 8 hours a day and having no one in your team speak to you. I speak to myself in my cubicle. Friday comes everyone is out to lunch no ones xls me to come I feel so isolated so lonley but I’m trying to make it work. I kept trying till I collapsed and now I don’t know what to do

    • Adam says:

      This is me in my job I’ve been here for 4 yrs everyday I’m by myself eat by myself socialise myself there are ppl that do work here but after so long i’ve lost all motivation to do minor and easy tasks avoid ppl but can’t leave as im the income for my family!

      • Ayelet says:

        do not stress.
        good on you!
        you work hard.
        be proud of yourself.
        focus on what you have done. be grateful for your stamina and determination.
        regards to eating with others… call up a friend using face time and it will feel like you have someone to eat lunch with. put on inspiring music or join a live webcam group seminar on personal motivation, that way you can eat your lunch in the presence of other people too and see a community of people..

  36. Jim says:

    I have been struggling with a relatively new form of depression and anxiety which I believe is a result of being prompted into a completely wrong career back in college. There are so many pressures from my parents generation to my generation about moving from their blue collar background towards a professional, college degree carrying career — and this has apparently weighed on me heavily. Where I am now though, I feel like I would be better suited to work in a trade. I’ve never been the type to feel anxious (although sadness isnt a stranger), yet this career I am in has me nearly in a panick every day before going into work. I am a registered nurse who worked two years on a stepdown unit and am now in a new hospital in the ICU, hoping that a change like this would ameliorate some issues that I had identified in my previous position. It hasn’t. Now my stressors are literally life and death (well even more so than my previous job) on top of all the other junk that goes along with a work place. I have completely muddied up an ultimately muddy situation and am really grasping at straws here. I’ve been through a career counselor who helped me take and translate a MBTI (ISTJ) and needless to say nursing doesn’t fall in there. I so much just want to quit and work in a cube somewhere, cut off from so many people and performing a monotonous task that doesn’t really affect anybody. I literally envy the people working the shop I get my coffee from before work. Now I’m thinking of going back to school to train for a trade or some other degree like sonography but I don’t know. Will I be moserable there too? Am I destined to be miserable forever?

  37. Karen says:

    Hello everyone!

    As most of you have already expressed, I too feel trapped at my workplace and found this post very useful and the comments very reassuring. I am 26 years old and work as an Engineer in a mill, and although my coworkers and boss are incredible people I just don’t find the work rewarding enough. We work long hours, are constantly stressed but this being my first job I don’t feel like I have enough experience to get another good job in the short future. I have always been a person that follows her passion and I give 120% into everything I do, but with this job and now with depression I struggle to do the most mundane things and I don’t enjoy it.

    I’m also the main provider, financially speaking, because my partner just started his teaching career and he is an on call teacher which does not give him enough work to support us at this time. I have been applying for other jobs and I’m even considering switching careers, but in the meantime I jist want to be able to cope and I guess learn to live with depression until I am able to make those life changes.

    Only recently I realized I indeed suffered from depression, and I am really still working to fully accept it yet alone understand it. This blog has been a lighthouse in the dark and I read through it every day to continue to learn and also read other peoples stories. It is such a relief to know I’m.not the only one and that there are reasons behind what I’m experiencing. So thanks to everyone who ha shared their life and of course to John for giving us the space to communicate safely.

    I’m happy to see that there are still posts going on this year, I can’t believe how far back some of these go but it is incredible to see how depression remains a reality for many of us.

    Sending best wishes to everyone,

    ** Karen **

  38. Paul says:

    Hi, I’m 51 and from the UK. I’ve been signed off work by my doctor for the past month after the Black Dog of depression again bit me on the ***. I’ve been working in the social care field for almost 30 years, the past 8 as a front line social worker and I just can’t cope anymore- too many service cuts, too much stress and too many people in often terrible circumstances expecting me to produce a magic wand to make everything OK. I feel emotionally drained and numbed by it all and just can’t entertain going back to work as a social worker. My wife has been very supportive but I feel trapped as I am the main wage earner but my job is killing me. I just don’t know what to do but I can’t go back.

    • Derek says:

      Hi Paul, I’m a social worker too – so you will know not to expect anything useful or helpful from me! I’m in my mid-40s and am writing from Scotland. I’ve been in social care and social work for 24 years. The last 15 years of that I have been a social worker in a community care (sector) team. I’ve actually been a part-timer for the past 8 years due to childcare reasons…but being part-time has, somewhat paradoxically, felt even more challenging, intense and stressful than full-time work.

      I am currently off work with stress/anxiety and have been diagnosed with depression. I’ve been off since early July which seems a bit surreal because I had only three days sick leave in the 15 years prior to that.

      I can relate so much to what you wrote. Social work has always been “high effort- low impact” job in my experience, but as budgets have tightened and demand has grown this seems to have become evermore pronounced. I’m a perfectionist (not through choice, that’s just the way my brain works!) and the fact that I slog my guts out for more and more people with less and less benefit to them has hurt for a long time. Intellectually, I understand that the economic and political context ties my hands hugely (almost completely!) but I can’t help feeling inadequate, harassed, embarrassed, incompetent, guilty, fearful and angry. Ultimately, trying to manage these feelings whilst playing the role of an efficient, responsive and concerned professional has caused, or at least “contributed”, to something akin to a mental implosion in me…so that “numbness” that you feel is very, very much something that I can relate to.

      Things in the public sector are going to get tighter and tougher…there’s no question about that. The thought of continuing in a role that, by it’s very nature, makes me feel like I’m a failure and a fraud fills me with fear and dread. Unfortunately, my initial investigations into possible alternatives have NOT given me much hope.

      I didn’t mean to finish on such a downer! Oops!

      Thank you Paul for sharing your feelings…it has helped me realise I’m not the only middle-aged social worker in this situation. It has encouraged me (for the first time) to contribute to one of these blogs or chains or threads or whatever the yoofs call them!

      Whatever route you go down I hope it works out well for you and your family. All the best.

  39. Vivian says:

    I’ve dealt with depression on and off most of my life. I’m in dire need for advice. I resigned from my position a little over a week ago. I found myself crying all the time and suffering from severe mood swings. I know I need help. I have an appointment with a counselor next week. Just recently, I was given a good job offer but I’m so indecisive over taking it. I feel I need to focus on my mental health before I get into another job but am worried that another one like this won’t come my way. My husband is super supportive and was rooting for me to leave my job and take some months off to get the help I need. He’s says he’s worried for me and that if I keep down this road things are going to get worse. They have in the past. I’ve cut myself, taken too many pills, have had manic outbursts, etc. I’m not mentally ready to go back to work but it’s a decent offer. My health or a job? Ugghhh!! I can’t stand what I’m going through. Help!

    • Donna says:

      Your health sweetie… your health! Another job will come your way and you will feel confident to do well if you take the time you need.

      • Kirk says:

        I’m 36 years old and I’m realizing you can’t continue to do things you hate for money. It will destroy your health. Your health is the most valuable asset you have. I’m with Donna, choose your health.

  40. Mike says:

    I am currently getting ready to move into other jobs and fields as a result of my situation currently. Its getting frustrating knowing that it is time to leave but I am in a position where I need to money at the present moment to survive and yet no other employer is will to hire me on.

    • Bhax says:

      Dear Mike
      It isn’t easy feeling trapped. There’s only two ways out of this impasse – you stay or you keep on looking for jobs. Either one demands more from you, perhaps more than you feel you can give at the moment. But give you must. If you stay or leave you are going to have to endure the unendurable until things change anyway, so… Fake it until you make it. Survive until you thrive. Be proactive in keeping well and getting as much help as you can in managing your depression first, and then finding a new job. Get as much help as you can. Check in with your doctor for treatment options, but remember that a healthy diet, good sleeping habits, little or no alcohol and exercise will enhance their effect.
      Looking for a job is a job of itself so make sure your tools are up to scratch. Get networking – ask friends, family, and anyone you know if they know knows hiring in your field. Check over your resume and covering letter – make sure you highlight your functional skills and accomplishments. Polish up your appearance by looking and dressing for the job you want rather the one you have. But… Keep going. It’s not going to be easy but keep at it one day at a time. Things can get better.

  41. june says:

    im in a job that keeps changing my job making me feel left out not helping and made me feel worthless they intimidate me and they see no reason they can’t and look for ways to tell me I don’t belong I know I do. but im starting to falter I have looked for jobs but it’s hard I have a lot of experience but no one will talk to you our they lie yes perfect fit nothing I cry from so much hurt but I keep fighting but it is very lonely and it is sad the society we have become

    • Bhax says:

      Dear June,
      What does not kill us makes us stronger. Right now what you feel is what you feel. There are people who, because of their own shortcomings take out their angst out on others. If it is true that there are no victims, only volunteers you may need to take back control over the only thing anyone has control over – your own attitude. You can’t make these people change but you can change how you let them affect you. You can respect yourself by saying “No, this isn’t right.” You don’t have to shout but you must say it and believe you deserve better. Danielle LaPorte summed up advice about boundaries as “open, gentle heart; big f**king fence”. Be the kind, gentle loving soul you are to those who are kind, loving and interested, but put big, tall and strong fences of steel around your heart to protect it against those who would abuse you. This means taking a proactive stance to protect the source of your real strength – your loving heart. In truth, light cannot exist without dark. It is loving gentleness as yours that bears the light in the world and is that which your bullies’ darkness is fearful of. How to do this? Educate yourself about emotions – yours and others. I found Dr Phil’s Life Code gave me useful information on managing toxic people. A positive first step was coming to this site. You will find kindred spirits who can help you, and much useful advice on managing depression. However, also read books on self-care so your mind and body can serve you. Moreover, inspire your self. Even a Google search can yield positive results like Ms LaPorte’s site: , and “Marc and Angel Hack Life”, and ” Tiny Buddha”. Even inspiring quotes and images can help build your resilience. Get help – counselling or another type of psychological support will help. As for work, we do it to be a success in some way or another. So Winston Churchill’s definition of success is intriguing: “Success is going from failure to failure with the same enthusiasm”. You might feel like a failure right now, but YOU are no failure. You are evolving, and your life is a work in progress. Sometimes failure can be our friend… If you want to change your job, you can do that but don’t just run. Let it pay for your escape. Plan your next move by doing your homework. Concentrate on your needs. Investigate new jobs and workplaces before working there. Check out them by talking to people who might know something about their culture. Even talk to receptionists, customers, and suppliers – they all can give you the low down on what it’s like to work in a particular place. Trust your gut. If you can’t leave, then take back control by taking care of yourself as best as you can so you thrive instead of just survive.

  42. Geraldin says:

    Depression is new to me. The old me was always happy, optimistic, free, and carefree. I thought I’ll always be like that. But after my college graduation, I know it’s time to face reality. I thought I can do it, but I am not equipped. I am not ready.

    My life, for me, was so fast-paced. I am 20 years old and suffering from depression. Just after two months after graduating, I founded a job- a job that is not really my forte (It’s more on layouting than editing videos- which I really like). I hate being depressed because I do not know myself now. This feeling is so new to me. I used to like to work in my choice of field (which is arts. I graduated a bachelor’s degree in Multimedia Arts), but now, I feel like I don’t want to live all my life doing these boring stuffs in front of the computer. I feel scared whenever I am going to work like I wanted to cry every time I get up at bed because I know I need to go to that cursed place, I feel hopeless because I am the eldest and I need to somehow help my family. This job is slowly killing me. I am not appreciated here. I want to be free.

    I want a job that is more physically tiring than mentally tiring. I promised myself that after my probationary period here, I will take a rest and find myself again. It’s just that the time is not being good to me because my training period will end in November. I don’t want to not have money on December because I want a “merry” Christmas celebration to provide for my family. Maybe I’m just stressing myself out with these expectations, pressure and all… I don’t know.

    But I am more scared if I can continue life like what I wanted to be after I get the hell out of here.

    I just want to live a simple life, with simple work and problems… but life is just giving me lemons. I really hope I can pull this out together be ME again.

    • yobuddy says:

      Hey buddy i hear and feel ya bro. I’m in a position where i can understand the way you feel and i gotta say its pretty tuff. But i am trying to make small positive changes that can make me more resistant to depression. I know that you feel boxed in by your circumstances, but you need to try and determine what it is you hope to achieve by doing this job you hate or if it is better to find something else to do that will make you happy. Approaching your work while considering your other options just may prove fruit ful even if it just gives you hope. I hope you kick your depression and find a solution to your problem.

  43. Kevin says:

    This article hit home hard. I’m a registered nurse who only has an associate’s degree, doing a job that I’m told I’m lucky to have since they couldn’t find anyone with a bachelor’s degree to work with Core Measures. I ran to this job drone floor nursing because I felt dread at being a floor nurse, and having an abusive manager who kept us after our shift to scold us for the most minor things,(ie recording a blood sugar in a different part of the health record than was desired) and keep us there for hours even though we had to work the next day! This core measures job unbeknownst to me has had several people quit due to another abusers manager who has no problem calling you worthless and screaming at you I front of everyone. I can’t seem to relax even when I get home as I continue to get nasty emails well after my workday is done! I compulsively have to check the or I can’t relax, but I often find myself wishing I would have not checked to begin with. I made a career decision to become a nurse because it was always pounded in my head to pick a career that was steady and always in need….this was when he was sober….I never knew if I was going to get beats or congratulated about something. I have been depressed even before I knew what that meant. I have a habit of life having to extracte me out of situations I’ve been in for way too long! It’s not that I don’t thing about planning, I just start thinking of making changes in my life like a career change, then I start looking for other careers, then a few minutes later I panic and start looking on the Internet for hobbiessince I don’t have any hobbies….then an few minutes later in another panic imagine myself being stuck where I am…then I start pacing. After that I start crying , then repeat that cycle until I fall asleep, then often I wake up and start again, but this time with a great deal of guilt from wasting my time from spinning my wheels! I carry guilt that we live in a house my mother in law owns and we pay no rent, but we still manage to have a bunch of debt. This thought races through my head and then I feel guilty for not getting my wife and kid out of this god forsaken town where we have no ties but the fear of leaving a free house which is falling apart! I am almost 47 and I have never owned anything worth more than a few thousand dollars as the thought of loosing it starts the mad cycle all over again! I cry every morning and I stay up late so it doesn’t seem like the night speeds buy like it does while you’re sleeping! Rinse and repeat! I started to take step like getting HR invoked at work and seeing a counselor after years of stigma, and I have tried to pray but then I feel guilty that I only seem to talk to God when I’m in trouble and need something….I am a hot mess and I need some help and advice!

    • Vin says:


      It has been a while since your post but I hope this message reaches you. Life has thrown some severe challenges in your path and I hope you can overcome them. Do you still see the counselor, and has it helped? I am about your age and somewhat stuck in a career in financial services that I found my self following after college because that is what everyone did where I came from. It was a mark of success. I usually do a good job but in my head there was constant self-doubt and the fear of failing. Contact with customers tears me up on the inside. My emotional dysfunction probably stems primarily from many years of bullying I underwent in school. Regardless, somehow my career progressed despite my hating it all along the way. My wife has never been able to find a job she likes so in addition to the toll my jobs take on my emotions I also try to listen to all of her complaints about her jobs. A few years ago I saw a therapist for a short while, he diagnosed me as moderately depressed, and gave me some tools to break out of the cycle of depression and helped with the childhood bullying issues. After a few months I decided to make a clean break from financial services and go back to school , then teach. I met with some success and worked at a university while attending. However, economic reality sunk in, the studies would take too long and my child would be entering college in a few years. Once again I went back to financial services, I though I was being practical and strong and hoped that things would be better because I am older and wiser. To add to to this mess of stress, I got a job in another state where I have no ties but is closer to where my kid will go to school and we are selling our house. A final move is coming up to bring us all together temporarily in the apartment I am in now. I do not (and can not) believe that all hope is lost and that I will eventually pull through this. Maybe the job I have now really is not that bad,; the depression could be tainting it. It is just the fear, that I have felt throughout my life, is coming back full force – fear of what I have to go through to get wherever it is I need to be to have a fulfilling life.

      I am sorry I have not reached the point where I can offer you solutions that worked. Know that I so empathize with you. The tools my therapist gave me are still there for me to use, if I can force myself to utilize them regularly. Ultimately I may end up leave this latest job for my sanity, and for something lower paying. I hope not, especially since the same thoughts course through my wife’s mind, but if I have to go through the same sort of emotional rollercoaster that I did during the first half of my career it just is not worth it.

      • Nicci says:

        Oh, I so, so relate! I have to say, it’s almost redundant for me to share my story because it contains elements of both of yours! All I can say is this: grab every tool in the toolbox that your guides (therapists, coaches, mentors) have suggested and hammer on the depression. Even one blow of the hammer per day is an accomplishment! Whether that’s taking a walk or run, doing one distasteful task… whatever. “Mindfulness” meditations help me a LOT. They’re like brain vacations. There is a website called “ ” and their app and articles are very good. The phone app has a feature called “Serenity Scene” that are 2, 5 and 10 minute guided meditations. You can do them anywhere. Go park your car in a quiet place on lunch break… even a bathroom stall for 2 minutes… wherever. Those meditations are so nice and short, you can take them like the old-fashioned cigarette break! It’s a pay site, but it’s worth it.

  44. Ellen says:

    It takes a lot for me to post this under my real name, even if just my first name. I have reached a dead end at the employer I’ve had for 25 years. The sad part is that I knew 10 years ago I loathed working there and told myself, “I have no future here” but needed the money. Now I have saved up a significant amount, enough to live on for years (not that I ever would not work) but everyone in my family (they are all financially struggling) thinks I am going to coast into retirement in 8 years at this employer. They say “oh you’ll make it” or “don’t be stupid” but they don’t know how bad it’s gotten. I have been forgotten at work, tossed between departments and not even given any chance to excel at anything, and my skills and knowledge are broad. I’m the kind of person everyone calls for help but no one actually wants to include on real value assignments. I have no one to talk to about how miserable I am and now I’ve been put in a dept that is caught up in a very incompetent restructuring, leaving me literally without an adequate workspace and forced to carry a heavy laptop around. There are layoffs coming and I was disappointed to hear a rumor that my group would NOT be laid off. How sad is that? It’s the fact that I have zero personal support, that everyone in my family sees me as “the one with the stable job,” that is the worst. I have financial security but nothing else. And there are few jobs in this city I am qualified for, yet my mother relies on the rent check I give her every month. I can’t move AND send back money to her too. Yet going to work (or “work” since no one gives me anything to do any more) just shreds me emotionally and now, physically. I know I need to completely uproot my identity from this longtime employer (considered a high status employer in my town, best paying etc) and family situation but you know, that is so hard, that sometimes suicide seems like it would be easier to plan and execute.

    • Bhax says:

      Dear Ellen, you know in your heart what you need to do but perhaps, the price may seem too high. Disappointing everyone who have invested in an image of you as a stable, sensible, dependable daughter/worker/colleague may be scary, but disappointing yourself may be even more costly. It’s time to be honest with everyone and choose to renegotiate how you live. You can choose or be forced to choose. Hoping to be laid off is an example of the latter, and possibly indicates a fear of ‘letting people down’ , and looking for a crisis which would deflect others’ disapproval and excuse you walking away from a life that is killing you. Remember you have options: even if you decide to stay in your current circumstances, you can choose your attitude to them. Get help – take any opportunity to talk to friends and professionals such as therapists and counsellors in order to clarify your position. You feel like a sailor lost at sea, without a map, but all is not lost. You can reorient your path by steering your life by a different star. You have to discover which one.

      • Ellen says:

        Thank you for your reply. Since there are probably a lot of drive-by comments here, from people who never report back, I wanted to post again. A few weeks ago something happened… a buyout at work, for which I unexpectedly qualified. I was able to talk about this with my family and they were very supportive of me leaving my job. Fortunately my financial ducks are in a row now and after evaluating things thoroughly, I decided to do it. I have been prepared for a long and uncertain job search (and I sense a few people at my job are mystified as to why I’m leaving), but I know the longer I wait, the harder it will be. As it happened, a couple good job leads turned up almost immediately and I’m a finalist for a wonderful job (fingers crossed) and still searching just in case I don’t get it. Six weeks ago I never would have guessed this would happen. Just wanted to say your supportive comment mattered to me. Thank you again.

  45. Paul-73 says:

    Good article and it sums things up nicely. I’m 42 now and have been suffering on and off with depression since my very early 20’s. Depression and the way I try and deal with it has definitely affected my working life ever since university and I have never lasted more than 2.5 years with a company. I start to make poor decisions and feel that I am alienated from my co-workers, paranoid about things, and get snappy and irritable. I’ll also not look out for myself in the office politics stakes. I’ve tried working in other fields, but that didnt help. Working from home, without having to deal with others was fine when I had regular work coming in, but when the flow is uncertain then the depression strikes with a vengeance. Since being made redundant from a post last July I have tried a number of posts but couldnt stick with them over two weeks. None were right for me. The current post (again at the two week stage!) has a lot more going for it than these intervening ones, and even though I am noticing a lot of my major stress indicators I really dont want them to overwhelm me.
    It will all pass of course, and Ill be ok again, but I very much want to try and get out of this cycle. A few more months and Ill (if all the various ducks line up…) be in a much better financial situation day to day, and able to make a choice on what I do next. There are many things that I would like to do more of – travel, volunteering, outdoor stuff, and working in the field that I do, in the way that I am used to, I dont seem to be able to manage to do them. So come the day when my bills are paid and there is sufficient in the bank to cover me for a while, I plan on buggering off. Not sure where, not sure to do what (a range of things!), or for how long. Just go with it. Till then, please wish me the strength to get through the short term, and best wishes to you all!

    • ed says:

      Hi Paul, you sound like me. I am the same age with the same history of depression and a similar sounding job history. I managed 5 years at one job and it nearly killed me. I hated it but I got to work from home one work in three and was paid about 25% more than the going rate for the job. I got 5 years good pension out of it and 5 years good mortgage payments. As my working from home and accompanying pay bonus (working unsociable hours from home) was taken away I planned to quit and like you planned to get away. I rented my house out and ended up in Sweden where I lived for 3 years with my partner who I met over there. It was really, really hard to find work and the long winters and the social isolation brought on the worst depression I have experienced and eventually I got offered a job back in the UK and came back. I lasted 6 months in a corporate job, as long as I could manage, and found a nice job 3 days a week working for a charity. I struggle to make ends meet and supplement income with short term lodgers but for now its what I can manage, at times even 3 days a week is a struggle. Be careful of the promise of setting off into the sunset, you always take yourself with you. My future is about working around depression and accepting the limitations the condition imposes. In a year or so I will reassess and hopefully find something alongside that can provide a supplementary income so I can lead a slightly more comfortable existance. All the best in whatever you decide to do. The most important is that you look after yourself with the energy you can muster.

  46. Kathy says:

    After losing my only son 8 years ago, I have been living a nightmare. He was my only son. Single mom. I was 38, he was three weeks from his 18 birthday in December of 2006. He was coming home from work and was hit and killed by a drunk driver.

    The life I knew before that evening was a wonderful career working in the operating room as a surgical tech. My son was a hockey star. We traveled together. We really had a wonderful relationship and just was able to get through the holidays and his birthday which was last week. I little breathing room.

    My issue now is I can’t seem to find a new place to work. Since I left the hospital I worked at when my son was killed was going through financial issues and the stress of that after the loss of my son was too much to handle. Since then I have worked part-time, per diem, travel positions. I have searched and found full-time jobs and last maybe 6 months to one year.

    I have started a new job just 4 months ago and thought I had finally found the job. Small operating rooms with room for advancement. Come to find out, I was lied to. Long story short, I do not do nor have been trained to help with scopes. Colonoscopies. This is not something a surg. tech does. We assist in surgery. I was told I would get my first assist certification and that will never happen if I am no longer doing actual surgery.

    The medical director is so inappropriate and disgusting. Example: Last week he and some employees where looking through a sex toy book. Made a copy of the order sheet and put it on a nurses locker.

    I was horrified. In 15 years working in hospitals and surgery centers I have never been around this type of environment.

    Also since starting working here, I feel my depression getting worse. My doctor has requested I take time out of work 3 times. I have felt the need to “stick it out”. Prove to myself I can do it. I can take the harassment. Today I left feeling defeated.

    I am a Crossfit athlete and love going almost every night. Since working at the place, today for example, I am so exhausted mentally and physically when I leave the job, I got to my gym and feel so depressed. Worthless. For the second time I left the class early feeling weak and horrible.

    I have a doctor’s note for the rest of the week and going to take advantage of it. I am searching for a new job, ANOTHER ONE in hopes of something. What I wish I could do is get out of the medical field all together. It’s changed so much over the past 5 years. Patient care is no longer the number one goal, it’s money.

    I find it draining, not fun, not challenging. Depression is taking over and completely lost.

    I wish they would get rid of me so I can collect unemployment so I can go back to school. I would become a pastry chef. Something I have dreamed about. And move far away from this State.

  47. Joy says:

    I have Multiple Sclerosis, which causes depression and other psychological ailments. Also, I hate working, that said, depression would naturally follow. I was a janitor for over 10 years, the hours were awesome, the pay lousy, but I didn’t have to be around people, and that I found out too late was what I need. Now, after going to school and having many jobs, including working for a major contender of the aerospace market, I’m stuck in what my young coworkers feel is a structured environment. Yes, nepotism and favoritism in the workplace is what has caused a lot, not all, of my anxiety, depression, and paranoia that I can no longer control. Suicide is what I dream about every night, the thought of commiting suicide doesn’t make me feel bad anymore either! Oblivion would be great, it’s not as if anyone cares, if they did, me and others with these problems would get the help and resources we need, not just a “there, there” and a tap on the shoulder like I’m superwoman (which I’m not!). I hate it when my husband tells me I’m strong, only because I’m the one working. I have never been a strong person and I never will be. I can live with that, I can also dream about suicide, since I’m not a strong person, I will never follow through with actually doing anything to cause my death (darn my luck!). My life is a grotesque joke.

    • charlotte says:

      wow I get it about working with people. I hate it. and the nepotism and favoritism boy do I get that. It is very depressing. I see it DAILY. and they don’t care. They are superficial, greedy, cold, mean, judgmental (lol – I guess these are judgmental comments), no sense of humor or empathy for others. They are all a mile wide and an inch deep. They are enablers of the head narcissist and psychopath. Cut throat viper pit. Literally counting the days to retire and get my pension.

  48. Marginalized Mike says:

    Jobs…I get ill just saying the word. I have suffered from depression since as far back as middle school; emotional problems since, well, my whole life. I never really had an identity, that is in terms of a career path or goals. I would get an idea of what i would like to be, or perhaps it should be called flights of fancy. I saw Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1982 when i was 12 and decided that I wanted to be an archaeologist. Reality eventually set in and I realized that I could never be Indiana Jones and i had to think of something in the real world that I could be a career. I like music and thought being a rock star would be cool but i have no musical ability at all. I thought of being a disk jockey and went to college with a desire to major in communications. However, the school i went to didn’t have communications as a major, only as a certificate program. So i picked any major that could go with communications. The first of many majors i picked was sociology. We had to do a research paper (30 pages too) on any subject related to sociology. The two professors were nice and really tried to help by giving me the idea of doing a survey door to door in my neighborhood about some topic i can’t for the life of me remember. As the profs gave me their idea, in my mind I was thinking, “yeah, right like I have that kind of motivation”. So the next day i withdrew from that class and since that class was a requirement to be a sociology major, i was also now looking for a new major. I went through seven years of this. By 1994 and seven years of, well, nothing i dropped out. Through my twenties I job hopped and did a lot of temping. With no degree of any kind it is hard to get a decent paying job. eventually i gave up and went on disability. I then tried the work world again and it was back to pointless dead end jobs. I also had depression and fantasized about suicide from time to time and even made some attempts.

    I am now in my 40’s and still have no idea what to be and no motivation to really pursue anything. I kind of just want to be dead. I don’t have any interest in going back to school. I take my meds and have been on basically every med that is out there i have tried it. I go to my therapy once a week but my life never changes. I don’t want to job search, it is much too depressing. I have no education and a job history that is equivalent to two lifetimes. I also don’t want to be my own boss because that requires a lot of work and motivation that i just don’t have, and never did. I want to do something that makes a large amount of money with minimal effort. I would like to be paid a million or more a year, i would prefer a million a month but would settle for a million a year. If i can’t get paid that much then i just want my life to end. I have been thinking of overdosing a lot lately and i think i am getting the nerve to do it too. There is no point to life. that is the one thing i realized while i was here on this planet.

  49. Mike on the outer limits says:

    I gave up working and have been on disability for a number of years now. In the past i job hopped all the time. I did temping for a long time but most job positions never made me happy. I was glad if the job assignment was only for a limited time. If it was a temp to perm position, i would never accept the position because I felt (and still do feel) that the position was beneath me. I wouldn’t be surprised if the temp agency person who was finding the positions for me was very frustrated with me. Nothing was ever good enough, and probably never would be. Part of the problem was that I didn’t even know what I wanted; what jobv would make me happy or feel satisfied. Even now in my forties, I still don’t know.

    There is just no job that really interests me unless it is something like being CEO of a company or the owner of my own company, something where I could make a large amount of money and do very little work. Through the years I’ve come to realize that I don’t want to be just another cog in the wheel of some company. I need a job that is larger than life. It is just how I feel. I gave up looking for work. I figure it is best for me to stay on disability.

  50. Diggity says:

    Wow ! Enjoyed the ideas/strategies regarding depression and work. I live a more simplistic life so that I can afford to have a job with less stress. You must be mindful of where you are at in your depression. I have a degree but can’t use it right now, but have in the past. Social worker for several years.

  51. Charley says:

    I find my depression isn’t with the job itself but with others that want to use, take advantage, and steal credit for others’ work. I have been so maligned I’ve even thought about ending it all. No matter what I do I can’t seem to get an even break. I sometimes wonder if these people want me to quit so they can start some other form of harassement and threats if I go to a competing company. I think some of these people would be happy to seem me homeless and starving on the street or even dead. I’m sure they’ll just amplify the lies and half-truths when I’m not around.

    I was kicked off the management team when I refused to carry out what I felt were revenge motives against people. I refused to fire them for things that had occurred 5 years earlier and before my time. There was nothing wrong with these people’s job performance. You’d think the people you stood up for would have some sense of gratitude – not at all. They’ll join right in with the back stabbing when it serves their motives. To hell with them all. I live alone and am essentially isolated. I’ve lost all trust in people.

    I’ve made adjustments but nothing is stable. Everytime I turn around they are moving the management around and all the BS starts all over again by placing me underneath people that have been part of the abusing clique of which I have previously complained.

    I can’t take it any more. No more joy in anything and I just sick of it all. My health has been affected and I had to be hospitalized and surgically operated upon at two different times (being out more than a month each time) for complications and internal damges caused by ulcers.

    • charlotte says:

      wow I totally get it and yes, narcissist and psychopathic bosses do want you dead, homeless, injured. They do want to see you suffer. They are ruthless horrible creatures. I hate working in an office. They should all be ashamed of themselves. bullying is a huge issue and it’s usually the good people that are the targets of the jealous bullies. I know exactly what you mean in everything you say and good for you for having ethics and values. Pat yourself on the back for that. You’re a good person and they know that you now what they are. I work in a clique and it has started to be unbearable. I can’t let these creatures get the best of me. Anyway you are not alone and I can see by the blog posts that I am not either. Thank you.

  52. Anonymous says:

    I think something happens to a person when they’re dominated by an abusive personality at a tender age, or at some vulnerable period, later. It kills the fighter in you, and you don’t even know it. You probably weren’t even aware of what was happening, b/c you’re so close to the situation, it’s as if you’re eyes can’t focus on it. It’s a blessed person who undergoes some experience, hears a directed or random comment from another, or has some other thing happen that causes the hand, so to speak, to be pulled back from the bridge of your nose, and come in to focus. It’s seeing an abusive person in your past or present life for who they actually are…sort of as if you see it through the eyes of a third-person observer…where you see it for what it actually is.

    I was depressed since I was about 14, and never knew it for years. My dad was the original source, and I really didn’t see it until YEARS later (over 30). I forgave him, but I also had to tell myself that I wasn’t going to let highly-flawed individual (that’s the 3rd party perspective) define me anymore, and I’d rather ignore every single bit of good advice, commentary or conversation with him if it caused me to accept one drop of caustic poison. I know that was certainly his philosophy going through life.

    I think the depressive state that you try to deal with on a daily basis also might make you look at career or employment choices that really suck for you, to begin with. Your clarity of mind can be so obscured that you don’t even KNOW what would make you happy; and as a result you don’t even analyze what goals to shoot for! Goals are your hope in life. I know what it’s like to have a complete absence of hope…I lived that way for about 5 years. I’d hope to die quickly b/c living every day seemed like a prison sentence. Guess what helped me?
    I started asking God to speak to me about my life. I solemnly affirm to anyone reading this that I believe the following……within a month, my father finally had the veneer crack when I didn’t perform up to his expectations on some heavy burden he manipulated me into performing for him, and he actually called me worthless. FYI…I was 49 at the time, had a wife and 2 kids, was unemployed for the 1st time in my life, and what he was asking of me was a total, selfish imposition that in no way benefitted me. I felt this anger boiling up in me as he went on with his verbal diatribe, and I interrupted him with “Why don’t you get your butt up, and handle it yourself? And, once you do, call me back and report to me

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry…palm hit the synaptic pad and my comments submitted too early. Anyway, I could feel this paradigm shifting in my mind. Like something snapped into place that had been out of whack for about the last 30 years. I’m not going to belabor the depressive episodes, b/c anyone and everyone dealing with this has the same storyline, with personal plug-in points.

      What I DO want to belabor is that almost immediately, I got this clarity I can’t even explain, and over the next six months these bible scriptures started popping into my head from when I was a kid; as well as axiomatic statements I had heard indirectly over my life.

      Here is what I can think of right now:

      1. Think about whether you have a hard time seeing BHITW (Buttholes in the Workplace) for what they are. If you’re depression is like that which is fading from my life, you can’t even see who dumps what on you that makes work life so miserable. Relatedly, do you have a hard or impossible time looking the boss in the eye and telling him what the constipated BHITW is doing that makes your job difficult? Again, relatedly, do you have a hard time explaining things to a boss that actually demonstrates what you did positively? I know that answering no to those questions in my past has crippled my career, and made several jobs depressively miserable. Worldwide, cultures have rapidly changed, and there really aren’t that many nice, considerate people anymore. Lots of BHITW’s everywhere.

      2. Try speaking and thinking words of life to yourself. We tend to become what we imitate (even our words / thoughts about ourselves). I did, and it has been amazing. At first, just about regaining enough hope to see some light at the end of the tunnel. God doesn’t want you to die, and He certainly doesn’t want you to waste the rest of your life. That was a tough one for me, when I started to think about 30 lost years; but I felt Him telling me to let it go, and just look forward. I’ve even had a couple of days where I felt as good as I did when I was a little boy. If I can come back from that brink, anyone can. And, I hope anyone reading this gets encouraged enough to grab a hold of that. I also want you to know that anxiety and crippling fear and depression have really been rolling back in my life b/c of it.

      3. Quit listening to any records that were cut in your mind from some mental torturer in your past. That brilliant mathematician from W Virginia that Russell Crowe played in the movie “A Beautiful Mind”…anybody remember that movie? I was listening years ago to a radio broadcast about that man’s life AFTER the period that was portrayed in the movie. Years later, after being destitute, alone and alienated from his family, practically homeless, etc., he suddenly started to get better. One of the radio guests who had documented the man’s life said that when he was asked what happened, he said the following: He finally quit hearing voices in his head, which had directed him to do totally-departed-from-reality acts. An interviewer asked him how that happened, and he said that while he was riding a public transit bus one night, he heard the voices in his head, as he commonly had for years, and he finally decided to stop listening to them. They eventually went away. I took hope from that, and it’s been yielding really good dividends.

      3. Get by yourself, and face down your greatest guilty-feeling act, acts or habits of malfeasance from the past, and talk about it out loud in really, really specific detail. You’ll be shocked at how embarrassed you feel hearing your own voice mentioning it. Then, ask God to forgive you for it; and if you don’t believe in Him, just qualify it with “If you exist…”. By the way, ask Him to reveal Himself to you, if He does exist. It felt so good for me, that I started laying out my entire past to Him, and all of a sudden, I stopped revisiting it.

      4. Quit one bad habit that you started b/c of depression, or that your depression really feeds off of. For me, I hated to go to bed at a good, decent hour so that I stretch out alone time before having to face the next morning, and also so that I could numb my mind in front of the t.v. I started popping a melatonin with water soluble magnesium and split the sheets. Barring anything else, I swear forcing some deep, sweep sleep knocks a couple notches off the depression meter. My next goal is to get 12 years worth of 35 lbs. of unhealthy fat off of me, so that I can feel good jogging, and just feel good about how I look again. I didn’t care about that for sooo long…now I do.

      I could go on, but this is getting a little long-winded. I hope this helps and blesses someone out there.

      • Barb says:

        Thank you so much for the wise words. I too am a believer. I KNOW God wants only the best for me, but when I am in the dark pit of despair He seems so far away from me. I am saving your post and going to review it several more times. Sounds like a wonderful plan of action. Work is a tough one for me. When I am feeling good, I am a dynamo. When I am feeling bad, I am a slug. Night and Day. I have been very blessed to no loose a job over this issue. It is only by God’s grace that, it never happened. May God continue to bless you in your walk! Barb

    • CHRIS says:

      Wow, what was the connection between believing in god and how did this change you?

      I am trying to find a way out of this darkness and just see no end in sight myself. I’m also trying to get a diagnosis because I strongly believe to be a sufferer of Asperger’s meaning that no matter what, I am always going to be differential and cannot mask a front and pretend to be what I am not (unlike a lot of people who falsify themselves)

      Basically, I am also stuck in a dead end job that is crippling my body to the point where if I go back to it, I may end up disabled with a severely dis-figured back, and knees with arthritis (I work for royal mail and management are absolute bullying type of scumbags), and looking at the job situation, what chance I stand of finding another one is non-existent. I don’t have qualifications in over 10years now and being just over 3 years shy of 40 isn’t good, knowing that all qualifications cost stupid amounts of money to gain and then from experience, I have never been able to get jobs after any forms of studying in the past and now it’s far worse trying to find jobs. I know people with lots of qualifications who still cannot find jobs so I may well be finished and doomed for the rest of my life, and I suffer severe anxiety attacks if I have to speak to people, and I am so severely impaired that I cannot even pick up a phone and apply for a job or anything else.

      I did meditations for 3years and found that my drive for anything in life completely plummeted all the more and has made me much more lazy.

      I have taken a career break until end of December from the job but all I seem to do is stay in bed and do almost nothing. It has become that bad and I have no idea now how it can ever change (I cannot travel because this time of year, the prices are higher than the planes can fly)


      • Bhax says:

        Dear Chris,
        Meditation is good for anxiety however, depression may respond better to movement. There is a method called Walking Meditation. It can be done slowly, or better for you perhaps briskly. Why this meditation form is effective is perhaps in its brisk form, it encourages the release of endorphins – the happy chemicals – in the brain. See this article:

        Exercise has been observed to relieve mild depression. However, I would also consult my GP as antidepressants and/or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy may also help. The trick seems to be not to neglect or isolate your self – get all the support you can so you can return to full health.

        Also, there may be another dimension to your situation at work. You suspect that you have Aspergers Syndrome, and you do need a professional diagnosis to discover whether that is true. However in the meantime, you could research online strategies to cope with office politics. For example, Penelope Trunk’s blog describes her strategies in handling social situations with Asperger’s:

        Good Luck. With time and the appropriate help things can and do get better.

  53. Kay says:

    Oh, my god, I am full of horrible sadness after my first day back at work after my summer off. My job has gotten less and less tolerable over the past several years with increased monitoring data collection, less time with my students. I feel like mud. Literally nothing is done to give me access to data, student lists, access even to my locked closets. I do so much for the students and love that, but it is so hard to be invisible to others except for criticism. I can retire at any time, but early retirement costs a lot and I don’t think you are eligible for Medicare until you are 62 (I will be 60 at the end of this year). I can’t live on my retirement funds at my current level of comfort and need to decide what I could do. I do not know where to turn. Other people experience this as well in the schools, however, I just do not feel like I can ignore the poor treatment, at least it affects me emotionally.

  54. Pamela says:

    Hi.i have been working as a IT professional for a few years now .Its not the environments or the long hours that is making me depressed its the nature of work .I realise i have failed to find an appropriate career for me and only doing this job since i have pursued my studies in the IT line .Reading this article i have realised that i am full of depressive thought and fear that i will fail in whatever i will try .i really need professional help to sought this out

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Pamela. Stumbled on this site and somehow read only your comment here. I can actually see myself in the same situation as you. I am in IT and don’t think I am in the right field and have been doing it only since this is what i studied and now have a family to support too. I now doubt my abillities and wonder if I am good enough for this job and fear about failure everyday. Dont know how to get out of this rut

  55. Frances says:

    Today i quit my dream job. 2.5 years of battling depression, anxiety after working nearly all day, every day, being available all the time, even when on holiday, off sick, the lot. I had 10 months and recovered well only to rejoin in January. Here we are 4 months later, severe depression, sos helplines, it had to be. Thanks for giving me the courage to make the change. I can now begin to rebuild my life, and hope to find something less stressful in the future.

  56. Lauren says:

    I have worked in the same job for 9 years. I am suppose to retire in 2 years, well at least my husband is retiring and not sure if have enough money to retire. My husband will be 65 and I will be 62. Supposedly I am to receive some monies for social security when I retire. I dont know if I can stick it out at this job for 2 years. I am bored and dont want to do the things I know need to be done. I just play cards. I am so isolated here in western australia. I am an american that has lived here for 23 years and have found aussie women to be be unfriendly. You think you are ther friend but you never are accepted. I was in AA and have been sober for 31 years but I stopped going to AA here 2 years ago because I was ridiculed in my home group and just got tired of doing service and getting negative feedback. I feel like I have to protect myself and not go to meetings. I have good friends in the states but I can only talk to them short times. I need to snap out of this but am not sure what to do. I would like to go back to the states to live but my son, who has grown up here all his life does not want to go to the states and I cannot see leaving him behind. He is 28 years and I want to be apart of his life. Hopefully he will get married and have kids. What to do???

    • Marginalized Mike says:

      I saw your post here and felt the need to say something. Unless your son has special needs or is dependent upon you or your husband for help, I think you should do what is right for you. If the land down under is sucking the big one, then come back to the US. You said your son is 28??!! I think he should be able to survive since he almost 30 years old. If he wants to come with you guys to the US, I think he would like it here, in some parts of the US. If he doesn’t want to come here, that is ok too. At some point you have to cut the umbilical cord, you know what i mean? My brother is getting close to 50 and he still relies on our mother. He lives with her which is good because he can be there for our mom but that isn’t the only reason he lives with her. My brother is a real mamma’s boy. Neither him nor i are married or have kids. I’m divorced. I live a few thousand miles away from my mom and brother. Anyway, I just threw some of my info in so you would know where i am coming from. Parents have to teach their kids to stand on their own two feet and they can continue to be there for their kids throughout their whole life but you also have to be there for yourself too. Doesn’t your son want you to be happy? You count too!

      • KDC says:

        I don’t think she was saying he was unable to care for himself, but that he was their only child and they want to be part of his life especially when he marries and has kids…..that 19 hour flight is a big deal, especially for retirees.

  57. Jay says:

    I am writing this because I hope it helps. The work I do breaks my spirit every day I take it on. I sell a proprietary school in the US to prospective students who conspire with this industry to take advantage of the Federal Student Aid system. The degrees we sell ultimately lead to crippling debt and very little prospects for betterment. To be a part of the process of marketing and selling something so damning is soul crippling for me. The environment around me is even more depressing. My peers are just getting by in life, coping with the life they have arrived at, always a thought away from despair. They are not self-aware enough to realize they simply rationalize their existence, they make it ok for themselves to exist on Earth. I find it insufferable and loathe myself for coming back to it day after day. I feel like I am mutilating my spirit, spirit being whatever it is people tap into for the sake of vitality, for the sake of meaning. In “Man’s Search for Meaning” Viktor Frankl, holocaust survivor, says the main source of human despair is not living a life that is attune to the essence of our being. To put it simply, he says life only sucks and will always suck when you don’t live it pursuing your dreams.
    For the better part of my life I have wanted to be a professional writer. I have been crippled by fear and self-destructive behavior thus far. Recently, through research, I have learned that writing is a feasible dream. Depression, fear, and anxiety have brought me here though, because when faced with the information I needed to get my life going I resorted to habit and sabotaged my efforts, arriving here, on this site, to face despair one more time. I thank you all for sharing your story. I feel I owed you mine. I hope we can all find a way to our dreams, our better selves. Human life is a miracle, but depression blinds us to that truth and all the beauty life affords. I hope to defeat despair and face my fears before I lose the capacity to hope at all.

    • abiabi says:

      Not even sure you will read this, but just wanted to say that the moment I started reading your post I thought “oh wow this person is something else, they have a special kind of writing”. So there we go, just wanted to get that out and wish you all the luck in fulfilling your dream 🙂 Give it a go, life’s too short for us not to try!

  58. mark says:

    My job as of late has led me to take 5 months off last year. I got back to work in January, but its gone down the toilet again. The job I do is not what it once was, its become much harder, so hard in fact im finding it just about impossible to keep my head above the large waves. I have had problems with tachographs, and incurred infringements, and then had warnings and final warnings about them. They make the excuse that the company’s operating licence is at stake because of what I am doing; rubbish, I am just one very small part of a very small cog in a very large machine; I am nothing, I am worthless. I used to like my job very much, but when they keep adding all kinds of ideas, and schemes to improve things it just depresses the hell outa me. Why? because it more than I can deal with just to do what I NEED to do right now; and they then add more!
    I keep hoping that I have a terrible accident at work and get a big payout (if I survive, which I hope I dont). I just want to end it, but I dont know how. Thats why the tragic accident happens, and with me, (with a self fulfilling prophesy in life), getting killed in it. I have tried taking lots and lots of tablets, usually 40 to 50 paracetamol each time, but that just has me feeling ill.
    Its like I blink and say, “what was that”?, that was your life mate, you’ve had it, there is no chance of a re-run, or a refund. I dont want one. I wont be missed when I go. I’m quite sure that my wife wants to see the back of me; that my daughter thinks im a waste of space. I hope it happens soon because im losing interest in spending my weekends drinking myself into oblivion.

    • Nona says:

      You really need to seek professional help. I an here because i am feeling depressed and trapped. I understand how you feel although i an not as depressed i suppose :I don’t want to die.. I just want a better life. Maybe you can find another job that will be more enjoyable. I hope the best for you

    • Chris Brennan says:

      Mark this makes me incredibly sad what you wrote here because I know people think more highly of you than you might think…even people I talk crap about I don’t really hate, they just piss me off for the moment, sometimes a lot. But I don’t hate them, all people are good at the core, it can be extremely difficult to see sometimes because people put up giant defenses.

      Every time I’ve got involved in a group of people, played a sport, gone to school with people…Theres soo much criticism, soooo much criticism, back stabbing, all this BS, all the time! And while you’re there you sometimes straight out hate it, but there were funny times scattered in there, something you learned, an experience that stuck with you.
      And then at some point everyone disperses and you too, eventually do whatever is next. And although you hated those people sometimes when you were with them, it hurts more when they’re gone, because you know you may not see them again — and you miss them. I often feel disliked at work and have a hard time finding a reason to stay, which is why I’m here. And reading your post hit me so hard. Please, reflect on times you’ve enjoyed in your life, drop everything to seek help, find something, I know you’re a better person than you may feel sometimes!

      Sincerely, Christopher

  59. notkuroda says:

    I’ve had fits of depression my whole life. The last couple of months have turned into hell. This article really resonated with me because my depression is directly linked to my work/life situation. I got married and had kids at a very young age, and have been working at my current job for 15 years. My first wife, and mother of my children, dumped me about 10 years ago. It’s always been my first priority to be a good father, so I stayed here in Florida(I hate this place) after moving from Colorado(I loved that place), live close to my kids(one’s 12 one’s in college), and work this job that provides good pay and benefits and takes good care of my family. But I hate it. I literally feel dread from the moment I get up in the morning till about 2 hours after I get home, when I lay down and quit my day. I don’t have a bachelors degree so I can’t imagine what else I would do. I know if I leave, I’m going to make a lot less than I do now. I don’t have any other skills, and I’ve done well by just performing well at my job. Now I couldn’t care less, but I’m still here. If I quit I’m going to miss the things that I do that require money. I’m an avid music fan, and going to see music is where most of my social life lies, and I won’t be able to afford to do it. I don’t know how I would sell myself to do anything else. And I don’t want to leave my kids hung up to dry, my ex wife barely works(she’s an artist and a student) who relies on my support to live and the kids rely on me for extras like music lessons and art classes. I feel like if I quit I’m not doing my best for my family(I am remarried, and my wife is wonderful). I don’t have any confidence that I can do anything else, but I feel like if I don’t I’m going to die. I am preparing myself for a big leap of faith. First step is to tackle the depression. I’ve started seeing a new therapist who I really like and I think she’s going to be able to help me quite a bit. I saw a psychiatrist also who started me on Viibryd(I’ve been on Welbutrin for a year, which helped for awhile but apparently has petered out). I want to believe in myself. I want to believe again that I have friends that love me, and stop avoiding them because I don’t want them to see me cry. I want to be a good example for my daughter, who is in therapy herself because of her own issues with depression and anxiety. I want my wife to be happy to be with me, and not walking on eggshells. I want to live a life that blows my mind, in a beautiful place, with the freedom to do most everything I want. I believe this can all happen in one part of my brain. I just want the other part, the part that seems to be controlling me, to believe it too.

    • Dida says:

      I hope you find everything you are looking for. You deserve to be happy. I’m rooting for you.

      Ps: I hate Florida too 🙁

  60. F Walker says:

    Everything mentioned in this article and the comments by users all hit home with me. I have tried to find another job, no one will hire me. I am a service connected disabled veteran suffering from depression, federal jobs won’t even give me the time of day with my veterans rating. I tried to apply for vocational rehab via the VA, I was turned away. When I try to think of other things I can do, doom and gloom clouds my mind. I am sick of it all and feel this life is garbage and is not worth living. My job doesn’t appreciate me, my military service (no one cares about it), I lost my marriage and soon my job.

    • notkuroda says:

      It’s appalling how people like you are treated, after giving so much of yourself. I wish you the best

    • charlotte says:

      I feel sad that you feel this way. You are awesome for serving the country. Life is so fricking hard. I don’t understand any of it frankly, but I know a higher power, God has a reason for us to be here. It’s not forever. And I think decent people, empathetic, good, kind, down-to-earth, intelligent people are hard to find. It’s all so dog eat dog. I don’t feel appreciated either. My family suck. They could care less what happens to me, my job sucks, constantly problems OMG I don’t know why there are so many all the time. Don’t even really go anywhere. Just saying so you know you are not alone. Maybe when we are gone then we will understand what this all was for. Satans world and his narcissistic and psychopathic minions and their flying monkey helpers seem to run the show. I see you posted awhile back. Well, I hope you are hanging in there…

  61. Melissa says:

    This article is enlightening. I feel it’s encouraging that I’m not alone in this obstacle and disease. I’ve only just begun to really start to take this seriously as I transitioned into a position that started to wear me out in just a matter of months. I spent the last 8 years with this company and was told the only way to excel into a position that I truly want is to be involved in a sales position and do well there first. It’s been tormenting me because the sales aspect of this job is incredibly stressful and it’s making me lose hope for my future success. I’m a talented person in many ways and know that I can be amazing in the role I want without sales entirely, but I’ve been forced into this decision that is destroying me from the inside out. My financial situation is worse due to depression and have been afraid to move on because this job has so many benefits but I can’t decide what’s better… losing my job for my sanity or losing my sanity and inevitably losing my job anyway? I guess the question answers itself but I’m too scared to believe it.

  62. Sy Johnson says:

    It is so great to see that what I’ve been doing for years, is actually a practical coping mechanism. I have changed jobs every few years all of my adult life and I am 60 now. Its very validating to know that doing this can be a way to cope with depression. I have never chosen to share this information in the workplace – afraid of the stigma. I have worked in the private sector, the public sector and even had my own small consulting business for a number of years. I have steadily moved up the career ladder, and I found this site as I wrestled with the news I have been put on a performance improvement plan. I have stayed at current job longer than any other, and it seems it shows. I felt so defeated, but this article makes me put the focus back on my disorder, and hope I can figure out how to avoid financial risk of getting fired before I can find another job. Thank you for the site, and for this article.

  63. CHRIS says:

    Having just read this statement, I see soo much in here that makes soo much sense, and much of this does resonate with myself.

    I am male, mid 30’s, facing depression thats crippling me in passion and everything almost, that I do. I am also stuck in a job that if I could successfully, without any pain whatsoever – commit suicide to get out of it. Let me tell you, that I live in absolute mind torture over 75-80%% of the time, and when I even begin to think about doing something interesting, my mind goes blank, nearly all of the time, to the point where often, I cant even do anything. I am currently learning basic portugese – as I do love traveling when I get time off, and portugal and gran canaria are of 2 exotic places that I like to visit. But at times, when I am there, the pain is numbed, I still find it hard to go to a pub, hotel room for entertainment and sit there without a drink, and alcohol and costs arent cheap either. Also, it isnt like I have any options to be able to support myself traveling for several months at a time, because jobs are few&far between nowadays.

    I recently went to a tree of life event for a talk about raising kundalini and sexual energy via tantra, but then it turned out – during the sample the talker gave to us, that we had to have a partner to perform the task with, which rumbled me and completely threw me off balance. I couldnt perform as a result – simply being, I have a problem interracting with most of the opposite sex unfortunately, and i often sense that the vast majority of them sincerely look down on me. Im not saying that this is true, but I do feel vibes of this, but I could be looking on the dark side of things, but then, in my adolescent years, I was picked on by both boys&girls growing up equally, and laughed at basically. I have actually been solo for nearly 7 years now and feeling that the worst was all in the past, I decided to reopen my mind again to the possibilities, but this event made me realise that Im not even close to such an encounter. I just couldnt also help feel that everyone tried to avoid me at the time also, and when 1 person finally came to ask me, i was like “im sorry but I just dont feel comfortable with this” and in my mind, i just felt like the person just felt like she was doing this ungenuinely. (I have to feel comfortable with a person and have a small array of feelings before I can commit to doing such a thing also).

    I would definately like to learn tantra though and how to be stimulative, spiritual, positive, healthy and vibrant. I have already been meditating for – what will be, 2 years on 22nd february this year. But, if you need to be paired up then I guess thats the end of this for myself. But if I either suffer from feeling that Im not even good enough for pairing up (or the alternate scenario being that people wouldnt want to be seen dead with or near me?)this isnt going to help either. I really shouldnt be concerning about things like this at the age of 35. I should be living, thriving, being happy, healthy, in nature, traveling, making friends with people, being full of fun and life without drinking or wanting to be on the astral plane so to speak, but quite simply this just isnt happening.

    I have been depressed on&off for many years, and being picked on definately has been humiliating but im also lacking motivation to be something special and inteligent. I play bass guitar occasionally, but the motivation to pick it up is becoming truely much more difficult, and knowing how to better the playing is even more soo difficult. Ive been like this for many years and its simply becoming close to a virtual living hell.

    I am also incapable of crying, due to being shamed for it in my younger years and now feel fear to be able to do this (my ego is protecting me in a way but it is also imprisoning me and causing me to have no health). I guess maybe I feel worthy of very little? and let me tell you that it is not nice feeling like this. I still live at home, and feel ashamed of being lazy at home too. I would love nothing more than to be this fun loving guy, who is helpful, does things without giving them a thought, knows how to make people smile compassionately, make them laugh, humor them, show genuine love&affection and to be loved but I guess I am in a state where I fear all of this and simply dont know how to overcome it. I know for people who have no problems, would think “why do you think like this? just go for things in life and show things” but it sadly isnt easy, and I suffer with a degree of social phobia too. Despite the fact that I have often gone out to rock clubs in my mid 20’s to early 30’s on my own due to just dancing the night away with a few drinks and having some enjoyment, Im still not 100%. Infact, i clearly remember the best time of my life was from september 1988 – july/august 1989 being in the last year at junior school with a teacher who I still think the world of to t his very day. Things began ok in senior school but alittle nervously as we all go through those feelings when we graduate to a higher level as we never know what to expect, but during the years, i began to experience bullying more&more.

    On a side note, I didnt help myself by not going out much as a child either, despite the fact that my mom tried to encourage me to go out and play (bless her for that)but even then, i didnt have the courage to ask people if they wanted to go out&play etc, and i ended up playing on a computer system quite often from age 10-16 untill I finally did start to go out alot more, but by then, I was behind in the social communication skills, and could I meet new people and interract positively? could I hell!

    While I believe work is making me alot worse now due to the loads they put on us, and the physicality of it, im becoming alot more tired, after walking agood 6-7miles a day with lots of mail bags to carry, and this could be hampering my efforts at the gym too.

    I really wish I could overcome all of this and just live gracefully like many normal great advanced thinking people can. To be able to give love and be loved by the love of my life, to share great times, to be happy in all the things that I do/wish to do, be confident, quick witted, inteligent and to excell in some format of my life would be a dream come true. To also be able to inspire great friends and be a shining light in their lives is something id like to be

    The things that inspire me, are meditation, health food, health&nutrition (but not just conventional thinking when it comes to health&nutritional food), music of most kinds, (am listening to enya right now), spirituality (not religion or new age)fitness, weight training, playing bass and even attempting to sing a note occasionally (i dont have a professional vocal range though), nature, volcanoes (the subject of) but my own motivation is preventing me from thriving in knowledge of all of these topics and its heart breaking. I cant believe I have shared many of my issues on here but then I guess no one knows who I am in person otherwise it could be alittle embarrassing.

    I cant give advice obviously, but I do want to try a form of single’s tantra, meditation and if i can find a place that does tai-chi then perform this also. They say this is meant to really work wonders but I cant really confide in this knowledge without knowing from experience.

    • anthony says:

      yeah man – I work thirds and I have problems with it. I had to move my bro in so I could step down from a good paying job that depresses me, that is going to make my girl friend break up with me, and my kid would have to have joint custody at the age 1. But I’m stepping down to have a normal life. I’m happy with my decision no matter what.

      • CHRIS says:

        Only just noticed your reply. What do you mean by thirds? and which reason did you give of the gf breaking up with you? for taking a lower paid job? if so, you have met a really bad person dude 🙁

        you have to do what makes you happy, and this is what gets me with soo many people, all they think about is materialism, and the high paid money box basically. I think I give up on the majority of society to be honest as all many tend to do is think about is money, fame, and getting the fast car and most expensive thing going. Give me a choice between anything and I would choose being in nature and warm sun anyday. I wish you all the best with the life, and I am really glad you are doing what’s right for you. I have made one thing clear in my life though, I will never have kids as I dont trust anyone enough to have them with and I will not become a pay check and wageslave to an ex partner who turned out to be nasty and didnt like me for who I really could be as a person. Not only that, but I couldnt handle the responsibility of kids and the way the world is heading, I dont feel the reason for bringing any of my own up in.

  64. Woman anonymous says:

    Hello everyone. I am so glad I came across this site. I can sympathasize with all that you are going through. Anyone else felt a sense of both heaviness and relief reading the article and the comments? The heaviness of knowingg so many of us are suffering from depression and yet the happiness of knowing that I am not alone. I have had depression for as long as I can remember and was an unhappy child. I am in the health profession, but have not worked in a few months. I did not quit my job. I just stopped taking on more cases. I hoped I would get better on my own and not working and living a more spiritual and balanced life. My boyfriend is generally supportive of me, but I know he is getting impatient with me and feels that I am lazy and do not want to work. I am living with my boyfriend and not working has made me feel worse as my identity was wrapped up in my profession. I have read the book “finding your own North Star” by Martha Beck which has helped me immensely to learn more about myself. I have suffered from a lack of self-esteem as I am 29 years of age and the longest time I have worked is 3 years. I didn’t work for a whole year and then found another job and worked for another year before quitting again. I live in shame and battle against myself because I am constantly comparing myself to my ‘normal’ colleagues who have children of their own and appear to be able to handle stresses and multi-task extremely well. I read books on mindfulness and pray to God when I am particularly stressed. I wasn’t to be free of this depression. I wish I have accepted that I will live with it for probably the rest of my life. I have a severely depressed sibling who has no worked for 6-7 years straight. I know we had a genetic predisposition for depression. I am suffering from depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and avoidant personality disorder. Good luck to all of you in this forum. May we all learn to love ourselves and to better handle our situations more.

    • Royal says:

      Omg woman anonymous! I relate to you fully. As I am typing this I’m not at work since I feel so depressed. I want to quit, but I am concerned about others being disappointed in me. I am so sick of the office environment. It’s suffocating to me. I think we perhaps have the same diagnoses, though ive never been officially diagnosed. I am afraid of how those diagnoses will affect my future career. My career could be ruined anyway if I don’t do something though. My daughter keeps me going, but it’s hard to keep feeling up, chipper and happy. I don’t like talking to people all of the time. I would love to just be out in nature and going wherever my mind takes me. I haven’t worked at one place for more than a year and I’m 27. Kind of embarrassing to say, but now I understand how the depression is impacting my life. Not sure what to do, but your comment really resonated with me. I had to say something.

  65. Chris says:

    […] So, many of you have described my situation. I am tired of thinking about this mess and ready to get over with it. I dont see any little pills or psychiatrist helping.

    • Frances McCarthy says:

      Chris, the little pills can help but it takes time to find the right ones. They help though not the answer to everything. A good pyschologist can help. I found CBT useful and practical. All the best

  66. Renia says:

    This post really hits home. I have been in the same field for the last 10 years and just graduated with my b.s. in psychology in October 2012 and I am now in grad school working toward my MS in forensic psychology. I feel as though my education is all for nothing since I am still stuck in the same job. After working the last 4 years on 3rd shift I am completely exhausted. No matter how much sleep I get I still feel exhausted. I dread going to work every night to the point of tears. The emptiness inside is eating away at the very essence of my humanity. I want to stay in bed and never get up. That isn’t possible. I have three children who need me so I force myself to get through each day and force myself to a job I now hate every night. My husband doesn’t have a job and hasn’t for a while. He doesn’t seem to care so I just go through the days like a robot. Our relationship is honestly over and we communicate very little because I am in such a bad place mentally and emotionally. When you are married to someone who doesn’t even put in applications to help get you out of the job that is weighing you down …..well it tends to add to the depression. I don’t know what to do but so far applying for other jobs isn’t going anywhere. I’ve given up on life and instead of living my life, I am simply trying to cope from day to day.

    • Melany says:

      I don’t know if you’ll even read this, but I honestly hope that you don’t give up hope even if you don’t ever see this. I don’t know how old your children are, but I’m sure they sense that you are unhappy, and I’m sure they want nothing but the best for you. Coming from someone who, at 8 years old, convinced her mother not to commit suicide, I know that I wanted nothing but the best for my parents. I truly wished that my parents had stayed apart after their divorce; I feel that this would have improved all of our lives greatly. If the relationship is over and you are supporting him, why are you continuing to enable his lazy and/or depressive behavior? What is keeping you from kicking him out of the picture? I’m not saying you should leave him, because it’s really not my business, but I want you to think about that and come to your own decision. I also believe that you should, if you have the privacy, keep a journal or a sketchbook or a combination of the two. Just something to release your feelings and keep track of your dreams and goals so you don’t lose sight of them. Or maybe you need someone to talk to about all this, like a friend or a therapist. I strongly advise you keep your family out, though, only because they can sometimes exacerbate a situation like this without meaning to. I know mine did. I also know that putting in applications isn’t all you have to do to get a job; you have to follow up. Call once a week for the jobs you actually could do without hating, if you don’t have the option to call up on jobs you’d really want. Just until you can get something better. Just keep working towards your goals. It will be extraordinarily hard, but it can be done. Anything truly worth having is worth working for. I recently came from a long relationship where I did the giving and he did the taking – he and his father sat on their lazy asses while I worked 2 part-time jobs and went to school; they couldn’t even be bothered to cook for themselves or clean up after themselves – and I am now looking at working in fast food until I can get something better. But I know things will get better. Lastly, I hope dearly that you still have one or two close friends you can turn to when things start to get rough. At the very least, see if you can include a therapist in your budget; it’s what I had to do because I closed myself off from all my old friends. And really, if you love your kids, you will do something that will make you happy. It’s sort of hard for me to know what being happy is like, because I wasn’t exposed to it as a child and now I am battling depression; the best thing you can do for your children is show them you can overcome this and serve as a role model for them. I really wish that I had a role model as a child, and I think every child should be able to look up to their mother, the woman that brought them into this world. You sound like you haven’t given up on school, even though it feels like it’s not worth it. Trust me, it is! Don’t give up on your education! If forensic psychology is really what you want to do, never, ever give up on that. I still, to this day, look down on my mother for giving up her dreams to become a veterinarian. She could have done so much good for this world and served as a role model to me, but she decided to irresponsibly party her ass off and quit school. Your situation is different, obviously, but my point is you should not quit school. Especially not when you’ve already come so far. Never give up on your dreams! You are the woman your children look up most to, even if they don’t act like it. When, despite everything, you walk away with a master’s and pursue the career you want, you will be fucking Wonder Woman. No joke. Both you and your kids will be WAY happier. Please, please don’t give up. It will get better.

    • Steve says:

      What about some counselling. There may be free help…either through a gov’t agency, non-profit, or faith organization.

      I hope things work out for you.

  67. Tracey says:

    Hi John,
    Such a timely article for me.
    I have a background in accounting, psychology and social media. I also have a 20 year history of depression, worse over the past 3 years.
    Today I knocked back a big paying job as I know the stress of dealing with people will be too much. I finally chose health over money, never have before. The work is easy, its the workplace thats always the problem.
    I could easily work all day by myself.
    Thank you John.

  68. Cherie says:

    Hi all
    Firstly thank you I too stumbled upon this blog. Apologies if my typing had errors iPhone lol. It too hit to the core with me.

    Anyway I come from the land down under. Believe me it’s not better here. I have been employed fur 2 years at my current job. Have been doing the same career for 29 years. In the last year the abuse has become so bad I was Seeing a psychiatrist because of the depression onset by regular swearing belittling, sexist remarks, jokes about me personally, all from the one boss.

    It’s been just awful. I have tsken leave becsuse of this and started to self harm to deflect the pain. I now doubt my ability my worthiness to be employed.

    I will say I had never had depression before and seriously don’t want it. But with help from my counsellors and others I am working through it. I can’t say exactly when it’s started but recall an abusive incident which in think kicked started it.

    It’s sad that so many adults go through this. I am now faced with hating what I have done for all these years wishing for a career change.

    I know it will happen but first I need to mentally be well. We are lucky here in oz we have the workcover scheme against bullies and harassment. So if you are affected you claim it and still get paid.

    It’s certainly taxing & taking its toll on me. I have no energy or self esteem, but with help I can achieve normalcy hopefully one day

    Any ideas how you coped with changes in work I would love to hear them


    • Steve says:

      The one situation that comes to mind where I was harassed at work, I went to the boss. Luckily I had a good rep with the boss, the harasser was brand-new, and had a bad rep with the training dept. So, it turned out well for me.

      Is there a company HR dept. that could hear you out? Is there some process within the company that you could access?

      Good luck, I think you will make it.

      • Cherie says:

        Hi Steve
        Well no HE, depr boss, is the issue. But I am getting there.

        All my counsellors doctor and lawyers say its not confused for my health to return.

        So I am caught between a rock and a hard place. But there is light and the upping of meds has helped.

        Everything takes time. I have gone back to painting which I loved but … consumed by depression I had no happiness, energy, pleasure in life. Now I do. I suggest to all if there is something you live to do then Do it. I am still not working and $$$ coming in living off air ATM but I feel calm. I send prayers to all

  69. Jai says:

    Hi John, Ur post and all the experiences shared by others , helped me a lot to understand and help my husband who is currently undergoing anxiety and depression problems. We are seeking out help from all directions, he is in a fulltime employment so the company is patient with him. The first time it occurred they transferred him to another client and we moved to that place. He was also paid through his insurance for disability. But although it did help his condition returned again for the second time as predicted by the doctor. So is the job that is giving him all the problems .. maybe they r expecting too much on a single person. Hope we find some solution for all his problems and help him out of this grey temprorary fog.

  70. bob says:

    All these comments hit to the bone. I suffered through depression for 10 years before seeking any treatment. “The grey fog” is the best description of the feeling. When I would get too stressed at work I would shut down, tear up over nothing. I learned to reduce the stress by trying to “get ahead of tasks” I would work longer shifts, un paid, being salaried…missing a lot of my childrens growing up….trying to stave off the next bout. A lady at my work finally convinced me to see her doctor and I was put on Flouxetine?. It helped very much. Now here’s the important part…..stay on your treatment. I stopped with my drs. ok after a year symptom free. Two years later ,same career I blew up at 2 staff members and got let go , found a new job, about a year and a half later went into a fog and broke policy regarding shoplifters.Lost that job 1 week later. Now I’ve been out of work 3 weeks… healthcare, and between the worries for the future, paying for daughter’s (2)college, and my feelings of such self loathing for letting everyone down are bringing me to a darker place than I’ve ever been before. I’m 50 years old, too young to retire, too old to get hired, and loving
    my kids too much to leave them. I’m hoping that I find something so I can get out of the funk enough to do everything I have to do.Thanks for this log, thanks for the opportunity to vent, and please anyone getting treatment..STAY ON IT. Depression evidently does not go away.

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      HI, bob –

      I agree that if you find a treatment that works, it’s important to stay with it. I was wondering if you have gotten back on medication, since that helped you a lot for one period. Most of the big name drugs of the 90s are available generically and far cheaper than they once were. If one of them stops working, you can try others. There are a lot of self-help approaches you can try to manage things on a day to day basis. If you find yourself thinking more about “leaving,” please call somebody. There are good groups for peer support that you can identify through the website. I’m sorry things are tough right now – feel free to “whine” any time.


  71. Jeanne says:

    Wow – this site sure hits home. I have suffered from major depression for years. Was married to a mentally and sometimes physically abusive man and had three wonderful children with him. After getting divorced, I picked myself up and found a job in a school that I enjoyed. I also went back to school and received my Masters. My mother was sick with cancer during all of this and passed away in 2003. It seems like yesterday to this day. I switched positions at work and had a horrible principal. Every morning was a struggle just to walk thru the doors. Last year I had a new principal who basically threw me under the bus for something I wasn’t even there for. Every summer I am so anxious about going back that I feel physically sick. Weekends? Forget about them, all I am thinking about is Monday. Tomorrow is the first day and the thought of it, makes me want to jump in front of a bus. This is going to be my 12th year! I have had numerous co-workers (men) harass me at work – one was married to another principal. It is so toxic, that I could probably write a book about what goes on. This is only a small portion of my story, but don’t know what to do.
    Everyone I talk to says “Suck it up” “you can do it!” “you are a great, caring person, the kids need you there” “You need the benefits and have the summers off, why be unhappy” and the list goes on and on.
    It is effecting everything around me- my children sense my unhappiness, no friends, no boyfriend, no hobbies, no interests. I just feel like a blob in motion.
    Do I try to get disability? Is there even such a thing for a 41 year old? Won’t I lose my “medical benefits”?
    I know I won’t be able to sleep tonight-

    • anonymous says:

      I’m so sorry to hear about your troubles. Sounds like me. I’m anonymous who posted on 7/14.
      Just because we get summers off doesn’t mean that it isn’t the job for you. It’s a huge myth that just because teachers get summers off that means we have it easy. I just spoke with another teacher at my school and it’s so stressful. Principals are under pressure to get the scores up, up, UP! At the expense of teaching. I’m not sure if you’re teaching in the US, but it sounds like it.
      Go to your doctor and tell them your problem. You have a medical issue. Insist on seeing a psychiatrist because they are the most qualified to monitor meds. My gen pracitioner had me too small a dose. A psychiatrist can also decide if you are able to work or not. They need to provide the insurance company documentation that you are unable to work and should be on short term disability. Why would you lose your benefits if you were on disability? That’s what it is there for. Use it. My psychiatrist is very familiar with how insurance works.
      Doctors can only help you as far as their expertise can take them. You are in charge of your care. Your school system should provide you with medicial benefits disclosure of some sort. My school system also had a hotline that teachers could call if we had mental health issues, drug or alcohol. They might be able to find a psychiatrist for you. You need to go now. My job situation only worsened when I stalled. Schools are under pressure to get rid of teachers who can’t perform. My prinicpal siezed the opportunity to get me out the door at his first chance. Don’t let that happen.
      I know you can’t think or make decisions well. This is something you must do.
      Also rely on your kids. I’m not sure how old they are, but even elementary school kids can be a great source of support to their parents. My sister and I stood behind my mother when Dad left. They are your assests in this time. Sieze on this depression as an opportunity to deepen your relationship with them. I know it sounds trite, but depression is a time to reflect on your life and where you’re going. If you reach out to your kids, it will last a lifetime. Right now you’re hurting, but when you do feel better you’ll get something out of it. I did. My relationships with my immediate family were disconnected. My sister and I fought. I didn’t call my mom because I didn’t want her to worry. Dad never called me. The only support I had was my husband. Now that everyone knows, my family came thru for me. They showed me how much they cared even my Dad calls me now (?). I love my family so much. I cherish my husband more than before.
      I’ve learned from the experience and it’s molding me into another person for the better. I learned that’s ok just to be me. Nothing else. There’s nothing wrong with it. I’m acceptable when I’m unemployed and by society standards, a failure. Yeah, nothing has worked out. But, I’m nothing more than human. I’m not expected to know the future. I took a risk and I lost.
      I’m never going to conquer my depression. I’m always going to be in recovery. I’m ok with that. I am learning to monitor my responses.
      I was just thinking today that in Jan I was so depressed. I had good days, but i was suffering. By June my depression was gone. Six months. Not too long. I’m not promising anyone anything, but I’ve made great progress. I’ve promised myself that whatever comes next, I won’t stress so much that I regress.
      My best advice to anyone: get the facts, go to the doctor and then see what happens next. One single day at a time. I was depressed for 10 years. I’m going to be in recovery for a long time. I am not expecting my job problems to just disappear, either. It took ten long years to get to this point, it’s going to take time to get out.
      Jeanne, if it makes you feel better if I say that I care. As a fellow educator, I know that concerns for kids keep you going. That’s why we are educators. I like helping people and expounding on what I know.
      I’ll keep checking this blog. If you post again, I’ll respond…
      Hope things get better…

  72. AnoNymoUS says:

    Hi, I stumbled upon this blog and it struck a chord with me. I don’t know whether to feel relieved to hear that I am not the only one struggling with these issues, or worried because we all have a lot on our shoulders.

    I feel like I am at the edge and have been for quite some time, and I can’t bear to hear one more person tell me to buck up and quit feeling sorry for myself, quit whining, pretend to be happy and I will become happy.

    I consider myself to be fairly intelligent and holding many skills. Yet I’ve always struggled. I grew up in a messed up home and didn’t realize it until just how messed up it was until I was in my teens. I’m an only child and am on the introverted as well as shy side. My father was verbally and sometimes physically abusive and my mother just turned her head the other way and did nothing. We also didn’t have a lot of money and I was always told that I just needed to do really well because my parents wouldn’t be able to afford to send me to college. So I was the introverted, shy, troubled kinda-poor kid who sometimes was prone to outbursts when pushed to the limit, and the kid who still got good grades. Needless to say, I was bullied a lot as a child at home and at school (and by teachers too).

    I ended up getting my bachelor’s degree and a graduate degree. I was doing pretty well at college, for awhile until I hit the wall when I had to deal with advisers and persuading people to listen to my potential research ideas. And despite the good grades and working hard, after spending many years in grad school I still racked up a lot of student loan debt that will take many decades to pay back on the calculations of % hypothetical paycheck amounts that I have yet to see.

    I struggled to find full-time work in my field ever since I received my college degree. The economy wasn’t doing so well from the time I graduated, and I only got one job offer that ended up being a nightmare. My supervisor would say almost every illegal thing possible and I was placed in a department that I was not originally hired (or interviewed) for and had no experience in, so my performance wasn’t very good. That’s when I decided to go back to graduate school. I started to look for other jobs eventually after getting my Masters. I applied for job after job, tried networking with people I knew, asking around for jobs, etc. But nothing. I have always been shy and I was taught never to brag about yourself or talk up your accomplishments, although I know that you kind of have to when job searching. And I don’t use social media a lot and I’ve really not been too happy about the privacy breeches and the non-stop self-advertising.

    In the end I took a dead-end position abroad so I could have enough to pay the bills and get to have an international experience. But now I want to move on because this position does not offer any career advancement or salary increases at all. In fact, my salary has been decreasing since I started. I’m currently also severely depressed. I took my current position because I needed a job to pay my bills and so I wouldn’t become homeless. I am isolated geographically and it’s a challenge to get to places for my job because of my lack of automobile or public transportation. I have no social life, no friends or acquaintances in my area, and rarely leave my home. I no longer travel because I can’t afford it and it’s difficult to get myself out my area to anywhere else. I spend all my days going to work and then going back home and sitting in my apartment alone. At work I have some good days, but often I am ignored by coworkers and insulted by the clients. I’ve been having a lot of health problems that they can’t really explain and they continue to increase. I cry constantly at home and sit in my dark apartment and sleep all weekend. This has been going on for over a year. I try to do my best at work and I work hard, but I’ve been in trouble because I must always be smiling and I can’t fake it. I am worried that I will be fired now because I don’t smile enough. I don’t talk to any friends anymore and the ones at home have usually just told me to stop complaining and how jealous they are of me because I get to live in a foreign country so I’ve basically stopped communicating with them too. I don’t really have any family either.

    I’m terrified to go back to my country because the economy is so bad there now and I had problems finding a job even when before the major crash happened. I don’t know what I will do because I don’t have any true emotional or financial support system. Mental health is not something really talked about where I live now (very stigmatized) and there are little to no services available. I can’t even get any meds where I am now. I do talk to a counselor over the phone long distance but it doesn’t help much and it’s a bit expensive on my salary.

    I’m so ashamed because I have always been working since I was a teenager and have always tried to do my best. I also have been told that I should be thankful for the job I do have and it would be crazy for me to quit. And if I did quit I don’t think I’d be able to find anything else here (believe me, I’ve been looking for years) or back home. And if I quit without something else lined up I would just fall into a black hole of not being employable again. I’ve tried doing things like save up money and develop new skills and try to connect with potential employers long distance. However there’s nothing in my area and I’m not allowed to do any additional work besides my current job (I can be fired for it). People tell me that “oh, you’re young, you’ll bounce back.” But I’ve been out of school for about a decade and I don’t seem to be making any headway in my careers department. I will not go back to school for further education at this point because I am terrified with the amount of loans I already owe and I don’t think I need more certificates and degrees. I worry how I’m ever going to survive on my own for decades more when I’ve made such a failure at it for the first quarter/third of my life and haven’t made progress for my future. I’ve heard I have a lot of skills and abilities, that I am very analytical and have a lot of diverse knowledge and experiences. But I still haven’t been able to “make it happen,” and I try to keep pushing on but I doubt everything about myself now. I realize more and more that I have been struggling with depression and work for most of my life but I’ve always just carried on. I’ve never been able to climb up the ladder though. I get told I’m not a winner or a positive thinker and the only person in my way is me…well, sorry, I don’t know how to get out of my own way, maybe if I smiled more maybe? Furthermore, I’m so angry at myself for letting my screwed up head ruin everything for me and for being so weak and pathetic. Nothing good has happened in a long, long time, and now I am starting to just pray that I go to sleep and never wake up. I have no idea what to do or where to turn to now.

    Sorry for my lengthy post. And thank you for this website and post.

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, AnoNymoUS –

      I’m sorry to hear that things have gotten to such a point. It sounds like you’re in a very deep depression spiral, and when that has happened to me I’ve never been able to see any way out. I ruled out every possibility for change, that is, every pathway was blocked, and for very sound reasons. There was nowhere to go but into a hopeless state of barely dragging myself through the days. The problem then was to find a place to begin, and for me that was writing. You write well, and that might be a first step for you as well. There’s a good book by James Pennebaker called Opening Up that goes into writing to help with depression. It’s a good thing to read because there are some ways of writing about your experience that help and some that can make it worse. Writing each day just for my own eyes helped by expressing the feelings and by gradually giving me some distance from depression. The first post I put on this blog was an example of personal writing to help me start the day and get to work. Medication might be helpful in taking the edge off the darkest times and perhaps help with everyday functioning at work. I know you say they aren’t available where you are, but if you can get a prescription from a doctor – any doctor, there are many safe sources to buy from online.

      I hope you can find some way to stop the downward spiral. There’s no room for false hope or glib answers, but I found that my despair was also false. Or rather it was a symptom of depression, not the reality of who I was.

      All my best to you —


      • AnoNymoUS says:

        Thank you for the reply. I’m responding to your response a little late. It’s been a rough recently so I’m sorry I’m not very on-task these days. I think that’s interesting that you say that I write well (and thank you, by the way, though I of course never think anything I do is adequate) as it’s something I’ve heard multiple times from different friends and colleagues. I do write a lot, sometimes in emails that I may or may not send, or for myself. Sometimes it ends up making me feel a whole lot worse because now all my bad thoughts are all raw and up in the forefront of my mind. I used to keep journals in university but I would end up furiously writing for hours and I would be tired the next day. Since then it’s just been too painful to keep a journal (let alone be diligent about writing consistently). I will look into the book you recommended though.

        For now I continue to worry about the downward spiral. I’m not sure where I’d even get a doctor to write me a prescription. I tried getting one from an internal medicine doctor last year and was told that they ‘don’t deal with that kind of thing’ and shooed me out. Now I don’t really live by any doctors. In my current country I was able to find a mental health clinic but that was when I lived in an urban area. He wasn’t all that helpful though, just kept prescribing me very strong sleeping pills and some antidepressants, social anxiety meds, and eventually what he referred to as “psychotic medicine”…there’d be very little effect after 2-3 weeks and he’d switch me again. Finally he said that he had tried everything in existent and I probably just wasn’t going to respond to meds. It made me feel even more hopeless to know that this feeling I have will never go away or be treatable. For now I just have to keep pulling myself through each day going to work without talking to anyone (or having former friends shy away from me when I do get in touch with them because I’m being “whiny and pessimistic”) and not getting any counseling or meds.

  73. anonymous says:

    Thank you John.
    Your words of encouragement are appreciate especially since I’ll have to make some decision soon about a new teaching job for the fall. My psychiatrist is a real psychiatrist, but he does more than just monitor my meds. My husband goes with me to my appointments which are great because the doctor can turn to him to get a more objective opinion about how I’m doing. My doctor does talk with me about how best to change my thinking and he also encourages behavioral therapy. I had concerns about just seeing a psychiatrist, but I’m making progress. If that stops or slows then I reconsider. I can’t help but tell my story. I want people to know that I was really hurting and that sometimes I still hurt. I will have it for the rest of my life and if I had sought treatment eariler, I could have avoided that pain and taking meds for the rest of my life. My advice is to get help asap, don’t wait, don’t collect that $200, do it now!

  74. anonymous says:

    These posts are all too familiar esp Candice’s story. I have hated every job I’ve had. However, I do believe what drove me into depression was that my workplace was continually rocky. The truth is I have no idea what I’m supposed to do earn a living. I’m one of those people who don’t have a clue. It’s not like I was born Charlotte Church. Obiviously, she’s singing (duh). It’s not as clear cut for the rest of us. I went to college and earned high marks and got a history degree. Loved it! Had a blast in studying and writing, going to class. All of it. I met my husband and we wanted to get married after graduation, so I took the first job I could get. It took me three months to learn it and after that I was bored. During this time, I didn’t realize it then, but I was looking for something else. I tried writing a novel, teaching piano and I started taking pictures on the weekends. Nothing came of these except that I still take pictures.

    Three years later, I got another job at the same place and during this job I remember my first encounters with depression. My boss had a slew of problems of her own. She came in at weird hours, showed signs of depression herself and I ended up consueling her when her father died. She had migrain headaches that she refused to treat, then bemoaned about the pain. Meanwhile, she never trained me. I was bored before. Now I was big time bored. What really burned my biscuits is the day she berated me for giving the wrong letter to the wrong person. She claimed she told me, but she never did. I was angry and hurt. I should have left then, but I was putting my husband thru school and he was on my health plan.

    As time went on, I gradually lost all moviation there. I was really mad when she turned me into the head supervisor because ” it wasn’t a matter of can’t, but won’t.”. I was more angry and hurt because now I felt it was all a set up. She wasn’t giving me anything to do because she couldn’t delegate and then she threw me under the bus. About this time, I would cry before going to work. I’d have difficulty walking inside. It would take all my energy just to get in the morning. I lost all interest in my usual activities. I remember that was the first time I wanted to cut myself. I was so shocked that I thought it that I quickly pushed the thought aside. Did I just think that or did I think I thought that? My husband found a job with his new degree and I quit. It was wonderful. I have never not once regretted it. One ray of hope was that I liked taking pictures, I’d go on a shoot over the weekend and it was easier to come to work the next day.

    So I decided to change careers completely and go back to school. I figured that my little depression was result of the job and once I was out of that situation, my life returned to normal. I easily enrolled at the local university and I was taking night classes, taking pictures on the weekends to earn some money and then I had a temporary job during the day. I enjoyed this time. My job wasn’t very stressful and as my photography grew, I was gradually earning more money. It still wasn’t much. I had a busy schedule. Too busy when I look back on it. Depression would come back. I would feel down that my photography wasn’t going anywhere or when I’d fight with my sister, but it wouild go away. Each time it came it was a little worse than before.

    It really hit me hard when the recession hit and I couldn’t find a job with my new degree. It took me several months. By now my husband was telling me I was depressed. I discounted this. I did find a job as a teacher. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but we were slipping into debt. The first year was hard, but it was especially hard for me because I had zero help at school. If I needed help, I had to ask for it. Gradually, I realized the mentor teacher I was assigned to, wasn’t speaking to me without any clear reason. I was scared that I’d fail. I was thinking by this time that nothing so far was working out for me and if this doesn’t work, I didn’t know what to do. Sometimes I’d sit at my desk, just paralyzed with indecision. By my second year, I realized how badly I was trained and that I was learning at the school of hard knocks.

    I was performing fine until mid-year when my school decided to reorganize my department. This meant that we would receive all new students after winter break. I was immediately terrified, but at first it didn’t effect me, then it was decided that I would bear the brunt of the workload and I was saddled with new duties that I didn’t know the first thing about. I had no planning time and I was teaching three grade levels. On top of that, I was promised help I never recieved, then my teacher’s aid was taken away. So I was all by myself. I was determined to succeed. Looking back it was all a blur. I was depressed to the hilt. I couldn’t enjoy the weekends because all I’d do was worry. Any little decision was exhuasting. I felt like everyone could read it off my face that I hated my life. I knew I was in trouble when I starting crying again before leaving for school. My husband didn’t want to leave me to go to work in the morning, but he’d be late to work, so eventually he had to go. I was counting down the days to June.

    I made it, barely, I had a breakdown in April. I was terrified my school was going to fire me. My husband went with me to the doctor who gave me antidepressant. I had to take it. I was wanting to cut myself everyday now and I sometimes I wanted to kill myself. I felt like a pot that was overboiling and that I was cracking a little more each day. Did I mention that I was still in school? Oh, yes, I was still taking night classes that my school required me to attend. At my expense, of course. Everyone that I told my story to couldn’t believe it. My husband said he didn’t know how I did it. I told him I wasn’t sure either.

    I tried to transfer to another school, but I only got one interview and I didn’t get the job. I think they could percieve that something was wrong with me. I did my best to cover it up and to smile, it didn’t work. I called the teachers union several times and they were no help. They were very concerned that I didn’t have any planning time and they wanted to bring it up to the administration. But, honestly, what could be done about it? I was teaching every minute because the schedules weren’t designed to coordinate with each other. I thought that surely this year was a fluke and my next year will be better.

    My third year, I was relieved to know that my workload was much, much lighter. I was delighted. My meds were working and I was feeling a bit more comfortable. I wanted to impress everyone at work this year. I decided I was going to show them that I was responsible.

    One day I recieved a new student that was violent. She was used to her own way with her dad and at school. After a week or so, I was self-monitoring my behavior, was my depression coming back? No, I felt ok. I was smiling and positive. It didn’t help that my student was throwing things in my classroom and hurting other kids. She did this throughout her school day so I knew it wasn’t me. I was worried that other students were going to get hurt and I was going to be sued. To complicate matters, her dad was constantly telling me how to teach his daughter. I wasn’t using the right methods and I wasn’t presenting the material correctly. When I said that I wasn’t giving any instruction because by the time she reached my classroom she was in tears, I was told by my school that I should have said it more in a positive light?! I guess it was my fault that this kid is already upset before I even see her?

    After a few weeks, I couldn’t concentrate. I couldn’t concentrate before, but now it was ten times worse. After school, I’d just sit there at my desk for hours just unable to think. I was tired I thought. It was exhuasting when I was scared that I was going to be spit on, scratched, bit,….I had this other problem that I didn’t know what it was. I was restless and I was wringing my hands all the time. I couldn’t pinpoint what it was. It was bothering me.

    One day after I was nearly bit, I came to my principal and told him things weren’t going well for me and that I was going to seek out help for my depression. I told him honestly that I couldn’t remember things and I was forgetting things that people told me. I was feeling out of control and that it wasn’t because I didn’t want to do my job, it was because I felt I couldn’t under the circumstances. I knew my performance was slipping and I wanted him to know my side of the story. He said he understood and that he had a similar situation with one of his nephews. When I left, I was reassured that my school understood my difficulties.

    The next day, however, I was utterly shocked when my principal asked to speak with me and asked me why I wasn’t performing. I was confused. Then he said that he didn’t understand and that he believed I was acting out of negligence. He was very clearly angry with me which wasn’t at all evident until now. I couldn’t explain myself and I started to cry uncontrollably. I completely lost all sense I started to panic. He was giving me instructions on what to do next, but I wasn’t listening. I was failing yet again. My job wasn’t working out and this time, I couldn’t stop crying. To my horror, they called an ambulance and I was driving to the emergency room and the doctors there had to give me something to calm me down. I was mortified and couldn’t believe this was happening. My husband came and got me and drove me home. I got a referral to see a psychiatrist.
    I still have nightmares about what happened that day. I still don’t understand what happend. I think I was lied to. That’s the only correct interpretation. So to this day, I believe that he thought I was lying to cover up my poor performance. Well, I showed him, didn’t I? You think I’m lying, well, I’m going to start crying and not stop until I get some drugs. Ha!
    I took me a long time to feel better. I was told that I had anxiety which is the second phase of depression. The third is hearing voices. That anxiety built and built until I exploded like Mt. St. Helens. I literally was wringing my hands first day I met with the psychiatrist. My doctor forbid me from work and my school said to stay home and get better. I cried for weeks. I slept for days and I was utterly spent. I’d have anxiety attacks without any warning for the next three to four months. My throat would squeeze shut sometimes so painfully that I’d cry out. I felt rotten inside, like there was a hole deep inside me and my life was escaping through the void.
    My doctor put me on a different medication that didn’t work at all. I ended up more depressed and a nasty rash from the equator on down. Oh, so fun. So he put me back on the initial drug I took, but increased the dosage slowly. I’m also on an antianxiety. I know you’re shocked.
    I lived in terror of going back to work. I wanted to run far, far away. I was screaming inside at the thought. I COULDN’T GO BACK, EVER! The only thing that kept me safely at home was my doctor’s prescription pad. Oh, thank you, Lord. I got out. I was on disability for most of the reminder of the school year.
    Oh, FYI, if you’re on disability and you’re doctor is dealing with your insurance, keep track daily of your symptoms. That way you provide your doctor with data to back up his recommendation for you to remain at home. I never had any trouble with my insurance. Not a peep. I just wrote quick notes on a calendar about how I felt that day. I only wrote the negative. So if it’s blank it was a good day. If you had the day from hell, write small. This takes five minutes. My doctor loved it and he’s encouraging all his patients to do the same. That way there is no guessing. Also it provides good info for you to know if your treatments are working.

    I resigned from my job and now I have no clue what to do or where I’m going. I finished up my classess anyway and that gave me a good feeling of accomplishment. Anything to feel good about anything is good. Some things that have worked for me.
    1. It’s okay not to have all the answers right now. I don’t have to figure this out tomorrow.
    2. The earth did not crash into the sun when I lost my job. It’s okay for me to just be me. Jobs do not assign us our identity nor makes us what who we are.
    3. Find something that you can feel good about. I found photography which I still do. I also found out that I like painting and sewing. Any little positive feeling is an accomplishment.
    4. Socialize. I think this is an antidote to depression. I continued to go out and keep my schedule when I didn’t feel like it. When I got there I cried anyway, but I was glad I went. I joined a dance group and they are very supportive and I have good friends now that I never dreamed of.
    5. Pets. I have two dogs and they are a big part of my life. Pets release oxytocin in your brain which bonds you to your pet. Oxytocin is a feel good neurotransmittor that bonds mother to child. Borrow one if you’re not ready to own.
    6. Pain is temporary, but our decisions will last. I didn’t want to do something destructive while I was really depressed. I never cut myself or blew a lot of money, or did drugs. I knew I was upset, but I had hope that one day I would feel better and that I’d be glad I didn’t do any damage. I this sounds silly, but I’d distract myself when I’d get bad. Watch a comedy (Whose line is it anyway right does the trick) or go to the gym.
    7. I was worried that depression had altered my brain because I was always been told that neurons can never grow back. Stress hormones cause the hippocampus to shrink, but patients who took antidepressents have been found to grow new neurons. Wow! Don’t believe me. Check out the film This Emotional Life made by PBS.
    8. My family is a constant support. If they reach out to you, don’t turn them away. My family showed me how much they truely care. That nearly makes my depression worth it on that score alone.
    9. I started praying again and going to church. This has been a great comfort. I’m not here to stand on a soapbox, but I recommend it. Use your critical thinking skills and don’t fall for any emotionalism.

    Sorry for this a long post, but I’ve been thinking about writing about my experience for a long time. I want other people to know what happened to me. I’m not completely over it and my doctor says I’ll have it for the rest of my life. If I help one person, than it wasn’t in vain.


    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, anonymous –

      Thank you! – for telling this story in such detail. I’m sure it is helpful to write about all these tortured experiences – it’s been a big part of my personal therapy. No one can say for sure what causes depression, but the unfair treatment, the terrible stress and helplessness of these work situations must have set the whole thing in motion, as you say. Since it was the work experiences that were so important, I was wondering if psychotherapy could help in addition to medication. I don’t know if it’s true of your psychiatrist, but many these days put their faith completely in medications – some don’t even study psychotherapy, yet the combination of therapy and meds comes out as the recommended approach. You have a great list of things that have worked – and you’re so fortunate to have a great husband and supportive family. The activities and support you mention have worked for me too, especially since they emphasize the positive side of living well rather than just the need to control symptoms.

      All my best to you as you continue to learn more about living with depression.


    • Venkatesh K says:

      Amazing !! Every word you wrote is true and I am completely spellbound ! Excellent courage with which you’ve gone through the ordeal ! Truly admiring the way you’ve handled the pressure, you’re a very very inspiring human, with tonnes of courage !

      Well, I was laughing out loud when I read the line “The earth did not crash into the sun when I lost my job.” ha ha ha

  75. matt says:

    I am now in the situation where I can’t work due to my depression.I’m an offshore oil worker and there is no way I could return for fear of that I’m on Valium and luvox I wouldn’t pass the drug screens anyway.depression sucks don’t know what to do now.I’m 48years old and now living with my mum,what a winner!,just having a bit of a vent here,my life has gone to shit.

    • Candice says:

      One thing that has helped me alot is a change of scenery. I moved from my hometown to a tropical climate and it made my depression so much better! It might be worth a try…just see how you feel.

      • John Folk-Williams says:

        Hi, Candice –

        Thanks for both your comments. I know how you feel since I stayed about 18 years too long in one line of work. Fear is a huge barrier that kept me from trying anything new. The realities of money are important, but I never even got to the practical assessment of how to make a transition. Depression puts you in a terrible state of mind for evaluating any new direction in life in an objective way. I could never do it, but finally had a chance to retire altogether.

        I was just wondering about two things: how you work on managing the stress so it doesn’t kill you, and whether or not you have any regular treatment for depression. I think living in a place where it feels good to be alive makes a big difference, and you’ve done that by moving to a climate you like. I’ve also found a lot of relief from other practices, like mindfulness, but I think you have to get right at the source of stress. There are good psychotherapists around who help you focus on short-term problems, like a career transition or breaking a well-established cycle of doing well then crashing at work because of depression. Sometimes just a few sessions with the right person can give you a lot of ideas to work with.

        All my best —


    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, Matt –

      I’m sorry to hear that depression has cost you your job. It’s good you have some treatment for the illness, but it’s hard to get a realistic or optimistic assessment of what you can do in the future when you’re battling depression. It’s so hard to look at the skills you have and what practical ways there could be to apply them. In the field I was in, becoming a trainer was an option that worked for a lot of people. As I mentioned in another comment, there are therapists and counselors who specialize in helping people with shorter term problems like managing a change in work life. I’ve also found a lot of ideas on LinkedIn – that surprised me. If you search on your industry or profession and also look at the groups and discussions, you can find a lot of people in the same boat. The discussions are some of the best on the internet. Just as odd thought – venting is good too, every so often.

      All my best —


  76. Candice says:

    “Many people have learned to handle depression by shifting jobs frequently. Their experience tells them that if they try to stay with one job too long, the limits imposed by their illness will undermine performance and probably lead to their being fired anyway. They need full-time employment, and this way they avoid having a job history with a long string of dismissals.”

    This is so true. I teared up reading this article. I’ve never heard anyone else speak of this, of how I feel about work. I tend to stay too long at most of the places i’ve been employed at. I think its mostly fear of leaving, fear of not finding something better. With every job i’ve had, i’ll start out great. I pride myself in being a wonderful worker. I usually go above and beyond and most of my bosses love me. However.., after anywhere from a year to two years my depression starts to come back. It just gets worse and worse until I finally cause myself to get fired (from finally snapping at an employer or just stop caring and not do the same quality of work as when I started), or if I get lucky i’ll find an excuse (like moving) to leave. Its like a breath of fresh air every time. My depression goes away (most of it anyway). Then the vicious cycle begins once again.

    Right now, im into the third year of my current job and im miserable. Ive been ferociously looking for different career paths online. Every time I find a possible career path, someone shoots it down. Its either “you won’t find any jobs once you graduate”, or “it wont pay your bills”. Most of the things I find arent something I would find appealing. I know it would make my depression worse if I try to settle with a job that I won’t even remotely enjoy. Finding something that has a good mix of interesting, good pay, and not too much expense for schooling is almost impossible. I don’t want to make the same mistake as when I first went to college. I went to college for five years and have nothing to show for it. I picked a worthless major. There are no jobs in the field unless I want to not eat for a month because of the low pay. I don’t want to make the same mistake.

    Even though I went to college, i’ve been stuck in the waiting/bartending industry. It is so high stress. Dealing with the public on a constant basis is horrible…but it’s all I know. Im surprisingly good at it even though I hate it.

    Thanks for this article. It really helps me knowing others feel this way. Im not alone.

    • Venkatesh K says:

      Hi Candice, I agree to every word of yours , its extremely tough when we face depression .. nothing works out during the tough times .. and that tough period sometimes stretches too long a time .. and yes, surely you’re not alone, most of us have sailed in similar boats sometime or the other , for some of us it has been a constant journey of ups and downs never settling down. People say many things about depression and try to even blame us for our own situation , but i somehow strongly believe that its not us who are the reason for the depression. It is the turn of events that we face repeatedly again and again , which put us into this situation. It becomes very tough when the road gets narrower and narrower to travel. I feel its more to do with the stars, surely not our fault and surely not anyone else’s fault. When times are not good, even the mightiest stumble.

      My sincere wishes and prayers that you come out of depression and lead a very happy and great life ahead !

      I do hope that I too come out of the depression I’ve been going through and hope there are better times ahead.

      I strongly believe that one best way to come out of depression is to share our experiences through a common forum where we have like-minded individuals who can truly understand and give words of strength, which surely can help one another to lead a happy life. In this respect, I feel this website is of great help to each one of us who have shared our thoughts

      Great website !

  77. Neil says:

    Hi Helen yes the benefits cuts in the UK will certainly start to hurt especially with mental issues where you cannot demonstrate a “visible” disability. The summers here are grey enough sometime without getting into the winters . I suppose you know abouts SADS a colleague of mine has a natural light source lamp on his desk and he finds that this has helped . Just a thought anyway best of luck with finding what you need.

  78. Helen says:

    The article made me feel so much better, I thought I was a coward in walking away from a work situation that was getting worse and worse but you have allowed me to see it as a rational choice. I have suffered from depression on and off since a teen and flunked out of my degree partially because of it. As a result of not studying hard enough I then had to tolerate a series of tedious permanent jobs and then temped as a way of giving myself an out. I went back to my parent’s home to live after flunking my studies (my parents were very kindly towards my condition) and then nursed my folks as they died four years apart. I tried to go back to work in between their deaths, but began making stupid mistakes, and then developed a stammer. I had always been able to talk the hind leg off the proverbial donkey, so this was a real wake up call. Every new morning stirred the resentment of waking to more of the same, so I gave up. I wake up feeling free if somewhat trepidatious, and can make up my mind what I want to do instead of feeling trapped and just wanting death to come soonest. Winters are incredibly difficult but the summers are tolerable, so at least there is some quality to life instead of a permanent state of grey and desperation. I once spent three of the winter months in the southern hemisphere, and then came back to spring in the UK. I was so full of energy, I wish I had the money to do it every year. My benefits are being reviewed and I must seriously think about ways of generating income but I know I can’t do the work I used to do as it just about destroyed me.

  79. Neil says:

    Reading all the above has been very enlightening .

    I have always been as “sensitive” person who perhaps thought too much . This got me high academic grades but perhaps pushed me into a professional career I just wasn’t suited for .

    10 yrs ago I was a partner is a successful firm but was deeply unhappy and stressed and had started to take that stress out on my nearest and dearest .

    I left my partnership for another high pressure job in which I lasted18 mths eventually I got a post in a sympathetic family type firm where I again became succesful for about five years until the recession hit and financial pressures changed the outlook and finacial viabilityof the firm and they were having to let staff go .I chose to take a job as head of department in another firm which was a disaster in fact they were bullies and I left after three months after experiencing panic attacks etc.

    After three months of unemployment I have had six monthhs work in a firm which again is unsympathetic and entirely fee driven . I have learned however to discuss my problems with my spouse and I have given notice to leave . I have finally realised that while I can function at a high level if not subject to undue stress that I no longer have the capability to cope with long term pressure.

    i hope to be able to work from home at a controlled pace but financial uncertainties are there of course . I think the difficulty is waking up one day and realising that you cannot cope with things anymore and trying to make changes when your energies are low and judgement impaired by your low mood.
    I have perhaps foolishly never consulted a doctor about this in my profession any record of depression etc would be frowned upon , I have self medicated through exercise etc but now find I avoid essential tasks at work and believe I would be found out if I stayed any longer .

    Itis a comfort to know that I am not alone in suffering from this although I would not wish it on anyone.

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, Neil –

      Have you found the site? That should be a great resource for you – a place where you can probably make contact with others in your profession. You’ve learned a lot from difficult experience about how to manage your work with the combination of stress and depression, though I wish you could consult a doctor. Some bar associations have programs that offer help specifically for depression, so it’s not unusual these days for lawyers to seek treatment. As you may have gathered from my posts, I had to retire from a profession that had become the wrong one for me. There are few things more damaging to health on all levels than the constant stress of work that takes more out of you than it gives back. It sounds like you’re close to finding the right balance in your life, and I hope you can continue on a track toward wellness.

      Thank you for commenting here and letting others know about your experience.


      • Neil says:

        Many thanks for your reply I am working out my notice period now which is a bit of a nightmare but at least I can count down the days. I have bitten the bullet and seen my doctor too she was extremely sympathetic and seemed to understand that I had struggled on with this for a long time indeed she supported mychoice in leaving my job if it was helping to make me ill.I received some medication too but the side effects made me worse so I’m waiting to go back to see her on that but just speaking to her seems to have helped.

        You guessed my profession correctly ! Doesn’t take much work I guess. I have applied for some public service posts which would be less pressured the future is a work in progress but something had to be done.I have checked out the lawyers site, I am UK based and I have discovered a similar organisation here which also helps.

        Please keep up the good work
        and once more many thanks.

        • Neil says:

          Just an update a few months on well I got a job in local government and have been there a couple 0f months now . The team I’m with is very supportive and the team leader’s style is very nurturing as she is a people person in fact she manages people the way I used to.The days are busy but the atmosphere is good and with flexi-time you are not allowed to work after 6pm and get time back which certainly has re-introduced balance to my life.

          I cycle to work now as I am only 4 miles away as opposed to an hours drive each way and arrive fresh with plenty of energy. I find time to talk to and visit my adult daughters .Dread of work no longer dominates my weekends.

          I know there are still certain triggers there , too much alcohol for instance which can leave me looking into a black hole but generally things are good and the old me is gradually re-appearing.

          Though it’s early days yet I hope I have found my niche to see the 10 years or so out to retirement and things are so much better generally , positive change can happen.

          • Neil says:

            Further update 18 mths on . Well the new job honeymoon period is over. That sympathetic line manager has turned into a bit of a nightmare . It seems she assesses people for about a year then starts pressing their buttons . Micro management , messing about with the flexi time scheme , unreasonable work demands , threats to take matters upstairs , sulking , not speaking to you , sending multiple controlling e mails when she is sitting about 10 foot away . It seems others have left because of her but the rest of the team who are still supportive wanted me to make my own mind up . She has some issues herself such as some kind of eating disorder and addiction to exercise .

            I’m beginning to think that the 18 mths to 2 year job time limit might be about right . Anyway I’ve decided to fight this one out simply because the public sector sick and pension benefits are so much better , also I have no wish to get back in the shark pool that is private practice .

            So I am sending back responsive e mails questioning her approach and shall shortly be taking some prolonged sick leave If things do not improve . The team needs my experience and this should bring things home to her if she ends up trying to perform some of the tasks that are probably outside her own capabilities while I am off

            I have noticed certain symptoms reappearing not wanting to get up to go to work , disturbed sleep patterns etc which aren’t good . However weekends are still enjoyable and recharging and I seem up for the fight which in itself tells a story . Anyway it’s therapeutic to come on here and unload .

  80. Kelly T says:

    I am currently out of work and cannot imagine a job that I will be successful and it totally scares me. I cannot sleep (it’s now 4:45 a.m.). This morning I slept until 11:00 and the only reason I got up was because my son would be home at noon and I didn’t want him to be upset with me. I used to be so vibrant and I could run circles around even the best employees. People knew they could count on me and I was so respected. I lost my high paying job because of performance issues that I know was due to the stress. I should have filed for disability then, but I felt and still do that I’m not depressed enough. In reality, I am. I currently have no health insurance and since I voluntarily quit my last job because I was told I would be cired, I am not receiving unemployment. I have been taking money out of retirement, and since I’m only 54, I’m taking a huge loss now and in my future. Perhaps it is time for me to consult with an attorney?

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, Kelly –

      I’m sorry things have gotten to this point. I have no idea what sort of case you might have, but an attorney in the disability area would be essential for setting out all your options. We’ve learned how to live on a lot less, but the key thing is to turn around the stress and depression. Have you found any form of treatment that helps?


    • Tony Giordano says:

      As for possible legal action, let me describe a similar situation I was once in. I too was finding it impossible to do my work due to symptoms of depression produced by increasing stress and a hostile work environment. This was the second time this was happening to me—the first time I changed jobs and then had several good years in the new job before things went down hill. I decided to tell my superiors that I was fighting depression and getting treatment for it, but they were not supportive. There were some telling comments—eg when I said that therapy is always once a week and the only way to get expedited treatment was to be suicidal, my boss said, “it’s too bad you’re not suicidal.”

      Fast forward– after 6 months on company disability while I went through treatment (therapy, several medications), I was terminated. I guess they expected me back sooner- – they seemed to trivialize depression and minimize the symptoms. Well, I found a lawyer who specialized in these kinds of work-disability cases and the evidence I had gathered such as the quote above was crucial. I ended up winning a substantial increase to my severance payment. While the employer admitted nothing, the evidence suggested they discriminated against me on the basis of a disability.

      As for treatment, I think everyone who experiences depression or related conditions should look for possible severe trauma in their history, especially childhood. I’m reading more and more that early trauma can cause a type of PTSD and produce depression later in life. It did for me. Knowing the cause of your condition helps you get the right treatment—eg EMDR is great for trauma. And knowing the cause helps relieve the guilt and sense of weakness that your depression is somehow your own fault. It isn’t. Just unloading the guilt can be a huge relief and can really help you heal.

  81. Sarah says:

    I’m not happy that others are also going through this but I have to say it helps to know I’m not alone. I’m actually home from work today because I have become so sick with depression and physical illness that the thought of walking back through the door of my work establishment almost seems impossible. I’ve had depression and chronic fatigue for so many years and work stress definitively makes it much worse. Currantly, I am in a pre-school teaching situation and between the noisy children, paperwork, meetings, last minute situations that seem to arise, and unsupportive administration, I am experiencing that feeling we know all too well. I can’t think straight!!! That grey fog!!! I feel like something is breaking inside of me and my ability to cope is gone. I like the idea of moving from job to job because I can’t seem to last anywhere long before I become sick. It’s so frustrating!!! Your posts are helpful and I hope all of us in this situation find something that works for us. It’s a delicate balance for sure.

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, Sarah –

      Yes, I know that feeling of trying to get through day after day when there’s something in you resisting the whole routine. I hope you can find a less stressful form of work.

      Thanks for commenting.


  82. anonymous says:

    Interesting! I’m struggling with depression and deciding whether I should leave my job or stay. When you’re depressed how do you know it is the negative work environment rather than a negative mental state giving you that impression? Can you know?

    Depression can warp our senses. Negative emotions stand out more, innocent comments become evidence of social persecution, someone not seeing you or being to busy to reply to an unimportant email becomes proof that you’re an outcast, advice of a coworker or friend becomes part of a scheme against you etc.

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, anonymous –

      The problem is that the stress and depression feed off each other. This is a subject neuroscience researchers are spending a lot of time pinpointing how the stress hormones influence depression brain centers as well as the immune system. So there’s a cycle of emotional and physical illness that doesn’t end. So I don’t think it’s a problem of one causing the other. Depression tends to affect the way you interpret things at work and feel about them. Stress, I think, you feel more as a physical pressure in your body along with a lot of anxiety. If work feels like it’s killing you, a medical leave or vacation time could give you a sense of the relieve from putting work out of your mind for a while. The depression probably won’t go away, but I think you’ll be giving treatment a better chance to work.


  83. Patty Taylor says:

    This is such a great article that I wish I’d had access to back in 1990 when I graduated from college and began a career path dominated by decisions driven by depression. By 1994, I was hospitalized for the first time (of three) related to work stress, anxiety and depression. I retrained a few times to make major career changes into work I thought I would enjoy more and into companies and work environments I thought would be less stressful, but nothing seemed to work long-term. All the while, I pursued therapy and medication for the depression, and my self-confidence took repeated nosedives when I couldn’t stay in a job more than a couple years without having a debilitating depressive episode. I wish I’d known about pursuing disability through my employer’s disability and worker’s comp plans and through social security. I didn’t even know that was possible until I read your blog. I am still looking for the ultimate job situation where I can stay healthy, make an okay living and not hate my job. I’ll let you know when I find it. I would also be interested in the solutions other people with depression have found for this problem.

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, Patty –

      I’m glad the work-related posts have been helpful. There’s never going to be an easy answer to this problem of finding satisfying work while managing depression. I was lucky to be at retirement age when I finally made a move. Before then, however, I spent years and years in a line of work that became more and more frustrating as depression ate away at my effectiveness.

      My best to you in your search for the right work situation.


  84. Sonia says:

    I think sometimes you just have to walk away when your job causes you to become distressed, anxious and even depressed. For me, the turning point was when the psychological distress had company with the appearance of physical ill health. Luckily for me my doctor worked out that somatic symptoms were linked to a toxic workplace environment.
    Being employed in an organization allowed me to access a worker’s compensation claim for psychological injury. Delays in in the acceptance of a claim’s determination fosters more uncertainty and distress. The medical-legal system can be a nightmare. You just have to decide if you have the energy to go through with the claim process. If you are struggling to cope, I found the best measure was to pass the matter onto a legal professional to make sure that you get what you are entitled to and to access help from a mental health professional.

    • Hi, Sonia –

      Filing a claim is a good route to take. I never looked into worker’s compensation but did work through a disability process. My last job was at a large institution that had formal and informal methods for seeking accommodation for disabilities. That helped for a while, but if I had been younger I would have filed for disability with the employer and/or with the feds. As it turned out, early retirement was a better deal and totally removed the high stress that had been killing me.

      Entrusting the process to a lawyer who knows this branch of law is probably the best course of action. I’m glad this ultimately worked for you.

      Thank you for commenting. That’s the heart and soul of any blog.


  85. Donna-1 says:

    Excellent article. I wish I could have read it about 1995, when I was first diagnosed. I had been at the same high-stress, high-pressure job for 10 years and stayed there another two trying to keep my head above water. I couldn’t go more than a couple of months without being admitted to the hospital for a week or two. My sick and vacation leave was dwindling. I couldn’t keep up with the work. My marriage was on the rocks. I didn’t KNOW it was okay to apply for longterm leave or a disability pension. I didn’t KNOW I could go on Social Security at 40 yrs of age. Finally, I quit the job with a feeling of total despair and futiity. Then I moved from one full time job to the next, working anywhere from 2 days to 2 yrs before I couldn’t take the pressure anymore. I had a string of about 10 jobs in 7 yrs, often just taking whatever I could get — usually a couple of bucks more than minimum wage. From 1997-2004 my depression never budged, no matter what combination of medications I tried, no matter the number of inpatient and outpatient hospital visits, no matter the frequency of therapy sessions. Nothing helped. I finally decided I needed a “rest cure” when I couldn’t even handle sacking groceries and cleaning restrooms. I made the giant leap of deciding not to work at all…in hopes of getting well. Despite the fact that my parents were on me constantly to seek employment. (I was living with them by this time.) I was able to draw a disability pension from my original job and was approved for Social Security Disability Income within 4 months. Then I backed off of everything that smacked of stress. No going to church. No eating meals with the family. No parties. No socializing. I just tried to relax my mind and body. Now, I know this is not practical for many, maybe most, people. But deep inside, I knew this was the only way I was going to cimb out of depression. A fact: after I stopped working, I never had to be admitted to the hospital again. My long-term psychosis began to fade. I had time to reflect on the past, present, and future and fell in love with writing all over again. I really think this was when I began to heal. When I decided to put work on hold. Now, I have been on a disability pension and SSDI for 7 years. It’s not a lot of money, so I have to be careful what I spend, but who doesn’t? But I am living independently, have returned to a life that includes socializing, hobbies, volunteer work, caregiving, and more. Yes, I’m still on medication that helps keep me stable. Yes, I still feel unable to work. Yes, I must spend some time each day meditating. But I’m not suicidal anymore. I’m not walking around in that dense gray fog. I do wake up each day with a sense of purpose. For me, quitting work was the right thing to do.

    • Hi, Donna –

      Your experience is close to mine, except my crisis occurred when I was at an age allowing me to start Social Security retirement – if a few years before the peak benefit. The power of stress to intensify these disorders is so strong that it makes me doubt the usual explanations and treatments all the more. Understanding the full picture of a troubled life is so much more important than automatically handing out medications. Stress is a killer in so many ways.

      Thanks, Donna, for telling this powerful story here.


    • Melissa says:

      Thanks for having the courage to share your journey Donna! It gives me more hope and knowing someone else out there gets what I’m going through. I’ve been dealing with similar situation as well, and needed to go on SSDI at 30 I’m now 40. Having the time away from work helped me in similar ways: I’ve expolored meditation, spirituality, social activities, and volunteering in area of work I’m interested in without the pressure of feeling like I have to be PERFECT on the job.(I LOVE working in area of phyical and mental disabilities…I don’t feel burned out but EXCITED, just have hard time managing 40hr work week without exhaustion.) I’m glad to read that your looking at this as a break from work and that you’re not writing yourself off as never working again! That is how I’m looking at being on SSDI as well, and by the way….don’t be afraid to try work on SSDI, look up Ticket To Work on Social Security website and it will give list of disability services to help you return to work in your state. You wont lose disability if you don’t work too many hours or earn too much. I’ve used it and been working part time for 2 years. Wishing You All The Best!

  86. Evan says:

    I’m being a picky proofreader. I don’t think it matter usually. But in the first sentence you have ‘of’ instead of ‘or’ which is offputting.

    It’s a great article. I really like that you deal with the relationship of the environment to depression and don’t reduce it all to positive thinking. Thanks.

    • Hi, Evan –

      Ouch, that’s embarrassing – fixed the typo just now. I’m glad you liked the post (and managed to read past the gaffe). The few other discussions about this that I’ve read sound far too rational. Some have the positive thinking approach; others may lack that slant but give a breezy list of to-do’s.

      Thanks for your comment.



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