I’m Fighting For My Life: Workplace Depression And What You Can Do About It

Do you tell yourself: I’m fighting for my life before heading to work? Do you feel like going to war when you commute to the workplace? And do you always feel exhausted because of your job? If you often find yourself suffering, don’t ignore it as your mind and body are trying to tell you something. 

Maybe work-related depression is what’s going on. If you are fighting this condition for your life, this writing will help you to understand and find a way to overcome this depression. Don’t worry. You’re not alone.

Fighting Against Depression 

Are You Dealing With Work-related Depression?

Like any other type of depression, work-related one also makes one suffer from several to all of the symptoms below, each of which can lower life satisfaction considerably and turn the story of someone’s life upside down.

  • Lack of motivation
  • Changes in diet, not in a healthy way
  • Cynicism about work
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Always tired and frustrated 
  • Always in a low mood
  • Getting sick more easily
  • Bad physical condition
  • Poor performance at work
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Withdrawing from friends, family, or co-workers
Are You Dealing With Work-related Depression?
Are you dealing with work-related depression? – Source: Sydney Sims

If you tick nearly all the boxes listed here, it’s time to find the source of work-related depression and address it instead of telling yourself, “I’m fighting for my life,” and work yourself out.

Causes Of Workplace Depression 

There are various reasons why one experiences workplace depression. Below are some of the leading causes of this condition.

Workplace Pressure

Specific industries such as finance or technology can contribute to depression due to their nature: boisterous, young, and competitive. Thus, if one is not comfortable with these workplace characteristics, she or he will have some rough time coping with the working environment. In addition, if one constantly compares themselves to other more successful people in the same field, they might feel less of themselves. 

Consequently, they will have the wrong idea that they are worthless and unfortunate in a harsh big world, just like a guy in SpongeBob said: “Some guys have all the luck. I was born with glass bones and paper skin. Every morning I break my legs, and every afternoon I break my arms. At night, I lie awake in agony until my heart attacks put me to sleep.”

Glass Bones and Paper Skin (Emotional Video) – Source: Ryandyasta Adisatya

Feeling Like The Wrong Fit

Sometimes one’s job can be overwhelming, making them wonder whether they are the right person for the job. Maybe it wasn’t the job they expected when applying for it. Or perhaps they don’t even want this job, but they need it to cover their bills, so they say:I’m fighting for my life.” and keep on working.

Either way, the thought of being the wrong piece in the workplace can be intimidating. Hence, the longer the situation lasts, the worse the depression can be. 

Causes Of Workplace Depression
Sometimes people wonder whether they are the right person for the job – Source: Ryoji Iwata

Feeling Trapped

It’s the situation when one hates the job they’re doing but cannot take risks to switch to another. Changing careers is a big deal, especially for middle-aged people. Is it too late to start over? What if the new job turns out to be tiring also? 

And even if they are willing to take their chance, their family and friends may not support them. It can feel like they are stuck in this soul-sucking, low-paid job, with no chance of getting out. They get anxious and downhearted, wondering if that is all they’re going to do for the rest of their life.

Unreasonable Boss

It’s frustrating to have a toxic relationship with a superior. An abusive boss will give unreasonable deadlines or even require their subordinates to work beyond the regular schedule even when the volume of work does not require it. A boss that acts like a dictator is a real-life nightmare and can make the employees feel used and unappreciated. 

How To Beat Workplace Depression


Firstly, a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and regular exercise can help reduce depression. Go out sometimes, get some fresh air. Work can be overwhelming, but our health is important too. 

It may sound trivial, but exercise and outdoor activities are natural mood enhancers. With a clear mind and a body that is well taken care of, one can perform even better at work.  On top of that, getting at least 7 hours of sleep a day is a must. Our body can’t function well if treated poorly. 

How To Beat Workplace Depression
Love yourself, to reduce depression – Source: Annie Spratt

Take Short Breaks

Taking a few moments a day away from work may help boost our mood and clear the head. When work feels like I’m fighting for my life,” take a “time out,” get up, go outside, and breathe. Walking away for a few minutes might help out a lot to ease out the stress. If not, even a 5-minute meditation session can do the trick. By breaking out of the cycle of chronic stress, one can refresh the body and mind for another round.


To some people, this simple act is just terribly impractical. But disconnecting from technology for a while will create that peaceful silence for one to calm down and figure out what they need. 

Don’t be too stressed about unplugging for a little bit. Those emails and phone calls from work can wait. Better yet, work email addresses should be detached from personal devices, as all that work-related stuff need your care during office hours only. One needs to step away from work and recharge at home.

Spend More Time With Family And Friends

Family and friends are an essential aspect of everyone’s life, but it rarely makes it to the top priority list. Usually, when work becomes hectic, plans with family and friends are delayed or canceled, which is unfortunate. As spending time with your loved ones is beneficial to our mental wellbeing, one should reduce the occurrence of depression, anxiety, and other mental illness. Prioritizing work all the time is unhealthy in the long run. 

Spend more time with family and friends
Family and friends are an essential aspect of everyone’s life – Source: Mike Erskine

Plan Away From Work

Everyone needs to take a break sometimes, which means don’t leave the vacation time unused. Whether it’s a vacation or a staycation, it’s important to take a break from work once in a while to keep the stress level in check. It’s something to look forward to as well. Spend this time reconnecting to life and finding joy to be motivated.

Seek Assistance

Depression isn’t likely to disappear on its own. So, reach out to others for love and support, even when it seems so difficult. Connecting to a similar story of someone’s life can help, and being alone will only push that stress even deeper. 

Also, since everyone’s conditions are different, finding a professional for helpful advice is suggested. Whether it’s a therapist or other behavioral health practitioner, it’s crucial to follow their course of treatment, therapy and take medication for depression if needed. 

Some Stories On People Who Won Over Depression

Next, let’s look at the stories of someone’s life who successfully handled their depression deriving from work.

Firstly, The One Suffering Hives From A Boss.

Joan, a former state government employee whose name has been changed, loved her work but hated going each day because of her supervisor. She would feel physically ill when that person was around. “Emails from her would put me through anxiety and hives. If she requested meetings, I would have stress attacks and cold sweats.”, Joan said. She didn’t sleep, was constantly worried about work, and was frequently ill. Joan ended up in the ICU at the age of 36 and had severe work-induced anxiety… She decided to “walk away from the fight” and now feels 100 times better, happier and can give her family more.

Some Stories On People Who Won Over Depression - I’m Fighting For My Life
Emails from her would put me through anxiety and hives – Source: Mateus Campos Felipe

Secondly, The One With Endless Headaches.

Because of the toxic work environment, Niki had had debilitating migraines for three years. It took her a two-week vacation (which also included the stress of her wedding) with absolutely NO migraines to finally realize the cause. She decided to quit in June. “I can count on one hand how many [migraines] I have had since, when I was getting on average one a week prior to leaving.” —Niki said. She then worked in customer service as head of returns and refunds.

Secondly, the one with endless headaches. - I’m Fighting For My Life
How to deal with workplace depression? Source: Unsplash

Finally, The One Who Decided To Be Honest

Gurvinder built up the courage to speak to his boss about his depression diagnosis.

“There were days that I was coming in late to work. The antidepressants can make you sleep quite a lot and feel weak. So, I felt like I had to tell him,” Gurvinder says.

“He told me that lots of employees within the organization also have depression and mental health problems. So, he was very understanding of it.”

Gurvinder had been worried about him underperforming at work since he found it difficult to concentrate. However, telling his boss about his condition took away lots of his pressure off.

They then informed Gurvinder of a wellbeing service run by the council and told him that it was okay to spread his workload out and take time off due to mental health.

Finally, the one who decided to be honest - I’m Fighting For My Life
Telling your boss about your condition may be a good idea – Source: Charles Deluvio

Conclusion – I’m Fighting For My Life

After all, work-related depression is not uncommon and is a great challenge for many. Without proper treatment, it can get worse. Just as important as our physical condition, mental health problems deserve our acknowledgment. 

If you are at the “I’m fighting for my life – mode” at work, address the sources of these stresses and frustrations to cure the condition by working a more suitable job, perhaps. Besides handling the problem alone, you should also reach out for help if possible, as you may find yourself in a story of someone’s life. Remember, you are not alone as Jobandedu is always by your side with myriads of great Career Advice.

Emmanuel Davies

Most of Emmanuel Davies's professional life has been spent in education. Early in the year 2020, he teamed up with JobandEdu, getting a career counselor writer role and contributing such as career overview, employment counseling, and workplace culture. Davies has deep expertise in the academic and career advisor position gained via past roles at diverse establishments and foundations. Consequently, he plans to use writing to disseminate his knowledge and counsel to the masses.