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  • Writer's pictureRachel Dubrow, LCSW

Feeling depressed when you're at work?

Since we spend the majority of our time at work, it's inevitable that it comes up in therapy. Clients talk all the time about colleagues, workplace dynamics, deadlines, not having enough time, and not feeling all that motivated. It seems like a standard therapy conversation for most. And, actually, there is good reason for it!

We all want to inherently be happy. We want to feel like our time outside of work is our time, not just an extension of the workday where we are tied to laptops and phones racing against a deadline. And, when we're at work, we want to feel like we're doing things that we want to do (for the most part) and that we're good at.

When a client comes to therapy and talks about how much they dislike their job, it gets me thinking. I think about the why and what tools I can teach to help work through the tough times. What I also think about is a term I call "work depression".

"Work depression" is my term for clients who tell me that they feel hopelessness, helplessness, unmotivated, and disinterested at work. However, when they leave work, they feel the opposite. They have hope about the future, motivation to do what they need and want to do, interests that they share with themselves and others, and an overall sense of feeling happy. When they go back to work "work depression" shows up again and flips back off once they leave to go home.

It's an interesting concept. The idea of flipping in and out of feeling depressed isn't comfortable, ideal, or what we want. But it's also not something we need to deal with on our own. We all have our days, but when these days morph into a week or more, it's time to get to the root cause of why - and how to fix it.

If you're struggling with what I call "work depression", it may be time to seek help from a qualified therapist. Our therapists in Northfield, IL work with overworked and stressed out adults and are here to help. Contact us today for a free 15-minute phone consultation.


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