Coping with Debilitating Depression at Work

June 5, 2019 Mahevash Shaikh

On most days, I am an individual without debilitating depression. But every now and then, there comes a time when depression completely takes over my body and mind. My arms ache and feel limp and my mind fixates on nothing but suicide. That is when I know I am officially too depressed to work and taking a mental health day seems like the best option. 

Now it's great whenever that's possible, but on some debilitating depression days, work just has to be done as per a preplanned schedule. So I put on my "want-to-die-but-won't-and-will-get-through-the-day" pants on and do certain things to ensure I get work done.

How to Deal with Debilitating Depression at Work

Take Frequent Breaks

Whenever I am overwhelmed with debilitating depression, I know that I will have a very hard time concentrating. I work with that by breaking up every hour of work into small chunks of 20 minutes each. After every 20 minutes of work, I make it a point to get up from my chair and take a break. The break doesn't have to be anything special, it could be something as simple as taking a walk or eating a snack. The important thing is taking a break as it helps reduce the monotony of work and makes it more manageable. 

Listen to Music

It has been scientifically proven that listening to music helps reduce depression. Therefore, I make sure that I always listen to some of my favorite music on particularly bleak days. Inspirational anthems and upbeat pop music definitely help me feel better, even if only a little. While basically, any kind of music can have a positive impact on your state of mind, I find that it's best to listen to music that you naturally reach for on your good or better days. 

Have Something to Look Forward To

Work feels like a terribly trying chore on days when I am feeling more blue than usual. I make it easier for myself to get through such days by scheduling an enjoyable activity or two post work. Although my intense bouts of debilitating depression make it impossible for me to savor anything, knowing that I have something half-decent to do after work makes getting through the day significantly more bearable.

Coping with debilitating depression at work is extremely difficult, but with the help of some patience and workarounds, it can be made significantly easier. As they say, you are not your depression. You've got this.  

APA Reference
Shaikh, M. (2019, June 5). Coping with Debilitating Depression at Work, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 20 from

Author: Mahevash Shaikh

Mahevash Shaikh is a millennial blogger, author, and poet who writes about mental health, culture, and society. She lives to question convention and redefine normal. You can find her at her blog and on Instagram and Facebook.

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