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Should you quit your job for your mental health?

There have been numerous employment changes since the pandemic. Many companies are short staffed and struggling with the amount of work expected by fewer and fewer employees. This has led to increased stress and anxiety for many employees, and their mental health is suffering.

According to the National Institute of Mental health, nearly one in five U.S adults live with mental illness. Although that accounts for 51 million Americans, the CDC reports that an additional 71% of working adults have experienced at least one symptom of stress including headaches and feelings of anxiety. Since many people define themselves by their work or job, the level of stress is an important concern.

If you’ve wondered if you should quit your job to improve your mental health, here are five signs that it may be time to talk to a mental health care provider.

1. You’re experiencing cognitive dysfunction. When you’re no longer able to focus or concentrate on the job you’re doing, you’re going to make more mistakes which could put others at risk. If being miserable in your job causes you to put others or the company you work for in harm’s way, it’s time to get help.

2. You’ve lost interest in things you use to enjoy because of your job. Losing your joy or ability to partake in things you once loved is a sign of depression. If your job is a leading cause of depression, it’s important to get treatment. Depression does not go away; it needs attention sooner rather than later.

3. Your job leaves you mentally exhausted and depleted. A healthy work life enhances your personal life. Employees who love their jobs have a greater sense of well-being. When work depletes your energy and exhausts you, that’s not a viable mental health option. To be fully functional at work, you need to be able to spend quality time with those you love.

4. You’re no longer able to sleep due to work worries. A lack of sleep exacerbates stress symptoms, limiting your performance at work. You begin making more mistakes and taking more time off for illness, creating a vicious cycle of worry and stress.

5. You no longer care about your work performance. When you feel so defeated by a job and you no longer care about the work you do, that’s a clear sign of lower self-esteem and giving up. This mental state is not good for you or your employer.

The decision to leave your job because of the toll it’s taking on your mental health is not to be taken lightly. Our jobs become part of our identity and having the financial resources to pay our bills and care for our loved ones is necessary. Talk to your mental health provider and your employer to do what’s best for your health. Staying in a job that compromises your mental health adversely affects not only you, but your co-workers and family. The most important responsibility we all have is to care for our personal physical and mental health.


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