Should You Quit Your Job for Mental Health Reasons?

Last Updated on July 31, 2022 by Harry Urschel

Sometimes working a new job that you don’t like can be terrible. If you don’t feel good about yourself anymore, you should know that your job may have caused it. 

And in such situations, sometimes the real question is whether quitting your job for mental health reasons is appropriate. 

The answer is that your mental health should be your priority always.

Toxic workplace culture can lead to severe mental health issues, and it may take a few months before it is diagnosed as a problem. Many employees abruptly quit their jobs for this reason.

This article will discuss what to do if your work stresses you out and whether quitting a job for mental health without much thought is a good idea.

Recent Trends

The workplace culture is changing rapidly. While the organizations try to bring their motto around work-life balance and mental health as the center point, it may not always give desired results.

Depression, mood, psychotic, and anxiety disorders are some of the commonly reported mental health issues by employees. The root cause is suggested to be their work.

Now, complaints are being reported now and then about jobs getting stressful and work challenging employees’ mental health. It is causing more and more people with anxiety to quit their jobs without a second thought. 

The great resignation, wherein several thousand people in the US left their employers within the same period. The idea behind the great resignation is based on issues such as mental well-being and money. 

And this type of attrition is negatively impacting the organizations’ reputation too. However, it is being discussed openly to offer a better workspace and focus on self-care.

Should You Resign Without Notice Due to Stress?

Leaving your first job without prior information or serving at least a few weeks’ notices is not professional.

And yet, employees make decisions in haste when their mental health is affected. Quitting from an office due to depression without even two weeks’ notice is becoming a thing. Employees are running away from organizations that won’t support their anxiety problems.

However, here is what you should do before you come to a decision:

  1. Discuss the problem with your employer – Letting your employer know what makes the work stressful for you should be the first step.
  2. Find a solution– If speaking to your manager does not help, try to simplify the problem and see if you can deal with it. If the work pressure is too much, ask your manager to reduce it as it affects your mental health. You could also ask for support from your co-workers.
  3. Make an informed decision – If you still cannot manage the stress, try and find opportunities outside your current workplace. A change of company may help. However, remember to send in your resignation letter, serve at least a week after it, and move on to the next job.
  4. Quit if it is too much – Yes, if none of the above options work out, you should quit. Quitting without serving a notice period may sound harsh, but sometimes you must make difficult decisions. Your mental health should be your priority.

Is Your Job Negatively Impacting Your Mental Health?

Ask yourself if your work is making stress unnecessarily.

If you feel negativity at work, it will ultimately drain your personal life, affecting you. 

It will also directly impact your peace of mind. So, it is very much possible that your work is harming your mental health conditions.

How to Know When It’s Time to Leave a Job for Your Mental Health?

There can be false alarms or wrong understandings of work situations that can cause you to assume that you must leave your company. However, there must be a full-proof reason before you finally call it quits.

We have devised some crucial pointers below to guide you in case your mental health is affected at work and decide if you should leave your job:

1. Your Mental Health Is Suffering

Suppose your job directly impacts your mental health, and you should consider leaving. You may feel stressed because of the toxic work environment or office politics, making you lose out on work.

Bipolar disorder, insomnia, and fatigue can be some symptoms if your mental health is getting affected.

2. You’re Ruminating Daily 

If you are forced to overthink work situations even after work hours or can’t get over things happening at work, you might want to consider a change.

Overthinking can also cause bipolar disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder that directly affect your health. And you should avoid any situation that affects your health.

3. You Despise the Idea of Going to Work 

If waking up every morning feels like a task, and you always start with the sickening thought of having to drag yourself through another day at work, this might be it.

Feeling stuck or overburdened can make you feel lazy and exhausted. And that can cause you to lose productivity. 

So, before that happens, it is best to look for other opportunities outside your current job. 

4. Your Work Environment Is Toxic

Sometimes it is not the job but our environment that affects us most. If your work culture is not people-friendly, it might impact your health.

Extra hours at work, inappropriate behavior by co-workers, and biased superiors can amount to stress that can only be overcome by looking for a new job.

5. You Have No Time for Anything but Work 

If you have been working too much during and post-work hours, you should know it is not good. This kind of work-life imbalance would leave you no time to yourself or to do other things.

Your productivity and work should be left when you leave your workplace. If you are taking your work with you back home, it is time to reconsider this job.

6. Work Makes Unreasonable or Uncompensated Demands on Your Time

If your boss calls you late at night and asks you to work on a ‘priority’ task, you should have the option to say no. The same applies when you are expected to extend your shift past the agreed work hours. You are not getting compensated for the extra work and or time. 

Even if you are being asked to do personal work for your boss without your consent, you should know that it is unreasonable and unethical too.

quitting job for mental health

How to Explain Leaving a Job Due to Stress?

It can be challenging to make your human resources department understand why you want to quit your job. But work stress is natural, and everyone goes through it. 

So, instead of hiding behind other incorrect reasons, here is what you can tell when leaving a job due to depression:

  1. Talk to friends or family about your anxiety and losing sleep due to work. Health issues are a significant reason why people leave jobs abruptly.
  2. Explain how stress is causing you to feel demotivated at work. If you constantly worry about your work, you will stop enjoying your work. Getting demotivated is a by-product of what happens when people realize they stress more and work less. 
  3. You are having trouble concentrating on your career goals. Your job is supposed to help with your career growth. A job change is necessary if you cannot focus on your goals because of work.

Coping Mechanisms to Use While Still at Your Job

Even though stress can overwhelm your willpower to feel better, here are a few tips that you can try before giving up on the idea:

  1. Try taking short breaks to keep yourself a breather from work.
  2. Avoid eating at your desk or in a secluded space. Take a stroll outside the workplace if you have the time. Get some air, and you will feel better when you come back to your laptop
  3. Organize your work, and make sure to give priority to urgent tasks. It’ll help you avoid a stressful work environment or work conversations after the office.
  4. Moving your hands away from the laptop keys and stretching your body every few hours would be helpful too. It’ll also ensure you don’t get a stiff body at the end.
  5. Try to overcome the problems by taking them as challenges. It’ll help increase your problem-solving skills and enable you to reduce work stress.

You could also consult a clinical psychologist if you see the symptoms of depression. Many individuals struggling with depression due to work position end up with a therapist. 

What Do Workers Need to Survive Mentally?

To ensure survival at work, you will need to remember and follow below guidelines:

  1. Keeping up with regular exercise, running, or even dancing can help you release stress. It is the best way to ensure your mental well-being.
  2. Try to talk about how you feel with a medical professional or a family member. If you have a confidante, sit down with them and discuss what has been bothering you. Talking to someone helps us get the things out in the open that we have been hiding in the darkest places of our minds. It also proves beneficial in getting over any negative thoughts and helps fall asleep.
  3. Healthy eating is another key to good mental well-being. You will never feel dull or weak if you eat ample food or at least three meals a day with enough nutrition. It will, in turn, help you overcome any mental burdens and keep you healthy and happy.  
  4. Always take a break from work, from whatever bothers you most. It can be a mini-break at work or a week-long vacation in the mountains. If it helps you feel rested and peaceful, you should take whatever amount of break brings your mental health back.  

It’s Ok to Take a ‘Mental Health Day at Work?

It is good to mention that you need a day off due to your mental health condition. And saying it to your manager should not feel hesitant or seem like an embarrassing reason. 

It is the employers’ responsibility to ensure that you feel healthy, physically and mentally, when coming to work. Your well-being directly impacts your work and your manager’s performance too. Hence, if you need a mental health leave, go and ask for it.

Quitting Your Job Could Do Wonders for Your Mental Health — Is It Right for You?

If your mental health cannot take it anymore, quitting should be the option. Affecting it any further would not benefit you, especially if you have made efforts to make it work. 

However, if you are someone who is not willing to lose your job, it is better that you find ways to get your mental health condition back on track. And you can only do that by prioritizing it.  

You can always have a job and good mental health conditions. You do not need to sacrifice one to gain another. All you need to do is create a work-life balance, keep a check on yourself, and stop when it gets too much.

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