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Career break from mental health

Community Member


Been living with depression and anxiety for the last 5 years and recently just decided to resign from my work (I am an IT Project manager) as i just couldn't take it anymore. I would describe myself as a people pleaser and found that If i didnt deliver something on time or knew all the answers i was failing. I also felt very burnt out and wasnt able to enjoy things outside of my work. Or even knew what i enjoyed outside of work to be honest.

- im feeling stupid/annoyed/weak not being able to cope and deal with the day to day pressures of work.
- im worried about my career prospects moving forward (even though my bosses were very understanding and supporting - i didnt leave in a very good way - which im ashamed of...
- im finding it hard to not work and also ashamed not to be working
- finding it hard to do whats best for me

8 Replies 8

Community Member

Hi there Arejay871

I can sense that you are feeling like you may be taking a risk. I know what you mean as I did the same at the start of the year. I lasted about 3 months in my role and realised it was not for me in the long run as it did not stimulate anything in my interests. That point about not wanting to do anything else in life is so true as well. I didn't want to do anything else and didn't want to be anywhere.

I just did my job then went home.

The feeling of not working and being guilty - yes i also understand it. Though lately I have really learned how to tune out from that. The thing to remember is that you are only unemployed if you choose to say you are.

Of course there are questions in relation to overheads and budgets and such and to whom you are responsible if you have them in your life. In the end though I think that you know you have made the right choice.

Many people do roles and burn out. It is not good for them in the long run

Just do your best to be good to yourself in the next few months

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Arejay871,

Wellcome to our forums.

Im sorry that you are feeling this way.

Being a people pleaser can be very draining for the person who feels that they have to people please.

Do you think that you could try to change your behaviour towards people pleasing maybe try to think of things in a different way.

Im sorry you have been living with anxiety and depression for the past 5 years, have you ever seeked professional help for this?

Please try not to be to hard on yourself, things will improve.

Thanks for the reply Ham and thanks for sharing

yeah I'd like to be less people pleasing but I guess being in the role I was in made that hard

But did you (or anyone for that matter) feel like they were OK enough to go back to their old job within a few weeks of resigning. I tell myself that I'm now "better" and I could handle it.

Although I do feel like a break is good for me

Im grappling with trying to decide what is better for me

What do you do to tune those thoughts of not working out?

Ho Petal thanks for replying

Yes I have been seeing a psychologist and a gp for it

yeah I think another thing is that I've tied my sense of self and value in what I do, who I work for etc

So leaving has also made this thinking pattern worse

hey Arejay871

I guess I just focus on the next thing I need to do - applying for jobs i would see myself doing. For example, at the moment I am looking into peer support work. I am also considering travelling and also considering overseas study next year but not 100% on it just yet.

I guess also too I don't watch the news and follow many things on social media. I find that stuff makes me feel isolated and alone. I'd rather just focus on my life.

I guess after years of dealing with mental ill health I have learned to shut out a lot of noise in society. I have also been practicing radical self compassion.

Yeah - i have had moments where i think "hey i really wish I was back because i could be earning". But then i remember why i quit.

I guess also too having an overall goal in mind is good. I did have one when I quit - it was to study again. But I hated what i was doing and quit from it. No point doing it to just justify quitting. So I quit the course

I guess being in the wilderness so to speak has given me time to think and focus.

Thanks HamSolo01

Yeah i think at the moment im just overwhelmed. especially when I go to look for study options of what to do next - feel like theres alot of pressure to do and find the next career and that will be it.

Awesome that youre looking into peer support work! and also interested in studying abroad. Both very brave things to get into and do.

Yes learning to shut out external noise is a big thing also - but then youre left with the internal noise/voice going on and on and on. I guess thats where the self compassion comes in?

Yeah good point on doing something for the sake of something or to justify the quitting.

Thanks again for sharing and responding

Hi Arejay871,

That's ok, happy to support you.

I understand how you seem to think that in a way you have tied your identity into what you do for work ect.... I understand.

But there is so much more to you than just this and you can become so aware of this through meditation and just becoming more conscious ( self aware).....

I understand that when we are people pleasers we tend to make other people our first priority and pleasing them but we really don't need to do this. Its great to see that you are aware that you may be a people pleaser.

I follow a lady on line her name is Tracy Secombe she knows all about people pleasing and how to turn this around to be a soul pleaser. If your interested you could look into her tips....

As humans we are conditioned to think in certain ways or patterns sometimes we can pick these up from child hood or just life its self the good news is we are capable of re writing or brains... we can change or thoughts and beliefs by challenging them.... we can all change if we wish to be a more calmer, joyful human by following our passions which can lead us to our purpose.

Do you have something your passionate about?

When you think of this passion it makes you really happy and joyful inside.......... by following this it can lead you to unexpected life changes for the better..... your soul will awaken and you will be following your purpose.

I understand all of the above because I was once stuck in my ways and didn't feel very good in myself and then I decided to change my perceptions of the world and see things in a new light.

I've followed my path unknowingly sometimes, I've lived in the dark, but this darkness is what has led me to my life purpose and the light....... I'm living my best life now and you can too.

I'm here to chat to you

Thing is Arejay871, is that the pandemic has had what I'd call a "side effect". Yes the virus itself was the issues.

But I believe the side effect I'm talking about is just how many people have re assessed their lives and direction. Its provoked a change in many people and a colleague of mine in my old workplace made this very point in fact.

I think its perfectly acceptable to do what you've done. I've done it too so I guess I have personal bias. Lol.

But that said, I see how society may not accept it. There are all sorts of narratives out there in modern culture (which could be applied to dating, relationships, career, meaning, religion, purpose etc etc).

I think as individuals we want to use narratives as a tool to make our way in life. So we can only be expected to use the ones that help us. If a narrative, ideology or something no longer fits our purpose then we are totally okay to drop it. I mean do it rationally of course.

the situation with work is an example. I had saved money. So I have that to use. But I also like to work and contribute to society. But I realised that I would rather do that in a way I want on a job I feel has meaning. So that's why I looked into peer support work. Helping others who have gone through the same as me.

I've realised the old me was a functional shell I had. The functional shell that would meet expectations of society. 0ne of which was to "be employed". But what is that? If there are no things or people who are reliant in me (rent, kids, debt etc) then I am free to move about the Labor market. To make rational choices.

I've realsied that doing a masters course is the only way I'll make a break unless a golden opportunity comes forward. The golden opp will come forward when I've bothered to look. But then I may screw up.

Idk where I'm going with this tbh. I guess I'm hoping the themes are helpful to you Arejay

Take care and see you round