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Phil Walker
Phil Walker

Posted on

Depression & Anxiety in programming

I recently attended a developer retreat in beautiful Golden, Colorado and ran into something that surprised me. We were doing an ice breaker exercise and you were supposed to mention something that you were working on improving about yourself. So I mentioned that I was working on finding better ways to handle my depression and anxiety. To my surprise, the majority of the people in our little group expressed similar desires.

With World Mental Health Day being October 10th, (and it seems like these are very prevalent issues in our industry), I wanted to post here and ask: Do you suffer from depression or anxiety? If so, what are some ways that you've found help you when you're having a tough day?

Discussion (58)

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

I've never gotten any strict diagnosis, but I have anxiety issues and some other issues. I'd like to eventually learn more about these things, but I've always managed it well. I'm very fortunate to work with people who appreciate what I'm good at and give me the leash to cope with things in the ways I need to. I'm not sure I'd be doing this well in a different environment.

I think of @greggyb 's talks as the canonical source of awesome discourse on the subject in our industry.

jdhillen profile image
J.D. Hillen

I've struggled with this exact thing for years. I have been medicated for ADD since college. But over the last few years something has slowly changed in my personality and I could never put my finger on what it was.

I started out just listening to this on my second monitor. But 10 minutes in I stopped working all together and really paid attention. Every point Greg made hit way to close to home.

Watching this presentation gave me the confidence to talk to my wife about what is going on. I showed her this video first because I could never articulate what was going on in my head the same way Greg did.

Because of this post, I'm taking steps to make my world better.

Thank you for sharing this Ben!

_bigblind profile image
Frederik 👨‍💻➡️🌐 Creemers

If I could, I'd give your post over 9000 hearts, and this video over 9000 likes, because I think you've just given me a huge pointer in the right direction.

lesis_more profile image

Ben you're a lifesaver, God bless you, I've been there and still there, sometimes I ask myself why i was born, is this how I'm supposed to live and I sleep till 12pm on Saturdays or when on leave from work. I've struggled copying with relationships and I felt like I was toxic but I always got along with my software friends and they nag so we can go out and have a drink or something, it's weird I never feel so when I've had a couple drinks, I totally change and become a different person. Thanks again for the video.

jppage profile image

A little bit of both. Giving up alcohol along with better fitness and even a spot of meditation thrown in have helped a lot.

zak profile image
ZakG • Edited on

Ive been dealing with anxiety for about 5 years now and my mantra has become "One thing at a time." I don't care how long the to do list is; one thing at a time. It also helps to remind myself that most situations have only a handful of realistic outcomes. That outcome may suck, and it may hurt for a while, but eventually it'll be forgotten.

kaydacode profile image
Kim Arnett 


Day to day - finding a Job that doesn't trigger you very often, exercise, laying off caffeine has helped a lot. Staying away from triggers (i.e. social media, or certain friends, or situations)..

On my worst days I have medicine to help me cope. It brings me off the ledge and slows my thoughts down so that it's easy to process rather than having a panic attack. Particularly high stress situations.. but on my medication I'm cool, collected, and clear-focused. It turns my anxiety into a super power, is how it feels.

damcosset profile image
Damien Cosset

It's an important topic to talk about.

I personally never had to deal with depression, so I can only talk about dealing with a bad day. I found a great deal of comfort by reading about Stoicism. Learning that they are things outside my control, and not bothering at all about them. Many things in our jobs ( and lives ) are not completely inside our control. I try to make switch my focus inward, on things that I can control. I can't be sure that people will like my work, but I can make sure I do the best I can. If people don't like it anyway, did I do my best? If I did, there is nothing for me to worry about, I can't control those things.

Of course, easier said than done, but it's a daily practice :)

cjbuckethead profile image
Charles Joseph

Any book in particular?

damcosset profile image
Damien Cosset

A guide to the good life by William Irvine.

Perfect to get started with the subject.

Thread Thread
katarinavujcic profile image

Thanks for sharing the link to the book and your first comment. It made me take another look at Stoicism after a few years (at first I misunderstood Stoics tbh).

I think I got it now and know how to fix some tiresome thoughts in my life.
Thank you again :)

huytd profile image
Huy Tr.

I ran into depression when I got so many things in mind (side projects ideas, girl friends, wife, books to read,...) but I don't have time for them all. What I did to get out of depression is to hold them back all, and just focus on one thing that matter at a time. Anyway, it doesn't easy as it sound.

preciselyalyss profile image
Alyss 💜

I suffer from depression, generalized anxiety, and PTSD. The biggest improvement has been regular therapy, but also recognizing unhealthy behaviors and being willing to change them. The hardest one and the one I'm being a little more active to improve on is self-compassion. It is so easy to say "why do I have to be anxious about this?", "why didn't I get that done or why haven't I worked on it more". It is harder to be as forgiving and kind to yourself as you might be to your friends.

miniharryc profile image
Harold Combs

I much appreciate your honesty here. I really like the "be as forgiving and kind to yourself as you might be to your friends."

nikkitaftw profile image
Sara Vieira 🎉 • Edited on

This is such an important topic that many people don't talk about enough !
In terms of depression I never had severe problems with it I've had it but in combination with anxiety.
About anxiety I have been battling with a panic disorder for about 5 years now and the best advice I can give anyone is to seek help, I didn't untill last year and had a mental breakdown because of the stress and the underlying problem I wasn't treating.
Please get help, you don't have to live like this, this is something that took me 4 years to understand and when I finally did it changed my life.
I went to a therapist and stuck to my medication and I am completely different person now, I don't live in fear and constant anxiety.
Once you start treating it and sticking to your medication you will feel free.
Also this may sound really cheesy but meditation actually helps when you feel overwhelmed, there is a free app called aware that you should check out if you have these issues.
If anyone is battling this my DM is always open!

yamilquery profile image
Yamil Díaz Aguirre

Thank you for your words, I really appreciate it!

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Guillem Canal (╭ರᴥ-) • Edited on

(Sorry for any mistakes. English is not my native language)

During my career in web development, I suffered from 2 burnouts but I learned a great deal out of them.

I believe that most of us care a great deal about our work, we are passionate people and being confronted with unfair decisions motivated by greed and corporate competition trigger anxiety and lead to depression.

I just want to build software ethically, software that won't break because we were forced to rush a project to meet an unrealistic and arbitrary deadline, I don't want managers to tell us how to do our jobs by asking us to drop tests (our safety net) because they believe it cost them too much money, I don't want to see programmers publicly shamed because they made a mistake and I don't want to see agile frameworks such as scrum hijacked to measure the performance of a single individual.

Programmers are not mindless machines or wizards, we all have something to bring to the table, something to share.

Don't let anyone make you believe that you are worthless and doubt your accomplishments. In the field on computer science, everything is moving fast, we are constantly learning new ways to solve problems. It's both fascinating and intimidating, no wonder why so many of us suffer from the impostor syndrome.

There is no such thing as an absolute expert, we all feel somewhat insecure about our craftsmanship, remember that we will always learn from others and that's okay.

If you feel underappreciate in your workplace, if people constantly reject your ideas without a proper argument, if everything you say fall into deaf ears, just leave your company and find another one that will appreciate your feedbacks and your commitment.

Your mental health is precious, don't try to fix poor corporate decisions by overworking yourself, most of the time, it won't get noticed because it's perceived as a normal thing to do.

ggggbbybby profile image
Rebecca G

I had a talk with my boss about this pretty recently, since I've been struggling with depression and panic attacks for the last couple years and only recently got help. My biggest tip is to go to therapy, take your meds, and go easy on yourself. It's really easy to see depression as a personal failing, when it's a medical problem the same way the flu or a broken leg is - it's not something you can just push through without hurting yourself more in the process!

When I feel overwhelmed, I take a second or a minute or an hour and just breathe. Sometimes that's enough, and I can put things in perspective and not break down. Sometimes it's not and I end up crying in the bathroom, and that's a good time to reset and reach out and say "I'm having trouble with this and I need some help, do you have 10 minutes to talk through X?" Asking my coworkers for help is hard, but they have a neutral perspective that is invaluable, and generally that's enough to reset my brain and let me focus on my work again.

Another thing that can help is changing what you're working on - I wasn't feeling good about my engineering work so I switched to the QE team, where I'm learning an entirely new skillset and still working on problems I care about. A change in surroundings can make a big difference!

rapidnerd profile image
George Marr

I've suffered from depression and anxiety for a little over 9 years now, it's been a journey of a life time. Development is what has really helped me the most to cope with it, just having this little area to have where I can do what I like with and nobody can stop me feels amazing. In addition my friends are always there to cheer me up.

miniharryc profile image
Harold Combs

Yep. Anxiety checking-in.

If so, what are some ways that you've found help you when you're having a tough day?

Boiling it down:

  • Meds
  • Structure
  • Friends

Let's start with friends. Anxiety gives you this distorted view of see things as hyper-important that....aren't. You need people you trust who you can be your literal "reality check" similar to the way John Nash would ask, "Do you see that person standing there?" in A Beautiful Mind.

Second is structure. My particular bend on things is driven around the unknown...I get hyper-anxious when things just fly at me. Let's take a typical day at the office: I can come in at 8 or at 10. Both are acceptable. If I come in at 10, I guarantee I'm an anxious wreck because I have to start "sprinting" to keep up with the events flying at me: email, social interactions, work meetings.

Contrast: Eight o'clock. Open floorplan is quiet. I can deal with backlog email and set-up my structure for the day. Much easier to accept that sort of day.

Last...beyond a certain point, it's clinical. You can throw all the friends and structure at it you want; it won't help. You'll need to chemically balance your brain, with a doctor's supervision.

In my experience, therapy can give you some tools to deal with it, but even my last therapist was like, "We need something to get you past this hump you keep sliding down." He was quite correct, and the last 3 years have been better than the preceding 30.

mikkpr profile image
Mikk Pristavka

This is an important topic I think about quite a bit.

I suffer from generalized anxiety and bouts of depression. After trying to deny it or trying to find external causes to my problems I got help (therapy and meds) and am now feeling like I'm more in control. It doesn't seem like it's something that will eventually just go away, but rather I'm learning to control how and when it is affecting me. Talking about how I feel was difficult at first, but it has become an important way to "garbage collect" all negative thoughts. Mindfulness, meditation, journaling and exercising all help a lot. Basically, all sorts of methods to focus your thoughts help — writing code fits the bill as well, so maybe that's the reason why this profession appeals to me. To an extent, being physically healthier will also help you be mentally healthier.

I am also learning to turn my anxiety and fear of failure into a strength — it drives me to be extra meticulous, think ahead and not make rash decisions.

Professionally, it helps me write readable, modular and testable code, constantly think of possible refactoring opportunities and ways to improve the codebase in general. As I find it difficult to keep large ideas in my head, functional programming is something that appeals to me a lot — the idea of composing small ideas to express larger ones also applies to my thinking process as well as to the code I write.

Personally, it drives me to seek ways to use my free time most efficiently — fearing to forget important things, I keep a journal with various task lists on all my devices. Also keeping a physical journal is a kind of ritual to internalize good habits and record positive thoughts. For me, the Bullet Journal system works very well for both taking notes and keeping track of things I need to do.

TL;DR — it's really important to talk or at least write about your problems, even just for yourself. Try finding ways to focus your thoughts and not let them overwhelm you. Music, white noise, meditation, whatever works. Excercise, drink water, eat well and sleep well. All of these things help you rewire your brain to work with you, not against you.

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Rudi Stapelfeldt • Edited on

I've struggled with it and just changed my mindset. I've stopped saying I have bad days. I now sometimes have character building days. I embrace the days I struggle with certain tasks because I know I'll grow from them. Also I'm in the gym all the time. Exercise helps

leftturns profile image
Andy Johnson


First, always, always seek help from a qualified professional provider. And find a good one, someone that works for you. If you don't like their bedside manner, their treatment methods, or anything that concerns you, shop for a new doctor. Follow their advice based on your unique situation.

Spend time outside. I try to walk my doggo every night. But I don't feel bad when I miss our sunset walk. Just regroup and retry tomorrow.

Get quality sleep. Not always possible, but do your best to put your mind at ease before bed.

Don't binge screen time before bed - especially after staring at pixels all day. Read a book, made from trees (recycled trees are best), not on a screen.

Find a creative escape. Take an art class, learn a new non-programming creative skill. I make furniture. Someday, I hope to learn welding. I also do watercolors. Some days I don't do anything remotely creative, and I don't beat myself up over it either.

Bring a plant into the office. Peace Lily is easy to maintain with no sunlight, Sansevieria is good for low light to window light, and if you're lucky to be on a bright window seat, then any Succulent will brighten your desk. Yes, bringing a small piece of nature into your office not only brightens up your space, it also boots your mood and cleans your air.

Spend your time outside of work primarily with people who love you and care about you. Love and care about others too.

Set good expectations (based on your situation) with your boss about your needs. I know I can take a mental health day as a sick day if I need it - it's just PTO. Don't take a day off when it's bad for the business either - you can't blow off deadlines just because you're not feeling good that day. Learn to balance it.

Gain an awareness of your feelings. Realize that you might just be having a bad day. And also realize at the same time, that the bad time you are having will pass.

Best of luck. It isn't easy, but hang in there. You're not alone.

marlborogrammer profile image

I was anxious for most of my life, i wasn't able to curb it until i have discovered my talent in programming.

I was self-cautious about almost everything, easily shaken by the smallest thing people or think about me, and can't even express what i feel or want to do like anyone else.

Then i have found out that i am an ace when it comes to coding, i am 21 and i work as a senior software engineer.
It made me believe in myself and apply logical analysis to everyday things.

ikemkrueger profile image
Ikem Krueger

That‘s where I head to.

yokim profile image
Yokim Pillay

I've been diagnosed with general anxiety disorder and moderate to severe depression, I'm on anti-depressants and I have benzodiazepines to control my frequent panic attacks.

Right now, getting through the day is the most difficult task to get through, be it during the week or even the weekend.

During my work days, I get probably between 6 to 8 panic attacks, some days more, some days less.

For me, the thought of getting something wrong is absolutely petrifying, and that's where it starts.

If this sounds like something that some people here are experiencing, you'll know how debilitating it is, and how destructive this feels.

I've recently started seeing a psychologist, and by far, it is one of the most helpful things to do.

Some people (and myself) rely on the medication to try and manage things like chemical imbalances in the brain, and it's important to realise that the medication, while it is helpful, is not the be-all and end-all.

If you can afford it, try and see a psychologist as well as a psychiatrist if you need to.

You owe it to yourself to take care of yourself, be kind and understanding to yourself.

Find someone to confide in, and speak about the issues you face, no matter what kind of issues.

You'll get through it.

(sorry for the bump, I just thought this is an important discussion)

ameliagapin profile image
Amelia Gapin

I suffer from a lot of depression and anxiety and have ADHD. It can be a lot sometimes.

For me, running helps it a lot. I've been a distance runner for years and that can really ease the symptoms and make me feel better, but it's just a bandaid for the symptoms, it's not a cure. It'll get me through the day, but it leaves me in a fragile balance of relying on this one physical activity.

At the end of last year, I started taking Lexapro and that has helped me immensely. It doesn't fix it 100%, but my levels of background anxiety and depression are greatly reduced and I have fewer panic attacks. It's also helped reduce my suicidal thinking.

I have gone to therapy in the past and it just doesn't seem to be the treatment for me. Once I can open up to a therapist, I can let a lot of stuff out and it feels nice and cathartic. Unfortunately, it doesn't last long after each session and then I have a whole week to go until the next one.

I think it just comes down trying different things and seeing what works for you. It may need to be a combination of a few things.

This can be a tough industry because our productivity can often affect our mental health. If I'm not particularly productive, whether that's because of my ADD or something else, that will increase my anxiety and depression. It'll make me feel worthless. That anxiety over being unproductive and the depression centered around worthlessness then makes me even less productive and it becomes this really dangerous negative feedback loop.

Anyway, it's definitely something we need to talk about more. We need to remove the stigma from it.

You're not alone. ❤️

snoopjedi profile image
James Gerity • Edited on

Keep openly discussing it! (where comfortable) You never know who is struggling with the same emotions, and you might surprise someone else in the same way by indicating that not only is it okay to have these discussions earnestly, it's something we should strive for!

asynccrazy profile image
Sumant H Natkar

I guess stress gets introduced into picture when we are expected to meet some deadline, the best way to handle stress is to switch off from work when we are outside office, although it's not easy as it sounds.

I try to listen to some audio books which are not at all connected to programming or computers when I travel to and fro from work.

Also spending time with your loved ones also reduces stress.

Exercise is another stress buster, I am not saying you hit the gym every week, but walking for at least 40-45 mins per day is really good for you.

Anxiety is a complete different ball game altogether and it comes from the fact that, you don't know what exactly is going to happen in future, and if the circumstances are going to be under your control.

Best way to avoid anxiety is to ignore it and try to live in present rather than caring about what will happen in future or giving a damn about what has happened in past, I use the same rule.

stefannibrasil profile image
Stefanni Brasil

yes, I've been depressed for years and this year I started finally to do therapy. that was simply the best thing I did this year. today I do yoga, meditation, do more exercising, etc. I think this helps me.

Good luck, hope you are treating your anxiety. Nobody deserves to suffer alone! the best :)

lonelymoon profile image
Hung Luong

On the contrary, working in software development helped me a lot with my depression. I find in coding a very relaxing freedom: the idea that I can make anything and everything work by my own willpower is very empowering for someone who find himself at rock bottom.

joahered profile image

This topic is kind of taboo in the software industry, yet it is crucial that we, as developers, talk about it.

Personally, I think that the fear to fail is one of the biggest factors that fuels anxiety and depression. When you found yourself in an environment that makes things difficult, it is even worse, because you don't feel contained by your colleagues, maybe worse, maybe they shame anyone that makes a mistake.

I don't think that I've had to deal with severe depression or anxiety, yet, my advice is that to escape that kind of situations you should focus on projects that can make you feel better, focus on other things outside the scope of that toxic environment, it is a lot of work to do, but maybe someday that project that you put your focus on may set you free of the things that makes you feel bad.

Hopefully this kind of debates will help people struggling right now.

Cheers :)

ekimkael profile image
Ekim Kael

Being self-taught in Africa, not not not following the standards in Africa is already a great source of anxiety.
My parents always wonder what I can do all day in front of my PC.
One of the things that gives me anxiety is getting a job.
Many have already told me that I have the skills to be employed in a company but when you see the list of skills that only one person must is to very quickly end up with burnouts every month at least.they want you to be Designer, Backend Developer, Technical Support, Administrator, Network etc....

One of the things that makes me proud is that I can accomplish, because all that produces me a little money today, I did not need to make big studies to know them. and also to have crossed already some people who make in the field, I am rather competent because many of them respect my work (especially my talents of webdesigner) that helps me to tell me that all this time in front of the PC serves.

Reading and writing:
It has nothing to do with the code. It's pure literature.
Writing helps me imagine, imagine what I want, sometimes dream and refresh my mind.
Reading, for now I'm looking for a place where I can get paper books to be away from the screens

Personal development videos.
One I like is Jean-laval(his videos are in French)

Post-it notes. Since I bought some, it's safe if I have something to do I'll do it because I'll mark it before I sleep. It allows me to mark what bothers me and come back to it after or the next day (when the mind is a little more open).

What I know will help me is to meet new people.
My friends are either at school, far away or abroad and it is difficult to see them.
And I'm starting to hate... finally hanging out less and less on social networks.

eljayadobe profile image

This topic is getting pretty far afield from development. But that's okay by me.

One of the things I've done to help me cope with my own anxiety and (mild) depression is the practice of mindfulness meditation. Which is a focus on "living in the now", and not "living in the past" (regrets) or "living in the future" (anxiety).

It may not be for everybody, but it is helpful for me. It's easy, and free.

Mindfulness meditation: Getting Started and How To Do It.

jasonmcclurg profile image
Jason McClurg

Hello, that all sounds very challenging. The fact that you are still showing up, and that you are able to share, is really encouraging and couragaeous. I hope that you keep on the path, find more peace, and take care of yourself

rbanffy profile image
Ricardo Bánffy

I don't think it's surprising. How can anyone have an above-average IQ and not be depressed?

kaelscion profile image
kaelscion • Edited on

Anxiety and depression are old time friends to me. But the kind of friends that let themselves into your house at 3 in the morning, pissed drunk, to raid your fridge, then get mad when you almost shoot one of the in the kitchen because you think they're a thief.

I am High Functioning Autistic, suffer from Bipolar disorder, and have been in some accidents in life that have me dealing with chronic pain. Also, my childhood life was spent paying for my "defects" with um...not so nice treatment by one of my parents. It wasn't until I got married 8 years past that I found out it wasn't necessary for me to cut X's onto my body when I did something wrong, a habit I struggle with to this day.

Suffice to say, these issues make life extremely difficult. HOWEVER, this comment will not be a pity party for me. I will say though, that a huge key is understanding your illness. Which it is. Those who feel that chronic depression is just "being sad a lot" and you should just "think positively", is unfamiliar with the sensation of depression. Another point is to realize that, while anxiety is a feeling we all know, clinical Anxiety (notice the capital A) is an illness that needs treatment. An illness that is crippling, miserable, and will take you out at the knees some days even if you do absolutely everything right.

Nobody says that people with type 1 diabetes just need "a kick in the ass" to get going. Why? Because they have to jab themselves with needles all the time to know...die. what causes diabetes? The pancreas does not produce enough insulin on it's own. What causes Depression and Anxiety? The brain does not produce enough feel good chemicals, or produces too much adrenaline. So, both have medical causes and while they are technically in your head, they are actually in your brain. Big difference.

Being aware that you are not broken or lazy or stupid or whatever other demeaning thing people say you are is key.

For what I do, I've posted some things here. It is a very similar discussion to this, but this comment has been long enough as it is 😎😎😎.

I would say first though, before anything else can help you, you need to understand that there is nothing wrong with you. This world is built for people who are wired differently than you. Those folks are in the majority so they get consideration. But, just like if there was a race of people on this Planet that could only see in the UV light spectrum, we are a race unto ourselves that perceives the world in a fundamentally different way than most. The fact that they do not, and in many way can not, relate, is not your fault. Acknowledge that you are wired differently, then start learning how to approach a world designed for people that are not wired at all like you.

bsachetta profile image
Brian Sachetta

Thanks for posting this. I think a lot more people deal with mental health issues than we are aware of (myself included); it's a really important topic to discuss in our community.

I've dealt with anxiety for the past ten years, and my experiences in engineering have helped me come up with strategies for dealing with it.

The most important realization I came to in regard to my mental health was that, being a developer, I tend to overanalyze things and think critically more often than I should. This is obviously helpful when I'm trying to write a new algorithm, but when it comes to my anxiety, it's often quite harmful.

I believe anxiety stems from two places: our innate fight-or-flight responses to things that scare us and our thoughts about those scary things. When we feel anxious about an important project or upcoming deadline, we typically feel afraid (by default) and then get in our heads and try to reason ourselves out of that fear response.

This almost never works, however. The only way out of anxiety is to get out of your head. We cannot "solve" or "outthink" our anxiety, we can only let it dissipate by deliberately taking our focus off it. Thus, when I'm having a tough day, I use a number of different strategies to get my mind off whatever is frightening me. A few examples include working on a new dev feature, breathing deeply, or reciting a powerful mantra (such as "everything will be okay").

I actually wrote a book on this very subject recently, so if anyone would like to check it out, I would be quite honored. It includes all the strategies I use on a daily basis as well as a good amount of the science behind anxiety. I know it's sometimes frowned upon to self-promote here, but I really do believe the information is powerful and can help lots of people.

Here's a link to it:

If you ever need to talk to someone about your mental health struggles, please just send me a message. I'm always happy to chat.

jfrankcarr profile image
Frank Carr

Here's what I do...

Music, both listening to it and playing it. As Gary Clark Jr sings...

This music is my healing
Lord knows I need some healing
'Cause when this world upsets me
This music sets me free, yeah

Also, I avoid "Lumburghs" and other toxic people as much as possible. One thing that I've come to realize over the past year (2017) since I've lost a number of friends and relatives to cancer is that life is too short and precious to waste your time dealing with terrible, awful, people.

computersmiths profile image

Someone pointed out to me if you had diabetes, you wouldn’t say “I’m not taking my insulin, that’s just a crutch, it’s all in my head!“

Likewise: If you don’t make your own neurotransmitters, storebought is fine.

Get help, tune your meds (it’s an art, not a science), don’t fall for the “feeling better, can stop now” trap, but realize it’s not you, it’s a medical problem, learn to relax and deal with today’s crises today.

brendalimon profile image
Brenda Limón

I do, since I was little. It’s very hard sometimes to get out, a lot of people around me helped me before but after some episodes they just think you’re dramatic. Dealing with depression and anxiety it’s not a joke, and if it happens constantly, you must go see a doctor, there’s nothing wrong about that, accept that you need help.
Now, my episodes of depression were from 5-6 per year to 1-3 when I started doing this:
-Accept that I was depress. You can try too hard to keep smiling and pretend that everything’s alright, but just when you let your body rest being honest is when you can change the situation.
-Find help. Ask for help to your family and friends, be honest, tell them everything’s going on in your head and heart, even if it’s just one person, but say everything.
If it happens constantly, I do recommend go see a doctor, just to be sure.
Express yourself. Cry, scream, sleep, all that you need so your body can breath again.
Keep yourself busy. Find something you enjoy, if coding is getting frustrating take a little break, go walk, travel for a weekend, go out with friends, the important think is stop faking and start doing things to makes us happy again.
Help someone. A lot of times when I was depress I did a clean up of clothes, toys, everything I had and went to charity, stayed for a while and accept that my problems are not that big comparing to others. Sometimes making someone else happy makes us happy.

Hope this can be useful,


sallar profile image

Yes. I think I'm suffering from depression. I have been physically ill for over two years now and had 4 surgeries so far (nothing major but very annoying) and nothing has helped and I'm going to have another one soon. The fact that my life doesn't go back to normal depresses me to no end. I've lost a loved one right before the illness started... and except my wife, I don't have many friends to talk to about this.
Stay strong everybody.

courtneyheitman profile image
Courtney Heitman

I think more often I suffer from burnout between work and my side projects than I do depression. BUT, depression and burnout have been linked by several studies in recent years.

I preach self care to everyone I know. If you don't feel like going to a meetup because being around people is just going to wear you out. Go home and enjoy some downtime. Have a work best friend who knows when you're having a rough day and will be your person. Take a coworker who's been putting in tons of hours out to lunch, coffee or a happy hour. Sometimes just getting out of the office is good for people.

Personally, I meditate daily. It helps calm my brain down, and has been proven to help depression and anxiety.

I'm a huge advocate for To Write Love on Her Arms. It's an amazing non profit, with a great mission. Also, if you want a boost of good news, check out Branden Harvey's Goodnewspaper and Goodnewsletter, sometimes you just need to know there's good stuff happening in the world.

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Sean Damien Umali • Edited on

I started dealing with depression back in 2012 when I couldn't land a career in my field of study and couldn't work as a defense contractor working on military aircraft again, so what I did was I got into drones and decided to learn how to build one then I figured to try something new then that's how I got started with coding. My first language is HTML when I signed up with codecademy. Even now when I feel depressed, bored, or sad, I'll just log in to my computer open up a programming book (which I have several i.e python, c, c++, javascript, react, angular, SQL) and start coding. Most of this book that I have are from tutorialspoint.

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Doc • Edited on

I draw. I go to lunch and, if I am not having lunch with others, I draw. It helps so much.

phillpafford profile image

Im not saying this works for everyone but I have seen it first hand heal myself and other family members

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Adrian B.G.

I sincerely didn't though of these problems in our field. I develop 🌃 and day as a passion and job, but I'll watch this thread, maybe I missed problems in my peers and I can fix them in the future.

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Hannes Calitz

I suffer from depression and anxiety. I have tried many things to deal with it, but in the end, the only thing that helped was medication.

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Diego Moura

Hi Phil. I wrote I whole piece after seeing your post, especially because today was a hard one, not going to post it all here, but check it out if you have the chance!

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Djordje Bajic

When i hit the bottom, i start to listen Elliott Smith.

Those who listen to him know what i talk about. :)

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Did you switch careers? Glad to know you're better now.