re: Mental Health in Tech VIEW POST

FULL DISCUSSION
 

Perspective is always therapeutic. We should contemplate our lives every now and then and I'm sure we'll realize frequently that our work-related problems which cause anxiety, depression etc, not the mental health issues themselves, are in the bigger picture pretty insignificant compared to what the vast majority of people across the globe go through everyday. Do things much more meaningful than your job in this, what I believe to be, an intrinsically vapid yet fun life. Grow a consciousness of your surroundings. Work on a social/political cause, volunteer at an NGO, read on how to make the world a better place.

I hope we're all lucky to have a boss and a team of peers that we can rely on as a support system and can expect some substantive reciprocation from that'll help us heal. But may be this should only be tried if the colleagues are extraordinarily candid with each other. It can backfire: not getting the right response or having your issue trivialized can throw you off in a really bad way.

There are tons of apps out there. Many employ deep learning to gauge our mental health, suggest activities to keep us on track etc. However, there's nothing comparable to talking everything out with a friend or a loved one. Social isolation is a major reason for the spike in suicide rates over the last decade and a half. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that there could be a correlation with increased social media usage. May be cut back on all the stuff that reinforces our urge for constant attention and approval.

Online therapy helps too.

 

Be careful with contemplation. Depending on your personality-type, introspection can lead you further down the spiral. For some, the better tack is to keep yourself occupied or distracted.

 

That's a good point. I guess it depends on how far down you already are. As someone who does have anxiety, I've found it humbling to read/listen to other people's experiences from around the world. It helps me occasionally, but yes I suppose not for everybody.

If you have anxiety, the tech's lifeblood (caffeine) tends to exacerbate it.

Similarly, if you ever find yourself suffering from migraines an have an underlying propensity for anxiety, don't let your doctor prescribe Topomax. While that drug's great for solving migraines, it can drive anxiety levels off the scale. :p

 

Are you referring to contemplation alone, without guidance? Yeah, that could be trouble.

But in the long term, contemplation of some sort is the only way you'll identify and resolve whatever mental habits might be making things harder on yourself. No one else can tell you what's going on in your own mind. But you can best get something out of that type of contemplation by talking with someone who can help guide you through trouble. Therapy was essential, for me.

Keeping yourself occupied and distracted can be useful, temporarily. But it's not a long-term strategy.

Success with therapy is at least as dependent on the patients' proclivities as the practitioners' skills. Trying to find a compatible therapist - let alone one that can actually prove helpful - can be harder than finding a GP that you can work with. Difference is, if a GP is incompatible, it doesn't tend to exacerbate the underlying problems.

Plus, like medication, seeking out the help of a therapist can close off some avenues of employment (some industries will immediately distrust someone that's actively undergoing or has undergone treatment - whether just talk or prescribed-chemical).

Hopefully people will value their own mental health over the prejudices of a potential employer.

As for a GP not exacerbating underlying problems, that depends on the GP.

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