Not just a regular depression case


#1

Hi, everybody. Just found out about this website and the idea behind it’s pretty amazing. Thanks for whoever did that.

Just like everybody else in here, i feel a lot depressed and I think it has something to do with my software developer career. You see, I’ve started as kid, around 13 years old, messing around with C and stuff. It was incredibly fun at the time. Most of my friends were spending their time going out, parties and stuff and I was the one checking upon the internet for more informations about how to handle regular expressions in perl.

The software developer career fell natural at the time, I was pretty proud of myself. I was pretty young - around 18 years old - and I was making more money than my friends. It fell like I was super smart and everything was in the right place.

It’s funny, 6 years has passed until now - I should be fixing some issues now - I’m here, fulling around on the web, looking for resources to deal with this shit. Last year I had a very serious depression incident. I was stuck, completely hopeless and I didn’t understand why. I’m from Brazil and I was working for a client in New York City. So I ended up going up there to work for a 3 months season. Everybody was so proud of me, because it’s not that common to have opportunities like this one. What they didn’t know was that experience was probably one of the worst of my entire life. I was pretty fucked up, mentally and physically. So went back, quit the job and decided work by myself. It didn’t work out either. I wasn’t pretty good at manage myself. So went back and start to work for a huge company here Brazil. I was pretty excited, ended like being best than the others and it turns out I became a tech lead. Worst time ever again. Working fucking 14 hours per day and not making much money out of it. So, I quit again. It became a very common process. Now I’m working for another startup from NYC, but I feel like they don’t expect much from me, since I’m usually slower than the others. It’s just fucked for someone who believed being a astonishing developer few years back.

So I started to question myself. If I’m afraid of things or I’m just not good enough. I know it has something to do with depression but I feel like a completely lost my confidence. It seems like I was more mature and responsible when I was younger and now, with more experience I just feel like shit.

Somehow it feel a bit better when I came across this website and I feel like I should be doing something about it. In a strange way, I wanna understand how that happen and how I can help others to deal with it as well. Specially in or field.
Maybe we can all do something together and turn this into a better thing. I don’t know. But even though I’ll probably never see your faces, I feel better to able to share this with you all.

Thanks


#2

It seems like you have two sets of problems: one related to your career and one related to your mental health, though they seem to be interrelated. My own bouts with depression also coincide with career-related and professional issues, so I can sympathize. It’s a bit hard to tease the two apart from your post, but let me try to help as much as I can.

First, if you think you have depression-related problems, and they are recurring, I would strongly urge you to see a mental health professional. Especially if these are recurring problems, it’s important to get properly diagnosed and get the help you need. It is very important that you do this as soon as possible and start getting some form of treatment. Personally I’ve found it hard to try and solve depression-related issues and solve other problems at the same time. For me, whenever I start to feel depressed, I know I have to address that as soon as possible, because if I don’t, it will affect my ability to work on anything else.

Secondly, it seems like a lot of your professional problems stem from not having the right kind of job. If you think you are still depressed, or still recovering, I would suggest you take a small break from you career and work on getting your mental back in order. When my depression was at its worst, I took a semester off from my PhD program and took a low-level programmer job for a few months. Once I started feeling better, I took a slightly more demanding research internship that helped me get back to doing research, and then I started back at my PhD program. I’ve been back for a semester now and still get depressed now and then. I try to work hard when I’m feeling good, so that when I’m depressed I can afford to take a day or two off to feel better.

In your case, it seems like you’re frustrated with your current job because it’s below your potential. I would say that’s actually a blessing in disguise. If your job is not very demanding, then take that time to work on yourself and get your health in order. Travel, go out, read a book, learn to cook, do whatever puts you in a good mood. Once you’ve stabilized your mental state, you can start either working harder at your current job, or looking for a more challenging one.

Hope this helps. Good luck, and please let us know how things go.


#3

I’m feeling much better. At the time I was feeling extremely overloaded and anxious. I couldn’t help it. It was a terrible time I went through. But I’m glad to say that everything they say is true. Everything is temporary. Sometimes you need to let things go, listen to your friends, get proper treatment to realize that, there’s much more you can offer. It’s weird to say that since I just read what I wrote that day and today Its feels incredibly different. I know some days sucks but we have to also learn how to experience bad days in a sense where we can take some advantage of. Sometimes our anxiety means something, maybe we need a drastic change in our lifes and we’re so closed mind that we refuse to accept this.

Anyways, I would like to thank you so much for taking time to answer that, it really meant a lot. I’m much better and eager to help others to rediscover their paths.


#4

I’m been in a similar situation… busting my ass … working weekends … and not getting any bonuses or overtime pay. Then you realize you’re taking risks (ruining your health) so that other people’s dreams can come true.

Working 14 hours a day is not manageable. I don’t think it’s humanely possible to be a productive developer for more than 50 hours a week.

Startup’s are tough. I’ve been involved with 2 so far and it’s really crucial to find the right fit. You work long hours for something that will likely fail and work-life balance is difficult. Sometimes there’s no HR and management is lacking.

Believe me, if you’ve struggled working at a startup, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not a good developer.