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Developers, entrepreneurs and depression. No! You are not alone


#1

For some reason there is a very high incidence on depression and other forms of mental illness in the developer and entrepreneurial community but no one talks about it. This talk from Greg Baugues is worth watching and sharing. Feel free to download, put on blogs, sites etc. Of course we would love people to credit the conference with a link but honestly, please just share.

Developers, entrepreneurs, and depression


#2

It’s a great talk. Well worth 32 minutes of anyone’s time (developer or not).


#3

I agree with @Andy. This is a great talk. Please watch and share. You never know who might really, really need this information right now.

Along the same lines:

When it’s not all good, ask for help

and

Startups Anonymous


#4

Great talk. Thanks for the find.

I’m always unconformable when I’m amongst entrepreneurs who talk about “crushing it” and “killing it” like they really want you to believe that they don’t have ups and downs like everybody else. I usually break the ice by talking about the downside of my business & soon enough everybody join in. We can’t help each other when we’re busy posturing/selling.

Sure, being an entrepreneur is great & we have to be selling all the time (ABC), but this constant posturing about success is not helpful.


#5

It does seem to strike a nerve. I’ve seen this guy give this same presentation 4 times, and he gets a standing ovation every time. (I go to a lot of conferences.)


#6

Thanks for sharing the video. I can really relate to some parts of Greg’s story.


#7

More on this subject from Christopher Murphy on 24 ways yesterday - Managing a Mind.


#8

Great share, thanks. Something taboo that most don’t like to speak about even though most of us probably struggle with it at some point.


#9

In all honesty, my interest in talking about it on my podcast is two-fold:

  1. I think it would be helpful in general, as the more mouths we have on the job, the more people can get the message that it’s not just them, and that it’s OK to look into getting some kind of help.

  2. It would be personally therapeutic for me.

Admittedly, motivation #2 is less-than-noble. But rational selfishness has always been part of my podcast - I get to pick all these smart brains to benefit my own endeavors, plus I get to bring several hundred of my pals along for the ride, every episode. That seems like win-win to me.

I do see a therapist, and I am a member of a support group for one of the major underlying cause of my struggles. These things help. I wish more people felt less stigmatized and more free to pursue this type of help.

At the same time, depression in the tech/startup world is one of the issues that I see as being largely glossed over, much as “entrepornography” glosses over the real face of what launching a small company is like. It’s good to see that there are a few voices out there talking about this, and I would like to join those voices.


#10

Hi Christopher

there are a few folk talking about this - Christopher Murphy in my 24 ways link above is very keen to get people talking about this.

Ed Finkler has also been talking about this in the dev community: http://funkatron.com/osmi.html

Sorry to hear you are having a rough time.

Rachel


#11

Christopher,

I am sorry to hear you suffer to. Please find someone that you can speak to about this, even in an online forum like Devpressed. You are not alone and talking about it does help, it really does if you find the right person.

I run Business of Software Conference. I also suffer from depression though it has taken me a long time to recognise it, let alone ‘fess up’. I must say that this has been a big revelation to me. When people say, 'How are you?", I am very honest. Often ends up in a referral to Greg’s talk and then an email follow up from someone I have just met with a big thank you.

Everyone will deal with depression differently, there is no single correct answer. If you are interested in pursuing the podcast, I would be more than happy to discuss my approach but can probably find some more interesting people too.


#12

forum ate my post; re-writing it from memory as best I can

Thanks for the links, it’s good stuff.

I have 2 motivations for wanting to address this on the podcast:

  1. Although I’m glad to hear there are a few voices out there on the topic, I think that depression in the coder/startup space is glossed over the same way “entrepornography” glosses over the real face of difficulty & failure in the startup world, and that this needs to be balanced out by adding more voices to the discussion.

  2. I would find it therapeutic to talk to others who have been there/are there and know that the talk is going to spread to several hundred of my pals via the podcast.

Admittedly, reason #2 is a little bit selfish.

I do see a therapist, and I am a member of a support group addressing one of the underlying causes of my struggles. It would be fantastic if more people felt less stigmatized and more free to pursue help in this way. The obvious way to make that happen is to have more voices covering more ground, carrying the issue farther and re-framing it in more minds.

There might be some other sort of outreach I can do, but at the moment the podcast is my best vector for spreading the message. Assuming I even continue the podcast, that is. I’m in the bottom of a cycle at the moment, and all I want to do is light fire to my entire career and watch it burn. I realize that this isn’t rational, so I’m trying to avoid any big decision-making until after I pull out of the current tailspin.

So Mark, maybe I will take you up on your offer to do the podcast on this issue. I had hoped to put together a round-table-type episode, but so far nobody in my immediate circle is willing to talk on the record. I appreciate you being willing to do so, and I’ll get back to you on that.


#13

Maybe this site will have some people willing to participate in your round-table:


#14

Some well-intentioned folks I know have told me that talking openly about this will ruin my career.

If that’s the price, I’m OK with it.