Tackling Depression for IT Workers

depression photo
Image by canonsnapper

I know, I’ve written before about depression, and the risks associated with being in a high-demand, always connected, career like IT. Last week, I spotted another article on this topic that I thought really had some good advice on how to deal with the demands on our profession, yet still keep from falling into depression.

Tackling Depression in IT.

There is some great advice in the article about how to recognize depression and some of the risks associated with working as a developer, but I also think this goes beyond being a developer. Some of the risks are the same for anyone who:

1. Works remotely from home

2. Works for a multinational company where someone is always working and sending emails. (a.k.a being always connected!)

By the way, yes, both of those apply to me. Nuix is based in Australia, and has offices on both coasts of the US and in the UK. No matter the hour of the day, someone is working and might be looking for information. So this sort of gets my attention:

“Because a lot of people are working from home, what the client thinks and what the community thinks about their work can be a source of depression,” she said. “Actually, a lot of people have mentioned that clients are sometimes rude in explaining how incompetent they were.” This can have a devastating impact on a developer who is lacking self-confidence, outside social connections, and restorative hobbies.

Her advice?

My favorite was this bit:

Petrova suggests finding other activities outside of work that will help you to gain perspective on life. “Dedicate special time for your recipes,” she said. “Start spending an hour in the morning with your coffee. Spend Sunday afternoon with someone or with friends,” she suggests.

“But never give away this time. Never give it away for work. Never replace it for something, never sacrifice it. It’s important that you keep this thing and slow down.”

I find that to be really important. When you work from home, travel, and are always connected, the rest of life can get away from you. When it does, you’re at serious risk for a breakdown. Call it getting burned out, depression, whatever, it’s not good for us mentally. Find a way to have something outside of the work that belongs to you, that you can look forward to and enjoy no matter how work is going.

It’ll keep you balanced, and we all need more balance.

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