Depression, death and the software industry

Last year, a colleague of mine, somebody I helped hire and eventually managed at Red Gate, committed suicide.

In hindsight, this must have come at the end of a long period of depression and anxiety during which whatever led this person to do this was not ‘fixed’ – possibly not even ‘diagnosed’ so to speak. (By this I don’t mean necessarily medically diagnosed, but that nobody around him, including himself, was quite realising the severity of the situation or that there even was a situation.)

The shock of this happening almost a year ago is still felt today but, the most worrying thing for me, is how little people are generally willing to talk about this sort of topic. A lot of us still have the idea that even talking about depression, anxiety, ADD, bi-polar or similar matters is taboo, a subject best avoided. Perhaps its perceived as a sign of weakness or something so rare that its not worth discussing.

Anyway, I was reminded of this after watching the Business of Software talk by Greg Bauges this year on exactly this topic. It’s very brave of him to talk about his experiences and I really think everyone should hear what he has to say – whether you work in software or not.

I highly recommend you watch it, someone close by may need your help.

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