I am a developer, and I have bipolar disorder and ADHD. For years I suffered from cripling depression interspersed with bouts of high-energy and productivity. I failed out of school. Bounced from job to job. An in general, felt like a lazy bastard for underperforming versus my potential.
Turns out, I'm pretty far from alone. The developer community is racked with mental illness. It's estimated that at least one in six will suffer from depression this year. Yet, our friends and colleagues who suffer from this so often feel that they are the only ones. As if depression isn't bad enough, the shame and stigma of mental illness often keeps folks from finding the help that's available.
In this talk I'll share my story of getting diagnosed with bipolar, living in denial, finally hitting bottom and seeking help. I'll talk about how mental illness uniquely affects the developer community, and how we can help our friends, our colleagues and ourselves to fight back against these deadly illnesses.