Developer Diary – 89 – Stress and Depression

In this diary I talk about how stress can lead to depression and how you have to keep a watchful eye on your mood.

Hello! In this developer diary, I’d like to talk about stress. Well I’ve been feeling quite stressed lately. It’s hard to put my finger on exactly what is causing all of the stress. I think a lot of it is due to a lot of things going on at once. Everyone is working really hard, and so I’m trying to make sure that everyone is doing what they’re supposed to be doing, everything is getting in the game, we’re going in the right direction etc. It’s a challenge to take care of all of these things as well as doing some consulting, so I’m quite busy which I think contributes a lot to stress.

It’s funny because the game is going really well right now. I feel like we’ve finally hit our stride, which is a really great feeling, and the new stuff we’ve been working on is really quite good, and I’m rather impressed with it. Despite all that however, I still feel stressed, and it’s a bit of a challenge. Also I’m recording this before I go to Steam Dev Days, so travel in general is stressful as its several days away from my work computer, which is a challenge. Well it’s not really much of a challenge, but it’s just that I always feel so behind when I come back, which in turn contributes to stress. Plus, I don’t know if anyone really likes travelling on planes and going to airports anymore. I feel like it used to be, you know, exciting, fun and luxurious to fly on a plane! Certainly it seems like we’re very far away from that. It’s become an unpleasant experience.

All of that combined has really given me a lot of stress, which is hard and hard to deal with. Certainly I have an anxiety disorder, and so stress is going to be a big part of my life, which means it might be more challenging for me than it might be for other people. The interesting thing is that stress can lead into depression, and so this weekend, I felt a little depressed even though everything is going pretty well. You know, the game is really shaping up to be impressive, so why was I feeling depressed? It’s just interesting that stress itself can cause these other feelings, and fortunately I try to be very vigilant of when I am depressed because I think that just knowing that you’re going down that path and that you’re not quite where you were, you can sort of work to fight it before it gets too bad. I think that the warning signs for depression are like you don’t enjoy things as much as you used to, so you could be doing something fun, but it just doesn’t have that same appeal. There are a lot more warning signs of depression and especially if you’re someone who suffers from depression then it’s a good idea to pay extra attention to those warning signs. So for example, if you find that you’re not having much fun doing something that should be fun, then it’s good to focus directly on that task to make sure that you do get the most out of it.

Fighting off depression itself is difficult and different for everyone who suffers from it, so I’m not really sure I can give advice on that part, but that’s what I try to do. Seems strange to talk about how the game’s going really well and having to battle depression but that’s part of the problem when having a mental illness. It doesn’t make sense, and it doesn’t have to make sense. Feelings themselves don’t always make sense. They’re not rational, but that’s just a little recap of what I’ve been doing lately anyway.