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Casual Programming?


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#1 Viz12   Members   -  Reputation: 115

Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:08 PM

Now, this may sound a little odd, but I have a unique situation (See next section) and some ideas might be able to help me out. Is there any reason to casually teach yourself programming other than for enjoyment? Self-teaching is not my strong suit. I thrive on seeing something done and having a completely structured plan of how I am going to learn it and when I am going to learn it. I have a feeling I may pick up bad practices or go routes that, when I eventually attend college, will either not help or hurt my progress.

Unique problem: Dealing with depression. I don't really enjoy much these days. I once enjoyed programming and I am convinced it, or at least something related to computers, is what I want to do if I can ever deal with my problem.

I guess what I'm looking for is a reason to not just say screw it until I go to college. But honestly, it might be the best choice. Thoughts?

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#2 ApochPiQ   Moderators   -  Reputation: 15732

Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:11 PM

My advice?

Deal with the depression like your life depends on it - because it does.

Trying to just "survive" and scrape by while fighting depression is ultimately always a losing battle, and due to the nature of the condition, tends to make you feel worse rather than better.


Address the depression first; once you're recovering, you can worry about the rest of life.

#3 3Ddreamer   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3156

Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:52 PM

Lain Rivers,


We all have enormous potential to rewire or change the chemistry of our brains and bodies. Though you did not choose to become depressed, you do have choices of what you continue to think and how you think if you become more conscious of your inner power to retrain your brain and body.

Healthy thought habits can be developed which overcome any adversity including depression. Our thoughts have a powerful long term effect on our mood if we are tenacious to entertain thoughts which dissolve adversity.

Our bodies contribute to our moods, too, isn't this true? Recent and long term studies have proven that moderate exercise, adequate sleep, and healthy eating habits greatly improve everyone's mental and physical health. Your physical being releases several different kinds of very powerful mood improving hormones when you do these good things for yourself.


After decades of struggling with depression, I finally got control and nearly eliminated it. That was in the 1990s and since then my number of happy moments is increasing in frequency.

Having tried many things, I conquered the habit of depression by first learning an intense hatred (but not anger) of it. Hatred of my depression caused me to reject it more often and more successful with time. I satisfied that motivation with positive habits to replace depression.

It is not enough to only somewhat hate your "demons" ; you must hate them more and enough to go to war on depression using thought and mood control techniques of many kinds in your arsenal.

Choose to be happy. Count your blessings. See the good in all situations and opportunities to demonstrate courage and strength to yourself and others.

Love is the greatest for improving a person's mood. With real love comes the ethics such as being patient, kind, and having a sense of humor. Laughter is another great way of getting into a good mood.

Lain Rivers, I am sure that you know all these things but just need a help to begin creating habits which grow these wonderful things in your life. Meeting and keeping good friends who share these experiences will help you a lot, too. Posted Image


Put these things into practice and you will surely succeed, not only in overcoming depression but potentially any other adversity in life to live happy forever after.Posted Image


Clinton

Personal life and your private thoughts always effect your career. Research is the intellectual backbone of game development and the first order. Version Control is crucial for full management of applications and software.  The better the workflow pipeline, then the greater the potential output for a quality game.  Completing projects is the last but finest order.

 

by Clinton, 3Ddreamer


#4 Viz12   Members   -  Reputation: 115

Posted 07 December 2012 - 08:47 PM

I guess I was going to just try and continue with what I knew I was going to do before and ignore the depression...maybe I should change up my game plan. I mean it's not like I'm completely ignoring it. I do have medication and therapy, but I'm not exactly doing anything to deal with it aggressively and get my life back, and maybe I should. Thanks for the responses, didn't really intend for it to be about depression but I'm glad it ended up that way.

Edited by Lain Rivers, 07 December 2012 - 08:47 PM.


#5 hupsilardee   Members   -  Reputation: 486

Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:13 PM

I'd love for you to read my thoughts about this, because I went through and overcame a similar phase at the ages of 14-16ish.

I know what causes this kind of feeling, and it's a pernicious, self-sustaining phenomenon, and I'm pretty sure from your writing that the same thing is haunting you. It's the fear of failure. This fear that the best that can possibly be achieved from something is not worth the risk of enduring the repercussions of it not working. This gets worse and worse until even the simplest tasks are a towering shadow over your mind. Choosing what clothes to wear. Doing homework. Interacting with friends. The fun seeps out and the fear oozes in, you find yourself scrambling for excuses not to do the simplest things so you don't have to endure the self-inflicted torment while you're doing them.

I remember once that I was so afraid to go to school (I was 14 or 15 I think), that I hid in my wardrobe for 2 hours, slumped on the floor, so nobody would find me and . Didn't have my Nintendo DS to keep me company, or a book and a torch, I just wanted to sit in the darkness hating myself, until I was sure everybody had left the house so I could get back out without detection. I went outside and walked randomly around. There was this metal pole thing in the vegetable patch, I took it and threw it like a javelin at a tree repeatedly. Sometimes it stuck in the tree. This went on for 3 days, until school contacted my parents to find out what was going on. At this point, I got the help I needed. Back then I never really understood WHY my depression went away; I was pretty young and that's a big thing to think about. (Writing this is bringing on the strangest feelings...). What I can tell you is that it wasn't something that happened to me that cheered me up permanently in a flash. How ridiculous does that sound, now that you've seen it written down?

It is also worth considering that depression can strike ANYONE. I had no reason on paper to be depressed - well off background, parents in a happy marriage, yes I fought with my siblings but who doesn't at that age? Brainy as anybody I ever knew, and got the results to prove it. (When the depression started affecting me, my work slipped quite badly, to eventually recover, although later on I had plenty of bullshit excuses for under-par work - I maintain to this day that I definitely did not do all my chemistry coursework in the 10 hours leading up to the deadline, and I've no idea why it was awarded a D ;)). It's not your fault for being depressed, and this is important. You might think that you are to blame for feeling how you feel - this is the self-recrimination at what you percieve to be another failure coming back again. In reality, depression doesn't care who you are, and perhaps that is comfort in some ways - the universe is not "picking" on you in particular.

Well I hope this has been worth reading. Please forgive my writing, I'm a programmer not an author!

PS. Whenever I go home now, I get a look at that tree. Before, it was smooth and unblemished. Now there are ugly dents, cracks in the bark and it's horribly stained where the sap leaked out and ran down the trunk. It's a reminder of how destructive these moods can be, and how much they can blind you to the rest of the world.

#6 Viz12   Members   -  Reputation: 115

Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:28 PM

I had no reason on paper to be depressed - well off background, parents in a happy marriage, yes I fought with my siblings but who doesn't at that age? Brainy as anybody I ever knew, and got the results to prove it. (When the depression started affecting me, my work slipped quite badly


The line I quoted is probably one of the biggest reasons I'm so bent out of shape. I hate the fact I have no outside reason to be depressed. I will guarantee you I have a fear of failure. It may not be the entire story, as I'm sure my mental habits are not perfect, but it's definitely a very large part. I'm surprised you picked that out from just my writing! I've passed the point where menial every day tasks are straining. I can go about my day and I'm even looking for a part-time job to get my feet wet. However I can say with confidence I am still depressed.

I can definitely relate to your destructive or self-secluding episodes. I will leave the house when my parents get home and walk around town for hours until they go to bed and I can be 'alone' in a sense. And of course they occasionally involve beating the shit out of miscellaneous objects. I'm not exactly sure what I can ask you...but given that you're the closest thing I've found to what I'm going through any advice or relevant information would be appreciated.

Edited by Lain Rivers, 07 December 2012 - 09:30 PM.


#7 hupsilardee   Members   -  Reputation: 486

Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:30 PM

Ask Ask Ask away. If you want to discuss things a little more privately, my email is jamesmjdm@gmail.com

#8 KingofNoobs   Members   -  Reputation: 301

Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:50 PM

This may seem weird, but I think that programming can actually contribute to depression. I had a minor episode the other day and it was quite surprising to me. I think one reason for that is that being social is a large element of being happy. I think the best programmers are those who are so internally happy without external stimulation, that they can continue to hone their craft and not fall into the pit of depression. I also think that programming attracts people who are depressed and don't want to do the hard things that they know they have to do in life. Just take a minute or a day and sit in silence with yourself and you will know what is important in your life. Do that.

I wonder as I wander...

http://www.davesgameoflife.com


#9 ApochPiQ   Moderators   -  Reputation: 15732

Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:55 PM

I'm just going to leave this here....

#10 BMO   Members   -  Reputation: 170

Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:30 PM

Now, this may sound a little odd, but I have a unique situation (See next section) and some ideas might be able to help me out. Is there any reason to casually teach yourself programming other than for enjoyment? Self-teaching is not my strong suit. I thrive on seeing something done and having a completely structured plan of how I am going to learn it and when I am going to learn it. I have a feeling I may pick up bad practices or go routes that, when I eventually attend college, will either not help or hurt my progress.

Unique problem: Dealing with depression. I don't really enjoy much these days. I once enjoyed programming and I am convinced it, or at least something related to computers, is what I want to do if I can ever deal with my problem.

I guess what I'm looking for is a reason to not just say screw it until I go to college. But honestly, it might be the best choice. Thoughts?


It helped me to find small, manageable projects that I could get excited about. Just start with one thing and focus a lot of your attention on the satisfaction you will get from completing that project. Then do it. And then let that feeling fuel your next project and it will have a cyclical effect. Depression works in the opposite way so you have to work to counteract it. And just for me personally, I had to stay away from anti-depressants because they made me depressed (lol whut?).

As far as casually learning programming, Udacity.com has some excellent courses, free and self paced. I like how they will just give you a little at a time and then quiz you on that before moving on. It's presented in nice bite sized chunks and each class is centered around a project (like building a search engine, blog, or programming a robotic car). The courses range from total beginner to graduate level. Python is also a nice casual hobby language that has a wide range of uses. Of all the college classes I've taken these have been by far the most enjoyable for me.

#11 szecs   Members   -  Reputation: 2142

Posted 08 December 2012 - 02:29 AM

This may seem weird, but I think that programming can actually contribute to depression. I had a minor episode the other day and it was quite surprising to me. I think one reason for that is that being social is a large element of being happy. I think the best programmers are those who are so internally happy without external stimulation, that they can continue to hone their craft and not fall into the pit of depression. I also think that programming attracts people who are depressed and don't want to do the hard things that they know they have to do in life. Just take a minute or a day and sit in silence with yourself and you will know what is important in your life. Do that.

Interesting post, but I don't agree with the last two sentences. After many hours and many days of silence with myself didn't help at all, it made things worse for me. For me, the start of "healing" was not to pay attention to my random thoughts, not to try to think things over, not to think about my life, etc.

But the main problem with this whole thing here, these threads about depression, and the "advices", that we are not the same. What works for me, won't work for others. I have OCD, so having random thoughts all the time is an essential thing to my problem. Others have other bases.

So fighting with depression should start with looking for an expert.

Edited by szecs, 08 December 2012 - 02:30 AM.


#12 Memories are Better   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 769

Posted 08 December 2012 - 05:56 AM

Find out whats making you depressed, but for the sake of things do some exercise and eat healthy, people overlook the benefits of exercise / healthy diet on mental health.

If theres one thing I have learnt, after an intense work out my confidence and happiness levels go through the roof, its not just me either, people at the gym (minus the roid whores who are terribly angry) tell stories of what they were like before and after they started working out.

Ofc this may not apply to everyone but what have you got to lose by doing exercise and eating healthy ;)

#13 Viz12   Members   -  Reputation: 115

Posted 08 December 2012 - 08:00 AM


This may seem weird, but I think that programming can actually contribute to depression. I had a minor episode the other day and it was quite surprising to me. I think one reason for that is that being social is a large element of being happy. I think the best programmers are those who are so internally happy without external stimulation, that they can continue to hone their craft and not fall into the pit of depression. I also think that programming attracts people who are depressed and don't want to do the hard things that they know they have to do in life. Just take a minute or a day and sit in silence with yourself and you will know what is important in your life. Do that.

Interesting post, but I don't agree with the last two sentences. After many hours and many days of silence with myself didn't help at all, it made things worse for me. For me, the start of "healing" was not to pay attention to my random thoughts, not to try to think things over, not to think about my life, etc.

But the main problem with this whole thing here, these threads about depression, and the "advices", that we are not the same. What works for me, won't work for others. I have OCD, so having random thoughts all the time is an essential thing to my problem. Others have other bases.

So fighting with depression should start with looking for an expert.


I also don't quite agree with the above of just sitting in silence, but that's just my case. I am well aware that depression is something that is different in literally every case. It wasn't quite my plan to have a depression discussion (Now that I think about it I don't really know what I was asking) but there really isn't anything wrong with seeking advice from others when you're already taking the steps necessary for professional help as long as you are safe and smart about it. Even just talking about it can help sometimes.

Also -- Thank you BMO! The website you referred me to seems like something I would enjoy. I will look into it further.

Edited by Lain Rivers, 08 December 2012 - 08:03 AM.


#14 Riphath   Members   -  Reputation: 151

Posted 14 December 2012 - 02:20 AM

While I wouldn't recommend it, Jane McGonigal made a game called SuperBetter to help her through some issues she was going through. The game itself sucks imo, but you might want to try it. If not, I think I can reasonably assume that everyone on this sight loves making games, so you might want to try making something like SuperBetter for yourself. My sister was going through some issues, and we tried superbetter together, we didn't like it so we made our own!

I'm not a therapist or a doctor, obviously, but I know how draining mental illness can be. I guess the point is to not just deal with depression in the background, treat it like a boss battle that you need to take care of NOW.

#15 Anri   Members   -  Reputation: 597

Posted 16 December 2012 - 03:51 PM

If you have depression, definitely drink plenty of water and get a good night's sleep. A 20 minute walk each day is also recommended. LOL, Scooby1961 on Youtube save my life when I went under with depression three years ago...you might even want to check out "LifeRegenerator" too...

The point is, be kind to yourself. If you only want to do programming as a causal hobby, then do so. Keep it small and program in Python if you find it much easier and more pleasant than C++. Instead of trying to make a FPS, make Pong instead. No one expects you to write Crysis as your first game so why drive yourself to dispair? Its only a game and not a cure for the common cold.

Oh, when I had my last round of Depression, I used to come home from work and feel miserable as shit. That was fixed by watching episodes of "Teesside Tin Tin" on YouTube. Definitely recommended for dull days! ^_^

#16 Krohm   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3119

Posted 17 December 2012 - 02:14 AM

I am having trouble in understanding OP but I hardly believe spending time on programming will help him out of the situation. There are plenty of social contacts in high school and I'd rather not stay at home when possible.
Of course I didn't have a choice at the time: I had to turn to The Gears as it was the only thing I could do to pull myself out. Drive safely dudes...




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