16
kiki
52d

A story about burnout you say? Well, here it goes.

In 2019, I worked in a now-defunct startup. Back then, I was deep in "treatment" with wrong medications that almost ended up turning me into a vegetable. When I was hired, my mind was already deteriorating quickly, and I was caught in a downward spiral of losing intelligence.

Prior to working there, there was never ever ever a situation in my career when I was given a problem to solve and failed to do it.

But right then, with already double-digit IQ and constant, pumping anxiety, I was seeing task descriptions that looked familiar and doable, yet I absolutely could not do them. I couldn't comprehend. It was an absolutely screeching, crippling panic about me losing my intelligence forever, being fired and ending up unhireable, dying alone on the streets.

Apart from my depression I recovered from, this very experience was a trauma that haunts me to this day, every day. You know, my experience being raped as an adolescent doesn't, but this, it's something else. Now, my intelligence is back, I design architecture, I'm a CTO, and my solutions are objectively cleaner and better in every way than what I did pre-depression. Yet, I still feel a sharp, sudden rush of anxiety, and my heart skips a beat, when I think about writing code or even opening the IDE.

I don't know how does one recover from this. I'm now slowly transitioning into "architecting CTO" role that is just being a devrel, assessing ethics, working with business to realize their need, designing solutions and leaving the implementation for the team to do. You know, the stuff I was taught in the uni.

Maybe doing open source and launching small pet projects will help. But at this stage of my life I have no emotional resource to care.

Comments
  • 3
    This feels like me now, but i'm still at school and already repeated this school year and i don't know how to write my "Abitur" next year. Maybe i'll repeat this year again and hope that my medication will be altered. I became so "dumb" after all this medication with all this anxiety and depression. It doesn't feel real and coding is the only hobby i have and the only thing that keeps me alive but with my current mind it feels like a fever dream
  • 2
    @jonas-w affective spectrum and positive symptomatic I feel. This looks like either mixed bipolar disorder or a type-II in delirious manic phase. Please see a good, expensive psychiatrist. Not a "therapist", but a proper psychiatrist.

    Lamotrigine-200 with quetiapine-300 will probably work. You should probably stay away from SSRI antidepressants like vortioxetine, as to you, they're like Mentos to diet coke.

    ^ everything said above is not a medical recommendation. I'm not a doctor, see a proper one. ^
  • 0
    The thing is i had quetiapine and it felt like it fucked my mind more and more, i never had a minute where i was calm. Not as much as i got lorazepam but either way it did nothing good to me and psychiatrists always recommend it.

    The good thing is i live in germany with free healthcare so i don't need to go to an "expensive" psychiatrist.
  • 1
    @jonas-w quetiapine is extremely dose-dependent, it’s its main selling point. The range of applicability is very wide. Quetiapine 100mg and quetiapine 300mg have absolutely different effects that have nothing in common. For example, 100mg will sedate you and slow your down, that’s useful in treating psychotic episodes stopping hallucinations and stuff. But 300mg will have zero sedation, zero slow-down, and it will act as a good, mild antidepressant that will help restoring your intelligence that may be compromised by depression, will make you more active, more happy, in a good way. Also, this effect, as with any antidepressant, will lead to you suddenly discovering solutions to your problem and easing your anxiety.
  • 2
    @jonas-w quetiapine 300mg is used in bipolar patients because they absolutely cannot take SSRI, as it will provoke a manic episode. But we still need some kind of antidepressant to treat the depressive phase of said bipolar patient. So, we use quetiapine, technically not an antidepressant but a neuroleptic, to cheat the system. It’s not a SSRI, so no mania, but it still have strong anti-depressive effect when taken in 300mg dose.

    This is why it’s commonly prescribed to bipolar patients.
  • 2
    @jonas-w lorazepam is a benzodiazepine, thus it can relieve a sudden anxiety strike quickly. Other than that, I don’t know much about it.

    Bipolar patients often have anxiety during manic and hypomanic episodes, as all the energy released is spent entirely on being actively anxious. Anxiety is in the same spectrum as major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder, the spectrum is called “affective disorders”.

    What I’m saying is all the anxiety you feel may be gone when you deal with the root cause that is bipolar disorder. Quetiapine may help as I said above. also, lamotrigine, as it can straighten your cycle down to a line, so you have neither mania nor depression, but a normal mental state.
  • 1
    Thank you for your detailed explanation. No worries i won't take it as a medical advice or some but its good to have those informations in mind
  • 1
    @jonas-w you’re welcome mate. Get well soon
  • 1
    @kiki thank you very much :)
    wish you the best!
  • 1
    @kiki I feel your adolescent pain too. Every year it feels a little less though
  • 1
    Kiki you're a god-send.

    Never realized the anxiety was part of the bipolar.

    Learned to deal with it by sleeping on the lows.

    The highs are fucking great though if you learn to manage the expectations.

    The downswings are brutal though.

    Lastly, no one had the god damn courtesy to ask you about your comment about being raped, when you were brave enough to mention it in the first place.

    Or is everyone just gonna act like that was normal, or avoid saying anything because talking about real shit is hard?
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