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Ask HN: I am programmer, i wan't to die, what can i do?
46 points by ghosthamlet on Apr 22, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 54 comments

As someone who is finally starting to get out of being depressed don't do it. The important thing here is to tell yourself it will get better. There are 2 things that really helped me.

1. Is changing your perspective. You don't care about life anymore? What an absolutely fantastic opportunity to break every single societal norm and do the things you've always dreamed of doing but were too scared to. Go skydiving, get a classic car, whatever. Make the kind of fun/dumb decisions that people do when they're in high school. Wear your depression like a coat of armor to do whatever the fuck you want.

2. Exercise and sunlight. I'm serious man, I was (still am obese), but working out, eating right, and getting outside has effectively cured me. Especially the sunlight thing. Vitamin D deficiency can cause depression. Want some statistics to back it up? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_ra... Look at the countries near the bottom of the list. Sunshine. They're all in the Middle East or the Caribbean. Getting outdoors can do wonders.

Those are the 2 things that helped me, but there's many more ways to get better. Talk to someone, a therapist, a friend, whatever. The fact that you're reaching out right now tells me you probably have doubts about what you're thinking about doing. There really is so much to live for. The fact that a stranger took the time to type up their experience and share it with you should be proof of that. Besides, you obviously haven't always felt like this. You can get back to the way you were. There is hope, it's just hard to see right now.

P.S. don't drink. I made that mistake and drowned myself in whiskey for a couple of months. It will make it worse not better. Trust me.

Weirdly, sunshine may contribute to suicidal behaviour. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21821241

Call here: 1-800-273-8255

Death is pretty final. Pain is only temporary. Plenty of people who want you around, who care enough to help you through it, many you don't even know yet.

Suicide is stupid. It's not a solution to anything. Don't do it.

Focus on things you enjoy in life. If you're feeling lonely, make an effort to spend time with the friends and family you do have, and let them know how much they mean to you. Also seek out ways of meeting new people that share an interest with you even if it's uncomfortable and you're pessimistic about the outcome (i.e. going to meetups), just make sure to go in with the attitude of "It may be unlikely but I hope I meet someone I get along with here." and not "This is a waste of time."

You're not a bad person, you're not worthless, and your life won't always be shit. If you make the mistake of suicide, then you'll never enjoy all the good things that will happen to you over the next 40, 60 or 80 years. And that's a lot of good shit.

This may have nothing to do with it. Suicide is more often a result of mental illnesses such as CTE for example.

Suicide is not stupid. Not considering suicide it stupid.

Hmm. I've been in your position. I tried to eat better, continue working on things I cared about, be nice to people, and exercise. It didn't actually change much for me.

However, when I started taking anti-depressant medications things did change. I am still trying to live a socially and physically healthy life, but I'm noticing changes that weren't happening before taking the medication. Physical differences like food tasting better, feeling warmth instead of nothing, increased sex drive and similar things.

Your local city might have programs set up where you can go and get free help. It is something worth looking into if you have the energy.

Right now, even though my situation is very similar to where I was before, choosing to live is a lot easier. I actually acknowledge all the good things a lot more then I used to and its much easier for me to be happy about the improvements I see rather then focused on my failures. The really cool thing is that without suicide hanging over my head I'm a lot more able to actually do things. When people ask me out to eat I say yes. I've went on trips too. Basically, there are a lot of fun and good things that you will be able to do once you've dealt with this.

Good luck and hopefully you find my anecdote helpful.

Please seek help! Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Whatever is causing you problems can be worked out!

Our family recently lost a member to suicide, I am confident that there are people who love you and would be devastated to lose you. My wife is a therapist, if there is something I can do to help in leading you in the right direction please tell me, I will gladly do it.

Please don't go through with this. What can we do to help?

Death seems like the best way out of an unbearable position. You're intelligent; you've analyzed the options the best you can; you can't find anything else. I've been there. I'm bipolar, type 1. I think I may know what you're going through.

Realize that life doesn't have to be this way and that there are things that you can do to make it better. Realize that you're not able to make full use of your intelligence in the state you're in. You need help making choices and analyzing your situation. Professional help.

Talking to a psychologist and being treated by a psychiatrist turned my life around. Again, I'm bipolar, so my condition may be more permanent than yours. Remember, taking medication isn't a sign of weakness. Many people only need to take it to get out of their current rut and then cast it off as soon as they see the light of day. I was against taking medication for a long time. But then I realized that brain tissue can be diseased just as any other bodily tissue can be diseased.

Something else that helps is to interact with your loved ones more: friends, family, anyone who you love and who loves you too. Talk to them. Let them know what's going on in your life. If you don't have anyone like this in your life, I'm sorry. This may be contributing to your suicidal thoughts.

As others have said, a good diet, exercise, vitamins, and plenty of fresh air and sunshine go a long way.

These are things that will help long term and will probably keep you from returning to this state. But, first, you need radical intervention.

Make an appointment with a therapist. Today. Be completely open with them. Do as they say. Don't think you're smarter than they are. Remember, right now you're not capable of using your mind to its full capacity. You're sick. Let a professional help you. Right away.

Where do you live? (Country,(State if in US), City).

As Agildehaus said: Death is final, lets talk first.

He's easily Googleable and you can find his real name and address and pictures using his HN username. Same guy.

I'm only getting someone from Korea... is that him?


You already took the first step. Now take step 2 and call someone who can help you. You can get through this.

Even if you aren't going to commit suicide right now or in the near future, try to get professional help as soon as possible. Suicidal urges is very alarming sign.

Remember, your problems are temporary, your pain is temporary. It shall pass.

For more practical advice, I will quote myself from another recent HN thread: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5575144

"There are great books by David Burns: "Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy" and "When Panic Attacks". Both are available at amazon kindle: http://amzn.com/0380810336 and http://amzn.com/076792083X The "Feeling Good" book is focused primarily on depression issues and "When Panic Attacs" (as its name suggest) on various anxiety disorder. I suggest to read them both. They are really helpful, but not just because of their content(which is good), but because they present of number techniques from Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, which you can apply on yourself. But please note that reading the book and using these methodics is order of magnitude more effective than just reading the book and internalizing its contents."

I advice you to get these books(if you don't have kindle devices - don't worry - they have cloud reader so you can read them in your browser), and read them. They are not a replacement for professional treatment in cases like yours, but they may help, and they are easily obtainable.

Get help. Call a hotline, and see a doctor.

Medication for depression isn't a sign of weakness - it can seriously give you your life back. Been where you are, made it through, happy to chat if it helps.

This is a decision that affects the rest of your life, so you would want this to be a solid decision. You are inclined towards one choice today, but think about the situation a decade later. Are you sure that your decision/inclination is mature enough that it would not be different a decade from now if you were to continue?

I have been in a similar situation, and it would have been a mistake for me if I had taken the step.

Cannot say more without knowing more about you and your situation really. In my case, that period ended up not breaking me, but rather making me. The new perspectives I developed allow me to think outside the box, forget past things more readily (which I find helpful for innovation), and gain significant confidence. I understood myself better coming out of that phase.

One thing that helped was a realization that many great men have been in similar phases (and in my case for a similar reason as mine). Bertrand Russell is an example I had come across then (Google to find out more on this).

Some other things that can help included taking genuine interest outside of programming/technology. Spend some time figuring out how great musicians create that music (what is their thought process like?), how movie makers write and make movies, how comedians come up with humor, ... even how leaders say things to get an otherwise difficult message across.

Don't listen to all these other people with their generic suggestions like you're a generic instantiation of 'depressed loser' who will respond to the appropriate generic.advice() method.

I've got a list of things worth getting out of bed for. Maybe it'll make you smile. You're not alone.


I'm in no way qualified to speak about this as I have no professional credentials. However, being an engineer with an extensive history of anxiety and depression. Don't die yourself! This exception is catchable! Programmers have unique skills and ways of dealing with the world. Programmers and engineers have a knack for seeing all the potential outcomes of any given current state. Given a predisposition to unfavorable neurochemical states (seasonal or acute depression), the determination of potential outcomes can become insanely negative. That is, in a normal engineer, the engineer sees all the happy paths and negative paths. In a depressed engineer, they see mostly negative paths. In this way, the brains of engineers can cause emotional problems when chemical conditions go crazy. It was critical for me to realize that the chemicals in my brain, didn't represent reality and clouded my judgement rendering me unable to seek help. Until you get help, just remember that they are just chemicals.. you don't have to die because they are a bit out of sync.

I agree with littlegiantcap on exercise and D3 and sunlight- HUGE difference. especially if you can look at your life and realize you feel differently in the summer than you do in winter or spring.

But there is one realization that has saved me. I call it the reset option. Reset all the things in your life that push you to contemplate suicide. None of them are worth it; so, reset them.

For myself, I imagined what my life would be like if I did die, to the world, but didn't actually die. If all my obligations, commitments, relationships ended, then what would I do?

What would you do the day after everyone thought you had killed yourself? You can choose to live your life that way now. You can live your life in any way that makes you happier. There is nothing wrong with playing around with the kind life you want to have. There is no wrong way to live your life.

>I am programmer, i wan't to die, what can i do?

You DON'T want to die. I mean, you might superficially want it.

But what you really feel is that the whole "game" is BS, that the goals they have set up for you (and you might have internalized) are not worthy, that the societal structure around you is based on lies and hypocrisy etc.

Instead of dying try something else:

1) Understand that this life, the one that failed you, is not all there is. Or all there can be. Fight to change it. Now you have a purpose.

2) Get another life. Another job, another town, another country even. Nothing like a different culture to bring a new perspective. It's not impossible: millions of expats do it every day. You can even start from scratch, money wise. What do you have to lose? You were about to kill yourself anyway.

This is not meant as a solution, but it might help you enjoy one or two days more than usual.

Do something on purpose, that you normally wouldn't do. For example, go volunteer at a fire department. Take a different route home from work. Go hiking. Whatever you think would help.

Experts agree that one of the best things that can make someone happy is deliberate activity. Do something you normally wouldn't do, on purpose. Could help even more if that activity you choose can help you meet a friend.

The above will probably help you unless you are so depressed that you are effectively comatose and can't move. That's a real thing that happens to depressed people, but I think you could avoid that outcome if you're still mobile.

Hi there, This comes up often here ... Looks like people are chasing money and using 'success' as only life goal. It is not, at all. Money and success spoil people and drag them down, to the bottom.

Love and care about others revive any human.

I sincerely wish you to get your life goals back soon, please consider going to Christian Church, it have been helping people for over 2000 years :-). Take a holiday, go and help in the local hospital, you and your help will be welcomed there!

Pay attention to your family, get married, bring up kids.

Life is a greatest gift of God, my friend. But it comes with obligations to love others and help them.

All the best to you!

Earlier discussion on "How I beat depression" https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5362085

Let us (you and me) find an island, go to live in it and welcome all the programmers that want to join us.

IRL you can't backup, bro. No rollback.

Since everyone else is barraging you with anecdotes and advice, I instead ask you this question.

Why do you want to die?

Go to a doctor and get their opinion. Many, many, people have been through this and live happy lives now with medication. Don't believe the anti-medical pseudoscience that floats around the Internet. It saves lives, and may save yours.

Suffering is caused by negative feedback loops. Work up the escape velocity to get out of whatever feedback loops you're trapped in. You won't be able to get out of ALL of them immediately, but you'll debug and break free one by one.

Life is only worth living if you stop living for yourself and start living to help another. You are not a coward and you are not stupid to think this way - It sounds serious and I think it best if you seek professional help.

It's an interesting observation that everyone assumes (although probably rightly) he means he's suicidal based on four words. That says something.

My initial impression was that he was a hacker wanting to beat a terminal disease.

I take st johns wart mixed with 5-htp coupled with a 40 minute walk every day (or more exercise) to help mediate those kinds of thoughts. I don't know your situation but hopefully that can help.

First question to ask yourself, why?

If it is because of the pressure of your job (as a programmer), then know that you're not alone. I'm sure most people feel depressed on some points in their career/life.

What all of these people have in common? They dogmatically believe in life and defend it in a religion like manner.

Hmmm.. where have I seen this before?

Program the shit out of any language. Go so fucking deep, you will be able to compile programs in your head faster.

Do you have an explicit reason or it's just the suicidal thoughts?

왜 죽어? 누구좋으라고 죽어? 악착같이 살아야지. 힘들면, 마냥 힘들면, 더욱 힘든사람을 찾아서 도와주셔.

Have you looked into Python? It's really nice.


Good luck

Maybe like Ray Kurzweil you want to pursue technologies that promise to extend your life indefinitely? So far I'm not sure any of us have determined what you intended with your question. Would you like to clarify?

Huh. I must have read the unusual orthography "wan't" as "don't want".

First: Stop eating shitty food.

Srsly, most depression cases can be cured with Diet and Exercise ONLY.

This isn't true but exercise can help. It likely won't cure it.


That's exactly what I said.

This is such a lie.

Hey hack_edu, been trying to get in touch with you, could you shoot me an email? akila@uci.edu

For situational depression it can. Clinical depression is an entire other beats, but regular exercise increases the levels of serotonin in your brain and releases more endorphins that elevate your mood.

There are a number of negative studies recently that show exercise doesn't help depression.

It's probably not going to hurt, especially if there's some social stuff built in.

Purchase nitrogen gas. Breathe that in instead of Oxygen. It looks like a peaceful way to go. http://lostallhope.com/suicide-methods/plastic-bag-gas

That said, life has a lot going for it. There are always cool things to do, people to meet, laughs to be had, love to be given etc... Failing that, go browse lolcats for a while.

Also, this may help: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zBoD_ojxFA, or possibly this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlgQxK-HBGk both of which help perk me up.

Also, consider doing something a little crazy. I'm sure your bucket list isn't blank. Pick something outrageous and do it. Then repeat. Death comes soon enough.

your first sentence is an incredibly irresponsible way to respond to this question. I know that you think you are trying to be funny or lighthearted, but that was not the way to respond to this post.

You are selfish

This was the best answer so far.

Are you fucking kidding me?

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