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Digital engagement may trigger isolation to a significant degree. Stereotypically, developers tend to be tough, and do expose not much emotion, so: Are software engineers depressed?

In a job where one is paired with their laptop, socializing might take a distant second, third, or even fourth place to designing, installing, and a slew of other tasks that the common layperson is unfamiliar with.


Many software engineers attribute their success to the problem-solving component of their profession. But, in a field where errors always grow, is that sufficient to take over somebody’s mental health and push them into depression?

Developers are thought to be a high-risk group for depression and related mental health issues. It doesn’t mean that developers are the only people living with depression. Instead, everyone can have a chance of getting depression. But software engineers are more prone to depression.

Why are software engineers depressed?

Developer career has been determined as well-paying positions, a cool working environment, free snacks, gaming areas, the ability to work from anywhere, a super high-demand market, no requirement for a B. Tech, etc.

So, why is depression becoming a bigger problem in the software development industry? Why are software engineers depressed? Let’s take a look at how software engineers spend most of their time regardless of their degree of seniority.

“Alone” state

Proneness to depression of developers can happen more easily than other general population due to the time spent in thoughts, and the hours spent in front of a computer without human interaction. Primarily, they have to experience an “alone” state. Despite being part of a group, they can feel lonely.

Keep up with “bright new library”

As doing software development, they spend the majority of their time thinking hard. They must grasp their preferred technology/stack and its ongoing evolution, as well as new codebases from other developers and business concerns.

Then they have to translate it into code, identify innovative (and often rapid) ways to solve problems, conduct software development and, most importantly, learn A LOT. The urge of keeping up with the next “bright new library” creates a lot of stress.

Quick problem-solver

The other cause of professional pressure to deliver tasks quickly and expectation of instant solutions may force them to lower their usual sense of standards. It may also be hurtful to their career purposes.

Also, in real everyday work, they have to say ‘yes’ to too many things and not having enough time and resources, as well as feeling underappreciated in their work make them feel losing motivation and cause mental health problems.

Watch this Youtube video to find out more about why are software engineers depressed.

If you are a software engineer, you might identify yourself with the information shared here. Here are some immediate activities worth trying to avoid depression.

10 ways to avoid getting coding depression

After answering the question: Are software engineers depressed? I want to suggest some easy solutions that are suitable for the software’s lifestyle. Depression sucks! Here are 10 possible ways to overcome it.

1. Go outside

Staying inside for too long may hinder mental health progress. Spending time outside helps you soak up some vitamin D. Vitamin D benefits bone health, muscle health, and your immune system. Without it, people are more likely to develop some types of cancer, diabetes, and mental health problems.

Sunlight also regulates your circadian rhythm, allowing your body to function normally. You may, therefore, stay up too late or sleep too long, living your life in the shadows without sunlight. Consider your day: did you get enough sun? If not, try adding 15 minutes; the purposes are you’ll stay outside for longer.

2. Sleep

Sleep deprivation can cause coding depression, but it can also masquerade as a programming funk – they are related but not the same. In either case, not getting enough sleep can affect you, not only for that day but for the days ahead.

Here are a few quick fixes that will help you get more (and better!) sleep:

  • Stop using your laptop/phone 1 hour before bed. 
  • Wear blue-light-blocking glasses, which reflect blue light from your electronics and prevent your body from thinking it needs to stay awake.
  • Melatonin may be beneficial. Melatonin, which occurs naturally in your body, promotes sleep.
  • Regularly exercise throughout the week.

3. Physical exercise

Remember how physical activity helps you sleep better? It accomplishes much more than that. Get your heart rate above 100 beats per minute for 30 minutes three times a week. Neural pathways are triggered just when you exercise. This is crucial for helping you cleanse your mind. Have you ever sensed a buildup of energy from not moving enough? Exercising will make you feel better.

4. Confidence

Confidence has a greater influence than you would imagine. Assurance deals with impostor syndrome, which affects everyone. It might be the spark that sends you into coding despair.

This can impair your work performance, capacity to learn, or daily duties. You may have heard the ancient phrase, “fake it till you make it,” which may help you get through difficult circumstances. It might be difficult to follow such advice but you should make an attempt.

5. Stop making a comparison

Because of comparing themselves to others, many developers may feel fail in their careers. Comparison can be a simple trigger for depression.

Comparing oneself to others in terms of salary, competence, and respect is the death of all good things since you will never be good enough. Don’t let a comparison like this hold you back. If you wish to compare, use yourself as a baseline to track your improvement.

6. Restrict the habit of recalling

Have you ever found yourself having a habit of thinking about the old times? Developers usually do it as well.

We all have fond memories from our childhood. Spending time reflecting on the past can be beneficial, but it can quickly spin out of hand since it is difficult to stop. Especially, when engineers keep having a flashback of their errors & failing to solve problems. This tortures them a lot. 

What is a decent treatment? Humans are fallible; everyone makes mistakes. Find some enjoyable interests to help you change your perspectives. Take a walk outside, go to a meetup, paint, or do your favorite hobby.

7. Become a part of a community

Find local events, church, and mentorship meetings, work on projects together and develop a community where you like to get that face-to-face connection. Coding depression would be more difficult to happen in a group setting. Not to suggest you can’t experience depression, but having the support of a community may help.

8. Get a mentor for advice

Find someone who has been where you are now and who has been where you want to go. Because of their ability to relate to your feelings and experiences, they can be lifesavers. 

9. Help others

Yes, even if you aren’t ready for your personal healing, helping others has immense power. As a result, a different perspective based on someone else’s difficulties might almost instantaneously move your thinking and transform your outlook. Teach a free course, train junior developers, or host a Q&A session with anyone interested in your field.

10. Quit eating junk.

Make a contract with yourself. Your body requires nourishment to help you break free from this cycle. Set a goal of tiny changes for health, such as not eating or drinking sugar on a weekday or drinking enough 2 liters of water three days a week. Say no to alcohol, too.

Are software engineers depressed? Final words.

Depression Open Talks explained why are software engineers depressed. We also recommend quick fixes to “coding depression”. The essential idea is to create tiny yet attainable targets that will result in immediate results. We’ve found some ways out, therefore let’s use these methods to help you in life.


Cunningham, M. (n.d.). Developer’s depression. Don’t suffer in silence. It’s time to… | by Mark Cunningham | Capgemini Microsoft Blog. Medium. Retrieved October 11, 2022, from https://medium.com/capgemini-microsoft-team/developer-depression-cc3a318e3080

Fisher, J. (n.d.). Software developers are not depressed (but everyone else is) | by James Fisher. Medium. Retrieved October 11, 2022, from https://medium.com/@MrJamesFisher/software-developers-are-not-depressed-1e61db4f480d

Maffeo, L. (2012, October 20). Are software engineers depressed? What Causes Developer Depression? TheNextWeb. Retrieved October 11, 2022, from https://thenextweb.com/news/are-developers-depressed

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