Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Mental Health 101 – The ultimate taboo


Back when I was closing in on my 100th post, I put on Twitter a list of potential future topics for blog posts.  The one I was surprised to see the appetite for was on the subject of mental health.

You see, I was pitching that topic thinking “maybe it’s just me”.

Mental health is a difficult subject to do, and do well.  It is in many ways the ultimate taboo.  By admitting that in the past I have ever had any problem in this area, I potentially run the risk of a future employer coming over this piece and viewing hiring me “as a risk”.  But I really hope we’re coming out of the dark ages here when we talk about attitudes to mental health.

Over this series of articles, I will be frank about my own experiences, and will also discuss those of friends that I've worked with, or know outside of work through various channels.  For these people, I’ll be using their experiences but under assumed names.  The only person I break this for is for my friend Violet, who died, and who was such a crusader for mental health, I know this'd have her blessing.

Make no mistake, these posts that follow are going to be a dark and explicit because of the nature of what’s being explored.  It will probably unsettle some people – but I'm putting this together for those people who need to know “it’s not just me”.  I have had too many people within the IT industry who thought it was.

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