Depression, the freelance life and how to cope with both

Following today’s earlier post about how the internet can spot when we’re depressed – though that’s not the same as it doing anything about it – the mental health issue continues with this more active article. Always and forever, remember this: depression is not the same as sadness. If you’re dep ressed and someone tells you it might never happen then you are fully and legally entitled to ram their tick ling stick up into intensive care.


It is true that if you are prone to depression, there are things that make it worse or rather that make the experience worse. Bad things are always bad. Bad things do not cause depression. But a bad thing when you are depressed is crippling. I think of it this way: when you’re up and happy and excited, it only takes a pinprick to bring you back down into the mire of misery. Whereas if you’re down, it’s going to take one hell of a boost to make you even suspect that there are or there can ever be good times.

Fortunately, freelance life has a lot of boosts even though it also has a lot of pricks.

Jenni Miller writes here in Contently about the twin issues of being freelance and of being depressed: the two don’t go together, but when they meet, it’s murder:

The freelance lifestyle is incredibly tough, and managing mental health on top of everyday concerns like invoices and deadlines can feel overwhelming. As someone who’s lived with anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive order since I was a child, I’ve found that working as a freelancer has an equal amount of benefits and drawbacks when it comes to self-care and mental health. On one hand, it’s extraordinarily helpful to be able to make my own hours. If I am having a really bad day, I know I can take a few hours off and finish up a project later that night or over the weekend. At the same time, the isolation of working by myself and for myself can push all of my most vulnerable buttons.

Dealing with those drawbacks can be challenging, but over the years, I’ve relied on a few tactics that keep me healthy and productive even as the ebb and flow of freelance work swirls around me.

6 Important Mental Health Tips That Will Help Freelancers Stay – Jenni Miller, The Freelancer, by Contently (24 October 2014)

Read the full piece.

Sunday read: the Internet knows when you’re depressed

How do depressed people behave online? According to a new study of college students with depressive symptoms — recently described by its authors in the New York Times — they compulsively check email, watch many videos, spend a lot of time playing games and chatting, and frequently switch back and forth between applications.

The Internet Knows You’re Depressed, but Can It Help You? – Maia Szalavitz, (22 June 2012)

It’s not at all clear whether you do these things because you’re depressed or whether doing this makes you depressed or whether you’re really just trying to get those crumbs out of your keyboard. And I have to think that chatting is a good thing. But read the full piece, would you?