### Kelly's blog

By Kelly, history, 3 years ago,

# Warning

#### The following are purely based on my own views. I'm not bashing competitive programming.

Competitive programming makes me depressed. I know the difference between being sad and depressed. I have been diagnosed with depression. And ever since I touched competitive programming, I have gotten myself deeper into this cycle of torment.

By nature, competitive programming being a competitive activity always has an element of trying to get better than everyone else. So when I first started competitive programming, my depression would get worse if I performed poorly. But when I performed great, I won't get "happy" (anyone with depression knows how you can't ever be happy). Instead I would just not get suicidal.

After a year or so, I slowly got acclimatized to this cycle. My performance in contests affects me less. I thought I was off the hook. But I quickly realize that my indifference resulted from my loss of interest in life. Competitive programming has taught me not only algorithms, but it has taught me how life is meaningless and pointless.

I don't quite know the exact moment, but somewhere along my CP journey, I just stopped caring. All I wanted was death and I would have suicidal thoughts almost everyday. But like a coward I am, I can't bring myself to do it.

Competitions are funny. When I get sent for a competition, the amount of training I get usually increases. This helps my mind off the bad thoughts. But as soon as it is over, I no longer have that distraction. And those increased training left my soul even emptier.

Being depressed, I don't have any hobbies. I tried some. But none worked for me.

In a way, competitive programming is like an abusive relationship. I know it hurts me, but I somehow just kept sticking to it. Because as soon as I let it go, it won't take me long to realize I have nothing left.

I hate myself. I just want to die.

Sorry if the post is poorly structured. I just thought I'd leave something behind just in case I kill myself.

• +377

 » 3 years ago, # |   +19 I recommend you to go somewhere very beautiful. Stay away from competitive programming for a while. You will get healed.
 » 3 years ago, # |   +14 You are better than many of us. Don't be depressed.
•  » » 3 years ago, # ^ |   +73 Depression doesn't care about status. Anyone can suffer from it.
•  » » » 3 years ago, # ^ |   +4 Sorry I badly misread your post. Stop thinking too much about it, stop being lonely or doing same thing all day. Try music, try sports, try something than nothing. Do you listen to music?, I heard many people say that music works exceptional for depression. Maybe your depression is a side-effect of some medication(if you are on some & is unaware). As farmersrice said visiting a doctor should be your first priority.
•  » » » 3 years ago, # ^ |   -25 Except people who aren't depressed, of course.
•  » » » 3 years ago, # ^ |   -18 Please ask what LanceTheDragonTrainer would say.
•  » » » 2 months ago, # ^ |   -10 Running is natural anti-depressant!I don't know why people don't know this. It just works so damn well for depression. It worked really well for me. Also, I read somewhere that it has been observed in a proper medical research that running has the same positive impact on the depressed brain as Zoloft, and that too without any side-effects. Run; and please don't harm yourself. Please. Please.
 » 3 years ago, # |   +19 How did you live before competitive programming? Was you depressed? I also have something of what you described. Don't know what to do else. I have some feeling of being tired from problem solving. Also I have some sufferings too. These are because of bad performance and because of some other reasons. It was my sense of live and I didn't find something else yet. Anyway throw away your bad thoughts. Thank you for your post.
•  » » 3 years ago, # ^ |   +24 Before competitive programming my depression wasn't that bad. You throw your bad thoughts too... Have you tried professional help? Sometimes we can't solve problems on our own. Keep fighting!
 » 3 years ago, # | ← Rev. 4 →   +65 "But like a coward I am, I can't bring myself to do it"You really need to change your mindset. These words sound deep, but make you suffer, don't you see it? You think that death is relieving, but that's an illusion of your mind. You can't be relieved when you don't exist.Also a common mistake we humans do, is thinking that we know the truth about ourselves. We don't really know what is good for us, and so many philosophers have tried to give answers to big questions related to life and death.I suggest you, to change your mindset, remind to youself how great you are, how lucky you are, talk to people about your problems and visit a psychologist if its necessary. You can't imagine how great life can be, and how bad you will feel that you are wasting your time with bad thoughts !
•  » » 3 years ago, # ^ |   +21 I know... But it's really easy to slip and fall into the dark hole. That's why I call it a cycle.
•  » » » 3 years ago, # ^ | ← Rev. 2 →   +29 That's true. But humanity evolved because we were never satisfied with anything.See that dark hole as a chance to learn better yourself. Its all about how you see things. Watch some motivational video, and keep saying to yourself positive things. I know these sound silly, but brain is just a system with neurons. We can hack it sometimes :D
•  » » » 3 years ago, # ^ |   +3 I have had the feeling of the cycle. I didn't want to move or walk out of home, and my weight rapidly increased when I was depressed because eating food may be the easiest way to make me more comfortable. The key to breaking the cycle, in my experience, is sunshine. First thing when I get up is to get enough sunshine and then keep my life schedule consistent with the sun. If you participate in CF contests frequently and you live in Indonesia which I knew by your profile, staying up late might be your habit, which will worsen your depression.
 » 3 years ago, # |   -17 Being depressed, I don't have any hobbies competitive programming itself is a hobby. Moreover, it will help you to get a good high-paid job. There's nothing to be depressed about.
 » 3 years ago, # |   0 After My Failure at the TST last thursday and my very bad performace i feel the same i just want to die . i don't even want to go to school anymore and when i remember that my dream gone and people less skilled can't even solve div2a than me passed i want to kill myself i can't sleep i can't even stop thinking about my miserable performance and when i saw the scoreboard on facebook i just want to disappear from this world . i'm really depressed and i don't know what to do .
•  » » 3 years ago, # ^ |   0 TST?
•  » » » 3 years ago, # ^ |   +3 team selection test
•  » » » » 3 years ago, # ^ |   +3 One thing that most people don't understand is that failure is inevitable, those who succeeded must've failed countless times but it's when you're on the verge of breaking out, that you're on the verge of breaking in! This should represent a motivation to you. Masters fail more than a newbie ever tries.
•  » » 3 years ago, # ^ |   +13 i don't know what to doPlease get medical attention ASAP.when i remember that my dream goneIt's important to realize that everyone makes mistakes. You can't succeed in everything. Do you really think that failing some team selection is worth giving life? The best thing to do is to forget the past and think about the future. I'm sure you can practice more and try for competitions like Google Code Jam and Facebook Hacker Cup.
 » 3 years ago, # |   +219 Are you still seeing a doctor or other mental health professional? You should make that the first priority. A trained expert with years of collegiate-level education and certifications who can talk to you regularly will be much more helpful to you than a bunch of internet nobodies saying things on Codeforces.
 » 3 years ago, # |   +9 You could try to do a personal project. And in case you aren't doing it, exercise is pretty good for your health, it doesn't have to be intense exercising by the way, walking is enough.
 » 3 years ago, # |   +8 Before starting competitive programming, I wasn't that much happy as I am now. I am not good at it but still, I love it. Competitive programming gave me a new life, it gave me new hope of living my life differently. I am good at nothing. But I am happy because I never give up. Life is short and beautiful. And I think you should enjoy it rather than worry about these vague things. When I was around 7-8 years old I always thought I am useless. I always got bad marks and failed at most of the tests, I was considered the dumbest student in my entire class, teachers on a daily basis insulted my parents due to this and I was so depressed that at that time I thought of killing myself. I couldn't take it anymore. But somehow I managed it to this day. I know my story isn't going to help you. But the thing is your life is valuable. Why trying to escape it like a coward? Live it, enjoy it and die happily. :) :) :) (I am using fake id because most of my friends doesn't know this. And I don't want them to know about my past.)
 » 3 years ago, # |   -8 My parents have made me to be interested in Competitive Programming, because of getting to a high rated university if i win medals.But actually the thing is that i don't feel happy while solving problems.I want to work hard on myself but I can't.Day by day I get angry on myself that why they did this to me, or why i did not practice enough.I am 15, and I don't have a life purpose now.I have the national olympiad final tomorrow and I think that I will perform bad and be miserable again.Do you have any advices to me? If you had this kind of experiences in your life what did you do or do you know any friends that overcame this and how?
•  » » 3 years ago, # ^ |   +6 You are the reverse of me :)I completely hate school. I memorize a bunch of useless information, and I am considered a failure when I don't. I use Competitive Programming as an escape from my real life, where I know what I'm doing is much more purposeful than school.15 is not too late to start something that you truly like (this was also when I started Competitive Programming, and after 2 years, I think I can say that I am doing fairly well).
•  » » » 3 years ago, # ^ |   0 Bro, actually I was very successful in all aspects of my life till i started competitive programming.I focused on olympiads more than the school work.I am still good at school although i don't study for weeks.But i don't improve or get better at this area.I have always told my parents about that, but they never understand me.I was interested in pyhsics before i started competitive programming, they changed my subject and they changed my school without any permission from me.Now i am very demotivated i don't believe that i can accompolish anything at all.
•  » » » » 3 years ago, # ^ |   +3 Remember, your teenage years are only a small part of your life, and your parents won't be able to control what you do when you grow up. You should still try to study physics now, but don't be demotivated if you are occupied with other things.
•  » » » » 3 years ago, # ^ |   0 There are degrees which offer Computer Science as a major subject with minor in Physics. Do you have such options?
•  » » » » » 3 years ago, # ^ |   0 Actually, i want to study Computer Science as major subject, i am done with Physics now.But the bad thing is i am bad at Competitive Programming.That's what makes me sad.
•  » » » » » » 3 years ago, # ^ |   +5 Dude, you will ROCK at the test tomorrow, trust in yourself, cheers from Brazil!
•  » » » » » » » 3 years ago, # ^ |   +3 Bro, sorry for late response.But i will get a damn bronze from today's contest.But i could get gold if i tried enough.Today i understood that the problem was me myself not others.From now on i will concentrate on ioi selection with my all attention.Wish you all the best!
•  » » » 3 years ago, # ^ | ← Rev. 2 →   0 agree i'm a dropout and hate my useless college rather i learn from MOOCs.
•  » » 3 years ago, # ^ |   0 You are worried about the "purpose of life" at 15. I was playing pen-fight and thumb wrestling at 15. -_-.
 » 3 years ago, # |   +84 Hmm... This may be a bit relevant to my case as well...In short, I was (or I am?) also in the middle of the depression/suicidal state. I used to think that I was BAD at EVERYTHING, including my CP. I used to think that, compared to other people, they were far more successful than me. Thus it concluded: "Why I'm here? I'm alive for nothing, the world will be the same without me."Don't.Stop.If you really put this effort writing this post in CF, then, fortunately, it's a good sign that a part you think suicidal is indeed not a good thing. Which is true. Now I know that "being alive" in this state is a hard thing to do. Therefore, I may try to give you this advice: "Do what you REALLY like, else leave it at least for now".If you think that CP is just your "place to run away from life" and not really liking it, then leave it. To be honest, I started to leave CP since several weeks ago (and yes, FFC — Elimination Round will be my last round in CF). I'm also retiring from any Scientific Committee activity including my country's IOI selection and training.I'm cutting off my "relation" with CP to focus more on what I really, really like, for examples: eating, traveling, puzzling, socializing, going to the gym, listening to the music, video-gaming, adventuring, etc. Huh, so only fun things? Not really, I actually really like researching (I'm a PhD student btw) so I also spend more time in that too.So, is leaving CP a good option? Depends. I too leave other things beside CP which I think may hamper me to live lively. So again, think about what you really love to do and do it. If you hesitate about something, it may be a sign that you don't really like it, so leave it at least for now.Oh one more thing, please find your best buddy(-ies) to accompany you throughout this state. They will help a lot, really.
 » 3 years ago, # |   +52 First of all, please go see a therapist.Recently I've had some extremely low moments as well, probably due to not being able to participate actively in Competitive Programming recently. However, now that I temporarily have some free time, I feel great to be back. Get a purpose in life, have someone you'd like to work hard for, could be anyone, family, friends, girl/boyfriends or a life partner. I hope you start feeling better soon :)Best wishes from a random stranger on the internet.
 » 3 years ago, # |   -11 Cheer up, buddy! You are better than many people out here. Also don't do competitive programming if you don't feel like it. PS : Though I am no one to advise on mental health, still I can suggest you this : Look at the brighter side of life! It has its own ups and downs. Just keep going, and I am sure you will see the sunshine soon!
 » 3 years ago, # |   0 CP itself should be a fun hobby.
 » 3 years ago, # |   +6 You really should find a psychiatrist. This is the best way out of such situation, and probably CP is not the reason.
 » 3 years ago, # |   +79 Like some people said already, go see a professional. Therapy will help you.
 » 3 years ago, # | ← Rev. 2 →   +2 "Competitive programming has taught me not only algorithms, but it has taught me how life is meaningless and pointless."How did Competitive programming teach you life is meaningless?Don't you ever think that we humans are amazing? Look at chimpanzee who are cousins to our species.We, humans, are able to communicate sitting on other parts of the world only because of computers. And numbers and math and 0s & 1s, chimpanzee can't do the math, can't solve these problems of numbers, Be thankful that you are a human living in an amazing time.Write three things every day you are thankful for on a notebook. Read books on human evolution. I recommend — Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. And also try meditation. BTW chimpanzees are also amazing.
•  » » 3 years ago, # ^ |   0 I recommend the books of "Yuval Noah Harari" too. He is a genius !
 » 3 years ago, # |   -50 Competitive programming makes me depressed. Well, let's add that to the list of shit I've never said.
 » 3 years ago, # |   -10 I also dislike competitive programming, but remember that you have developed great skills. Maybe it is time to just take advantage of them (for example, stop competing and get a highly-paid job).You have my admiration. Keep it up!
 » 3 years ago, # | ← Rev. 2 →   -28 im doing competitive programming to improve my skills and get better at problem solving rather than being on top of others and reaching leader boards . it such a fun to me solving problems rather depressing . if you falling to depression i recommend to stay some time away from this and watch some anime or some documentaries it will be good.
 » 3 years ago, # |   -30 Today i am writing this and i don't really have good ratings on Code forces but still i don't get depress after a bad contest because whenever such thing comes to my mind i just say to myself these 3 words "be in present" because one of the main cause of depression is that when we try to compare our results with someone who has put in plenty more hours than us. buddy you just need to be in present and do your work and than it is just a matter of time you will be their so just stop taking life so seriously, take a deep breathe and just enjoy the present moment.
 » 3 years ago, # | ← Rev. 3 →   -12 .
•  » » 3 years ago, # ^ |   0 The happiness doesn't stay long though... humans are motivated to keep improving.
•  » » » 3 years ago, # ^ | ← Rev. 2 →   0 .
•  » » » » 3 years ago, # ^ | ← Rev. 2 →   -13 This is why. BTW, it is downvoted and not devoted :p
 » 3 years ago, # |   +12 You remind me of myself 2 years ago. Not this worse but somewhere there. Read this post: http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/dweckAnd ...............
 » 3 years ago, # | ← Rev. 2 →   -23 The Best I do when I get to this point as you I hear music and songs to kill depression and every negative feelings as I love music so much, so I suggest you to do what you love when you are depressed, believe me it will make you good
•  » » 3 years ago, # ^ |   +3 Music can't replace a Doctor. Depression is not a mood swing.
•  » » » 3 years ago, # ^ | ← Rev. 4 →   0 it's a cure for me IDK, I just suggested the solution I have found out that by a doctor, I relax with music, I always under depression so I used to and still hear music for getting better of course there are a lot of ways to cure but I just suggest, you don't know how much I suffer in my life so please don't judge me with a bad situation I'm sorry I thought it would help
•  » » » » 3 years ago, # ^ |   0 All I'm saying is that self help tips shouldn't be used for depression. As for music, even famous singers can have depression. (No ones judging you)
 » 3 years ago, # |   -6 I got depressed just reading this :(
•  » » 3 years ago, # ^ |   0 Lol Me too:D
 » 3 years ago, # |   -8 If i get good result, I usually party
•  » » 3 years ago, # ^ |   0 did you get party for vk cup contest ?:|
 » 3 years ago, # |   +10 I think you should consult a professional.You can also try sharing your problems with your friends too, they might help you someway. Try looking for things which interests you.
 » 3 years ago, # |   -37 Don't worry it is something which occurs very commonly. No need to see any professionals, just open https://procatinator.com/. Every time I recommended it to someone it greatly helped, and later they were grateful to me.
 » 3 years ago, # |   -21 The beauty of Life is "God has given us super power to make any day as our last day, So live Wisely"
 » 3 years ago, # |   0 Man, IMHO, you MUST find time and will and go to a psychotherapist. You feelings (if they are true) are not related to competitive programming or something else. In general it's biological and mental paradigms reasons. And they can be solved with treatment. I send you rays of goodness — may the force be with you!
 » 3 years ago, # |   0 but programming is my life and i like only this single thing in the world.
 » 3 years ago, # |   -49 I think you can suffer it ! I was depressed when I 11 . So I think go travel to relax and suffer depression !!!!! (I'm not good at English !!!!!!!!!!!!)
 » 3 years ago, # |   +8 "Competitive programming has taught me not only algorithms, but it has taught me how life is meaningless and pointless."I know this is a serious topic, but my troll radar went to the max after reading that sentence. Can't see a single point of view where this makes sense.
 » 3 years ago, # |   -38 Have you tried religion?
•  » » 3 years ago, # ^ |   +6 Religion is a fraud. -_-
 » 3 years ago, # |   -33 Ale padaka XD
 » 3 years ago, # |   +3 So actually, it's not about cp, it's about yourself, right?
 » 3 years ago, # |   -24 Keep Thinking Positive and Don't Take The Negative One
•  » » 17 months ago, # ^ | ← Rev. 3 →   +4 why you guys just adding more downvote for my advise.of course don't you think negative value was an imaginary number?
 » 3 years ago, # |   -10 Why are you blowing up your lovely purble color? hang on .... You're great You're better than many of us please stop doing that
•  » » 3 years ago, # ^ |   0 You are doing same thing.
•  » » » 3 years ago, # ^ |   0 I am not Purble ... i am doing it from a fake account
 » 3 years ago, # |   0 Where there is a life there is a hope!
 » 23 months ago, # |   +60 Hello Kelly, how are you? I hope everything is fine with you. Could you tell us how your recovery is going?
 » 23 months ago, # | ← Rev. 2 →   0 [Deleted]
 » 23 months ago, # |   +8 Try to be in a relationship with human. I think it will help. :)
•  » » 23 months ago, # ^ |   +4 Is this your personal experience talking?
•  » » » 23 months ago, # ^ | ← Rev. 2 →   0 Btw Can you please help me to invest in Lakshmi cheat fund?
•  » » » » 23 months ago, # ^ |   +3 Yeh scheme tere liye nai hai
•  » » » » » 23 months ago, # ^ |   +1 Sirf phonepe k liye!!!!!
•  » » 23 months ago, # ^ |   0 How can a penguin be in relationship with human ... I am happy in my Waddle.
 » 23 months ago, # | ← Rev. 3 →   0 [deleted]
 » 23 months ago, # |   0
 » 17 months ago, # |   0 Pain is permanent but suffering is optional. Be happy!
 » 17 months ago, # |   0 Hi Kelly Hope you are doing great now.... Competitive programming is not life and life is much more delightful and mysterious. Don't let such lil moments of your life affect your life. If you don't like CP, leave it... If you love it.... find why and where you are failing. Best wishes and take care my friend <3
 » 17 months ago, # |   -13 Try christianity.
 » 10 months ago, # |   +36 Sorry for the necropost but.........are you ok? Damn , I don't even know if you will read this. Shit,you.......probably won't. What the fuck. Anyways, I hope you do not do any harm to yourself. Don't do anything stupid.
•  » » 10 months ago, # ^ |   -18 God damn it, pleeeeeease respond. Damn. What the fuck. Where are you? I know I am acting creepy and ridiculous but ..........ok, nevermind. Just another day in a trenches.
•  » » » 10 months ago, # ^ |   +4 Chill it's me, the OP. Several months back I attempted suicide but botched it. So I guess I'm still alive.
•  » » » » 10 months ago, # ^ |   +1 Ok, can you you.......um........prove it in some way. That you are the OP. Maybe by changing the profile pic of your original account. I don't mean to be rude, it is just that it can be .....a nasty trap (no pun intended, no I don't have a thing for traps lol).
•  » » » » » 10 months ago, # ^ |   +1 Ahh yes. My account was disabled by admin. You can try to login using this password and see for yourself. @rX;#zCkvzeJ:eU|gM%e7zpTL
•  » » » » » » 10 months ago, # ^ |   -11 Ok . I did it. Got to say, your older profile picture is hotter,lol. A lot of people seem to like traps. I kinda understand why. Well, I solved the mystery I had found about 3 months ago, not the way I wanted but anyways. I am no freaking hacker. Welcome back.........well you never left actually but, yeah, have fun take care.
•  » » » » » » 10 months ago, # ^ |   +1 Anyways, screw downvotes. I am happy I finally uncovered all the stuff behind this blog. Just don't do anything stupid. If you feel down, come over here at codeforces. The community is shitty, but it is cool, and fun, not just for competitive programming. Well , I think you already got over your depression, but if there is still anything that bothers.......solve some fucking problems. Take care.
 » 10 months ago, # |   +3 I hope from the bottom of your heart you are ok by now, you can surpass your issues, we believe in you dont give up <3
•  » » 10 months ago, # ^ |   0 Yeah, he surpassed his issues in the end. Nice wholesome conclusion to this case.......maybe.
 » 10 months ago, # |   0 I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes I wonder if it's worth it spending hours reading or staying up at night just so I can get a good ranking. My goal is IGM though, and I'm not going to stop until I reach it.
 » 2 months ago, # |   +3 I am in the same situation now
 » 2 months ago, # |   +13 As a second option to seeing a therapist, you can read about ACT(Acceptance and commitment therapy). This therapy will also guide you on how to live happily while not quitting CP.
 » 2 months ago, # |   +1 no matter what I achieve little or big I feel empty inside.If this goes on I may suicide very quickly
•  » » 2 months ago, # ^ |   +11 Please don't do anything like that. The content of your thoughts alone can make you miserable or can make you live in pleasure. Join a therapy or read about Acceptance and commitment therapy. It will give you a framework to live a happy life while also improving your performance in the external world.
•  » » » 2 months ago, # ^ |   +6 I second that. I had to take a break with CP not too long ago, because it was just too much for me. How many people around you know what competitive programming even is? Your life isn't meaningless — you're special and know way more than the average person. You have worked really hard too. And even at your nadir, you're worthy of existing. It can be really, really hard at some times to accept that, but its the truth. I just wanted to give my take.
•  » » » 2 months ago, # ^ | ← Rev. 3 →   0 actually my main problem isn't cp,I enjoy it very much and with time I can achieve anything in it if I stay cool.Problem is I don't enjoy anything of my life which is outside cp.For example,I don't enjoy my academic studies(In fact, I hate it) but it is very hard to drop out in a society that I live in
•  » » » » 2 months ago, # ^ |   0 ACT therapy addresses this issue, how to find things that we enjoy and do it at maximum level possible simply by changing our thinking and a little bit of behavior. In due to time you will once again be curious about life and its opportunities.
•  » » 2 months ago, # ^ |   0 Whoever is reading this, I recommend you watching https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfUxtnJ0CaY&ab_channel=ColinGalen, video where grandmaster Galen Colin talks about motivation and mindset. Remember, everything is fixable.
 » 2 months ago, # |   +19 Is he alive, I wonder.