Kelly's blog

By Kelly, history, 17 months ago, In English

Warning

This post is toxic! Read at your own risk!

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.

 
 
 
 
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17 months ago, # |
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I recommend you to go somewhere very beautiful. Stay away from competitive programming for a while. You will get healed.

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17 months ago, # |
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You are better than many of us. Don't be depressed.

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    17 months ago, # ^ |
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    Depression doesn't care about status. Anyone can suffer from it.

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      17 months ago, # ^ |
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      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.

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      17 months ago, # ^ |
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      Except people who aren't depressed, of course.

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      16 months ago, # ^ |
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      Please ask what LanceTheDragonTrainer would say.

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17 months ago, # |
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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.

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    17 months ago, # ^ |
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    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!

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17 months ago, # |
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"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 !

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    17 months ago, # ^ |
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    I know... But it's really easy to slip and fall into the dark hole. That's why I call it a cycle.

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      17 months ago, # ^ |
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      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

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      17 months ago, # ^ |
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      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.

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17 months ago, # |
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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.

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17 months ago, # |
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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 .

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    17 months ago, # ^ |
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    TST?

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      17 months ago, # ^ |
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      team selection test

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        17 months ago, # ^ |
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        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.

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    17 months ago, # ^ |
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    i don't know what to do

    Please get medical attention ASAP.

    when i remember that my dream gone

    It'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.

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17 months ago, # |
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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.

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17 months ago, # |
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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.

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17 months ago, # |
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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.)

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17 months ago, # |
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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?

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    17 months ago, # ^ |
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    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).

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      17 months ago, # ^ |
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      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.

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        17 months ago, # ^ |
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        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.

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        17 months ago, # ^ |
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        There are degrees which offer Computer Science as a major subject with minor in Physics. Do you have such options?

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          17 months ago, # ^ |
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          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.

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            17 months ago, # ^ |
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            Dude, you will ROCK at the test tomorrow, trust in yourself, cheers from Brazil!

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              17 months ago, # ^ |
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              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!

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      17 months ago, # ^ |
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      agree i'm a dropout and hate my useless college rather i learn from MOOCs.

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    17 months ago, # ^ |
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    You are worried about the "purpose of life" at 15. I was playing pen-fight and thumb wrestling at 15. -_-.

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17 months ago, # |
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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.

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17 months ago, # |
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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.

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17 months ago, # |
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I'm not here to say "It's all going to be alright" or "Take some time off and do something you like" or generic things like that because I know they don't do any good to you in your current state.

I've been diagnosed with clinical depression and was suicidal at some point. It took me 2 or 3 years to recover and even now I have occasional episodes of depression in my life. So when I say I understand how you feel, you know I do.

Hell, I even tried to die, twice, and failed at it. So in a way, I was a failure at living as well as dying. The state of not caring that you mentioned about, I've been there too. I've hit rock bottom multiple times and all I did was to cry while the anti depressants were numbing my pain.

Here's the thing. We are humans. Most of us care about too many things like our social status, grades, what people think about us,our ratings etc. And then there's people at the other end of the spectrum who realized that these are meaningless and don't matter. So they stop caring about these things. The important thing here is the "these things" mentioned in the previous line. We have to care about something. Without a something to care about, we get engulfed by emptiness.

Usually, depression has a social stigma attached to it. It might be hard to ask someone for help. There might be feelings of paranoia which prevent you from opening up. So be it. At least, go visit a therapist. That will help you.

Depression is a very common illness. It is termed as the common cold of mental illnesses. The only difference is that common cold doesn't kill while depression does. There is nothing to be ashamed of and every person experiences some form of depression, mild or extreme, at some point in their lives.

Don't give up hope. It may or may not get better. But I know for a fact that you will become stronger. Your problems may become even worse and make you feel like giving up. But you will look them in the eye, say not today and solve them. So, stay strong.

While I was struggling with depression, I read a lot of books to understand why I felt the way I felt and what to do to get out of it. And it was very very helpful. I'll dm the list to you if you want to give it a shot. And the books are not about rainbows and unicorns. They are about how sometimes life sucks and the healthiest thing we can do is to accept that sometimes life does suck and learning from our experiences.

So, stay strong!!

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17 months ago, # |
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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!

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17 months ago, # |
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CP itself should be a fun hobby.

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17 months ago, # |
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You really should find a psychiatrist. This is the best way out of such situation, and probably CP is not the reason.

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17 months ago, # |
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Like some people said already, go see a professional. Therapy will help you.

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17 months ago, # |
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"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.

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17 months ago, # |
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Competitive programming makes me depressed.

Well, let's add that to the list of shit I've never said.

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17 months ago, # |
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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!

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17 months ago, # |
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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.

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17 months ago, # |
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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.

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17 months ago, # |
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.

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17 months ago, # |
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You remind me of myself 2 years ago. Not this worse but somewhere there. Read this post: http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/dweck

And ...............

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17 months ago, # |
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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

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    17 months ago, # ^ |
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    Music can't replace a Doctor. Depression is not a mood swing.

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      17 months ago, # ^ |
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      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

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        17 months ago, # ^ |
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        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)

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17 months ago, # |
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I got depressed just reading this :(

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17 months ago, # |
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If i get good result, I usually party

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17 months ago, # |
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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.

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17 months ago, # |
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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.

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17 months ago, # |
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The beauty of Life is "God has given us super power to make any day as our last day, So live Wisely"

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17 months ago, # |
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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!

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17 months ago, # |
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but programming is my life and i like only this single thing in the world.

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17 months ago, # |
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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 !!!!!!!!!!!!)

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17 months ago, # |
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"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.

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17 months ago, # |
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Have you tried religion?

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17 months ago, # |
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Ale padaka XD

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17 months ago, # |
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So actually, it's not about cp, it's about yourself, right?

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16 months ago, # |
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Keep Thinking Positive and Don't Take The Negative One

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    6 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    why you guys just adding more downvote for my advise.

    of course don't you think negative value was an imaginary number?

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16 months ago, # |
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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

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    16 months ago, # ^ |
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    You are doing same thing.

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      16 months ago, # ^ |
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      I am not Purble ... i am doing it from a fake account

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16 months ago, # |
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Where there is a life there is a hope!

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7 months ago, # |
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Hello Kelly, how are you? I hope everything is fine with you. Could you tell us how your recovery is going?

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7 months ago, # |
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[Deleted]

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7 months ago, # |
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Try to be in a relationship with human. I think it will help. :)

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[deleted]

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6 weeks ago, # |
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Pain is permanent but suffering is optional. Be happy!

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6 weeks ago, # |
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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

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6 weeks ago, # |
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Try christianity.