gets by is a collection of interviews with members of the tech community, talking about their experiences with mental illness. It’s meant to be a place for people to talk about the challenges they face and the strategies they’ve found for coping with those challenges.
This is not meant to be a substitute for professional help or advice. Please do not take your mental health advice from the internet. See a doctor. That being said, we hope that some of the strategies we’ve found give you ideas for how to cope with your own challenges.
The idea of gets by started when I was talking to a friend about my depression, and I couldn’t figure out if some of my symptoms were from my depression, or if I was subsconsciously using that as a crutch. I had impostor syndrome about my own mental illness. As you’ll see in the interviews, I’m not the only one to experience that. What I really needed, I felt, was other people talking about what they dealt with. Because if they had the same issues, I probably wasn’t just being lazy. gets by exists to fill that need; people talking about their challenges, as a community, to increase the amount of information available.
I’m also hoping that, by publishing these stories, we can raise awareness about mental illness. We can answer the “have you tried just being happy?” and “why can’t you just get over it?” questions. We can show you that the people you work with and interact with on a daily basis, the people who make your favourite things, the people you talk to over the Internet… these people are struggling every day. Medicine for mental illnesses is an iffy proposition at best, these days. It’s a whole lot of guesswork and trial-and-error. I’d like to see that improve, and I think with a higher awareness and less of a stigma, it can.
Most importantly, though, I want anyone with a mental illness who is ashamed of it to find this site and these people. There is, bizarrely, a stigma associated with mental illness right now, and that’s really confusing to me. This can be hard enough without having to try and hide it from everyone. So my goal is to find as many people as possible who are willing to say “yes, I have a mental illness, and I’m not embarrassed or ashamed to admit it. And you shouldn’t be, either.”
Silence kills, so let’s speak.
My name’s Paddy Foran. I run Second Bit, the company that’s hosting this site, formatting and posting the interviews, and generally maintaining things. Dylan Staley created our wonderful, mobile-friendly design for us. Tell him thanks. He worked tirelessly and for free on this project, lending his skills to the community.
To be honest, though, the people behind this are listed on the main page. This site is nothing without the interviews, and I’m grateful to everyone who stepped forward to be interviewed. It’s no easy thing, holding your illness aloft for the world to see, and these people all did it freely and willingly, hoping it would help other people. They’re the ones behind this; we’re just the custodians.
If you want to submit an interview to gets by, please let us know. If you know someone who may want to or want to recommend we reach out to someone, give us as much (public!) information as you can.