Hey everyone! I thought it would be a good idea if some of you guys could share any possible burnout/depression related stories related to game development. Game development is like any other career in the sense that things can take a soaring high or a rock-bottom low, and while success stories are fun, I thought it'd be interesting to take a look at the darker side of it all. For those who do not know, a burnout is a condition caused by high expectations or working too hard in which you lose all enjoyment for your career, become depressed and in generally unhappy about your current state of living. I would like to start it off with my personal story. It all started with the delusion that hard work and great ideas will make certain fame and fortune when it comes to making games. I started last year working on a game idea and after 2 months I had created a prototype that I was happy with. As a team we posted the game to IndieDB and received high praise and acclaim. Things were looking up. Our game got published on Desura and we started making plans to release it on Steam. Already in our minds we had convinced ourselves that we were finally going to breakthrough, after only 3 years of being in the industry. Smiles were all around, and it seemed that nothing could go wrong. In fact, nothing did for a while. We started the Greenlight process and Yes votes started pouring in. All the time the game kept getting bigger and better. It was at this point I started noticing cracks in the gameplay, but I shrugged it off. Who cares if the game gets boring after 5 minutes? We'll fix it, in the fullness of time. After 3 months, we got Greenlit. I was so happy receiving that email at 2 in the morning. We had reached our goal. The train of development was chugging away. It was up to us now to release it to the general public. Unfortunately, this is where things started to go wrong. The warning signs were clear. We did all the classic game identity crisis maneuvers. UI overhaul, title change, gameplay overhaul, the works. The more we updated the game, the more broke it got. Frame rates were dropping, pathfinding was wonky, enemies were boring, and worst of all, gameplay was dull. It got very frustrating and motivation was dropping. It got clear that we could not release this crappy version of the game. Unfortunately, the more we waited, the more our motivation and spirits broke. Personally, I got to the point where I did not even want to start up Unity. This is were things got from bad to worse. I started getting depressed. This was supposed to be our time to shine. Instead, we had a broke game, insurmountable code and a burdened system. I started self-medicating with alcohol and marijuana. An alcoholism was developing, and marijuana was the straw that broke the back. For those who do not know, marijuana takes deep distress inside you and shoves it in your face a hundred times worse. I started having panic attacks, depressive periods and generalized anxiety. Generalized anxiety disorder and a panic disorder developed, along with extremely difficult symptoms to live with (google Depersonalization and Derealization). Cue the worst 3 months of my life. I had hit rock bottom. At just 18 years old. At this point I had completely forgotten about game development and was focusing on getting my mind back to normal. Funnily enough, life has a tendency to get better. I stopped all drug and alcohol use, started eating properly, taking vitamins, you name it. VERY slowly but surely, everything started getting better. My mental disorders have not completely vanished, but I am 90% better. I have started working on a fresh new project and have regained my love for game development. I am no longer the asshole with the inflated ego that I was before, and have a new found empathy for people going through hard times. I have reduced my expectations and am trying to focus on the rewards of doing what I love rather than monetary gains and critical success. With the exception of alcohol, I have vowed not to touch drugs again in the future. I am thinking about starting a startup which uses virtual reality to cure anxiety, depression and phobias. Most importantly, I learned that I can handle the worst of the worst, and am ready for the future to come. So that was my story . I hope you could learn from my mistakes, and although it was not particularly hard relatively speaking, it was living hell to me. Everyone goes through a hard time in their life, and there is nothing better than sharing your story for others to read and learn from.