My Story

My name is Hayden Anderson. I grew up in a suburb just south of Portland, OR. A pretty ordinary life, I found peace in sports and the outdoors.

I started struggling with depression at a young age. Unsure how to regulate and show my emotions I became angry, depressed, and not a very pleasant person to be around fairly often.

Unsure of what to do with my life, I took the path that society deemed right and would make my friends and family proud. I was always good with computers and just felt it was the path of least resistance.

A picture of Hayden at the beach
Hayden walking down a path

The Depths

Settling on Computer Science because I was told was my best path, I made it through on my intelligence, dedication, zero motivation, and a web of support from family and friends. I made it through college unsure of who I was and what I wanted to do.

I went through countless therapists, 10 different medications (many of them reaching the max dosages), and eventually accepted depression as a part of who I was. Of course depression isn't present at all times, but it hindered my life and attitude often.

Finding self-care was always a struggle. Not only did I feel I didn't deserve to do things for myself, it was hard. Go to any business's website that has a service for self-care and you'll find a mess that doesn't work on your phone. You have to figure out through an ugly jumbled mess if they are right for you, in your budget, then call to make an appointment (an especially hard thing to do for someone with depression). The result being they were usually full, the prices too high, or the buttons to contact was out of service or just didn't work.

The light

Climbing back

After I graduated, lost my emotional support dog, and was finally out in the corporate world I actively decided I needed to change my life. Starting with myself. I ended many friendships, relationships, and painstakingly took many small steps to slowly learn to love myself.

I picked up hiking, working out, and cooking in an attempt to do what I thought was right. The side affect these activities brought was a lot of introspection, and the losing of 75 pounds of weight. I made it my mission to get off of medication because even while on it, I was depressed and even a single missed dosage lead to a depressive episode/

Through sheer dedication, self help, and introspection I found my mission to create accessibility for those struggling with their mental health. And what better way than through my skillset in web development and usability design?

Hayden happy in a mountain in front of a lake
Forge your path

My Path Out Of Depression

I was depressed for over 10 years and it's been one hell of a drive out from the typhoon of darkness that is depression. Speaking on depression and helping as many people as I can to manage their symptoms and hopefully give them a few coping mechanisms to help themselves is integral to my being. Here's a speech I gave on my steps out!

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