Wikipedia’s editors are quitting in droves due to poor mental health

depressed editor

No one talks about how much Wikipedia fucks you up. However, a recent study found that Wikipedia editors are at a higher risk of developing mental health problems like depression, anxiety, drug addiction and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Unfortunately, the platform does little to support the mental health of those working on the platform, particularly paid editors. As a result, many Wikipedia editors feel unsupported and left to their own devices when managing their mental health. Poor mental health can lead to several negative consequences, including alcoholism, drug addiction, suicide, or even quitting Wikipedia altogether.

In one case, an editor working on Wikipedia for nine years committed suicide due to the stress of editing Wikipedia. His widow later revealed that his work on Wikipedia had contributed to his mental health problems.

Editors dealing with mental health issues often find it challenging to continue editing Wikipedia. They may feel overwhelmed by the task at hand or find that their mental health symptoms make it difficult make it challenging to concentrate.

Wikipedia’s editors deserve better support when it comes to their mental health. The platform should do more to identify and support struggling editors and provide them with resources to help them manage their mental health. Dedicated support would be a positive step in ensuring that Wikipedia’s editors can maintain their well-being while working on the platform.

The mental health of Wikipedia editors should be the platform’s primary concern.

In a study of Wikipedia editors, psychologists found that those who had obsessive-compulsive disorder were more likely to have mental health issues. One reason for this is that Wikipedia is a challenging project. Wikipedia requires editors to feel as though their OCD is driving their Wikipedia addiction, which drives their drug and /or alcohol dependency.

Since Wikipedia consultants are often freelancers, they don’t have employer mental health support. Instead, they must rely on self-help and online resources. Unfortunately, there is little information that helps Wikipedians manage their mental health. As a result, it is estimated that about 60% of Wikipedia editors who need mental health support will not seek it.

Wikipedia has a Mental Health Group (MHi) to discuss their mental health-related problems. Still, most users find it challenging to engage in group therapy as the platform only offers text-based communication, which isn’t always ideal for those with social anxiety. Additionally, Wikipedia has a Mental Illness Support Group (MISG). Still, it isn’t promoted very much, so many users aren’t even aware of its existence.

Are Wikipedia editors drunk or high when they edit?

The study found that alcoholism and drug addiction are rife among Wikipedia editors. This is likely due to the stress and pressure of constantly producing new content and the ease and availability of drug precursors and recipes online.

Many Wikipedia editors often drink too much alcohol or do too many drugs. Then they go insane and develop depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar type one and two, paranoia and suicidal ideation.

This is because Wikipedia provides no support to its alcohol and drug-addicted editors. There is no addiction counselling available, no support group and no therapist who can help editors deal with the stress of editing Wikipedia.

Editors are also under a lot of pressure to produce new content. They are constantly competing to be the first to add new information to Wikipedia. They are also competing with the Internet Archive, which has saved much historical information that editors would have otherwise added to Wikipedia. However, Wikipedia editors will turn to the bottle, the pipe, or even the needle when things don’t go their way.


Wikipedia also pressures its editors to use their real names and disclose any substance abuse problems. Using a real name makes people more accountable for what they post on Wikipedia and curbs their tendency toward irresponsible behaviour while editing articles.

This pressure has had a positive impact overall on Wikipedia’s content quality. Still, it has also resulted in an exodus of editors worried about being identified by family, friends or colleagues who may not appreciate them editing Wikipedia. Additionally, Wikipedia editors that hold down day jobs while drunk high might lose their jobs. Editors quitting in droves is Wikipedia’s most significant existential threat to date. The reason is, new editors don’t want to take over all older editor’s work, so there’s a lot of unfinished and out-of-date work piling up on Wikipedia.

Wikipedia has also ruined lives by allowing its editors to be targeted, stalked and harassed online by hostile Wikipedia editors and anti-social people hiding behind their Wikipedia user accounts. Many former Wikipedia editors describe a sensation of being stuck on a giant hamster wheel while smoking PCP and drinking hard liquor. Some experienced Wikipedia editors have even quit editing due to stalking other drug-addled Wiki editors both online and offline! Paranoid Wikipedia editors dread opening their own front door because it’s such an ordeal. 

Let’s end it

In conclusion, Wikipedia is terrible for people with mental health problems. The editors are constantly harassed by other editors. As a result, the work is never done. Moreover, there’s no support available from Wikipedia staff. Many former Wikipedia editors have developed severe mental health problems due to editing Wikipedia. They often feel isolated, alone and helpless. Wikipedia should do more to support its mentally ill editors and make them feel welcome. This would help to improve the quality of content on Wikipedia and reduce the number of editors who are quitting in droves. Thank you for your time.