Entrepreneurs and Depression: The Struggle is Real and How to Recognize It

Did you know that more and more entrepreneurs are starting to open up about their battles with depression and anxiety?  I work primarily with entrepreneurs in my private practice and let me tell you, this is a conversation that must be had.  I facilitate a variety of training and talks about mental wellness; there needs to be more awareness brought to this topic and the impact it’s having on men and women in our society.

I’ve learned that success can be difficult for a lot of people to manage and adapt to and every new level brings with it a new host of issues.  The other side of this coin is that entrepreneurs tend to put even more pressure on themselves to ‘make it’ and to ‘prove they’ve got what it takes’ than other professionals and that pressure is often internalized and not properly managed.

Research suggests that 1 in 3 entrepreneurs are living with depression.

How to recognize it:

  • Experience sadness for a period longer than two weeks
  • Negative self-worth
  • Change in weight
  • Change in sleeping patterns
  • Irritability
  • Lack of ambition
  • Change in sexual appetite
  • Drinking more alcohol or abusing recreational drugs
  • Chronic self-medicating

There are more symptoms but these are some common ones.

The reason I want to start more conversations around the topic of entrepreneurs and depression is because more and more self-employed men and women are struggling alone and committing higher rates of suicide than other business professionals. Depression is a major contributing factor in suicide and suicide attempts.  This is serious stuff.

Mental and emotional wellness is vital to our health and ability to cope with change.

Although there are a lot of rewarding opportunities when you’re self-employed; time freedom, money freedom, etc. There are far more expectations to be fulfilled.  Isolation is a common thing entrepreneur’s face and sometimes feeling alone can make things far worse.

It’s easy to turn to social media where it seems everybody has it together and experience an increase in self-doubt, fear or anxiety without having a platform to discuss it.

As revolutionary thought leaders who are changing the world we are constantly being told to suck it up and to put our doubts behind us; that’s not always as easy as flipping the mindset switch and that’s okay.  The dark side of being your own boss can become lighter if we stop sweeping it under the rug and actually start talking about it.

If you or someone you know is struggling with low mood or experiencing the above mentioned symptoms – reach out.  There is help available and you’re certainly not alone.

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