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Entrepreneurship And Depression: Ways To Understand And Overcome

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The last decade has seen entrepreneurs emerge as hero figures in our ecosystem. Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, etc., are nothing short of celebrities. These entrepreneurs have made it big on their own without depending on a family fortune of any kind.

However, many experts point out that the road to successful entrepreneurship is littered with challenges, despairs, and sacrifices. While what we see on screens and social media is a success, there is no denying the fact that the journey affects their mental health as well.

However, the macho ecosystem, ambition, strength, and resilience do not cut a pretty picture when it comes to discussing issues of mental health. While issues of anxiety, stress, and depression are taboo in most places, when it comes to entrepreneurship, the hatred is different.

This is one major reason why a number of leading entrepreneurs are going for depression counselling in Singapore. Any type of mental health issue is looked at as a sign of weakness, that drives everyone from investors to start talent.

Why Entrepreneurs are more prone to suffering from Depression?

In a landmark study that was conducted in 2015, researchers found that 72% of all entrepreneurs they studied, suffered from depression!

This study sparked a deep interest in understanding how depression affects entrepreneurs. The death of several bright and enterprising successful people gave fire to the debate on depression.

The study concluded that entrepreneurs are more likely to suffer from depression as compared to normal human beings. Let us try to look at some probable reasons for the same-

  • Firstly, entrepreneurs like being in control. When they start feeling that they are losing control, they are more than likely to get stressed and depressed.

  • Secondly, long working hours, challenging work pressures, and poor eating habits result in exhaustion and burnouts. This affects them not only physically, but mentally as well.

  • Thirdly, empty success is something that affects entrepreneurs and leads to depression. Since they set such lofty and high standards, empty successes drive them down.

  • Fourthly, while some entrepreneurs acknowledge failures, others do not take it that well. Repeated failure makes them depressed and forces them to take drastic steps

  • Fifthly, loneliness and isolation are something that is common to almost all successful entrepreneurs. Since the road to the top is a lonely one, you do not have support.

Entrepreneurs are known to make tough sacrifices. For example, like normal individuals and families, they are unable to spend as much time with their families and partners. For some, this results in personal turmoil and might lead to separation or divorces.

The Stigma of Depression that Entrepreneurs face

I am not weak! I do not need help! I am perfectly alright! I am the best!

Every entrepreneur that is looking to succeed or has already reached a particular spot says these things to themselves hundreds of times a day. Even when they feel that they have a problem, they do not acknowledge the same.

Why? The answer is simple. While issues of mental health are becoming spoken about, for entrepreneurs someone finding out that they are suffering from issues can have negative and lasting effects on their business.

Everyone from investors to the company’s top employees do not want to be led or managed by someone that is not at the top of their game. Even when leading entrepreneurs see therapists, they do so secretly without anyone knowing about the same.

When Elon Musk and other famous industry titans came forward and voiced their own experiences with mental health troubles (Musk opened up about his bipolar tendencies), the world noticed.

Ever since then, several others have come forward and penned noted and articles on how entrepreneurs should seek help when required.

The Final Takeaway

When it comes to entrepreneurs and mental health, the stakes are always higher. Entrepreneurs are human beings and have the same body parts and organs. Stresses, tensions, and anxieties affect them in the same way as it affects other human beings. However, their road to acknowledgement and recovery is harder. They fear being judged and losing everything they have worked for. If you would like to add any more points to the article, please let us know in the comments below.


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