Entrepreneurs' wrestle with depression
The death of Cafe Coffee Day owner VG Siddhartha sent shock waves through India, making everyone think of at least a billion reasons why that could not be true. It was not only the truth, but common.
Names like Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade come to mind when we think about people who are 'crazy rich'. The truth is no amount of money makes people immune to depression.
What's surprising is the fact that entrepreneurs are more prone to stress than the average employees. Long after a typical employee's day ends, the entrepreneur's continues to work until they fall asleep. This constant pressure leads to anxiety, which turns into depression later.
It has been reported that in 2016 over 230,000 people committed suicide in India. And, nearly the cause of death of 800,000 people worldwide every year is suicide. Of these, 17% are residents of India, a nation with 17.5% of world population. What's noticeable is that 40 % people take this step out of depression.
Considering the severity of the situation, this World Mental Health day, experts from the field have a few tips for entrepreneurs that will help them to fight off depression.
Success comes with a price
From the great Steve Jobs to Bill Gates, no entrepreneur's journey has been a cake walk. They have seen as many highs as lows in their life. In fact, it's the failures that taught them to remain strong during the hard times.
It's true that when challenges pile up, it's easy to feel like the world is ending and that we're failures. But every aspiring entrepreneur needs to take inspiration from the life stories of such successful people, and accept the fact that failures are inevitable on the journey of success. Success is guaranteed, but the only question is if you are willing to fail the number of times it takes to win.
Chase two rabbits and you won't catch even one
Entrepreneurs are the most optimistic people in the world. There are innumerable ideas which flood their mind, and with every thought comes an entusiasm of turning that idea into reality.
However, they need to understand that it's not neceassry to do everything in that very moment. Being ambitious is good, but planning and patience are two essential virtues that will help you go a long way. Focus on one project/idea instead of getting involved in too many things. High hopes and expectations bring a lot of pressure, which is not good for your mental health.
Seek medical help whenever necessary
There is medical depression and situational depression. Medical depression may be treated through counselling or medication. Whereas, situational depression stems from a continued lost or unplanned setback. In both cases, life can become dark and only a psychiatric professional can help. The stigma associated with psychiatric help leads to irreversible damage and loss of life. Therefore, we need to build an environment where entrepreneurs can reach out and get help when they need it. This can be difficult in a world where everyone feels the need to be "crushing it" all the time, and asking for help can be seen as a sign of weakness, which leads to people merely keeping their difficulties to themselves. But we need to understand that it's high time we change.
People in the entrepreneurial and creative communities need to change this mentality. People should feel free to get help without the fear of judgment, and it's going to take a few strong influencers to initiate the change.
Depression can strike anyone – the old, young, rich or poor. And, if it strikes you, then there is always a way to overcome.
(Inputs by Willpower Harris, Motivational Teacher, Humanitarian, and Founder of Willpower Group and Juhi Sharma, Mental Health Expert)