The modern era of psychology has found itself plagued with a problem that is growing at an uncomfortable rate: Mental Health Issues. No one is immune to this growing disorder in our society, however it has become clear that entrepreneurs are more at risk for being susceptible to the clutches of depression, anxiety, and addiction.
While we know that this is caused by many different circumstances, environments, genetics, biology and behaviors – it is still a relatively unknown beast in terms of controlling it and preventing it, but what we are attempting to do today is at least shine some light on these issues in hopes of finding some means of prevention.
Like most problems it’s not good to dive straight into it with unshakable denial, maybe you don’t have a problem – but are you actively keeping tabs on your mental health? The irony in the entrepreneurship circles is that the more successful you are, the more problems could crop up. With a successful business behind them, they can potentially have access to more resources to help the issues, but typically refuse to take advantage of them because of shame or feeling like a failure.
There is a tremendous pressure to be successful without any help, and maintaining a positive attitude is a must. How can you keep up this facade though if you aren’t feeling success, in fact you could secretly be failing in a lot of ways. Somehow the mentality of today’s super successful is that if they just hit that sales or income target, it was all worth it. This is a dangerous trend that is keeping even the brightest of business owners pushing through dangerous territory and ignoring the stress piling up on their plate, and even causing some great people to check out of life early.
It’s Lonely At The Top
In order to stay on the top, you have to beat out your competition. If you beat out your competition there is no one on equal footing for you to talk to, share your ideas, share your trials and tribulations, or even share common interests in some cases. If you bear your soul to your employees you could be seen as a bad boss, if you share it with competition then stockholders might feel you are going soft. You just can’t win in some situations but that doesn’t mean that you can’t beat the demons creeping up in the back of your mind due to these situations. With the proper help everything can be overcome.
In order to maintain a proper mental state it helps to maintain your health in general – nothing is a replacement for healthy living, and you need that strong footing to tackle any other issue in life. Entrepreneurs are considered a higher risk for mental health issues because work takes priority over health, relationships, you name it. It could be because business minded people are really into cutting costs, and healthcare can become expensive. Whether you have a good insurance plan, the bare minimum, or no insurance at all – there are resources such as BetterHelp and MentalHealth.gov available to you to help manage your stress and potential mental health issues.
If after you think long and hard about these potential pitfalls it’s perfectly fine to feel like you should talk to a therapist, this step should be accessible to anyone and shouldn’t make you feel like a social outcast, or a failure – everyone needs someone to talk to once in a while, a shoulder to lean on, let someone help you through what could be going on in your mind.
Creating a Healthy View of Entrepreneurship
It’s ok to want to be the best, and it’s ok to have a bad day every now and then. When either one starts to become a problem that consumes more mental energy, or imbalances your life, then maybe you should start to take a look at it and determine if that is healthy or not.
One of the biggest chronic illness in the world is depression, harming millions of people, we need to refocus our energies as entrepreneurs and put ourselves and our families in the center, success is great but it cannot be the be all end all. We cannot go on any longer believing that these mental conditions are a sign of weakness. We need to help each other heal when they are in need of help and make sure that feeling of shame disappears for the greater good.