It is interesting to know that depression is more common among entrepreneurs than in the normal population. On average, 7% of the population suffers from depression, while a whopping 30% of entrepreneurs suffer from depression. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that entrepreneurs experience more anxiety than employees. In the latest Gallup-Healthways welfare index, 34 percent of employers (4 percentage points higher than other workers) reported that they were worried.
And 45 percent of employers said they were stressed, 3 percentage points higher than other workers. Considering how much the game of entrepreneurship is idolized and associated with words such as “freedom” and “autonomy”, the emotional side of building companies is not so often spoken of. A more controversial and well-known view is that entrepreneurs report mental health problems significantly higher than professionals who work every day. According to a study by the University of California at Berkeley, 72% of entrepreneurs in this sample reported mental health problems.
Employers were significantly more likely to report a lifetime history of depression (30%), ADHD (29%), substance use conditions (12%), and bipolar diagnosis (11%). NHS research from England shows that one in four adults suffers from mental illness. Being an entrepreneur increases your risk even more. According to research by Michael Freeman, entrepreneurs are 50% more likely to report having a mental health condition, with certain conditions that are more prevalent among founders and character traits that make them more susceptible to mood swings.
She challenges business owners, educators and legislators to reconsider toxic tropes about the “entrepreneurial mentality.” Lately, more entrepreneurs have started talking about their internal struggles in an attempt to combat the stigma of depression and anxiety that makes it difficult for patients to seek help. The University of California, San Francisco and its team investigated mental health problems among entrepreneurs. His latest book, The Entrepreneurial Myth, examines why entrepreneurs suffer more from poor mental health than the general population. Well, the unfortunate reality is that these kinds of problems are everyday events in the life of an entrepreneur.
It also reignited a debate on entrepreneurship and mental health that began two years earlier after the suicide of Ilya Zhitomirskiy, co-founder of Diaspora, a 22-year-old social networking site. South Korean-American internet entrepreneur and CEO of The Cheezburger Network, Ben Huh, in a frank blog post recounted his personal struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts. It is essential that entrepreneurs recovering from depression place the episode within a broader context. Kip, a San Francisco-based startup launched by Erin Frey, offers a hybrid of in-person therapy and software services to entrepreneurs and startup employees.
Entrepreneurs often juggle many roles and face countless setbacks (loss of customers, disputes with partners, increased competition, personnel problems), all while struggling to pay payroll. Entrepreneurs have a reputation (which barely precedes them) for lack of sleep, malnutrition, excess caffeine and financial restrictions. Instead, Dubowec encourages entrepreneurs to take a step back and examine the experience of depression within a broader context.