Entrepreneurship is often associated with words such as “freedom” and “autonomy”, but the emotional side of building companies is not so often talked about. Recent studies have revealed that entrepreneurs are more likely to suffer from mental health issues than the general population. A survey conducted by the University of California at Berkeley found that 72% of entrepreneurs reported mental health problems, while a study by Michael Freeman indicated that 49% of all entrepreneurs are at risk of suffering from at least one mental illness. The Hustle surveyed more than 300 entrepreneurs on the state of their mental health, and a whopping 63% reported dealing with burnout, and 59% said they had dealt with anxiety.
Employers were significantly more likely to report a lifetime history of depression (30%), ADHD (29%), substance use conditions (12%), and bipolar diagnosis (11%). Starting a business can be risky, exhilarating and exhausting all at the same time. The expectations of entrepreneurs are extremely high, and they're trying to live up to the most successful people on earth. This can cause financial instability, tension in relationships and feelings of isolation.
The intense focus and obsession is one of the main causes of poor mental health among entrepreneurs. Women face gender-based obstacles such as gender bias in the medical system, biological influences, and risk-taking failures, missed goals and stagnant progress become fertile ground for business depression. Even with hundreds of founders reporting on their own experiences, 81% of readers said there is still a stigma around mental health in the business community, and 51% of whom answered that while stigma exists, it is improving. It is important for entrepreneurs to be aware of the risks associated with mental health issues and to take steps to protect their mental well-being. Being honest about your own mental health can help reduce anxiety among employees and create a healthier work environment.
It is also important to recognize that there are resources available to help entrepreneurs manage their mental health.