WHY is struggling with mental health a taboo subject in business when so many of us are struggling? May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we’re taking the opportunity to say to all the entrepreneurs out there who are struggling:
You’re not alone
You’re not alone
You’re not alone
Research has shown a clear link between entrepreneurs and various psychiatric conditions, including depression, ADHD, and bipolar disorder, among others. One 2018 study showed that 72% of the entrepreneurs participating struggled with at least one mental-health disorder. Entrepreneurs in the group reported experiencing more depression (30%), ADHD (29%), substance use (12%), and bipolar disorder (11%) than other participants who are not entrepreneurs. What’s more, about ⅓ of the entrepreneurs in the study reported struggling with two or more mental-health conditions.
Imagine sitting at dinner with 10 of your business besties. Now think about how, according to the stats, at least seven of them are struggling in some capacity with their mental health because they are overwhelmed, overworked, and undersupported. Now ask yourself: WHY aren’t we giving each other the support we all clearly need?
While efforts like Mental Health Awareness Month help normalize mental-health struggles, there’s still the assumption that if you’re a founder or entrepreneur, you are signing up for the struggle—the hustle culture is real, y’all. And if you feel like it’s all part of the process, like some sort of rite of passage, you’re probably less likely to seek help.
Here at NEAT, we want to do better. We think the best way to start supporting founders is to open up about what it’s like to struggle and encourage others to do the same. Let’s start a conversation about mental health in entrepreneurship and start changing the stigma associated with it.
👉 You’re not an imposter if you feel anxious constantly
👉 You’re still cut out for this even if you’re not always 100% confident in your decisions
👉 You’re not a failure if there are areas of your business you’re not great at
👉 You’re not meant to do this without help
NEAT’s founder Jen shares openly about her mental-health struggles on platforms like LinkedIn and our podcast, Served NEAT. In June 2022, Jen was burned out and struggling with intense anxiety, which made even getting out of bed a struggle. She was diagnosed with depression and started on Lexapro (an SSRI).
Here are a handful of things she’s learned in the past year since her diagnosis:
Jen is an open book when it comes to this topic, because she believes transparency is part of the solution. Post-diagnosis, she made some important changes in how she lives her life and runs her business to not only start prioritizing her mental health but also to prevent future burnout.
While it’s important that each individual considers how she can prioritize mental health in her own life and business, here are some tips to consider:
This Mental Health Awareness Month, we want to break through the stigma and talk openly and honestly about mental health among entrepreneurs, because we think it’s one of the most important ways we can help others. (That and PR 😘.)
Most founders deal with anxiety, depression, and/or burnout, and it doesn’t make any one of them less of a leader. If you’re struggling, it doesn’t make you any less of a leader. Let’s normalize mental-health discussions in business.
If you’re ready to take action in your next level of business, book a call with us!