Is Depression And Anxiety Real in Small Business?

As a business-owner, I find myself facing a variety of circumstances that cause swings in my emotional state. One minute I am happy things are going smoothly or following what I feel is right. Then suddenly, something may happen financially that starts worrying me in big ways. After sitting with many business owners, and even our staff I find depression and anxiety comes in many different forms.



What is Depression or Anxiety?

I did not want to start this off sounding like a dictionary, so here is my best way to explain both in a business scenario.

Imagine you’re coming up on the time to pay the lease, then suddenly a piece of machinery breaks, an employee injures themselves, a client calls complaining your service was not completed on time. The feeling you get when all that happens at once causes "ANXIETY" - a form of nervousness.


Now imagine that happening to you every day. You feel you can't keep up with the bills, clients are not paying you on time, employees are not showing up to work when they are supposed to. Now you have not only the feeling of being overwhelmed, but a feeling of sadness. You can't seem to catch a break, things are never going your way, you feel like people are looking at you as a failure.

This is "DEPRESSION" - a form of complete and utter sadness or the feeling of being burdened.


Am I The Only One?

Do you sometimes feel you’re the only one?

I hope by writing this, you see you are not alone.

The following article helped me understand the sheer size of what I feel. It is a form of sickness.

(http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression)

Here are some of the key points:

1. Depression is a common ailment affecting more than 264 million people of all ages globally.

2. It is a leading cause of disability worldwide and the major contributor to the overall burden of some types of sicknesses.

3. Science has recorded a gender difference in depression prevalence, with women experiencing "MAJOR Depression" more often than men.


WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP NOT TRIGGER DEPRESSION IN MY EMPLOYEES?

First, try not to think or single out one person or individual.

Recognize that everyone and anyone can struggle with "Major Depression" - even yourself.

In my business I hire many women because of their attention to details and organizational skills. I notice at times they often exceed my own. So, reading this helped me understand I should measure my normal teaching methods.

The fact is, everyone suffers from some sort of depression or anxiety, and I have come to understand I should broaden my training skills to be more understanding and patient.

For example, I may want to set bigger goals to help trainees focus on the bigger task.

I try to give trainees something to be proud of while reveling in their sense of accomplishment.

We should all remember to offer as many compliments as instructive criticism intended to help them improve. I feel businesses do not do this enough.

As a small business, have a sit-down day, where you talk to each employee individually and ask how they, or their family, or even someone close to them, are doing.

Talking about things that are important to them, helps them release built-up tension, coming from home or work.


Conclusion

Running my business every day can and will make me depressed at times. Everyone suffers from it in some way, at some point in their life. Please do not think you are alone!!

If you find yourself feeling depressed or experiencing high levels of anxiety that are affecting your daily life, please reach out to someone and seek medical help. Someone somewhere feels your pain and will be there for you - all you need to do is ask.

Do you have questions, or would you like to comment? Please feel free to do so. I would love to hear what you have to say or bring to the table.


This Months Quote

"One need not be a chamber to be haunted"

----Emily Dickinson-----

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