Have you heard of “startup depression?” The Vulcan Post reports that depression among budding entrepreneurs is a growing problem. The issue is particularly serious in Malaysia, where the stigma of mental illness means that depression often goes undiagnosed and untreated until it becomes life-threatening.

The Potential for Failure

Having a great idea for a business doesn’t always mean that the business will be successful. Many young people and middle-aged individuals decide to move forward with a startup, only to encounter unforeseen roadblocks along the way. Perhaps because of inexperience, the actions of others, a lack of interest in the market, or client payment delay, the startup can crash.

The Stress of Running a New Business

Even if it doesn’t crash completely, the huge responsibility of running a brand-new business can take its toll. The entrepreneur must train and pay employees, seek out new connections and clients, establish the brand in the market, and much more, often with a very limited staff. For some, that level of responsibility and stress is just too much, and they can become depressed.

Silence Because of Stigma and Social Rejection

Not many entrepreneurs in Malaysia have the courage to speak out about their struggles with mental illness. The stigma surrounding the issue is so great that many fear losing their careers, their social status, and even their relationships with friends and family if they reveal their problems. The stigma remains a problem for mental health in Singapore as well, even though Singaporean society is making great strides towards a more inclusive and understanding atmosphere for the mentally ill or depressed.

The Deadly Result of Depression

The trouble with silence is that it can lead to the worsening of depression, until the sufferer feels that there is no relief and no way out, except death.
One entrepreneur recalls an incident where a friend’s startup failed. The man went to a rooftop to jump, intending to kill himself. Then, he realised how fortunate he was to have had a million dollars to lose at his young age, and he decided to keep trying.

Image is so important in the startup field that young entrepreneurs will rarely admit to a struggle with depression. If someone asks how they are doing, they will typically respond with bold enthusiasm about the growth of their business, even though secretly they may be panicking or despairing.

Khailee Ng, managing partner of 500 Startups, explains how a startup owner may feel. “Deep down inside, the product is broken; customers are leaking out; you got two-months’ runway left; your co-founder hates you; you just made a bad hire; your team hates you,” he says. It’s a terrible way to feel.

Getting Help for Startup Depression in Singapore

For entrepreneurs struggling with depression in Singapore, that’s where support groups and close friends can help. Often there is also a need for diagnosis and treatment by a psychiatrist in Singapore, at least until the intense rollercoaster of startup ownership has settled down. If you are a startup owner wrestling with despair and depression, don’t wait until you’re tempted to end it all. Visit Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic and get help from one of our skilled psychologists in Singapore. You’ll receive the support you need, as well as therapies, skills, coping mechanisms, and other treatment that can help you through this crucial time in your life.

News Feed from Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic

Source: Vulcan Post, 29 Aug 2017