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HOT TOPIC Dealing with depression as an entrepreneur, figuring things out as I go

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elusive97

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I haven't really spoke to anyone on here about it or mentioned it to anyone but I need to hear some advice from fellow entrepreneurs as it's hard for others to relate, and I don't have a strong support network. I've dealt with persistent depression since I was young. I'm not sure why I have depression but for the most part I've felt sad for as long as I can remember.

I don't remember who (sorry!) but I resonated deeply with a comment here that entrepreneurs don't need to be happy, we get our fulfilment from success.

That said, if I think back to when I was in school and first got into entrepreneurship, my depression and discontentedness actually helped me keep going and be determined to succeed throughout my first business ventures/hustles! I was bullied a lot (unpopular nerdy girl!) but this was just another reason I had to achieve my goals.

I'd focus on the positives of my situation, that I had good skills, had an idea of how business worked, and that I had the stability of living with parents.

I'd get home in the afternoon and happily sit at my laptop for 6 hours and do a whole bunch of work. I'd try something if I thought it might make money and get me closer to my goal of moving out of my hometown, and more often than not I was actually successful! I'd simply set my mind to a goal and sit day-in-day-out at my laptop working through the required tasks.

It was pretty satisfying in my last year when my bullies wanted to know how I made money or if I had any tips for them :p

I finished school half way towards my goal and made £1800 a month from an hours work a day whilst in college. Despite often feeling depressed, I always sort of just knew what I was doing/had to do to get me to my goals.

From the age 15 to 20 when I was comfortable and doing well, I was the happiest and least depressed I'd ever been. It was easy to fill my time with work, and it was great that my work was fulfilling! The feeling of success was oh so satisfying.

After a couple more years in the digital marketing world, I achieved my goal and proudly bought my own home at 20! I think this is where my mindset changed, as I'd achieved my main goal and didn't set another major goal (I had no mentor or business/entrepreneur role models as I'd always done stuff individually, so I made a lot of rookie mistakes). I continued working on my business and did alright, until I lost it.

In January 2019, I experienced a traumatic event. An old friend once told me about something traumatic sometimes it takes your brain a while to make all those connections you once had. This is what I felt I spent most of 2019 doing, but I still don't feel as smart/talented/KNOWING as I was before.

A week later my car was totalled so I lost a lot of independence, something I had thoroughly enjoyed since achieving my goal of owning a home. I felt a loss of control but fought against those feelings and set a goal to have a car by July.

A couple of weeks later a relative died and my family, who I hadn't seen for a while, ignored me at the funeral. I didn't realise I was estranged so that broke my heart. The death, my loss of independence + business, and the traumatic event were too much.

I spent 3 months in a chronic stress response, and barely left the house. I considered ending it all but couldn't. I hoped every day I would die, but death never came, so I accepted that I have longer to live.

In May/June I set goals, and started trying to work towards them. This time though, rather than 'sort of knowing what I was doing/had to do to get me to my goals', I didn't know what to do. I failed to achieve my goal of buying a car by July. I thought I knew what to do a few times between May and October, but each time it wasn't right, my mind wasn't in it, and I didn't make any progress.

I found a short-lived side hustle in October that lasted until earlier this month, but it barely covered food and bills, and wasn't reliable. At the end of November I joined FLF and begun to see some of the errors in my way.

I was told I need to get out of my way. I've been working on being more present and thinking about how I want to feel and react to a situation. Now, when I think negative thoughts (not depressed thoughts) or begin to overthink I'm able to take a step back and catch myself almost instantly and change how I feel - it's pretty nice actually.

I'm still working on it of course, but the main issue I'm still having is dealing with depression and the thoughts I have when I feel controlled by feelings of low mood, hopelessness, low self-esteem, and lack of enjoyment from life. I can deal with regular negative thoughts better now but it's still really difficult when I feel depressed. I give it to myself that I've improved, before these feelings could take a hold for days or even weeks at a time. Now it usually lasts a few hours or less, half a day max, before I'm able to push my way through the feelings and change how I feel. Still, it just won't do

It's still almost every other day, and it makes me focus on my failures, the (sometimes) hopelessness of life, and all the external problems in my life. It affects my approach to everything, and it shows when my actions don't take me closer to my goals. I'm not sure if it's the trauma, depression, or 'poverty mindset', but I'm no longer able to make the connections in my head between where I am now, where I want to be, and what I have to do to get there.

I used to be able to think of the next step forward within half a day, or even if it was a really difficult step, within a week! What is wrong with me now? Why can't I do this any more? The only real difference is that there are more negative things and less positives in my life now than in the past, but I still have my skills.

I've been getting up early in the morning and going for a jog, listening to music I enjoy that makes me feel good, and trying to set goals, but I still struggle with dealing with depression more than I have in 10 years.

Have you ever dealt with any mental health issues that have affected your business or work? How did you get back into your stride? What advice would you give me? I'm only 22, I've spent the majority of my life depressed and I can't let it control me now. At least the next time I'm successful, I know the importance of using some of those funds to get therapy! Until then, I'm going to keep trying to work on my mental health and pushing forwards, so thanks in advance for any replies.
 

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Beerbread

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Following this to see what everyone else has to say. I'm in a similar boat as you. I did things and tasks to try to pull out of my depression with mixed success. Things would go great, then I would hit a roadblock and I crumble. I'm working on not having as much of a fragile ego.

I only started this year after avoiding it for so long, but therapy and hitting the gym has done wonders for my mind and body. My head feels so much clearer. I still go through episodes of sadness and lethargy, but instead of being in that state for 3 hours, it's 30 minutes give or take. I'm going to ride this feeling along for as long as possible and get things done as much as I can before I crash again. This behavior I have has ruined opportunities and I had enough.
 

Lucky Lu

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Hey! Glad to see that you are sharing this. That feeling is shared by many and discussing it and letting people know that they are no the only ones is a major gift.

Feel free to reach out for anything you need and let´s vent here!!!
 
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elusive97

elusive97

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Following this to see what everyone else has to say. I'm in a similar boat as you. I did things and tasks to try to pull out of my depression with mixed success. Things would go great, then I would hit a roadblock and I crumble. I'm working on not having as much of a fragile ego.

I only started this year after avoiding it for so long, but therapy and hitting the gym has done wonders for my mind and body. My head feels so much clearer. I still go through episodes of sadness and lethargy, but instead of being in that state for 3 hours, it's 30 minutes give or take. I'm going to ride this feeling along for as long as possible and get things done as much as I can before I crash again. This behavior I have has ruined opportunities and I had enough.
Totally relate to the crumbling at roadblocks. I'm hoping the more I work on being aware of my emotions the better I get even if I'm just having a bad day and things keep going wrong.

I will have to start exercising more, I do feel a bit better after my morning jog. 2 weeks after joining the gym is when my car got totalled, I was gutted!

I'm with you on having had enough of dealing with the added negatives that come with letting depression take a hold. You can do it, and I'm inspired by your progress so far.

If you ever crash and want to just rant or get your feelings out, my ears are always open
 
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elusive97

elusive97

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Hey! Glad to see that you are sharing this. That feeling is shared by many and discussing it and letting people know that they are no the only ones is a major gift.

Feel free to reach out for anything you need and let´s vent here!!!
It was almost therapeutic to share this with people actually. And it's good to know it could comfort someone who feels the same, now or in the future. I told my doctor the basics and they were like "is that all you're stressed about?" so I didn't get it all out.

And thanks for that, I totally will :)
 

Black_Dragon43

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Hi! Good on you for sharing this, it does take a lot of courage.

I have struggled with serious depression and anxiety in the past. I have been officially diagnosed with OCD and generalized anxiety, and I was told that I need to take medication (SSRIs, antipsychotics) and that these conditions are not treatable, just manageable. The pills made it better in the sense that you could no longer feel pain. But then, neither did you feel any joy. You just felt... blank.

Anyway, this happened when I was in University, probably with the biggest intensity in years 2-3. It affected my studies, and it affected the one business I was running. For my business, I was lucky that I had a partner back then, and for my studies, well, I managed to survive, but I did fail one exam.

Suffice to say that today (I am 26), I am a very robust person, and rarely experience debilitating anxiety, and not for long nowadays. OCD is, for the most part, completely gone (this is despite the fact that most people would say it's impossible to cure it...). I would classify myself as quite daring in fact. I sometimes do feel the blues, but never for long.

So I'm saying this just to tell you that it is possible to completely change the way you experience the world. And I will add one more thing: you are very young. You are finding your place in the world, and it is quite normal for people your age to deal with these feelings. I'm not a psychiatrist, nor a psychologist for that matter, but I don't think this in itself is wrong.

If, however, you find that you engage in behaviours that are harmful to yourself (cutting yourself, injuring yourself etc.) or harmful to others (violence, etc.) then it's best to seek professional help. A psychologist/psychiatrist can help you understand how to deal with such states much faster, and if not, then they can certainly make use of medication to stop these super intense states that you have no control over. The medication can help calm down the intensity of those states, so that you can do what you have to do to recover.

Not that I'm a big fan of psychiatrists and psychologists. I ran away from two of them. The first was my psychiatrist, because she wanted to keep me on the pills. So I ran away, studied, and weened myself off them all alone. The second was my psychologist, because I felt he no longer put sufficient effort, and he wasn't guiding me in the right direction. I felt I was too competitive, and he was trying to make me less. And so I stopped going - BUT, despite this, I have to say that the year or so that I attended has helped me IMMENSELY, and I must underline this. If it wasn't for him... I don't think I would have been in a good place today. But, if you have it in you to be independent, then there comes a time when you must let go of the cane. The cane can help you walk when you're weak, but when you regain your strength, you must abandon it, and learn to deal with everything by yourself once again.

Back to topic.

These feelings are not easy to deal with, and brute force isn't usually going to work. You cannot force yourself out of depression.

What you need to do is to take a step back and understand yourself. From the way you have described yourself, it sounds to me like you are a person who has faced severe isolation (unpopular, nerdy, etc.). This is both the source of your strength and drive - you had to become like that to survive - and also the source of your depression.

And therein lies the problem.

The only happiness you know of is the happiness of crushing your enemies - rubbing it in their face. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing. I don't want to be a moralist. I have also enjoyed this, and still enjoy it sometimes (I am very competitive by nature as I said). So I'm not saying this to say that it's bad and you shouldn't do it. I'm saying it because I sense that it really is the truth.

And there is a problem with it. Namely that happiness can never be a natural state for you. It is always something that you must achieve, always something that you must find out there, in the future. And you must always have the bullies, because you have tied your identity to them. You are the one who overcomes them, who proves that she is right and they are wrong. So who are you without the bullies? Who are you without the goals?

Go into it.

Who are you without the goals?

I think this is where my mindset changed, as I'd achieved my main goal and didn't set another major goal (I had no mentor or business/entrepreneur role models as I'd always done stuff individually, so I made a lot of rookie mistakes). I continued working on my business and did alright, until I lost it.
At the moment, the way I see it, your identity is not yours. You don't know who YOU are - who you are when you drop the bullies, and the external goals. Who are you deep inside?

Find out who that girl deep inside is. Find out what she values, what she wants, what makes her tick. And to do that you MUST accept to be vulnerable. By posting this here you are beginning to do that. Honesty brings with it vulnerability, and vulnerability brings about strength. So do not be afraid to be yourself. if you feel vulnerable, say so. If you feel weak, say so. You will gain a strength most people lack - the strength of bearing one's weaknesses, one's faults, and all the rest of it. Who can bear it is strong, by definition.

Then you will learn to be happy without looking to prove them wrong and without looking to the next big goal, always running like a tired hamster on the proverbial wheel.

entrepreneurs don't need to be happy, we get our fulfilment from success.
Personally I disagree with this, even though I probably agreed with it when I was your age. Success will not bring you fulfilment. Success can be a coverup for your unhappiness. Like a drug - it can make you forget - temporarily. And then you'll start taking bad decisions, driven by your unhappiness, and you yourself will spoil your success.

Happiness is the foundation - and you don't need success to be happy. You need truth, authenticity, and a true relationship with yourself. Happiness will help you preserve and enjoy your success. Read the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. A fantastic book for the Unscripted Mindset, and for happiness.
 

ravenspear

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As a first step I would recommend Eckart Tolle's The Power of Now.

It's impossible to be depressed in the unending present.

The deeper answer is that if you are depressed it's because your life isn't what you want in some way. Search your soul and seek an answer to what that is. Once you have it, then align your values to point in that direction so you will start taking action towards it. When you can feel yourself making daily improvements in the direction you want depression goes away.
 

Matt Sun

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Two years ago i had depression too. Suicidal toughts and all. Today i'm happy guy. Very determined with my bussiness. i'm almost 29 so you got the business part much better and are much younger, congrats.
The 5 key things that got me out of depresion were:

1.I started meditating: This is great for dealing with those recurring toughts. I also learned to laugh and "contemplate my mind" when a dark tought came. And let it pass.
2. Started taking CBD oil: This is huge. It's hard to be happy when your homeostásis is poor. There is just too much toxines around in our modern world. CBD heals.
3. Started paying atention to diet, exactly to omega 3 intake. If you don't balance omega 3 and omega 6 body starts deteriorating. Most diets are in a disbalance with lots of omega 6 (meat, eggs, chicken, fish, peanut, oils, etc) and no omega 3 (chia and flax). Just eat chia seeds or flax seeds every day, it's cheap and huge help. Also I went vegan 2 years ago.
4. Work out regularly.
5. Do Yoga as often as i can.

Hapiness is the neuro quimical state of a healthy human.

What is your diet like ?
 

sparechange

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Take some time and engage in your hobbies, try martial arts maybe, for me doing some workouts makes me feel a bit better. You'll probably end up making some new friends as well.

Every boxing/judo/ whatever gym offers a free trial, give it a go if you are open to the idea. You don't need to fight anyone, it can be strictly a workout/cardio class.
 

Tammyanne

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I haven't really spoke to anyone on here about it or mentioned it to anyone but I need to hear some advice from fellow entrepreneurs as it's hard for others to relate, and I don't have a strong support network. I've dealt with persistent depression since I was young. I'm not sure why I have depression but for the most part I've felt sad for as long as I can remember.

I don't remember who (sorry!) but I resonated deeply with a comment here that entrepreneurs don't need to be happy, we get our fulfilment from success.

That said, if I think back to when I was in school and first got into entrepreneurship, my depression and discontentedness actually helped me keep going and be determined to succeed throughout my first business ventures/hustles! I was bullied a lot (unpopular nerdy girl!) but this was just another reason I had to achieve my goals.

I'd focus on the positives of my situation, that I had good skills, had an idea of how business worked, and that I had the stability of living with parents.

I'd get home in the afternoon and happily sit at my laptop for 6 hours and do a whole bunch of work. I'd try something if I thought it might make money and get me closer to my goal of moving out of my hometown, and more often than not I was actually successful! I'd simply set my mind to a goal and sit day-in-day-out at my laptop working through the required tasks.

It was pretty satisfying in my last year when my bullies wanted to know how I made money or if I had any tips for them :p

I finished school half way towards my goal and made £1800 a month from an hours work a day whilst in college. Despite often feeling depressed, I always sort of just knew what I was doing/had to do to get me to my goals.

From the age 15 to 20 when I was comfortable and doing well, I was the happiest and least depressed I'd ever been. It was easy to fill my time with work, and it was great that my work was fulfilling! The feeling of success was oh so satisfying.

After a couple more years in the digital marketing world, I achieved my goal and proudly bought my own home at 20! I think this is where my mindset changed, as I'd achieved my main goal and didn't set another major goal (I had no mentor or business/entrepreneur role models as I'd always done stuff individually, so I made a lot of rookie mistakes). I continued working on my business and did alright, until I lost it.

In January 2019, I experienced a traumatic event. An old friend once told me about something traumatic sometimes it takes your brain a while to make all those connections you once had. This is what I felt I spent most of 2019 doing, but I still don't feel as smart/talented/KNOWING as I was before.

A week later my car was totalled so I lost a lot of independence, something I had thoroughly enjoyed since achieving my goal of owning a home. I felt a loss of control but fought against those feelings and set a goal to have a car by July.

A couple of weeks later a relative died and my family, who I hadn't seen for a while, ignored me at the funeral. I didn't realise I was estranged so that broke my heart. The death, my loss of independence + business, and the traumatic event were too much.

I spent 3 months in a chronic stress response, and barely left the house. I considered ending it all but couldn't. I hoped every day I would die, but death never came, so I accepted that I have longer to live.

In May/June I set goals, and started trying to work towards them. This time though, rather than 'sort of knowing what I was doing/had to do to get me to my goals', I didn't know what to do. I failed to achieve my goal of buying a car by July. I thought I knew what to do a few times between May and October, but each time it wasn't right, my mind wasn't in it, and I didn't make any progress.

I found a short-lived side hustle in October that lasted until earlier this month, but it barely covered food and bills, and wasn't reliable. At the end of November I joined FLF and begun to see some of the errors in my way.

I was told I need to get out of my way. I've been working on being more present and thinking about how I want to feel and react to a situation. Now, when I think negative thoughts (not depressed thoughts) or begin to overthink I'm able to take a step back and catch myself almost instantly and change how I feel - it's pretty nice actually.

I'm still working on it of course, but the main issue I'm still having is dealing with depression and the thoughts I have when I feel controlled by feelings of low mood, hopelessness, low self-esteem, and lack of enjoyment from life. I can deal with regular negative thoughts better now but it's still really difficult when I feel depressed. I give it to myself that I've improved, before these feelings could take a hold for days or even weeks at a time. Now it usually lasts a few hours or less, half a day max, before I'm able to push my way through the feelings and change how I feel. Still, it just won't do

It's still almost every other day, and it makes me focus on my failures, the (sometimes) hopelessness of life, and all the external problems in my life. It affects my approach to everything, and it shows when my actions don't take me closer to my goals. I'm not sure if it's the trauma, depression, or 'poverty mindset', but I'm no longer able to make the connections in my head between where I am now, where I want to be, and what I have to do to get there.

I used to be able to think of the next step forward within half a day, or even if it was a really difficult step, within a week! What is wrong with me now? Why can't I do this any more? The only real difference is that there are more negative things and less positives in my life now than in the past, but I still have my skills.

I've been getting up early in the morning and going for a jog, listening to music I enjoy that makes me feel good, and trying to set goals, but I still struggle with dealing with depression more than I have in 10 years.

Have you ever dealt with any mental health issues that have affected your business or work? How did you get back into your stride? What advice would you give me? I'm only 22, I've spent the majority of my life depressed and I can't let it control me now. At least the next time I'm successful, I know the importance of using some of those funds to get therapy! Until then, I'm going to keep trying to work on my mental health and pushing forwards, so thanks in advance for any replies.
Thanks for sharing your story. Are you living in a location or place that brings you joy? Are your friends and associates mostly positive and add value to your friendship? Do you watch comedy? Do you realize that when you have a negative thought to stop thinking negative and change the scenario to a positive outcome. Have you had blood-work to rule out low levels of vitamin, serotonin or vitamin D etc.? Do you keep track of what types of foods you are eating that may cause this such as too much sugar or too much so called junk food?
These are some of my thoughts you have a long road thanks for reaching out :) I think it is great you listen to music you enjoy and workout get the endorphins moving. I am not sure where you live, could it also be lack of sunshine....need one of those lights that help...yes, keep trying different tactics and see if there is any cause and effect going on. Could be as simple as need more activity like something to look forward to...a trip a sport etc, avocado is a good food when you are feeling blah, breath, hang out with people whom inspire you. Some of us need more excitement in life, lack of human touch the list goes on :) Hang in there and never stop dreaming just breath and know that you are not alone and many people experience this it is all personal and different for everyone and every day is a new day to begin. Don't be so hard on yourself and of course if need be see a professional :)
 

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elusive97

elusive97

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At the moment, the way I see it, your identity is not yours. You don't know who YOU are - who you are when you drop the bullies, and the external goals. Who are you deep inside?

Find out who that girl deep inside is. Find out what she values, what she wants, what makes her tick. And to do that you MUST accept to be vulnerable. By posting this here you are beginning to do that. Honesty brings with it vulnerability, and vulnerability brings about strength. So do not be afraid to be yourself. if you feel vulnerable, say so. If you feel weak, say so. You will gain a strength most people lack - the strength of bearing one's weaknesses, one's faults, and all the rest of it. Who can bear it is strong, by definition.
Your entire message was so useful and made sense totally. I'll give it a read a few more times to really try and take it in.

As you said I need to work on my relationship with myself. That's something I've even read and just sort of assumed I was doing as I spend a lot of time in my head, but actually I'm not figuring out who I am
 
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elusive97

elusive97

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As a first step I would recommend Eckart Tolle's The Power of Now.

It's impossible to be depressed in the unending present.
I understand what you're saying and I'm embarrassed about the fact I've even read the book several years ago and now don't even remember it. I'll go back to it and give it a read with a different outlook, when I was doing good I don't think it connected.

The deeper answer is that if you are depressed it's because your life isn't what you want in some way.
I understand this, but the reason I'm depressed is the exact reason as before. I didn't have the money to do what I wanted. I guess money isn't a good enough reason any more (maybe it worked better with a younger mindset), and I need to try think of something else.

Every point seems to relate back to money for me though, e.g. what in my life isn't what I want? One of the big ones is lack of independence, which a car would help with, but you need money for a car.

Why can't I use these things that aren't how I want in my life to push me forward like I used to? Lack of independence was one of the things that kept me going and figuring ways out of my situation, but now I can't seem to and it's driving me mad. I've been thinking for months and I'm bugging myself out even as I just can't come up with the solutions and answers that in the past would be effortless.
 
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elusive97

elusive97

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Two years ago i had depression too. Suicidal toughts and all. Today i'm happy guy. Very determined with my bussiness. i'm almost 29 so you got the business part much better and are much younger, congrats.
The 5 key things that got me out of depresion were:

1.I started meditating: This is great for dealing with those recurring toughts. I also learned to laugh and "contemplate my mind" when a dark tought came. And let it pass.
2. Started taking CBD oil: This is huge. It's hard to be happy when your homeostásis is poor. There is just too much toxines around in our modern world. CBD heals.
3. Started paying atention to diet, exactly to omega 3 intake. If you don't balance omega 3 and omega 6 body starts deteriorating. Most diets are in a disbalance with lots of omega 6 (meat, eggs, chicken, fish, peanut, oils, etc) and no omega 3 (chia and flax). Just eat chia seeds or flax seeds every day, it's cheap and huge help. Also I went vegan 2 years ago.
4. Work out regularly.
5. Do Yoga as often as i can.

Hapiness is the neuro quimical state of a healthy human.

What is your diet like ?
Thanks for the advice, I'll definitely be checking back and taking into account these points.

In terms of diet I eat a lot of meat, an ok amount of of greens and veg, but you're right that I'll be missing out on stuff like seeds. I never ever eat anything like that!
 
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elusive97

elusive97

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Thanks for sharing your story. Are you living in a location or place that brings you joy? Are your friends and associates mostly positive and add value to your friendship? Do you watch comedy? Do you realize that when you have a negative thought to stop thinking negative and change the scenario to a positive outcome. Have you had blood-work to rule out low levels of vitamin, serotonin or vitamin D etc.? Do you keep track of what types of foods you are eating that may cause this such as too much sugar or too much so called junk food?
These are some of my thoughts you have a long road thanks for reaching out :) I think it is great you listen to music you enjoy and workout get the endorphins moving. I am not sure where you live, could it also be lack of sunshine....need one of those lights that help...yes, keep trying different tactics and see if there is any cause and effect going on. Could be as simple as need more activity like something to look forward to...a trip a sport etc, avocado is a good food when you are feeling blah, breath, hang out with people whom inspire you. Some of us need more excitement in life, lack of human touch the list goes on :) Hang in there and never stop dreaming just breath and know that you are not alone and many people experience this it is all personal and different for everyone and every day is a new day to begin. Don't be so hard on yourself and of course if need be see a professional :)
No, I'm not living in a place that brings joy. I honestly don't have any local friends and I'm determined to create a social life when I move.

I understand your points, but as @ravenspear said, I am depressed because my life isn't what I want.

I'm unhappy because I live in an unfinished house, I'm depressed because I don't have the money to move forward, I sometimes feel hopeless as even working towards finding an investor now, it's so far out of my comfort zone that I have constant stress and anxiety.

I miss my independence, but it relies on the above working out, so I can have financial security again and buy a car.

I miss socialising but my friends are professionals who enjoy doing things that cost money, so again it comes back to money.

My past experience confuses me so much as I had some of the same problems yet I was always able to come up with solutions and feel ok most of the time. Now I feel less than ok most of the time, and I can't come up with solutions any more. Or I can't afford them, which just makes my depression and hopelessness worse :(
 

Tiger TT

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I had a lot of depression and stress last year. It was the worst year of my life. These two books helped me a lot:

Full Catastrophe Living - Jon Kabat Zinn

Wherever You Go, There You Are - Jon Kabat Zinn
 
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elusive97

elusive97

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I had a lot of depression and stress last year. It was the worst year of my life. These two books helped me a lot:

Full Catastrophe Living - Jon Kabat Zinn

Wherever You Go, There You Are - Jon Kabat Zinn
Has your 2019 been better? I'm confident 2020 will be, and that I'll make it so, but damn it doesn't make this awful year any better!

Thanks for the reading recommendations, I'll be checking those out :)
 

BellaPippin

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Well here goes me:

I can relate to the "when I was younger I'd just work" it doesn't sound like you were *really* depressed at that time. Really as in "diagnosis worthy". Depression isn't always feeling sad. It can also feel like there's no point in anything. "what am I having today for dinner? ..meh" *eats a string cheese* Arrive from work and say "cool, I have the rest of the day for myself ...meh" *goes to sleep* I can also relate to that feeling that you lost all neuronal connections that once made you "who you were" and nowadays it takes you triple the effort to do the same things and you feel dumb or slow or w.e. That sounds more like depression in my book.

I've been diagnosed with MDD and GAD around two years ago. The anxiety came from my mom's side of the family, but also from being in toxic environments that really brew both conditions to the point of also suicidal thoughts. My meds help me manage it, especially the acute anxiety symptoms (I get startled by the most ridiculous crap and get random chest pains). If they make you feel numb or blank it's just not the right one, gotta adjust, it's like birth control. Try again. Therapy slowly lifted me up to a great spot. Therapists call you out on all those negative thoughts you may have. If your heart is really on getting better, you can see it immediately: your thinking is your own enemy. Eventually you start incorporating the better thinking and things get better little by little. I can tell now when I'm just telling myself some dumb crap based on nothing just because my default is pessimism or when I take someone's comment too personally or give it a meaning it doesn't have (maybe not immediately, but I do.)

Find a class of a hobby you like and join it. Nothing like having real conversations with people who are as interested in ______ as you. If you ask me, your "socializing" element should come most from there, then from other sources like other friends etc. I made a friend at one of the painting classes and now we get together to have coffee and damn I leave so pumped and with ideas and so satisfied intellectually speaking. Also as we get closer it's just someone else in my life that is a good influence and support, but ALSO knows what I'm talking about when I speak about my hobby. Idk but it makes my heart feel so much bigger and strong.

As much as I hate to say it yes, exercise. Find a way to make it as engaging as you can. For me it's sports. I'm competitive. I was never as engaged since my volleyball days as when I joined the MMA class a few years ago, which I had to leave because of commute restrictions. Tried to swim, tried to lift... I hate it. My mind has to be on winning/completing the objective, not the workout required. Get your blood pumping somehow. Find how.

Self care, self care, self care. Oh, and self care. For me is painting, staying at home with my pets, with some lo-fi on the background, and recharging the whole day. Picking up around the house. Paying a visit to the art supply store and other walks by myself, running errands for myself, making my home look like my home.

Be nice to yourself. You won't always be the type of hustler you see in some threads here. Just like everyone's happy posts on Instagram make you feel bad, that will make you feel bad too. Disconnect and avoid comparison. When you feel like a failure think what you would say to a friend who's telling you about it. The answer is always way more compassionate than what you would normally think about yourself. For some of us moonlighting just doesn't happen. It just doesn't. We can still get there, slower. So what. Get there slower.

If you do a bit every day so be it. Some days you just wanna go to the movies. Don't follow a plan to the point that you cannot emotionally deal with any changes and think everything went to hell (that's me).

Avoid sugar highs/crashes. So eat well enough. On the other hand, the occasional Tiramisu cake slice gets a smile out of me. LOL

Journal. I skip days a lot. Doesn't matter, keep doing it. Sometimes I fill a page with "UGHs", that counts as journaling. Sometimes it's a big brain dump, sometimes is a big todo list, sometimes it's "The BellaPippin Manifesto On Why I Want To Live To 110 y/o" and sometimes it's a monologue about how angry I am at myself because of A, B C, and D and I make myself promise I'm not gonna do those again. Everything counts just fill a couple pages as often as you can.

When you hit a low tell yourself it's temporary, because it is. Everything passes. In the meantime, self care.

DM me anytime you need or wanna chat, these are just a few off the top of my head.
 
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CaptainAmerica

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I told my doctor the basics and they were like "is that all you're stressed about?" so I didn't get it all out.
Step 1: get a new doctor

There's tons of good advice, but you've got to deal with the physical/chemical issues first. See a better doctor, take medicine, go for walks, meditate, exercise, eat better.... THEN do an assessment.

I hate depression. It consumed me for almost 4 years, I can't imagine what you're dealing with. I'm sorry anyone has to address it, but for most of us, there are ways to treat it that make it a smaller influence.
 

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Almantas

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I'll try to be as short and to the point as possible.

First of all, I have been dealing with all kinds of destructive thoughts and emotions you can imagine. I tried to analyze them, by looking back to my childhood traumas and coming up with various solutions. In fact, I read literally like hundreds of books on psychology and depression, how to overcome it, etc.

Here is my nugget findings:

1)
Depression is caused by living in the past. Especially when it comes to regrets or childhood traumas/experiences.

2) Anxiety is caused by living in the future with a fear in a heart. Being afraid of what is yet to come.

3) The only place you can find rest in (and the only place you should be) is present. Remember - you can't have two birds in a single hand. If you remain in present, there will be no place for depression nor anxiety.

Some more advice tips:

  • Don't compare yourself to others. Everybody has a different walk to walk. It is very easy to fall into a dreamland fantasy by comparing your reality to most people's 'fantasy show' displayed on social media or by believing what they say - most people feel insecure to open up.
  • Be happy for what you have. Embrace the present. Embrace the fact that you are alive and have been given an opportunity to make a change in this wonderful world of ours. Even if you help a single person - it is already an achievement in itself. You helped two? That's even better. You should be proud of doing something that helps others and if you happen to cause someone stress, don't overthink it - apologize for it, adjust your behavior and move forward.
REMEMBER - YOU ARE NOT A VICTIM OF DEPRESSION. DEPRESSION IS LIKE A FLU - IT COMES AND GOES. YOU ARE NOT DEPRESSED/DEPRESSING. YOUR THOUGHTS ARE. YOUR THOUGHTS AND YOU ARE TWO SEPARATE PARTS THAT ARE INTERCONNECTED. YOU ARE NOT DEPRESSED. CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS TO CHANGE YOUR MINDSET.

Hope it helps.
 

WJK

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I haven't really spoke to anyone on here about it or mentioned it to anyone but I need to hear some advice from fellow entrepreneurs as it's hard for others to relate, and I don't have a strong support network. I've dealt with persistent depression since I was young. I'm not sure why I have depression but for the most part I've felt sad for as long as I can remember.

I don't remember who (sorry!) but I resonated deeply with a comment here that entrepreneurs don't need to be happy, we get our fulfilment from success.

That said, if I think back to when I was in school and first got into entrepreneurship, my depression and discontentedness actually helped me keep going and be determined to succeed throughout my first business ventures/hustles! I was bullied a lot (unpopular nerdy girl!) but this was just another reason I had to achieve my goals.

I'd focus on the positives of my situation, that I had good skills, had an idea of how business worked, and that I had the stability of living with parents.

I'd get home in the afternoon and happily sit at my laptop for 6 hours and do a whole bunch of work. I'd try something if I thought it might make money and get me closer to my goal of moving out of my hometown, and more often than not I was actually successful! I'd simply set my mind to a goal and sit day-in-day-out at my laptop working through the required tasks.

It was pretty satisfying in my last year when my bullies wanted to know how I made money or if I had any tips for them :p

I finished school half way towards my goal and made £1800 a month from an hours work a day whilst in college. Despite often feeling depressed, I always sort of just knew what I was doing/had to do to get me to my goals.

From the age 15 to 20 when I was comfortable and doing well, I was the happiest and least depressed I'd ever been. It was easy to fill my time with work, and it was great that my work was fulfilling! The feeling of success was oh so satisfying.

After a couple more years in the digital marketing world, I achieved my goal and proudly bought my own home at 20! I think this is where my mindset changed, as I'd achieved my main goal and didn't set another major goal (I had no mentor or business/entrepreneur role models as I'd always done stuff individually, so I made a lot of rookie mistakes). I continued working on my business and did alright, until I lost it.

In January 2019, I experienced a traumatic event. An old friend once told me about something traumatic sometimes it takes your brain a while to make all those connections you once had. This is what I felt I spent most of 2019 doing, but I still don't feel as smart/talented/KNOWING as I was before.

A week later my car was totalled so I lost a lot of independence, something I had thoroughly enjoyed since achieving my goal of owning a home. I felt a loss of control but fought against those feelings and set a goal to have a car by July.

A couple of weeks later a relative died and my family, who I hadn't seen for a while, ignored me at the funeral. I didn't realise I was estranged so that broke my heart. The death, my loss of independence + business, and the traumatic event were too much.

I spent 3 months in a chronic stress response, and barely left the house. I considered ending it all but couldn't. I hoped every day I would die, but death never came, so I accepted that I have longer to live.

In May/June I set goals, and started trying to work towards them. This time though, rather than 'sort of knowing what I was doing/had to do to get me to my goals', I didn't know what to do. I failed to achieve my goal of buying a car by July. I thought I knew what to do a few times between May and October, but each time it wasn't right, my mind wasn't in it, and I didn't make any progress.

I found a short-lived side hustle in October that lasted until earlier this month, but it barely covered food and bills, and wasn't reliable. At the end of November I joined FLF and begun to see some of the errors in my way.

I was told I need to get out of my way. I've been working on being more present and thinking about how I want to feel and react to a situation. Now, when I think negative thoughts (not depressed thoughts) or begin to overthink I'm able to take a step back and catch myself almost instantly and change how I feel - it's pretty nice actually.

I'm still working on it of course, but the main issue I'm still having is dealing with depression and the thoughts I have when I feel controlled by feelings of low mood, hopelessness, low self-esteem, and lack of enjoyment from life. I can deal with regular negative thoughts better now but it's still really difficult when I feel depressed. I give it to myself that I've improved, before these feelings could take a hold for days or even weeks at a time. Now it usually lasts a few hours or less, half a day max, before I'm able to push my way through the feelings and change how I feel. Still, it just won't do

It's still almost every other day, and it makes me focus on my failures, the (sometimes) hopelessness of life, and all the external problems in my life. It affects my approach to everything, and it shows when my actions don't take me closer to my goals. I'm not sure if it's the trauma, depression, or 'poverty mindset', but I'm no longer able to make the connections in my head between where I am now, where I want to be, and what I have to do to get there.

I used to be able to think of the next step forward within half a day, or even if it was a really difficult step, within a week! What is wrong with me now? Why can't I do this any more? The only real difference is that there are more negative things and less positives in my life now than in the past, but I still have my skills.

I've been getting up early in the morning and going for a jog, listening to music I enjoy that makes me feel good, and trying to set goals, but I still struggle with dealing with depression more than I have in 10 years.

Have you ever dealt with any mental health issues that have affected your business or work? How did you get back into your stride? What advice would you give me? I'm only 22, I've spent the majority of my life depressed and I can't let it control me now. At least the next time I'm successful, I know the importance of using some of those funds to get therapy! Until then, I'm going to keep trying to work on my mental health and pushing forwards, so thanks in advance for any replies.
So, you're having a rough patch. Success is NOT linear. Like my friend says, "You can't have salt without pepper."
So, your family snubbed you... did you ever think they might be jealous?
So, you wrecked your car. Now you know that you need to save the money to be able to buy another one whenever you need one. When you get on your feet, save that money in your emergency fund. That's the real lesson here.
So, you've had some business setbacks. You still have the skills. Use them. Do it again.
So, you feel depressed. Let yourself feel those feelings for 5 minutes. Acknowledge them. Write about them in your journal. Depression is usually a self-anger. What's underneath the depressed feelings? Why are you mad at yourself? What can you do better next time? How do you need to change your life?
So, you've holed up at home. Get out and help somebody else. There's always someone in worse shape than you. The comparison will cheer you up.
So, you haven't met your goal of buying a new car. Did you hit any of your benchmarks within that goal? What baby steps did you take every day to make it happen? What do you need to do now to fulfill that goal?

And here the big one. You have the right to re-write your life's story. Put a different spin on things. Be the victor and the hero. They always get to write the history books while the rest of the world stands around watching. By re-writing your life's story, you can change how you see yourself and the world around you.

Your feelings of depression are your inner self telling you that you need to reflect on your life and make changes. That does NOT mean completely changes everything in one swoop. Making a few tiny changes does change everything over time.
 
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elusive97

elusive97

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So, you're having a rough patch. Success is NOT linear. Like my friend says, "You can't have salt without pepper."
So, your family snubbed you... did you ever think they might be jealous?
So, you wrecked your car. Now you know that you need to save the money to be able to buy another one whenever you need one. When you get on your feet, save that money in your emergency fund. That's the real lesson here.
So, you've had some business setbacks. You still have the skills. Use them. Do it again.
So, you feel depressed. Let yourself feel those feelings for 5 minutes. Acknowledge them. Write about them in your journal. Depression is usually a self-anger. What's underneath the depressed feelings? Why are you mad at yourself? What can you do better next time? How do you need to change your life?
So, you've holed up at home. Get out and help somebody else. There's always someone in worse shape than you. The comparison will cheer you up.
So, you haven't met your goal of buying a new car. Did you hit any of your benchmarks within that goal? What baby steps did you take every day to make it happen? What do you need to do now to fulfill that goal?

And here the big one. You have the right to re-write your life's story. Put a different spin on things. Be the victor and the hero. They always get to write the history books while the rest of the world stands around watching. By re-writing your life's story, you can change how you see yourself and the world around you.

Your feelings of depression are your inner self telling you that you need to reflect on your life and make changes. That does NOT mean completely changes everything in one swoop. Making a few tiny changes does change everything over time.
Totally feel what you're saying! Honestly just since making this post and the helpful replies like this one, I've been making those little changes and feeling better about things moving forward
 

WJK

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Totally feel what you're saying! Honestly just since making this post and the helpful replies like this one, I've been making those little changes and feeling better about things moving forward
Good for you. Get up. Get on with your life. Do something -- even if it doesn't work. Nothing happens until you make that decision to move forward and then take the first step!
 
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elusive97

elusive97

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Good for you. Get up. Get on with your life. Do something -- even if it doesn't work. Nothing happens until you make that decision to move forward and then take the first step!
Exactly. Getting up out of bed in the morning is easier now I'm not only taking the first step(s) but also moving past them and feeling good about it!
 
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elusive97

elusive97

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Things have continued to get better and I feel A LOT better in myself. I barely feel depressed. I'm able to control my anxious thoughts much better and overall feel happier.

I still have a continuous deeply unhappy feeling as I'm still working for less than £5/hr when I need to make money to pay the bills, but I'm just a few months of being free of this so I'm keeping it together. It still hurts so much, regardless of it nearing it's end.

I'm working on not feeling resentment towards myself for letting it get this bad last year, but I can't not be upset when I work 4 hours for £15, when I'm sitting on a business that - even if my figures are off and my expectations are way too high, will make me a few thousand a month.

I'm tired just wanted to update for anyone feeling the same way - things HAVE gotten better and I'm confident they will continue to!
 

BellaPippin

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Glad things are going well. I understand the burnout, it felt like that at one point when I was working two jobs AND taking college classes. Hang in there if it's about to end. Just hang in there. You will be so glad that you did. Looking back on my associates damn I cried blood sometimes but I did it and I'm done with it, it's there. If I ever decide to study something that interests me I can transfer those, and if I need a job it ups my chances over only a high-school degree. So just hang in there, it's the last stretch you can do it! I'm rooting for you.
 

Matt Sun

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I'm happy to know you are doing well.
It would be a great value if you share any new habit that helped you improve.
 

Jon L

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Sounds like you're doing better? That's good. But, be careful with it. If you've been depressed for a while, the depression can creep back in. I was diagnosed dysthymic in my 20's and have dealt with depression most of my life. I'm now 45.

I hate people that recommend books, but I'm going to recommend one for you. This one is different, I promise.

Feeling Good by David Burns

What's different about this? They have done actual studies with this book, testing its effectiveness. Here's an example. They divided depressed patients into three groups:
Group 1: Came in for counseling for depression, were told they had no appointments for 30 days, but here's a book to read
Group 2: Came in for counseling, were set up immediately with a therapist
Group 3: Came in for counseling, and were put on meds

Group 1 made the most improvement. Most of the patients didn't end up coming in for counseling. They followed up in a year and the vast majority of people continued to not be depressed. The ones that weren't depressed said that they referred back to the book on occasion when they started feeling down.

The book is a self-guided workshop where you learn how to apply cognitive behavioral therapy to your depression. CBT is the gold-standard in depression treatment. The book itself is very easy to read, engaging, and uses a lot of common sense type things that really work.

I've read it, and its made a huge impact.

The overall theme of the book is this: our thoughts *create* our emotions. It walks you through how to identify the negative thoughts you're having, and then shows you how to counteract them.

You sound like you're doing this pretty well, but you need to head off future episodes. This book will help with that. I promise.
 

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