Two years ago, I wrote an article about depression and entrepreneurship. Looking back, nothing much has changed. Every now and then, I still get bouts of depression because of the challenges I face. But somehow it’s comforting to know that I’m not alone in this struggle.

Depression is a leading cause of ill health and disability in many countries all over the world. It is the most common mental health problem worldwide, with an estimated 300 million people suffering from it. Without the proper assistance, depression can lead to more complications, and ultimately death by suicide. In fact, suicide was the second leading cause of death among 15 to 29-year-olds around the world in 2015.

We Filipinos rarely talk about mental health and depression. Often, we brush it aside as just a ‘phase’ or a ‘feeling’. But in recent studies, approximately 3.3 Million Filipinos suffer from anxiety and depressive disorders. And only one in three cases usually asks for professional help.

But what’s most alarming is, depression in children seem to be increasing in number too. Children as young ten and twelve years old have been noted to die by suicide.

Unlike depression in adults, it can be difficult to spot in children and teenagers. So here are some telltale signs that your child is suffering from depression according to Psychology Today:

  • Frequent vague, nonspecific physical complaints such as headaches, muscle aches, stomach aches, or tiredness
  • Frequent absence from school or poor performance in school
  • Talk of or efforts to run away from home
  • Outbursts of shouting, complaining, unexplained irritability, or crying
  • Being bored
  • Lack of interest in playing with friends
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Social isolation, poor communication
  • Fear of death
  • Extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure
  • Increased irritability, anger, or hostility
  • Reckless behavior
  • Difficulty with relationships

There are many factors that may cause depression. Research shows that it might likely result from a combination of genetic, biochemical, environmental, and psychological factors.

Some types of depression run in families. Trauma, loss of a loved one, difficult relationships and other stressful situations can also trigger depressive episodes. And other depressive episodes can also happen without any outside factors triggering it.

But the good thing is, depression is a treatable disorder even in the most extreme cases.And getting the right treatment starts with seeing the right doctor. The earlier the treatment can begin, the better and more effective it will be. It can also prevent the episodes from recurring.

Awareness is crucial in providing help and support for both the child and the family. And acknowledging the illness also demystifies and removes the stigma around it.

It’s also vital to surround yourself with the right support groups to help you through the darkest times.

To help alleviate the cases of depression in the country, Globe Telecoms created Hopeline 2919, a 24/7 toll-free suicide prevention hotline in 2012.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=773671016154757&id=171854589669739

The goal is to assist and support callers in crisis due to depression or suicide issues. It also provides support for callers who are not necessarily in immediate crisis but may need help to prevent it from occurring or escalating.

In its first year alone, Hopeline 2919 has received 14,000 calls relating to depression, suicidal thoughts, and relationship problems.

It’s awesome that Globe has Hopeline 2919, a campaign that hopes to remove the stigma that surrounds depression. Through the helpline, Globe Telecom continues to support the Department of Health’s goal in promoting mental health awareness in the Philippines.

As parents, we have a huge responsibility and opportunity to ensure our children’s emotional state. That’s why we need to watch out for telltale signs of depression before it gets worse.

With that said, I’d like to ask for your help in sharing this post on social media to help spread the awareness about mental health and depression. Share it with moms, dads, and anyone who needs help.

Because all lives matter.

#SeeYouTomorrow #HOPELINE2919

Do you feel like things are finally calming down after the craziness of the holidays? I mentioned some of the things that got me down toward the end of the year in an earlier blog post—but these same things also reminded me how important it is to choose joy and to keep choosing it. Depression is a real thing, and people who are fighting it need all the support that they can get. Let’s do our part to promote joyful habits!

Of course, choosing JOY is easier said than done. But I’m sure there are ways to make sure choosing happiness becomes an easy, even habitual process. So I came up with a few ideas for moms to try, some of which will bring joy on their own, but others will make taking time and choosing joy much, much easier despite a busy schedule. Maybe we should try them together!

Schedule a monthly “me” day

Mommies wear so many hats and split our time between so many things—our families, partners, careers, household, hobbies, and more—that it’s all too easy to forget to make time for ourselves. Yet it’s super important that we recharge and re-inspire ourselves, all the better to face all those other things with minimum stress and maximum grace. So ideally, take an hour for yourself every day, or a few hours every week. But also make sure to take a full day at least once a month. And offer daddy the opportunity to do the same!

Insure for the future

One thing that drives me as a parent—but also occasionally is a stress inducer—is the idea of what my family do should we encounter difficult times. Or worse, if I’m not there to help them. So while you might not think it’s particularly “joyful” to dwell on those kinds of “what ifs,” if you put plans in place now to make sure your family is taken care of, no matter what, I think you’ll find it’s a burden off your shoulders. Don’t just look into insurance, but also into educational plans for your children and other investments for the future.

Work on a scrapbook or journal for your child

One thing every parent I know always mentions is how fast our kids grow up. So one great thing would be to take the time to document your child’s childhood. Compile photos, drawings, poems, greeting cards, and more into one collection. The process of journaling or scrapbooking for your child won’t just help you appreciate the memories more now and later, but it’ll be something special to gift them in the future.

Share a hobby with your child

Biking time with my little one!

Again, kids grow up so fast! So spend some quality time with them—and take the opportunity to help them find something to be passionate about—by taking up a hobby you can share. This can be anything from cooking and baking to arts and crafts to reading books to… well, whatever you want! For example, I think I’m having even more fun with and am more of a fan of Zeeka’s YouTube channel than she is, and I love that we are both vloggers of a sort!

Get involved with a parental network

There comes a time in parents’ lives when the biggest help they can get is from other parents. Whether that’s from creating a kiddie carpool, arranging playdates, getting yaya referrals, and more, your parenting network can be a godsend. And if you don’t have one yet, why not organize one with your mommy gal pals? Some things you might want to maintain include a phone tree (for those “walang pasok” alerts!), a baon round robin group (where one family is in charge of the day’s baon), “babysitting” duty swapping (for those “me” days you need monthly), and so on.

Have any other recommendations to promote joyful habits? Leave a comment to share, please! And if you try any of the above and have things work out for you, please share your story. I’d love to hear all about the ways you’re making room for happiness in your life.

Entrepreneurship is not always a bed of roses. Depression sometimes comes and haunts you.

I don’t mean to be such a downer. For the past week though, I haven’t been able to sleep well. I guess it’s because of the plans in my head and all the strategies that I have to implement. I know it’s the season to be jolly, but yet what December means for a lot of us Entrepreneurs is one, to look back at the year that had past; two, to close books, end ‘some’ relationships that weren’t really beneficial to our business; and, three, to strategize, prepare and get ready for the coming year. These things may seem as simple as 1..2..3, but the fact remains, that it isn’t as easy as 1..2..3.

Entrepreneurship and Depression

I’ve been thinking a lot lately and it doesn’t help that I have this bad cold today. I have been feeling a little bit depressed lately. I’m not the type who shares being ‘down’ with people. I don’t even share it with the people I love. I think that they already have too much going on. I just write about my feelings. That’s the reason why I think i’m addicted to Medium now, because I could feel the raw, unedited emotions of the writers in that platform. Writing relaxes me, so I hope you won’t mind the tone of this post. I don’t think it will go viral anyway.

Today, I googled depression and entrepreneurship and I got more than 1.6MM results. I thought that maybe, Google probably included articles that that discussed depression and entrepreneurship separately, but alas, for the first 10 pages at least, it was really about entrepreneurs struggling to overcome depression and how depression is such a common thing among entrepreneurs. I never thought that this thing could be so prevalent in this industry. I hang out with a lot of startups, entrepreneurs and I have a lot of business partners, clients, etc. who are just starting their businesses or who have been handling their businesses for a few years already, and no one has ever mentioned this. I wondered why this is so, and the first thing that I thought about and got to validate after reading some of the articles online is that entrepreneurs are scared that people may see this as a sign of weakness. Another probable reason is that entrepreneurs think that people won’t understand. These entrepreneurs think that people already don’t get what they do, so how would they even be able to understand how or what they’re feeling.

In a span of an hour, I have read over 10 articles online stating that depression amongst entrepreneurs is real and it exists. Usually, people think that it’s just during the brink of failure, but it’s also during times of growth and expansion. And a lot of these cases of depression amongst the entrepreneurs are kept hidden from the world. Why? Because most of us have that untarnished idea in our minds that entrepreneurs like Elon Musk are superheroes. And this perception cuts across local entrepreneurial ‘idols’, too. Even I had my doubts of releasing this article, because I’m scared of being branded as weak and incapable.

But why did I still release this. Simple. People should know that entrepreneurs like me, even if we make things happen, we are human. Even if we seem like relentless creatures, we still feel. We have feelings of sadness, disappointment, pain, sorrow and yes, weakness. We fall in love with an idea and get obsessed with it. We get jealous and envious, too. We sometimes act irrational, too. If we fall, we will get up to a new day, fighting like nothing brought us down, and if we falter again, we will still stand up and try again the day after, but that doesn’t mean that we did not feel the pain of falling, of failing, of losing.

I won’t sugar coat anything. I will say this and I will not regret that I said this, and I may even use it in one of my talks in the future. The life of an entrepreneur sucks big time, but it is that suckiness that makes us stronger. Yes, I believe all those articles that say that depression is evident in the world of entrepreneurship, and I think it’s because these people are those who go against what is considered to be normal. Entrepreneurship and going for the dreams that you have even with the lack of resources, take a great deal of courage to do.

So if you are an entrepreneur who’s reading this, if you are struggling to break free from a feeling of depression that envelopes you, if you are desperately trying to hold on to a dream that’s being tested, if your goals and ambitions are being questioned by loved ones, if your path seems unclear and uncertain, and if you are trying to find peace and clarity for a solid and stronger 2016, you are not alone. We can do this.

From a fellow entrepreneur,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

 

 

 

 

PS. I am seriously considering becoming a listener in this site http://www.7cups.com/

PPS. Another nice article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/chrismyers/2015/07/23/entrepreneurs-dont-lose-yourself-to-depression/