I have a habit of turning my clients into business friends. I like people and I like relationships. It’s no wonder than, that once trust and respect is established that they open up to me.

Last year, I had eight of my clients, in a space of six months, admit that they’d been suffering from depression or had suffered. Now those who are running a business will know that business in itself presents enough challenges, adding personal challenges on top of that makes business all that more harder. The impact on business is usually a negative thing. It can be debilitating disease of extremes from thoughts (and actions) of suicide, to not being able to get out of bed in the morning, to function amongst society but with constant internally struggle.

If you notice any behavioral changes that last for more than two weeks in yourself, a family members, friends or business colleagues, then it is worth asking if the person is okay.

The Beyond Blue website (http://www.beyondblue.org.au) are developing e-learning courses to help people understand and recognise symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Beyond Blue list the following common behaviors, associated with depression, if they occur for two weeks or more:

  • moodiness that is out of character
  • increased irritability and frustration
  • finding it hard to take minor personal criticisms
  • spending less time with friends and family
  • loss of interest in food, sex, exercise or other pleasurable activities
  • being awake throughout the night
  • increased alcohol and drug use
  • staying home from work or school
  • increased physical health complaints like fatigue or pain
  • being reckless or taking unnecessary risks (e.g. driving fast or dangerously)
  • slowing down of thoughts and actions.

This is for those of you that are or have suffered from depression – know that you’re not alone. There are many more than you think that are suffering or have suffered too. Seek others to talk too who’ll understand, whether it’s a best friend or professional help. Being silent only adds to the internal pain your going through.

Whether you suffer, have suffered or know someone who has find out more by getting a free DVD and Resource Kit designed to help look after not only your own mental health and wellbeing, but employees and friends by visiting the University of Tasmania website www.businessinmind.edu.au. It’s specifically designed for smaller businesses and NGOs who often struggle to find time and money to access the supports that many bigger companies have access too.

The Business in Mind website states their DVD and Resource Kit will:

  • help managers recognise the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety in themselves and their employees
  • provides strategies to improve the way individuals and organisations cope with the impacts of poor mental health and stress
  • be engaging, by including real-life examples from business owners and managers*
  • provide information from experts in organisational and clinical psychology, medical and business sectors
  • Although the above websites are Australian based they still provide relevant information for our international readers.

Don’t go it alone. Seek the help you need as it will make all the difference to your life.