Entrepreneurs a.k.a., self-starters, tend to be viewed in a romantic, idealized way. The jet setters of the world who live a charmed life with all their minions doing their bidding. If only that were the case. 90% + of businesses fail, and half of all companies fail by the third year. The statistics are none too flattering for business owners. It’s often a story of failure, not a story of success. All of this pressure places a tremendous mental health burden on business owners.
Today, we’re going to take a look at three broad categories of mental health disorders that entrepreneurs are susceptible to, including GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder), MDD (Major Depressive Disorder), and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).
Next, we’ll evaluate the treatment options, including traditional medication (antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds), therapy, surgical options for mental health disorders, and non-surgical treatments like Deep TMS“™ ” and rTMS treatment.
GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder)
As its name suggests, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is characterized by excessive worry and anxiety that is difficult to control. In addition, people with GAD may experience irritability, muscle tension, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and sleep disturbance. These symptoms can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life and can make it difficult to function at work or in social situations.
The good news is that GAD is treatable.
The first step is to visit a mental health professional to get a diagnosis. Once diagnosed, several treatment options are available, including medication, therapy, and self-care strategies. Medication for GAD includes anti-anxiety drugs and antidepressants. Therapy options include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which has been shown to be effective in treating GAD. Finally, self-care strategies that can help manage symptoms include exercise, relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation, and getting adequate sleep.
MDD (Major Depressive Disorder)
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a serious mental illness characterized by persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy. Other symptoms of MDD include:
- Changes in appetite or weight.
- Sleep disturbances.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt.
- Thoughts of death or suicide.
MDD can profoundly impact an individual’s ability to function at work or school and can negatively affect relationships with family and friends.
Like GAD, MDD is treatable. Treatment for MDD typically includes:
- Medication (antidepressants).
- Therapy (CBT, Deep TMS, or interpersonal therapy).
- A combination of the two.
Antidepressants are often prescribed for people with MDD because they can help relieve some of the symptoms associated with the disorder.
CBT focuses on helping people change negative thinking patterns and behaviors that contribute to depression. Interpersonal therapy focuses on assisting people in improving communication skills and resolving conflicts within relationships that may be contributing to depressive episodes.
OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental illness characterized by obsessions (recurrent, intrusive thoughts) and compulsions (repetitive behaviors or mental acts that are performed in an attempt to relieve anxiety).
OCD can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life and can interfere with work, school, and personal relationships. Symptoms of OCD can include excessive hand-washing, checking behaviors, ordering or symmetry compulsions, and repetitive counting.
Like GAD and MDD, OCD is treatable. The first step is to visit a mental health professional to get a diagnosis. Once diagnosed, several treatment options are available for OCD, including medication (antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications), therapy (CBT or Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy), and self-care strategies.
Medication can help reduce the symptoms of OCD, but it is not a cure. Instead, CBT helps people learn how to manage their obsessions and compulsions through exposure therapy (facing your fears) and response prevention (refraining from compulsive behaviors).
ERP is particularly effective in treating OCD. Self-care strategies for managing OCD include relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation, exercise, and adequate sleep.
Surgical Options for Mental Health Disorders
In some cases, medication and therapy are not enough to relieve the symptoms of mental illness. In these cases, patients may consider surgical options.
The two most common types of surgery for mental health disorders are electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and deep brain stimulation (DBS). ECT is a treatment for severe depression that involves passing an electric current through the brain to induce a seizure.
ECT is effective in treating depression. Still, it can have side effects such as memory loss and confusion. DBS is a treatment for OCD and other psychiatric disorders that involves implanting electrodes in the brain to deliver electrical stimulation. DBS effectively reduces the symptoms of OCD, but it is a relatively new procedure, and there is still much unknown about its long-term risks and benefits.
In addition to medication, therapy, and surgery, several other treatments are available for mental health disorders. These include transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and Deep TMS, ketamine-assisted psychotherapy, mindfulness-based therapies, and omega-3 supplements.
TMS is a non-invasive treatment that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. FDA-cleared Deep TMS, a major upgrade of the original rTMS, is highly effective in treating depression, anxious depression, and OCD.
Deep TMS and rTMS Treatments
Deep TMS is an altogether unique approach to dealing with mental health disorders. Deep TMS an FDA-cleared non-surgical TMS treatment for OCD and other mental health disorders. Standard TMS or rTMS treatment is similar to Deep TMS. Still, it is not as targeted and certainly doesn’t go as deep as ‘Deep TMS’ to focus on the problematic areas of the brain thought to be responsible for specific mental health disorders.
Standard rTMS utilizes a figure-8 coil, but Deep TMS uses a patented H-coil held inside a padded helmet. This design and functionality greatly enhance its targeting abilities and its efficacy.
Ketamine, Mindfulness, and Omega-3 Treatments
Ketamine is a medication that has been found to be effective in treating depression when used in conjunction with psychotherapy. Mindfulness-based therapies involve training people to focus on the present moment without judgment or reactivity. Mindfulness-based treatments have been found to help treat anxiety and depression. Omega-3 supplements are a type of fatty acid that has been shown to improve mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
If you are a business owner or you know a business owner who is struggling with a mental health disorder, there are many resources available to help. These include the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), and the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF).