In this important, raw and honest solo episode, we discuss a topic that should be talked about everyday but in reality, is never given too much attention. I share the story of my own struggles with depression and anxiety as a business owner, mom, wife, and friend and, hopefully, give you the right encouragement and tips to reach out for help if you are struggling too.
Important Links Mentioned in the Show:
Prefer to read How I Manage a Business with Depression and Anxiety? Here’s the transcript:
You’re listening to the Business and Life Conversations podcast, with Angela Henderson, episode 25.
Hey there, you’re listening to the Business and Life Conversations podcast, my name is Angela Henderson, and on this show, we talk about improving your business, life or both. By having amazing and rich conversations with brilliant guests. Who will inspire you and who will give you tips and tricks, to help you grow both in life and in business.
Well, hey there and welcome back to another amazing episode of Business and Life Conversations podcast and I’m your host, Angela from Angela Henderson Consulting. Today’s podcast will be a solo episode. It will be a raw episode but an episode that needs to happen. A conversation that needs to happen because it’s a conversation that should be spoken about daily, but yet isn’t.
So thank you for tuning in today because I’m going to be talking about how I manage a business with depression and anxiety and some tips on how you can help, if you too are struggling.
I get asked on a weekly basis, on how I run two successful businesses, Finlee and Me and Angela Henderson Consulting. Well having a family, managing the death of my brother who died suddenly in May and make it look effortless.
When people ask me this, I remind them that the world we live in isn’t and doesn’t always show the truth. Social media can paint a picture that is far from the truth and that most days, with those people who wonder how I do it all, in fact don’t realise that depression and anxiety is never, ever far away.
In fact, here in Australia alone, mental illness isn’t far away from many people. In each year, approximately one in every five Australians will experience a mental illness. And I’d actually say that as a mental health clinician of fifteen years, I just hung my boots up about, I don’t know, a year ago. I’d actually probably say the statistic is higher because what the data isn’t including and accounting for, are those people who don’t reach out and seek the help they need. Suicide remains the leading cause of death of Australians, aged 15 and 44. Australia’s suicide rate is the highest it has been for at least ten years. In fact, 2015, 3,027 Australians ended their own lives.
That’s more than eight people every single day. One person every three hours. But yet, people don’t want to talk about mental health. At the time of this recording, it’s almost been two years since I hit rock bottom and at that time I wrote a blog article over on Finlee and Me called ‘just because I’m depressed, doesn’t mean I can’t smile’. Here’s a little from the blog that I want to share with you.
When someone breaks a leg, you can physically see the wound. The cast on the leg, the crutches the person is using to get around, it’s right there, in front of you! You can’t get away from it. The person is clearly injured. However the person with depression, you can’t physically see that wound. You can’t see how much their heart aches and is tearing them apart. The tears they cry on the inside are the demons in their head that are constantly moving around. No! You cannot see depression or anxiety but trust me, it is there.
Society has odd ideas about depression, you see they think that people who are depressed just lay in the dark on their couch all day, watching reruns, watching Netflix and eating buckets of ice-cream. But this is not the case for many people with depression, including myself. And more importantly, this is why depression and anxiety continues to be completely misunderstood, by so many people in society. First world society.
I want society to know, that just because I’m depressed, doesn’t mean I can’t smile. Going to the beach with my family and capturing a beautiful photo of our memories together, is part of fighting the depression. It’s in these rare moments that I win and the depression loses. Because for the other part of my day, the depression wins.
The part that happens before the beach, where I have to force myself to get out of my pyjamas and put my clothes on, in order to ensure that my depression doesn’t impact on my kids. There are a million other scenarios I can talk about, just because I travel doesn’t mean I’m not depressed. Just because I do the school pick up, doesn’t mean I’m not depressed. Just because I go to dinner with family or friends, doesn’t mean I’m not depressed. Or just because I have two successful businesses, doesn’t mean I’m not depressed. It’s much bigger than that.
So you ask, “How do you manage a business with depression and anxiety?” The answer, as to how I manage a business with depression and anxiety is simple. I take one day at a time and in fact, when I was at my lowest, I took one minute by one minute.
My husband does an awful lot to keep our family going. I see doctors, psychologists and I surround myself with positive people. I nap almost every single day because I’m so tired. Depression makes you tired.
I also outsource a lot of what I do, because I need to make sure that when I do have the energy to focus on the businesses, I focus that on being creative and continuing to grow my business versus it being stagnant. So, outsourcing has been a huge part of, on top of my family support on making things continue to work.
For those listening and wanting to know how to get help, first if this is an emergency, I always say, please simply pick up the phone and call an ambulance on your local number. So somewhere in Australia, you would obviously dial triple 0. Somewhere in America, you would call 9-1-1. Whatever that number is, please call it if it is an emergency.
But if it’s not urgent, I strongly encourage you to please, please, please, please make an appointment with your GP or family doctor. Your family doctor knows you better than anyone else. They will work with you to see a specialist, like a psychiatrist if needed. Assess if you need medication or therapy, or a combination. But it is important, you can reach out to someone sooner rather than later. I promise you that.
So from where I am today, I take day by day. I continue to work on my recovery. The dark and gloomy days from two years ago are slowly being replaced with beautiful and vibrant pink days. I don’t cry at the drop of a hat and my heart is starting to heal. But recovery, it’s important to remember, is different for everyone. It takes time.
So, the next time you see someone smiling, don’t ever assume that they aren’t depressed. As Robin Williams once said, “All it takes is a beautiful fake smile to hide an injured soul. And they will never notice how broken you really are.”
To all of those going through a hard time, I promise you, you’ve got this! You are not alone and please, please, please, please, please don’t be afraid to get the help you need. To talk about mental health, to raise awareness about mental health.
I hope this podcast has helped even just one of you, today. Because my goal as a business consultant is to ensure we continue to have rich and open conversations. Real conversations, raw conversations about mental health. Because mental health is just as important as our physical health.
That my friends, is my podcast today. It’s raw, it’s open, it’s there but again, this is Ange from Angela Henderson Consulting. Much love from Brisbane, Australia and please if you genuinely need something and you need guidance, my email is open to anyone out there at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will point you in the direction that you need to get help. I will not act in the role of your clinician or anything, just a matter of someone being able to help guide you as to where you need to go.
For those of you wondering, “How do I get help?” or, “You talked about it but I was listening to your conversation.” Don’t worry, my team and I will also be putting together the whole transcription for this episode at www.angelahenderson.com.au and of course, I cover all sorts of related business and life topics inside my Facebook group, The Australian Business Collaborative. And I would love to see you there.
But in the meantime, breath! Have a beautiful day and I look forward to you tuning in to our next episode of the Business and Life Conversations podcast with Angela Henderson.
Love to all. Bye!
Thanks for listening to the Business and Life Conversations podcast with Angela Henderson, How I Manage a Business with Depression and Anxiety. www.angelahenderson.com.au.