This is a user generated content for MyStory, a YourStory initiative to enable its community to contribute and have their voices heard. The views and writings here reflect that of the author and not of YourStory.

Mental Health Day 2019: - Poor Mental Health is a Catastrophe for Midlife Entrepreneurs. Tips to Navigate and Prevent this Midlife Crisis

Mental health disorder among middle-aged entrepreneurs in India is not only a common catastrophe but also can dis-balance the ecosystem as it is the biggest barrier to development and liberal creative thinking.

Mental Health Day 2019: - Poor Mental Health is a Catastrophe for Midlife Entrepreneurs. Tips to Navigate and Prevent this Midlife Crisis

Thursday October 10, 2019,

6 min Read

The typical midlife years is portrayed as the peak of the life’s course, in terms of balancing growth and maintaining a uniform resilience from insurmountable problems during the phase of declination at the crossroads between “youth” and “old-age”. The middle is a time when an individual goes through various transitions of identity in life which can be immensely stressful, as many people happen to feel discontent and restless because the universe sometimes doesn’t seem to cooperate with the plan and not holding on to the sense of purpose. This factor often takes a toll on the mental health and well-being of the adolescence of midlife which is known as Midlife Crisis. 

Midlife Crisis is real! The mental health and well-being drops during midlife and is rarely discussed in the context of diagnose common mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal impulses; even though every - one in a fifth person experiencing potentially worse mental health in their midlife. 

So what is midlife crisis in real sense? 

Midlife crisis is a catastrophe, this looming phenomenon occurs mostly in the midpoint of human lifespan, ideally around 30 to 50 years of age. According to a recent survey, men and women during their midlife suffer the most trauma.

Everything turns out completely blue. Many a mile traversed, toiled hard, sacrifice sweat & blood; but suddenly you start encountering strange feelings. You start having an outlook on the other side of your story, which remains not so bright and unsettling. This creates a hindrance to your mental health. 

The occurrence of midlife crisis also termed as the psychological crisis in which a transition of identity and self-confidence takes place when a person confronts various drastic changes to their current lifestyle, brought by certain episodes in life. This adversely affects the present self-reflection in a person which is unanticipated or despairing and often leads to a mental health crisis. There are leftovers from the chapter of life which aren't finished due to varied circumstances.

If we talk about middle age Entrepreneurs 

Most of the successful businesses started by middle-aged men are by enduring rocky journeys; but also, most of them are 'stuck in a rut' and have no idea how to overcome the said crisis. An entrepreneur plays a certain role in the workplace and in society at large. From maintaining a holistic brand image in the society through recognizing gain & loss of the business, middle-aged entrepreneurs mostly pay a heavy 'psychological price' for the company, if affected brutally due to financial crisis and the price they pay is very secretive. Mental health disorder among middle-aged entrepreneurs in India is not only a common catastrophe but also can dis-balance the ecosystem as it is the biggest barrier to development and liberal creative thinking. 

The depression, anxiety, and suicidal impulsion among middle-aged entrepreneurs is an epidemic and thus should be treated as a very serious condition. As depression is a major cause of suicide which is an alarming statistic, many bright entrepreneurs have taken their lives. For instance, 

  • In May 2015, 31-year-old Austen Heinz, CEO of Cambrian Genomics took his own life.
  • 47-year-old Jody Sherman, founder of Ecomom shot himself in 2013. 
  • Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) founder VG Siddhartha, on July 31st, 2019 

And many more such cases which are uncountable to the world are evidence that the rate of mental illness is increasing rapidly.

How an Entrepreneur navigates Midlife Crisis….. 

Comprehend if you are facing this trouble 

Disturbed Mental Health: Self-sabotage behaviors can make us encounter a massive level of depression or anxiety due to failure or fear of failure in business. We subconsciously undermine our own ability to avoid possibilities of failures. This can also lead us to face big disappointments during the middle age.

Emotional Crisis: Emotion or behavioral disorders, emotional disturbances due to loss in business, and self-esteem as a consequence.

Life in Auto-pilot Mode: Putting yourself into an auto-pilot mode due to low self-esteem and low self-confidence. 

  • Drastic changes in habits and impulsive decision making. 
  • Suicidal thoughts.
  • Less interactive and not being conscious about realistic activities of life. 
  • If you find yourself spacing outperforming any task.

Difficult to Bounce Back to Resilience: Facing difficulties to bounce back from the disappointments, traumatic and painful events that have occurred before midlife.

How to Prevent It – What Entrepreneurs can do! 

A person can always turn their life from crises to opportunities and intelligence. Let us see how to combat the crisis... 

  • Say hello to the crisis: to acknowledge your crisis you must first learn to accept the reality of your current circumstance, try analyzing your habits which are complicating or worsening your personal and professional life
  • Try solving bit-by bit – chart out your problems and address it one by one with careful consideration and determination.  
  • De-clutter negative/unwanted thoughts – unnecessary thoughts are just a waste of time. Embracing a positive approach and attitude in life helps you stop dwelling into vague fear and refocus your mind. 
  • Designing a positive affirmation is a powerful tool that can be used in different ways. As soon as you get a negative thought, you might verbalize a affirmation to make yourself feel strong and think wise. A positive affirmation can also be recited standing in front of the mirror, looking at yourself, so design your affirmations carefully. 
  • Sense of gratitude: nothing of me and everything of you should be the prayer offered to the divine. Be thankful for the life and the daily bread you receive. 
  • Be thankful for: 
  • Three steady meals a day
  • A roof over your head during the dark cold night and rainy and windy. 
  • Drinking clean water every day.
  • Having loved ones.
  • Write it and destroy it: if your negative thoughts are linked with specific strong emotions like fear, anger, jealousy, sadness, etc. Jot it down in a piece of paper and burn it. 

What Society can do to prevent poor mental health for midlife entrepreneurs?

Society can immensely focus on increasing social, professional, and political awareness for the advancements and the importance of poor mental health prevention. Move clinical practice toward at-risk-oriented detection and intervention in every business and giant conglomerate. Provide interventions designed for each developmental stage aimed at minimizing the impact of risk factors. The best of all practices to combat mid-life crisis is to get professional help from a therapist, and this practice should be encouraged and the taboo surrounding this has to die down as soon as possible.