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Entrepreneurship and Depression: What CCD Founder VG Siddhartha Suicide Reveals

Keep aside the social media hash tags and mental illness remains a taboo in our conversations. Only recently, a WHO report confirmed that India is the 6th most depressed country in the world with over 5 crore people suffering from depression in India. Add to that the number of people with other mental illnesses and the final statistics could be shocking. (Source, Source)

Among different aspects of this epidemic, what often gets hushed behind the glam of money, yacht, and popped-champagne is depression rate among entrepreneurs. And despite the best efforts from renowned names, including the likes of serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, the topic is still under-discussed.

CCD Founder VG Siddhartha and His State of Mind

The latest of how the story of CCD’s founder VG Siddhartha unfolded is a prime example of the prevailing depression among the entrepreneurs. While one can only speculate without his family’s confirmation, his purported suicide note reveals the depression he was going through in his final days before ending his life.

In his last letter, he wrote “I would like to say I have given it my all. I am very sorry to let down all the people that put their trust in me. I fought for a long time but today I have given up as I could not take any more pressure from one of the private equity partners forcing me to buy back shares.”

“My intention was never to cheat or mislead anybody. I have failed as an entrepreneur. This is my sincere submission. I hope someday you will understand, forgive and pardon me,” he continues.

Not A Singular Story

VG Siddhartha, even with all the evident success and credible recognition, committed suicide. But his story isn’t alone.

Only last year, Mao Kankan, a successful entrepreneur who was renowned as one of China’s top four young IT talents who revolutionized computer gaming in the country, ended his life allegedly because his company encountered financial trouble. (Source)

Back home, in 2017, Chaitanya Phadke, a 32-year old entrepreneur based in Pune, took his life because he was suffering from depression. (Source)Lucky Gupta Agarwal, a 33-year-old Noida-based techie-turned-entrepreneur, committed suicide by inhaling nitrogen gas after his start-up failed. (Source)

Vineet Whig (Encyclopaedia Britannica’s COO), Lalit Sheth (owner of Raj Travels), Angad Paul (son of Billionaire steel magnet Swraj Paul), and so many more–they all committed suicide due to depression and mental pressure that running a real business brought them. (Source)

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Did you know that 1 in 3 entrepreneurs lives with depression?

A study by clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco, Dr. Michael Freeman, revealed that 30 percent of all entrepreneurs experience depression.

Are You Depressed?

Running a business is not easy; more so today than ever when market competition is at an unnerving level. In addition, with a bubble shaping the business world in the name of “start-up culture” that’s dominated by the VCs, the stakes are even higher. There’s a reason, after all, why 90 percent of start-upsfail. (Source)

So, if you’re a business owner, you would know that entrepreneurship is just the opposite of what those Instagram images suggest. It isn’t glamorous. It includes massive hard work, the sacrifice of all the leisure, taking on mental pressure 24/7 and staying prepped for all the possible bad news. This state can often burden your mental health, paving way for various types of mental illness, like clinical depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, OCD and more.

The key here is to not undermine the symptoms but rather take them with immediacy. If you believe you’re depressed or are dealing with something sinister in your head, take cognizance of those signs and then move on to take the necessary steps.

Don’t Be Afraid (Or Ashamed)

Asking for help is a trait of someone strong. Don’t be afraid to ask for support from your friends and family.Depression, and mental illness at large, isn’t something to be ashamed of. It is just one of those signs signaling that it’s time to slow down a bit and seek help. If you believe you’ll be judged for your state, changing your circle should also be one of your top priorities.

At difficult times, surround yourself by the right people who will be your strength – and NOT wash your mental state as “you’re over thinking” and “you’re fine”.

In recent times, therapists and life coaches have gained massive prominence in the mainstream. And rightly so! A good professional can help you navigate your life in the right direction through personalized counselling and effective measures. More and more entrepreneurs, dealing with mental illness, are opting for therapy – albeit the number still remains underwhelming. If you’re depressed, or require general lifestyle counseling, approach a life coach, today!

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