Is Entrepreneurship good for Depressives?

The doctors tell me that I shouldn’t describe myself as a ‘depressive’, rather a ‘person with depression’, but my feelings around this are complicated. I get that it might be damaging to apply a label to myself and I wouldn’t want to apply it without permission to others, but I think it is useful when I want to describe how depression has recurred time and again in my life.

I’m very lucky in that I have lost just a few years of my life to really bad depressions. I’ve been able to keep things together long enough to earn a PhD and start and fail to complete a couple of careers, and finally to start a business. Entrepreneurship is the latest adventure in my life and I’m interested in documenting how it works with my mental health. Here’s the reasons that I think it might work out.

  1. No 9 to 5: everything I’ve accomplished successfully was done away from a desk in an office. My mind rebels against standardised and easy tasks and longs for movement, new surroundings and engagement.
  2. I can work without working: I’m an ‘always-on’ type of thinker, who needs time and space to do my best creative work. That means that I can go and do the shopping, cook dinner, play with my son; and I’m still at work and I’m still working.
  3. Rewards tied to effort: this is an interesting one, because I can see this being incredibly oppressive if and when things start to go badly. But I at least can see where I’ve been and where I’ve got to from my own efforts and that’s powerful.
  4. Creativity unleashed: I am beginning to come round to a way of thinking that hopefully will define the rest of my life. I’m happiest when sharing my creative practice. That means creativity, but not necessarily in an artistic sense. In music, for example, my satisfaction does not come from being really good or really original, but in playing music for people to dance to.

Those are my thoughts just now, but I intend to document this journey and find out more about myself. Who knows? it might help someone else one day.