Therapist Helps Entrepreneur See Her Business Mistakes

Do you have that one friend who seems to be breezing through life? You always try to do your best and follow the rules, but they always think they are above the law. Well, I do.

Let’s call my friend Jane. Jane technically had a rough childhood compared to most people I knew. She grew up around people who had never done real hard work in their lives. I was not prejudiced by saying that, but it also came from her that her parents and other family members Never even had blue-collar jobs. They always relied on government funds or making a quick buck by selling stuff they already had at home.


When I met Jane, though, I admired that she wanted to lead a different life from everyone in the ghetto. She never ran out of a part-time job, which supported her college education. She also talked about her dreams of becoming an entrepreneur and building her own empire. Of course, since it sounded like a lovely idea, I urged her to go for it.

How Jane Became An Entrepreneur

The beauty about having a business of your own was that Jane did not have to get a master’s or doctoral degree like I did, considering I wanted to be a therapist. After college, she went on to work some more and saved up money. Still, although her starting salary was quite lovely, she could not save as much as she wanted to because she also happened to be the breadwinner in her family. It meant that a significant portion of her earnings went to the ghetto.

But things began to look up for Jane when she met Luke. He was not the richest man in the world, but he was highly dedicated to his work. Because of that, it was easy for him to earn money. He even helped Jane move to the company that he was working at to improve her salary.


After a few years of dating, Jane surprised me with a wedding invitation. I did not know that her relationship was that serious, but I was happy to know that my best friend was finally settling down. I was no longer surprised when she told me that Luke wanted her to follow her dreams of becoming an entrepreneur instead of working a nine-to-five job that she did not love.

When Shady Things Started

Since I was busy with my therapy practice back then, I did not catch up with Jane regarding her business immediately. When I did, she would not tell me where it was and how it looked during construction. She only said that it was a coffee shop and that the concept would genuinely surprise me.

During the launch, Jane gave me an address. Upon Googling it, I saw that the address was close to the shadiest part of the town. It was even the location of an old garage. Though I found that odd, I did not think much of it and nearly went to the place.


Once I arrived, I was genuinely surprised when I did not even see any physical indication of a coffee shop. It looked like an old establishment with no signage or lights in front. But then, I spotted Luke from a distance, and he ushered me inside the place.

I was even more surprised to see a coffee shop inside that old establishment. It looked as fancy as you could imagine – with warm lights, wooden panels, and all. When I asked Jane why the shop looked like that on the outside, she said, “Well, I did not bother to get business and tax permits, you see. That’s a waste of time and money. I should not be required to give contributions to the government.”

Jane’s ghetto explanation rendered me speechless. It was bold of her to build a coffee shop near the streets without any license to operate. However, she must also be afraid of getting caught because she decided not to break the front wall that could disguise the shop.


When Tears Fall

Jane called me a month later. She was crying over the phone because some local government officials asked her to shut down her business and pay thousands of dollars for fines. She felt that they were unfair and began cursing the system, so I had to calm her down and explain the situation.

“I hate to tell you this, but there are laws in place that we all need to abide by as adults. You are no longer in the ghetto; the shady rules don’t apply to the rest of the world. You need to see that the only way for your business to succeed is by not walking all over others. In this case, you walked over the government, and so you had to deal with its consequences.”

I had to counsel my friend for a few more weeks to help change the way she thought of businesses. It was more difficult than counseling strangers, considering I knew Jane by heart. Despite that, I was glad to learn that she started applying for the legal documents required to reopen her coffee shop.

Frequently Asked Questions About Depression And Memory Loss

I became one of the newest entrepreneurs to watch out for at 21 years old. The reason was that I opened a successful salad shop at Lower Manhattan right after college, and yuppies, oldies, and even hippies would line up outside to buy their lunch every day. I was glad about it because I used all my savings to open it, and I managed to regain my capital – and then some – three months later. That’s how popular my business became.

Embolden by my success, I ventured into a burrito business on the other side of New York. I initially feared that it wouldn’t work because it was an entirely different market – the meat-loving market – but people received it well. Thanks to both businesses, I moved out of my tiny apartment and into a house that I paid in cash at 23 years old.


Trials And Tribulations

My mother already died years ago, so I promised that I would take Pops’ care and never make him worry about money again. Despite my growing businesses, though, my father refused to stop working as a postman. He said that I should save my money for the future and that he was fine. Little did I know, my father got diagnosed with cardiovascular disease on his 50th birthday and did not tell me not to worry. Hence, when I received a call from his boss that he had a heart attack on duty and did not make it to the hospital, I was in utter shock and despair.

I told my business partners that I would take a month off to grieve after Pops’ burial. I also said that I would use that time to clean up his house, send some of his stuff to the Salvation Army, and go out of the country to heal. However, I did not do any of that. I just stayed in my room most of the time and cried every day until my eyes hurt. The only time I thought of getting help to resolve my depression was when I dreamed of my father smiling and telling me to move on because he already reunited with my mother.

A Repercussion Of Having Depression

I dealt with the depressive symptoms for less than two months, but the psychologist informed me that I might experience the after-effects even years later. I did not want to believe her at first because I felt fine; I was as normal as I had ever been. In truth, I even started dating and living my life again.

If there was something odd I noticed afterward, it was the fact I became more forgetful than ever. Mind you, I was only 25 years old at the time. I had never gone under the knife and needed anesthesia; I never had a brain injury that could cause memory loss. The only thing I had was depression. It made me wonder if it could be the repercussion that the psychologist warned me about before.

Is memory loss a side effect of depression? 

Yes, memory loss is a side effect of depression. This is because the mental disorder affects a person’s cognitive functioning and keeps the brain from creating new neural pathways. As a result, you may start forgetting things.


Can untreated depression cause dementia? 

Yes, untreated depression can cause dementia. That is especially true if you feel depressed when you are in your 50s, 60s, or 70s. According to studies, the older people who get diagnosed with depression have a 70% or 80% chance of getting dementia.  

Is memory loss considered a mental illness? 

No, memory loss is not considered a mental illness. Instead, it is a common symptom of depression or any dissociative disorder. Memory loss may not always be permanent, depending on severe the condition is or how quickly you try to treat it.

Is confusion a symptom of depression? 

Yes, confusion is a symptom of depression. It is one of the memory problems that depressed people are said to deal with, forgetfulness, lack of concentration, and poor decision-making abilities. If you leave your depression untreated, it may lead to long-term memory loss.

What are the five signs of mental illness? 

    • You are either too paranoid or too worried to do anything.
    • You cannot stop feeling irritable or sad.
    • Your mood is ever-changing.
    • You avoid socializing with anyone – not even with your friends or family.
    • Your deal with changes in your sleeping or eating habits.

What are the signs of a mental breakdown? 

    • You feel hopeless, to the extent that suicidal thoughts cross your mind.
    • Your hands tremble, and your legs shake involuntarily.
    • Your blood pressure rises as you worry all the time.
    • You cannot sleep well at night.
    • You tend to hallucinate and believe figments of your imagination.
    • You deal with mood swings or panic attacks.
    • You often feel like someone is after you.
    • You get flashbacks of traumatic events.
    • You avoid seeing or at least talking to your loved ones.
  • frequently-asked-questions-about-depression-and-memory-loss

What are the first signs of going crazy? 

    • You always feel sad or hopeless.
    • You seem confused or unable to focus.
    • You worry or feel guilty too much.
    • You experience highs and lows often.
    • You don’t feel like seeing your loved ones anymore.
    • You feel exhausted for no reason.
    • You are often hallucinating or delusional.
    • You cannot get over stressful situations.
    • You think substances can help you cope with your issues.
    • You feel detached from everything and everyone.
    • Your libido goes down significantly.
    • You become aggressive often.
    • You start entertaining suicidal thoughts.

Is crying part of a mental breakdown? 

Yes, crying is technically a part of a mental breakdown. It is one of the possible results of a person’s emotional outburst. Aside from that, they may start pacing, rocking back and forth, being aggressive, or staying still. 

What’s the difference between a nervous breakdown and a mental breakdown? 

The reality is that a nervous breakdown is synonymous with a mental breakdown. These terms can be used interchangeably anytime. Both refer to extreme mental distress that a person may experience as they face a significant life change.

Can depression change your personality? 

Yes, depression – among other things – can change your personality. For instance, if an average individual sees failure as a challenge, you may look at it as a sign that you need to give up. This may not always be the case, but the more you deal with depression, the more your personality may change.

How long can a mental breakdown last?

It is impossible to predict how long a mental breakdown can last. Some people experience it for hours; others tend to move past it after a few minutes. A more fitting answer is that the duration depends on the person’s awareness that they have a mental breakdown. 


Final Thoughts

My life began to fall apart when my father died. I honestly thought that that was it for me, that I would follow my parents wherever they were sooner than later. However, I managed to pick myself up and rebuild my life again. There were a few repercussions, of course, like memory loss, but what’s most important was that I learned how to be happy again.

Survival Tips For Startups This COVID-19 Pandemic

All of us are living in a period where there is uncertainty in terms of the business, economic, and personal aspects of our lives. COVID-19 brought so many losses and downturns in our lives. The ambiguity of what’s going to happen to use in the future has caused tremendous slowdowns, especially to business owners and their startups.

“Managing stress is important as a business owner because typically, we tend to be sole proprietors or have few employees,” discusses Amanda Pratt MSW, LCSW. “This means that if we burn out, it can ultimately slow business progress or momentum and when we aren’t well, our businesses can’t be well.”

To avoid this, here are some survival tips for startups for this global pandemic.

Face The Numbers


Believe it or not, startups and SMEs’ revenues are the most affected in times of lockdowns. Do not avoid these heartbreaks by not looking at your books. Instead, this is the most critical time to check how you can address your financial problems and come up with strategies to avoid its continuous downfall.

One technique that you can go for is to conduct cash flow planning and management daily. Record all the money that comes in and out of your business. You can even automate this. But if you don’t have the budget to pay for such a platform, a Google Sheet will do. Just list down all your receivables and payables, and you’re on the right track.

Adjust Based On Cash Flow

It’s not enough to keep tabs on your money. The best way to go about this is to check whether your expenses are expendables or indispensables. If it’s the former, then make sure to cut it out of your operations.

For instance, you can rent out a cheaper and smaller place to run your business, and you can lessen your advertising expenses. You may also set aside your expansion plans for the time being. Lastly, you may shut down some of your offices in other small cities and remain the profit-generating ones.

Listen To Your Customers


What’s driving startups now is how they adapt to changing consumer behavior. Keep in mind that there are particular consumer needs in times of unusual situations. Therefore, you must listen to what they’re saying and come up with different strategies to heed to their call.

For instance, some restaurants in the past only focus on the dine-in experience. They come up with the best techniques to lure people into a unique and exciting eating adventure. Examples of these are themed restaurants, the buffet approach, and more. However, the current situation in this pandemic forced them to change their practices.

Instead of going for the past selling strategy, more and more restaurants are now shifting to selling ready-to-cook products. This change is why people opt to stay in their homes to avoid acquiring the virus. Since they are in their homes, it’s cheaper and less hassle to cook these kinds of food.

Go Digital


As mentioned above, individuals are now afraid to go out of their houses. Some even fear the concept of shopping for clothes and food in malls and groceries. To solve this, you, as a business owner, can respond to this need by going digital.

Several startups have already addressed this call and have established their online shops. It may be in the form of an app, or even as simple as maximizing social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. What they did was to bring their products to their customers directly by delivering it to where they are.

At the same time, going digital also means saying goodbye to a workplace setup. With the importance of social distancing, working from home is now becoming the new norm. This set up can be even good for you! You may be able to lower your expenses when it comes to renting a physical workplace since there is a chance that you might not need this anymore. That’s also a cut to your water and electricity bills and your workers’ transportation expenses.

Moving Forward As A Businessman

Adopting is the right mindset when it comes to these trying times. You should not get stuck in your comfort zones; instead, you should go beyond your business. Yes, it’s challenging to carry ‘business as usual.’ However, always keep in mind that there is light in this dark time. And you have to look for it as a businessman.

The Psychological Costs Of Entrepreneurship According To A Therapist


Entrepreneurship is an exciting career path that an increasing number of people are deciding to pursue. Roughly 8% of the global workforce are trying to establish and run their businesses. Most people glorify entrepreneurship, sometimes unjustly, as a way to achieve wealth, success, and fame. However, almost no one except a therapist understands the tremendous stresses placed upon these founders.

Mental health is an aspect of our well-being that has been historically overlooked by practically everyone. Recent trends now see people becoming more aware of the importance of self-care and emotional support. However, the entrepreneurial world still has a lot of catching up to do in this aspect. In many cases, the work of startups and businesses perpetuate cultures and beliefs detrimental to emotional well-being.

Work-Life Imbalance

The stereotypical portrayal of an entrepreneur is a hustler who does whatever it takes to succeed. In this model, most people place productivity on a pedestal. Founders are made to believe every second count, that rest equates to unproductive time, and the competition will overtake those who don’t work at their best all the time.

The business world is full of people who unabashedly admit to sacrificing their well-being for the sake of their businesses. Consider Elon Musk, who once described a typical daily routine of coming home by 2 AM. Many people aspire to be as successful as their role models, and their poor work-life balance is sometimes used to justify their insufficient self-care practices.

People are encouraged to work around the clock. Even during evenings and early mornings, many founders are busy processing emails, researching market trends, or completing tasks on their to-do list.

Forcing yourself to work tirelessly may temporarily bring excellent results. However, the lack of rest increases stress levels, making it harder to make rational decisions and to regulate emotions. Chronic stress leads to a higher risk of developing depression and other mental health conditions. Around 49% of entrepreneurs will develop a mental illness at least once in their life.


Uncertainty & Risk

Entrepreneurship holds its appeal due to its disruptive nature. In this field, people are free to experiment with new business models in the pursuit of innovation and profit. Being able to forge your path is a fulfilling experience for many people.

However, innovation comes with uncertainty and risk. Many startups fail within a year of starting operations. There is no assurance that current businesses will still be standing a few years from now. Founders need to continually manage this uncertainty by ensuring the foundations of their business are secure. Nevertheless, unpredictability will never disappear, imposing a constant source of stress on founders.

Conflating Identities

Founders tend to identify strongly with their businesses. Being the ones responsible for turning ideas into business models, founders essentially become creators. They can become attached to their startups, and they can start to conflate their private identity with their professional one.

This setup becomes harmful when founders start to associate troubles in their startups with their self-efficacy. When their businesses take a turn for the worse, they may see it as a reflection of their incompetence. Over time, this train of thought can erode their self-esteem and overwhelm them with stress.


Whether explicit or now, business founders are always expected to project strength and confidence. They believe any projections of vulnerability can turn off investors and clients. Hence, they are forced to suffer silently and to suppress their emotions.

Media makes the situation worse through their reporting on successful entrepreneurs. Some outlets overemphasize the successes and fail to report the struggles these people encountered. This reporting fools people into believing their obstacles are unusual when practically everyone in business faces these.


Protecting Your Mental Health

As shown, entrepreneurship comes with several psychological costs. However, entrepreneurs are not powerless against their struggles. They can start by challenging the concept of the stereotypical entrepreneur as a tireless hustler. They need to realize those founders are still humans who need to take care of their physical and mental health.

Action should also proceed at the community level. The overall culture of entrepreneurship needs an overhaul. Entrepreneurs should be encouraged to accept their vulnerabilities instead of hiding them. Founders should be inspired to emphasize mental well-being in their businesses, whether by allocating budget towards mental health projects or by hiring mental health professionals.

Finally, founders shouldn’t be afraid to use some of their earnings for themselves. Taking vacations now and then and rewarding themselves should also be part of their priorities. Furthermore, signing up at the BetterHelp app is an excellent idea if merely taking a vacation is not enough. It’s okay to do all that and more — you deserve it, after all.

Tips To Promote Mental Health Awareness To Your Employees

Keeping your employees not only physically fit but also mentally and emotionally ready is the key to grow your business successfully. Employees and the workforce are undoubtedly the lifeblood of your company, no matter how small it may be. Not everyone may be aware that mental health is responsible for such fitness. Every psychologist suggests that there are easy ways that leaders can do, without any complication, to raise mental health awareness to their employees so that they don’t end up needing to sign up to platforms like BetterHelp before they even hit the six-month milestone in the company.

Here are some of the measures you, as a leader, can take to guide your teammates:

Practice Verbal Recognition


Recognition does not always have to be material. Especially if you have a low budget when it comes to extra spending, verbal recognition will do. Believe it or not, your employees value it highly when they are being praised, particularly by their superiors. It is like an assurance that they are in the right direction and doing a great job.

“Harsh words are just as damaging whether they come from someone else or whether they come from you,” says licensed psychologist Cindy T. Graham, PhD. As mentioned, saying a “great job” will cost you nothing. Giving positive feedback can brighten someone’s day and make them say that it’s all worth it. Studies report that giving such verbal recognition has positive impacts on employees, especially if the work is fast-paced and stressful than others. It’s also essential that we, leaders and employers, keep in mind that it is the easiest way to build positive relations with your employees.

Breed Positive Relationships


Most of the time, for medium- to large-sized businesses and companies, it is our next-in-ranks that supervise our employees. In turn, we leaders and big bosses should also foster positive relationships with the supervisors. Never forget to remind them as well about the importance of their attitude to their inferiors as it will also be your image to the majority of the workforce. “Bring the right people into your life.” A reminder from Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D.

Organize Mental Health Talks


Your employees may not be aware of the importance of mental health to their well-being. Perhaps, most of them still have the attitude of “it is just simple stress that will pass eventually.” This mindset is dangerous because it is an indication that they do not know how to take care of their overall health in general.

If you have a human resource group or person, talk to them about having someone speak about the topic of mental health. It may cost you a little, taking into consideration the venue and the resource speaker itself, but treat it as part of your accomplishment in the company. Your employees will enjoy it as it will also be their “break time” from paper works and stressful environment. “Why talk about your problems including mental health challenges? Just talking about your situation to someone can reduce your stress and help you feel better.” Dr. Aaron Kaplan, PsyD, Clinical Psychologist said.

Provide De-Stressing Activities

Organize or initiate team buildings even once a year to a place far away from the office. It is also a way to bond with your employees outside the business and other than the professional setting. Talk with each other and share things about your personal lives and aspirations in life. In that way, the employee will have a mindset that your company is a good one which values and nurtures their growth as an individual.

Providing summer activities is not just the only way to value your employees’ mental health. Also, make it a goal to provide facilities for relaxation in the office. You can set up a beautiful and homey room where employees can have coffee and take a break on even for five minutes.

You can also set up table games in one corner so employees can de-stress a little before going home. There are also spa and gym corporate packages in the city that you may avail of for your employees’ wellness. Moreover, it may also attract employees because they will see your company as one who values them.

Attend Mental Health Talks

Further, your knowledge about mental health. Attending mental health talks is essential because other participant leaders may share what they know and the problems they encounter with their employees. This way, you can familiarize yourself and learn more about dealing with different people’s mental health.

You can also bring with you the supervisors of your company. It is crucial that your next-in-ranks who supervise your employees and become your image to them know how to deal with them nicely. Note that no matter how approachable you may be, if your supervisors do not know how to do the same, then your efforts will be futile.

The success of every business depends on the output of the employee, considering the quality of the work done, the efficiency, and the accuracy of the work exhibited. Remember: healthy employee results from a leader who values all their health aspects as much as the business itself.

How To Help Overcome Grief In The Workplace 

It is inevitable that one of your co-workers deal with grief brought about by a loss of a loved one. However, there is no universal workplace manual which will provide you with a step-by-step process to address your co-worker’s grief. Grief is a typical response to loss. However, it might lead to mental health disorders. Hence, it is crucial that you help them with their healing process.


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