Talking openly about mental health issues is difficult in any context. Thankfully, there's a quiet chorus rising in and around the startup community about the realities of startup life. Major thanks to these individuals for helping us learn how to better take care ourselves and others.
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- Rand Fishkin (Co-founder, Moz) -- "A long ugly year of depression that's finally fading"
- Brad Feld (Managing Director, Foundry Group) -- "Founder suicides"
- Brad Feld (Managing Director, Foundry Group) -- "Entrepreneurial life shouldn't be this way--should it?"
- Dana Severson (Co-Founder, StartupsAnonymous) -- "Hi my name is Dana, I'm an entrepreneur with anxiety disorder
- James Greig (Writer & Graphic Designer) -- "The unspoken D word that eats you from the inside"
- Greg Bauges (Developer Evangelist, Twilio) -- "Developers and depression"
- Christine Lu (Co-Founder, Affinity China) -- "Startup founder depression"
- Nikki Durkin (Founder, 99dresses) -- "My startup failed, and this is what it feels like..."
- Ben Huh (CEO of Cheezburger) -- "When death feels like a good option."
- Sean Percival (Co-founder, Wittlebee; Venture Partner, 500 Startups) -- "When it's not all good, ask for help."
- Amanda Rosenberg (Google) -- "Breaking sad"
- Zak Homuth (Founder & CEO, Upverter) -- "Sad, tired and alone: My on-going battle with startup depression"
- Seth Rosen (Co-Founder, CustomMade) -- "While struggling to build companies, some founders also quietly battle depression"
- Elitsa Dermendzhiyska (Writer & Founder, Adore and Endure) -- "Startup depression: The demons we are (still) not talking about"
- Sam Altman (President, Y Combinator) -- "Founder depression"
- Jessica Bruder (Columnist, Inc Magazine) -- "The psychological price of entrepreneurship"
- Catherine Shu (Columnist, TechCrunch) -- "Founders on depression"
- Catherine Shu (Columnist, TechCrunch) -- "We need to talk about depression"
- Zachary Townsend (Co-Founder, Standard Treasury) -- "Mental health, trauma and startup founders"
- Roni Jacobson (Science Journalist, The Atlantic) -- "Tech has a depression problem"
- Foster Kamer (Senior Editor, Complex Media) -- "U can't haz sadz: The hushed dangers of startup depression"
- The Economist "The dark side: Founder's blues"
- Greta Kaul (SF Chronicle) -- "Tech offers little help to founders struggling with mental struggles"
"First and foremost, a start-up puts you on an emotional rollercoaster unlike anything you have ever experienced. You flip rapidly from day-to-day--one where you are euphorically convinced you are going to own the world, to a day in which doom seems only weeks away and you feel completely ruined, and back again. Over and over and over. And I’m talking about what happens to stable entrepreneurs. There is so much uncertainty and so much risk around practically everything you are doing. The level of stress that you’re under generally will magnify things [...]Incredible highs and unbelievable lows at whiplash speed and huge magnitude. Sound like fun?"
-- Marc Andreessen, from "Why not to do a start-up (Part 1)"
(Co-Founder, Netscape; General Partner + Co-Founder, Andreessen Horowitz)
"If you saw the list of names, it would surprise you a great deal. They are very successful people, very visible, very charismatic--yet they've struggled with this silently. There's a sense that they can't talk about it, that it's a weakness or a shame or something. They feel like they're hiding, which makes the whole thing worse."
-- Brad Feld, from "The psychological price of entrepeneurship" in Inc. Magazine describing those in the startup community who contacted him after he spoke openly about his own depression.
(Managing Director, Foundry Group)