American Fashion Designer Kate Spade is dead, by suicide. Have you stopped to think what CAUSES suicide?  Aside from stigma and shame; anxiety, depression, burnout, relentless societal, professional, and personal pressure; not to mention living in the depths of hell called ‘self-loathing.’  

In the land of opportunity, entrepreneurs experience a buzz that can end a life.

Do you own your own business? Have you struggled with depression in the past? Do you feel ashamed of your thoughts of suicide? The statistics are startling. Among entrepreneurs, 30% are reported to struggle with depression. Mental illness among the finest of entrepreneurs is of common place. Yet no one talks about. Instead we discuss achievements, glory, and other egocentric greatness.

Depression is a major cause of suicide. You don’t have to look far to see that many bright and promising young entrepreneurs have tragically taken their lives.

It’s an epidemic that not enough people are talking about. It is time to lift the vail of shame and eradicate suicide.

Whether you are an entrepreneur or not, rarely does society consider the mental wellness of the entrepreneurial community. Instead, we relish in new discoveries, flourishing non-profits saving lives, animals, and faith.

Stop and think, 1 in every 3 entrepreneurs suffer with depression. The other common mental illnesses are anxiety, sleep disorders, and ADHD. This video will focus on the epidemic of untreated depression that can lead to suicide in the entrepreneurial community.

How is it possible an individual with such enthusiasm, zest for life, and passion can struggle with depression? The startup life is intense and exhilarating all at the same time. Here are some tips to navigate the waters of depression:

Educate yourself and others if you are suffering from depression. Take the time to learn and receive treatment if needed.A delay in treatment can lead to a major depressive episode and thoughts of suicide.In addition, if you are taking medication, experiencing suicidal thoughts, please be sure to alert your doctor.

Failure is a beautiful life lesson. As entrepreneurs we may try to avoid it. However, in failure you will grow. Talk to those who have experienced failure as well. Learn this is a springboard to greatness, not a valley of despair. Be aware when you are feeling burnt out. It is important to take time to relax, experience life off the grid, and rejuvenate.

Love and embrace yourself. The act of comparison leads to anxiety and sadness. Just don’t do it. Each entrepreneur has their own journey, just as you do. Comparing yourself and business to others will increase the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Self-care is essential. What does this look like to you? Take the time to be alone to care for yourself. It may be a time for meditation, or a walk. Allow the time for introspection and self-love.

Your company does not define you. Yes, hear me loud and clear. Your company does not define you. I know, I get it, it is virtually impossible to let go of your company as your identity. I struggle with it myself. However, you are not responsible for everything and everyone.

Spend time with your family. It is very easy to be sucked into 100 plus hours of work a week as an entrepreneur. Pay attention to the care for your family. Be sure you are having dinner, vacations, and time with them.

Entrepreneurship is very rewarding. However, it can also cause a great deal of pain.

Depression is a result of a lack of self-care and neglect. The suicide rate is an epidemic. Do not be afraid to be vulnerable and talk about it. You may be the person that inspires others to live.  If you are having suicidal thoughts or in need of support please call or text the National Suicide Hotline number at 1-800-273-8255  Support 24/7.

To the family, friends, and loyal fans of Kate; we are so sorry for the tragic loss of Kate. We send you love, support, and prayers as you mourn such a beautiful soul.