A company becomes strong and successful when its employees and CEOs are strong and successful. Productive, dedicated, and responsible employees will help the CEOs do their jobs better, take better decisions and lead more efficiently. The pressure on CEOs is constant, the stakes are high and they always have to be in charge.
Being under pressure and forced to solve more significant problems all the time, some CEOs will slowly fall into the arms of depression and anxiety. Sadly, the number of CEOs dealing with depression and anxiety disorders is higher than you’d expect. Back in 2008, around 50% of CEOs struggled with depression at some point in their highly pressured lives.
Even if they’re trained to handle the intense emotions, make decisions in the blink of an eye, CEOs will also give in. All the feelings and self-control build-up causes anxiety, which impacts both the professional and personal lives. Stress will affect both the judgment and the process of making decisions, and, together with depression, will trickle down into the company. With depression and anxiety affecting more and more people today, it’s easy to understand why professionals have designed programs, especially for CEOs dealing with depression and anxiety.
Most of the time, the trickle-down effect refers to economics. Things that used to be on top will lose their value and are sold for less, becoming available for the interested masses.
In psychology, the trickle-down effect is commonly associated with the parents-children relationship. Parents with problems also have children, and their problems will trickle down to their offsprings. The process may occur in various ways, leading to similar problems for the children.
With CEOs leading the activity in a company, it’s perfectly understandable why their behavior, emotional reactions, and depression and anxiety will trickle down to their employees. It’s essential to understand that the process happens without the CEO’s being aware of it.
Currently, burnout, depression and anxiety in CEOs is considered to be a fact; professionals are already studying the trickle-down effect in organizations. The focus and efforts of experts are on avoiding and reducing the impact of the trickle-down effect.
A responsible CEO will eventually acknowledge the depression/anxiety that he/she is struggling with, and take the proper steps for healing. There are many programs addressed to CEOs, and our Holistic Sanctuary has become reputed for the incredible methods, innovative protocols for treatment of depression and anxiety, and long-lasting results. You may easily take a look at the testimonials of former clients. They managed to go through a deep and lasting recovery while addressing their professional duties as CEOs right from their private suite at our healing center.
Prevention is key, and keeping an eye on the CEO’s mental health is the right thing to do for your company. The last thing you want is to have a depressed CEO who brings down the morale of your employees every day. And once he/she does that, without even looking for healing, it’s going to be a lot more difficult to address depression/anxiety amongst the employees.
At the Holistic Sanctuary, our long-time experience in addressing depression, anxiety, job burnout, PTSD, addiction (which is another growing problem among CEOs out there) taught us a thing or two about the best ways to address mental health issues. People struggling with deep depression or anxiety should always seek professional help (for deep and lifetime healing and not for quick short-lived results). In the meantime, here are some practical ways to address the trickle-down effect if one of your CEOs is depressed or struggling with anxiety.
People are more open to receive treatment or to seek professional help if they’re surrounded by positive thinking and an optimistic vibe. You will need always to be open about discussing freely, in a compassionate and empathic way about mental health and healing.
Always be aware of the fact that it’s possible for emotions to “contaminate” biologically. Even if your CEO doesn’t seem extremely sad or anxious (we are all different, and some people can function for decades, despite being deeply depressed), your employees’ brains are connected. People who work together will quickly pick up their colleague’s emotions, via the mirror neurons mechanism which is designed to reflect other people’s feelings.
CEOs fighting with depression and anxiety slowly become less empathic, as they overreact to the distress of their employees. Soon enough, your employees will stop sharing their emotions, and the “emotional shutdown” will affect the company’s performance. You may not notice it today, but it’s going to come sooner or later.
Don’t hesitate to start a conversation with your chief human resources officer about how you and your employees feel at work. When people get depressed, it’s difficult for them to walk in other people’s shoes. It’s somewhat weird, as depressed people cannot see their struggle either.
Your depressed CEO will not be able to understand the hard work that your employees are doing. The misunderstanding will take over the entire organization, and compassion will slowly disappear.
The trickle-down effect is straightforward to notice when the mood of the whole company is altered. People no longer wait to come back to work, but become anxious to go home, avoiding their CEO by all means. Depression and anxiety will make people miss out on work or get to work, but lack the efficiency.
You should always provide emotional and practical support to your employees. For instance, at our center, clients have daily access to the gym, spa, and massage, which are all methods recognized for providing relaxation and a better mood. Some companies slowly introduce spas or gyms for their employees, and the benefits are showing in the employees’ productivity.
Depression is an evil mental issue, that can falsely appear as anger, impacting the thinking, and even leading to accidents at work.
Should your organization employ customer-facing people, it’s only a matter of time until the trickle-down effect will affect the customers. The client’s mirror neurons will quickly perceive the depression and anxiety.
Some anxiety and moodiness could improve creativity to some extent, but high levels of depression will reduce creativity.
People are shy to talk about their emotions, depression, or anxiety. The shame associated with depression or anxiety still exists, and it’s one of the reasons people seek help so late in their depression.
Because you want your employees to open up in a safe environment, you could create an online platform for anonymous reports on anxiety or depression.
We’ve learned so far about in mental health studies that depression, anxiety, and addiction know no gender, race, or social status. Genetics may play a role too, but the debate in the scientific world is still on. At the Holistic Sanctuary, we instead focus on identifying the deep roots of the depression so that we can help the patient recover and heal once and for all. We help our patients recognize the triggers of their depression/anxiety, so they can deal with them healthily once they return to their regular lives.
Depression and anxiety will occur in CEOs more often than you’d want or expect (nobody wants it, for sure). Unfortunately, this may affect all their employees’ morale and mental health due to the trickle-down effect. Should you sense your company is dealing with the problem, don’t hesitate to take the first step in healing your people and your company.