The Self- Employed Depression trap

Morning everyone,

I just wanted to explore the associated problems of coping with depression as a self-employed person. Im a tennis coach and only generate income from actual hours coached on court. I would like to prioritise my recovery and rehabilitation from this latest episode of depression, but feel pressurised to keep going or else lose my the good will of my clients and ultimately their business. After a 4 week period, where I resided with my 74 year old mother, I am now back at home and have formulated a part-time coaching schedule which reflects the need to engage socially with my clients, to keep fit, and to earn some income. I have made a back-dated claim for employment support allowance for the 4 week period i wasn't working at all, I am awaiting a decision on benefit, but whether it can be back dated Im not sure as in away its not a current claim, becuase I will working 16 hrs this week.or at least thats the plan, although Im never quite sure when each new day comes whether I can do hat I've planned.

In terms of paying rent I have been told that that it will be possible to receive benefit even if I am not any benefits, and have not received any income from a job either. Anyway, im trying to sort things out.. . !!

If anyone has any insights or can resonate with these sort of problems it would be good to hear from you.

Damian x


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6 Replies

  • Hi Damian

    I don't have any knowledge of working as self-employed but I can relate to coping with depression. It is a good sign you have set up a schedule and explored benefit support you may be entitled to. Financial stress is difficult to cope with and from past experience it is best to try and sort things out as soon as possible otherwise they spiral out of control in your head.

    Good luck with getting the support you need.

    B x

  • Hi Damian,

    I can empathise with you. I am a self employed music teacher/musician. 2 days a week I work at a school and the rest of time I teach privately in pupil's homes. I have been depressed for about 15 years and I have been doing my job for 22 years. I find that I just keep going, despite having really low times, money or lack of it, is a great incentive to keep working. I haven't got any pearls of wisdom or answers but writing down positive or funny moments can help.

    I get a bit annoyed when employed friends take time off for depression. People then think my depression is not so severe as I don't stop work, (because I can't!)

    I feel like I'm walking on a tightrope and any bad experience can knock me off. I'm constantly worried about losing pupils and getting them through their exams. Self employment can be a real pain. Some people see it as a easy way out, work when you want, picking the hours you want to work AS IF!!!

    I hope you have a good summer and the weather is kind to you.

    Tracey xxx

  • HI There, I have never been self employed, but I can still empathise with your plight. You sound as if you are quite organised, hopefully your benefit will work out, Having money worries as well as Depression is very stressful, and you are right to take action now. Dont project too much into the future re: your clients, Take each day as it comes, and you will get strength from this, In your non working time, make sure you do a few nice things for yourself, so you relax and chill out. Have a swim or cook a nice meal for yourself, listen to music and I have to say I think you are great for trying, its not easy but it does make you more resilient too.


  • I can relate for sure.

    I never earned enough for national insurance so couldn't really get any other help so your doing well and I hope it comes good for you.

    Much as I like the self employed thing it can sure be stressful.

  • i just hate life at the moment i fel sooooooooooooooooooo down i feel iam trapped in my depression...where do i go 4 help i hate being like this all i do is cry if crying could cure me then id be cured...but life isent that it?

  • Hi,

    I know that feeling only too well ! It is very difficult to find enough mental and physical energy to act decisively when you require help and it is often confusing to know who to turn to and what help is out there. The most important thing to do is to tell somebody how you feel that you trust and whose opinion you trust and that you feel safe with. I would urge you to make an emergency appointment with your GP. If you have been suffering for a extended period, it is possible that you may require antedepressants. If you are struggling to function and your suffering is more acute you can ask your GP to refer you to your Mental Health team, who will assess your suitabilty to a number of different trreatments, including home visits, regualar meds monitoring as well as talking therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy, or pyschotherapy.

    Life isnt easy, but you will recover, you absolutley will, depression isnt a terminal illness. Have faith. How are things at the moment for you ?


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