Would you invest in/join a company if you knew the founder was seeing a psychiatrist?

As an investor would you invest in a company if you knew the founder was seeing a psychiatrist? Does it matter what the reason is?

Would you join one?


  • Absolutely. I say that as a founder who’s seen a psychiatrist before a funding, during the company and through to a favorable acquisition. Its good to know a person is smart and also realizes there are things they can do to improve and better understand themselves. An investor scared by that is not an investor I’d want.

    • More importantly would you invest in a coma only that the founder was currently indicted for wire fraud? How can a investor overcome such a big issuer? Why take the risk that you may be the next victim ????

  • Why do people assume that seeing a psychiatrist means that a person is crazy or suicidal? Lots of people see psychiatrists for normal reasons like for instance having attention deficit disorder. I have ADD and I used to see a psychiatrist every few months because the ADD medication requires a prescription in order to purchase it.

    My psychiatrist would make appointments with me every 3 months in order to make sure that I wasn’t abusing the medication, since it contains amphetamines and can make a person high if they take too much.

    I wasn’t going to do that, but legally speaking it’s required of the psychiatrist to take those precautions. Anyways, my point is that people shouldn’t assume that someone is crazy just because they see a psychiatrist.

  • Let me rephrase the question where an investor should really be concerned :

    “Would you invest in/join a company if you knew the founder was an alcoholic” ?

    Very bad idea.

    • Dumb logic. Your example states a specific condition with known effects, while OP question is about seeing a shrink for anything, which could be from unrelated phobia like fear of heights/roaches to heavier issues with potential negative effect on work life.

  • Yep. Absolutely. As the first commenter said, I think it’s a great attribute to have that the person has recognised where they need help and have sought it. And as the second commenter said, who is to say why the person is actually seeing the psychiatrist. I’ve seen a psychologist (different, I know) on and off for the last 5 years or so. Whenever I have a problem in my personal life that I knew to kick around with someone impartial. I know I’m responsible for getting through it, but need help.

  • I would take whatever low level position you are interviewing for so long as the founder wears a scarlet-letter like sign reflecting he is seeing a medical professional.

    You already know your own answer to this question. Why you need external validation suggests you could benefit from some help as well. Why the lack of confidence? Why are you indecisive?

    • I think what he might be implying is.. A successful start up needs a good problem solver. ( nuff said — I think )

      and this may ruffle some feathers but good discussion is always good

      for

      communities.

  • I only wish co-founders of a startup I used to work for went to see one. They totally needed one and employees often joked, these ppl need mental help more than $$$$$.

  • As the poster of this question I found this discussion relatively disheartening. The support shown at the top is difficult to embrace over the comments at the bottom that display a altogether too typical lack of understanding of mental health issues (and in some case kindness).

    I’m not “an “angel investor” with no network (hence asking for advice on the internet) and no judgement” nor am I interviewing for a “low level position.” I’m actually a CEO and founder running a successful-if-early-stage company. Does that change the respect level in this conversation? It shouldn’t, but I hope it doesn’t get much lower than a couple of those comments.

    I posted this because I’m struggling with depression that is completely outside of my work life. I haven’t experienced a decrease in my ability to lead my company, but the depression I’m feeling in my personal life is becoming a very real problem that I need to seek help about. Unfortunately, I’m just entering a round of funding and I am concerned that by getting help for myself I might effect my funding round, and thus the lives of my employees and the customers we are trying to help with our product.

    I know that this comment thread isn’t a representative sample of all of my potential investors, users, and future employees, but based on its tone, I do feel like unless I happen upon a couple of people with personal experience the lack of understanding and general stigma against mental health will effect my ability to lead my company, even if my problem doesn’t.

    • I’m the one who wrote the second reply. In the past I’ve had episodes of depression. Often times, depression is the result of a chemical imbalance in the human body, as it was the case for me. By changing my diet and taking certain supplements, I was able to eliminate my depression.

      For instance, taking fish oil every day will elevate your mood. The effect won’t be felt right away, it takes a few weeks to notice it. Also, blueberries are good. I would also recommend eating protein and fats as that keeps your mood more stable than if you eat carbohydrates often. Going for a jog or another form of cardio exercise can help as well to elevate your mood.

      If all of the above doesn’t work, then I would schedule an appointment with a psychiatrist to see if there aren’t any drugs that can be prescribed to elevate your mood. I would only do that as a last result though, as many drugs can make you dependent on them.

    • I think you are taking the low-level employee and angel investor part the wrong way. I would interpret them as saying that, to experienced people, getting help for mental health is not a huge issue (and basically made fun of someone for seeming to judge getting help).

      I say this as an investor and founder who has dealt with depression personally.

      While your fears are understandable, they are probably overstated. You would be amazed at the number of investors / employees who have dealt with something similar or have close family/friends that have. They can be incredibly supportive; I would say many of my work relationships have been enhanced in fact by honestly discussing my issues with depression.

      Other point: going to get help is incredibly unlikely to come up during fundraising. Please do not let that be an excuse that prevents you from setting an appointment.

      Other tips from my own experience:

      medication can work. It is hit and miss to find the right one for you and the initial adjustment period can be challenging. Long-term it has been critical for me and I am amazed that I got by without it for so long.
      you are the perfect candidate for CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). Basic premise: emotions follow your thoughts; people with depression/anxiety have common thought distortions; CBT works to respond to and correct those distortions. Requires lots of journalling and with some training becomes largely self-directed. You get what you put into it. Someone with your background has the drive / discipline to do the work; you will benefit from it.

      Hang in there. And good luck.

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