You feel depressed? You are not alone.

SOBERING statistics published earlier this month show that the annual rate of suicide in the US has risen by almost 28 percent between 1999 and 2016.

I believe this is affecting businesses as well as individuals.

Both celebrities, Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade committed suicide this month and helped open the can of worms many people today are experiencing. That topic is depression.

For this topic, I believe many of us are experts. Almost everyone will go through events that cause upheaval and crisis.

Depression causes one to look for relief. Unfortunately, many who are dealing with addiction start with depression.

I believe that in today’s economy, companies are showing signs of depression.

Today many are trying to be the one-person band and do it all. Just look at some advertising campaigns that are not as cohesive as everywhere.

When you are depressed, you are prone to reach for things that give you pleasure but are not always the best. Ask any addict.

So many of us are looking for Likes or comparing our life to other people’s Facebook feeds.

We have gone from liking a post to loving, laughing, wow, sad, and even mad.

We are losing our compasses on how to navigate life. Instead, we are now looking to measure what is good or bad based on skewed analytics.

Opioids are primarily used for pain relief, including anesthesia. Many in business reach out for things like an opioid to make them feel better. That person has more followers than us. Let’s hire them. They can make it better. Remember, opioids not only can relieve pain, but they can also anesthetize you. I think many in business today are operating in a fog.

Communications departments have moved away from a solid story to choosing to use work based on the content providers’ social media feeds of likes and several followers.

Teaching in college and workshops, I experience more students who feel like they are already good photographers based on their social media likes from friends.

Brandon Stanton, the creator of Humans of New York, said, “Photography felt like a treasure hunt, and even though I sucked at it, I’d occasionally stumble upon a diamond. And that was enough to keep me wanting more.”

Stanton’s success is based on one simple truth–Everyone Has A Story!

People were drawn to his storytelling, which led to his massive following, but he didn’t go out and find someone doing something and copy it. Instead, he just went with his interest in the people on the streets of NYC. At first, he focused on visually exotic people, but slowly he discovered that everyone had a story.

Instead of trying to find the next “Cool Trend,” why not go with storytelling?

Stories allow the listener to learn vicariously and discover lessons seemingly on their own.

Stories make us feel a part of the situation.

Storytelling is tapping into people’s emotions that will help you to influence or persuade them.

Stories build connections between people. Those who tell stories are the ones making solid connections with their audience.

Storytelling is powerful because it engages the entire brain. A story, if broken down into the simplest form, is a connection between cause and effect.

Let me work with you and make your stories visual to be more engaging.