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How success at times may lead to depression

businessman thinking

The reason why the extremely successful people like the CEOs and founders of companies get depressed is shrouded in enigma. Still, it happens and when the elite gets depressed it is like a fall into the abyss where the blue funk is much intense and the world gloomy more than twice the rate at which the spell of low spirits strike an average man which is around 20%.

Studies reveal that challenging work environment, the fierce and ruthless competitive world of industry and business against which an organization head has to constantly push himself up and stay there at the top requires a monstrous effort.

It is a constant battle up the rank and file eliminating adversaries and achieving the industrial goals at the same time. It must be borne in mind mounting accomplishments that help a man scale heights in organizational hierarchy rests on so many factors.

The successful man needs round-the-clock follow-up to ensure factors continuously work in his favor. One wrong move, and he his completely broken psychologically. Greater the rise more intense is the downbeat. The worse thing is he has fewer friends save his family members to share the pang of incompetence. At the top, it is a lonely feel with hardly any friends and an army of competitors as a perennial threat.

Successful people are deprived of certain simple and great moments of life like cracking jokes with friends in a fish market or stealing one another’s lunch box while commuting together. These bits of acts are a way of mental ventilation which is a much needed break which the super successful men cannot possibly get involved in for their social status.

A study into the causal relationship between CEO melancholy and his position in organization and society brings out the following facts:

The stiff competition could be draining:

Mounting pressure from corporate demands keeps company CEOs on their toes in terms of performance and success. In not so affluent countries, the rate of depression is lower while in highly industrial countries successful men stay in constant mental pressure that their position might be facing a threat.

The 24 x 7 busy schedule:

Among highly successful men and organizational heads round-the-clock busy schedule on professional matters deprive them of simple joys of life. They possibly feel stranded in islands laden with all the affluence of life but really no one to share their agonies when they do not meet up to the expectations of the organizations they work for.

They may get cut off from their former selves:

identity crisis

Extreme affluence and high social standing may leave people getting disconnected from their own selves. The issue of identity crisis sometimes may turn overwhelming so much so that they always feel the pressure of projecting their image to the society for a constant reminder that they are somebody. When the bubble of success which they have enjoyed since long explode on account of failure, the despair turns unbearable.

Position, wealth and power make them less adaptable to changes when tables turn against them:

Being born into wealth and privilege makes them vulnerable to the outside world when the pillars of strength are removed. They have been used to live in such high profile success that a sudden fall from grace makes it difficult for them to cope with harsh realities of life.

Industry performance graph can shatter successful men:

financial debacle

Top executives from firms of global fame like Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs have sunk into gloom following a financial debacle. In the hay days, when the business was booming they operated with high energy levels. Now that the bad days have overtaken they are completely ruined at least mentally if not financially.

The values of successful men may alter over time: 

Successful people hit by industrial collapse fairly get it painfully ingrained in their minds that they had been incompetent and no longer considered big and important. They can, however, survive the agony with a shift in emphasis from highly demanding professional lives to family lives giving more time to family members.

It is high time that the pseudo notion that wealth and happiness go hand in hand needs to be reviewed. There are case studies where it is revealed that Markus Perrson, the multibillionaire video game creator and Dong Nguyen, a Vietnamese game maker famous for his smart phone sensation ‘ flappy bird ‘ have been high achievers in their respective fields.

However, they have ranted in public media about their disillusionment, isolation and ultimate depression. A classic example would be the case of Buzz Aldrin , the celebrity astronaut from 1960s and 70s. He was the second man on moon in his legendary Apollo 11 mission. After return, he turned out to be an extremely depressed man finding refuge in bottles of alcohol.

On the contrary, Alan Shepherd, the first American to walk in space and the 5th to land in the moon moved on well as a businessman. Similarly, Alan Bean who walked on the moon in the Apollo 12 mission remained happy and satisfied after taking to painting. It is all about keeping the wheels of life moving on instead of being caught in stagnancy allowing depression to creep in.

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