Why Successful People Struggle With Mental Illness
When I say name some impressive and successful people who struggled with mental illness…who would they be?? Any guesses!!
Let me tell you, the Famous Author of Harry Potter J.K Rowling battled depression, Actor\Comedian Jim Carrey struggled with clinical depression, Lady Gaga experienced Psychotic episodes, and Brian Wilson from Beach Boys struggled with schizoaffective disorder.
My aim for this blog is to pile up the correlation between success and mental health. Let us work on solving the relationship first. Well, everyone has somewhere asked themselves why successful people are struggling with mental illness.
To answer this question, I found a study that showed that successful people (especially CEOs) are at risk of developing depression when compared to the general population. Additionally, one study proved that 49% of entrepreneurs struggled with mental illness.
Moreover, 71.1% of musicians struggled with anxiety or panic attacks while 68.5% experienced depression. To understand this, let’s review the link between success and mental illness in the next section.
The Link between Success and Mental Illness
When I took a closer look at this correlation, I found that mental illness and achievements go hand-in-hand and have a lot to do with what it takes to reach the goals or success point.
Famous Psychologist Dr. Crystal I. Lee stated that “Many of the characteristics needed to be a successful entrepreneur align with some symptoms of mental illness.”
Additionally, he stated that people with bipolar disorder tend to think big and aim to reach for the stars. This happens out of visions for the brains that think outside the box and creates goals and plans that are highly ambitious.
According to research, a great creative person or entrepreneur contains the quality of taking risks in order to achieve the success which often overlaps with mental health issues.
Freeman from CNN described, “Creativity, extroversion, open-mindedness, and propensity for risk” as some of the great characteristics of achievers and successful people.
Meanwhile, Johns Hopkins from Forbes added, “Obsession, dedication, novelty-seeking, and a strong drive for success” are some other qualities of achievers that overlap with mental health issues.
Many of the above-mentioned traits are hallmarks of mental health issues and addictions. We can relate obsession with Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD), meanwhile, novelty-seeking and risky behavior is associated with bipolar disorder. All of the characteristics have signals of a mental health issue. Additionally, it could happen that mental illnesses in these successful people may excel at their chosen calling.
From the research, we have established that highly successful people are linked with mental health. It is essential to observe if they will be able to be successful because of their individualistic strengths.
Compression of Success and Growing Mental Health Issues
This is not where we end, everyone’s story of success comes with a cost, and it may come with financial responsibility, public scrutiny, performance expectations, or level of fame. All of this results if the pressure and stress of growing demands which directly leads to larger mental health issues.
Per practicality, it is very difficult to balance your well-being with a demanding career. Research says that when you rise high, you are likely to face great mental pressure to perform which leads to self-doubt. The sides of being accomplished and smart can easily flip into the tap of worrying and overthinking.
Success can also lead to self-neglect and isolation. Apparently, whenever someone’s business takes off, it takes a lot of time to manage. This part pushes away social connections and leads to mental health issues.
Related Read: Turning mental illness into a superpower
Whenever business takes a high node, people tend to disconnect from a lot of simple things like sitting down for dinner, family time, or “me-time.” This thing takes away small joy from life and despairs the texture of living a happy life. If left unchecked or unstable, it may lead to a dis-balance of success and depression and may result in full burnout or the development of mental illness.
Successful people seeking help for mental health issues are associated with various stigmas across the world. As successful people always want to be on top and never admit the need of getting help. This is one of the major reasons why successful people struggle with mental health issues. They tend to self-motivate themselves without asking for help and this makes things even worse.
I would say, if you are struggling or have already reached your goals, you can always take the support of a mental health professional to get your stride again. It’s true that mental health issues need support and access to addressing your mental health needs can help you reach mental health-related goals as well.
A mental health provider is a professional who is equipped to help us and heal us to bounce back even stronger. Mental illness cannot be handled alone. Therefore, try getting help from a therapist, vent it out, trust me nobody is judging you, and get proper help.
Before we end this blog, here are some secrets of successful people that help them stay motivated and sane throughout their journey:
- Successful people take risks
- Successful people hold self-belief
- Successful people don’t care about other judgemental thoughts
- Successful people always think out of the box
- Successful people are optimistic
- Successful people knowhow to take ownership
I hope this blog helps you to understand why successful people struggle with mental illness. For more such content, follow Calm Sage on all social media platforms.
Sending positive vibes to you!