Why Are Many High Achievers Prone to Depression?

Why Are Many High Achievers Prone to Depression?

Image courtesy of pakorn at FreeDigtalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of pakorn at FreeDigtalPhotos.net

Even though our modern society glorifies high achievers, it is not surprising that many of them have to endure huge stress while climbing the ladder of success. Meanwhile, many of them may begin suffering from anxiety and depression. And the later usually appears when they achieve their goals. But, why is it so? Why do many high achievers suffer from depression? According to psychologists, not all high achievers are prone to depression. It is mainly the ones who inherently have a low self-worth. Their motives are usually highly suspicious. Namely, high achievers who are motivated by doing things for other people or are driven by an inner sense of fulfillment do not show any sign of depression. However, people whose drives are deeply rooted in society’s expectation tend to express the signs and symptoms of depression. They measure their success with the amount of money they earn, with the position they are promoted to, with the type and number of cars, houses, etc. To find out more about why many high achievers are prone to depression, the article “High Achievers & Depression” gives us the following explanation.

Why Are Many High Achievers Prone to Depression?

Perfectionism and High Achievers
High achievers are goal driven, complex thinkers and multi-taskers. Sometimes it goes too far, and these high achievers become perfectionists, unwilling to accept anything that’s not perfect. Mistakes are unacceptable, both from themselves and from others. When mistakes do happen, these high achievers obsess over them, telling themselves they’re a failure for letting it happen.
Even when a high achiever gains accomplishments, it’s not enough to boost their low self-esteem. They feel unworthy of the recognition and struggle to accept compliments in their work, always seeing what could have been better.

Need for Control
Depression often spawns from feeling like you have no control, and it’s this control the high achiever is seeking. By pouring everything they have into work, they don’t stop until they can’t give anymore. They refuse to ask for help and do everything themselves because they need to be in control the situation. When the rest of their life feels out of control, work becomes their safe place, a place they pour all their effort into.

For that reason, psychologists encourage high achievers to question their motives and stick to the right ones. Our inner sense of fulfillment, when we follow the true inner calling or help other people is reward per se. Any other benefit does not have the capacity to make us emotionally content. When we continuously renew our emotional resources, we can achieve effortlessly many things in the long run. However, people who lack this essential component will feel emotionally drained, no matter what they have achieved on the material level. They might feel like a fraud. They get everything from the outside but lack this crucial emotional component from the inside. For those high achievers who are driven by material things only, they suggest a reevaluation of goals. Those achievers who can adjust their goals to their unique sense of worth and who can bring meaning into their career are free from depressed thoughts and feelings. They have enough inner resources to endure the climbing.

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