Money and Fame: Tools for Depression?
In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of celebrity suicides. From the death of comedy legend Robin Williams in 2014 to the famous celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain and designer Kate Spade’s death in the year of 2018. Their tragic fate was linked to clinical depression.
The so-called middle-class population could wonder what could have gone wrong with these people? They had the world, money, and fame! When they had such a great and wonderful life, what could have pushed them into depression?
Fame and Its Link to Depression
These suicides are now a hot topic not just in the entertainment, but also in the medical field. Psychologists are now looking into the pattern of celebrity suicides in an attempt to gain an in-depth understanding of clinical depression.
And so the big question is, “What went wrong?” A psychologist said, “it can be lonely at the top. Thanks to their achievements, super successful people become unrelatable to normal people.” As you take a step higher in the success ladder, the bigger the risk of detachment.
As they become richer and famous, the more their daily activities and experiences differ from normal working people. While these personal experiences and privileges should be a benefit, this could also be a reason for celebrities to feel more alienated. That’s because they have fewer people who can relate to their situation.
Being famous and rich bring about experiences and stressors that common people don’t have to wrestle with. Constant travel sounds exciting and adventurous but is in fact often a lonely way to live. Being on the road all the time could make someone feel like they don’t have a home. Constant traveling also makes it harder for people to maintain healthy relationships with their partners and families.
Aside from the perils of constant traveling, celebrities and rich people are always under pressure. Society often expects them to be perfect. Since they are famous, they always have to maintain a certain public image. This could be a great stressor to people as one single mistake can be a great deal breaker. This pressure tends to make famous people feel that they are not good enough and that they have to try harder.
Famous People and Psychic Entropy
These unordinary daily experiences and routines create a disturbance in one’s state of mind. To achieve an attentive focus as proven by human physiology and psychology, humans need structured activities. When the curtains close and famous people experience lesser attention, this means fewer things to keep their mind occupied. Thus making them restless. Their tendency is to concentrate on this free time, making them feel bored, anxious, or even depressed. This state is called psychic entropy, a term coined by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
If you find it difficult to concentrate, let your thoughts flow, this state of mind becomes psychic entropy.
Famous people tend to cling to the need for their validation. If they lose this validation from the public and other people, their ordinary life makes them feel unworthy. The spotlight is addicting and celebrities expect it to last forever. But it never does and never will! Thus, pushing them into depression.
Mind Health is Wealth
Wealth also adds fuel to the fire when they are depressed. Famous and rich people have a lot more money than the rest of us and they are able to access the world in ways they specifically desire. Good or bad, they can do as they please just because they have the money. This makes them the best candidates for alcoholism, drug abuse and other activities not beneficial for one’s physical and psychological well-being.
With all the boredom, sadness, and anxieties they tend to create a cycle full of negativity. This, in the long run, will make them feel like they’re going in circles. A psychologist observed that to break the psychic discord, one has to control the flow of thoughts of the interested parties. It is important to keep interactions healthy and relationships real.
It is easy to say to do this and that. But when in the real situation of being rich and famous, these simple things may really be difficult to achieve and maintain. That is why the key to staying psychologically healthy is to have a purposeful life outside the spotlight. Spending time with family and friends will contribute to their well-being and promote self-worth.
So before dwelling on feeling envious of the rich and famous, take a look at your ordinary life and appreciate that. Your life may be ordinary, but you may have healthy relationships and a steady routine to be happy about.
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