Have You Heard Of The Billionaire’s Depression?

4 minutes

For many people, money is an important factor for a happy life. Most people want to become rich and many within that set, want to become rich enough to never work again. Because the sense of security, along with having enough money for the next 5 generations to live comfortably is an alluring proposition for many.

But let’s take a look at some of the people who are living that dream. It took them time and effort to get there, but the returns were beyond measure. The world’s richest people have enough money to last them another 4000 years, even if they live the most lavish lifestyle you can envision. Because when you have that much money, it will keep growing, no matter how much you spend.

So there are people in this world, who have done that. In the English-speaking world, it’s called being “pyjama rich” – you can go to the fanciest places in your pyjamas, because you don’t have anything to prove to anyone.

One would think that they would be sorted. But the reality is quite different. There is in fact, a higher correlation between depression and getting rich, as opposed to being happy and rich. Sure, you are no longer in the rat race of sustenance and you can actually do whatever you want, but there’s a kind of inertia that sets in. With the need for money out of the equation, more often than not, there’s nothing else to work towards.

Of course, there are a few like Bill Gates who has dedicated his life to working towards social issues, but for the vast majority, there is nothing much more to do. Financial planners say that rich people, especially those who won a lottery or got it through inheritance, more often than not fall into depression. With nothing to look forward to, depression settles in.

This can be seen in people who have achieved a lot too. For example, the moonwalkers – Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin had quite a traumatic time after their expedition to the moon. The former never really stuck to one career and spent the rest of his life running away from people wanting him to write his memoirs. The latter had it worse – substance abuse and 3 divorces! Many privy to their lives believe their downward spiral was because of their phenomenal success. After all, what do you do after you’ve walked the moon?

Another reason that can cause depression among the rich and successful, is loneliness. As the age old saying goes – it’s lonely at the top, and without a family and friends support system, human interaction becomes very less. Many billionaires go through this problem and it was best summarised by this tweet from the founder of Minecraft, who had just become a billionaire after selling his game to Microsoft –

Psychologists say that human interaction and having something to work towards is required for a happy life. Becoming extremely rich devoids people of both of these things and despite what you thought, money can’t keep you happy.
Now, it can be difficult to feel sorry for these people, but that’s not the point of this piece of writing. Depression can affect anyone. No matter who you are, how much you earn, how much fame you have – if you’re not getting enough serotonin, you’re going to be sad and unhappy. Depression doesn’t discriminate and if you can help, neither should you.

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