Does Fame cause Depression? (+ 5 coping mechanisms)

In this comprehensive overview, we will answer the question: does fame cause depression?

Does Fame cause Depression?

 Yes. fame can cause depression. it is a potential factor that could lead to depression. While pursuing success, money, and fame, it may lead you to feel alienated and depressed. There is an evident link that exists between success which brings about fame and depression.

Environmental stressors 

The environment in which you surround yourself plays a huge role in contributing to the level of stress in most cases. This means the higher you want to climb up the ladder of success, the more prone you will become to having to deal with stressful situations and stiff competition.

This is because successful people always strive to be above the ladder and never below. They do not keep a bar or ceiling above themselves for their level of achievement. Hence, they easily get affected when a pitfall occurs.

 The ego of such people can be very fragile. For them, the privilege factor brings about a sense of entitlement, and when anything changes in their environment, or when there is a setback, it affects them severely both in personal as well as professional ways.

When you are constantly focusing on gaining success and fame by climbing up the ladder, you tend to isolate yourself in the process and this could take a toll on you, gradually. It becomes increasingly difficult to relate to normal people around, and this brings about a sense of alienation, which further leads to depression in the long run. 

Detachment from self

With the pursuit of success and fame comes the risk of getting detached. There will be a constant need to react to external cues and at work and in social situations. In the process, while you may be well connected with your peers, you may find getting disconnected from your true self.

This will eventually drain out your energy and make you full duller as days pass by. You will start to feel isolated from your authentic self, adversely affecting your mental health balance. 

Peaking too soon

During earlier times, the career graphs of people used to rise steadily, one at a time. However, in present times, success and fame have turned out to be an overnight phenomenon. Today, fat pay cheques, million-dollar funding, and large sell-offs easily put you in the limelight that can disappear easily as well. 

Depression among startup founders

There exists, presently, the issue of depression among startup founders. This occurs because the idea of failing and appearing stupid is terrifying for them. Inevitably, a large number of these founders end up being depressed sooner or later, and they choose to keep quiet about it,  at most times. 

Often, companies fail to deal with such difficult times, resulting in the dissolution of the company. 

Unnecessary self-doubt and the fear of not succeeding paves the way towards mental agony and derailment. 

Psychological discord

There is a continuous need for structure and activity to keep our span of attention focused externally. This need arises as a result of a fundamental discord and restlessness in our minds. 

In the presence of a generous amount of spare time, we are forced to turn our attention inwards. In such a situation, we are left with no choice but to face this discord, which creates feelings of boredom, discontent, anxiety, and depression. 

Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi termed this discord as ‘psychic entropy’. He also suggested that this is one of the main reasons why ‘flow’ states are extremely beneficial as they enable us to transcend the feeling of discord.

 Need for Fame

Seeking fame is primarily a way of validating the unique self. This causes desperation in those running behind it. While most people can validate the self through various other means such as friendship, family bonds, and career success, for some others, none of these factors seems to be sufficient. 

Certain motivators have been identified concerning this issue of the need for fame. They are as follows:

Childhood experiences

The problem could have aroused because of over-praising or under-praising by parents or because of the feeling of isolation that emerges in the presence of a sibling. The need for compensation also develops if the child had to deal with problems like bullying or rejection as a teenager. This is largely observed in the biographies of celebrities.

Childhood loneliness

As the number of nuclear families is increasing wherein children live with a single parent or both, the need for attention is growing, in parallel. During the later years of growth, these children seek attention and applause from outsiders. 

Money 

Those people who choose to chase fame and success during their lives, possess a constant desire to increase their financial status along with it. 

Opportunity

People who desire fame like to be content with the belief that opportunities will keep coming into their lives to achieve their dreams and aspirations. Naturally, when they sense that they are running out of opportunities, they tend to become mentally frustrated and discouraged soon.

Talent and hard work

Fame turns out to become an issue when you are simply following the next step of your talents and skills without putting in hard work or proper contemplation where it is required. 

Right Time and place

There are certain situations when people become famous simply because they end up in the right place at the right time. In such cases, these people tend to latch themselves on to this newfound fame and get affected once they no longer receive it.

Fantasy fame

Imagined fame works wonders for those who like to fantasize about getting famous or being recognized by the world. However, in reality, these people never get famous while they are alive. 

The price of fame

The value of fame is becoming less meaningful and fleeting. In current times, any tom and harry can get famous by uploading a video of themselves on youtube or any other social media platform. This is the main factor behind the dilution of the value of fame and increasing demand for fame by people all over the world. 

The problem becomes a serious one when fame does not work out in the way people want it to. 

This causes further damage in people, both psychologically and mentally. It can range from a mood disorder, a major depressive disorder, or even suicide. 

There are several stars and celebrities, even when recognized and popular, turn to alcohol and drugs to cope with their feelings of emptiness and despair. This is because dealing with fame requires you to come up with new material, continuously. 

Validation of fame

Holding on to the validation of fame will make your ordinary unworthy. The other reasons that contribute to fame-related depression include the following:

  • Despair over lost opportunities
  • Squandered money
  • Mood disorder affects of celebrity-like lifestyle which can include alcohol abuse, substance use, a broken relationship, and disturbed sleep, and a self-care schedule.
  • High expectations concerning lasting fame and success. 
  • Lack of privacy and inability to lead an ordinary life that is a result of fame.

Side-effects of fame

Fame can be viewed as an existential phenomenon that is irreversible. Once you happen to enter the world of fame, there is no turning back, unless you consciously decide to keep a check on it. There is an array of side-effects that follow the pursuit of fame. A couple of them are as follows:

  • Struggle with the deluge of attention that comes with fame.
  • Personal confusion and loss of ownership of certain decisions in life.
  • A loneliness that is experienced out of fame, otherwise known as ‘solitude of fame’
  • Adverse effects on relationships with immediate family and friends.
  • Endangers sense of safety
  • Breeds mistrust against close ones
  • A constant battle between the authentic self and ideal self

Being famous attracts public attention and expectations. It involves a constant battle between a need to experience one’s authentic self and not disappointing others as well at the same time. There always exists a fear of losing one’s fame and celebrityhood. 

This chronic stress turns out to be a risk factor for depression among such people. 

Dealing with depression caused by fame. (coping mechanisms)

There are certainly healthy and secure strategies that can be made use of for dealing with depression that is caused by fame. They are as follows;

  • A healthy daily routine involving yourself and your close circle of people.
  • Reframing the meaning of success to gain a better insight and perspective
  • Invest time and effort with the right kind of people. This will ensure a circle of good acquaintances who you can seek help from in times of trouble.
  • Ensure proper sleep, a healthy diet, and a sufficient amount of exercise for the body.
  • Find time to connect with yourself and seek happiness in mundane things around you.
  • Creating a mental space within ourselves and learning to be comfortable in that space.
  • Seek therapy and counseling if the need arises
  • Live life outside the limelight, with a different set of purposes and resources. 

Conclusion

In this comprehensive overview, we answered the question: does fame cause depression? 

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

FAQs: does fame cause depression?

How does fame affect mental health?

Yes. fame can affect mental health because of the feelings of isolation, mistrust, and lack of personal privacy that develops due to fame. These feelings lead to mental imbalance and other related problems. Character splitting between the authentic self and celebrity self occurs as a coping mechanism. 

Are celebrities more prone to depression?

Yes. though not all, some celebrities are more prone to depression than others. This occurs as a result of incessant media and public scrutiny that affects the privacy and mental health of those celebrities. Some are also prone to bipolar disorder. 

Do actors get depressed?

Yes. actors do get depressed. Recent studies have found out that actors are prone to anxiety and depression just as much as other people. This is because acting is a hectic and intense career path with a lot of rejections, strained relationships, unpredictable work schedules, and the fear of peaking too soon. 

Does fame make you happy?

Fame does not always make you happy. Those who were able to attain fame and success were less happy compared to those who attained intrinsic goals such as personal growth and character development. However, studies have also found out that achieving goals does not always result in happiness. 

Why do I crave fame?

You crave fame because there exists a deep-rooted desire for social acceptance and a need for existential validation which is guaranteed by the achievement of fame.  We seek to be enduringly valuable contributors to make the world a meaningful place to live.

Do actors have personality disorders?

Yes. actors are more prone to suffer from Cluster B personality disorders characterized by narcissistic, histrionic, and borderline traits. They are also prone to anti-social, schizotypal, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorders. 

Actors can also experience ‘possession syndrome’ wherein, their lives become infested by their roles, outside the limelight.

What we recommend for depression

Professional counselling

If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.

References

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/in-pursuit-of-success-money-and-fame-may-lead-to-alienation-depression/articleshow/65191515.cms?from=mdr

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/out-the-darkness/201210/the-perils-fame-and-fortune

https://www.everydayhealth.com/depression/fame-fortune-and-despair-1477.aspx

https://thewire.in/culture/psychology-fame-depression

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