Depressed for Success

Depressed for success

Depression isn't all bad

They say you should dress for success, but how about depressed for success?

Depression is usually seen as a negative disease. However, not everything about depression needs to be bad. Not that it is something you would wish on anyone: I have it myself, and I would much rather not have it.

However, a client this week reminded me that there are positive aspects to depression, although it might not seem so to some people.

This woman was successful at business, and had a good marriage. But she was so wound up all the time that she couldn't enjoy them. From being be carefree and relaxed, she now was stressed about everything. She had high expectations of herself, was driven all the time, was always looking for things that could go wrong.
She said she had been brought up in a family where she had to be a provider early on. Her step father was a drunk. As a teenager, she felt that it was always up to her to save the day. There was relentless pressure to do something.

Depressed for Success

It is no surprise that a woman with such a background would be depressed. But in this case, the depression was the driving force to her success. Depression makes you anxious about things going wrong, you worry and catastrophize about everything. In this woman's case, the worry actually drove her to take action. She did everything she could to meet trouble before it started, to always be ready. She had high standards, almost perfectionism from her black and white thinking. That combination led to success in her profession and to recognition of her abilities. From this she started her own hairdressing business. It is ironic to think that it is in fact the depression and dread of failure that has driven her to the top.

I wonder how many other people are successful as a by-product of depression?

David Mason

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