From Jonghyun’s suicide – Why are successful people with great career still depressed?

Jonghyun seemed to have everything but unexpectedly, he chose this sad ending for his life!

18 Dec was truly a heartbreaking day to K-pop fans as well as the entire Asian entertainment industry. On that day, Jonghyun, a talented male singer and composer of SHINee, was forever gone.

SHINEE, Jonghyun, dead, 2017

In his suicide letter, Jonghyun admitted that he was seriously depressed, which was the cause of his suicide. However, if looking back at this successful career, nobody would believe that he was so depressed that he decided to end his life.
Depression is an illness of paradoxes. According to Forbes’ statistics, the average rate of depression in the society is 20%, but this rate doubles – around 40% if people are successful CEO. Children born in wealthy and rich families are likely to be more depressed than those living in poor families with low income. Depression is also more popular in developed countries instead of developing countries.Therefore, we can see that depression happens to everyone, from any ages, any cultures and any economic conditions. Nobody is immune from it, including those who are believed to have admirable achievements in their lives.
It’s hard for the society’s general trend to sympathize with mental illnesses that a successful person may suffer. Jonghyun’s case is an example, people are crying for him, but how many of them truly know the causes of his depression?

Put in a harsh competition

Deborah Serani, a famous American psychologist used to say: “Many of my patients are successful people, and to me, there’s no reason for them to be immune from depression”.
When you come to a too developed country, competition will become something amazingly big, it’s like failure always exists in their minds”.
In terms of Jonghyun’s case, he had to suffer a lot of pressures.. In the harshest entertainment industry of the world, “as bamboos grow old, young shoots spring up”, SHINee as well as many other 2nd generation idols gradually went backward. Even though Jonghyun himself tried his best, it was still not easy to remain his reputation.

Despite his non-stop efforts, many people still believed that Jonghyun was struggling to remain his reputation.

Pressure from the next generation, from management company, from himself… overwhelmed pressures are the shortest way leading to depression, which was proved by scientists a long time ago.

Have no time for little things

Only non-stop efforts and works can lead to success. However, successful people have one thing in common: they are always busy, even so busy that they can’t concentrate on little things in their lives. Finally, what stays with them on the edge of glory is loneliness.
Normal people have a lot of things to worry about, but we can enjoy it. You can speak ill of this or that person, or can complain to your friends about everything. But when you become outstanding, everything changes. Things start to lose their original connection, even simplest things” – said Serani.
Family dinner seems to be unaffordable and conversations with friends tend to be shortened and finally, it does not exist anymore”.
Those things are responsible for coloring your life, but to successful people, they may have to work 24/7 and have no time for them”.

Feel separate from themselves

When becoming too successful and wealthy, many people feel like they are a stranger to themselves. A patient used to share with Serani: “The more money I have, the more I feel that I am different from who I was before”.
New relationships and wealthy pleasure can create an unnamed pressure. When everything is gone, it leaves the feeling of empty behind.
Suffer huge pressures from their career
According to Greg Dillon, a psychologist from New York, a career’s characteristics can cause different depression risks. “I see many men who work for big companies have a serious fall when their jobs get worse. They really do”.

Why are successful people with great career still depressed?

People who have been successful for a long time will understand it, said Dillon. Even when their statistic figures are positive, they are not really their exact goals. The value and goal of each person will change through the time. When they are not able to meet their expectations, they will feel sad, depressed and disappointed.
Korea and its entertainment industry are not as beautiful as what you think

Finally: The definition of success

In your opinion, what is success?

Caroline Myss, a writer whose books used to become NY Times bestseller 5 times, think that our definition of success is like a fancy based on other’s points of view.

When we look at the life of someone who has much money, a happy family or a wealthy appearance, we think that they are successful. Similarly, we also base on what other people achieve to judge ourselves.

However, success is not like that, is it? In fact, success is what we feel and it is independent from other factors. You feel satisfied with your life- that’s a perfect success.

Therefore, there are some cases when we think someone is successful, but they don’t think so. The feelings of empty and disappointed make them stressed. When they can’t suffer it anymore, everything explodes and creates a tragedy.

I detested myself. I grabbed my disjointed memories and yelled at them to pull themselves together but was met with no response.”
If I can’t help myself breathe properly it’s better to stop breathing at all
I asked myself who was responsible for me. Only I. I was utterly alone
Jonghuyn – 2017

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