Ambition is Linked to Mental Health Problems

How do you define success? Nice house? Good job? Professional responsibility? Retirement at 50? Well, as a society, we tend to pick a definition that involves money and power—the trouble is, that might be a mentally unhealthy way to measuring worth.

A study published in Psychology and Psychotherapy has found that defining social status by evoking money and power can be linked to mental health problems like bipolar disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, anxiety, and depression. Researchers surveyed 600 young men and women, asking them about their motivations for achieving wealth and power, how much success they felt they had, and rounded that out with a mental health evaluation.

Turns out, a sense of powerlessness or low social standing was associated with high risk of depression and anxiety, those students with a lot of ambition also had a higher risk of bipolar disorder and narcissistic personality disorder.

So, if you’re struggling with your ‘lack of success’, it’s time to redefine success. Pick a different goal. John Dunsworth suggests you take up stonework.


Photo courtesy of flickr

 

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