Executive Depression: A Hidden Problem that Can be Overcome

The highs and lows of business, combined with the pressures to succeed from within an organization and in our own minds, are a breeding ground for depression.  Many executives feature typical “A” personalities where there is a constant need for new challenges and also new rewards.

Many years ago there was a book published with a title that jumped off the page to me: “If I Am So Successful, Why Do I Feel Like a Failure?”  I don’t recall the author, but the title was enough to ring an alarm bell in my head that continues in the distance even today.  The book tackled the problem of hidden depression among high achievers.

The naked pursuit of fame, wealth, personal attention and achievements. and power can become a powerful weapon that dominates your mind and your behavior blocking out the need for moderation, humility, reason, and balance in your life. It is like a drug, in that unless you are constantly fed new challenges, new victories, new accolades, and new rewards will drag you down to depths of despondency.  All that matters is what lies ahead, not what you have achieved.  Past victories are cast aside as “luck” or downplayed as less than desirable then the challenge or goal that lies ahead.

Sadly marriages, families and friendships often suffer fallout from this problem.  Marriages especially suffer as often successful people pursue extramarital relationships as additional “conquests” and as further validation of their success and personal appeal.  Love has very little to do with it.

Add to this mix the jealousy or the success of others (fed by social media) and the fear that what you have achieved is not good enough and you start to understand how many executives feel depressed and are unhappy with their work and their lives.

It does not have to be that way.  There are professionals who can provide counseling to help you manage this problem but for me a relationship with Christ has made the difference.

As I have grown in faith I have learned humility, patience, and the value of family commitment. I have also understood that I am a special creation, loved by God despite my faults, and designed to live a full  giving thanks for every blessing no matter how small.  I have found peace in who I am as a unique creation, without comparison to anyone else, and without jealousy or envy for what others may have.

Best of all I know that the race I must run is not for material gain and personal fame, but a race to live a life pleasing to God so that I may inherit my birthright: eternal peace and joy in heaven with my Creator.

If you are feeling depressed today, open a Bible and find a Word to refresh you, redirect your steps, and bring you peace.  I’m praying for you!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set out for him he endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. Think of him who endured such opposition against himself by sinners, so that you may not grow weary in your souls and give up.      Hebrews 12:1-3

Rejoice in hope, endure in suffering, persist in prayer.  Romans 12:12

No trial has overtaken you that is not faced by others. And God is faithful: He will not let you be tried beyond what you are able to bear, but with the trial will also provide a way out so that you may be able to endure it.  1 Corinthians 10:13




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