RIP Robin Williams. For me, one of his most memorable performances was in Dead Poets Society. I still remember his recital of Walt Whitman’s poem – O Me! O Life! Having heard and read the news of his tragic suicide the thought that came to my mind – is this how it ends? Many more questions followed, like – is it really so lonely at the top? Is this the price we pay for fame and fortune?
A while ago, I had read somewhere that the highest rate of depression is amongst high-flying and driven individuals, like CEOs and celebrities, who have lived the successes and fame. The cold hard reality hits in the face the day they retire from job or, in case of celebrities and other public figures, when the limelight shines brighter over the newcomer and they are forced to fade into the shadows. Suddenly the majority of e-mails hitting your inbox are spam. No decision or contract is waiting for you, no people sucking up to you because of your position. It must be a very difficult transition to reality when your ego is forced to crash land and life poses you the question – what next?
To be at the top of the game requires more than 100% of one’s focus and energy. Many relationships, emotions, needs and wants are sacrificed at the altar of success. Is it the ghosts of these that come back to haunt or is it the loss of purpose of life that causes this depression?
What do you think?