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Does Being Wealthy Affect Your Mental Health?

Jul 15, 2022

You’ve likely heard the saying “more money, more problems,” but perhaps not as a connection between wealth and mental health. Although financial stability and independence provide a lot of advantages in life, they do not ensure sustainable mental wellness. Let’s explore why material wealth can be a factor in worsening mental health symptoms in some people. 

Wealth provides an advantage when the need to address mental health concerns arises but does not guarantee a person can sustain good mental health alone. The stress associated with wealth and mental health with high-level positions, such as executives, demands healthy solutions for coping and adapting. When untreated depression, anxiety, or trauma is present, a person who’s accumulated a great deal of wealth may find masking problem behaviors is easier. Dual diagnosis treatment for an executive whose mental health disorder has led to substance use is highly recommended. 

Wealth Does Not Guarantee Mental Health. 

Having the ability to pay out-of-pocket for health care and mental health care is valuable. Yet, it does not mean everyone with that ability prioritizes their own mental health and well-being. A large bank account, career achievements, and real estate holdings are not a reflection of how someone is dealing with anxiety, depression, or trauma. When mental health concerns are neglected, they can affect a person’s physical well-being and safety and become costly in other ways, too.

Adjustment Issues Can Stem from Wealth.

Someone born into wealth may have a history of being able to avoid conflicts or having to grapple with typical issues involving finding work, securing housing, affording transportation, and more. Their problem-solving skills may be limited to paying for a solution rather than coming up with one on their own. This is an example of how wealth affects mental health and their ability to adjust to difficulties in social settings, at school or work, and in their communities. As a result, they may feel frustrated by an inability to navigate through a problem that doesn’t get solved with material goods or money. 

Wealth Affects Mental Health When People Mask Problem Behaviors. 

Anxiety, isolation, worries about work and love, and fears over their children can all lead to problem behaviors for someone who’s wealthy. They may become too involved or controlling in people’s lives, abandon relationships when people don’t see eye to eye with them, or struggle to maintain healthy and balanced relationships with friends, partners, or spouses. Financial resources can often help them minimize these problems or keep them hidden from others, making them feel no need to be accountable to address the underlying mental health issues. 

Maintaining Wealth Can Lead to Sacrificing Other Essential Things in Life.

Successful people will tell you that their achievements come at a high cost of letting go of some parts of their life. Their choice to focus on building and growing a company, for example, may mean missing important family occasions, choosing work over friends, spending extra hours at the office, or isolating at home to continue working late into the night. The imbalance in life can worsen mental health disorders and lead to feelings of restlessness, trouble concentrating, feelings of panic, and sleeping problems.  

Wealth Affects Mental Health by Creating Greater Expectations of Success.

Being wealthy is seen as something to maintain and grow, putting greater expectations for success all the time. This constant pressure to achieve more and more can exhaust and overwhelm a person. The expectation can come from outside sources, such as industry peers or family members. Wealth can affect mental health when this expectation a wealthy person sets for themselves and continues to see as an unachievable standard. 

Wealth Can Cause Distrust in Personal and Professional Relationships. 

Wealthy people may question other people’s intentions in their personal life and workspaces. For example, they may see people as solely in their life to benefit financially from them. This can make all relationships feel transactional. A loss of trust in the people around them and suspicions that everyone is out for financial gain can make an individual feel a loss in their self-worth outside of their wealth. Their self-esteem may be directly connected to what they’re able to provide for themselves and their families, and the threat of losing this wealth can feel devastating. 

Public Perception of Wealthy People Tends to be Limiting. 

The perception that wealthy people have no problems or can manage problems easier with money is problematic. That belief can make a person minimize the actual depth of their mental health issues. They may convince themselves they’re okay because they’re still successful and financially strong. Without addressing the underlying mental health issues they’re facing, the symptoms can grow over time and become much more unmanageable. 

Untreated Mental Health Needs Can Grow into Substance Use Disorders.

Ignoring the signs of depression, anxiety, or trauma can lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms, including drinking and drug use. Substance use may start at home after work and eventually become part of their workday. Recognizing the need for mental health is a sign of strength in executives and other leaders. Resources to help them learn coping strategies for dealing with stress and other mental health symptoms are available, along with private treatment programs that can help them confidentially work on their sobriety goals. 

Headwaters at Origins is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety. For information on our programs, call us today: 561-270-1753.

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