High Performers & Depression

High Performers & Depression


If you are a high performer, chances are that you take pride in your accomplishments. You know how to set goals and achieve them. At home, at work, or in any other sphere of life, from sports to academia and everything else in between, you know how to be successful. You've done a lot for yourself and others—and you're proud of it. So why is it that so many high performers don't feel good about themselves when they're depressed? The answer is simple: depression isn't just about feeling sad all the time; it's also about feeling worthless as well as hopeless about the future—two things that may not seem relevant if your greatest fear involves failing some test or missing an appointment with a client due to poor time management skills rather than having an uncontrollable urge to harm oneself or someone else because of mental illness-related stressors like insomnia caused by night terrors...

High performers can tend to feel shame about their depression.

You might also experience shame about your depression. You may feel that you should be able to solve your problems, or that you are not worthy of help. You may worry that you are letting people down, or becoming a burden on others.

High performers tend to use alcohol and drugs to cope with their depression.

Alcohol and drugs can be a way to cope with depression, but they aren’t the answer. If you rely on alcohol and drugs to get you through the day, it will make your symptoms feel worse in the long run. They can also lead to other problems such as addiction, physical health issues, financial difficulties, and relationship problems.

In addition to the risks associated with using them regularly (such as liver damage or alcohol poisoning), other ways using drugs or alcohol may be affecting your depression:

  • It’s possible that they could be causing your depression instead of helping it – this is known as a substance-induced mood disorder. Alcohol abuse or dependence (see below) is thought to affect up to 50% of people who have major depressive symptoms. If this is happening to you then stopping drinking will help treat both conditions at once!

High performers can be reluctant to seek help for their depression.

For high performers, depression is often a hidden problem. These individuals may feel embarrassed by their situation or worry that seeking help will negatively impact their career and personal relationships. As such, they may be reluctant to seek professional support for their symptoms.

They may also experience feelings of shame about being in this situation at all. High performers are often viewed as “the most successful” person in the workplace—and when they struggle with mental health issues, it can be difficult for them to reconcile this perception with what is happening in real life.

High performers have difficulty recognizing when they are depressed.

Depression is a serious illness, but it's not just felt in one way. Below are some of the common symptoms:

  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Being tired all the time, or losing interest in things you once enjoyed
  • Change in appetite and weight loss or gain
  • Thoughts about death or suicide

If you are a high performer who is depressed, getting help from CAMH would be a good first step.

If you are a high performer who is depressed, getting help from CAMH would be a good first step.

Even if you don't feel like you need it right now, it's good to know that there are options available to you if things get worse—and they may get worse.

Many people think that if they go to counseling or therapy, their workplace will find out and think less of them as employees. This isn’t necessarily true; companies tend to be more understanding than we give them credit for being. However, as a general rule of thumb: If something is negatively affecting your work performance and/or personal life, it's best not to keep it private—at least not forever!

If you do well in your work and life generally, you are still vulnerable to depression; you should get help if this is happening to you.

Just because you are a high performer doesn't mean that you can't experience depression. You may be ashamed of the possibility of being depressed and therefore less likely to admit it, which could make it harder to get help. You might use alcohol or drugs as a way to cope with your symptoms, further complicating treatment. Even if you recognize that you're depressed, finding and accessing the proper help can be difficult for high performers who have trouble asking for what they need in their lives.

You may have difficulty recognizing when and how much of an impact depression is having on your life; this makes it even more important for those around you to keep an eye out for signs that might otherwise go unnoticed by someone who is struggling with depression


If you’re a high performer and are experiencing depression, it’s important to remember that you are not alone. Many high performers feel shame about their mental illness and are reluctant to seek help. You should know that your risk of suicide is greater than average, so if things seem hopeless—please get help immediately by contacting CAMH or another organization in your area. If the person who needs help is an employee at your company or someone you know personally, make sure they know they can talk openly with their doctor or therapist without fear of judgment.

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