Understanding and coping with post success syndrome |Faustina Anyanwu

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
You’re probably facing such situation at the moment or you’ve always wondered just like me, why highly successful or famous people are most likely to often suffer depression or commit suicide. I’ve always wondered too. Those in the events and entertainment industry can mostly relate. Though it happens with accomplishing most projects, big or small.
If you are with me on this one, this probably will help you solve the puzzle and probably fix your own issues.

Achieving success, whether big or not so significant, is like stepping out of the box, or climbing to the top mountain. Once you reach the top of the mountain or very high altitude, you expose yourself to the world to see. You’re exposed to the atmosphere. And in the high altitude, the air is thinner and has less oxygen.

The less oxygen there is, the harder your system has to work to draw in the required amount of molecules. Leading to shortness of breath, tiredness, dizziness and general malaise. Also the reduced pressure kicks in to make things worse as the body requires two times the outside pressure as it’s inner pressure to be able to function effectively to draw in the required amount of oxygen. Causing much discomfort to the cardiovascular system leading to more and more unpleasant symptoms such as; headaches and subsequently confusions .

The same phenomena that occurs in the physical state with climbing out to the higher altitude is what occurs in the psycho-emotional state with achieving success. It doesn’t matter whatever or however small such success is, or your definition of success. As long as you’re doing something to change your situation for the better, you’ve taken to the higher altitude and the forces of nature will kick in to bring you back to your familiar environment – your comfort zone.

Once you step out and takes the first taste of your achievement, the forces will react. Signalling you with all negativity, doing everything to alter the excitement and joy that’s engulf you. In your new altitude – success ground, you find that the socio-emotional support is very scanty, almost unavailable. You find yourself alone and abandoned. You look for your best friend and she’s indifferent to your achievement at the best.

At the worst, the people you most want to celebrate with are out there gossiping and criticising your effort. They see and are only interested in discussing what is wrong with how you achieved your goal. You need a hug but all you get are stones being thrown at you from all angles. There’s nowhere to hide. Not even your own head is able to accommodate your mind. You want to hold yourself but your mind won’t stop wondering what is wrong with everyone. You’re confused, you can’t get enough sleep, no love, no hugs, there’s a lot already waiting for you to take care of. You’re banged on!

Headache sets in. you get more confused, you hear and see more stuff being done to you or said about you. Worse still, they’re false. You’re more confused, your heart beat gets faster, you feel like running out of your mind. It’s like a whirlwind. Bang! You want to scream, you try to go out there to defend yourself, the more you try they harder they come at you. You are going to lose your mind. Now what? You have only two options all along. To focus on your winning and keep winning or focus on the losers and join them in the box. It’s your choice.

So how do you cope with the syndrome? Here are my tips. As first published on C. Hub magazine.