Being gifted intellectually is indeed a blessing, but it has its downside as well. The society has always linked high intelligence and creative thinking to various mental illnesses, including depression. And now, there are studies also that vindicate the general perception about intelligent and creative people. These findings suggest that individuals with high IQ are more susceptible to depression.
Here, we explore why smart people have higher chances of developing depression:
- Difficulty in adjusting to norms of society: Intelligent people find it difficult to fit into the shoes of ordinary people as they perpetually question the credibility of established norms in the society. What is considered normal for others is an aberration to them.
- Highly emotional and sensitive: Rather than going with the flow, intelligent people constantly have their minds filled with questions and doubts. Normally, people simply believe in the established rules and do not have the inclination or the tenacity to challenge any laid out rules in the society. However, constant questioning by intelligent people makes them more exposed to depression.
- They feel the zing to be missing from their lives: When intelligent people raise their problems, they often get a cold shoulder because others are simply not at the same position. Hence, it leads to a feeling that they are just square pegs in a round hole and something is terribly missing in them.
- They view life through their own lens: Intelligent people simply do not settle down with the rules and traditions set by the society. They often view life through their own lens and exercise their own discernible logic all the time. This leads to a huge drain on energy that eventually leads to depression.
- Constant indignation at the follies of the society, people and norms: Gifted people realize over time that fretting and fuming at the people around them or the societal norms are not going to yield any results. This pent-up anger inside them translates into depression. Their inquisitive minds seek for a resolution which is impossible to come by, and this creates a restlessness inside them, resulting in depression and melancholy. The norms and behavior of the society frustrate them and what remains is a trail of unanswered existential queries. Everything according to them is absurd in this world.
Intelligent people suffering from depression fail to get any help from ordinary people because both are not on the same intellectual platform. However, one can extend support to such people by being more compassionate and by showing empathy toward them. Physical interaction with them can also relieve a lot of their pain. A simple hug or a pat on the back can make a sea change. Sharing their loneliness or making them feel that they are part of the lives of others around would also help ease their pain.
Depression is a treatable mental health condition and anybody with depression can lead a normal life after recovery. However, early intervention is important because chronic depression elicits an intensive treatment procedure.