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The Rich Truth

The link between money and happiness within the 1%

Man sitting comfortably on a bunch of money
Does money buy happiness

The debate does money buy happiness has been an active and complex topic since the beginning of modern society. Different people with different socio-economic backgrounds will often vary with their answers. On one hand money can make life a lot easier, but if this is the case then surely the richer you are the happier you are?

This quote from Abhijit Naskar highlights the issues with money that the majority of people often forget. At a point, there is a certain amount of money that can solve peoples troubles and make life easier for them, however there is a limit. For example, any extra money gained by someone who already has enough of it, will not affect their lives in any way, and can often consume them to the point where money is becoming more detrimental to their happiness than it is aiding them.

It is estimated that a $95,000 yearly income can serve to comfortably meet basic needs; these include shelter and access to health care. Meeting these needs is known to help mental health, however studies show that depression within the 1% of earners is still rife. This can go under the radar however, as people with financial problems often display more obvious signs of stress, whereas the life of the rich can often seem perfect. What is found is that the wealthier people often experience depression due to money as well, with depression being brought on due to the pressure of living up to certain expectations, or being obligated to maintain a social status.

It is important to bring light to these statistics. 14.9% of people with depression earn over $75,000 yearly, and although this is not the majority, it is necessary that these people get representation as well as others.

The case of Robin Williams

Whilst there are many cases of suicide and depression within the rich and famous, two cases stick out the most.

The first case, being Robin Williams, the beloved American actor famous for his roles in Jumanji and Miss Doubtfire. With a net worth of over $50 million, and with endlessly positive amounts of fame, Robin still suffered from severe depression which experts believe was a major contributor to his suicide. This case is eye opening; can money truly save people suffering from depression, or are factors such as mental illness too overpowering to be covered up by wealth?

Robin had a long history of mental illness along side his illustrious career, thus showing how although money can make life easier, it cannot buy peoples overall happiness within life.

The case of Amy Winehouse and addiction

Another case that shocked the world was the death of Amy Winehouse. Her death was not a suicide instead an overdose on drugs, however this case can further show the reality for many rich celebrities. Amy was a very successful singer with hit singles such as Back to Black and Rehab, however suffered with a long history of drug addiction. It is no secret that Amy's influx of wealth aided her addiction, as she now had access to class A drugs at a higher volume, whilst also being influenced by the hectic lifestyle of a popstar. Money was certainly a factor in her death, and it perhaps begs the question of did money and a rich lifestyle have a reverse affect on Amy and actually cause her drug addiction to worsen.

This case is not only the case for famous people, many people from affluent families turn to drugs due to the easier access to funds, absent parents and social norms. Statistics show many rich kids can suffer from work obsessed parents, thus turning to drugs as a coping mechanism. Drugs are also more normalised within affluent circles, with drugs such as cocaine being labelled the party drug of the rich. This no doubt aids depression within the rich, with drug addiction being a major player in depression rates.

Changing the narrative

The link between money and depression is a topic that often goes under the rug. The 99% of people that don't experience the life of the 1% feel as though the 1% have a perfect life, with money solving all of their issues no matter the severity. This is why so many people chase and envy the life of the 1%, often leaving them bitter and unsympathetic with the struggles that money can cause the wealthy. In reality, depression can affect anyone no matter the background, and it is our responsibility to recognise that at a certain point money is not the sole catalyst to help solve depression; it may even have the reverse effect on mental health.

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