According to the old saying, money simply can’t buy happiness. Although, wouldn’t you rather cry in a Rolls-Royce than laugh on a bicycle? Kind of a no-brainer.


However, according to Clay Cockrell – a psychotherapist to the extremely wealthy who penned an op-ed for The Guardian – the super-rich are miserable.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve rolled your eyes and have little to no sympathy for billionaires who are feeling unhappy; surely their struggles don’t compare to those of the impoverished?

Well, Cockrell addresses us specifically for a moment:

“There is a perception that money can immunise you against mental-health problems when actually, I believe that wealth can make you – and the people closest to you – much more susceptible to them.”

Clay Cockrell

He then goes on to explain what is making the wealthy elites so damn depressed. Not being able to trust anyone is a big cause. Cockrell poses the questions, “What would it be like if you couldn’t trust those close to you? Or if you looked at any new person in your life with deep suspicion?” and then reveals this is a challenge that the super-rich regularly struggle with.

Cockrell says Succession is a pretty accurate representation of what the children of extremely wealthy people are like. Image Credit: Warner Bros. Television Distribution

Cockrell also details that once billionaires reach a certain level of success, they obviously step back from their business but then become desolate because they no longer have a purpose in life. Cockrell says his “clients are often bored with life” because of “a lack of meaning and ambition”.

He then discusses the children of the wealthy, who are incredibly spoilt by their rich parents, tend to suffer from insecurity and low-self esteem issues.

“An over-indulged child develops into an entitled adult who has low self-confidence, low self-esteem, and a complete lack of grit.”

Clay Cockrell

Cockrell also explores that why super-rich offspring often have a lack of human connection and treat others dreadfully is because to them, that’s the norm; that’s what they were taught is okay. He even muses that the Roy children (fictional characters who were born into a billion-dollar empire) in the popular television series Succession, are an accurate portrayal.

Cockrell ends his op-ed by declaring he has grown to have empathy for the super-rich and says, “for someone who has worked with them, I know that their challenges are real and profound.”

I, on the other hand, am still a tad apathetic and can only hope that Cockrell is encouraging his clients to share their wealth with those who are less fortunate as, in my opinion, that’d help everyone.

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