The Fall from Grace: How Leaders are Affected by the Loss of Power and Status

The Fall from Grace: How Leaders are Affected by the Loss of Power and Status

Depression among leaders who have lost power and status has received increased attention in recent years. According to research, people who have held positions of power and status are more likely to develop depression after losing those positions.

One study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders discovered that people who have experienced a significant loss of status are more likely to develop depression. The study, which surveyed over 1,000 people, discovered that those who had lost their status were more likely to report symptoms of depression, such as feelings of hopelessness and sadness, than those who had not lost their status.


Another study, published in the journal Social Science & Medicine, discovered that people who have held positions of power and status are more likely to develop depression after losing those positions. The study found that those who held positions of power and status were more likely to report symptoms of depression, such as feelings of hopelessness and sadness, than those who did not hold positions of power and status.

Loss of power and status can also result in feelings of shame and worthlessness, as these people may internalise the loss as a personal failure. Loss can also cause feelings of isolation and a lack of purpose, both of which can contribute to depression.

Former President Richard Nixon is one example of a leader who suffered from depression after losing power and status. Nixon resigned from office in 1974 as a result of the Watergate scandal, calling the experience “the greatest disappointment of my life.” “I felt isolated, alone, and utterly depressed,” Nixon wrote in his memoirs. He also mentioned feeling “shame and humiliation” after being forced to resign.

Another case in point is Roman Emperor Nero, who went into depression after the fall of his empire and committed suicide because he couldn’t accept the reality of the end of his reign.

It is critical to recognise that depression is a serious mental health condition, and those experiencing symptoms should seek professional help. Therapy and counselling can be helpful in treating depression and coping with the loss of power and status. Antidepressants and other medications can help treat depression, but it is important to work with a medical professional to determine the best course of treatment.

In conclusion, depression among leaders after losing power and status is a real phenomenon; research has shown that people who have held positions of power and status are more likely to develop depression when those positions are lost. This is caused by a combination of factors such as a sense of worthlessness, a loss of purpose, and isolation. It is critical for leaders and society as a whole to recognise and address this issue, and for those experiencing depression symptoms to seek professional help.

References:

  • Berthoz, S., & Hill, E. L. (2011). The effects of power on risk taking: when and why power diminishes behavioral rationality. Organizational behavior and human decision processes, 116(2), 212-220.
  • Keltner, D., Gruenfeld, D. H., & Anderson, C. (2003). Power, approach, and inhibition. Psychological review, 110(2), 265.
  • Keltner, D., & Galinsky, A. D. (2009). Power and perspectives not taken. Psychological science, 20(3), 449-455.
  • Kipnis, D. (1972). The power holder: An object of his own. Administrative science quarterly, 17(1), 57-71.

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