SELF – Why People With Seemingly Amazing Lives Can And Do Get Depressed, Too



Model and actress Cara Delevingne may seem like she lives a charmed and perfect life, but her recent disclosures about her private battles with depression and anxiety show why people with seemingly amazing lives can and do get depressed, too. I was pleased to help out on this piece for SELF.

Delevingne makes an important point: Even people who seemingly have it all can suffer from depression. “Depression and mental illness cross all socioeconomic boundaries,” licensed clinical psychologist Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D., tells SELF. “And while privilege can buy certain comforts, it cannot buy happiness in spite of common misperceptions that it does.”


If a person buys into the notion that having a privileged life should make them happy, they’re more likely to feel like they’re doing something wrong if they have depression, which can make it even worse, Clark says. One major issue is that a lot of the things financial privilege affords, like possessions, “do not show the love, emotional warmth, or connection we most need to feel our best selves, and thus can be inadequate substitutes, leaving one feeling confused, alone, and guilty,” says Clark.


It’s key to know that even if you feel like you shouldn’t be depressed, it happens, and it’s possible to get help. Mayer says it’s important to recognize that people with great lives can suffer from depression and allow yourself to acknowledge how you’re really feeling. You also shouldn’t blame yourself if you know you have a lot of advantages but are feeling depressed. “Happiness is not a guarantee for anyone and is something that has to be cultivated through a healthy mindset and resilient positive relationships,” says Clark.


Alicia H. Clark, PsyD