What is the Relationship Between Imposter Syndrome and Depression?
By Elisha Lee | Aug 29, 2021
You’ve worked hard to be in your current position. Finally, you made it. But perhaps:
- You feel like a fraud.
- You feel like you are underserving of everything you have worked for.
- You may feel like you aren’t smart enough
- You may feel like you aren’t good enough
- You think success is difficult to achieve
- You think you are incompetent despite showing otherwise in your performance
- You are afraid of not meeting other people’s expectations and letting them down
- You feel like you are your past successes and hard work was due to luck
- You feel uncomfortable receiving praise or congratulations
- You are disappointed over your current accomplishments. You feel like you could have done better despite your accomplishment and doubt your success.
- You put yourself in constant pressure to achieve better than you did before.
You may feel this way at your place of employment, but it can also affect other areas of life. It can affect anyone from athletes, scientists, or office workers. Those who are high achievers are more commonly known to experience Imposter Syndrome. These feelings of inadequacy can bring you to a place of feeling stressed, anxious, and depressed.
How Does Someone Experience Depression When Dealing with Imposter Syndrome?
Psychologists coined this term in the 1970s as there appeared to be more professional women struggling with self-doubt, feeling incompetent, and expressed fears of not performing well. No matter how hard you try, you are never good enough nor worthy of the good that you are receiving from others. As a result, you may feel:
- Worried all the time
- Racing thoughts
- Having the strong desire to isolate yourself from others because you don’t want them to see the real you
Depression comes as you recognize that you can never reach the level of competence that you think you should have. Therefore, nothing you do is ever good enough. As a result, you may decide to give up as the situation appears to be something you can never resolve.
How Does Someone Who Struggles with Imposter Syndrome Display This Type of Behavior?
You can display yourself as someone who is dealing with Imposter Syndrome in different types of ways:
- Perfectionist – You are perfect and show yourself to be perfect, despite your physical and mental health. You are constantly wearing a mask, and no one sees the real you.
- Superwoman/ Superman – You are constantly saving the day. You are a work addict and constantly pushing yourself. You work all the time and have no balance nor time for a social life nor self-care.
- Natural Genius – You have big dreams and lofty goals. Instead of scaling, you will set up a goal to do the big things on the first try.
- Expert – You never feel like you are good enough, despite the time you’ve spent in learning your craft, gaining your degrees, and certifications.
As you can see, it is easy to feel frustrated, stressed, and anxious because no one can meet the expectations that you set for yourself. There are no set causes for someone who deals with imposter syndrome as it can be a variety of factors such as upbringing, personality, temperament, and genetic make-up.
What Can You Do to Overcome Depression and Imposter Syndrome?
There are five things you can do to overcome Imposter Syndrome:
- Prayer and Spending time in God’s Word – Take time out of your day to pray and read the Bible. Focus on Scriptures that reference how God sees you and how much He loves you.
- Acknowledge – Before overcoming any challenge is to admit the challenge exists. From there, you can develop a strategy to begin to change your mindset.
- Take Steps to Have a Balanced Lifestyle – Rediscover what you like about yourself and what makes you happy. Have fun with it and do those activities. Get out of your comfort zone and try doing new things.
- Pay Attention to Your Health – Make your health a priority. Pay attention to your diet and exercise routine. Studies have shown that having a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy exercise routine can alter our perspective in a positive way.
- Talk to someone – Talking to a good friend or counselor regarding how you are feeling can help you in your healing journey.
Get Help Today
You don’t have to continue in feeling like you are struggling with Imposter Syndrome and Depression. You will not be alone in your healing journey. It is a journey that I will walk along with you. As you receive counseling and support, you will find joy again.
Call 443-860-6870 for your no-cost initial consultation today.