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Intelligence Depression Pie

If you have above average intelligence, then chances are you have encountered some level of mental health issue like anxiety, depression, ADHD, ASD, and the likes.  This is no coincidence.

Research shows that high IQ people are significantly higher at risk of developing mental problems because of the hyper brain and body sensitivity.

My personal experience jives with this.  For the record, my IQ is 134.

I have many friends who have even higher IQ then mine and all of them suffer from some form of mental issue, often multiple problems.

So here is the PIE equation.  PIE = IQ + EQ (mental health).  As you can deduct, the higher the IQ the lower the mental health.

Many high IQ people know their mental problems and, being smart, develop coping mechanisms to live with the 'down' days, lack of motivation, anxiety, and so forth.  The problem is that many will try to 'outsmart' their condition(s) by telling themselves that they are smart enough to deal with it on their own.  I suspect that, even though the research above suggest otherwise, high IQ people's mental health is under-reported.

In the era of so called 'A-team' or 'A-type' work culture, the problem of high IQ people is just putting oil on fire.  Why?  These work environments exploit the brain power but provide next to nothing in terms of support for the 'cost of smarts' which is mental health.  Smart people are stimulated by the intellectual demands of such work but tend to over work their brain and further accelerate their mental problem.  Again, look at the PIE.

Smart people are also very good at hiding their 'deficient' mental state which makes it hard for others to recognize the presence of a problem.  Generally, when others realize that there is an issue, it is already too far along for a layman help.  At this point, only a therapist can help which is another problem.  Smart people can sense when a therapist is of lesser IQ or have never experienced mental health problems which often leads to dismissal of their expertise.  There are specialist psychologist who focus on dealing with high IQ patients for this very reason.

If you are one of these high IQ people, contemplate what I said and seek a specialist.

If you are someone who has loved ones, friends, or employees with high IQ, please ask supportive questions like 'How are you today?' 'Can I help with something?' 'Do you need anything?'.  Then listen well and do as asked.  Sometimes the sheer question will make us feel better (knowing that you care) even if we don't ask for anything.  Keep asking.

I frequently post tips on Twitter
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