Why Rich Kids Are More Likely To Have Mental Health Problems

July 17, 2022

The opportunity to ride in private jets, wear 18k solid gold Rolexes, and live in lavish homes is enough to make people jealous of privileged youth who flaunt their lives on social media. Because of the luxurious lifestyle they lead, these rich children may seem like they have no care in the world. However, behind the smiles and wealth, there are serious behavioural, emotional, and social problems. According to Labour peer David Puttnam, children of affluent parents may be as disadvantaged and distressed as low-income families. Here is why mental health problems are common among children of the super rich.

The Growing Problem With Rich Children

Puttnam explains that there are different types of deprivation. Whereas children in low-income families may be deprived of financial resources, wealthy children have low mental well-being. In an interview, he noted that “It's a mistake to think that deprivation exists only with the very poorest in society. Many people will find this a totally counter-intuitive ‘first world’ problem - but check with the principals of many of our most expensive schools and most desirable universities, and you will hear the same story: mental wellbeing is a significant and growing problem." Many wealthy children suffer from the pressure of having parents who have planned their lives from day one. As a result, they often feel unhappy and isolated and are at risk for developing depression, anxiety, and substance abuse problems.

The Most Overlooked Health Challenge

Youth mental health is one of the most overlooked medical issues today. In fact, the prevalence of psychological problems in teens is higher than the prevalence of physical health problems, such as diabetes and asthma. Researchers have also discovered that rates of self-harm, neuroses, drug abuse, and eating disorders are soaring among rich teenagers. If not treated early and effectively, mental health issues in youth can lead to serious illnesses. American psychology professor Suniya Luthar notes that youth whose parents earn more than £100,000 a year are more likely to suffer from severe mental illness. This is because of the lack of direction, social pressure to succeed, and unrealistic expectations that are placed on them. Being able to do whatever they want without proper guidance makes them vulnerable to making the wrong decisions in life.

The Need For Love And Affection

In successful families, high-earning parents can lose sight of the emotional needs of their children. They may believe they can simply give their children the latest gadgets, jewellery, or sports cars to make them happy. However, luxury products are no replacement for quality time, love, and affection. As a result, rich kids of busy parents often turn to social media platforms to get the attention they need. They display their expensive lifestyles for the world to see but may not realize they can come across as lacking empathy. Puttnam notes that it is difficult for people with unlimited wealth to teach their children how to lead moderate lifestyles because they depend on money for joy and contentment. For them, life is all about throwing big parties and buying whatever they want.

The Link Between Parenting And Money

Experts have revealed that when teens constantly feel that their parents value success and career achievements over kindness and personal decency, they tend to show symptoms of anxiety and depression at an early age. These kids may feel like failures because of their high-achieving fathers and mothers who push them hard to succeed in life and make money. Furthermore, material advantage combined with parental pressure may result in miserable, confused, and disconnected kids. Although these children may appear privileged to others, the fear of not being able to fulfill parental expectations may make them hate themselves. Experts advise parents to avoid focusing on money exclusively and attempt to empathize with their children during daily activities.

Looking Forward

Experts encourage parents to communicate with their kids and ask about how their day went and what they are feeling. When parents make enough time for their children, it can make a big difference in their lives and ensure they have the guidance they need. At the same time, children must learn how to deal with difficult situations on their own so they can strengthen their coping skills and acquire independence. When children have these skills, they can develop a strong sense of who they really are and are able to differentiate what is right and what is wrong. Forcing them to take over the family business one day usually is not a good idea. Instead, parents are advised to let their kids be kids and appreciate them for who they are.

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