Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Success and Mental Health: Too much pressure?

This interesting article in the New York Times attempts to put the suicide of Chef Benoit Violier into context by highlighting that this is not an isolated episode: many highly successful chefs have recently ended their lives. Violier was most certainly a high achiever: his restaurant, Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville, had been awarded three Michelin stars and in December was judged the No. 1 in La Liste, France’s ranking of 1,000 restaurants in 48 countries.
“It can’t keep happening; it just can’t,” the food writer Kat Kinsman said on Monday. In January she started Chefs With Issues, a project aimed at illuminating the job-related stresses and mental illnesses afflicting many people in the food industry. Depression, anxiety, addiction and eating disorders are common.

Is this a pattern in the world of high cuisine only or is it a widespread phenomenon among high achievers in different fields? It is surely something that needs to be explored as part of the "dark side of success".

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