How Depression Can Create Someone Wildly Successful

The story of Bartholomew

Baqsam Behbehani
Published in
4 min readAug 11, 2021


A muscular man working out
Photo by Anastase Maragos on Unsplash

From Abraham Lincoln to J. K. Rowling, depressed famous people are not unheard of. In fact, tragedy may motivate them to become successful or at least produce great work that ends up making them successful.

As deafness set in, Beethoven became depressed, and his anguish potentially gave us the dissonant opening of the third symphony, the tragic melody of the second movement of the seventh symphony, and the “fate knocking at the door” theme of the fifth symphony.

In some cases, happy people are too contempt to become successful, and depressed people are too fatigued to pursue success, but there is a common case in which the depressed strive to get out of their depression and in turn become successful regardless of whether or not they got cured.

To put this premise into perspective, let us dive into the daily life of Bartholomew, an imaginary man in his thirties who has been suffering from depression for more than a decade and came out triumphant. Well, that would be for you to judge.

A Day in the Life of Bartholomew

Waking up insanely early

Bartholomew’s first challenge to optimize the day was to wake up at a time that works best for him. He found out that 4 AM where he lives gives him an edge on the stock and cryptocurrency markets. Besides, he likes how his surroundings are quiet, and he feels empowered by the sunrise.

A vigorous morning routine

After minor dabbling in the markets, Bartholomew takes a freezing cold shower to classic rock music before eating a banana and an intense workout at the local gym. He actually drives 10 extra minutes to a farther gym that has a more uplifting color scheme and attractive receptionists.

Then, he’s back at the desk where he gulps down an entire pot of coffee to get a buzz while listening to binaural beats, making his best investment decisions.

He had a 9 to 5 cubicle job in a similar field, but he decided to work for himself at home because he dreaded driving to and from work and dealing with his coworkers, let alone his moody boss.

Gordon-Ramsay-level food

When the 12 PM mark hits, Bartholomew has his first meal, which he always strives to make, as well as Gordon Ramsay would. Admittedly, he never succeeds, but the result is tasty, regardless. He then sits down to eat while watching something that is educational and fun.

Back in the day, he used to watch videos and movies that are purely fun, but he then rewired his brain to derive fun out of watching educational content, like how to scale a business with more than 100 employees. In his mind, education leads to money, and money leads to freedom.

He knows that money can’t buy happiness, but he’d rather be miserable in a penthouse than miserable on the streets, and he can use the money to his advantage if he eventually becomes happy, which he does, but more about that later.

Complete escapism through video games

Bartholomew has the sickest gaming setup through which he escapes from life. It helps him get back into real life when he needs to but fully recharged and ready to accept its bitter struggles. He has a big monitor and surround sound.

He plays on an every-other-day cycle. One day, he plays a difficult game that feels rewarding when he accomplishes something. The next day, he plays something easy for the sake of relaxation. Occasionally, he’ll play online and talk smack with others for fun.

Another Michelin star meal

At this point, Bartholomew is ready to have dinner and go to bed. He usually has dinner alone, but he may go out with one of his few friends who he has curated to be in line with his mental wellbeing. His policy is that if food is not spicy, then it is not food, unless it is a dessert.

An enviably simple night routine

During this time, he tries to turn off everything besides dim lights and his phone to play relaxing music. He brushes his teeth, flosses, and is in bed by 8 PM.

The above is simply how Bartholomew copes with his daily life to avoid turning suicidal. When he was happy and contempt, he was living a life others would consider unsuccessful, and more importantly, he himself considered his life unsuccessful, but depression forced him to change for the better.

Again, his pursuit of success did not make him happy, but it prevented depression from making him completely helpless.

How he actually beat depression, however, is by finding the love of his life. He made it a mission to chat up every attractive woman he saw in real life, try to get to know her, and proceed if there was mutual attraction.

After getting to know a dozen women, there was finally mutual attraction with a lady called Laquisha.

Bartholomew is well aware of how dangerous it is to base his happiness on another person. Then again, he does not choose where his happiness comes from, and he was already able to cope without a woman or even friends at one point. So, instead of fighting his natural source of happiness, he embraced it.

Needless to say, being the overachiever that he is, Bartholomew is still trying to learn to derive happiness from within, but in the meantime, he is taking baby steps.

While depression made him appear more successful to people and himself as well, it may end up giving him a happier, more independent life than ever possible.