This article originally appeared on Huffington Post.
Sam Polk, a former hedge-fund trader on Wall Street, tells the New York Times how his addiction to money and gambling was the source of his discontent. “In my last year on Wall Street my bonus was $3.6 million,” writes Polk, “I was angry because it wasn’t big enough.”
Sam surrounded himself with all the nicest things which just kept pushing him to take in more. He reached a tipping point when he realized the injustice that he made more money in a year than his mother, a nurse practitioner, had made in her lifetime. However, the insular bubble he found himself in – an inflated sense of entitlement, money and resources, connections with other powerful financial tycoons – made it impossible for him to seek help. “Dozens of different types of 12-step support groups exist to help addicts of various types, yet there is no wealth addicts anonymous. Why not?”
Although Polk’s piece is specific to his addiction to money itself, his story illuminates the troubling issue of how to treat wealthy, high-achieving people experiencing a substance or process disorder and co-occurring mental health problem.