Suffering from: Superman syndrome?

This is a good disorder to have: it means you put the needs of others first, work really hard, rapidly climb the professional ladder, and then of course die of a heart attack at 40.

by Helen Kirwan-Taylor
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Sufferers typically hide their worries and fears behind a stoic veneer, making it very hard for anyone to see quite how exhausted they are. They know they need rest, but they have 'responsibilities!'. Typically, they do everyone else's work for them (and let others take the credit). Even on holiday, they do those chores that 'must be done': eg repaint the boat or weed the garden. Part of the syndrome is the fear of letting go - God knows what that could bring up, so they go, go, go, thinking their heroic efforts will be appreciated one day. We all know that those who do, do, do without complaining are often those who get taken advantage of, so the solution is simple: do less, but make sure everyone knows about it. Repaint the boat - or the office - by all means, but only when everyone is watching.

- Contact Helen Kirwan-Taylor at

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