YOU may not have a lot of sympathy for them,
but times are Increasingly tough for millionaires.
Scores of rich people are seeking psychological help to combat the guilt, low self-esteem, insomnia wrecked lives and insecurity that accompanies wealth.
Imagine the pressures on Madonna - the poor soul has been bleating about how heard it is to get decent workmen to help renovate her £5.7million house in London.
Lottery winner Karl Crompton seems to be having illusions of grandeur since winning his £10.9million windfall.
Last week he put the finishing touches to a luxury £1.2million mansion complete with marble pool, banquet room and even a helicopter pad.
Thankfully Scots singer Sharleen Spiteri has her head screwed on. The Texas singer seems to have no problem coping with her fortune - reputed to be £20million - since giving up hairdressing.
But becoming exceedingly rich can be a burden and financial psychologists such as Dr. Ronit Lami offer a counseling service for rich people unable to cope with their wealth.
She has poor little rich clients all over the world who spend between £120 and £175 an hour on counseling.
Dr. Lami, who works for London-based financial analysts Allenbridge, said: "Everyone says they would love to have millions without realizing the devastating effect it can have on their lives."
"Growing up in a wealthy family in some ways detaches you from normal life. You come to think you deserve everything".
"Some have been brought up by a domineering father and their sub-conscious resists efforts to get employment as a means of rebelling".
"Others have low self-esteem because they are not the ones who made the money".
"Society sees them as spoilt brats and this is very hard for them".
Children can be the biggest victims and counseling often involves whole families".
Dr Lami added: "One woman grew up in a wealthy family as the only daughter of three children. Her father decided she was not going to be part of the family business so her brothers bought her out.
"She felt guilty that she was not a boy and could not help in the business".
"She was also resentful of her father's behaviour and could not move on with her life".
"Meanwhile, the father was playing guilt games blackmailing her with millions so she would not interfere with the business".
"She now has enough to support her daughter and any grandchildren".
"But she told me she'll raise her child 'normally' without the privileges of wealth".
Dr. Lami insists there is a growing awareness among rich parents of how to bring up their children so they live a normal life.
"It might sound silly", she said, "but decisions like 'Do we give our child a chauffeur or do we spend £200,00 on birthday party?' are real dilemmas for the rich".
Self-made millionaires also suffer from stress - once they have made their fortunes do they keep working or simply buy a bigger house?
Dr. Lami said: "It might not sound bad but a whole set of new opportunities open up for them and it can be confusing if they can't get used to it".
But she believes getting rich is not the root cause.
She said: "Money is just the trigger for some problems that are already there".
"If a person is arrogant, having more money will just reinforce it".
For someone whose ambition is to make money, knowing when to stop can also be a problem".
Dr. Lami says: "There is a huge fear of failure. If they suddenly lose their money, they suffer deep depression.
"Usually, it stems from an inferiority complex that comes from a deprived childhood".
"They say, 'I'm not going to suffer like my parents.' Others have to prove their worth by building up money and power".
Dr. Lami often encourages clients to give some of their fortune to charity.
Microsoft tycoon Bill Gates stunned critics by announcing he was going to give away his billions rather than leave them to his children.
He cited 19th-century Dunfermline-born steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie, who made his fortune in America. He wrote: "The man who dies rich dies in disgrace".
Dr. Lami is well qualified to counsel others about their cash woes, having come from a wealthy family in Israel.
She explains: "It was only after leaving home I had to learn a lot about the really important things in life".
"It's nice to have money but don't make it a priority".
Sunday Mail, Mailmoney, December 30, 2001
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