Is Impostor Syndrome A Disease Or Mental Disorder?

Decent Essays
“Impostor Syndrome refers to high-achieving individuals marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as "fraud".”
Impostor Syndrome (I.S.) has also been characterized as a fear of being “found out” or “exposed” as not being talented, smart, or not deserving of accomplishments. It is not a disease or mental disorder.
I.S. has been cited to affect up to 70% of the population at some point in their life. It is especially common among graduate students and occurs frequently in this group compared to others. Individuals known to be high-achievers or perfectionists often experience feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, fear, depression, shame and self-doubt; all highly correlated with I.S.
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I was always able to study for a few hours and somehow, I just remembered everything on my study guide. In high school and college, I was jokingly ridiculed for my success, but there were times when people became upset. I was the guy that always set the curve or got an A when other people were failing. It is interesting looking back on it, because I remember in high school I told myself not to try. I actively sabotaged myself to fit in.
I started to notice what I know now as I.S. when I started graduate school. I have never been challenged like I was these last couple years. I was around the smartest people I had ever met. My professors would ask a question and someone was always there with the answer and early on, I did not even have a clue. This scared me! It caused me to dive deeper and deeper into my work. I developed a poor work-life balance. I stopped working out and made less time for family and friends. I had to make sure that I could keep up. I had to make sure that I could be a good clinician in the future.
“I owe it to my future patients to do well.”
I can remember during midterms and finals week, I kept my head down and kept working. I knew that all I had to do was get it done to feel better. I remember every new assignment added to an already full plate felt like defeat. I would feel numb sometimes. Interestingly, I always thought to myself that this is all part of the process and I should be able to do it. If I did not, I would be
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