Father of a student who hanged himself says he had ‘imposter syndrome’



Father of a student who hanged himself says he had ‘imposter syndrome’
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A University of Southampton student who unexpectedly took his own life could have suffered from a condition known as ‘imposter syndrome’, his grieving father told an inquest on Thursday.Adam Lindley was found hanged in the New Forest, Hampshire, on October 24, 2017, after disappearing from his halls of residence 10 days earlier.The 23-year-old had no reported mental health issues and had not told loved ones of his intention to take his life.It was only when police searched his student room that they found a handwritten will and a note with the word ‘Sorry!’ written across the page in large letters.A search on the young man’s computer also revealed he had researched the New Forest and suicide days before his death.Speaking at an inquest, Mr Lindley’s dad, Peter, described his son as ‘exceptionally talented’ and ‘extremely intelligent’. He told the coroner he believed his son’s brilliance could have developed into imposter syndrome.The syndrome is a condition where people see their success as a result of luck rather than ability. Even Albert Einstein is thought to have had the condition towards the end of his life, as the genius confided in a friend: ‘The exaggerated esteem in which my lifework is held makes me very ill at ease.’I feel compelled to think of myself as an involuntary swindler.’ Speaking of his son, Mr Lindley said: ‘He was exceptionally talented but he couldn’t see it.’People with imposter syndrome are successful but they think they are in that position through luck.’I’ve felt that emotion myself once. It is quite an overbearing emotion.’ Adam Lindley’s disappearance came just two weeks after he had started a Masters degree in marine biogeochemistry at the University of Southampton.He had recently returned from travelling around Australia and New Zealand, where he had worked as a snowboarding instructor.Police investigating his disappearance, on October 14 of last year, found texts to his friends in which he described his course as ‘savagely hard’.He was also revealed to be in a ‘heated’ argument with Australian authorities over a £3,500 tax rebate.Adam spent the money on a bike, a laptop and a snowboard, but was then told to pay the money back.The decision had upset the postgraduate student who wrote a letter contesting the claim before his disappearance.He was reported missing on October 22, but was last seen at his halls on October 14, when police believe he left and cycled to the New Forest.  His body was found in woodlands near Lymington by a passerby on October 24.Investigating officer, police sergeant Brett Rickman, who was praised for his efforts during the case, described Adam Lindley’s death as ‘one of the most tragic’ in his policing career.His thoughts were echoed by assistant coroner Simon Burge, who ruled the student’s death as a suicide.He said: ‘This is a very sad and distressing case. I have no doubt in my mind that this was a suicide.’What is tragic here is there were friends and family who if Adam had reached
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