Wanting to help others can be good for your health. But if you feel like you have to do it and put aside your own well-being to do so, it can be problematic. This is known as a messiah complex, savior complex, or white knight syndrome. In some cases, it may not be a big deal, but it can be more serious in others.
If you have a messiah complex, you may feel like you are destined or called to save others. You may feel responsible for helping others. You may have good intentions if you try to come to the rescue (at your expense). Or you may try to play savior for more self-serving reasons such as a desire for praise, power, or a sense of self-worth.
Crave power over others or self-worth. You may start out genuinely wanting to help others and find that you crave the power that it gives you. Then you may stop wanting to help others but only do it for the power or feelings of self-worth. In other cases, people may help others and have a savior complex solely because they want power and self-worth.
Getting support may help you work out your feelings so you can still meet your desire to help others without overdoing it. If your messiah complex seems rooted in a desire for power over others -- or you believe that you are actually a savior -- therapy may help you work through how your beliefs are impacting your life and those around you.
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