Top Experts Suggest That Therapy Has Contributed To A Generation Of Americans Adopting A Victim Mentality And Potentially Exacerbating The Epidemic Of Depression

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In recent decades, there has been a significant emphasis on encouraging more Americans to open up about their emotions. However, experts are now raising

Top Experts Suggest That Therapy Has Contributed To A Generation Of Americans Adopting A Victim Mentality And Potentially Exacerbating The Epidemic Of Depression

In recent decades, there has been a significant emphasis on encouraging more Americans to open up about their emotions.

However, experts are now raising questions about whether the widespread use of therapy might be having unintended consequences and potentially exacerbating America’s depression crisis.

They argue that despite good intentions, therapy could be fostering a ‘victim’ mindset, causing individuals to overly focus on their emotions and become less engaged with the world around them, ultimately leading to increased depression.

Approximately a quarter of US adults reported visiting a therapist or psychiatrist in 2022, a figure twice as high as it was 20 years ago and significantly higher than the approximately 3 percent reported in the UK. The language and concepts of therapy have become so pervasive in US culture that clinical terms like ‘gaslighting,’ ‘trauma,’ and ‘microaggressions’ are now common parlance in households.

Professor Robert Dingwall, a social scientist and advisor to the UK government, expressed concerns about the trend in America, suggesting that there is a tendency to pathologize everyday challenges in pursuit of profit. This sentiment has been echoed by psychiatrists and sociologists for decades.

Shawn Smith, a clinical psychologist based in Colorado, believes that therapy may be detrimental to America’s youth by promoting excessive self-reflection at the expense of meaningful relationships and activities. He argues that overemphasizing introspection can contribute to feelings of depression.

The rise in mental health diagnoses among US adults compared to other high-income countries has raised questions about whether Americans are genuinely experiencing more mental illness or are simply being overdiagnosed.

Comedian and talk-show host Bill Maher has criticized the increasing prevalence of mental health diagnoses, suggesting that certain conditions like PTSD are being trivialized.

Dr. Smith notes that a key indicator of depression is an inward focus, characterized by relentless self-scrutiny. Over-reliance on therapy can exacerbate this inward focus, potentially leading to increased depression.

The debate over whether therapy does more harm than good has long been a topic of discussion in medical sociology. Not only has the number of Americans seeking therapy increased, but the frequency of therapy sessions has also risen.

Abigail Shrier, author of “Bad Therapy,” has criticized therapy as counterproductive, suggesting that it may contribute to the medicalization of American youth.

‘Whenever there’s greater treatment in a population, greater accessibility for anything from breast cancer to maternal sepsis with more antibiotics, you want to see the point prevalence rates going down.

‘We want to see the incidence of depression or anxiety in teenagers going down, because we know these kids are getting flooded with treatment. Instead it’s skyrocketing… so we know at the very least it doesn’t seem to be helping.’