Mass psychology

Just because a certain medication is useful, even revolutionary, in specific circumstances, doesn’t mean it should be used for everything. The obvious example is antibiotics, which will save your life if you need them, or wreak havoc with your guy microbiome and cause resistance if you don’t need them.

There are signs the same is true with psychology. Check out fellow indie webber Robert’s post on ubiquitous therapy and the Atlantic article he links to, These Teens Got Therapy. Then They Got Worse.

Of note, none of this discredits psychology as a healing art. Rather, the issue is the mass “mental health” movement that tries to psychologize everything and everyone. The way to destigmatize people getting the treatment they need for mental health problems, isn’t to suddenly claim everyone has depression, anxiety, ADHD, or neurodivergence.

I’ve seen something of this first hand, but more with the mass mindfulness movement. I don’t think everyone should meditate or “be mindful”. It’s a part of the Buddhist path that, historically, not all that many Buddhists even participated in. If you’re not starting out from a stable, well-adjusted place, you’re going to end up being mindful of misery. And that’s a mess for everyone involved.

And so my hope is that there’s a more discriminating look at who should seek out therapy, and who just needs to relax a bit. A day in nature, some time away from screens, losing yourself in a good book, movement — I’d rather see more emphasis on these for everyone.