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IPFS News Link • Health and Physical Fitness

How therapy has turned generation of Americans into 'victims'...


There has been a big push to get more Americans talking about their feelings in recent decades.

But now experts are starting to wonder if the widespread use of therapy may be having the opposite effect and actually fueling America's depression crisis.

They argue the treatment, however well-intentioned, can instill a 'victim' mentality where people become hyper-focused on their feelings and less engaged with the world around them, making them more depressed.

Around a quarter of US adults said they had visited a therapist or psychiatrist in 2022, which is twice as high as 20 years ago and far higher than the around 3 percent in the UK.

Therapy speak has become so common it has permeated mainstream culture in the US. Clinical words used during counseling like 'gaslighting', 'trauma' and 'microaggressions' have become household terms.

Professor Robert Dingwall, a social scientist and adviser to the UK government, told that looking on at the situation in America, there is a concern among sociologists that people are being referred to therapy at the slightest sign of hardship in their life. 

'There is a tendency to medicalize everyday problems in pursuit of commercial interests,' he said, whether it be rejection from a partner or a failed job interview.

'This is something that people have been saying for 50 or 60 years, a concern that's been expressed by both psychiatrists and sociologists.' 

This fosters a victim mentality, said Shawn Smith, a clinical psychologist based in Colorado.

Mr Smith told therapy may be harming America's youth by 'encouraging kids to spend, frankly, too much time staring at their own belly button, and not being involved in the world and developing meaningful relationships and activities.'