Saturday, May 8, 2021

Mental Health industry as the modern televangelists

My second oldest made that observation.  As an industry, the American Mental Health profession brings in revenues that rival many a Fortune 500 corporation.  The take is literally in the billions.  That's because mental health is - everything. 

Last year, our local news station had a special series on local faith communities and mental health.  Note that.   It was all various religious leaders of different faith traditions speaking to mental health.  Not spiritual issues.  Not religious issues.  Nothing about sin or righteousness.  Certainly nothing about salvation.  Just mental health.  It was all mental health.  Score one for secularism and a godless model of the world.

But beyond that, I have to admit the mental health industry does seem to play into the narrative of the dentist who prescribes candy to his patients.  I mean, you don't turn around that you don't see a new syndrome or psychological crisis or emotional trauma in desperate need of professional counseling.  The idea is everywhere that we can't live life and do what ancient man would have been able to handle with no problem without a professional holding  our hands at 50.00 an hour. 

Last year, they actually interviewed mental health councilors who were on hand to help people suffering from 'Cooking at Home' stress.  Because nothing can be more difficult than cooking your own meals.  They also had specials walking people through how to handle having the kids at home because having kids around the house is apparently an unprecedented challenge. 

I write this, because I've now seen news segments and articles dealing with cicada stress syndrome.  Cicadas are going to be out and about this year.  It happens.  And has for quite a few years.  It's annoying.  We talk about it.  We move on.  

But now it's a syndrome.  It's something you may need help with.  You may need to pay someone money to help you through the stress of it all.  Why?  Because the news is running stories with mental health experts explaining why it's logical to be on the brink of a collapse because of the dreaded Cicada Pandemic. 

More to the point, even if you don't go and book a session with a counselor to survive the great Cicada disaster of 2021, you're nonetheless treated to the narrative that even the smallest, most trivial matters in life are beyond our ability to cope.  Therefore we must continue to feed this multi-billion dollar industry known as the mental health industry, or we're all doomed. 

I think my son is right. Tammy Faye couldn't have done it better. 

UPDATE: A perfect image of two approaches to our modern mental health era.  One voices skepticism that all things labeled in need of counseling are in need of counseling, the other saying listen to the experts with the education and training. 

I saw that and thought it was interesting, given the experts' insistence that short of professional help, we may not be able to navigate the anxiety brought about by the great Cicada Crisis of 2021. 

BTW, feel free to disagree with me.  I have had training and licensing in mental health counseling owing to my days as a pastor, though my full degrees were not in behavioral or mental health.  Nonetheless, even then I couldn't help but get the feeling we approached mental health issues the way we approach STEM, and that's giving them place of prominence well out of proportion from where they should be.  


  1. Agree overall, but your "cicada stress syndrome" link goes to a gardening column about cicada damage to trees.


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