The faceless masses sit down on couches once a week, across from professionals who know them better than their own mothers, intent on once again unburdening themselves of the stress and detritus of their personal lives. And in some strange new universe, this isn’t seen as strange.
I remember when I was young, and the gossips would start wagging their tongues every time someone was found to be seeing “one of those people.” It was soon to be understood that Jenny Lin, or Howard Stein, or Grant Ludwick was batshit crazy, had probably killed a cat or two, or was about to get a divorce. It was precisely this type of conversation you wanted to avoid, so even if you did see “one of those people” you never admitted to it, you snuck out during odd hours to do it, and you wore an uncomfortable ballcap and fake beard as well. You know, just to be safe.
But now it’s the “in” thing. Everyone who is anyone sees a psychiatrist, a psychologist, or a psychotherapist. Ask me the difference between those three types of mental health professionals, and I couldn’t tell you, but I can tell you that all of them are busy, especially this time of year. They are booked six ways from Saturday because people are finally realizing that they can’t do it on their own. Not only are they admitting it, but they’re doing something about it, which is a good start. Of course, I won’t even mention the ones who go because it’s court mandated, but they’re out there too.
I blame Frasier Crane.