Trust Your Mechanic

A Proud Boys look into the World of Mental Health

Told you’re depressed so of course you see the psychiatrist
Right when you hit your neuroses’ roots he confuses you
He fucks your head up worse, gotcha feeling helpless
You’re comin’ back for more again and again, gonna rip you off
-Dead Kennedys

I am someone that spent their formative years in therapy (12-17 and then in my mid 20s). It’s been close to a decade since I was in therapy and I don’t like talking about it, but I would like to discuss my relationship with the concept, my experiences and whatever data I think is relevant. I’ll get it out in the open now, if the opening quote didn’t make it clear enough, that I am very much opposed to therapy and think it’s both a scam and a huge leech on Western culture.

My introduction to therapy was build on dishonesty. My mother took me to a session to see a shrink when I was twelve and would make me go every week. Maybe in her own sick way she thought she was doing something positive for me but it would begin a five year brainwashing that took close to a decade of which to cleanse myself. Within the first three months it came up about my will to live and my “depression” and that immediately landed me into a funny farm in Katonah.
“You’re very nice people but Johnny causes problems and negative feelings, he really needs help… but if you give me your checkbook we can hospitalize him.”
Screeching Weasel

So during my seventh grade year I spent two and a half weeks in a mental hospital, the first two days were in a padded room for observation. I was prescribed Wellbutrin and Risperdal and had to attend various group therapy, one on one sessions, art therapy and dorm up with two other youths that had their own shit. If you’ve never been to one of these places, listen to this song.

While there I was taught to take no accountability for my actions and to become dependent on brain candy, thus making me a weaker person. When I got out I was even worse than when I went in. How do you explain to all peers why you were suddenly gone for 17 days? It wouldn’t be much longer after my return that I would leave school for the rest of that year and spend SIX MONTHS in day treatment.

Every Monday through Friday I would get picked up by a van full of mental patients ranging from my age to senior citizens. Once at the treatment center we got split off into three age brackets and we’d spend 8 hours doing gay therapy things. Pictured below is how I spent my 13th birthday…

And after SIX goddamn months of this I’m supposed to come out fucking mental superhuman, right? No… FUCK NO. I was on medication and became a total fucking train wreck upstairs, coupled with puberty and all that punk rock I listened to I was total fucking outsider loner in eighth grade and more depressed and suicidal than before. A year and a half later I would end right back up in day treatment for another SIX, yes SIX more months.

What I really needed was discipline, and smacked across the face and be told to get my shit together. Instead I was learning to blame 100% of my problems on external factors: my “brain chemistry,” my father (my parents had gotten divorced in 1996), my genetics – whatever it took to not have to look in the mirror and say “shit, I fucked up.”

It took me freaking the fuck out on my last therapist and stopping all medication to get me on the REAL road to recovery. It wasn’t too far off from Tony Soprano.

I look back on the person I used to be with such disgust sometimes, but I’ll try to be as open about as I feel necessary so I can take a much deserved shit on this fucking modern day snake oil market.

“They don’t care about patients, they care about pushing product”

Big Pharma is a big part of the problem, they’re monolithic in scope and influence. Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of the number of Americans on psychiatric drugs. There’s also the push to end the stigma against mental health too. But from what I’ve seen over the years is that mental illness is fetishized and trendy. Hell, just look at what goes on over at Tumblr.

How did men of the past deal with their shit? I understand that there was a time when men didn’t talk about their feelings and dealt with only what was important. Maybe it’s because we as Americans have it so good that we now have the LUXURY of depression? And like prostitution, with therapy you’re paying for a friend and not making a real connection with someone that ACTUALLY cares about you. And let’s not forget that marriage counseling results in higher rates of DIVORCE! Imagine if you saw pulmonologist and he told you that you should begin smoking cigarettes?! His only incentive would be that you’d ideally keep coming back to see him. But therapy’s results are intangible so they can be sold indefinitely. If you go in for heart surgery, the results will be obvious. You’re not going to have the heart surgery over and over again. When you’re dealing with abstracts about the mind there is no way to measure the success rate, so you better keep coming back to see that doc as often as possible… as long as you can afford it.

Now I can hear some of you going, “Hey Alex, what about the truly mentally ill?” Yes those people need help, but in my research I’m seeing that one in five Americans suffer from mental illness.

That seems a bit high. I want to know about the REALLY mentally ill, the ones that can’t function on their own, where their mental disorders have become physically debilitating. I’ll concede a little bit of therapy is needed, but it’s like having a fire hose turned on you when all you needed was a glass of water.

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Alex Caprio

Written by Alex Caprio

New Jersey, former musician and stand up comedian with a degree in English. He can also make a better eggplant parm than your Grandma. Follow him on Twitter @alexclarkcaprio.

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