The Wall Street Journal says young folks are more inclined to go to therapy

Note from Dr. DeMarco - As soon as I read or hear the word “millennial” I almost immediately dismiss the rest of the sentence. But if young people are seeing therapy as a normal part of life, then it’s a good thing. Therapy and counseling is for anyone, and isn’t a luxury. For some of us, it’s essential to trying to make our way while we’re still on the planet.

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Is millennial depression on the rise? More like existential dread

Is millennial depression on the rise? More like existential dread

Depression is certainly one word for it.  In our therapy practice, it's more like existential dread, and no amount of xanax, or ketamin nasal spray for “treatment resistant depression” seems to help. 

Depression is certainly one word for it.  In our therapy practice, it's more like existential dread, and no amount of xanax, or ketamin nasal spray for “treatment resistant depression” seems to help. 

In a type of therapy called existential therapy (which has been around for decades), there are four main anxieties that people are trying to work out, with varying levels of success, before death.  And one of them is Death Anxiety. The others are isolation, meaninglessness, and freedom. Now consider the state of the world in the time these folks we condescendingly call “Millennials” have been on the planet.  The internet didn't actually give us meaning. App culture has us feeling more alone and isolated than ever before. Freedom? If you're rich, white and live in a city, maybe - but that also leads right back to isolation again, as people in cities tend to be more lonely and isolated than others (according to the Kurzgesagt videos, at any rate).  Since 2000, we've had, 9/11 and the W years (shudder), MySpace and Friendster have come and gone, and now we have Facebook and Twitter as our main social outlets.  Massive student loan debt, and the likelihood of financial freedom and like... owning a home and paying off that student loan debt- not likely.  And we want to know what new anti-depressant is out because the other ones aren't working (and their main side effect is suicidal ideation, by the way). Then there’s Post Trump Traumatic Disorder, as we call it in our practice. There has been a HUGE uptick in processing family relationships as well as struggling to deal with larger macro issues like trans people being banned from military service again, and such. We’re what, two minutes from midnight on the Doomsday Clock. What’s to be depressed about, right?

Existential Therapy, Psych Meds, or Both?

What to do? I'd say find counseling, but often community mental health has a waiting list, if they can accommodate you at all, and private practice therapists may offer a sliding scale for therapy, but even a sliding scale is sometimes too expensive for people. (I'm the tail end of Gen X- my student loan debt is ballooning, too, and you’d be shocked at how many google searches for “Free Psychology Services” and the like we get.) So we think- well, at least I have health insurance (lucky you!) so I’ll just find a therapist who takes my insurance. And then you get sucked into this medical model with diagnoses, referrals for psychiatry, where you almost surely will be prescribed medication and diagnosed with a corresponding mental illness until you realize you hate the medication and the sexual (and other) side effects, so you try quitting your psych meds without telling your doctor, or start taking them as needed instead of taken as prescribed. And we just do this unquestioningly because we trust that this whole system is in place to help us. Right? Medication is great- when used in a way supported by research, not as a silver bullet to help you do any sort of psychological or behavioral work to address the real issues, which for many folks, are existential issues. And existential issues can be addressed in therapy in real and tangible ways.

Read Also- “What really happens when you go off your meds?”


MyTherapist New York offers psychotherapy, counseling, and coaching for individuals, couples and other relationships that’s modern, effective and as affordable as we can make it and keep ourselves able to practice good therapy!

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Finding therapy through Yelp, reading "testimonials", negative reviews for therapy - Part 1

It’s an unfortunate reality that we make our decisions based on the subjective opinion of other people, which actually robs us of having our own unique experience, and one of the worst ways this happens online is through sites like Yelp. The therapist was rad? Awesome! They might not help the next person AT ALL.

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An interview with the late Dr. Albert Ellis, who dragged psychotherapy forward decades with REBT

Don’t write him off as a cranky old man. This guy was a sexologist, a marriage therapist, a psychoanalyst and THEN created rational emotive behavior therapy. He was a proponent of non-monogamy (and in non-monogamous relationships himself), and though his views in the 50’s of homosexuality were consistent with the time, he later had a more enlightened view of sexual identity. Mostly ahead of his time, this guy!

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