February 21, 2014 by gabnormal
In an article titled “Supposed Adult Pays Man To Sit In Room And Listen To Him Talk About His Feelings,” the Onion mocks therapy and in doing so makes mental illness seem like a joke.
Here’s the piece in full:
BRIDGEPORT, CT—Reportedly going twice a week to his special safe place where he’s told he doesn’t have to be afraid, local accountant and supposedly grown adult Carl Rowley confirmed Wednesday that he pays a man to sit right next to him in a room and listen to him talk all about his feelings. “It’s really helpful to talk through my issues out loud with someone who has an objective viewpoint,” said the feeble approximation of a mature self-respecting grownup, describing the hour-long sessions in which he nestles himself on a big comfy couch with a soft pillow and tells the nice man how he’s sad and lonely and wants everything to feel good again. “I think I’m making a lot of progress, especially around issues with my family. I definitely think it’s something every [oh-so-fragile little infant masquerading as an actual grown man] should try.” At press time, sources reported that Rowley felt much better after the kindly listening man, a so-called doctor, told him that it was okay to cry.
First, we’re disgusted. Mental illness is nothing to joke about and in no way does attending regular therapy sessions make anyone less of an adult, or more of an infant. If anything, the above story reinforces the misinformed stereotype surrounding mental illness, that those who suffer from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder etc are either crazy or weak and should learn to deal with those things on their own.
Not to mention the fact that psychology and psychotherapy are very real and very valued fields of work, and the people who went to school for such things and now practice them are most definitely not “so-called doctor(s).” Having the knowledge and ability to care for patients who suffer from mental illness is a skill set that most do not possess and those who do should not be mocked for it.
We know it’s the Onion’s job to make a mockery of most things, and for the most part we enjoy their work, but it’s times like these that reinforce negative stereotypes that we’re not okay with.