The Western World is following the American trend of "therapism" as it has followed in all other consumerist trends. Therapism has become a cultural trend intended to medicate people in order to suppress natural tendencies including anxiety and stress, sadness and loneliness, shyness and fear of public speaking. etc. After 9/11, The tragedy of therapism is not that it seeks to deprive humans of natural tendencies but that it is extended to children as young as four years of age.
That children from 4 to 18 are over-using prescription drugs unnecessarily should have everyone concerned. Yet, neither the media nor politicians are raising this issue to the level they are discussing gun control, birth control and gay marriages for example. The question is why are politicians and the media relatively silent about the culture of therapism?
Is it that the pharmaceutical companies have conspired with doctors, clinics and hospitals to over-medicate both adults and children in order to realize greater profits, are people driven by an impulse to over-medicate in order to ‘play it safe’, is it the fault of a culture that believes the answer to health is in a pill, is it the advertising industry or the culture of hedonism that now includes therapism?
It is understandable that children of military parents would be victims of 'therapism'. Children who have parents die or injured in Iraq or Afghanistan, have suffered a much higher number of suicide and antipsychotic episodes than children of the non-military population. Since 9/11, there has been a 76% rise in psychiatric medications, and a doubling of suicides.
In general, American children take six times as much anti-psychotic medications than children in the UK where 'therapism' has also taken hold. Whereas hyperactivity, mild depression and autism are of concern to any parent, is therapism the solution to the degree that the child becomes a robot or a vegetable? Drug usage by children for the aforementioned problems has more than doubled in the last twenty years.
Parents are imposing the culture of 'therapism' on their children, because the parents are themselves part of that culture, given that two thirds of Americans take at least one pill every day for something. Perhaps it is the assumption that medicine is the new god, perhaps it is a fast food mentality, but whatever it is, therapism has caught on. If therapism is the solution, why do we have more cases of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, why do we have children finding it more difficult to cope psychologically in today's techno-therapism society than children growing up in nature-based communities?
Could it be that drug companies are exerting immense influence in health care through marketing and they have a stake in pushing the culture of therapism to the limit and globally? Do doctors and institutions give drugs to patients unnecessarily? In Massachusetts, 22% of nursing home patients were given anti-psychotic medications they did not need.
After 9/11, psychiatrists and psychologists were pushing therapy on a largely reluctant New York public, insisting that everyone needed therapy - in reality tharapism with a profit motive behind it. More the psychiatric but also the medical professions have inculcated the culture of therapism into the public, as though medication is candy. In the absence of the academic community, journalists, and politicians bringing this issue into the forefront, therapism for profit will continue to growth bigger and more widespread to the detriment of humanity.