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I’m really tired of the media prescribing treatment to people with a genuine mental health concern. Exposure therapy is administered in a medical professional’s office, not on the Internet. If self-diagnosing and self-treating by reading online news works for you, that’s fucking awesome and you just saved a ton of money on your mental healthcare by switching to Gei — I mean, DIY therapy.

But it’s really irresponsible to recommend that others use the Internet for desensitization by exposure. That’s not the right treatment plan for everybody. Especially for addicts, “I’m using this for desensitization” might be an example of twisted thinking that starts somebody’s path to a relapse — “I’m just going to look up injection images to desensitize myself” “I’m just going to call my dealer to prove I can do it without buying drugs” “I’m just going to do a little bump to prove that I can use in moderation because I’m all better now.”

Actual therapy, with a professional, can teach people to understand the difference between therapeutic controlled exposure to a stimulus and self-delusion that enables your illness to take greater control of your faculties.

I’m glad this worked for you. In my own family there are people who treated their own addiction and had better results than they did with professional help. Not everyone is the same. But being a successful survivor does not make you a mental health professional qualified to recommend this to others.

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