How Many Drugs and Therapists Must One Try ?

You know what the drug marketers say about antidepressants, you might have to try a few before you find one that works. Or you might have to try ten or fifteen. They don’t ever tell you to give up. And if none of them works then you try to older atypicals and antipsychotics and you add Ritalin and other stimulants and endless cocktails and then if none of that works you will be advised to try ECT. One wonders, when does it ever end ? At what point are you allowed to say that the drugs are not working ? At no point do the psychiatrists admit that you may not actually be suffering with a chemical imbalance. Many therapists will agree with me in my assessment.

And the therapists will tell you you might have to try a few therapists before you find one that works, that magical “good fit” (which sounds like a diplomatic way of saying, “We understand some therapists are jerks” or “We’ll just make this a no fault thing [but we’re not refunding for your money or time or pain].”) But what no one ever specifies the number of therapists you’re supposed to try before you give up. 1, 20, 100? This idea that you just have to find a “good fit” and to just keep trying is repeated with the same fervour as the advice to try every antidepressant on the planet, only obviously it’s impossible to try every therapist on the planet. At what point are you allowed to say that therapy isn’t working ? Since you cannot try every therapist on earth so people can always hold out hope that “you just haven’t found the right therapist yet” is there ANY point at which you are allowed to say that therapy doesn’t work for your problem ?

Also if we have set ourselves up in a situation where it is impossible for anyone to prove that therapy doesn’t work or that a good fit doesn’t sometimes exist (at present the only way to prove this that some people will accept is to literally try all the therapists on earth) then it is impossible to say that therapy does work. It’s unprovable either way. It’s like the faith healers who tell people, “If you believe hard enough you will get healed.” Anyone who hasn’t been healed therefore can only blame themselves, they must not have believed hard enough. And there is no way to prove that their faith healing doesn’t work, because how do you objectively measure whether a person believed hard enough ? You may think, “Well at least therapists aren’t that blatantly cruel,” but therapists also say, “You get out of therapy what you put into it.” This is humiliating and shuts down any criticism of therapy in the same way, because if therapy isn’t working, then the person obviously didn’t put enough effort into it and how do you objectively measure a person’s effort at therapy to ascertain that they put in enough ? How could you ever say that therapy isn’t working because they’ve tried hard enough ? All the while there is a certain humiliation for people it doesn’t work for in thinking, “Well I just need to put in more effort, I’m the problem” that shuts them up from protesting.

At what point are we allowed to say that the problem that is causing us pain is outside of us ? Is it possible that the problem is our situation not us ?