Tuesday, August 13, 2013

My email to Dr. Phil

The always asinine Dr. Phil recently insulted people with mental illness:

[In a] Dr. Phil episode called Obsessed With Love, which focused on a 19-year old girl named Victoria, he brushed off her worries by declaring that her obsession did not mean that she was "insane" because insane people "suck on rocks and bark at the moon."

Naturally, I had to write him about this.

I am a clinical social worker who also has a master's degree in psychology. I have bipolar disorder type 2. I have never sucked rocks or barked at the moon. Your remarks were hurtful, untrue, and -- because of your international platform -- extremely stigmatizing. I request that you apologize for that insensitive statement and remind your viewers that is possible to have a productive and satisfying life even if you have a mental illness. Sincerely, Ayelet Survivor, MA, LMSW

Not really expecting a response.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"


  1. I could be wrong but i do not think " insane" is a term used for obsession , bipolar, depression....and Dr. Phil did not compare " insanity " to those illnesses. DID HE? Did he say if you are Bipolar your insane? Look though i dont enjoy Dr Phil- i believe he was telling the girl she is NOT INSANE. Maybe you had a rough week and are feeling over sensitive? ( i hate when people tell me that- sorry) Anyway - yesterday blog was great! If your mad at Phil - so am i!!! ( trying for a smile - )

    1. That's the thing. His response is extremely careless. If someone asks a mental health professional, "Am I crazy?" you don't shoot from the hip and belittle "insane" people and reinforce negative and damaging stigmas. A more appropriate response would have been, "I think what you're saying is that you're concerned about this behavior of yours, you think it's abnormal." He's an unlicensed hack and quack, and he missed an opportunity to talk about these issues responsibly.