Fans of Theodore Dalrymple 
January 31, 2020
Under the empire of the shrinks, writes Dalrymple (himself a shrink), there is a dialectical tendency to reinforce people’s wish to
objectify themselves and their behaviour, the better to escape personal responsibility and avoid genuine but painful self-reflection.
He observes that
the doctor wants to give patients a diagnosis, and patients want the doctor to give them a diagnosis. Every unhappy person leaves the doctor clutching a prescription. And every study shows that, whatever they are given as an antidepressant, their pills have a powerful placebo effect. Unfortunately, they can have serious and unpleasant side-effects. Gone are the days when doctors can dish out coloured water as a placebo to a credulous clientèle.
We don’t believe any more in spirit possession, he says,
but we do believe in serotonin  – too much or too little or in the wrong place – as the root of all our troubles.