Evaluating the mental health of mental health professionals
It makes sense that mental health professionals would have higher rates of depression. As Viktor Frankl observed in Man's Search for Meaning, the underlying issue beneath a lot of the depression and anxiety of our age is a lack of any sense of meaning or connection with a higher purpose. Add to that the absence of meaningful social connection. Being a therapist helps address these issues, since you are helping people work through their problems and lead happier and more productive lives. This would give the therapist a sense of purpose in the work he does, as well as provide daily social encounters on a deeper and more personal level than most lines of work would permit. Though I am not working in the mental health field, I have previously considered pursuing such a career for precisely these reasons. It appears that this line of work would be attractive to those already suffering from depression or anxiety (the two most widespread mental-health issues of our era).
There may also be another factor at play: spend your days around people who are depressed and anxious and who tell you all their problems may weigh heavily on you emotionally. And with duties of confidentiality, with whom would you really share these burdens? So in addition to attracting those who may already be depressed, being a mental health worker may also cause or exacerbate feelings of depression and anxiety.
Reminds me of this quote from Political Ponerology:
"Progress [in psychology] was very often elaborated by persons simultaneously driven by internal anxieties and searching for a method of ordering their own personalities via the road of knowledge and self-knowledge. If these anxieties were caused by a defective upbringing, then overcoming these difficulties gave rise to excellent discoveries. However, if the cause for such anxieties rested within human nature, it resulted in a permanent tendency to deform the understanding of psychological phenomena, and consequently also of moral phenomena."
Dabrowski wrote about this too, how each psychologist's style and contents mimicked their own developmental level.
It might lead people to trust the profession less, but then again, it might lead some to trust the profession more. Many patients are reassured to know that their therapists are human and aren’t immune from human problems.
The important thing is to distinguish between the minority of therapists who have psychiatric problems severe enough to impair their ability to treat patients, and those who suffer from more benign and non-impairing problems.
All this leaves aside the issue of the validity of those studies, about which I have my doubts.
I'd be interested in seeing the correlation between positive therapy outcomes and the neuroticism the of a therapist.
Did you delete previous podcast post’? Or am I mentally disordered?
I would trust a psychologist that previously had mental illness that was in remission due to treatment more than I'd trust a psychologist that never had mental illness. I'd trust a psychologist currently experiencing acute mental illness the least.