Barely a day goes by without reading about some high-profile celebrity in trouble. Examples include the infamous Harvey Weinstein, as well as House of Cards’ star, Kevin Spacey. Such celebrities faced charges of sexual wrongdoing, and were given a pause in their trials for an opportunity to “seek treatment”. That might sound very nice and politically correct, but let’s pause before we flip the channel or scroll past in order to clarify just what it means to “seek treatment”. Not just for celebrities, and not just in legal cases; but for anyone.
Does all this suggest that such behavior is like a cold, the flu or cancer? That when you obtain treatment for it, it will go away, as if this “illness” has nothing to do with anything conscious or deliberate on the part of the person? If only the human psyche were that simple. The fact is that this “illness” concept doesn’t even make sense on its own terms. If Spacey suffers from an illness which only “treatment” will resolve — in between filming seasons of House of Cards — then why on earth would he not have obtained such treatment decades ago? Ditto for Harvey Weinstein and all the others.
A lot of people are ignorant and, to be fair, often misled on this subject by less-objective members of the psychiatric industry. But after over 30 years of doing what I do, I’m hard-pressed to find anyone — inside or outside of the mental health profession — who (with their self-conscious virtue-signaling PC blinders off) honestly believes that Weinstein or Spacey are getting anything like “treatment”. What they are getting is a dose of reality simply by being exposed and therefore paying the price for transgressions. They’re counting on others to ignore or forget their behavior. The fact remains that you’re only as sick as your secrets – or perhaps the unwillingness of those around you to call a spade a spade.
It’s less an issue of psychology than it is an issue of accountability. These people and others like them faced little or no accountability for their behaviors in the past. Now they are. They go through the motions of pretending it’s something like a medical disease and rush into “treatment”, as if following the advice of an attorney or a PR agent was actually the remedy for whatever makes them do what they do. Now that’s insanity. And sadly, the misinformed actually buy it.
In a psychological-behavioral context, “treatment” does not mean making it appear to others that you’ve changed. True change only comes when you transform yourself solely for yourself because you realize that you’re the only one that you’re with — and answer to — 24 hours a day. The naïve and foolish might applaud these troubled and (certainly in the case of Weinstein) depraved individuals for “seeking treatment” only when the opinion of others compels them to do so. But what separates the men from the boys is recognizing that you owe healthy and rational living to yourself most of all. You “seek help” long before it gets to this point, because you realize it’s for your own sake that you’ve stop what you’re doing.
Predatory behavior is the impulse of a sociopathic criminal personality, not someone suffering from what might be commonly understood to be a mental disorder. Just because something is unhealthy does not automatically place it outside the boundaries of moral judgment. It’s politically incorrect to say so, but any thinking and rational person can grasp that it’s true. Life is not Hollywood. If treatment could really help these men, they would have sought it out a long time ago.
It’s not all that different with people you know whose behavior you dislike. I’m not saying they’re sociopaths or criminals. But human beings don’t alter their behavior – or their thinking – unless they have a DESIRE and a good reason and to do so. Mental health “treatment” cannot operate outside of your awareness or without your consent. It’s not at all like taking a pill or getting medical treatment.
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