There Are No Therapists

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"THERAPY IS FOR THE WEAK!"

In most fiction, there are no official systems in place to protect those who are psychologically vulnerable. Nobody is ever concerned that the kid who watched their parents die might be considering suicide, homicide, or fighting crime without due process, for example, and there is no psychological profiling in military organizations to recognize problems, or counseling for those who observe massacres (in the real world, both are heavy priorities for efficiency and to avoid lawsuits).

This isn't always a problem, however. For example, a Bunny Ears Lawyer seems like the person who might benefit from a psychological profile, but this will be ignored so long as they're not Ax Crazy. If folks who seem to need psychiatric help are provided it, it is generally in terms of a most unhelpful Bedlam House, from which they are certain to emerge more messed-up than they arrived.

This trope isn't saying the solution to every mental problem is to go to a head shrink; merely there is an extreme amount of Genre Blindness regarding traumatic experiences, probably for the sake of convenience and drama. Remember, Fiction Is Not Fair.

Related to this, old Hollywood action movies used to make loud, negative statements about therapy, and therapists were almost invariably portrayed as unintelligent and incompetent. However, displays of this in entertainment have subsided considerably, possibly out of an attitude shift in a new generation of viewers. This would lead to old writers no longer feeling safe enough to potentially alienate modern viewers, or new writers simply discarding these old ways of thinking.

Occasionally, this aspect is brutally attacked in thriller and horror pieces, especially if the antagonist is an adolescent or high-schooler forgotten by the system or indifferent parents.

In the case of children, this is often because Social Services Does Not Exist either. Apparently therapists and social workers are not mutually exclusive professions.

This occurs frequently in anime, partly because Japan places the responsibility for an individual's mental state on their family and friends, which can lead to Values Dissonance. Word of Advice. Be nice to your Person of Mass Destruction. At the very least, maybe they'll kill you first, quickly and painlessly. You'd think this would be obvious, but noooo...

Can be a Justified Trope, as you can hardly expect the rag-tag band of rebels in an oppressive dystopia to have the means or inclination to open up to a potential informant and a historical setting may predate therapy altogether. To say nothing of those involved in The Masquerade—confessing your trauma over fighting cyborgs or vampires to a therapist is a sure-fire way to end up locked up and "treated" until you're exponentially more screwed up. And if you do your fighting with Science, it's going to make you even less capable of doing your job. Of course, there's always the chance you get some compensation for your time there... And for the more realistic stories, let's not forget that psychology as modern viewers recognize it is barely a few decades old, not to mention the stigma associated with visiting a psychiatrist. The Bedlam House was Truth in Television for a scary amount of time, since they were more of a dumping ground for anyone who didn't fit society's (or their family's) standards.

A similar but related problem can exist where there are therapists, but the therapists are unskilled, not understanding while claiming to know everything, condemnatory, or otherwise problematic. This is why many people who may seem to severely need therapy in Real Life actively avoid it - they had a therapist who made their problems worse or who seemed laughably or enragingly incapable of offering anything useful.

Can overlap with The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes.

Examples of There Are No Therapists include:


Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Lampshaded in All Rounder Meguru
  • Almost anyone in the Digimon series. Given the Mons' connection to the children, teenage angst is a major factor in many battles.
    • Lampshaded in an episode in the English dub of Digimon Adventure 02. When Ken (who joined after a Heel Realization, having been the most insane villain they'd faced yet - yes, surpassing the Monster Clown) suggests that Wormmon talk to a therapist about his problems, Wormmon asks why he didn't talk to someone before becoming the Digimon Emperor?
    • Also justified in any series where they're trapped in the digital world.
      • Though in Adventure, we do have at least one fairly successful therapist: Gabumon. Though I don't think I'd like to have his methods (biting his "patient" Yamato/Matt to get his attention) used on me.
    • Well, in Tamers, no one bothered to send them to one before going into the digital world, and after they got back they didn't seem to notice that Jeri needed one (which wouldn't have helped anyway, since the one that returned wasn't Jeri, but D-Reaper agent 01, built for espionage and main source of Nightmare Fuel.)
  • The Eternity That You Wish For gave a half-hearted attempt at providing psychology by having a chain-smoking doctor (even smoking in the Emergency Room) tell that main character that he has to still pretend to be dating his old girlfriend who just woke up from a coma and to pretend that three years haven't passed. It's rather obvious the writers Did Not Do the Research, as nothing even resembling modern-day psychological rehabilitation was provided.
    • Annoying for people who actually know about psychology, because this was the complete WRONG thing to do in that situation.
  • Everybody in Revolutionary Girl Utena. Everyone needs one. There's the student council, and all of them have a stigma for the power that Akio is potentially giving them (made even worse when you realize that he only wants the so-called "power" for himself and to this day no one knows what it is), which causes them to never change, and even shut off reality. There's Saionji and his massive inferiority complex, Miki's obsession with his younger sister's sweet demeanor from their childhood, Touga's borderline fetish for power, Nanami's horrid big brother complex, and Juri's conflict over a manipulative young woman that she may be in love with (and it doesn't help that there's another guy who loves her).
    • The absolute worst case, however, is Souji Mikage. The woman he loved cheated on him, and the woman's brother, whom he held affection for, died of illness, making him cross the Despair Event Horizon, big time. He takes out his aggression by using the mental conflicts of others and utilizing them to break them and duel Utena. When he is forced to step in, he crosses the horizon again when he is defeated, and comes to realization that Akio was manipulating him. Then he's forgotten by everyone. Poor guy.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: To begin with, the title character, Kenshin Himura, has spent years wandering in order to make up for all the killing he did in the past by never killing again, standing in the way to that goal is his own Super-Powered Evil Side.
    • Kaoru appears to have abandonement issues. First her father leaves to fight (then get killed). A few years later Kenshin leaves for Kyoto. Needless to say, she doesn't take this well.
  • Many Humongous Mecha series feature characters who clearly have flagrant psychological issues which are inexplicably overlooked so long as they are good pilots, which naturally never lasts for long. The most prominent examples are the kids in Neon Genesis Evangelion. Indeed, the adults in that particular series are none too sane themselves—ranging from an alcoholic Bunny Ears Lawyer, to a Handsome Lech, to a Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter who grew up to be a Mad Scientist herself, to at least two Nietzsche Wannabes. Although, given that Antarctica blew up in this world, perhaps psychologists are extinct.
    • Eventually, all humanity got group therapy in the final two episodes.
    • Hell, the entire series is the DSM-IV manual, animated.
    • And for what it's worth, the EVAs only work if the pilots are horribly dysfunctional and emotionally messed-up. Even if there are a few therapists left, NERV wouldn't let them anywhere near the poor kids.
      • It isn't just the pilots. Gendo's primary strategy for manipulating people is to take advantage of their flaws and insecurities. In that light, it makes perfect sense that all of the NERV senior staff are mentally flawed in some way; 'psychologically messed up but still talented enough to get the job done' was something the Director of NERV was deliberately looking for when he was originally setting this operation up.
      • Unintentionally Lampshaded in Rebuild of Evangelion when a character comments "those kids are our last hope, who knows what they're going through?" Well, Kaji and Misato are the only adults who attempt to converse with them, could that be the reason?
    • Actually, Misato pointed out that Kowaru needs therapy. Ahem, doesn't she? Actually, even if he acts oddly from human standards, Kowaru is probably the happiest character in the series.
    • The worst thing in Evangelion is not the lack of professional therapists. It's the fact that many characters show no regular compassion at all. Seriously, after the accident with Eva-03 (one of Shinji's friend is nearly killed), you can forgive Shinji for his breakdown, can't you? No, Gendo had to send him in military court — with handcuffs.
      • That's not callousness, that's deliberate malice. Gendo knows what his cruelty is doing to Shinji; its just that deliberately trying to break Shinji's will to resist is exactly what he's going after.
  • Almost every work in the Gundam franchise.
    • In Mobile Suit Gundam Amuro is explicitly said to have the then current name for PTSD (Shellshock). While the lack of an actual therapist on White Base may be justified by the deaths of most real military on board early on, the best solution the two remaining officers (A pety officer and a Lieutenant Junior Grade) can think of is to slap him. It doesn't work. and a therapist is never transferred to the roster either time White Base is resupplied.
      • Amuro is still suffering 8 years latter in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam before being again dragged into a war. Between the two series Amuro was in a Gilded Cage of a mansion, under watch by the Federation that fears his newtypeness, which has probably hindered his access to honest therapists.
    • In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, when Shinn Asuka has just seen a girl he obviously loved killed just before his eyes, maybe the captain of the ship will help him deal with it? No, best therapy for him is probably to stay in his quarters, simulating fight after fight. Yes, the guy who helps him doing this actually prefers him crazy. Until Athrun Zala joins the crew, at which point he spends most of his time punching Shinn and calling him an idiot for not obeying orders. Is it any wonder he hates almost every authority figure he comes across, the sole exception being Chairman Durandal, who acted like a Reasonable Authority Figure towards Shinn?
    • Justified for Kira in the first half of [[Mobile Suit Gundam SEED SEED], the Archangel had little more than a Skeleton crew (even when on Earth). There were many discussions about the state of Kira's mental health but the 2 senior officers had no clue how to deal with it.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam 00, probably wouldn't exist without this trope, since having at least one severe psychological problem is apparently a requirement for Gundam pilots in that series. As it turns out, it literally IS. Celestial Being's goals of stopping all armed conflicts turns out to be a way of enticing disillusioned child soldiers to join their ranks.
    • Avoided in Turn A Gundam and averted on a meta level: Tomino had finally gotten therapy for his long running depression issues which resulted in a much lighter series.
  • When the crew for the Nadesico is being assembled at the beginning of Martian Successor Nadesico, the prospector notes that getting some... interesting... personalities was unavoidable in collecting the best possible crew. During one episode, after a particularly shocking development, most of the crew IS sent for counseling... to the ship's Ms. Exposition, who isn't trained for this sort of thing.
    • Even worsened by the fact that said counselor probably could use a good therapy session herself.
  • There is a counselor (who becomes the school nurse in the anime) in Mahou Sensei Negima, but none of the major characters take advantage of her services. In the comic, a part-time nun impersonating a priest at a confessional is subject to the characters asking for advice, herself noting how utterly bizarre or inane most the inquiries are. The funny thing about that last one is that it's actually foreshadowing; 140 or so chapters down the line, Makie is immune to a Lotus Eater Machine because she's fully content with her life.
  • Soukou no Strain only interrogates the troubled Sara until after they find out she's really Ralph's younger sister, and even then, it takes an independent confrontation with a friend to fix her up. And there's a war going on!
  • Most of the Genin in the early Naruto suffer from Parental Abandonment, so of course it's a huge surprise when the most troubled of them all, a kid who watched his entire family be viciously slaughtered by the hands of his own brother, defects from the village and joins up with the Big Bad. And then he gets his revenge on his brother, only to find out that he was only following orders and in fact had only spared him out of love, and then he really goes crazy. You'd think they'd have a Ninja Therapist lying around somewhere.
    • Although in the case of Uchiha clan members there is the additional complicating factor that Uchiha are prone to hereditary insanity. Yes, Kishimoto wrote it as 'they love so much harder than anyone else that they do extreme stuff if they lose the ones they love', but that's just another way of saying 'they are genetically incapable of coping with loss or trauma in a healthy manner'.
    • Naruto therapy anyone?
    • Hidden Mist under the Fourth Mizukage not only lacked therapists, but likely was anti-therapist. Nothing like forcing your twelve year-old students to brutally kill their friends to start their career...
    • Fan fiction writers speculate that by the time shinobi reach jonin rank, they've either developed coping mechanisms or gone insane.
    • Arguably, Konoha has been actively trying to cause their own to grow up to destroy them since before it was founded. Given what the Required Secondary Powers for genjutsu are,[1] it'd take some work for them to have been ignorant of what they were doing. It's sheer luck that none of them went off before now...
      • On the other hand, Konoha also has the benefit of being perceived as the nice guys in the series.
    • Gaara needs his own mention here. He just wanted to be loved. But being a potential Weapon of Mass Destruction people avoided him like the plague. The fact he couldn't control his tailed beast didn't help portray him in a better light. And his uncle, whom he thought understood him, turned out to try to kill him and told him that no one—not even his own mother—loved him. But a recent chapter of Gaara battling his resurrected father says that "yes, she did love you. She loved you so much, Gaara" That's like giving a child a stuffed animal, immediately snatching it back, ripping the head off, and then giving the severed head and body back to him. It's like these ninjas don't even TRY to understand that other people have feelings too!
  • In Kanon, the girls' mental health thrives on Yuuichi helping them to discover their own strength—and just Yuuichi. Then again, a school nurse wouldn't help Mai if they had one because the administration hates her, Nayuki's main source of support, her mother Akiko, is hospitalized at the exact time that she needs her the most, Makoto's an animal in human form, Ayu's an astral projection, and Shiori isn't even supposed to be out.
  • In Serial Experiments Lain, Lain watches a boy blow his own head off and gets splattered with his blood. She is questioned by police and then is back in school the next day.
    • Hooo boy... Basically, the entire plot would fall to pieces if there were therapists. Children all over the world seeing bizarre shared hallucinations? Strange men following people around in broad daylight? A wave of suicides linked to some crazy cult? No sir, nothing for the authorities to be interested in here.
    • There is a psychologist who figures prominently in one episode, but you wouldn't want him treating you.
    • In several scenes, it's offhandedly mentioned that the authorities are investigating what has happened, but can't make heads or tails of it. And when shit really starts hitting the fan, the police presumably are just as affected as everybody else. When TV announcers start to go crazy on air, the problem is probably too widespread to control.
  • The Pandoras in Freezing all need some serious psychological help. But Setellizer really takes the cake. This is rather inexcusable, too, since the Genetics bases are used as military bases and schools, so psychiatric staff should be some of the first people you hire for a base that houses teenagers trained to fight Novas.
  • Full Metal Panic!: The Second Raid: Without forewarning, the protagonist is pulled off a mission he has held for six months, involving protecting someone he deeply cares about, with orders to cut all contact and ties immediately and irrevocably. Apparently no-one in his military unit thinks a psychological debriefing would be in order at this point, especially considering how the protagonist is the only person in the unit who can pilot their Black Box mecha, whose super powers are activated by the pilot's ability to concentrate. He is instead belittled by Tessa, his CO, and thrown into a combat zone, where he unsurprisingly suffers a Heroic BSOD.
    • Much of this problem can effectively be laid at the feet of Tessa. As the only one who knew even remotely how the Lambda Driver works and as Sousuke's commanding officer, she was the one responsible for not considering that he might need someone to talk to. However, because she was so jealous of his relationship with Chidori, she chose to focus on trying to drive him away from her by any means necessary. There's a reason that relationships between different-ranking members of militaries are frowned upon.
    • Judging from everyone's reactions, no one actually thought that Sousuke would take it so hard. Given his history and his personality in the first season, his Heroic BSOD would be extremely out of character for him.
    • Sousuke was having problems even before he got pulled from guard detail. Namely, he had a hard time getting the Lambda driver to work properly, which in his eyes made the machine a "worthless piece of junk". This was a problem because the more his resentment built up, the more unstable the Driver became. Actually, this may have been a reason for why they pulled him from his bodyguard duties: the higher ups felt that it was causing too much of a distraction for him to operate the Lambda Driver.
    • The pilot comes up with an absolutely staggering solution for this genre. He's a mercenary. If he doesn't want to work as much or the way they want him to, then they can just pay him less. This is a very alien concept to the Japanese mind.
  • The three main characters in School Days would likely have been sent to a good therapist in the real world, especially the two girls with their overly (self-)destructive tendencies. Of course, the resulting drama would have had much less impact that way.
  • The cast of FLCL all are in need of a therapist to sort out the various problems they have, especially Naota, and Mamimi, Ninamori, and Haruko. Considering that the Director Kazuya Tsurumaki was the Assistant Director of Evangelion, this was bound to happen.
  • The girls in Gunslinger Girl undergo brainwashing to make them function as cyborg-assassins, but the mental problems caused by this process are never professionally addressed. The "handlers" of the girls could also need some counseling about how to deal with them, as to prevent situations like the one in which one of the girls commits suicide after killing her handler first, because she didn't feel loved enough by him.
    • Of course, given the situations several of the girls were in before the brainwashing and memory editing, it can be argued that in many cases they are in no worse shape psychologically than they would have been if left alone. Henrietta is described as explicitly suicidal when Giuseppe came across her case in the hospital.
      • The correct comparison would be to compare them to the situation they could have been in if they had proper help.
    • Also, to be fair, they are the first generation of cyborgs. The people Playing with Syringes are still figuring out what makes the girls tick and what they need. So this is probably justified.
    • The handlers are given counseling on how to deal with the girls—Dr Bianchi is seen doing this with Jose. He's also shown interviewing several of the girls earlier in the series. Of course, his goal is not to help rehabilitate them, but keep them functioning as cyborg soldiers.
  • Even a comedic Slice of Life series like Azumanga Daioh isn't immune. Sakaki's poor self-image did a number on her confidence until Chiyo-chan reached out to her, at which point she had friends to help her... but a little counseling wouldn't have hurt, considering she was too shy to even make any friends until they came to her, and her self-consciousness was a problem for her all series. It's tough being a Huge Schoolgirl.
    • And, on a lighter note... Tomo. Medication. How about it, people?
    • As one fan-done image of Osaka and Tomo pointed out:
    • Yomi also seems to have some body image issues, and she probably has some repressed anger issues from having to put up with Tomo.
    • Even Chiyo seems to be suffering from something similar to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after riding in the Yukari-mobile.
  • You'd expect that Kurau's father from Kurau Phantom Memory has his daughter checked out by a psychologist after she starts behaving differently after the incident in the laboratory. He simply accepts her explanation that she has merged with another sentient being, but doesn't even wonder what that would do to her mental health.
  • Fakir and Rue from Princess Tutu could definitely use some therapy considering their issues, but they'd have to find a therapist who would be able to swallow the idea that part of their problems stem from being characters in a fairytale.
  • The entire cast of X 1999 could use some serious time on the couch. As one particularly humorous fanfic puts it (when the good guys are disturbed by some particularly irrational behavior on the part of their emo teenage messiah):

"... Anyone know a good psychiatrist? Let's see... an emotionally repressed ice queen, a tormented young man with a death wish, a little girl with an ice cream fixation and a thing for much older guys, a married man with a crush on a soapgirl, and... well, a soapgirl. Do you think any of us know a good psychiatrist?"

  • If the Axis Powers Hetalia characters existed.. er, well, if they were normal humans... many of them would need therapists.
    • One word: RUSSIA. Raised by his older sister, separated from his siblings to live a childhood tormented by General Winter, and then the countless other things that happened to make him so delightfully screwed up. (Bloody Sunday? "We don't need children who can't play nice, right, Lithuania?") Split-personality, the pipe, the psychopathic manchild demeanor, the slasher smile...
    • Belarus, anyone?? She wants to marry her brother. Her knife thing, her... everything.
    • The former Soviets, for god's sake! I'm not sure what they're suffering from, but there is something wrong there. Lithuania? Latvia? C'mon.
      • Latvia could quite possibly have some sort of anxiety problem. Liet's issue is more that he's an Extreme Doormat.
    • I would suggest group therapy for the Asians.
      • At any rate, some fixing for Japan's hikikomori-ness would have been nice, if they had therapists during that era.
      • ...and for when Japan stabbed his brother-figure China in the back?!
      • Korea... might... yeah.
    • America's hero complex and Canada's (And Ukraine's) severe self-confidence issues would most likely need to be seen to.
    • France has some relationship issues...
    • Italy. Meds. Now.
    • South Italy has that inferiority complex.
    • Would it be... acceptable for Spain to love tomatoes that much?? And Word of God says that he has a split personality just like Russia - except that his other mode is conquistador.
    • Switzerland certainly loves his guns a bit too much.
    • England, whole sessions could be devoted to the American Revolution alone.
    • There have been a few strips which suggest at Prussia being a Stepford Smiler with an Inferiority Superiority Complex who uses his Crazy Awesome status as an escape mechanism. Boy has issues.
    • Poland's real issue is actually not his Cloudcuckoolander-ness but more his shyness. I mean, yes, it's played for laughs to emphasize his Spoiled Brat traits, but he initially refused to make an alliance with Lithuania that would benifit both nations because "Strangers are totally scary". Social anxiety disorder, anyone?
    • Although, given that this is Hetalia, it's all played for sometimes-dark laughs and they're not human anyway. Fridge Brilliance and Fridge Horror combined: these are actually fairly accurate depictions of their surrogate countries at the time.
  • Code Geass is rife with nutcases, or some that should be.
    • Lelouch's mother was killed and his sister was crippled by someone that highly likely involves someone in the royal family, he accidentally causes a genocide, indirectly kills the father of his possible love interest, almost gets his own sister killed and indirectly causes the deaths of 30 million+ people, etc. Lelouch needs some help.
    • Said sister, Nunnally, is pretty sane despite what has happened to her. The novelization plays it straighter by saying that when Lelouch isn't around, she gets mad and breaks things, but doesn't remember doing so afterwards. Then again, in general the novels are darker and more cynical.
      • Looking at spin-off manga Nightmare of Nunnally, all of her repressed emotions manifest in the form of a giant Super Robot as she goes on to have her revenge on the world herself.
    • Suzaku killed his own father, pretty much destroys his opponents in battle, watched his Love Interest Euphemia die in his arms, and finally, annihilated Tokyo. At the end of the episode, he looks to have really lost it.
    • Nina is easily the worst case. She tried to nuke Tokyo along with her school, and she worked on building another, which turned out a success, much to the dismay of some 35 million people. One might ask how Suzaku and Nina even ended up in the military, and how they're allowed to stay - but then you realize that this is Britannia.
  • Of course Japan is much less inclined to see psychiatric help for anything short of certifiable institutional cases. But in the case of Red Garden, the setting is New York and it's a trifle peculiar there that the grief counselors haven't been sicced on the whole school, especially the friends of the apparent suicide.
  • Detective Conan: Not that anyone seems worse for the wear in this series, but no one ever wonders if it is okay for six-year-old Conan to see a gruesome murder victim on a regular basis. Hell, it's probably not that good for seventeen-year-old Ran either.
    • Believe it or not, this was lampshaded in the very first chapter.
      • Which brings up another point, is no-one even disturbed by the fact that six-year-old Conan is completely calm when seeing these murders?
      • Ran and Sonoko seem pretty creeped out in chapter 43, which is among other things a dismemberment case, when Conan (who found the body) observes thoughtfully that the victim "was wearing her shoes, even though she was cut up." Note that this attitude would be damn creepy even from a forty-five-year-old professional, let alone teenage Shinichi. From little 'Conan' it's material that should have his caretakers keeping an eye out for tortured small animals and classmates driven to suicide.
    • Like over several hundred murders in like less than a year in the story? Ya, of course that's just fine and dandy. And normal too, don't forget normal, as of course there will be that many conveniently placed murders in relation to people near his friends and family.
    • Speaking of those murders, with several hundred murders happening within a year in a single city, one has to wonder how utterly fucked the entire city is mentally.
    • Megure once refers to Mori being the devil... for taking kids to a wrestling match.
  • Much of the Wangst that forms the personal lives of the pilots in Simoun could have been avoided with some kind of counseling sessions. It's easier to count the number of characters who don't directly cause some kind of complication to a mission because of their personal issues.
  • What, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni isn't mentioned? Those kids get no comfort from anyone other than their friends. As it seems, it doesn't turn out well 99% of the time.
    • Played with in Rena's background story. She did see a counselor; it just failed because Adults Are Useless. And because the medication they gave her doesn't treat Hinamizawa Syndrome.
    • The Ushiromiyas certainly have the cash to afford therapy, but it seems to be sorely lacking.
      • The only relatively normal ones among the adults are Krauss (who is just an idiot), Rudolf (as long as his wife doesn't convince him that killing his whole family would be a good idea), and Hideyoshi. Their wives (and Krauss and Rudolf's younger sister) all have respective issues, to say nothing of their father! The kids (with the exception of Maria) are (mostly) sane, but even they have some problems. Nanjo's fine. So are most of the servants. Kanon and Shannon might be are definitely another story.
  • Most of what happened in Prétear could've been avoided if Takako hadn't decided that the best reaction to being rejected was to destroy the world. And then there's Miwata, with her lasting grief after her father's death. She does send in postcards to Sasame, a talk show host that's about the closest thing to a therapist in the entire show, but considering he's still in love with the woman destroying the world because his comrade didn't love her, and he bears increasing guilt because of having to fight her, he's not much help either and could use a good therapist himself.
  • Miyuki from the Miyuki-chan in Wonderland series continuously has homoerotic dreams that clearly bother her but she never sees a therapist to analyze what these dreams mean. Probably related to Rule of Funny and Failure Is the Only Option.
  • You could make an argument for this in the Trigun anime as a whole, but it really hits hard in the series' backstory. You'd think a futuristic Earth could do a better job of screening the five people in charge of directing a big chunk of Earth's population to a suitable planet. Out of those original five, one turns out to be a loathsome drunkard, and another has a severe case of Love Makes You Evil. This does not end well.
  • Justified in Nico Robin's case in One Piece; being a fugitive would probably prevent you from getting some serious counseling over feeling like you're destined to be alone.
    • Zoro would probably be doing something good for himself by seeing a therapist to help resolve his apparent anger towards his childhood friend's death and not feel the need to yell at her look-alike and give her the Pointer Finger. Working to fulfill a promise isn't exactly what most would consider proper grief counseling. Yet this can be Justified by how the said character barely gives his physical wounds time to heal, let alone those emotional ones. This may or may not come to bite him in the tuchis later, though...
    • And Boa Hancock. Hoo boy. Physical, emotional, and heavily implied sexual abuse while enslaved for years? Although Amazons aren't renowned for their fantastic health care anyway...
    • Ace too. It would probably ease the bitterness from his daddy issues.
      • Especially since his daddy issues are proven to be very, very complicated.
    • Brook. Any one of The Aloner, Inhuman Human, or Sole Survivor / Everybody's Dead, Dave should be enough to land a person in therapy for years, and he's got all of them. Has talked far too cheerfully about wanting to die and is currently locked up on display in a freakshow. All things considered, he's holding up pretty well.
    • Really, every main character in One Piece has either suffered some form of emotional trauma that would necessitate counseling or have some degree of social/psychological disorder. Sanji is probably the most well-adjusted in terms of backstory and personality quirks (being a wannabe-casanova notwithstanding).
    • One of Whitebeard's allied captain Squard would need some serious help after he was tricked into stabbing his father-like figure Whitebeard, who immediately forgave him.
    • Coby, especially after Marieford. He develops Mantra during the battle and can't stop hearing the voices of dying marines and pirates and people's thoughts about their friends and comrades' deaths afterwards.
    • Princess Shirahoshi and her brothers probably needed therapy after they saw their own mother being fatally shot. Especially Shirahoshi, since she knew all along who the killer was and kept it a secret out of respect for her dying mother's wish for peace for years. She's also the target of a creepy stalker who regularly flings weapons at her as proof of his "love".
  • Worth mentioning are the characters in Narutaru. All of them.
  • The crew of Cowboy Bebop: a former gangster whose sworn enemy is actively out to kill him, a former cop whose past still creeps up on him, a compulsive gambler and con artist who doesn't know her own past, and Ed... somebody please pass this crew some anti-depressants and a bottle of whiskey.
    • They've got plenty of whiskey already, and some of them might need more than just pills. Anyone with a shred of decency would've put Faye in a mental hospital as soon as she got unfrozen just out of everything she'd been through. Of course, in her case the doctors who unfroze her were con artists, so this could be justified in her case.
  • A huge amount of the characters in Chrono Crusade have some serious, serious issues. Chrono has a huge amount of survivor's guilt for the people he's been unable to save in the past, Aion (in the manga) is teetering on the brink of insanity after discovering his mother was a human and what's basically her corpse is being used as the demon queen, Azmaria blames herself for the deaths of her parents (or was possibly abandoned—it's vague), Satella watched her parents get killed in front of her and her older sister was kidnapped, Rosette's constant need to keep moving is attributed to scars from her parent's deaths, and Joshua is so desperate to keep people from protecting him that he accepts evil powers which drive him insane... and also seems to make him completely obsessed with his sister in a way that starts feeling like No Yay.
  • If ever an entire anime series needed therapists, it would be Paranoia Agent. But there are none.
  • There would be no plot for Shugo Chara otherwise.
  • Yu Ominae, the main protagonist of the Japanese anime movie Spriggan was an orphan child soldier, trained at a secret government facility of the American government to become an elite assassin. Until he snapped, murdered the guards and escaped, that is. Years later, at the start of the movie, Ominae is a young man working for a secret international organisation, Arcan, founded by scholars dedicated to protecting ancient artifacts from falling into the wrong hands. Ominae is sent out to prevent a foreign (read: American) military unit from seizing control of an ancient alien artifact. He still suffers from traumatic flashbacks. Not that his three American cyborg antagonists aren't much, much crazier... and one of them looks like a 10-year-old kid, which is technically what he is, at least physically.
  • You'd think a psychiatrist would help poor Katsumi at the end of Project ARMS after she is injured several times, held captive by the Egrigori, finds out that the man she thought was her protector is actually an artificial clone who can turn into a freakish monster, an even more sadistic clone kidnaps her and has her killed by Ryo, only for her to be trapped in Wonderland and rescued from Evil Alice. It is quite clear that she is experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder with continuous nightmares of her mother leaving her and being recaptured by Keith Green, but no professional help seems to be given. To be fair, Kei does help her as best she can and it's possible that the Blue Men provide assistance behind the scenes. And then it turns out that Katsumi's body is being shared with Evil Alice, who eventually takes her over and transforms her into the Bandersnatch. Given that Katsumi seems to be more or less sane while fighting for control against Evil Alice and after they are all rescued by Ryo, it seems likely that the breakdown had something to do with the possession.
  • Alien Nine. Don't let the cheery opening fool you, it's downright Narutaru-level horrifying. After the protagonist gets raped, has her symbiotic alien mature way too fast, go berserk and kill all the cute aliens, the only thing the adult responsible for her wellbeing re: symbiotic aliens has to say is "try not to kill this one too". And that's not even going to the fact that she didn't want to have a symbiotic alien to begin with, her class voted her to have one.
  • Black Butler has its fair share of therapy candidates, considering all the horrendous stuff that befalls most of the cast.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Edward Elric, in an attempt to bring his mother back to life, ends up losing his arm and leg and nearly bleeds to death, his brother's body is completely destroyed and he ends up as a soul in a suit of armor, and then he realizes all he managed to do was create a writhing mass of nightmare fuel instead of his mother. He really could have used some therapy. Or a mind wipe.
    • And then there's everyone involved in Ishval, (with the exception of Wrath, Envy, and a certain Ax Crazy Mad Bomber) who will have to deal with what they did and what happened there for the rest of their lives. Now they could use some therapy.
      • Particularly Riza, who after being objectified by her father in favor of his research, has to watch Roy use that research to cause more destruction than probably anyone except for Kimblee. Plus, they are obviously in mutual love, but they can't act on it because of their military duties. Emotional repression like that probably allows for some kind of therapy, and yet Riza is one of the most level-headed people in the series.
  • The Pokémon Special really needs a few therapists. Been beat up by Pokémon, seeing death commonly, being kidnapped, having daddy issues, etc are common sight. While we're at it, Isamu should see a therapist about all the weird things that happens to him.
  • Durarara!!...where do I begin? Before we begin, this can all be subverted in the game 3 Way Standoff due to the main character Yoshimune hearing the characters out...however, there is too much to fix...
    • Anri lives alone due to her parents being dead. She's bullied by the three ganguro girls and says nothing about the perverted teacher stalking her. She also lives like a leech to everyone because of Saika. I think if she talked to someone...
    • Mikado isn't any better with his low self esteem issues and the fact that he has a hard time saying things he wants to say. Might not be as bad as some other characters but in recent novel chapters, It seems like he has issues concerning his personality. If he's capable of switching personalities (from nice guy to cold hearted psycho and back), you would think someone besides Aoba would notice?
    • Kida... Your parents don't care about you one bit and force you to live alone as early as middle school. You have some issues to start the Yellow Scarves gang to be noticed and then life went to hell because of a certain Manipulative Bastard that you're forced to become to hide behind a smile, you need someone to tell you that it wasn't your fault that you didn't send your girlfriend to the hospital.
    • Saki, just worshipping the ground Izaya is on is enough.
    • Shizuo + Hair-Trigger Temper = Enough said. Then again, anger management seems better than a therapist.
    • Izaya...we don't know a lot about you but but picking on your siblings to the point of making them like you has to say something about your family life. Add the fact that you'd rather have people think you stabbed your only friend Shinra rather than have them know he took the knife for someone like you, PLUS your causing problems for everyone around you. Oh, and the fact that you talk to a head like it's human.
    • Namie loves her brother.
    • Seiji loves a head.
    • Mika loves Seiji, despite the fact he almost killed her when she saw Celty's head. She's even willing to change her appearance to look like said head.
    • Shinra's is more justified because of his father. However, just loving a woman without a head is creepy by itself.
    • Kasuka, you don't react to anything! Even when your brother was going to hit you with a fridge when you two were kids.
    • Erika and Walker, we all know you love anime but you shouldn't use anime to torture your victims or you might get other people doing it.
    • Vorona, killing someone does not mean you love them. You should have known that when you killed your father but now you're planning to do it to Shizuo too?
    • Mairu and Kurumi is justified because of Izaya but your Twincest acts should be questioned.
    • Aoba...oh boy... You don't say anything about your older brother beating you up and almost killing you multiple times to your parents. Instead, you get him back by setting a fire. You start Blue Squares only to ask your brother to take it over and almost mess it up. Now you're going to be screwed now that he's out of jail and you're on his murder list. And the cute act doesn't work with everybody.
  • Bleach: One thinks that Ichigo, Rukia, Orihime, Ishida and Hinamori would have all needed therapists after their respective Break the Cutie incidents (the first four of which occurred before the manga's start), but no...
    • Hitsugaya should now join them after Aizen used his illusions to trick him into stabbing his childhood friend Hinamori.
    • Surprisingly, Aizen needed it too as Ichigo suggested he might have been Lonely at the Top and wanted to create someone who was on the same level as him. This is confirmed by the database. Aizen's power left him isolated and mistrusted in his youth, leading to his god-complex and wanting to create his own world.
  • Oniisama e...: Your step-sister is antisocial, depressive, suicidal and has a pill addiction? She'll sort it out herself. Just put her into a dark apartment with mirrors on every wall. Oh yeah, if you're bullied to the max, you're crazy classmate tries to keep you hostage, and oh yeah, you're almost raped, thrown of a balcony and drowned, just keep to yourself and NEVER talk with ANYONE about it. Things will get better, no need for therapists.
  • Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko. Here's a little something for prospective parents: If your daughter disappears for six months and returns thinking she's a space alien, and then breaks her arm trying to 'prove it' by driving a bike off a bridge... Call a therapist. Ignoring her and letting her live in her room wrapped up in a futon probably makes for marginally better television, but in Real Life you're more likely to get protective services called on you than wacky family rom-com hijinx.
  • Saikano, so very, very, much so. Nobody thinks that turning a high school girl into a weapon of mass destruction would give her a few screws loose? Possibly justified in that the world is ending, but still. Be nice to your Person of Mass Destruction.
  • In Soul Eater, when Crona, whose mother was trying to create a Tyke Bomb through a program of systematic child abuse, defected to Shibusen, what did they do? Assign a bedroom in the dungeon, far away from the other students, where Crona spends almost every waking moment outside class alone with abusive, sociopathic Equippable Ally Ragnarok.
    • The Shibusen academy sends children out into the world to slay former humans who have traveled down the demon path, and witches of unimaginable power. You would think the students would be in need of therapy for completing their assigned tasks, but they treat it like killing is no problem.
  • Tiger and Bunny's Barnaby witnessed his parents' murder at the age of four, and has been burning with the desire for revenge for 20 years. Despite attending an academy which specializes in training superheroes, he doesn't appear to have received any emotional guidance or counselling to overcome his (rather crippling) psychological trauma -- which occasionally causes him to become uncharacteristically violent and illogical -- a Fatal Flaw for a law enforcement official (of sorts) who frequently doubles as a celebrity. Towards the end of the series it is somewhat Justified, though -- what with his trusted mentor turning out to be a Treacherous Advisor with memory-manipulating Psychic Powers which he is not hesitant to use on Barnaby whenever the guy does (or remembers) something "unnecessary"...
  • At least half of the main cast in Iris Zero suffered some kind of trauma, because of what they saw through Evil Eye. Toru helps them get over it, but he has his own issues, due to being bullied as Un-Sorcerer. Teachers don’t want to get involved and see anything that happens around Irises as Somebody Else's Problem. Apparently, no-one thought it would be a good idea to hire professional psychologist, even if kids with irises are prone to being traumatize by their own power. This makes more than 99% students.
  • There are no such thing as therapists in Yu-Gi-Oh!. Some of the ones (in just the original series!) that need it the most are Mai, Marik, Ryou, Kaiba, and Raphael and Alister.
  • Flat-out stated in Afterschool Charisma. Shiro is basically the closest thing his clone classmates have to a therapist, as his father points out.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Magical girls have no therapists. Explanations and warnings won't work. Half of the cast lost their parents or don't have one to begin with, and even if there's one, the therapist wouldn't be effective anyway.

Junko: This is the first time I can't see through her (Madoka).

  • In the TV series of |Black Rock Shooter, the school actually has a psychologist, and the main character visits her often. Not sure if her advice is actually useful, but at least she tries. However, it's revealed she's intentionally cultivating student neuroses in order to create Otherworld spirit beings in order to fight the title character.
  • Played with in Great Teacher Onizuka: Class 3-4's multitudinous issues are slowly dealt with by Onizuka, because he's the only teacher who's had the patience to put up with their shenanigans and the awesome to break through their Wangst; Principal Domon used to be a therapist, but she used her abilities to recruit students to be her minions as part of her grand revenge scheme instead of actually making them better.
  • The manga and OVA versions of Area 88 have several prominent characters who suffer from war trauma but never get profesional help. After the Vietnam War, Mickey never got professional help for his PTSD, making it difficult for him to adjust to civilian life.
    • In the OVA, war trauma left Shin distracted and emotionally disconnected after he left Area 88 and returned to Paris. In the manga, after leaving Area 88 and taking up residence in Paris, Shin drinks heavily to cope with his war trauma. In neither case did he think to seek professional help.
    • If Kanzaki had gotten therapy after his mother's suicide, maybe he wouldn't have grown up to be a ruthless sociopath bent on seizing power at any cost?
  • Kodomo no Jikan is full of people with issues. The most Egregious example is Reiji, who had what is possibly one of the worst childhoods imaginable, thanks to his abusive father and neglectful mother. He was then taken in by his older cousin Aki, who he fell in love with and had a relationship with before she died of cancer. Now he's the sole guardian of his younger cousin Rin, who he's trying to raise to take her dead mother's place. Then there's Rin herself, who has a huge crush on a man twice her age that manifests in truly disturbing ways, not the least of which includes a level of sexual knowledge no child that young should possess.
  • It's Victorian Britain, so the lack of therapists in Black Butler is only to be expected. That's too bad for Ciel, who could really use some help with his PTSD. Then there are his secret black ops missions for the Queen, which just add trauma on top of trauma. Oh, and Ciel is 12/13.

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • In Adam Warren's Empowered, both the title character and her nemesis Sistah Spooky desperately need some serious couch time: Emp for her self-esteem and body image problems, and Spooky for her positively psychotic hatred of blondes—especially attractive ones, like Emp. Mind you, getting Spooky into therapy could prove... difficult.

"I've gotten pretty good at some things, Emp, but I'm not quite good enough... I'm never good enough."

    • Emp's boyfriend, ThugBoy, is quite possibly the worst of the lot. On the one hand, he's haunted by his time as a capekiller; on the other, he got severely traumatised after surviving the massacre of his friends by a homicidal supervillain -- to the point where the Demonwolf suggests ThugBoy has a death wish.
    • It's pretty bad when an entity named "The Molester of Worlds" gets to be the Only Sane Man among the cast.
    • Even worse than that. By v.6, Sistah Spooky is a near-catatonic wreck of a woman. What do her teammates do to help her? They ask Emp to keep an eye on her. That's it. Though Spooky wanted it that way; she didn't want them to know that her and the late Mindf*** were involved. For extra misery sauce, they'd broken up beforehand because Spooky couldn't accept that the psychic Mind' could know her and still love her.
  • At one point, Mysterio managed to briefly convince Spider-Man that he was crazy and posed as a psychologist to convince him that the root of his problem was the secret identity. He would feel so much better if he confided in this friendly psychologist...
    • What was really scary about this one in retrospect was that Mysterio had just about succeeded, until J. Jonah Jameson and Flash Thompson blunder into the house where the therapy is being conducted and where Mysterio had set up the illusions that made Spidey think he was hallucinating. When Jameson and Thompson see and react to the "hallucinations" too, Spidey realizes that he's not crazy and that Mysterio's conning him. Cue the beatdown.
    • And at one point Spidey furiously unmasked the Green Goblin to find not Norman, not Harry, but Harry's psychologist, who'd found out where the glider and the costume were stashed and taken the chance to try a little supervillainy.
  • This legendarily subtext-ridden comic has Batman telling Superman that using each other for therapy sure beats going to a clock-watching psychiatrist.
  • Speaking of Batman, it's quite possible that the person he is today would have never existed if this trope wasn't invoked after the death of his parents and would have resulted in a world that was worse off for it. However, given how stressful the life of a masked vigilante is, Batman's (as well as his allies) continual invocation of this trope has led to regular bouts of angst following tragic events over the years, resulting in Batman nearly having a mental breakdown by Infinite Crisis and a year-long sabbatical after it. On the other hand, given how notoriously bad Gotham's psychiatrists (particularly those who work at Arkham Asylum) are perhaps they are just being Genre Savvy.
    • It doesn't help that the most successful psychiatrists are the ones using their skills for evil, such as Jonathan Crane, Hugo Strange and Simon Hurt. And then there's Harleen Quinzel...
    • Additionally, this trope is averted in two noteworthy Elseworld stories; in one instance, Bruce Wayne doesn't merely seek mental counseling following his parents' death but becomes a psychiatrist himself and makes genuine progress with his patients (actually making a breakthrough with the normally Ax Crazy Killer Croc), however since his professional rival is Jonathan Crane (whose idea of treatment is genuinely a worse alternative to none) Bruce eventually dons the mantle of the bat to stop him.
    • The second noteworthy aversion is in the case of Ibn Al Xu'ffasch (Son of the Bat) from the Kingdom Come universe. The heir apparent to both the Wayne family and Ra's Al Ghul's empire, his hellish upbringing combined with the shadows of both his respective legacies over his head would make Ibn a prime candidate for some therapy...which he goes out and gets after the events of the main story! Although he is quite clearly Ra's Al Ghul's grandson, the fact that he went out and got some good counsel (not to mention fell in love) completely steers him off the path of obsession or outright villainy that he would seem destined for. Interestingly, despite doing all he can to avoid taking on the worse traits of his grandfather, Ibn proves to also have inherited the best traits of both his bloodlines, being both a Magnificent Bastard and a formidable combatant in his own right (though it is suggested his genes had a hand in that).
    • A kind of an aversion: In The Dark Knight Returns, a Therapist and a plastic surgeon works on Harvey 'Two Face' for years. Both of them do what they can do best: The Plastic Surgeon repairs his face completely. The Therapist DESTROYS the 'Harvey Dent' good side completely.
      • His works don't end in there. That psychologist even starts an anti-Batman TV campaign, manages to free the Joker and give him a sitcom... killing him was the greater redeeming act from the Joker. Fact!. I think that since that day, therapists should be banned in Gotham!
    • Remember: Joker ALWAYS pleads for insanity. The psychologists are the one and only cause which sends him through the revolving door of Arkham Asylum in order to have a chance to write an essay about Joker. So, they are indeed his best accomplices.
    • If there is anyone who needs a therapist badly, Jason Todd is your man. Nightwing offers to help him, but there probably isn't a therapist in Gotham qualified for his unique form of PTSD.
  • In Archie Comics Sonic the Hedgehog comic, there is no one to counsel the Freedom Fighters after fighting a years-long war with Robotnik and eventually killing him. Likewise (in the current story), Sonic defeats another Robotnik (another one from another Multiverse, who is left a broken man; Sonic watches as Robotnik's psychosis takes hold of him, to the point that he must be put in a straitjacket. Sonic seems deeply troubled by this. He tries talking to Sally about it, but she tells him the equivalent of "Suck it up and quit being such a drag; you're harshing our mellow." And of course, there is literally NO ONE IN ALL OF THE CITY THAT HE CAN TALK TO ABOUT IT THAT COULD POSSIBLY GIVE HIM PSYCHOLOGICAL HELP AT ALL.
  • You know who could use a hug? The Punisher. PTSD is pretty well understood nowadays.
  • You'd think an organization like SHIELD would have the resources to talk Ultimate Hawkeye through the assassination of his entire family before he descends into Death Seeker territory. Then again, he may be more useful that way since he's one of their designated assassins himself.
  • Parodied in one issue of Marvel's What If?, where Daredevil murdered the Kingpin and went insane with guilt. While he's running around, he bumps into the Punisher. When he sees just how broken Daredevil's become, Castle actually recommends a psychiatrist and offers to take him there personally.
  • Therapists would be really, really useful in Avengers Academy. The central concept of the series is that the kids are in the Academy because they're all traumatized or otherwise disturbed, and the Avengers want to mold them into superheroes before they turn into supervillains. The only psychologist they see is Moonstone - whom they visit in prison because she's an evil psychopath. The students do seem to be encouraged to confide in their instructors, with the conceit being that since their instructors are all especially troubled Avengers and associated, they are better able to guide them. But the trope applies just as much to the adults. When Tigra realizes that her brutal beating at the hands of the Hood and the public humiliation it caused her are still affecting her, she doesn't see a professional about it, but instead goes on a talk show to get if off her chest.
  • Fred Perry's Gold Digger has therapists, or more technically, 'balance councilors,' for helping mages and other magical beings with their problems. The Queen of Dragons T'mat, however, will have no part of them, not even for centuries after the most traumatic experience of her life (that, among other things, caused her to lose a hand, and this is among the least of the scars it left). Eventually her daughter has to go to significant lengths to get help, and deposing her is discussed.
  • The members of the various X-teams could really benefit from regular therapy. In Claremont's run alone the main team members were repeatedly (and painfully) devolved into primates by Sauron and then evolved back, they lost Thunderbird, there was the Dark Phoenix Saga, the Mutant Massacre, Inferno, being the captives of the Brood, Cyclops and Storm and Xavier all being tortured by William Stryker, Wolverine being tortured by the Reavers until he went partially insane, and more! It's amazing that the entire team didn't just break down sobbing and curl up into the fetal position after all of that. Apart from the members of X-Factor going to see Doc Samson a couple of times, we've never seen any of them receive any sort of treatment.

Fan Works[edit | hide]

  • In the world of My Immortal, if something bad happens to you (which it will, because the MIverse is a Crapsack World) your only options are to become goffik, commit suicide or both.
    • Also, there are no therapists for the kind of brain trauma the fic itself will inflict on you.
  • Justified in one of Neon Genesis Evangelion's fanfictions. Pilots are specially kept in isolation, because normal relations with other people makes it impossible to pilot Evas (whose minds are totally inhuman). Potential pilots who become friends are sent away, because a) bad things will happen since they have a normal relationship with each oher b) there is a threat they may befriend Rei, Asuka and Shinji, causing the whole project to collapse.
  • Lampshaded in the author's notes of Windows of the Soul, a My-HiME fanfic that deals with Shizuru's lingering guilt over her actions late in the series and the implications they have for her relationship with Natsuki.

"Sometimes I wonder whether it would be easier if I just had Shizuru see a psychologist. The problem being, how does she say "I have a huge guilt complex over killing scores of people with my summoned demon named after the legendary Kiyohime" without being put in an asylum? Perhaps the First District has specilised psychologists. Oh, wait. She blew them up. That's what she's guilty about."

  • Oh God Not Again makes fun of this trope (as it does with the whole Harry Potter universe) mentioning that Cho only got better after years of therapy, and she needed to edit her story, because all therapists are Muggles.
    • It's for a Good Cause I Swear by the same author explains this for the Naruto series. All the therapists are civilians and pretty much everything a ninja would need therapy for would either be confidential or scar the therapists. The reason Sasuke never got therapy was because clan policy at the time stated that "Uchiha are above such plebeian things as therapy."
  • In All You Need Is Love After surviving the LABB Murder Cases, L refused to help pay for Naomi Misora's therapy. Later in the story Light's parents attempt to make him seek help from a therapist when his mental issues begin to become obvious after blatantly stalking an older woman and her fiance, crashing at their place, and refusing to leave. Light's parents concede that their son MIGHT just have a problem and should probably get help. Naomi notes that it's a couple of years too late.
  • Flat out averted in the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann fanfiction The Spiral Path. Darry starts showing signs of depression and arranges to have an appointment with a psychologist the next day.

Films[edit | hide]

  • Towards the end of Million Dollar Baby, the protagonist is rendered quadriplegic in a boxing match, and later has her leg amputated. She ends up being kept alive via a respirator against her will, and eventually becomes suicidal. First she begs her trainer to euthanize her, and then tries to make herself bleed to death by biting her tongue. Instead of getting her the psychiatric counseling that she obviously freaking needs, the hospital's immediate response is to keep her sedated 24/7 so she can't commit suicide. It...doesn't end well.
  • Shutter Island. At first we think the protagonist is a square-jawed Federal Marshal who's just a little green at the gills when he goes out on the water. Then we learn he's a former Army man who helped liberate Dachau, which left him with a nasty case of PTSD. Then we learn his wife died. No, wait - his wife burned down their house and drowned their three kids, and he killed her for that, and he's experiencing a horrific crush of guilt because he didn't get her help in time. And now he's gone and created a massive delusional structure that he can use as a denial mechanism. And does he get help for any of it? Yes. THAT'S THE WORST PART OF ALL, because he's getting "help" from a group of doctors who may or may not be involved in brainwashing experiments to create remorseless Manchurian Candidate-style soldiers. But it actually turns out that the whole of the institution he's in is orchestrating a therapy session to play along with the main character's delusions to see if he can resolve his own internal conflicts without help. They are trying to simulate a There Are No Therepists scenario. (Or are they? Repeated viewings of the movie lend that much more weight to it being read in multiple ways.)
  • In Apocalypse Now, the main antagonist, Colonel Kurtz, goes insane after he sees Viet Cong terrorists storming a Vietnamese village and forcibly amputating the arms of children who'd been vaccinated by American medics the day before, then burning them; he rants eerily at great length about how he was first horrified by this, then struck by the genius of it. Furthermore, the main character, Captain Willard, is already mentally unbalanced when he is chosen to venture out into the jungle to take down Kurtz.
  • An interesting example in Network, where a recently fired news anchor announces on air that he will kill himself on air because he has nothing to live for (this is followed by a long speech about the state of the world too, as the majority of the movie is long speeches). His friend wants to get him help because he's obviously going through a break down, but the network insists on keeping him on because he gets great ratings. Guess what? He gets worse.
  • In the Film of the Book The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, we see Peter (as well as Susan and Edmund) kill hordes of armored soldiers with medieval weaponry in melee combat. Peter gets to command troops into battle... where he sees them get slaughtered. PTSD from exposure to the horrors of warfare? Survivor's guilt over sending good people who trusted you to their deaths? Peter is shown having trouble coping with not getting the same respect from arrogant schoolboys that he got as the High King. At least the Pevensies have Professor Kirke to confide in...
    • I'd call it somewhat justified in that they had a decade or so in Narnia to grow up and adjust to their roles as warriors. The dialogue makes it clear that not only do they remember being adults, but they are used to it, more to the point, used to having power and authority.
  • Hello Star Wars? While it certainly may serve the needs of the plot and even fit somewhat with some of the seemingly ignorant/primitive aspects of the setting, you'd think that you might want to have somebody have a friendly chat with your Chosen One every so often, just to make sure he doesn't go Ax Crazy or otherwise have any glaringly obvious psychological hangups.
    • There is a short scene in which Anakin chats with Yoda about some of his hangups, though the whole thing has more the air of a confessional than a therapy session.
      • A chat which involved Anakin telling Yoda about how he had visions of someone he cared about dying, all while he's very upset (or as upset as Hayden Christenson can get). Yoda's sage response is pretty much "Yeah, don't be upset when people you love die and don't miss them or anything". Right.
        • Absolutely shocking that Anakin went crazy and turned on them. After all they did for him too: separating him from his mother, not allowing him to rescue his mother, forbidding him to openly date Padme, telling him that being attached to anything is of The Dark Side, etc.
    • Poor psychological treatment is very common in the Jedi Order: just look at Juhani in Knights of the Old Republic.
      • Hey, that one was intentional. They provided an experience that prevented Juhani from turning to The Dark Side again and a test to see what path the player chooses all in one!
    • Continues right into the Expanded Universe. See Durron, Kyp. Or Skywalker, Ben, who hasn't yet fallen to The Dark Side, but is pretty fucked up right now.
    • There obviously are no psychologists in that galaxy, or else they would point out that taking young children and cutting off all contact with their parents and loved ones does not make for good police / judges.
      • And having kids who grew up on some planet that they still have family on as impartial judges in interstellar affairs would work how?
      • By having them recuse themselves from any matter in which they or their close relatives might have an interest, just as judges do in the real world. ;-)
    • All it would've taken was one therapist and the galaxy would've been saved, but NOOO, the Jedi need to resolve their all issues through meditation, isolation, and training. And it really doesn't help that they take young children, isolate them from society, and force them to abstain from anything that would make them "weak" (during their teen years no less).
    • A minor character in one of the comics calls them out on it:

"Hah! An order of monks famed for their prowess with their laser swords. A psychiatrist would have a field day with you people."

    • A psychiatry prof actually diagnosed Darth Vader with Borderline Personality Disorder and has been using him as an example to explain the illness to first-year students.
  • In Troll 2, Joshua has constant visions of his dead grandfather. His parents treat this as a minor annoyance.
  • In X-Men 2, Nightcrawler is covered in scars from self-harming, which he apparently thought he had to do as penance for his sins. But, then, he's also bright blue with yellow eyes and tried to kill the POTUS, so maybe it's more of a lack of therapists who wouldn't freak out or call in the FBI.
    • Nightcrawler seems to want to be crazy, in that he sees it as his religion and that God is testing him. A great many people would object to anyone seeking to treat them for their religious views.
    • He'd fit right in with the rest of the X-Men. Maybe some social contact will help him. Note that this differs from the usual portrayal of Nightcrawler, who is sometimes the de facto chaplain of the X-Men.
    • Nightcrawler is also a quite devout Catholic, so we can only hope his confessor is Genre Savvy enough to divert his urge towards penitence into healthier channels.
    • Oddly, the video game that takes place between the second and third movies explains his absence by having him deal with the trauma of his actions in X2, decide that he is too peaceful a man to live the violent life of the X-Men, and quit. No one else seems to have any problems with the violence, so maybe Kurt is the only sane one after all.

Literature[edit | hide]

  • This Perfect Day inverts this trope HARD. There are far too many therapists, in that everyone on the planet has an assigned "advisor" who functions as a combination psychotherapist, father-confessor, and parole officer.
    • And who do the advisors talk to?
  • Animorphs: The need for secrecy prevents any of the characters in this from seeking help, but the psychological ramifications of being in the sort of fight they're in are explored. The Animorphs have very interesting nightmares, and will do so for the rest of their lives. Cassie tries to act as a sort-of therapeutic substitute, but her success is limited.
    • In one book, Marco lampshades the impossibilities of telling a professional therapist about their problems: "Hello, Doctor Freud? My dad's thinking about remarrying. See, he thinks my mom is dead, but she's not. She's actually a slave to an alien race trying to take over the planet. And did I mention that I'm fighting this alien invasion myself? That I do it by turning into animals? Say what? What size straitjacket do I wear?"
  • A counselor would have been very useful at Hogwarts—Snape's turn to the Dark Side was partly caused by his lack of self-esteem, which wasn't helped by an (at least) verbally abusive father, constant mockery at school, and rejected-by-his-family Sirius Black going apparently unpunished for pulling a prank on him that could've got him killed.
    • Everybody failed to see the warning signs that Tom Riddle was a deranged sociopath who would eventually become Voldemort. They were blatant when he was a child before he entered Hogwarts, and then he did everything he could to hide said warning signs. But Dumbledore should have known better than to go "Oh, he seems so different, I'll just hope for the best."
      • On the other hand, Voldemort went to school from 1938 to 1945. Would good psychiatric help have been provided very widely even in non-magic schools then? Or would people recognize the signs of sociopathy?
        • The woman in charge of the orphanage Tom was at may not have had the training to make a formal diagnosis, but still quite accurately pegged Tom as a sadistic, twisted child who had the potential to be quite dangerous later in life. Unfortunately, Dumbledore paid no attention to her.
    • Smaller scale of course, but Cho Chang gets a lot of flack for using Harry to feel closer to Cedric, when anyone can see what the girl seriously needs is some grief counseling. She lost her boyfriend in a way that no one wants to talk about, and since Hogwarts doesn't believe in helpful things like counselors, Harry's the only game in town.
    • Never mind Harry himself—ten years of neglect and abuse (which Dumbledore explicitly knows about but never bothers to stop), then an adolescence peppered with torture, being nearly murdered, witnessing several murders, etc. Plus a martyr complex. (They claim that most muggle science doesn't work on Hogwarts campus. Apparently, that applies to psychology as well.)
    • And Ginny, of course. Apparently, when you are possessed by the evil overlord, not punishing you for what he made you do is already being the best guy in this world (Dumbledore).
    • Also Luna Lovegood. We don't know the details, but when she was nine she saw her mother die and she apparently got no help. Plus, she was continually harassed and bullied for at least her first four years at Hogwarts and was so isolated socially that when Harry and company finally befriended her she painted portraits of them all on her ceiling linked by the word "friends".
    • How about the endless list of students that Snape and Umbridge terrorise? Snape openly derides students in front of other teachers and shows blatant favouritism while Umbridge's detentions are literal torture. Then again implied gang-rape by centaurs was probably good closure for her students.
  • BattleTech example: While the trope does not (one hopes) hold true for the setting in general, one could easily come away from reading the Legend of the Jade Phoenix trilogy with the impression that it explains so much about the Clans. It's easier to name the characters from these three books that don't have major issues than the ones who do.
  • In World War Z, the US Army is shown to have given very careful consideration to the dangers of combat fatigue when retaking the zombie-infested East. The Russian Army... not so much. The US government also takes great care in treating feral children so that they can (more or less) function in society.
  • Justified very thinly by The Masquerade, but Twilight would have been at least one volume shorter - and probably a much better series - if someone with the right training had been around to help Edward work through the underlying self-esteem issues thrown up by his growing relationship with Bella.
    • New Moon would have had a totally different plot if someone had noticed Bella's erratic behavior after Edward leaves her as extremely similar to clinical depression, and reacted accordingly.
    • Charlie tried to get Bella to see a therapist in New Moon. She refused, on the grounds that she couldn't tell a therapist about how the Cullens were vampires and thus decided that therapy wouldn't work if she wasn't 100% truthful.
  • Though there are "healers" in The Lord of the Rings, counselors don't seem to exist. Odd, seeing as the elves have had millenia to figure out health care; doubly odd considering how many of the characters came out of the trip with some serious psychological scarring.
  • Justified in Gone (novel), because There Are No Adults. If there were ... well, Caine is a sociopath and suffers from psychosis, Drake is also psychotic and a sadist, Mary is anorexic and bulimic, Sam is pretty obviously suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in book 3, Lana has been Mind Raped by the Gaiaphage, Alberto is a hoarder, every kid who used to attend Coates Academy was sent there because there was something wrong with them, and the general psychological state of Perdido Beach seems to be crumbling.
  • Since the main characters are all wild cats, there are obviously none in the Warrior Cats series. It's a shame, because if there were, half of all the unfortunate character breakdowns ( Ashfur, Hollyleaf, anyone?) would have never happened, and most of the villains could have been stopped before they rose to evil. In other words, the series' Dysfunction Junction would be nearly nonexistent. Then it would be a big happy family of cats. And that would be boring.
  • There really should have been a therapist for each of the boys in The Outsiders. Especially Johnny, who was abused by his parents and later beaten up by Socs to the point he was a nervous wreck. Sort of justified that the greasers don't live in the best part of town and they probably couldn't even afford seeing one if they wanted to.
  • Played with in every way in Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga. The main character is from Barrayar, a feudal militaristic culture where one is expected to go through hell and get over it without complaints and definitely without therapy, but his mother is from Beta Colony, a high-tech hyper-sophisticated and modern world where all is well-regulated and therapy is the normal response to any trauma or psychological issue. The trope is brutally inverted in the first book for both worlds: Cordelia's awesome Betan therapists refuse to believe she is actually sane and wasn't brainwashed into falling in love with the enemy and she ends up having to run away, while it's revealed that Barrayaran therapy of the kind Bothari went through is possibly worse than the original trauma. In later books the trope is played straight (and Lampshaded by Cordelia repeatedly), especially where Barrayar is concerned. But it is thankfully averted for Mark after a book or two, because he really REALLY needs it.

Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Unfortunately, Star Trek: Voyager didn't have an official counselor, and they were the Star Trek crew that needed one most. Of course, they did have Mommy Janeway.
    • Well, they did lose a lot of the standard personnel in the first episode. Of course, their Lethal Chef Neelix also served as a self-appointed morale officer. This arrangement would have worked better if he did not suffer depression...
    • Janeway specifically states in one episode that the reason their ship didn't have a counselor was because they weren't on the sort of ship that had them (Voyager was only 150 crew on a short term mission). This triggers Kes to try her own brand of counseling.
  • And then there's the case of one Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Holy crap.
    • Even for this rare case where there's actually a designated therapist, there are times Troi is strangely absent. In "Homeward", Vorin, suffering from shock caused by the complete shattering of his worldview, is left to stew alone in a cabin. He kills himself.
    • In "The Bonding", the child Jeremy has just lost his mother, his only surviving parent. He's also left alone in a cabin to do nothing but look over pictures of his dead parents. Also overlaps with Social Services Does Not Exist; despite there being families on the Enterprise, he's not placed with foster parents.
  • 24: Given the many horrific things that happen around the entire cast (what few survive) in a day of work and what stress they're under, one must wonder why they—Jack Bauer especially—aren't all Ax Crazy by now.
  • Gareth Blackstock on Chef! has big-time anger issues, no known people skills, and no libido to speak of. You'd think his wife would nudge him into therapy.
  • Justified in Firefly, where brain-damaged River Tam can't go see a therapist because she's a fugitive, and no one on the ship is a trained psychologist. Not that that would help, as she suffers from a combination of rampant, uncontrolled Psychic Powers, direct physical damage to her brain's ability to process and control emotions, a wide range of damaging and traumatizing government secrets, and spending three formative years of her life being brutally experimented upon and trained into being a living weapon.
    • Indeed. River's psychological damage was part extreme trauma and part organic damage to her brain. She didn't need a couch for that, she needed a physician's constant supervision and medication, and when necessary, restraints—which Simon actually was providing.
  • On Heroes, Niki actually does go to a therapist to help deal with her murderous split-personality Jessica. It doesn't help (the therapist manages to survive for about half an episode...).
  • In Deep Love had Ayu had a therapist to deal with her abusive step-father and her mother's suicide she wouldn't have become the emotionally stunted girl she did.
  • Played very straight in Torchwood. Regardless of the psychological trauma that its members have experienced time and time again, nobody on the Torchwood team has seen a psychiatrist; none of them have seen a psychiatrist about the trauma that caused them to join Torchwood, either.
    • According to the online material for the first season, Ianto Jones has a therapist, with whom he discusses losing his job and having "problems with his girlfriend". Unfortunately, he only does one session of therapy and never goes back, despite really needing it.
    • Of course, this brings up the question of how they would even be able to find a psychiatrist, considering that Jack seemed hesitant to even let team members' fiancés know about them.
      • I don't know if it's worth mentioning here that therapy is very much an American concept. Brits don't tend to seek therapy as often, so it doesn't stand out as much to us that characters in British shows like Torchwood don't have a therapist. Having said that, John Watson in Sherlock has a therapist at the very beginning, when he leaves the army and before he's met Sherlock, but ironically he doesn't need her in his life when he's doing all those dangerous things with Sherlock. He only needs her after 'The Final Problem'.
  • The Mentalist: Patrick Jane had to be institutionalized after his wife and daughter were murdered, and it took him months to become functional again. He's obviously not had much follow-up therapy, though, given how he becomes increasingly erratic in his methods and manner as the show goes on. Considering his primary reason for consulting with the CBI is to help track down the man who killed his family, one would think that regular therapy would be mandated, though his status as a consultant instead of a regular employee may mean they can't force him to go. And so far he's proven too valuable to dismiss, untreated issues or not.
  • In Plain Sight: In the season one finale, Mary is kidnapped, and nearly raped and killed. The second season opens with her on leave until a therapist sees her. The actual therapist doesn't arrive until the second ep, up until which Mary suffers some PTSD symptoms.
  • This comes up often in Stargate SG-1. Whenever someone of the government is trying to discredit the SG-team as unfit for their job, that person invokes the strangeness of their encounters affecting them, or how so many of these encounters have risked compromising them mentally. Cheyenne Mountain actually does have a psychiatrist, but the guy only shows up when people have outright psychotic breaks or obvious mental problems. Regular counseling apparently isn't in the budget.
    • In the fourth season episode "Legacy", Daniel is committed by the base shrink, Dr. MacKenzie, after having several hallucinations. They also stop using the gate that episode because of MacKenzie's pet theory that the Gate causes schizophrenia. Of course, it's an alien technology that affected Daniel, and everything goes back to normal by the episode's end.
    • MacKenzie shows up again when Teal'c is brainwashed, apparently just to prove he is utterly useless. He thinks he's cured Teal'c. Bra'tac comes in, looks at Teal'c, then totally emasculates MacKenzie by saying Teal'c was leading him on the whole time. Admittedly, the two have known each other longer than most humans have lived, but MacKenzie is supposed to be trained to recognize this sort of thing.
    • In the movie, Jack was picked for the mission because his son killed himself within the last two months. General West sold him on job because it was likely to become a suicide mission. In real life, West would lose his stars over that. At least.
      • Given that we never see or hear from him again after that, it's entirely possible that he did.
  • In Stargate Universe, TJ in addition to being a medic, took some psychology classes which automatically makes her the most qualified therapist among the ad hoc crew. She tries her best, with mixed results. The crew also tries to deal with the stress by venting their concerns to a Kino. Or reading.
  • It's funny how The Shield might have turned differently if Shane Vendrell and Vic Mackey could have had a heart-to-heart talk about Shane's feelings of guilt over the murder of Terry Crowley, seeing as his series-long nervous breakdown/descent into murder-murder-suicide was kickstarted by way of Vic ordering him to repress all feelings of guilt over the murder and demanding he pretend it never happened.
  • Battlestar Galactica Reimagined: There are at least two therapists in the fleet, but only Bulldog and Hera are sent to see them. Starbuck declines therapy, saying that those doctors are more messed up than their patients. Which would be hard to achieve.
    • But hardly impossible for this show. It's hardly implausible that the therapists suffered trauma-inducing experiences at some point, and they couldn't handle it.
    • Starbuck is obviously voicing her own personal opinion on therapists, rather than reflecting reality in the Fleet (given how screwed up Starbuck is, her previous encounters with therapists were undoubtedly unsuccessful). The main characters seem to prefer friends or religious counsellors anyway.
  • Nanny 911 pretty much has no episodes dealing with families with kids 14 and up. Maybe justified since it will be a lot more difficult to deal with rebellious cynical teenagers who clearly sees through the facade of the Nanny and having the brattiness of being children.
  • Neil Burnside of The Sandbaggers, who in the first season lost two out of three elite agents and later was forced into ordering the execution of another. He is unable to sleep at night and is obsessed with his job. He's borderline misogynistic and seems to get through life on coffee and cigarettes. And despite the collected exterior he could probably use some anger management therapy.
  • Most of the cast of Being Human (UK) could really use a therapist, but really would be unable to get this help thanks to their supernatural states. Annie was abused by her fiance, forced to watch him be romantic with his new girlfriend (who was also Annie's old friend), and then found out that he murdered her. Unfortunately, Annie is dead and thus would have a bit of trouble making an appointment. George suffers from a ton of stress owing to the fact that he transforms into a murderous wolf once a month, as well as the fact that he was forced to cut ties with his family and girlfriend for their own good (to the point at which they all believed he died). Mitchell has spent a good century walking the Earth as a vampire, is trying to overcome his bloodlust, being hounded by a vampire group to rejoin them and bite more people, and being stalked by his angry ex-girlfriend whom he turned into a vampire as well. She could do with therapy herself, but ultimately opted to just commit suicide rather than turn completely into a monster. Mostly the characters turn to each other for guidance and support, and George gets some comfort from Nina in one episode.
  • A mild example compared to many of the above, but most My So-Called Life characters could probably use therapy, especially Brian and Rickie. Rayanne begins therapy for her drinking problem, but that's the only aversion of this trope, and she stops once she's no longer required to do it.
    • Brian's parents are a behavioural psychologist and a Freudian psychiatrist. This does not help.
  • The main cast of Criminal Minds could probably do with some professional help. Of course, most of them have psychological training themselves, so maybe they just rely on each other for therapy. Reid actually does see a psychiatrist in one episode, but that's to unlock a repressed childhood memory. Also, there's one episode where the killer's best friend mentions that he did try to push him towards therapy, but he always insisted that he could handle it. As it turned out, he couldn't.
    • Made all the more complicated because all of them have a fear of being kept out of the field that seems to outweigh any fear of permanent psychological injury. (Heck, permanent physical injury - Reid risks his knee and Hotch risks his hearing by each talking their way back into the field too soon after their respective injuries). Being pretty damn good forensic psychologists themselves, they can pretty much tell anyone doing a psychological checkup exactly what he or she wants to hear without much effort, no matter what kind of state they're really in.
  • Crops up occasionally on Queer as Folk, most notably when Justin's mother Jennifer decides to ask Brian to help Justin recover from being gay-bashed at his prom instead of sending him to a qualified, gay-friendly therapist. This decision comes back to bite Justin later on in the show.
  • Pretty much all the hunters in Supernatural have deep-seated psychological issues which go addressed apart from the occasional monster induced psychologically-convenient dreamscape. If it weren't obvious why, the reason they can't seek aid is nicely demonstrated by the episode "Sam, Interrupted" where they do go to a therapist and try to explain their problems. Shortly after they start into why they have these issues they get committed. (Which was the plan.) In season seven, this trope is justified for Sam, since doctors can't fix being crushed by memories of Lucifer torturing his soul for a century and a half.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so, so much. Listing all the traumatic things that happen to all the cast members would be longer than this page, but Buffy herself has to deal with being expelled from school (twice), having her father walk out on her, her mother dying, having to kill her boyfriend, then she herself dies and is resurrected and spends a year suffering from crippling depression as a result. At no time does anyone think to have her talk to someone qualified to help her cope with any of this. Granted, it's somewhat justified as any talk of vampires and demons would lead your average therapist to recommend commitment. But you'd think that the Watchers Council, with all their resources, could have sprung for a supernaturally-attuned councilor, though they always did view the Slayers as disposable. As it is, the only thing remotely like therapy Buffy ever gets is from a psych-student vampire who she ends up killing at the end of the episode.
    • Regarding the above, its mentioned in backstory that after her first encounter with Slaying (and burning down the school gymnasium to slay the vampires trapped within it) she actually did end up in involuntary psychiatric evaluation, precisely because they thought the girl talking about vampires was crazy. She only got out of the asylum by convincing her psychiatrists that she'd deliberately made the whole thing up to try and get attention during her parents' divorce, which put her behavior into a category they understood (and which would only need outpatient counseling). At this point it is completely understandable why Buffy would rather bite her own tongue out than so much as mention the word 'vampire' to a therapist again.
    • At one point, due to magic, she does hallucinate that she has gone into therapy...unfortunately this involves murdering all her 'imaginary' friends.
    • Well, to be fair, she sees a school counselor for one episode. He's actually pretty good at his job. Then something eats him. Sigh.
    • Similarly Angel could do with seeing a therapist considering what goes on in his life in LA but he seems to prefer sitting in the dark brooding. Notable though that in the season finale, Anne says that her shelter for troubled kids now has a psychologist which a few of them will need after what happens next.
    • Also in one episode Kate's rough attitude at the police station lands her in anger management but it turns out to be run by a demon.
  • Sam on iCarly has several major issues that should've seen her see a therapist long before she ends up seeing one. For starters, she would be a certifiable sociopath if anyone bothered to diagnose her. In Season 4 she finally sees a therpaist. It's to help her and her mom with their dysfunctional relationship.
  • Pretty Little Liars four teenaged girls have their best friend abducted out of their sleepover and later turn up murdered and no one thinks to send them to a therapist until the second season, a full year and a half after Ali's death?
  • Played with in Once Upon a Time. The town does have a shrink, in the form of the meek and kindly Dr. Archie Hopper (otherwise known as Jiminy Cricket), but Hopper's under the same curse as everyone else in town, and is just as hamstrung by Regina and Mr. Gold as everyone else. In the sixth episode, though, Regina asked him to go against his conscience one too many times and got an epic dressing-down for it. When Mr. Gold seeks Archie's professional advice it shows major Character Development on Gold's part.
  • None of the Charmed ones bother seeing a therapist though in this case it's a little more justified since Phoebe herself ends up getting a degree in psychology and gets a job as an advice columnist. Finally subverted in season 5 where Phoebe and Paige get sick of Piper and Leo's bickering and send them to couples' therapy. Later episodes imply they keep attending regular sessions.
  • This is zig-zagged on Breakout Kings. Loyd is a highly trained psychologist but he lost his medical license due to misconduct. A number of the escaped convicts saw therapists while in prison but they were ineffective and in one case Loyd considers the therapist to have made the situation much worse. When Charlie is killed the team is offered the services of a therapist to handle the trauma but they refuse since they do not want an outsider to know their identities.
  • In The Flash police detective Joe West shoots and kills several criminals. While all shootings were unquestionably justified nobody is concerned about Joe's mental health and he goes right back to work. Possibly averted when his partner is killed in the first episode, as it is immediately followed by a nine month time skip and he seems fine afterwards the same is true when his next partner is killed.

Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Both Old World of Darkness and New World of Darkness are Earth, so there are therapists. However...
    • Vampires in either setting can't see a shrink without breaking The Masquerade unless they are extraordinarily careful, nor can they take antidepressants because drugs don't affect the undead, so insane vampires (and eventually, they're all at least slightly insane) are screwed.
      • Actually, you can see a shrink without breaking the Masquerade, if the shrink is on the list of people who are allowed to know about vampires. Granted, the process of ghouling a human generally renders them useless for objective judgement, but has no one ever Embraced a psychiatrist? Ever?
      • This was part of a Hand Wave in the original Vampire: The Masquerade to keep people from tampering with the Malkavians, who more or less run on crazy, mystically speaking.
      • In Vampire: The Requiem (and maybe other nWoD products) it's also a way of enforcing Derangements for those with low Karma Meters.
    • In Mage: The Ascension Tradition mages could work out psychological issues through their Avatar, usually during a Seeking. The science-oriented Technocracy greatly values therapy, psychology and psychiatry, but it's also exploited by the New World Order faction to indoctrinate the other factions to keep them in line. Part of the reason the Void Engineers have such autonomy compared to other Conventions is their own psychiatric branch, ostensibly specialized in dealing with the Cosmic Horror of outer space, that also removes NWO programming from its own agents.
    • New World of Darkness:
      • In Mage: The Awakening, it's noted that one of the major advantages of being able to enter one's Oneiros (the personal dreamscape that exists in every person's soul) is the fact that mages can confront their issues directly (often in the form of living beings) in order to work them out. The Sourcebook on the Astral Realms even provides ideas for how to play this out. Also, the Guardians of the Veil (the Order devoted to maintaining The Masquerade, and protecting Sleepers from magic) has a tendency for having mages around who can help Sleepers traumatised by the supernatural work out their problems, without breaching The Masquerade.
      • Changeling: The Lost (also affectionately known as Abuse Victim: The Therapy) is all about characters who are very much in need of help. Fortunately, not only is it quite possible to work with a therapist as long as you ensorcell the mortal into never breaking The Masquerade, changelings can also use dream manipulation as a form of psychotherapy. Or anti-therapy, if they are so inclined.
    • New World of Darkness fan games:
  • The Don't Rest Your Head supplement (mostly for players) "Don't Lose Your Mind" (all about madness and madness powers) features suggestions on how to get rid of permanent madness. Therapy makes the list, which is fair enough, except that the therapists it advises you to see are Nightmares who will gladly, and literally, fuck your brain out to get a better look. Needless to say there's a fair chance you'll come out madder than when you entered.
  • There are many crazed people in Warhammer 40,000, but since that may be due to Chaos influence of which there's really nothing to do about it aside from shooting them, there's a lot of them, it's seen as a sign of weakness - no one generally cares enough to do anything about it save for shooting them when they snap.
    • Sort of mentioned, however, in one of the Ciaphas Cain books: after an Escort Mission goes wrong and the squad has to shoot PDF who are only doing their job, a few of them talk to the regimental chaplain, which seems to help.
  • In Magic: The Gathering, at least two of the protagonists from the novels need quite a bit of therapy. Jodah, the Archmage who accidentally made himself functionally immortal when a youth, and Gerrard Capashen, the result of genetics tampering and one who kept managing to survive while everyone around him kept dying. Massive Survivor's Guilt? Nah, not here!
  • Cthulhu Tech actually averts this, as modern military organizations have figured out that having your soldiers go mad on the battlefield doesn't really do much to help you win wars. Special mention goes to the Eldritch Society, who go to great lengths to keep their Tagers grounded in reality.
  • While there's few if any canon examples of therapists, The Dresden Files mentions in the rulebook that a character with a stunt in psychiatry can help other characters deal with the mental consequences incurred during a game.

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • The variety and pervasiveness of severe psychological issues in elite special forces units in the Metal Gear series is worrying, and most of their members have a serious, long-held grudge against their own bosses. Only two (Dead Cell and Black Chamber) are actually renegade units when they strike—the rest were actually assigned to guard giant nuclear robots. The mind boggles.
    • This also plays a major factor with the Beauty and the Beast Corps. The reason why nobody bothered to treat the severe mental trauma these women suffered was because it made them effective and easily manipulated tools for the Big Bad(s). They were actually promised that if they killed Snake, all of their mental anguish would be cured (of course, they believed it!)
    • In the fourth game, Snake has an actual professional therapist as one of his codec contacts, who'll give advice to Snake on keeping his cool on the battlefield and avoiding stress. Although it's a bit of a minus point that the therapist in MGS4 is the exact same person whose job it was to deliberately drive you insane during the mission in MGS2.
  • The Gardens in Final Fantasy VIII don't seem to employ counselors on their staff, judging by Squall's mountain of personal issues. If nothing else, you'd think that someone as experienced in child care as Cid would have thought it a good idea to see to it that four-year-old Squall received some kind of help in coping with the intense separation trauma that he suffered after losing first his adoptive big sister, then his mother figure, and then almost all of the rest of his friends, but Squall seems to have been put directly into combat training instead, with the result that by the time he's seventeen he's such a mess that a counselor would have trouble getting through to him.
    • It's not known whether the teachers are counselors in an official capacity, but it's possible other students would receive treatment but they aren't sure how to handle Squall specifically due to his future self having seeded the idea for Garden when lost in time. In fact, it's probably for the best since a more well adjusted Squall wouldn't have gotten lost in time and informed Edea of the concepts of Garden and SeeD.
  • However, the worst offender in the Final Fantasy series has to be Final Fantasy VII. The cast isn't crying for help -- it's bawling and screaming for it. The characters have moved past unanimous traumatizing personal histories and moved right into destructive behaviors ranging from becoming an emotionless sword-for-hire who doesn't care who he kills as long as he's paid, to running away from home and becoming a petty thief, to channeling anger and frustration into cruel and almost abusive bullying, to violent destruction of public property by use of bombs, to locking oneself in a coffin for thirty years. In a modern, real-life setting any member of the cast would have been wrestled into the big red chair before they could walk three feet forward. Then again, considering most of the denizens of their respective universe really don't care whether or not the world is blasted into a million little fragments by a giant meteor about to crash into the planet...
    • And to think its the only one (at the time) to have gotten its own movie, and legion of spinoffs. Most of which not particularly enjoyed by fans of other FF works. Says a lot about the audience, or their schadenfreude.
      • Schadenfreude? More like Woobie-appeal.
  • Final Fantasy VI counts too. Every member of the cast suffers from some kind of unresolved past and/or current trauma (usually, but not always, thanks to the Gestahlian Empire). Possibly even the moogle, mime, and yeti. It's just not explicit because they don't talk much. Justified because the setting is one that would predate therapy.
  • In Condemned 2, where Ethan Thomas is an alcoholic, homeless wreck after his traumatic experiences bashing in hundreds of Rage-crazed hobo skulls in Condemned.
  • Warhammer 40,000': Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior, where the player's character ends up mentally broken and unfit for duty after witnessing first-hand the horrors of Chaos, something of a fairy-tale to his species as they have only a minuscule presence in the Warp. Only the Novelization tells you this, though.
    • The fact that he was granted a boon by the Chaos God, Khorne (the reason why he's a One-Man Army) doesn't help.
    • It also explained that their own caste is kept in check by the Greater Good, and that Kais was fighting an internal battle to reconcile what he became with the Greater Good. His superior explains it to two of his peers that they are never far from being berserkers.
  • A series of live action viral marketing ads for Resident Evil 5 apparently take place after the events of the game and show Chris with what appears to be symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (further hinted through the tagline: "Fear that you won't forget.")
  • Persona 3's cast could really use some help. We're talking about a group of teens (with some exceptions) who frequently go into a twisted, bloody version of their school and fight monsters by shooting themselves in the head. They all have problems, but Ken is especially worth noting. He is still a child, yet does not deny that he was going to commit suicide after getting his revenge against a certain individual.
    • Persona 3 at least has an excuse in the form of The Masquerade. Telling people about the Dark Hour would be pretty counterproductive.
      • Making matters worse, the guns apparently shoot psychological trauma. Yeah, that's a good thing.
      • And pretty much everyone has issues without taking the Dark Hour into account.
    • And Persona 4 just takes it further, where characters trapped in the TV world are in danger of being killed by their repressed feelings.
    • While you can go to therapy in Persona 2 it would really help if it took care of the characters issues instead of just healing their HP. Especially Jun.
  • In Kingdom Hearts almost EVERY character could use a good therapist: First, the fourteen-year old Kid Hero, who witnesses his home PLANET being turned into tiny little pieces of dirt, is transformed into The Heartless and has to beat up his own best friend, next said best friend, who is tricked into thinking Evil Is Cool, gets a bad case of This Is Your Brain on Evil, is transformed into his best friends worst enemy (TWICE, to be exact) and gets nearly trapped in a dark realm of... darkness forever. Also twice. Oh, and don't forget about the nice boy from Twilight Town, who is told that he doesn't even exist... It truly is Final Fantasy nightmare meets crack meets Disney Acid sequence meets crack. And no therapist in sight. Especialy not for Riku, who still isn't quite back to non-angsty, carefree island-boy by the end of the second game.
    • Riku and Sora had at least, a support: King Mickey prevent Riku to go any further in the darkness and set him in the right path, while Donald and Goofy prevent Sora going depress in the first game by just been overly optimistic. Ironically, they do have their own problems, as Mickey is an Iron Woobie and Donald and Goofy have to deal with that.
  • Silent Hill, the series where everybody needs a therapist, at least afterwards. The second game wouldn't even have a plot if James had spent a few hours a week on the metaphorical couch during his wife's years-long illness.
  • What the hell happened to Red between Pokémon Red and Blue and Gold/Silver/Crystal? When you meet him in the latter games, he never speaks, and has apparently been training obsessively. (His Pikachu is level 81, which was the highest level NPC opponent you faced prior to Platinum). One wonders if his Pokémon aren't a little cracked along with him (or they're scared of him). His anime Expy, Ash, is downright stable by comparison.
    • Red was never the talkative type. One of the crew on the S.S. Anne lampshades that very fact.
      • Official art has him at at least a Hot-Blooded chap pre-timeskip.
    • Sinnoh Big Bad Cyrus pretty much sums this up. When you start meeting people who knew him as a child, it becomes clear that whatever was going on in his head was festering since he was really young. Everyone mentions it. Yet no one, not even his own grandfather (who was tempted to take the boy away from his parents), did anything about it. At least grandpa has the good sense to feel bad about it.
    • Silver, the Rival in GSC/HGSS. His father, a mafia leader, abandons him at age eight (or so). This causes him to turn into an abusive Jerkass due to him not wanting to be weak.
    • Really, Pokemon characters have a lot of issues with dads for some reason. Hi there, Bianca and N.
    • How about Pokémon as a whole? A bunch of eleven year olds have to face murderous, villainous cults and gangs while controlling Pokémon only through the power of trust and friendship.
  • Played straight in the most literal sense of the phrase in Phantom Dust, where despite it being explicitly stated and demonstrated that most of the scouts are mentally unstable the post-apocalyptic setting makes it impossible for any of them to find the help they need.
  • This trope is literal in Furcadia as psychology has not been invented yet and magic generally only heals the body and not the mind. Several of the gods in this setting are also insane (oh, and like to wander among the mortals...).
  • Da Capo, though it doesn't really set in until Fridge Logic kicks in. If you don't pick Moe she ends up borderline suicidal when the tree dies. Kotomi? Upon losing her mind reading abilities she freaks because she never learned to read other's emotions and becomes a major and obvious Stepford Smiler. The cat-girl will probably never venture into the outside world without Junichi's help. And don't forget that Nemu is his canon girlfriend. Oh well, at least Miharu and Mako turn out okay regardless.
  • In The Company of Myself, it turns out that the whole thing is one long therapy session.
  • Several people from Ace Attorney should see some sort of counseling:
    • Franziska von Karma do to her Daddy issues, her perfectionism, and her lack of self esteem- she's always trying to catch up to Miles Edgeworth.
    • Miles Edgeworth thought he shot and killed his father. Then he was adopted (though that would probably be more a part of Social Services Does Not Exist than this trope), and Mind Raped. And he grew up with a crippling fear of earthquakes and elevators that is still in effect by the third game.
      • Not to mention Edgeworth also seems VERY awkward socially and at handling his emotions...
    • Phoenix Wright has seen a lot of dead bodies, is consistently getting belittled, Fanon believes he was abused as a child (and as it has been neither confirmed nor denied it can go up here), he is a lowly defence attorney, he loses his job do to someone deciding they were going to ruin his life, and becomes a 'grape juice' drinking hobo with a child... Though, he does manage to become a Badass, so it's a little okay... Right?
    • Maya Fey gets to channel her dead sister (it happens in the second case... Could I maybe get a little Wiki Magic if it should be noted as a 'spoiler'?), has been accused of murder multiple times, her mother died protecting her, her family's hierarchy is batshit crazy...
    • Pearl Fey the poor girl- her family is messed up, her mother tried to kill her cousin so that Pearl could inherit being the leader of the family... And she is six!
    • Godot the whole story of how he went from Diego Armando to Godot, especially where Mia died, and he wasn't there to save her.
    • Truth be told, one could go on forever about characters in Ace Attorney who need some sort of mental help. It's mind-blowing how many of them have so much hidden baggage.
  • EarthBound, just effing watching someone fight Giygas on Youtube was scary enough, imagine how Ness must've felt.
  • Played straight with both Aribeth and Bastila in Neverwinter Nights and in Knights of the Old Republic. Then again, the first was the perfect paladin and the second was the perfect Jedi, at least on the outside, so nobody really had any cause to worry.
    • Jolee and Juhani in Knights of the Old Republic both have reasons in their backstories as to why they ought to have had some counseling, but neither mentions it. Also, Mission after the escape from Taris probably ought to talk to someone.
    • Why is it that in BioWare games the player always ends up being the only sympathetic ear/psychiatrist for any of these people?
  • There really 'were' No Therapists in what's now the Carlsbad, New Mexico area in the first quarter of the nineteenth century, which may serve to partially explain why Atrus of the Myst series is not only completely blind to others' mental states, but is the 'sanest' male member of what may be the most dysfunctional family in video game history (his father had a disturbingly literal God complex, one of his sons was a master manipulator with a recreational pharmaceuticals problem, the other was a sadist with a taste for elaborate cutlery and a floor lamp made of an entire human spine and ribcage, and his daughter is the Chosen One).
  • One would think that characters in Gears of War would be deeply disturbed and unfit for combat, between seeing pretty much all of their friends and family being killed, as well as the own brutalities they have committed during the war. Then again, the COG is taking anyone they can...
  • Samus Aran is in desperate need of therapy, as displayed by her innumerable psychoses and disorders in Metroid: Other M (post traumatic stress disorder, dependency issues regarding authority figures despite circumstances necessitating independent action, more survivor's guilt than is typically humanly possible) and, to a lesser extent, the rest of the series. This gets particularly egregrious when a phobia-induced panic attack causes her to pass out during battle, nearly getting her squadmate killed, yet nobody tries to rotate her out of combat.
  • Lux-Pain doubly subverts this. There is an actual therapist, Honoka Hino, who is a psychiatrist in addition to the school's nurse. We actually do see her council a few people, like Takuya Inoue. However, later in the game she is infected by a mental parasite after Hibiki Kiryu goes into a coma, and wonders if he'll ever wake up. She reveals she also used to council a terminally ill girl who asked her to smile, then died. If you don't remove the parasite, she snaps, goes into the hospital and kills him, then is gunned down mercilessly by the police. She ends up needing more therapy than practically anyone in the game. And that's says a lot.
  • Deconstructed in Blaze Union. We learn very early on that its Broken Hero, Gulcasa, has a lot of serious issues due to having been abused and abandoned by his parents, and he's only able to function because his childhood friends (who are also pretty much his adoptive parents) are there to act as amateur counselors for him. During the canon route of the game, Siskier dies, and this is really only just the start. Gulcasa blames himself for everything, and winds up with a raging case of PTSD which makes him so terrified of failure that he stops hesitating altogether and starts acting much more stoically. His remaining childhood friend and mentor mistake his symptoms for Gulcasa losing his humanity, as it was conveniently revealed that he's part demon. And they try to kill him, leaving Gulcasa a complete psychological wreck. The only people who even bother to try to help him have their own agendas, not to mention their own festering cesspools of mental-emotional trauma. In all likelihood, things wouldn't have gone quite so badly for Gulcasa and company three years later if someone had just gotten the poor kid a competent grief counselor.
  • Pariodied in Alpha Protocol if Mike is played as a brutal, violent Jerkass to Madison. She'll ask him if he has ever sought professional help. He replies that he hasn't, because he killed all his therapists.


Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • The closest thing poor Candi Flippo is afforded is a lawyer and an eccentric minister. And a poor excuse for a mentor who dies easily and waits until she's near-dead before he does anything to help. Jackrabbit's selfish motives, exploiting Candi's already-disturbed emotional state, don't help matters any. Then again, therapists in her world are as prone as anyone else to short life expectancy.
    • With all the beheadings, fiery deaths, and mutilation, depicted and subtext; this story is just a few graphic sex and foul language depictions shy of earning the webcomic equivalent of an R rating. According to Mod The Sims, that is.
  • In It's Walky!, most of main cast had experienced mental and physical torture, genetic alteration, mindwipes, and brainwashing by alien abductors, then were forcibly separated from their families (if any were still alive) and thrust into the paramilitary government organization "SEMME", engaging in a secret war against said aliens with a very little hope of survival. Not surprisingly, nearly every one of them has severe psychological issues which make up the basis of many storylines... yet Big Boss, who had been a psychiatric patient herself after her own battles against the Martians and the Purple Aliens, never thinks to hire even a single counselor to help the five hundred superhumanly empowered, dangerously unstable twenty-somethings under her command (which included her own children). A recent Flash Back story revealed that they did, in fact, get psychological profiling—but the government decided to keep SEMME running anyway, since it'd be cheaper than paying the therapy bills.
  • Dominic Deegan. You'd think that after the first dozen times or so that Luna broke down and cried over something minor, Dominic would've gone looking for a counselor. After what she'd been through all her life, she really could've used one.
    • This is probably because Dominic has taken the responsibility upon himself. While Luna has improved, he's arguably done a pretty bad job of it. This is justified by the fact that he could really use some therapy as well. One has to wonder if he ever received therapy after seeing an evil necromancer attack his family and infect his little brother with a plague of undeath when he was a kid.
    • Spark sometimes acts as therapist, albeit a poor one. It seems to work for Dominic, though.
  • Misfile: From his point of view, Ash's father just got back from a convention to find his daughter has taken to declaring she is a boy, exhibited sudden and severe personality changes, and has moved her (obviously fake) Canadian boyfriend in under the flimsiest of pretenses. Despite being a highly respected doctor he makes no attempt to get her any professional help. Even worse is the character of Kamikaze Kate who, as a teenager, saw her elder sister murdered in a brutal vehicular homicide yet apparently received zero psychological help.
    • Somewhat justified in that he takes a very "hands off" approach with his daughter, largely due to how his wife left him. He knows Ash well enough (girl Ash's Retcon personality isn't that different from boy Ash) to know that (s)he would not respond well to the suggestion of psychiatric help and is likely hesitant to risk driving a wedge between them.
  • In Something*Positive there are many cases of this, sometimes lampshaded, but the one that stuck out most for me is when Davan never gets help after being raped by a woman he was attracted to. Sadly this is probably Truth in Television for many rape victims, especially male ones, and especially when the rapist is a woman.
  • In Megatokyo, Erika was allowed to throw away a promising career as a voice actress/pop idol after her boyfriend broke up with her. You'd think the studio would hire a therapist to talk her out of it right? Wrong!
    • Later, Kimiko nearly did the same thing after getting into a fight with Piro. They made up eventually, but a relationship counselor would have probably made the process a lot easier.
  • Haley from Order of the Stick was incapable of speaking anything but gibberish for several arcs. Her friends took her to see a wizard about this problem, who basically confirmed that it was all psychological. But yet no one saw fit to take her to a psychologist. Though maybe it's because while yes, therapists exist in OOTS, not only would they not be capable of understanding Haley, but Haley is a compulsive liar, so she wouldn't reveal anything to a stranger anyways.
    • More recent plots might have played out quite differently if Vaarsuvius had been treated for PTSD after the fall of Azure City... assuming s/he would have accepted help, that is.
  • Hell, Ansem picked the cast members of Ansem Retort BECAUSE of their psychological/drug problems, why would there be a therapist?
  • Played with in Homestuck. There are no therapists, but there are plenty of amateurs, Rose and Karkat in particular love to psychoanalyze the other characters, and Karkat even gives out relationship advice for the other Trolls.
    • Mild subversion in Karkat's case in that Karkat is a film buff like John, only where John is into cheesy monster flicks, Karkat prefers romantic comedies-and his species defines four different relationships as forms of romance. So all his relationship advice is coming from his movie-watching habits rather than his tendency to psychoanalyze, and is thus dubious at best.
      • Some fans have even speculated that due to said romance system, trolls might regard professional therapy as a form of prostitution.
  • Played with in Spacetrawler. The I.A. Starbanger does have a Therapy-bot, but he's terrible: his therapy consists solely of telling patients that their feelings are irrational. Eventually, Martina realizes that one of her crew desperately needs treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, so she replaces Therapy-bot with a qualified therapist.
  • Played with in Freak Angels comics. Sirkka is the local equivalent of a psychologist and helps abuse victims and people mind raped by Mark. Her own love life, on the other hand, is a total mess. Other Freakangels are not much better with the group consisting of The Ophelia, an Ineffectual Loner, a Knight Templar, a guy driven crazy by his own guilt, A God Am I wannabe and a few other dysfunctional personality types. Some hide it better than others. At the end they all get a quick therapy from Arkady of all people and Luke is fixed on his own request. Even Mark seems to be much more sane. It is implied that their problems didn’t magically disappear, but they will eventually get over their issues with some love and hard work. Freak Angels are True Companions after all.
  • Zig-zagged in A Loonatics Tale. There are, in fact, therapists, they're even major characters in the comic, but they have a whole host of psychological issues all their own which may or may not prevent them from actually doing their patients any good (at least one is too apathetic to do his job, so he just medicates them into oblivion). On top of that, most of them reckon that, since they're therapists, they're immune to psychological disorders, and wouldn't need help even if they weren't.
  • Averting this is the basic premise of Level 30 Psychiatry but played weirdly for Dr. Gardevoir herself. She tries giving herself therapy and it backfires.
  • Completely averted in A Miracle of Science. One of the two lead detectives is a medical doctor and psychiatrist, and was hand-picked for this particular assignment not only for forensic psychology purposes but also because they thought the other lead detective (a recovering case of Science-Related Memetic Disorder) might need a therapist, or at the very least a psychological observer in place to let the chain of command know if anything was wrong.
    • The other lead is himself an informal counselor for people recovering from the same mental disorder that he was originally treated for.

Web Original[edit | hide]

  • That Guy With The Glasses. The Nostalgia Critic used to mention going to a therapist a lot, but that stopped, probably because the character was getting more and more damaged and it was funnier that way.
    • In fact, a running gag among multiple reviewers is their constant danger of insanity due to the bad things they are "forced" to experience. Plenty of reviews have gags where the reviewer pops "happy pills" like they were candy, chugs from a bottle of booze, or is forcibly restrained by men in white coats. Some have even tried to destroy the world in a bout of rage.

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Adventure Time has a serious case of this. While ignoring the main characters, (orphan boy, kleptomaniac dog, and emotionally unstable princess,) there are citizens of Ooo who are CLEARLY and PAINFULLY OBVIOUSLY senile (the Royal Tart Toter), insane (the Ice King) and mentally unadjusted/ambiguously autistic (The Earl of Lemongrab.) Yet nobody does anything to help them. Word of God states that it's a "Ron Paul Society," comparable to Reagan shutting down mental hospitals.
  • An easy one to see here is Aelita Hopper of Code Lyoko. Mom kidnapped by The Men in Black, trapped in a Rip Van Winkle scenario for about seven years, no memory of your life as a child on Earth, living for a year believing that you are an AI, having to adapt to life on Earth (and Boarding School) without said memory, being yourself a constant obstacle to saving the world, living in fear of a gigantic jellyfish-like thing that wants to Mind Rape you, and your Love Interest doesn't even care about your music-mixing talent. Is it any wonder that the last episode of season 2 has her being all too willing to make the Heroic Sacrifice?
    • The seven years of Return to the Past, however, didn't concern Aelita (she had never seen the scanners before her first virtualization, so had yet to get Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory) but only her father, Franz Hopper. This certainly didn't help Franz's sanity, though, especially since he was already threading into Mad Scientist territory.
  • Most of the adults on South Park clearly need to see a therapist, especially Randy.
    • An aversion/mild crossover ensues when Mr. Garrison went to Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist once when Mr. Hat ran off. Dr. Katz diagnoses that Mr. Hat is Mr. Garrison's gay side, but Garrison refuses to believe that.
    • Cartman is basically the warped hellchild of this trope gone horribly wrong. The episode "La Petite Tourette" comes to mind. In one memorable scene, he blurts out in front of an entire audience that he cries at night because he doesn't have a dad. Despite the fact that his teachers and his friend's parents are in the audience at the time, no one really cares or even mentions it. Ever. Again.
      • They weren't necessarily taking anything he said literally, though, because they thought he had Tourette's Syndrome.
  • If we ever need even more evidence that the Transformers Animated Autobot High Command is made up of jerks, it's the fact that Ratchet has rather obvious but ignored PTSD. Then again, most of his trauma comes from things that were either directly or indirectly their fault.
    • Not to mention Sentinel and Optimus' trauma after Elita-1 was killed by giant spiders when taking her to the planet in the first place was Sentinel's fault and leaving her behind was Optimus' fault. Sentinel might have turned out slightly less of a Jerkass.
  • Darkwing Duck saw a therapist at least twice—both turned out to be Quackerjack in disguise, using it as a ploy to mess with his head.
    • Gosalyn, after having her parents die and her grandfather murdered, seeing the father-figure she just bonded with apparently die, and being kidnapped and nearly killed twice herself, really should have gotten some therapy rather than being returned to the orphanage like it was business-as-usual and encouraged to "show a prospective parent a little more spirit."
  • Then there's Teen Titans, though that's more of a "no Social Services" than "no therapists" situation. You've got five teens, the oldest of which is 18-19 and the youngest about twelve, living together in a T-shaped tower playing video games all day, never going to school, and putting their lives in danger on an almost daily basis, all without any sort of adult supervision. Scratch that, they had a "mother" in one episode, but she turned out to be a three-eyed monster that was brainwashing them using demonic pie. Then there's Raven, who grew up thinking that she would act as a portal for her evil, demonic father to take over the world when she turned sixteen no matter what she did to prevent it and having to constantly suppress her emotions to keep her powers from going out of control; Cyborg, who never finished high school because of the accident that caused him to become what he is; Robin, who lived with Batman for a long time before becoming a Titan and having a lot of trouble not obsessing over, well, everything; and Beast Boy, who lived with the Doom Patrol before he was a Titan and doesn't seem to have ever been to school. Starfire doesn't seem to have any serious issues beyond being somewhat airheaded, but then again, she never got her own story arc, so who knows? And let's not even get into Terra....
    • The original comic book incarnations of the team are about 1000 times worse.
      • And don't even try to get into how screwed up the comic versions everyone who's ever been in the Doom Patrol is. When the trained psychologists on the team are the Magnificent Bastard that engineered most of the original team's tragic "accidents" or the telepath that MindRaped his wife for years? It's pretty shocking how functional Beast Boy is, all things considered...
    • The origin episode of the series shows that Starfire escaped to Earth after she was essentially being sold into slavery by an alien race, an experience which introduces her in a rabid, screaming, and violent form rarely seen otherwise. It is also implied that she didn't have a happy upbringing since her planet didn't have a word for "nice" (considering it synonymous with "weak"). Oh, and she later finds herself nearly forcefully married to another alien after her sister takes control of her home planet.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender. Aang is the sole survivor of a genocide and is prone to considerable violence if those he cares most about are harmed. Katara has a serious vindictive streak that comes from her mother's death—given the fact that she and Sokka are the only children older than about five (and Sokka's the oldest male that has not gone off to war), their whole village probably could use serious therapy. Toph's parents kept her ridiculously sheltered to the point where she snuck out to become a professional wrestler (more or less) to compensate. Zuko's family drama would take far too long to list. And that's just those five. The only person who ever gets help is Azula, after a complete and total meltdown in the finale. And that's only implied, never directly confirmed.
    • Wang Fire does his best when Aang is having nightmares, but somehow it's not the same as a proper safety net.
  • Played with in an episode of Winx Club: The show's villainesses are sent to a place where they are supposed to be reformed, but only manages to tick them off even more.
  • Jack Skelllington could probably benefit from some counseling. Seriously, just look at him! He's dealing with both depression and a mid lifedeath crisis, and, judging from his behavior, possibly bi-polar disorder and ADD. The bone man is desperate need of a therapist.
  • Superboy/Conner in Young Justice would need plenty of sessions dealing with his anger and Parental Abandonment / Parental Neglect from Superman. However, the League, such as Black Canary and Batman, are working with Superboy and with Superman. Batman has been talking with Superman to get him to accept Superboy. And from "Schooled", Superboy has been warming up to Black Canary and Batman.
    • Two episodes after Schooled, and Superboy has a throwaway line, telling Aqualad about the technique he just used to beat him. "Black Canary taught me that." Just the way he says it shows that even the limited ammount of attention she can give him during traing helps a lot. Aww...
      • And completely averted a few episodes later which featured all the main cast in therapy.
  • The mane cast of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic have all had mental breakdowns at least once, even the Only Sane Man Spike when he thought Twilight replaced him (though that's more like a child being jealous of a younger sibling). They also do seem to have rather odd quirks such as Applejack essentially being a workaholic and Rarity's obsessive, and narcissistic, behavior.
    • Pinkie Pie descends into severe depression and psychosis when she thinks people don't like her. Even Fluttershy becomes a terrifying Stalker with a Crush when animals reject her love.
      • The breakdowns usually happen when their purpose in life (as symbolized by the pictures on their butts) is called into question somehow (Fluttershy and the animals, Pinkie Pie and her parties, etc.). Thus, the fandom has dubbed it "Cutie Mark Failure Insanity Syndrome" or CMFIS. Rolls off the tongue, dunnit?
    • Becomes most noticable in "Lesson Zero", where, immediately after a massively traumatic two-parter fight against a sadistic Complete Monster God of Evil, Twilight goes through the series' biggest psychotic breakdown yet over a tardy letter on friendship. ("Lesson Zero" also shows that therapists exist in-universe. Twilight fancies herself one at one point and shapes her outfit to fit.)
    • Of course, you could very well see the whole theme of the series - Twilight Sparkle's "studies in friendship" under her mentor Princess Celestia - as one very long hands-off cognitive behavioral therapy treatment for Twilight Sparkle. She is, mildly put, not very socialized when the series starts but actually does gets better at dealing with others.
  • Given the amount of wacky stuff that goes on in Hey Arnold! it's surprising every single main character doesn't end up in therapy. Though one episode subverts the trope by having a child psychologist sent to the school and Helga is sent to see her. The psychologist was set to be a recurring character in the Helga spin-off The Patakis implying Helga kept going to see her.
  • Lampshaded in As Told by Ginger in an episode where Ginger becomes jealous of Darren's new relationship with Miranda. Of course she didn't technically see a psychologist.

Ginger: "It's just that Dr Phonsfeelings said--"
Darren: "Whoa, you went to see a therapist?"
Ginger: "Not exactly. She was on Channel 9"

    • Said TV psychologist appears in another episode and causes more problems when Ginger starts freaking out that her mother is still single.
    • And inverted in another episode where Ginger is sent to the school psychologist because she writes a poem about a girl who wishes to disappear. Everyone assumes Ginger has suicidal intentions because of this but she's actually fine.
  1. Namely, a good practical understanding of psychology