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Why one Incel Redditor thinks “treating incels for depression should be illegal” 

Therapy works. But incels don’t want to get better.

By David Futrelle

The “Incel” cult not only encourages so-called “involuntarily celibate” men to hate and blame women; it also teaches these men to hate themselves, obsessing endlessly over alleged physical flaws and other imaginary impediments that they think make them undateable and fundamentally unlovable.

One of the most insidious ways in which the Incel cult harms those in it is by discouraging clearly depressed men from seeking the psychological and psychiatric help it is clear so many of them desperately need.

Some incels dismiss therapy and medication as frauds, convinced that nothing will work for them. This is self-defeating but at least understandable. Therapy is hard work, and meds. while generally effective in helping most people, aren’t a panacea, and when you’re deeply depressed it’s hard to believe anything will help.

But there are plenty of incels who reject therapy and meds not because they think they won’t work, but because they’re afraid they will. These deeply miserable men don’t want to be cured of their misery because they don’t believe they deserve to be happy. Or even to live.

In a recent post on the Incels subreddit, someone calling himself StarvedOfHumanTouch argues bluntly that “[t]reating incels for depression should be illegal.”

“Some anti depressants and anti psychotics are too fucking effective,” he writes.

They have the ability to turn even the most suicidally depressed men into tax contributing good goys.

So far, if we ignore the not-too-subtle hint of anti-Semitism at the end there, StarvedOfHumanTouch is rehashing an old and silly argument put forth by some social critics who wrongly think that antidepressants turn everyone into “shiny happy” conformists. But his argument quickly gets much darker.

Depression like all other state of minds has a purpose. It is meant to hurt, weaken, and ultimately kill you. Trimming the fat from society so to speak. It is in the benefit of all to let the weak and disabled die off.

He’s including himself in this group.

So why keep us around? Is it compassion? Sadism? Or are we just a buffer to keep around to take the blow when shit hits the fan in society every other decade?

As far as I can figure out the logic here, StarvedOfHumanTouch apparently think that “normies” conspire to keep incels and other alleged “undesirables” around as, I guess, designated sufferers when crises roll around. It doesn’t make much sense to me either.

But StarvedOfHumanTouch’s fellow incels seem to have little trouble understanding what he’s getting at.

“[W]e subhumans exist so chads and staceys can feel better about themselves that they arent subhuman like us,” writes PM_ME_STRIPPERS.

“Yes, and conning them into “therapy” should also be a stoneable offense,” adds Thizizwhyimincel,” whose flair for the subreddit suggests that his “[m]other deserves to be raped by ISIS.”

Any normie, or whore, who recommends therapy for an incel, is intentionally trying to steal money from an inferior man. They absolutely deserve the rope for even suggesting this.

3K-caloriespurple-pilled non-incel is of the opinion that”letting people suffer is [un]acceptable.” But instead of suggesting that sufferers get treatment to ease their suffering, he thinks that “euthanasia should be legalized for people with severe depression or mental issues.”

As someone who has struggled with depression for decades now, I can tell you that this sort of bullshit is the last thing any depressed person needs to hear. Treatment is available; meds help. Incel is, as I’ve said many times before, poison. It makes everyone it touches worse off. It’s suicide fuel.

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Ohlmann
Ohlmann
4 years ago

It’s sad, but at the same time, it avoid them being either very hard to read like the unfinished Tolkien stuff, or just bad quality, as I quite fear that his disease have had some impact on his writing skill.

I guess I alway try to see the good side.

Dormousing_it
Dormousing_it
4 years ago

It’s very difficult for me to see the online incel community as anything more than a vast circle jerk.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
4 years ago

In my opinion, these guys just couldnt get girls.

A lot of these guys, for example “saint” Eliot Rodger himself by their own admission don’t put effort into meeting women at all. In fact, every time someone comes into their sub to offer dating tips, they shoot them down hard. It’s not that they don’t deal well with being unhappily single, it’s that they choose to build their identity around the incel label. This is why anything but 18 year old virgin supermodels throwing themselves at them is unacceptable to them. I agree that not having a partner is not the end of the world and there are ways to deal with it that don’t involve hating a whole gender. It’s just that I think women are repulsed by incels because they’re hateful, not that incels become hateful because women are repulsed by them.

Also, women aren’t commodities or trophies you can “get.” We’re humans. I really wish men would stop treating as achievements to unlock.

Pie
Pie
4 years ago

@Dormousing_it

It’s very difficult for me to see the online incel community as anything more than a vast circle jerk.

I can’t help feeling they’d all be a bit happier if it were.

enjolra
enjolra
4 years ago

Any normie, or whore, who recommends therapy for an incel, is intentionally trying to steal money from an inferior man. They absolutely deserve the rope for even suggesting this.

So, the goal for these guys is to be miserable and rich… growing up, did they consume some Bizarro-world version of every children’s movie ever?

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
4 years ago

I feel like incels are very, very, very invested in being The Most Unlucky People Ever. Anytime someone offers advice, sympathy, or help, they aggressively reject it. Anytime someone says “Oh man, I’ve been there too,” they snap and snarl like wounded animals. “Don’t you DARE compare your troubles to mine!” They’re gold medalists in the Pain Olympics, and don’t you forget it.

It’s an easy way of feeling exceptional, without needing to do any work to support that feeling. They remind me of my nephew when he was 5. He HATED to lose at board games. The moment things went against him, he’d dramatically sabotage himself, flame out spectacularly, then quit the game and hang around the edges of the group carping about being the worst player ever. If he couldn’t be way out at the winning end of the bell curve, he wanted to be way out at the losing end. Finishing anonymously in the middle of the pack despite putting forth effort had a sort of existential horror for him. (He’s a much better sport now – thankfully, it was a short-lived developmental stage)

Incels have a similar contempt for the “tax contributing good goys” who participate earnestly in society. They’re chumps, say the incels! Nobodies! Look at them, following the rules, working hard for their middling paychecks, and yet they’re not being worshipped as kings! Why do anything if you can’t be #1 at it?

I can’t help but wonder if they have a fear of getting better. If they work hard to overcome their anger and depression, and life still fails to lay all the primo goodies on their doorstep, then they’ll have nothing left to blame but themselves. The “incel” identity gives them something to pin their failures on.

Chynna
Chynna
4 years ago

@Tov01

It’s not their looks that are keeping them from getting laid, it’s their hate and misogyny.

I agree 100%. But they can’t blame their own thoughts and feelings because they are the only people accountable for those things and they are fixable. They prefer to blame things they can’t fix – genetics, woman, society – so they don’t have to take action or change anything. They share that with climate change deniers. If people aren’t to blame for global warming, we don’t have to regulate businesses or change our own habits, we just ride it out. They bring us all down with them. 🙁

Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Agent of the FemiNest Collective; Keeper of a Hell Toupee, and all-around Intergalactic Meanie
Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Agent of the FemiNest Collective; Keeper of a Hell Toupee, and all-around Intergalactic Meanie
4 years ago

@Mike Smith,

The Dutch have something similar to what you’re talking about. If this is anything to go by, I DON’T want a similar thing to be set up in the US. Place has more than enough problems as-is.

https://medium.com/@flaviadzodan/euthanasia-as-a-dutch-neoliberal-success-story-23c0a1e13940

As to why some of these incel-style beliefs are so strong in some people, I read a comment elsewhere some time ago (after the Sandy Hook shooting) that had an interesting theory on that.

The theory summed up was that the massive increase in school/workplace shootings that started in the late 1990’s-early 2000’s could have been caused in part by the so-called Ritalin generation coming of age then. All those young boys in the 1980-1990’s who were given drugs to treat their ‘Attention Deficit Disorder” (in quotes because even then there were questions on how many kids being treated actually had the disorder and how many were just ‘being boys’) were grown up by then. And one of the side effects of Ritalin’s class of drugs is monomania.

IF (and there’s no way to really check this stuff; mental health records are confidential for a reason) some of these guys in the incel subreddit were ever given similar drugs for similar reasons, that could be a factor in their entrenched behavior.

Though how those behaviors and ideas should be corrected if true, I have no idea.

Episode
Episode
4 years ago

Lmao there’s another thread where the dude posting honestly believes that if incels where able to fuck some cute teen girl it’d cure their depression immediately.

Like he honestly thinks the entire medication industry (Whatever it’s called) is a racket peddling snake oil. It’s nuts.

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
4 years ago

@Otrame

When I was a young woman, one of the TV stars I found the most attractive was objectively ugly.

I know what you are trying to say, but no. Those two words don’t go after one another like that.

Robert Walker-Smith
Robert Walker-Smith
4 years ago

I remember the depths of my pre-medication depression. Due to who and how I am, I was aware that I was experiencing a distorted reality. It certainly didn’t make me feel any better, though. The chief justification I had for not killing myself was that it would be an additional, unnecessary burden on my husband. My consolation was knowing that I would, eventually, die anyway.

I’m much better now, thanks to pharmaceuticals and several years of seeing a therapist. Enjoying life is more fun than the alternatives currently available.

Incels seem to have a significant investment in a personal identity built around being angry and unhappy that the universe will not devote itself to making them happy. It is a shocking, vulgar waste of the experience of being alive, in my not so humble opinion.

Troubelle: Moonbeam Malcontent + Bard of the New Movement
Troubelle: Moonbeam Malcontent + Bard of the New Movement
4 years ago

@Episode

While I understand your sentiment, please refrain from using “nuts” with the connotation of lack of sanity. (Using it in the context of almonds, pecans, etc. is acceptable.) Anti-ablism, comments policy, all that.

Scildfreja Unnyðnes
Scildfreja Unnyðnes
4 years ago

I can’t help but wonder if they have a fear of getting better. If they work hard to overcome their anger and depression, and life still fails to lay all the primo goodies on their doorstep, then they’ll have nothing left to blame but themselves. The “incel” identity gives them something to pin their failures on.

In which Scildfreja rambles about unsupported social psychology

I like to sometimes think of self esteem as a thing, a physical object or fluid that can flow and move, and is consumed in the normal day-to-day-behaviours of humanity. It gives me a perspective on why people act how they act.

In this perspective, people need a certain amount of ego every day to keep their mood up. Without it we become depressed. There are a few ways to get it.

The most reliable way is in self-generation. We’re all able to cheer ourselves up, and most of us can do this to an extent. We’re all ego-generators to some degree. This source is always present, but depression or stress can reduce its output.

All people at times need more ego than we can independently produce. This is a driver for social interaction – we’re looking for a little extra ego to get us through. There are a few strategies.

We can share ego. We get together with someone, pool what ego we have, and through the magic of friendship the combination of ego amplifies the amount. Everyone participating feels a bit better. These are the interactions with good friends, reassurances, commiseration, gossip, etc. We like these people. Interacting with them makes us stronger, and makes them stronger too.

We can beg for ego. We make displays that indicate that we are low on ego in the hopes that someone will provide us with some of theirs. This can take many forms. Some of those forms are benign and part of the normal interactions between friends and associates; these blend with sharing, in that both participants may feel better afterwards. The helper may feel better for helping, and the helpee gets their bit of ego. However, when the giver gives more than they have to spare, they feel worse, and the recipient isn’t sharing their own, they’re just taking. Depression, aggression, and resentment sets in. This is codependence and guilt plays.

We can take ego. We can aggress on someone, insult or berate them, mock them, etc. Make them feel worse, which can make us feel better (if we are sensitive to that sort of ego transfer; not all of us are). This is clearly non-sustainable, leaving the victim miserable and the aggressor without long-term ego sources.

We’re all capable of exhibiting these strategies for getting self-esteem; we are taught them when we are young to some degree. In this perspective, issues start showing up when people rely on them too much instead of working on improving their own internal source of ego, or rely overmuch on predatory strategies.

With all that said: Incels are relying very heavily on non-sustainable strategies, and wobble between the “pity” and “theft” modes of taking ego from others. They cry loudly about how miserable they are (a pity play), but once they have an interaction with an actual human being it switches to anger and hostility (ego theft). They don’t target their own group, since it would jeopardize their only sustainable source of self-esteem.

Rationality or truth doesn’t come into it at all, because it’s about taking self-esteem from others. Any strategy that manages that is fair play, regardless of whether it’s true or not. Any suggestion that they’re wrong jeopardizes their ability to continue their current strategy, and makes them feel guilty – i.e. you’re stealing their self-esteem with a pity play. So they take it back, with interest.

I am sure that this fluid-model of ego has some glaring flaws in it, but I think it’s an interesting perspective on the problem, and helps clarify some of their behaviours. Hopefully it makes sense to you all! I should try the MRAs next.

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
4 years ago

@Troubelle

In the context of peanuts, however, there is still healthy debate.

Episode
Episode
4 years ago

@Troubelle

Oh, right, sorry.

Parse The Potatoes
Parse The Potatoes
4 years ago

@Prophet309: Go for it! Similar thinking to yours to that is what got me looking for a therapist.

Voice of experience: waiting until it’s “bad enough” to see a therapist, not a good thing. For one, if it does get that bad, depression whispers to you, “Why bother?” and robs you of the motivation needed to go see somebody. And two, letting it get that bad SUCKS. You don’t deserve that; nobody deserves that.

Finding a therapist can be a bit of a crap shoot – between finding one who specializes in your issues, will accept your faith (or lack thereof, in my case) and sexual identity, and accepts your insurance. My first time in therapy, I went through four different doctors before one clicked, and each time I was a little more “Why bother?”

Fortunately, technology to the rescue! Here’s a tool that helped me find my current therapist: Psychology Today’s Therapist Finder. It lets you filter therapists, so you don’t do something like, say, call somebody who specialized in addiction recovery (Thanks for that list, Blue Cross Blue Shield. /snark)

It won’t guarantee a match, but it will make it a lot more likely than calling places blind.

epitome of incomprehensibility

@Redsilkphoenix –

The theory summed up was that the massive increase in school/workplace shootings that started in the late 1990’s-early 2000’s could have been caused in part by the so-called Ritalin generation coming of age then.

I’d hesitate about assigning one cause to something as complex as that. Besides, the side effects to those types of meds are usually much more mundane: reduced appetite, dry mouth, increased heart rate – which might make you more anxious and potentially angrier, but won’t automatically turn you into a serial killer. (I was on Vyvanse for a year). Not to mention they can work very well for (many, not all) people.

tedthefed
tedthefed
4 years ago

Some of this, I can squint and make sense of. You start from the premise that being arrogant and entitled are the worst things you can possibly be… because you can hurt people terribly by steamrolling them with your presumption they owe something to you, so it’s very immoral… but also it’s HUMILIATING to go around thinking you’re so great and then you find out you’re not.

If you start there, it’s always better to err on the side of underselling yourself. And if you already think of yourself as a loser, you’d better be a HUGE loser, because the sliiiiiightest belief that you’re ok is arrogance, and the sliiiightest assumption you deserve happiness is unearned entitlement. I can see therapy being really scary and bad, from that perspective (not even to mention the fear that you’ll do all this work to have a realistic view of yourself and to not assume you’re lame… to find out you’re realistically actually really lame).

But I may be way off, because these dudes also come packaged with an ANGER towards women and towards a world that they can’t thrive in, which makes no sense given the premises. If you have assumptions where the world thinking you suck is just fair, then why on earth would you be MAD about something fair?

IgnoreSandra
4 years ago

Since we’re talking about depression, I’m gonna talk for a bit.

I deal with depression. I quit my job a couple weeks ago, and I just haven’t been able to submit a single fucking application yet. I often lose track of what day it is. I have a cat I need to take better care of.

I haven’t seen a therapist in many months, and because of my intersections with paranoia and aspergers, when I see a therapist I’m not totally honest with them. The ability to see a therapist requires a high enough level of functioning that I can forget what I’m going through. I was on a minor anxiety control medicine once upon a time, but I’m not anymore. Hell, today I don’t remember if I even took my hormones, and there’s always extra pills at the end of the month.

I have no idea how to solve any of this, and this is just the fucking tip of the iceberg.

But I am going to note –

Okay. I forgot where I was going with this. See, the cat I adopted a week and a half ago, Princess Kathryn, came out of the bathroom. She’d found a hole in the wall and has been hiding in it for the last week. I’d heated some food for her and poured some water, and she came out for it. So she went to the laundry room to search for it, and I used a string I’d tied to the bathroom door to shut it so she couldn’t get back in the wall.

Princess Kathryn can hide as long as she wants, and literally anywhere in this house…except in the walls. I just want her to be safe and happy, and I can’t help her if she gets in trouble if she’s in the wall. So I tricked her, and she was furious, but she also found the food and a new place to hide and I’m going to not pay attention to her aside from feeding her until she wants to seek me out.

So I guess what I’m saying is, if you don’t have a partner and don’t see any possible future where you have one (Me), cats are people you can care for. And sometimes being able to express care is enough to force you to keep moving, even though I have no energy and just want to melt into my sheets or completely disappear right now.

Troubelle: Moonbeam Malcontent + Bard of the New Movement
Troubelle: Moonbeam Malcontent + Bard of the New Movement
4 years ago

@IP, re: peanuts

True, but you get the general notion.

@Episode

Thanks for not flipping out–we’ve had people shit on the floor for being corrected on this stuff. Just remember: there’s no mental condition that causes asshattery.

@eoi, re: RSP, re: AD(H)D meds

*has been on adderall since grade five*

Episode
Episode
4 years ago

@Troubelle

No problem!

dcfcfan1
dcfcfan1
4 years ago

Also, dont get why you would label yourself as an INCEL, something you dont like. Who cares if you are too ugly to get laid ? Fucking get over it and be thankful you are healthy and have a life. Perspective is everything

Also, INCELS technically don exist as anyone can go out there and get a hooker. No such thing as “involuntary celibate”

Im an ugly fucker that will always stay a virgin without paying for sex, but I dont go around making up stupid labels or sit at home pitying myself. Fuck that.

CleverForAGirl - microprostitute
CleverForAGirl - microprostitute
4 years ago

Warning, I will be talking about my depression, but it shouldn’t be too awful.

(Also, I’ve been away for a bit since my contract was up at my job and work was when I’d read mammoth)

I was diagnosed 13 years ago, but if my childhood journals are any indicator, it’s been a problem since I was 7ish. I got lucky, meds worked It was like a magical fucking paintbrush coloring my life. Once someone gave the demon a name I couldn’t wait to find out who I was without this thing crushing and exhausting me.

It’s not perfect, fatigue still creeps up and I need to be aware of how I’m handling stress, and how much I can take before another episode creeps up on me, but now we’re talking days of depression and not months/years. and I have to convince every new doctor that NO, taking away pills is not an option, and yes I *know* I don’t seem depressed, b/c my meds are working.

I don’t know why anyone would tell someone to not get help, I mean it doesn’t fix your life (I’m still a bit of a chaotic broke mess) but it can give you so much more control over where you want to take yourself.

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
4 years ago

Re Pratchett’s unfinished writing – yes, I totally respect his wishes and it was his work, after all. I’m still grieving, but not in a “how could you?” way.
An awkward but funny moment on my Discworld fan site last night – someone said, “Didn’t his daughter write most of Shepherd’s Crown?” and the response was “No, I certainly did not!” and Rhianna P. was there amongst us 😀
(also, this is a very late response and no doubt everyone’s packed up and gone home; I’m not getting notifications for new comments, for some reason, so I’m a bit behind)

Virgin Mary
Virgin Mary
4 years ago

The video game industry has promoted the idea of women as trophies, and so for these incels, they see women as accoutrements of success, just like they would a house or a car or a motorbike. The women aren’t people, just walking fleshlights.

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