The New York Times

Why Do We Think Suffering Is Good for Us?

A PSYCHIATRIST WONDERS IF THERE’S A WAY TO USE DRUGS TO SPEED UP THE PAINFUL WORK OF THERAPY.

Feeling anxious or depressed and want to get better? You have to really work at it and suffer through years of therapy and sometimes try lots of drugs. No pain, no gain, or so we’ve been told.

That would make a stoic happy, but as a psychiatrist — and an admittedly impatient one — I know that just because something feels bad doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s good for you. I’m pretty confident that people who are suffering prefer relief sooner rather than later and that if

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