Dr. Phil, Helping Or Hurting Society

One of the reasons I like to watch Dr. Phil is because the show helps illustrate and demonstrate the differences in various disorders and illnesses.
While I personally don't like the fact that human beings are put on display for the world to see and to judge, especially since it's international television (their reputations are forever altered), this also demonstrates some very important things:

First, the show has been on for several years, a rational adult would know that their "dirty laundry" is going to be aired, and that there's a possibility that their "laundry" is going to look even dirtier on the show, but they voluntarily go on the show anyway.

Second, if a rational adult is aware of this and goes on anyway, there must be a really good reason for it; why are so many people so desperate to get proper "help" that they would go on international television and tell the whole world their problems?

Third, if so many people are doing this and even fighting to get on the show, then there is either:

A huge national crisis of very poor boundaries and self-esteem;

a huge national crisis of getting a charge out of throwing others under the bus in front of other people;

a huge national crisis of substance abuse, addiction, and drug-influenced thinking;

a huge national crisis of hierarchy-creation, where people make some people "HEROES" and practically worship them, and make other people either "losers" or "villains" so they have an excuse to reject and disrespect them;

a huge national crisis of basic narcissism (not knowing how, or CARING about how to treat other people, nurture relationships, care for or about children, respect and care for others, or maintain family ties);

a huge national crisis of a complete breakdown in all things related to emotional health, mental health, the judicial system, and the healthcare system;

A huge national breakdown of normal human maturation processes (adults guiding children to become mature, happy, genuinely confident (not arrogant) adults who respect other people and know what ethics and integrity are, and why they're important).

WHY would so many people allow all of their "dirty laundry" to be aired on Television in front of millions of people, never mind Dr. Phil's audience with the oohing, ahhing, laughing at them, and shaking their heads in judgment.

They are either OBLIVIOUS to it, and to the potential damage to their own reputations, because they have deeper disorder issues than is being aired on the show, OR they are SO DESPERATE to get COMPETENT HELP that they would go on the show in front of millions of people.

Why would a rational adult be so desperate if "competent help" or support  (even just HEALTHY SUPPORT from friends or family), was available to them in their own area?

Well, they wouldn't be.    

There's a lot that can be learned from watching Dr. Phil, whether one agrees with the show, or with him, or not.

There's also a lot that can be learned about ourselves while watching the show by monitoring our own reactions to guests on the show, and to Dr. Phil himself.
For example we can monitor our habit of judging and "assessing" other human beings ~ our own level of arrogance and judgmentalness.

We can monitor our own tendency to categorically VALUE or DEVALUE others based on whether we AGREE with them or not (such as: Dr. Phil is an "okay guy" because we liked and agreed with his assessments, or Dr. Phil is a "Great Guy" because we like how he "tells it like it is" and because he's a large man with broad shoulders;
or Dr. Phil is a "hack" because we didn't agree with a couple of things he said, OR because we're envious of his success and position;
or Dr. Phil is a "Great Guy" (or a 'jerk") because he reminds us of a teacher, coach, uncle, or other man we have known;
or Dr. Phil is "cool" and a "great guy" because he sometimes insults and condescends to certain guests on the show, especially when HIS BIAS lines up with our OWN BIAS.)

REALITY is that Dr. Phil is a human being, and that he has talents, skills, knowledge, accomplishments, and a human brain that has emotions and perceptions, most likely the normal human desire for success and achievement, and human "flaws", just like everyone else. He has not shown signs of mental illness or personality disorder, and frankly he's pretty "aware", imo, considering he grew up in a region known for male bias, classism, prejudice, and gender role issues, and he's a large male who quite likely has been treated by others his whole adult life with either contempt or hero-worship. His parents probably played a large role in his upbringing, but his choices of occupation, focus, values, and his behaviors are his alone.

Sometimes I completely agree with him, sometimes I think he missed something very important, and sometimes I want to wing my shoe at the television because I can see some bias showing. But then I remember that this is a television show, that people are on there voluntarily, and that he has done quite a lot of good, for individuals and for awareness in general.

He doesn't just have guests on there and leave them hanging, he actually does a lot of work and is very generous about using his connections and resources to get them help (that they were not able to get elsewhere).
He's not God, he's not anything more than a human like myself and everyone else, so he's going to screw up and miss things, just like everyone else. But he's not running one of those "reality TV" shows or an Extreme Dysfunction "Talk Show". He, along with his wife Robin, have probably raised more awareness specifically about abuse, dysfunction, and the breakdown of the mental health system and other "systems" than anyone, because of the focus and the success of the show.  

So is he my "Hero"? Do I think he can walk on water? Nope. Do I respect him as a human being? Yes. Do I disagree with him sometimes, even often? Yes. Does that mean I think he's a "hack", incompetent, or just in it for the money and fame? Nope.
I respect him as a human being, and as a person who has real experience, knowledge, skill, and a passion for helping people and our world in general. He shows that he does seek real information more than he makes assumptions and jumps to conclusions, which is absolutely essential for any competent psychologist, counselor, or forensics professional. Maybe most importantly for me, a person who obviously genuinely cares about and respects his family, as far as I can tell from where I sit. I DO NOT know him personally, I have zero experience with him on a personal level, as far as I know it could all be an act for TV, or it could ALL be genuine, perhaps their family ties are even better than they look.

In summation, I personally see the Dr. Phil show as being more of a positive contribution to our current society than a negative one, as it stands, and from what I can see from my own view point.