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- Before she got her powers, Moonstone (usually of the Thunderbolts) was an extremely unethical psychiatrist. One of her female patients was afraid her husband was cheating on her. When the patient started making progress with her issues, Moonstone telephoned the patient, disguised her voice to sound like a bimbo, and asked to speak to the patient's husband.
Films — Live-Action
- In the David Cronenberg flim The Brood, Raglan manages to get at least one patient addicted to his treatments.
- Zig-Zagged in Fight Club. The main character and his love interest join group therapy for conditions they don't have, such as cancer, in order to feel a sense of connection and community. The question of whether the therapy helps people who actually need it is not addressed.
- The books by Kevin Trudeau paint the entire pharmaceutical industry this way. Do bear in mind though that Trudeau is currently doing time in federal prison for criminal contempt stemming from failure to pay fines regarding his own dubious medical claims.
- In Philip K. Dick's A Scanner Darkly, New-Path is manufacturing Substance D in order to get people hooked on it, which then gives them a convenient source of patients and slave labour.
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has played this card a few times.
- There's a few episodes that deal with "repressed memory" therapists and the problems they cause, since "repressed memories" are usually false.
- The cast does it too, though. There are numerous incidents where a "victim" doesn't think she was victimized, and she is portrayed as being in denial. Which is possible, although in some cases it seems more like they legitimately weren't traumatized by whatever "should" have traumatized them.
- Penn & Teller: Bullshit! have an episode on 12-steppers, where they argue that the method is nothing more than brainwashing and religious indoctrination. It doesn't help at all against alcoholism, and at worst it gets people more hooked on the alcohol itself as well as getting hooked on the AA movement.
- She wasn't an official therapist, but the unsub in the Criminal Minds episode "Today I Do" wanted to be. She liked the importance of helping women through their problems, but when they became capable of managing without her, she lashed out. It started with trying to show how desperately they needed her. When that didn't work, she resorted to kidnapping and eventually murder.
- Dr. Fontaine in L.A. Noire, who turns artists and shell-shocked Marine veterans into addicts and serial killers.
- Dr. Steinman in BioShock uses ADAM, a highly-addictive genetic modifier, to perform his plastic surgery. Combined with his Mad Artist tendencies (he's a plastic surgeon who worships Picasso), his patients tend to need more plastic surgery to undo the first round. And he's the only one in Rapture.
- In fact, the Splicers you fight in general fall under this trope; "splicer syndrome" is a result of overusing ADAM, which is especially easy to do if one installs the various "Super Powers formulas". The initial splicers were people who went mad from their ADAM use, terrorizing the populace as a whole by becoming deformed and deranged bandits. So, more people began splicing up to gain the powers to protect themselves from the initial splicers... only to turn into more splicers. And on it went, with the Plasmid companies still insisting on selling Plasmids & Tonics as "the only protection against splicers!" until the whole city was either dead or spliced up into insanity.
- Sophia Lamb, the Big Bad of Bioshock 2, is a classic "evil therapist" depiction of this trope, taking in the already unstable and miserable splicers and preying on their weaknesses to brainwash them into her psychotic Collectivism cult.
- Grand Theft Auto V: Isiah Friedlander, full stop. Since his clients are wealthy career criminals with a buttload of issues and willing to spend millions to get a shrink who won't rat on their past crimes, he intentionally keeps his clients at a medium-stress state to prevent them from solving their own issues so they'll keep coming back. Unfortunately for him, he accidentally blabs about his new public TV show to a former bank robber / mass-murderer. It's up to you to decide if you want to murder him for the blab.
- Zinnia Jones: The episode I am not a symptom.
- The Thinning: The fact that the United Nations (which is supposed to prevent war, pollution, and genocide) willfully declared that every nation suffering from overpopulation needs to cull their population in a manner of their own choosing (which is basically globally-institutionalized genocide) is the worst offender. The plot itself involves the schools screwing their children over as said 'Thinning' is supposed to murder all the stupid children, but just selectively chooses the ones that threaten the elite - potential resistance members, intelligent-but-poor visionaries, autistics, etc. This means that the surviving students are either the decadent 'aristocracy' (who realize their children are guaranteed to survive this process) or a bunch of gullible memory-hogs who know everything except that their government is a dictatorship, so they keep sending their kids over to be screened for purity and patriotism. Turns out, the corporation puppeteering the schools doesn't kill kids, but now they have mass-enslaved the 'stupid' students to build their technology. Oh, and said technology is used by the schools to continue testing kids, who are then psychologically profiled and 'thinned' thanks to the input from the enslaved workers, and so on.
- South Park had an episode where Stan's Dad drank too much and was forced into the AA movement. He quickly got hooked on it, thus making his life miserable AND making his alcohol problem worse since the program repeatedly emphasizes that he is sick and powerless to control his drinking and thus is able to avoid taking responsibility for it. It's implied that the other members of the support-group had equally dysfunctional relationships to the whole thing.
- Drawn Together (season 3, episode 13) has Foxy going into therapy. The psychiatrist (another housemate, red flag number one) implants a false memory of childhood sexual abuse, and this false memory takes over her life. Ruining her life, making her end up in jail, and make her murder a lot of innocent people — in that order.
- Family Guy in the episode Friends of Peter G. has both Peter and Brian sentenced to 30 days of AA as a result of extreme public intoxication. When they complain to Lois about how pointless the meetings are she says that AA has helped a lot of people over the years. Brian retorts that all that has happened is that their members have simply traded their addiction to alcohol for being addicted to the idea of being AA members.