The Real Housewives of New York entertain fans with their drunken antics and shocking arguments, but one psychologist says that some of what fans are witnessing on the show is evidence of "serious mental health and addiction issues."
Dr. Tracy Thomas, a fan of the show, spoke with Page Six about the current cast of the hit Bravo series. She weighed in on some of the interactions and challenges that some of women are facing, both in this season of the series, and in their lives.
"These people need help. We are verifiably looking at some people with serious mental health and addiction issues who really deserve to feel better and be healthier," she said.
Thomas mused that perhaps part of the reason some of the women haven't sought out professional help is that there is a sense of shame attached to the idea of getting treatment for mental health issues in the U.S.
"[The Housewives] mostly know rehab as the last and final option and that is so unattractive to people that we watch them continually refuse to just say, 'Yeah, I'm struggling, and I'm gonna get help.' Treatment needs to be thought of as empowering and a form of self-care," Thomas said.
Thomas talked about RHONY star Sonja Morgan in particular, saying that the 56-year-old appears to be suffering from PTSD. Morgan has repeatedly appeared on camera drunk and acting out in ways that has caused some of her co-stars to question her behavior.
While Thomas hasn't treated any of the ladies, she says that Morgan appears to be suffering from "chronic stress" as a result of the end of her marriage to John Adams Morgan in 2006.
"I can see that she hasn't forgiven herself — that she's punishing herself — for it," Thomas said.
Part of the problem for Morgan, the psychiatrist claimed, is that she is concerned she won't ever be as wealthy and respected as she was while married to her husband.
Luann de Lesseps may be struggling with a similar situation, Thomas said. After a failed relationship with Thomas D'Agostino, the countess appears to be grieving not only the idea of love, but her loss of status.
De Lesseps' sobriety, and lack thereof, has been a long-running focus on RHONY. The cabaret star recently opened up about her decision to begin drinking again, something that has also been addressed on camera.
Dorinda Medley also seems to be grieving after losing her husband, Richard, something that has been addressed on the show. Thomas suggested that Medley's sadness has been activated by being around other individuals who are suffering.
In each case, the psychiatrist suggested that the women need to face their emotions and seek help.