Despicable? Even if it’s just a PR stunt or a viral promotion — or maybe because I suspect it falls into one of the aforementioned categories — the blog of “90-day Jane” makes me want to vomit. It literally makes my stomach churn. After I read it for the first time, I lay on the floor of my bathroom, letting the freezing tile chill my cheek.

What am I talking about? Well, in the words of the blog’s author, “I am going to kill myself in 90 days. What else should i say? This blog is not a cry for help or even to get attention. It’s simply a public record of my last 90 days in existence. I’m not depressed and nothing extremely horrible has lead me to this decision. But, does it really have to? I mean, as an atheist I feel life has no greater purpose. My generation has had no great depression, no great war and our biggest obstacle is beating Halo 3. So, if I feel like saying “game over”, why can’t I? Anyway, I hope you enjoy my thoughts as the clock runs out. Also, if blogspot takes this down before i’m gone just go to Please don’t attempt to “help” me. If you want to truly help, please send me ideas on how to do the deed. thx-Jane.”

There are a lot — A LOT — of things wrong with this fatalistic diatribe. But what bothers me the most is that someone thinks it’s funny, or important, or snarkily cool, to promote him or herself by chronicling the last days of his or her existence. For anyone who has seriously contemplated suicide, looked over the edge and stepped back … or, better, as someone who has done so … I hope that in these last 90 days, someone gives you a reason to see another day. I’m an atheist too, and at times, I do feel like saying game over. And I boil in my discontent, I piss and moan and stay in bed for days at a time. And then I get up and keep on going.

Like you, I keep a blog; maybe you’re already reading my last day. Maybe I have 60 days left. Maybe I have 50 more years. But the point is, I’m muddling through. I try to be honest with myself. But I don’t, whatever I do, use my mental health as a bargaining chip — a hook.

And while I’m going here … I know Britney Spears has made herself a target, but must we really cogitate all day on her mental health? Back in my day, what went on between you and your doctor, what you were prescribed, was a private matter. Maybe she’s bipolar. Maybe she’s under too much pressure. Maybe everyone around her is so motivated by the almighty dollar that they’ll sell her down the river so someone will print salacious details of her breakdown.

Or should we all just gather in the glow of VH1’s Celebrity Rehab, feeling better about ourselves for finding some way to avoid falling into a spiral of drugs and sex and neardeath-almostdeath lives, allowing it all become something that happens to other people?

HBO is premiering In Treatment tonight, but for my money, pop culture best explored psychiatry in Comedy Central’s Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist. Early reviews aren’t promising — here’s a slice of Slate’s take:

Adapted from an Israeli drama titled BeTipul, In Treatment (HBO, weeknights at 9:30 p.m. ET) follows Paul Weston, a psychotherapist played by Gabriel Byrne with the kind of conviction that can only come from an actor faced with ambitious hogwash. The show’s controlling gimmick dictates that it will air nightly for the next nine weeks, with Paul keeping regular appointments with the same patients each night of the week, except for Fridays, when he goes to see Dianne Wiest’s Dr. Toll, the Kupferberg to his Melfi. His nonadventures straddle the realms of the scarcely credible and the incredibly boring.

Another recent show exploiting the fragile mental state of fellow man is Celebrity Rehab. Must we, really, ogle people going through withdrawal? Is it really so fascinating to listen to their stories of broken homes, broken lives, and feed into their vainglorious attempts for one more shot at fame, succeeding only in pandering to the lowest common denominator?