The highs can be grand, but the lows are pretty darn low. You can invest months, sometimes years—sometimes even decades—working with a particular client, doing your best to push them through the gloom so they can catch a glimpse of the sunshine on the other side. When you are successful and you are finally able to usher a happy, adjusted individual out your office door, there can be no better feeling. But they're not all successes.
The downside is ugly. You are dealing with people exhibiting mental disorders, which means that many of your patients are going to think about suicide, attempt it…or actually go through with it. Even if they don't take such drastic action, they might cut themselves, starve themselves, or inflict any number of other forms of abuse upon themselves. Of course, it won't be all "your fault" if you fail to bring them out of their clinical funk…but will you be able to sleep at night? Especially when some of your former patients no longer have that option?