‘The Shrink Next Door’ follows the incredible story of a psychiatrist who takes over his patient’s affairs and continues to manipulate him for almost three decades. What starts as a seemingly ordinary doctor-patient relationship soon crosses all boundaries of normalcy, and the soft-spoken patient continues to suffer in silence even as his relationships with family members begin to break down.
The show’s narrative gradually builds up this bizarre situation, showing audiences how someone in a vulnerable state can fall victim to manipulative advisors who might have ulterior motives. This helps the remarkable story feel authentic, but how much of it actually happened in real life? Let’s take a look at where the show’s central character, Martin Markowitz, gets his inspiration from.
Is Martin Markowitz a Real Person?
Yes, Martin Markowitz is very much a real person, and the show follows his remarkable, decades-long ordeal quite accurately. Much like depicted in the series, the real Markowitz met with the psychiatrist in question (Dr. “Ike”) in 1981. The doctor and patient became increasingly close, and two years into their sessions (which occurred thrice a week), Ike allegedly convinced Markowitz that his sister was after his money. The former patient also mentioned that his doctor had him write a letter to his sister telling her never to call him again.
In 2010, while Markowitz was undergoing a hernia operation, Ike was reportedly nowhere to be seen. This was the “last straw,” and Markowitz immediately changed his will, which favored the doctor previously. “Marty” Markowitz then reunited with his sister, with whom he had been estranged for over twenty-seven years, and proceeded to file a complaint with the New York State Department of Health to bring shed light on this situation.
Where is Martin Markowitz Now?
After breaking off ties with Ike, Markowitz then spent years attempting to bring the psychiatrist to the attention of state authorities for what he described as three decades of improper influence over his life. In 2021, upon receiving the news that his former psychiatrist’s license to practice in New York had been revoked, Markowitz said that he was elated, adding, “It is complete justification for all the agony and angst I went through these past 10 years. And the fact that they agreed with every single one of these allegations and accepted none of his makes it that much sweeter.”
Markowitz is now around 80 and still seems to spend time at his sumptuous Hamptons property. As seen on the show ‘The Shrink Next Door,’ Ike’s former patient now enjoys spending time in his apiary. His sister, with whom he is now closer than ever, also regularly visits the Hamptons estate, and the two have traveled through China and Italy together. In 2021 it was reported that he was closing the fabrics business that his father started and retiring. He said he looked forward to traveling with his girlfriend and possibly spending half the year in Thailand, where he initially met her.