Review by Bits of Inkling

The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Fallacy is a three-part book written by H. Nattanya Andersen. The first installment talks about A Mental Health Industry Bonanza of Profit and Human Destruction. In her first book entitled ‘Broken Wings’, Andersen has shared her traumatic experience while working as a flight attendant at North American Airways (NorAm). One day, at 6000 feet altitude, the engine of Boeing 727 exploded five feet away from her. At that moment she knows that she would die together with the 144 passengers and 6 other crew members. But, it didn’t happen and they had escaped death. But then again, Andersen was never the same after that event as she started manifesting PTSD symptoms. During those years, she went through an existential crisis — overcome by the meaninglessness of life, isolation, and paralyzing fear.

Nattanya Andersen created this book to help the PTSD journeyers like her. And the controversial part is the uncovering of the dire state of these patients in the hands of the mental health practitioners — the people they’re supposed to depend on. Giving them a massive amount of pharmaceutical drugs which could destroy the brain and body, intensifies depression, and could create suicidal tendencies instead of healing. Through comprehensive research, she enumerated the inconsistencies in the test and procedures that the disorders analysts are using including the standardized psychometric test also known as Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventories (MMPI), Prolonged Exposure Therapy, Research Domain Criteria (RDoc), etc. For example, the MMPI which she had taken five times before doesn’t directly measure mental health problems, and worse, the test results can be easily manipulated. Her claims regarding these are based on her own experiences, existing studies, other people’s testimonies, and in-depth investigation.

Furthermore, Andersen has expressed her dismay at the fact that the mental health industry has only become profitable to pharmaceutical companies and psychiatrists, but not favorable to mental health patients. Their aim for more scientific discoveries has consequently led more patients in the path of destruction. For the veterans, soldiers and other people who got PTSD in the line of work, disobedience in the current healing modalities means cutting off all financial support which could only pose an additional problem.

This book contains a truthful and straightforward account of someone who has suffered from PTSD for several years. No better person could explain what is going on in the mind of a PTSD sufferer than the one who’s experienced it first-hand. Andersen detailed the distressing condition of such an individual as if it’s a fight that can never be fought. Some might also change their view in the field of Psychiatry with her fearless exposé. In addition, Andersen shared the methods that greatly helped in her recovery. She studied reincarnation, karma, dharma, understanding the soul, etc. There’s a lot of interesting and thought-provoking discussions in terms of both science and spirituality. One good thing is that the terms and explanations are made easy for a non-medical person like me to understand.

What I like in this book is the sense of balance. This is not just about the issues and assumptions encircling PTSD treatment modalities. The author has included promising scientific studies and discoveries like Neurofeedback, brain imaging, and Atlas alignment. These topics are page-turners and have really caught my attention. The book is divided into 57 long chapters. Each chapter will indulge you with pieces of information you just heard for the first time. This is not a light read, but definitely helpful and educational. There’s nothing I dislike about it.

I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. The minus 1 point is due to typographical errors that I’ve found while reading. I will not rate it less than 3 because everything about it is an absolute eye-opener. It could bring hope and encouragement to the PTSD afflicted as well as to those who are going through depression.

Some portion of the book might be against the beliefs of other religions like the topics about reincarnation, karma, and dharma. There’s also an occasional profanity. Nonetheless, if you want a full understanding of PTSD, this book is recommended for the reason that it’s a first-hand account of a PTSD survivor. I also recommend this to the PTSD journeyers, to people who have a friend or loved ones going through the same thing and also, to the mental health practitioners.