Review by Joseph Karuru

Living with PTSD patients can be a challenge and our intentions to help them might, conversely, be exacerbating the problem. In her book, The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Fallacy, H. Nattanya Andersen opined that overcoming and recovering from PTSD requires one to be very intentional, determined, willing to learn and work on the problem. Struggling with PTSD in her life, she came to an understanding that the treatment approaches implemented by the mental health practitioners often work to the detriment of the patients.

Nattanya worked as a steward for an airline company where she succumbed to PTSD in her job. This was after experiencing a vicious explosion of an airplane engine. Her attempts to find help from the company were futile, and the many psychotherapy sessions she attended with different psychotherapists only did more harm than good. She recounts undergoing intense sadness, feelings of emptiness, and often experienced excruciating physical aches that included painful headaches.

Her journey to recovery was spearheaded by her attempts to learn from various fields of science that included metaphysics, psychology, and psychiatry. She also incorporated different healing methods like meditation and writing. Writing to her was also an intended way of sharing love and compassion with other PTSD patients who are always in dire need of it.

I liked how the author garnered information from a vast number of resources, and integrated her findings from historic to contemporary researches on mental health, to elaborate on the need for a different approach in the treatment of these mental disorders. Readers who take this book with an open mind will learn a lot about mental health, and I felt the need to be enlightened on how to approach these mental disorders for they are not limited to any one of us. After all, we are all vulnerable to these mental disorder attacks including those close to us.

However, psychiatric health practitioners, who have complete faith and confidence in their treatment methods, might abhor the author’s argument as she dismisses their treatment procedures as an inane and complete pseudoscience that on the contrary, tend to aggravate the problem. I felt though that the author did thorough and painstaking research, which proved that there is a need to revolutionize our understanding and approach, especially towards PTSD.

This book is a great tool of enlightenment, guidance, counseling, and encouragement to both the carers and the PTSD patients. It will educate and improve these patients’ fortitude and resilience to transcend their mental fears and disorders and lead them towards a dramatic recuperation and healing process. I will also recommend the book as a challenger to the psychiatrists and mental disorder experts who may be inadvertently doing more harm than good through their treatment methods to these patients. Most often the people who are susceptible to PTSD-causing events are the soldiers and war veterans, especially after experiencing disturbing experiences on the battlefield, not forgetting police officers and firefighters who are also prone to such traumatic events.

Finally, the book was quite long but very informative. I found nothing to dislike in the book and as for the editing, it was professionally edited and exceptionally well-written. Therefore, I will rate this book 4 out of 4 stars.

Do you know anyone suffering from PTSD or a related mental disorder? This book might be the best gift you can give to them.