The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Fallacy: A Mental Health Industry Bonanza of Profit and Human Destruction by H. Nattanya Andersen is book one of a planned trilogy. Anderson has written an extensive, well-researched thesis that attempts to challenge the myths associated with PTSD treatment. As someone who lived through a miserable phase of PTSD after surviving an airplane explosion, Anderson draws from her own experience to lament about the dismissal treatments espoused by renowned psychiatrists and psychologists.
The main argument raised by Anderson is regarding psychiatric medications prescribed carelessly by professionals without considering the emotional health of those diagnosed with PTSD. She argues that after the initial numbing effect caused by the pills, this line of treatment only intensifies PTSD symptoms and instigates suicidal tendencies in patients. Anderson uses works of renowned psychologists and psychiatrists such as Kazimierz Dabrowski, James T. Webb, Carl R. Rogers, etc. to argue the need for complete solitude PTSD sufferers need to heal.
I was impressed with the amount of research the author has put into this book. I loved the spiritual healing process espoused by the author. To state that PTSD experience is indeed an opportunity of a lifetime was extremely bold on the author’s part. This positive reinforcement, an opportunity to investigate and forgive Self, will act as a great source of motivation for PTSD survivors. Through this book, the author has tried to share with her audience an opportunity to create a Self exactly to one’s own liking. This was the part I enjoyed most in the book.
The bit that I enjoyed least in the book was the author’s claim that psychiatry is fake. The author states that psychiatry is a pseudoscience, a fiction dressed up as fact. The author postulates that since sciences and disease research rests on a notion that a diagnosis can be backed up by lab tests, psychiatry is a realm of fantasy. As there are no lab tests and only ‘educated guesses’ employed to diagnose psychiatric issues, psychiatry is all fraud working to inflate drug sales. I was uncomfortable with this theory as a student of science. I believe in an organized line of treatment that finds a balance between recommended drugs and spiritual healing. In cases of major emotional and mental issues, either of these lines of treatment just by themselves might not be effective.
Given the above, I have mixed opinions about the book. Although I completely support spiritual healing and exploration of Self, I would not dismiss the importance of medical treatments that pivot on medicinal pills and drugs. The book is professionally edited. I did not come across any grammatical errors. But given the content of the book, I would rate it 3 out of 4 stars.
I recommend this book to readers working on bettering their emotional health. You do not need to be a PTSD survivor. You could be just someone on a journey of discovery, looking for an opportunity for personal growth- this book will help you a great deal. But I would not recommend this book to students of science skeptical about relying just on spiritual means of healing. There are some views expressed in the book that will not go down well with those in medical services who have complete faith in the established line of treatments employed by physiologists and psychiatrists.