Review by Reema Aydieh

Her job as a flight attendant started as normal until the engine exploded five feet away from her. Being 6000 feet up in the air and shortly after takeoff, death seemed to be closer than she hoped for. What came after the near-death experience was the hardest part to overcome when she got diagnosed with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). H. Nattanya Andersen’s life turned to hell until, a decade later, she healed herself with the help of writing and trying different ways to take control of her life. The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Fallacy tells us about her journey —from surviving a near-death incident to trying to figure out a way back to the living world— and shines the light on some lies and cons people with power tell to patients of PTDS.

People who are struggling with PTSD, along with anyone interested in reading about PTSD and how individuals cope after escaping death, might find this book educational. It doesn’t talk about PTSD as a mental illness alone, it shows the battles, the feelings they struggle with. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in reading about mental illnesses and non-fiction books with stories written by people who went through hardships.

Having some of my family members suffer from PTSD made me curious about what this book has to say about it. Experiences differ from one person to another, where some find similarities, others don’t. It’s as H. Nattanya Andersen said, “No human being alive can ever understand what the other is living. No one can ever understand … without having experienced it.” The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Fallacy gives us a glimpse into their world, how different pre and post PTSD is. The author doesn’t just tell us about her experience, she tracks back PTSD history, showing some theories and studies from James T. Webb, Irvin David Yalom, and Kazimierz Dąbrowski, and more well-known psychiatrists, psychologists, and philosophers to support her statements. It’s an educational read that helps you understand the struggle people with PTSD go through, what she went through. It also shines the light on secrets and cons few knew about, like the struggles anyone with PTSD goes through trying to keep their jobs, relationships, and interests.

Some truths in this book shocked me. All the facts are researched, and let’s not forget the author knows what she’s talking about, surviving many close calls and being diagnosed with PTSD herself. But some things seemed impossible to be related to healing, like the jewelry you wear sucking energy and reflecting it to you, or stainless steel being the best choice for people with depression and PTSD. Souls leaving bodies for journeys seemed like a weird thing to mention, but coming close to death makes you wonder where the soul goes, so it’s not unrelated to the subject. I found some theories fictional, with one chapter only having a summary of a TV show. To me, a lot seemed unrelated to PTSD.

The way H. Nattanya Andersen wrote this book is informative, and it gives you more options than you knew existed. It’s well-edited, I only noticed a few mistakes while reading it. I gave this book three out of four stars because of all the information I’ve gained from it but found some unrelated. It gave more truths about mental illnesses than any other book I’ve read so far, with not only explanations of PTSD, but other illnesses and ways of treatments as well. But some chapters talked about spiritual worlds and what happens to the souls after death, which taught little about anything but fiction other people tried to sell. Other than that, I enjoyed reading this book, finishing it with more knowledge than I first started reading it. If you’re interested in finding out more, The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Fallacy is a part of a trilogy.