Nattanya Andersen survives a mid-air engine explosion while working as a flight attendant in one of the world’s largest air carriers. She incurs post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from the tragic incident. Living with PTSD and her road to recovery is a life-changing experience. Her discoveries about the various industries at play in the treatment of PTSD are eye-opening. Eventually, her journey leads to the most appropriate approach to managing her condition. In this book, she shares her realizations that shed a different light on the perception of PTSD.
The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Fallacy by H. Nattanya Anderson is the first installation of a nonfiction trilogy. It is an expository and a self-help book. There are fifty-seven chapters that examine the available PTSD treatments and the relevant industries that deal with this affliction. It covers a wide range of treatment modalities: the traditional and the modern, and the mainstream and the alternative. Behavioral diagnosis, electric shocks, hypnosis, lobotomy, and virtual reality are some of the examples mentioned in the book. It approaches the discussion by establishing the development of the treatments. It provides the background and contribution of the developer and the effectiveness of the therapies. Likewise, it examines the involvement and interventions of the healthcare industry, the employment sector, and pharmaceutical companies. The presentation gives an equally controversial and thought-provoking perspective.
The exposition takes a large portion of the book, but it builds up the self-help part. After examining the available treatments and the relevant industry players, the author concludes with the most suitable practice to manage and recover from PTSD.
The clever and consistent use of labels is what I like and dislike in the book. The author believes PTSD is neither a disease nor a sickness. And throughout the entire book, those with PTSD are not referred to as “patients.” I appreciate the mindful choice of words which is empowering to those with PTSD. However, the author has a creative word-play for the psychotherapists. She calls them “psycho-the-rapists.” The author may have strong opposing views about the profession and the practice, but I think the name-calling is unnecessary.
Because of the volume of information, it needs more than one reading session to finish and fully absorb the book. There are detailed explanations of the technical terms. But sometimes, the supporting discussions tend to steer away from the topic. A background in pharmacy, psychiatry, and psychology is helpful. There are direct quotations from related references, which the author interprets after. The repetition makes the discussion lengthy. Citations are in parenthesis, which also adds length to the sentences and somehow affects the smooth flow of reading. Footnotes or endnotes might help make the text more concise, keep to the subject and avoid repetition. The organized list of supporting materials will complement the compiled sources provided at the end of the book.
The errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling are more than a handful and are noticeable. The spelling is a mix of American and Canadian English. It switches between the two styles, even for the same word. Also, the misspelled names could affect the documentation of the sources. I suggest another round of editing to address these concerns.
There are no sexual references, violence, and content that are offensive to any religious group. However, there are a couple of swear words. Those with PTSD and those keen on the field of healthcare, pharmacy, psychiatry, and psychology will find the book interesting.
The boldness of exposing a different side of PTSD is notable. But it tends to be biased in some instances. Also, the conciseness and editing may improve further. That said, I give 3 out of 4 stars.