It’s been several weeks since Hurricane Sandy has torn through New York and New Jersey and left devastation in its wake. Coastal areas were damaged or completely ruined. Of course someone that experienced this natural disaster would be expected to feel considerable emotional distress especially after losing anything from prized possessions to their entire home. Surviving and having to deal with no heat, nowhere to live and nothing left is of course catastrophic. But is the emotional aftermath a mental illness?
Absolutely not! People have emotions that are appropriate for the situation. If something terrible happens it’s only natural to feel bad. The severity of the disaster would determine the appropriate reaction of tears to hysterics. In fact, it would be abnormal not to have those emotions. So when Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc in the northeast, of course people were upset. Their emotions were appropriate for the situation. It does not mean those people now have mental health issues. Having appropriate emotions does not constitute a mental disorder.
The field of psychiatry would like you to believe otherwise. These days through heavy advertising of mind-altering psychotropic drugs, it is put forth that a pill can handle depression, anxiety and a multitude of disorders listed in the DSM (Diagnostic Statistical Manual). They even claim their drugs can handle the undesirable inattentive behavior of children so they will sit still in class and be able to focus. Now they are saying that people that were victims of Hurricane Sandy are at risk for PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).
The problem with all this is that are no tests for mental disorders. There is no blood test, urine test, MRI, x-ray or any other diagnostic test. The only thing used is a mental health professional’s opinion and he claims it’s valid because it is listed in the DSM. It’s listed in the DSM because a select number of psychiatrists literally voted which disorders should be in the manual. This isn’t science but in its place is the entire field of psychiatry cashing in on bogus labels.
If you read the below referenced article, the author states that psychic distress after a disaster (such as Sandy) is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation yet the author says it is a mental illness called Acute Stress Disorder (ASD). How can a normal reaction be a mental illness? Where is the logic in that and where is the medical test to prove it even exists?
You won’t get any cold hard facts from a psychiatrist regarding that but he will be ready to prescribe a mind-altering drug with severe adverse side effects to handle that normal reaction to Hurricane Sandy or any other natural disaster. He doesn’t take into account that life is full of stressful things that have a cause. He prescribes drugs because the patient has symptoms which fit a disorder in the DSM.
The author also mentions that ASD symptoms must appear within four weeks of the trauma and last more than a couple of days. That implies that any kind of severe stress symptoms that last more than forty-eight hours following a disaster is ASD. This is not logical as severe stress for a few days does not constitute a mental disorder, whether in the wake of a disaster or not.
Also stated is that once past the four week mark of the disaster with continuing symptoms, the diagnosis changes from ASD to PTSD. Just because something has gone on longer the name is now changed? Medical science does not have exact timelines comparable to this. As an example, there is no specific cutoff time when the flu automatically is now termed pneumonia. The length of the flu can vary and the person’s condition worsens so a new medical term that encompasses that condition becomes the new diagnosis.
Instead, psychiatry is taking the stress of disasters and making them into behavioral issues like it’s on the same terms as science and medicine when it’s not anywhere near the same field. Even worse, think of the massive profits they are making from prescribing psychiatric drugs that are not only unnecessary but dangerous due to their potentially lethal side effects. The drugs are not fixing anything but they are lining the pockets of those involved in this fraud.
On the plus side, the referenced article below does have some worthwhile tips. It recommends seeking help from friends and family, getting extra sleep and not drinking too much alcohol. It also recommends refraining from watching too much television coverage of the disaster as that will only compound the stress. At least there is some agreement that most people are resilient and can cope with the stress resulting from a disaster.
For those that can’t seem to bounce back or recover in a timely fashion, they will be the ones targeted by the field of psychiatry and pharmaceutical companies to get them on drugs thus lining their pockets. Instead, the solution is not to agree with the false data and bogus diagnoses, but to actually find a true physiological cause of the symptoms. That way the cause can be treated and the symptoms would disappear.
Psychiatry cannot provide that service and never will, so it is best to steer clear of them and stick with medical professionals that have real answers and solutions to remedy a condition. Then people will get the help they need and not something disguised as help that does more harm than good. As a result, psychiatry and the pharmaceutical companies would have to look for a different cash cow.