been led to assume, by the psychiatric 'crisis teams' sent
almost immediately to any disaster scene, that people suffer
severe psychic wounds from experiencing such traumasor
even from being in the general vicinity when they occur
are these people really suffering from a 'disorder' requiring
psychotherapy and the use of potentially addictive medications?
Are they really at great risk of suffering long-term consequences
from their trauma? The answers, surprisingly, are 'No,' and
Sydney Walker, III
Dose of Sanity
ME THE MONEY"
the majority of Americans are busy getting their lives back on track
after the September 11 terrorist attack, some are specializing in
pushing hard on the idea that many people will never get back to normal.
percent of Americans said that they have felt depressed by the [terrorist]
attacks," a U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
Hearing on "Psychological Trauma and Terrorism," was told
on September 26. "Nearly half had trouble concentrating. A
third had trouble sleeping. For most of these Americans, such symptoms
will not lead to lasting psychological problems. But for significant
numbers of people they could," the hearing was told.2
enough statistics, until it is realized that the survey behind this
statistic was conducted just two to six days after the attack, when
the majority of Americans were still in a state of shock, glued
to their television sets and suffering perfectly normal reactions
to the horrific tragedy. Who needed a survey to find out that Americans
were suffering? Interestingly also, the survey sampled 1,200 people,
which, by a quantum semantic leap, concluded that an alarming 71%
of Americans have been harmed.
there was the testimony by Dr. Carol North, professor of psychiatry
at Washington University School of Medicine, Missouri, and a fellow
of the American Psychiatric Association who told the September 26
hearing that by comparison, "nearly half of the people in the
direct path of the [Oklahoma] bomb blast developed a psychiatric
disorder, usually post traumatic stress disorder and, secondarily,
major depression." With the current terrorist attacks, she
says, we "can be expected to deposit tens of thousands of psychiatric
casualties in its wake."
in reviewing the source of this statistic, you see that only 182
people were interviewed out of 1,098 survivors of the bombing who
registered their names with the Oklahoma State Department of Health.3
was 45% of these who reportedly had psychiatric problems in the
six months following the bombing, with 34% reportedly having PTSD
(post traumatic stress disorder)essentially, 81 people, of
who 27 had "PTSD."4
Senate Hearing also heard that "Like the war on terrorism itself,
the struggle against the psychological trauma inflicted by terror
cannot be won without substantial resources
substantial resources of course refer to money, in fact $175 million
for initial programs, and ultimately, an estimated $3 billion for
New York alone, to treat the severe trauma and other mental illnesses
supposedly caused by the attack.5
is the mental health lobby hard at work.
that we haven't heard this before: The Oklahoma bombing, the Arkansas
and Columbine school shootings, even World War II. In fact, the
mental health lobby's push for funding has increasingly taken on
the demeanor of a feeding frenzy immediately following such national
and international tragedies. However, there is mounting criticism
about funds being channeled into psychiatric and psychological programs
that are unproven, unworkable, not needed, and even harmful.
at a time when our countrymen need to be alert, the increase in
antidepressant prescriptions is alarming. New prescriptions for
antidepressants jumped 17% from the week before the attack and prescriptions
for anti-anxiety drugs rose 25%.6
drugs are mood-altering, capable of not only unpredictably changing
the way a person thinks, feels and acts, but what a person sees.
They are also potentially habit-forming and addictive. Already,
during prime time news coverage of the attacks, we are seeing ads
on TV promoting antidepressants that are already a multi-billion
we commit to such huge investments, it would be a good idea to know
more about the controversies surrounding psychiatric and psychological
programs, as well as the absence of real community returns from
today's mental health system.
A PAYING PROPOSITION