December 2014


PTSD is an environmentally inflicted mental disorder. It is unique because it is a direct result of traumatic events that happen in a person's experience and, for this reason, the issues that are raised in treating it are unlike other mental illnesses. The problems that are raised by the traumatic events can be highly personal.and can have devastating effects on how a person understands him/herself, that person's ability to feel safety and security, and demands answers to questions that go far beyond simple brain chemistry and brain function.



There have been occasions when the definition of mental illness has been challenged in my office.  Not that the people challenging did not believe that mental illness exists, rather they wanted it to include more people among the mentally ill.  What they asked, in separate interviews, was whether I believed that perpetrators of wanton acts of murder were mentally ill.  And on both occasions, the questioner followed by asserting that anyone who is capable of doing something so horrible had to be mentally ill.  This suggested that anyone who was capable of doing something so far out of the no