Renowned psychiatrist, Dr. Norman R. Rosenthal, the researcher who first described seasonal affective disorder (SAD), spoke at a news conference in New York City organized by the David Lynch Foundation as part of its launch of “Operation Warrior Wellness.”
His talk provides a preview of his new book, Transcendence: Healing and Transformation through Transcendental Meditation, which will be released by Tarcher/Penguin on June 2, 2011.
Dr. Rosenthal commented:
For me, as a psychiatrist, one of the really intriguing things about Transcendental Meditation is its potential to help people psychologically, to relieve stress and distress in all the many forms in which it occurs.
The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 40 million adults have some form of anxiety disorder. These people feel an internal sense of their alarm bells ringing even though there is no genuine stress. They’re constantly feeling they are under some emergency. This drains their emotional and physical resources.
One form of anxiety disorder that we’ve heard a lot about is post-traumatic stress disorder. According to one estimate, of the more than 1.6 million military personnel deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in the last decade, at least one in seven suffers from some form of PTSD. Of these, about half never seek treatment and of those who do seek treatment at least half do not get adequate care….
PTSD is a condition where there is hyper-vigilance—where you feel like you are going to be attacked at any moment. There are flashbacks, memories that are very vivid. There are nightmares—your sleep is disrupted….
I think that TM is a hugely promising avenue for treatment of this very hard to treat condition…. The potential of this approach for psychiatry is just enormous.
As a psychiatrist—someone who tries to treat people with medications and therapy—I am fully aware that they are far from perfect. The idea that we have got at our disposal this new approach that can in a powerful and simple and profound way help people, for the most part on their own without ongoing input from mental health professionals, I think is very exciting, especially in this era of diminishing resources.