Annual Fundraising Appeal

Here’s an important message to CounterPunch readers from Chris Hedges….

Hedges2

Chris Hedges calls CounterPunch “the most fearless, intellectually rigorous and important publication in the United States.” Who are we to argue? But the only way we can continue to “dissect the evils of empire” and the “psychosis of permanent war” is with your financial support. Please donate.

Day8

Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.

Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.

CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.

The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.

Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive  books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)

paypal-donate-21

Don’t want to donate through PayPal?
Then click here to donate through our secure server.

 To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683

Thank you for your support,

Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel

CounterPunch
 PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558

PIISD Off?

Private Insurance Induced Stress Disorder?

by RUSSELL MOKHIBER

Pissed off?

Maybe it’s your insurance company.

A Maryland psychiatrist thinks it might be.

Writing in the current issue of Psychiatric Times, Dr. Carol Paris lays out the diagnostic criteria for something she calls Private Insurance Induced Stress Disorder (PIISD).

“Mental illness can sometimes be triggered by abnormalities of brain chemistry,” Dr. Paris said. “But in this case it’s triggered by outside forces – in particular, large corporations.”

Dr. Paris lays out four criteria for diagnosing PIISD.

Criteria A: The person has been exposed to a traumatic insurance-induced event in which both of the following have been present:

* The person has experienced a health insurance traumatic event, due either to lack of access to health insurance, or due to failure of their health insurance to meet their health care needs.

* The person’s traumatic response involved intense fear, helplessness, anger, and confusion and was caused by financial considerations that seriously complicate their (or their patient’s) medical treatment and recovery.

Criterion B: The traumatic event is persistently re-experienced in one (or more) of the following ways:

* Feelings of anger, frustration, and shame at the thought of one’s inability to access (or provide) needed care.

* Feelings of alienation from and abandonment by one’s countrymen and elected officials, precipitated by exposure to any form of corporate-controlled news media coverage of the health care crisis.

* Feelings of inadequacy, as an individual, as a family member, or as a physician/provider, due to the repeated inability to obtain needed care for oneself, one’s family member, or one’s patient.

* Avoidance of seeking, or providing, needed care due to fear of serious financial strain or even bankruptcy.

* Fear of an acute confusional state or other cognitive disorder following attempts to understand one’s EOBs (explanation of benefits).

Criterion C: Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma and numbing of general responsiveness, as indicated by three or more of the following:

* Efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings or conversations about anything related to health insurance or healthcare.

* Efforts to avoid interactions with physicians, hospitals or health care centers that arouse recollection of the trauma. In the case of physicians, efforts to avoid patients who are experiencing health insurance trauma.

* Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities.

* Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others.

* Restricted range of affect (e.g., unable to experience feelings of wellbeing)

* Sense of foreshortened future (e.g. does not expect to have a career, marriage, children, or a normal life span). In the case of physicians, does not expect to remain in practice, anticipates early retirement or disability due to consequences of health insurance trauma.

Criterion D: Persistent symptoms of increased arousal, as indicated by two or more of the following:

* Difficulty falling or staying asleep, due to intrusive thoughts about the health insurance trauma.

* Irritability or outbursts of anger. In the case of physicians, this often results in sanctions, possible loss of hospital privileges, and being labeled a “disruptive physician.” In the case of patients, it often results in suspiciousness directed at one’s physician, often being labeled a “difficult patient.”

* Difficulty concentrating, resulting in functional impairment and further jeopardizing career, health, and sense of wellbeing.

* Hypervigilance, (e.g., won’t let children play on playground equipment for fear of minor injury resulting in possible retraumatizing need to interact with one’s health insurance company).

Criterion E: The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

Dr. Paris warns in the article that “this diagnosis is not currently reimbursed by health insurance carriers.”

RUSSELL MOKHIBER edits SinglePayer Action.