Y2K Call in show

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By chance I recently caught the later half of a call in segment addressing Y2K. It was during a noontime news broadcast from Spokane Washington. The guest speaker was a family therapist.

Her answers centered around the belief Y2K was overblown. Tending to support and side with Utilities, agencies and companies which indicate things are in hand. She expressed a real concern with irrational actions on the part of people in general. Although I don't share her trust with the self reported optimism of the infrastructure I did find some solace in a remark she made.

This isn't qouted exactly but it's what I heard: As with any delimma in life,prepartion and precaution are the best defence agaisnt fear and irrationality. I should add her advice for preparation was that of the redcross.

As a sidenote my neighbor, an elderly widow, expressed to me her anger and disgust with the fear she feels for what should otherwise be the greatest of celebrations in ones lifetime.

-- Rob Carroll (flyingred@montana.com), December 04, 1999


Greatest of celebrations in one's lifetime? Welllll, for alcoholics that might be true, otherwise, that woman needs to GET A LIFE.

-- Will continue (farming@home.com), December 04, 1999.

I just received Michael Hyatt's prep newsletter, and he has a piece in there from a family therapist who discusses the widely held belief that the only thing we have to fear from Y2K is the panic of people. Take a look at: THE TRUTH ABOUT PANIC

[Here's the conclusions at the end of the article]

Putting this all together, the truth about panic is:

1.As a disorder, it is NOT highly prevalent in the general population; 2.It is characterized by recurrent panic attacks that begin abruptly and peak within 10 minutes of onset; 3.The fears associated with panic attacks typically revolve around intensely uncomfortable physiological symptoms that, within an established diagnostic range, can vary considerably from one person to the next, and that dominate the individuals attention to the near exclusion of external events; 4.Panic attacks are far more likely to result in an individual seeking urgent medical assessment rather than portfolio liquidity, "fast cash" from an ATM, or making high speed trips to the grocery store for extra food; 5.Panic is NOT a common response in disasters; The social order does NOT break down; people DO behave altruistically. 6.Use of the term panic by banking and government officials to describe depositor behavior, while common, is academically incorrect and professionally irresponsible.

One of the more elementary errors reflected in Mr. Greenspans and Mr. Koskinens practice of saturating the public with sensationalized comments about Y2K and panic (I call that "stirring up trouble in enemy camp"), one that will long be remembered as egregious, not "ignorant," is their direct promotion of disaster mythology.

There are hundreds of knowledgeable, well-trained, conscientious emergency management and other disaster response professionals in this country, including many with specialized training in disaster mental health. There is also a large number of well-trained volunteers that selflessly dedicate their time and resources to disaster preparedness education and relief efforts.

Did Mr. Greenspan and Mr. Koskinen think that no one would notice the discrepancies between what they have promoted as "sound preparedness advice" and what constitutes legitimate disaster preparedness education? Well see.

In the meantime, make a copy of this article to give to the first bank teller that assumes the right to provide you with uncontracted, unqualified mental health services in the form of patronizing admonitions to "Remain calm," or with unsolicited, underqualified financial advice on where you should leave your cash or how much you should withdraw for Y2K preparations.

Particularly on the grounds that there might be a mugger waiting to assault and steal from you around the next corner. The latter constitutes a scare tactic. Scare tactics serve to increase, not decrease anxiety.

Preparedness never induces panic.

Remember that the next time you hear or read panic rhetoric being recklessly promoted by industry and government officials.

-- Linda (lwmb@psln.com), December 04, 1999.


Your reaction is based on an assumption about my neighbor. She is wonderful woman. You should have more control.

-- Rob Carroll (flyingred@montana.com), December 04, 1999.

Unlike many other public discussions in the city of Spokane (where to put malls and bridges), you will find that there has been none of substance on the issue of Y2k. What has transpired here is the same as all over the country---infomercials concerning the water, lights and public services and ridicule and cloaked inuendo and suspicion of those that prepare. The exception was early coverage by the Inlander(weekly and fairly independant) and the efforts of Larry Shook and his wife Judy Landon. There was a sputtering of concerned citizens activities, (which lost their funding) and spotty church and neighborhood activity. Two or 3 y2k conventions. Jim Lord has been here twice, the second time the turn out was pathetic. The tv has been piping the same drivel you would find elsewhere. They Define what is real--the "truth" and discount in various ways any person, group or plan that exists outside of that definition. The city disaster plan has not been approved although there have been meetings amoungst the players almost weekly for well over a year. The local TV drools out reasuring pap. The compliance reports come in a blizzard with the usual desclaimers at the bottom. For the most part this city's population is uninformed and unprepared and the reason sits directly on the shoulders of the media and the city fathers who have stepped up to the plate and lied. At this late date even essential personel do not know if there is alternate plans for food or shelter or medical care--or police, or fire protection. We are one of the 120 cities at risk and it has NEVER been mentioned here. We have a Aryian Nation compound 30 miles away and they have practiced their mischief here in town and all over Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho. We have an FBI presence because of the fear of their activities. This city is within 10 Miles of a military base which stores nasty stuff and NOBODY has had the courage to confront and ask what is there and what is the risk to the population of the city. We are downwind from Hanford, which is a nucke nightmare waiting to happen. No questions, no answers---THis is the era of TIGHT LIPS. As to the therapist? Did any one person ask questions about their fear of these realities? My guess is no--these realities exist outside of the approved subjects for discourse. This is written by someone who is here--this is first person on the ground. Essential personel who is in the dark. Pathetic isn't it?

-- Simply Seething in Spokane (lookinthetruth@intheface.com), December 04, 1999.

This comment from my mother's doctor (family GP) got my dander up:

Y2K fear is caused by depression. Spending too much time on the internet. Nothing is going to happen. Those that are afraid should see a mental health therapist.

According to mom the doctor was in a tirade about it, very forcefully saying the above. Sounds like she has a little fear herself.

Anyway, she had nothing to substantiate her claims, just her position of power over a patient. I was disgusted!!!!

-- Sammie (sammiex0@hotmail.com), December 04, 1999.

Simply Seething, may I make a suggestion? MOVE. Your situation sounds deplorable. I'd beat feet immediately if not sooner. Good Luck.

-- cavscout (cavscout@fix.net), December 04, 1999.

Kudos to Ms. Childers, that info is accurate (I only read the paste though). Panic Attacks by definition are not induced by a specific stressor. If you can identify y2k stressors as the specific source of your discomfort, then by definition you do not meet the criteria for Panic Attacks (PA's), as defined by the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV (DSM-IV).

However, you can develop what is called a Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Many symptoms are physiologically manifested, as with PA's, and include shortness of breath, numbness, headaches, diarhhea.

If you suspect that you are developing an anxiety disorder, and are inclined to seek professional help, then I suggest that you do not approach your family doctor who is not specialized in psychopharmacology. This is vitally important for persons with a family history of alcoholism/addiction, because some meds perscribed for this disorder are addictive and so only recommended for short term episodes (eg: 30 days following an acute stressor such as the loss of a loved one). I have had to treat numerous addictive disorders for persons who developed this malady (addiction) because a general MD incorrectly administered psyche meds. As in one case, perscribed Xanax for 3 years, and so the withdrawal created depersonalization (out of body experiences) and almost killed the patient.

Rule of thumb: Psychiatrists perscribe meds, Counselors/Psychologists/Social Workers do "talk therapy". Both are effective in treating anxiety disorders. When symptoms are severe enough to negatively effect many life areas (family, work, social..) then often both courses of treatment are sought simultaneously.

Remember the DSM-IV is a code book developed by psychiatrists for billing purposes. Diagnostic trends often correlate with HMO guidelines. What this means is that a kid who would have been diagnosed with conduct disorder 10 years ago might now be diagnosed with bi-polar (used to be called manic depression) because HMO's will PAY for that instead these days. So certainly do not take any diagnostic labels "to heart", and certainly if that label is self- diagnosed! The most important course remains finding a practitioner that you LIKE and trust, regardless of their theoretical orientation.

-- Hokie (nn@va.com), December 04, 1999.

Yikes, sorry--was responding to another thread.

SYSOPS---PLEASE delete my last post here, I am putting it where I intended.

-- Hokie (nn@va.com), December 04, 1999.

Oh, nevermind (egg on face).

-- Hokie (nn@va.com), December 04, 1999.

Sorry Rob, no offense intended, but, anyone who would believe a New Year's celebration would be the highlight of one's life is really missing something. Period.

-- Will continue (farming@home.com), December 04, 1999.

Will, my apologies for characterizing her feelings improperly. My point was her feelings of fear are genuine. She used the millinium as a way to contrast her dispair.

-- Rob Carroll (flyingred@montana.com), December 04, 1999.

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