Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder — Can it be healed?, Part 2

PTSD computer

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” — Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM

Last week I posed the question, Can PTSD symptoms be healed? This week, I say, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder be [email protected]%$ed!

I’ll be honest with you, I’m tired of hearing the naysayers. Every so often I just hit a fed up wall about this. I have, ahem, hit the wall again.

To make myself feel better I’ve decided to build a case for the fact that no belief (like, for example, the idea that PTSD cannot be healed) is carved in stone. I’ve been asking around and searching the web to make a list of things people and/or society believed were true that turned out to be FALSE!

Today, I’m sharing part of the list with you. For all those who tell you Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder cannot be healed, now you have some ammunition that raises a point of doubt against the veracity of that PTSD life sentence belief. There are many of us who overcome symptoms of post-traumatic stress. There is no research that definitively proves symptoms of post-traumatic stress fundamentally cannot be overcome. That a plethora of research does not yet exist proving that it can only cites an opening in the post-traumatic stress symptoms landscape that is yet to be explored. (Anyone have some time and money to put into a case study??)

Before this post goes any further, I admit, I may have gone a little overboard. But in seeking to make a list of things society thought were true that ended up being false, I found there are MANY such statements. And then I couldn’t choose which one I liked the best. Maybe you’ll help me out by voting for your favorite, or adding something I’ve missed.

So here it is, a list of Absolute Truth Dogma that has been overturned:


  • The world is flat.
  • The sun revolves around the earth.
  • The heavier the object the faster it falls.
  • No one can run a 4-minute mile.
  • Multiple Sclerosis cannot be cured.
  • The atom is the smallest particle.

And then, a really fun slew of quotes….

Space Travel

 ”I am bold enough to say that a man-made Moon voyage will never occur regardless of all scientific advances.”    — Lee De Forest, “the father of electronics”

“There is no hope for the fanciful idea of reaching the Moon because of insurmountable barriers to escaping the Earth’s gravity.”   — Forest Ray Moulton, astronomer, 1932

“All this stuff about traveling around the universe in space suits—except for local exploration which I have not discussed—belongs back where it came from, on the cereal box.”   — Edward Purcell, Harvard radio astronomer, 1960

“I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won’t last out the year.”   — The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957

“Professor Goddard…does not know the relation of action to re-action,  and the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react….he only seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.”    — 1920 New York Times editorial on Robert Goddard’s rocket work. [The New York Times printed a retraction to this---in 1969, when the Apollo 11 astronauts were on their way to the Moon.]

“This foolish idea of shooting at the moon is an example of the absurd length to which vicious specialization will carry scientists.  To escape the Earth’s gravitation a projectile needs a velocity of 7 miles per second.  The thermal energy at this speed is 15,180 calories [per gram].  Hence the proposition appears to be basically impossible.”   — A. W. Bickerton, 1926


“Television won’t matter in your lifetime or mine.” — R.S. Lambert, Canadian Broadcaster

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”   — Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

 ”There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”    — Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977  [DEC went on to founder in the PC market.]

 ”This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.”    — Western Union internal memo, 1876

“While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially I consider it an impossibility, a development of which we need waste little time dreaming.”  — Lee De Forest, 1926

“Television won’t matter in your lifetime or mine.”    — R.S. Lambert, Canadian Broadcaster, 1936

 “Radio has no future.”    — Lord Kelvin

Entreprenuerial Ideas

“The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?”  — David Sarnoff’s associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s

“Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?”  — H. M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927

 ”A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make.” – Response to Debbi Fields’ idea of starting Mrs. Fields’ Cookies

PTSD businessman

“The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C,’ the idea must be feasible.” — A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith’s paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service: Federal Express

“If I had thought about it, I wouldn’t have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can’t do this.”

– Spencer Silver on the work that led to the unique adhesives for 3-M ”Post-It” Notepads

“So we went to Atari and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us?  Or we’ll give it to you.  We just want to do it.  Pay our salary, we’ll come work for you.’  And they said, ‘No.’  So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, ‘Hey, we don’t need you.  You haven’t got through college yet.’”  — Apple Computer Inc. founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and H-P interested in his and Steve Wozniak’s personal computer 

“The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C,’ the idea must be feasible.”    — A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith’s paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service [Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.]


“We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.” – Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962

“Landing and moving about on the moon offers so many serious problems for human beings that it may take science another 200 years to lick them.”   — Science Digest, 1948

 ”You’ll never make it — four groups are out.”   — Anonymous record company executive to the Beatles, 1962


 ”You want to have consistent and uniform muscle development across all of your muscles?  It can’t be done.  It’s just a fact of life. You just have to accept inconsistent muscle development as an unalterable condition of weight training.”  — Response to Arthur Jones, who solved the “unsolvable” problem by inventing Nautilus.

“Drill for oil?  You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You’re crazy.”  — Drillers who Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859

 ”Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.”    — Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929

“Everything that can be invented has been invented.”    — Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899

“Inventions have long since reached their limit, and I see no hope for future improvements.”   — Julius Frontenus, 10 A.D.

“As far as sinking a ship with a bomb is concerned, you just can’t do it.”    — Rear Admiral Clark Woodward, 1939


“Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction”.   — Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872

 ”The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon”.   — Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria, 1873

“Our future discoveries must be looked for in the sixth decimal place.”    — A. A. Michelson, 1894 [On the occasion of the dedication of a physics laboratory in Chicago, noting that all the more important physical laws had been discovered]

PTSD albert einstein

“There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will be obtainable.” — Albert Einstein, 1932

“There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will be obtainable.”

– Albert Einstein, 1932


 ”I can accept the theory of relativity as little as I can accept the existence of atoms and other such dogmas.”    — Ernst Mach (1838-1916)

“Physics, as we know it, will be over in six months.” – Max Born, 1928

“Even originally well-defined pencils of cathode rays from the Sun cannot reach the Earth.  For Birkeland’s theories to be correct, the existance of such cathode rays is clearly presupposed to be necessary…and this assumption is untenable.”   — Arthur Schuster, on Kristian Birkeland’s theory of what causes aurorae.  The “cathode rays” are now called the solar wind.

“It seems as if we may also be forced to conclude that the supposed connexion between magnetic storms and sun-spots is unreal, and that the seeming agreement between periods has been a mere coincidence.”    — Lord Kelvin, 1892

“X-rays will prove to be a hoax.”    — Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895

Automobiles, Planes & Trains

“The actual building of roads devoted to motor cars is not for the near future, in spite of many rumours to that effect.”    — Harper’s Weekly, 1902

“The ordinary ‘horseless carriage’ is at present a luxury for the wealthy; and although its price will probably fall in the future, it will never, of course, come into as common use as the bicycle.”    — Literary Digest, 1899

“Rail travel at high speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia.”   — Dr. Dionysus Lardner, 1793-1859

“What can be more palpably absurd than the prospect held out of locomotives travelling twice the speed of stagecoaches?”    — Quarterly Review, 1825

“Railroad Carriages are pulled at the enormous speed of 15 mph by engines which, in addition to endangering life and limb of passengers, roar and snort their way through the countryside, setting fire to the crops, scaring the livestock, and frightening women and children. The Almighty certainly never intended that people should travel at such breakneck speed.”    — Martin Van Buren

PTSD airplane

“Flight by machines heavier than air is impractical and insignificant, if not utterly impossible.” — Simon Newcomb, Director, U.S. Naval Observatory, 1902

“That the automobile has reached the limit of its development is suggested by the fact that during the last year no improvements of a radical nature have been introduced.”

– Scientific American, 1909

“Heavier than air flying machines are impossible.”    — Lord Kelvin 

“Flight by machines heavier than air is impractical and insignificant, if not utterly impossible.”    — Simon Newcomb, Director, U.S. Naval Observatory, 1902

“Aerial flight is one of that class of problems with which man will never be able to cope.”    — Simon Newcomb, 1903

“The resistance of air increases as the square of the speed and works as the cube [of speed]….  It is clear that with our present devices there is no hope of aircraft competing for racing speed with either our locomotives or automobiles.”    — William H. Pickering, Director, Harvard College Observatory, 1910

“The popular mind often pictures gigantic flying machines speeding across the Atlantic carrying innumerable passengers in a way analogous to our modern steam ships. . . it seems safe to say that such ideas are wholly visionary and even if the machine could get across with one or two passengers the expense would be prohibitive to any but the capitalist who could use his own yacht.”    — William Henry Pickering, Astronomer, 1910

“A popular fantasy is to suppose that flying machines could be used to drop dynamite on the enemy in time of war.”   — William H. Pickering, Director, Harvard College Observatory, 1908

“Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.”  – Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre

 ”The aeroplane is the invention of the devil and will never play any part in such a serious business as the defence of a nation.”    — Sir Sam Hughes, Canadian Minister of Defence, 1914

“By no possibility can the carriage of freight or passengers through mid-air compete with their carriage on the earth’s surface. The field for aerial navigation is then limited to military use and for sporting purposes. The former is doubtful, the latter is fairly certain.”    — Hugh Dryden, 1908

“The [flying] machines will eventually be fast; they will be used in sport but they should not be thought of as commercial carriers.”    — Octave Chanute, 1910

Whew! Long list but I think it proves my point that even the most brilliant minds of a generation can be way wrong about their opinions and predictions. Which means the same could be said for anyone who thinks that post-traumatic stress symptoms are something you have to live with, accept and get used to for the rest of your life.

(Part of this list is reprinted from   /


The information provided on the is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.

PsyWeb Poll

Are you currently taking or have you ever been prescribed anti-depressants?
Total votes: 3979