Sunday, January 15, 2006

Just one little pill to make it all go away?

This morning, as I was attempting to awaken from a deep night's slumber, I caught something interesting in the news. It was an article discussing a possible new pill to erase bad memories. Scientists feel that memories as a result of traumatic stress are stored differently than normal, regular memories (due to brain chemistry). They think this pill could possibly cure Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) by deliberately triggering the "bad" memory then giving the pill which would lessen the severity & clarity of the traumatic memory.

My thoughts on this are mixed and I am sure they will be until this magic little pill undergoes more testing.

I guess my question is, if offered, would you take this pill?

At first, it seems very tempting, a magic little pill to wipe it all away & "make it all better". But, as I consider it further, I wonder exactly how it lessens the severity of the memories. I have some traumatic memories myself and it seems great.

Up to this point in my life, everything I have done or experienced has helped mold me into the person I am. That means the good with the bad. Even the bad experiences and traumatic ones have influenced my future behaviors and continue to do so. So, since we are a culmination of our experiences in the past, good and bad alike, would "numbing" the memories contribute to sudden changes in our current behaviors since things that have influenced our thoughts for so long are now much different?

To show you what I mean by this, take this example. Let's say someone was driving drunk and hit & killed an innocent person. For years now they have suffered regret & nightmares over the incident, spurring sincere remorse. Let's say they now take the pill, and part of the memory is not as bad now...or maybe they don't remember every detail. Would that lessen their remorse & regret? And if so, is that necessarily a good thing?

What do you think?


Anonymous Lynn Ann said...

I have mixed feelings about this. Lately it seems that "a little pill" is the answer. We're not really getting to the core. We're just putting a band-aid on it. I wonder what we'll be like in the next few years. Are we going to bring back the labotomy?

Blogger Chick With A Gun said...

Exactly, Lynn Ann. I agree with you completely. I think western medicine in general (while it has good intentions) focuses a little more on treating the symptoms with man-made chemicals instead of seeking to cure the ailment with natural resources. I know that we are trying to cure alot of things and many things we have but it seems like our focus (compared to other parts of the world) is more on the symptoms. Sometimes it has to be because the symptoms are disabling or unbearable or perhaps we don't understand the disease or can't cure it. In that case, I understand it but it is a bit frustrated to have just some little pill to fix it all.

Anonymous Bruno alias carrefour632 said...

If I must take this pill, I prefer the removal of my brain.

Blogger Gypsy said...

When does the time to become god with over the counter pills seem right? At what time does it seem right to remove the learing experince in this life and skip steps towards ascesion? Take your pills, earse what you want. Fate has you marked down in her book, you can run , you cant hide. At the end of it all even if you cant summon up the event, it still as marked you. And to let society try to help you remove it ? that will only encourage future goverment , shall we say reasoning later on. Next? pills for soliders to make it all go away after war? Send them back? Or how about feel pills to rapist and murder's ? What a nice clean way to play god and run our playground ? Bah I think not, keep your pills, ill answer to my self and my own judgement one day. ( Hey Dalai Lama what do you THINK? )

Blogger Beth said...

this is a fascinating area for thought and discussion. i think this culture's fascination with pills has to do, in part, to our resistance to the fact that healing takes time. a lot of time. if someone has had a trauma, or experienced a bad childhood, it will take lots of work, awareness, and time to come to terms with it. i don't think there is a quick fix.
however, i do think there are times where someone's suffering is so acute that short-term medical approaches are necessary so that they can function in the world (go to work, earn a living), so i am hesitant to come out strongly against these types of drugs.
but i am always skeptical and cautious because they open a huge can of worms, and doctors are all too willing to write prescriptions.

Blogger Joe the Working Schlub said...

That would suck. Memories are there for a reason, bio-chemically, emotionally, etc. If you can't handle the tough times in your life and need a pill to take care of it then do us all a favor and swallow the bullet. Otherwise deal with it. :P

Blogger Ang said...

what if the pill affected other areas of the brain as well. Not just the "bad" memories, but also the good ones, regardless of how they are stored in the brain. (The brain is so complicated, and amazing; a real miracle. Who can really understand it and its intricacies?)
If we had parts of our memories erased, would that make us different people, because we wouldn't have grown and learnt from the experience as we would if the memory was not tampered with?
sorry - I'm rambling. It's an interesting idea, though. It makes me think of the movie "eternal sunshine of the spotless mind". I love this movie.

Blogger Chick With A Gun said...

Thank you so much everyone for your thoughts on this subject. I enjoyed reading all of your comments & appreciate your point of view!


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