Erasing the Pain

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We've all had those moments - the brief, aching seconds when you remember a painful experience such as a past breakup or the death of a loved one. Everything reminds you of it and you wish you could just move on and be happy. But what if you could erase a painful experience entirely? Or remember it without feeling like you want to cry?

With the help of a single pill called propranolol, the emotional reaction to traumatic memories can be diminished by inhibiting adrenaline. However, it cannot erase memories.
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This concept that the emotional pain of certain traumatizing memories can be reduced by taking a simple drug fascinated me. If humans forgot painful things, how different would our personal experiences be? Pain is an important part of life, but is it better to lead happy, easy existence?

If you had the choice to take propranolol, would you?
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I might consider taking the drug if the painful memory was keeping me from leading a normal life.

I agree that pain and unpleasant emotions should be experienced from time to time to help us appreciate the suffering of others less fortunate and to be grateful for the good things in our own lives.

So many people nowadays quickly go on antidepressants at the first sign of negative moods and we may end up with a society like in Huxley's Brave New World where everyone takes Soma and experiences emotional life in a one dimensional, monochromatic and ultimately dreadful state of being.

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This page contains a single entry by L. Pipkin published on October 23, 2011 4:26 PM.

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