Amnesia on demand……how convenient.

Reader’s beware…..this might be a bit of a rant…..and I might think differently by tomorrow…… or maybe not.

 

Heard the other morning on the radio that scientists have developed a drug capable of erasing specific memories of rat’s brains, like a type of amnesia drug.

 

My first reaction:

“Wow! Amazing that we have been able to figure this out”

Then:

“You got to be kidding me!”

Somehow I am becoming old school. This is a bit of frightening revelation to me because I don’t consider myself to be old school. I have managed to continue to bathe in the illusion that I am actually keeping up with things like technology and social changes. I consider myself pretty liberal.

Having said I am noticing a growing frustration with humanity’s quest for the ‘pill for everything’, the easy ‘one pop, one swallow’ task of ridding ourselves of any of life’s riddances. I know it is a philosophical question where medicine begins and ends, after all we’ve decided to take emotions into consideration. My big nose is now a medical problem, not because it doesn’t work properly but because my insecurities and the mental harm of not being able to stand my reflection in a mirror causes either depression or stress, both potentially fatal for me.

So now, if these tests results actually result in the creation of another pill, we humans will be able to erase unwanted memories.

I can’t help but dreading the fact that this will give certain humans another way to not take responsibility or be accountable for their actions. Hey, did something bad, rather then being guilt ridden and trying to make up for it, I’ll just forget about it. Rather then realizing that life is bigger then we are and that we are nothing but a leaf in the wind that can be blown of a tree to rot in the ground, we’ll just erase any pain or sadness. Rather then growing stronger learning how to cherish life, let’s instead focus on our vulnerability. What do we need another pill for, let’s just all be drunk 24/7. Sorry, I forgot – our kidneys don’t appreciate that. Yes, an otherwise harmless pill is better.

Let’s raise our glasses and bid farewell to ‘what doesn’t kill makes you stronger’ and welcome ‘forget what didn’t kill you’. And please, fill my glass again, for it will take me a while to get over the fact that I haven’t gotten fulfillment out of being happy but out of growing, which happened mostly after painful experiences, after growing pains so to speak. All that is now passé.

Now, maybe I’m being to hard on humanity. Maybe I don’t trust it enough to be able to make an educated and wise (ouch!) decision to prescribe this pill only for those people whose core has been so damaged by an event that the memory of it inhibits any quality of life. And maybe I don’t trust those people enough to know the difference between that and sailing rough winds. But in the end, it won’t be about that at all, not about saving the pain. In the end it will be about reminding people of how painful their pain is and how everybody deserves to be happy. (I can see the commercials now!) Most of all, the pharmaceutical companies and the shareholders. And, should there be, at any time, just a hint of guilt, well, pop a pill!

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~ by spasmicallyperfect on August 1, 2007.

6 Responses to “Amnesia on demand……how convenient.”

  1. Where do I begin here? Sounds to me like you’re becoming a conservative; I congratulate you. As you point out, the disturbing thing here is the notion that ultimately this may give people yet another way of dealing with reality by simply NOT dealing with. What is also disturbing is how scientists play around with this stuff seemingly without thought or concern to the ultimate consequences of their actions.

    Excellent post!

    -smith

    Oh-oh, another ‘conservative’ comment 😉 . As I commented earlier, I feel a change in understanding coming up. And I love the fact that you come up with one line that pretty much sums up what took me a whole article to explain “dealing with reality by simply not dealing with it”. That sums it up perfectly. Where were you when I needed you? 😉

  2. […] a mirror causes either depression or stress, both potentially fatal … article continues at spasmicallyperfect brought to you by Depression and Clinical […]

  3. Very interesting post.
    This seems like a potentially dangerous pill for so many reasons. You already seem to know that if it does come to pass it will ultimately wind up in the wrong hands being used for all the wrong reasons.
    Look what’s happened with Oxycontin.
    Nuff said
    ~m

    Thank you M. Yes, Oxycontin is a very bad example. Well, this one has a ways to go I think….. we will see.

  4. Today at lunch I listened to an NPR program about this very thing. Very interesting! http://www.wnyc.org/shows/radiolab/episodes/2007/06/08
    This is the link to the site where you can listen to it. And the show is written in a way that ordinary people can understand scientific issues. I recommend it!

    This show seems a little like one of my favourite radio show Quirks and Quarks. I will have to listen to the whole thing, maybe it will change my opinion? What’s yours Lolly?

  5. The show did not make it sound like a bad thing – but they basically present the facts and explain things, without giving opinions. It sounded like it would be beneficial for a person who has a memory of something that is so horrible that it prevents them from living a normal life. It seems that the drug does not erase the memory; it just causes you to recreate the memory (which they explain is what we actually do whenever we remember something) without so much detail attached to it (because it prevents the proteins in the brain from doing what they do when you remember something.) It sort of just speeds up the healing process that should occur when you need psychoanalysis for some traumatic experience.

    Right now, I’m sure it’s all very experimental. You know, it works on lab rats. They’ve had some success with it on people. But where it goes from here would be hard to say.

    Scientists are learning so much about the workings of the brain. I’m impressed by the experiments of inserting electrodes which can then be stimulated in order to cure chronically depressed people. They actually feel happy again!

    Well, check you later!

    I’ll really have to make some time to listen to this. Thanks so much for sharing Lolly! 🙂

  6. Thanks for the posting here.

    I’m no conservative but I do know another pill is not going to “fix” us. Learning about ourselves, really delving into the hurts and the whys and finding out the exact nature was very helpful for me – it opened the door to actually being able to come to some acceptance, some letting go and some forgiveness on my part.

    What’s done is done and we can only hope to learn from it and move forward.

    ~ RubyShooZ ~

    Peace, love and understanding.

    Thank you for dropping in RubyShooZ. Yes, I agree, the ‘quick fix’ pill does not exist. All that does is something that sedates us, and longterm I just don’t think it’s a good idea. In most cases that is.

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