A Pill To Erase Painful Memories - Forever!

Gahars

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So, I'm sure everyone here has had a painful memory or two; a stupid decision here, a poorly chosen comment there, a missed opportunity in-between. And with experiences like that, it's easy to agonize over them for hours on end (Brain: I'm sorry, did you want to feel good about yourself today? Too bad!).

Well, what if there was a hypothetical pill that could permanently remove that memory? Would you ever consider using it? Even just once? I'm sure it would be pretty tempting.

Now what if that hypothetical pill wasn't so hypothetical?

This isn’t Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind-style mindwiping. In some ways it’s potentially even more effective and more precise. Because of the compartmentalization of memory in the brain—the storage of different aspects of a memory in different areas—the careful application of PKMzeta synthesis inhibitors and other chemicals that interfere with reconsolidation should allow scientists to selectively delete aspects of a memory. Right now, researchers have to inject their obliviating potions directly into the rodent brain. Future treatments, however, will involve targeted inhibitors, like an advanced version of ZIP, that become active only in particular parts of the cortex and only at the precise time a memory is being recalled. The end result will be a menu of pills capable of erasing different kinds of memories—the scent of a former lover or the awful heartbreak of a failed relationship. These thoughts and feelings can be made to vanish, even as the rest of the memory remains perfectly intact.
Source: Wired (It was a bit tough to find a quote that best expressed the content of the article. It's long but, if you're interested in the subject, definitely worth a read).

Basically, scientists are gaining a greater and greater grasp on how exactly our memories work; by taking advantage of the chemical reactions going on, they are beginning to figure out how to remove some altogether. With continued development and refinement, it may only take a single pill to wipe a bad experience.

Now, it's worth noting that there's a serious, practical benefit to this technology. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a serious condition that afflicts many veterans (especially in the United States). For sufferers, it can be difficult to readjust back into society, and suicide is all too common. While have therapies designed to help them, their effectiveness leaves a lot to be desired. With this pill, we might finally have a treatment to help these people move past their lingering trauma.

From there, though, it's anyone's guess as to how it will be used, or if it should be used at all. As it advances more and more, we're going to have to take a good, long look at how we define memory, and what it means to us. We're going to have to start asking some pretty tough questions.

Fortunately, though, there is hope. And hey, if we don't like the answers, now we can just forget them.
 

Just Another Gamer

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I kinda want this. A life without painful memories and bad experiences is a happier life and even after you learn from them it doesn't mean your any happier than before, I rather have no bad memories and be happy then be wise and so depressed I want to kill myself.
 
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gamefan5

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Personally, I would prefer remembering bad experiences no matter how painful it is.
Because it's what makes us grow as a person. It's what makes us human. It also helps you what true nature of life is (that nothing is perfect in life and bad things will always happen no matter how hard we try to carefully avoid it.) It's better to reflect on it and keep moving forward.
 

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Holy crap! If they get this down to near perfection after a while...man, I'd have some smart uses for it, but I know if possible, I'd waste some of these on erasing memories of vidya games! 999, Ever 17, Ghost Trick, and others. Some games are just so much better when you don't know what will happen next, namely story-oriented games. FUTURE!
 
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Sterling

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No way, nothing that will happen to me should be lost. My life is my legacy, and if I forget my legacy, I forget myself. Pain, sadness, loss, and unpleasant experiences should be a learning experience. These memories define who we are, and if I'm not mistaken, people who forget, long to remember (amnesiacs).
 

Zetta_x

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It's sad to see how much people would kill to be happier. Is that what humans have came down to... to maximize happiness?

Wouldn't be good for a legal standpoint... lot of criminals can take advantage of this.
 
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Phoenix Goddess

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I guess i'm the only one who does want to forget certain things in my life but I guess its just cause I'm so bloody depressed at the moment I couldn't really care less.


Trust me, you'll get over it.

A life with no pain or sadness leaves you with less life experiences. Our experiences help shape us into the people we are today.

I can't imagine how many teenagers would be popping this pill after every break up. So hopefully, this is only given to those in serious need, not ridiculous things.
 
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nando

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I guess i'm the only one who does want to forget certain things in my life but I guess its just cause I'm so bloody depressed at the moment I couldn't really care less.


sorry to tell you but if your depression is caused by a chemical imbalance you could have nothing but good memories and still be depressed.
 
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MountApple

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I only see one problem. If the memory gets erased what will prevent you from doing it again? Maybe some memories are better off forgotten but a lot of the experiences and memories help you later in life.

Like the star wars prequels. We can't forget them or else something like that may happen again... :(
 

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The real question is whether the memory will still have an impact on our lives, and whether we react to certain triggers with recollection of why we do it. I have a close friend who was molested while she was younger and as such, has a hard time trusting people and opening up, but if she forgot the event, would she still be the same without the reasoning, or would her personality change.
 

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