I Forget Why I’m Depressed

If this is safe and effective, it’s one of the few tools we’d have in the case of a mass disaster,” Marmar said. “What are you going to do if there’s a dirty bomb? You’ll have widespread panic. Do you want these poor people to be haunted by this searing memory. Charles R. Marmar of the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, quoted in Washington Post, October 19, 2004

There are reputable experts in the field of psychology who believe that a broken heart is much like a broken leg. If you wonder what they’re getting at, it’s this: would you let someone leave your hospital with an untreated broken leg? Of course not. So why would you allow someone to leave your hospital with a broken heart?

Of course, it is not like that in real life. Psychologists can only wish! It’s more like, if you went to the hospital with a broken leg would the hospital allow you to leave without treating your arm?

This is not really about “The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, however. It’s more about trauma. It’s about rape and assault and fires and bombs. What if you could give people a drug — propranolol– that would remove the “traumatic” part of the memories? It would allow people to remember horrible events without the emotional weight?

This idea is so strange to me that I wonder why anybody at all thinks this is a good idea.

On the other hand, what’s so great about anguish?

I wonder if we wouldn’t be as compelled to try to do something to improve our lives if we were able to quickly take some drugs to fix our feelings about any particular problem. Would we even be as upset with terminal illnesses and diseases? Why not just take a pill?

This is just one more peg upon which I hang my theories about drugs and a ‘drug-free’ America. The idea that we are against drugs becomes more and more fanciful everyday. We’re not against drugs. We’re against freelance drugs.

We love drugs. We wouldn’t do without them.