Cure PTSD with a pill? Give me a break!!

Mnemosyne coverResearchers at MIT suggest that we’ve moved closer to creating a pill that would remove bad memories.  Researches say they have identified a gene that plays a critical role in “memory extinction.”  Old “bad” memories would be replaced with new ones, which would, in turn, provide a pill for addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  This information troubles me.  So much so that I want to vomit.

I can not speak for soldiers who suffer from PTSD, but I can tell you how victims of childhood sexual abuse deal with PTSD, and “bad memories.”  Here’s a bit of my story.  My memories of childhood sexual abuse were buried for decades.  Although I was not aware that my bad memories even existed, I was filled with misery.  Try being miserable and exhibiting bad behavior, and not having a clue as to what was going on.  Not being aware of the “bad memories” made no difference.

When I was approximately 50 years of age my mother revealed past events that  triggered tons of bad memories.  So bad that I had nightmares of being raped that caused me to vomit and slide into panic attacks.  For fear of losing my sanity I turned to a psychologist for help.  We began long term therapy, and with the help of medication I became more receptive to the demands of therapy.  This led to a review of my past behavior, conversations with family members, visits to the sites of the past abuse, journaling, self exploration, etc…  I can provide only a snap shot of my experiences on a blog, but I can say that I would not want to replace the bad memories with good ones.

We are a product of our biological makeup and our life experiences — nature and nurture.  My memories are my history, and partially determine who I am.  Because of the abuse, I did not know how to trust, to feel, and ultimately how to love.  But through long term therapy I learned all of the above, and even became a writer.  I went through hell but my therapist brought me into the light, and life is better than I could have imagined.  Please don’t take away my bad memories.  I’ll just manage them as I do now, and taste the sweetness of life.

You can read more about my experiences in my latest book, “Mnemosyne:  A Love Affair with Memory.”

Published by llfranklin12

Larry L Franklin holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from the University of Illinois and Southern Illinois University. He performed in the U.S. Navy Band located in Washington, D.C. from 1967 to 1971. From 1972 to 1975, he taught music at Southern Illinois University. In 1976, he completed requirements for a certified financial planner designation and maintained a successful investment business until 2007 when he retired to devote his energies to writing. In 2003, he received an MFA in Creative Non-Fiction from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. Franklin is the author of “Mnemosyne: A Love Affair with Memory,” published by Xlibris; “The Rita Nitz Story: A Life without Parole,” published by Southern Illinois University Press; “Cherry Blossoms & Barron Plains: A woman’s journey from mental illness to a prison cell,” published by Chipmunka Publishing Company; and “Supermax Prison: Controlling the most dangerous criminals,” published by History Publishing Company. He currently resides in southern Illinois with his wife, Paula.

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