Here’s How You Could Get Rid Of Your Worst Memories
While we all cherish some of the best moments in our lives, some bad memories leave scars that seldom heal. Haven’t you ever wished you could somehow make such scarring memories disappear? It wasn’t possible until now.
The latest studies by Dutch researchers suggest that getting rid of unwanted memories is possible with some assistance from Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
ECT is scarcely used around the globe (especially in UK and Holland) which involves transmitting pulses through the brain of psychiatric patients. Such treatment meddles with the usual procedure of memory storage in one’s brain which gives it its memory-zapping ability. Psychiatrists believe that the controversy surrounding the process could be an indirect outcome of the way it’s portrayed in violent scenes in movies like “One Flew Over The Cukoo’s Nest.”
If it’s any consolation, the operating theatre in Rinjstate medical centre is well designed and well lit where Dr Jeroen van Waarde operates on upto 30 mentally ill patients via ECT each week. A transmitter device produces electric pulses that are transmitted to the brain via attached wires. Upon reaching the brain, these pulses induce a seizure. Steel pads attached above the temple help keep patient from thrashing around during this process. Anesthesia and muscle relaxants pre-operation also help in this regard.
ECT isn’t devoid of side effects. The most renowned one is memory loss which usually doesn’t last long. However, some patients show signs of permanent memory loss as well. The research team considered these possibilities and decided to conduct tests on patients who were already under ECT treatment. They showed patients a couple of picture sets that told two separate emotional stories and just one set moments before the ECT operation to help them remember. Patients failed to remember that particular story set 24 hours after the operation while one shown two weeks before that was still unforgotten.
The research team hopes to make the study useful in treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The study merely targeted memories generated with the help of a couple of stores but an experiment with the more long term memories is yet to be conducted. For instance, it could largely benefit war-haunted troopers that suffer from PTSD and would like to let those memories taken away from them.
The results of the research by Dr Marjin Kroes and many others is still far from being convincing enough for doctors to appreciate. However, it may change as the years go by and further research verifies this. It is tempting to rid yourself of those awful lot of memories that reside inside that head of yours, after all.