Using Medications to Minimize the Psychological Impact of Trauma: Is this a Good Thing?
Roger Pitman and colleagues have been investigating the efficacy of several medications as a means to minimize the lasting impact of traumatic events. Such medications, delivered shortly after the trauma, appear to minimize the likelihood of subsequent PTSD symptoms. Nonetheless, some might argue that traumatic events, though undesirable, ought to be processed fully for meaningful recovery. Drugs that interfere with this process are viewed as counter-therapeutic, while implicitly conveying that trauma memories are bad and should be minimized. One could envision similar approaches with other forms of human suffering (guilt, shame, regret), raising obvious moral and ethical concerns. This topic should be integrated into the discussion of PTSD and its treatment.