Would You Erase Bad Memories?

I just noticed this article from earlier this month “A drug to cope with bad memories” about a blood pressure drug that may help erase bad memories.

Would You Delete Memories?If you could erase bad memories, would you?

We all have things that we don’t like to remember.  Maybe it’s a parent leaving, or a bad breakup, or a job we hated.  As we go through life we’re bound to have things that we don’t like to remember.

However, to take a drug that would erase a bad memory is a very big step.

For me, I know that I wouldn’t want to erase bad memories.  Believe me, like most people, I have my share of bad memories, but aren’t those memories part of who we are?  Erasing those memories would seem to me to be erasing part of myself.

What do you think?  Would you erase your bad memories if you could?  Please leave a comment below.

To your happiness!

Related:  Tips For Happiness


  1. Paul

    February 28, 2009 at 8:16 am

    I’d erase mine in a New York minute. “Bad” needs to be defined though, to explore this completely. I based my answer on my definition of bad as meaning “not good for me.”

    If I could eliminating all of my “not good for me” memories, I’d be eliminating a HUGE load of limiting beliefs.

    Oh, the possibilities!

    Thanks for the post and the tweet @HappinessPower

  2. Lisa Wilder

    February 28, 2009 at 8:30 am

    I’m with you, Tim. Having been abused as a child I have plenty of bad memories, many of which I suppressed for years. The fact that, during those years, I didn’t remember much of the abuse didn’t change the fact that the abuse itself affected me.

    Now, I’m not a scientist, but I’d be surprised if this medication that can erase bad memories can also erase the effects of them. That being the case, I’d much rather be aware and able to address the effects, than to be unaware and at the mercy of them.

    It was only through facing the bad memories that I was able to come to a place of acceptance and to move beyond them, leaving the ill-effects in the past.

    While I don’t often speak of the abuse I experienced, I’ve been asked several times by those that are aware of it, if I’d go back and change it if I could. My answer, much to their surprise, is a resounding no. Not because I wanted to experience it but simply because I did and every experience I’ve ever had, positive or negative, has played a part in shaping who I am, and the life I now live. Both of which, I happen to love. 🙂

  3. Tim McLaughlin

    February 28, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    @Paul – thanks for your comment. That’s an interesting take on erasing the limiting beliefs and that’s a good argument for erasing some bad memories.

    I guess for me, I keep thinking that those memories are a “part” of who I am and what makes me (good or bad) and I don’t like the idea of taking part of me away.

    Thanks for stopping by.


  4. Tim McLaughlin

    February 28, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    @Lisa, thanks for visiting and posting your comment.

    If you erase the memories but not the effects it would seem impossible to understand and correct the effects. My wife made the analogy that if you erase the bad memory you’d keep “touching the hot stove” over and over if you don’t have the bad memory.

    Thanks for visting.


  5. Jessica

    February 28, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    I didn’t go read the research on the drug itself, but I know that all pharmaceuticals carry inherent risks of side effects. Perhaps a side effect of this drug would be accidental amnesia? People on statins have accidental/temp. amnesia from time to time.

    However, I’ve seen how devastating childhood abuse can be on an adult. I know that some people who have been in therapy all their adult lives for something that happened during a crucial developmental period in their childhood would jump at the chance to erase it from their past.

    So, not having come from a background like that, I cannot judge about this drug. But I wouldn’t take it.

    There is a phenomenon that happens as you gain ground in spiritual work on yourself; your old memories cease to have a stranglehold grip on you any more. They seem to belong to someone else the more you evolve. But you have to put consistent effort into some form of meditation or self-inquiry in order to grow. For some people, that in itself is very painful. There is hope for everyone.

  6. Tim McLaughlin

    February 28, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    Jessica, you’re right about the old memories seeming to belong to someone else. As I’ve written here before, my first marriage was very bad for a number of years. In reality, the only two good things to come out of the marriage were my two children. I don’t have many pleasant memories of my first marriage and it has now gotten to the point where it seems like someone other than me was living that life.

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