Fact Checked

Fighting Fear With Medication

Throughout the history of the psychiatric profession, there have been two major categories of emotion that require therapy and/or medication: depression and anxiety. To be certain there are more problems than these, and there are a variety of individual disorders within these two broad umbrellas, but these two tend to be the most common and just about everyone knows what a mild phobia or a bout of tired apathy feels like.

However, while we’ve been using antianxiety medications for a long time now to help treat things like performance anxiety and social anxiety, the anxieties that surround things like phobias and PTSD were until recently considered to be entirely out of reach of medication.

The only treatment plan we knew was at least halfway effective was exposure therapy, which involves forcing a person to confront whatever triggers the fear response until he or she can develop a peaceful, safe memory to oppose the existing fear-connected emotional memory. To say the least, these sessions can be especially harrowing and uncomfortable.

But what if it were possible to remove this fear memory entirely without damaging a person’s ability to remember any event that may have caused it? At the University of Amsterdam, researchers have apparently been able to do just that by combining an existing antianxiety medication with exposure therapy.

They performed their study on a group of arachnophobes, some of whom were exposed to a tarantula, some to the drug, propranolol, and some to both at once. In the last group, the subjects’ arachnophobia faded over time to the point where they could bring themselves to touch spiders without feeling anxious. This is because the propranolol managed to disconnect the fear reaction from the general memory of spiders while it was active. The memory remains, as does the memory of the fear, but the fear itself slowly vanishes.

Studies are already underway to see whether the medication works on other, more powerful conditions like PTSD, and while the results are so far mixed the fact that there’s any hope is practically its own cause for celebration.

Of course, if you need a prescription of propranolol for its present use or any future use, you can rely on the USARx pharmacy discount card to get you a bargain. All we need from you is your name and an email address where we can send you an online card and you can use it to start getting discounts on everything from generics to brand names, including discounts of up to 75 percent off. You can learn more if you call our number at 888-277-3911 or else drop us a line at [email protected]