Can We Eradicate Fear?

Eradicating fear would be a monumentally stupid thing to attempt. Learn how it works…diminish its power? Sure. I’ll help. It is a dangerous set of knots to untangle though…

PTSD is a chronic illness…that can be managed, lessened. I’ve lived it.

The Dish

In the case of PTSD sufferers, scientists are undertaking the effort with fascinating results:

Researchers study the mechanisms of fear by testing rats’ abilities to learn to associate ordinarily neutral stimuli, like beeping noises, to unpleasant stimuli, like electric shocks. When researchers condition rats to expect a shock upon hearing beeps, making the beep a “conditioned stimulus,” fear learning is said to have taken place. Likewise, when they learn to dissociate the conditioned stimuli with the shocks, called the “unconditioned stimuli,” this is evidence of fear extinction. …

Dr. Burghardt’s study showed that when rats were treated with an [antidepressant] SSRI called tianeptine, it drastically altered their capacities for fear extinction. Rats that received short-term SSRI treatments—they got the drug for 9 days—developed a greater capacity for fear extinction. Conversely, rats that were treated for 22 days saw their ability to cultivate fear extinction become impaired.

Researchers also noted in…

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About Kristen Chapman Gibbons

Loosely connected facts: Storyteller. Curator of a Better Internet. Lifelong Politico. Social Media Maven. Creativity and Empathy Evangelist. Performer. Creator of Content Worth Sharing. Digital Strategist. Former Social Worker. Decade teaching in Higher Ed. Master's Degree in Theology. Married to an Irishman. 3 darling kiddos. Preacher's kid. Appalachian. Music maker. Music devour-er. ENTP. Bohemian. Geeky. Obsessed with thrift stores and all things vintage. Lover of species.

View all posts by Kristen Chapman Gibbons

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