Video: Military Needs Better Mental Health Care

By  | 

We owe our soldiers nothing less than the best health care in the world, but sadly that’s not the reality.

So how to combat PTSD? Well, 60 Minutes had an interesting story on last night about a pill that loosens people’s memories of particularly traumatic events…

(CBS) Pitman figured he could block that cycle by giving trauma victims propranolol right away … before adrenaline could make the memories too strong. He started recruiting patients for a small pilot study. One of the first was Kathleen Logue, a paralegal who had been knocked down in the middle of a busy Boston street by a bicyclist.

“He just hit the whole left side of my body. And it seemed like forever that I was laying in the middle of State Street, downtown Boston,” Logue remembers.

She says she was terrified that she was just going to get run over.

As part of the study, Logue took propranolol four times a day for 10 days. Like the others who got the drug, three months later she showed no physiological signs of PTSD, while several subjects who got a placebo did. Those results got Pitman funding for a larger study by the National Institutes of Health.

The Bush Administration’s response to this?

But then the President’s Council on Bioethics condemned the study in a report that said our memories make us who we are and that “re-writing” memories pharmacologically … risks “undermining our true identity.”

“This is a quote. ‘It risks making shameful acts seem less shameful or terrible acts less terrible than they really are,'” Stahl reads to Logue.