Some researchers believe that propanolol is a useful drug in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Reports that propanolol actually erases negative memories are skewed. Instead, the drug helps the individual to remain calm even during a stressful event and reduces the fear associated with a negative memory. Because these memories become less compelling, researchers believe that this can be useful in treating people with PTSD. Many other, more useful and less potentially harmful treatments, however, are also available for treating PTSD. Memory is a complex event originating in the human brain and the process should not be inappropriately disrupted. Therefore, the use of propanolol in treating PTSD should not be recommended by professionals.
Although the use of propranolol can be used as a small part of a larger routine, therapy with another person will always be more effective than drugs. By no means is a simple prescription the 'best' way to treat PTSD, when therapy has been proven to be effective. The real challenge is reducing the stigma around mental health that discourages people to receive therapy.