White Noise by Don DeLillo (1984)

The main character and his wife both have a crippling fear death. The wife willingly and secretly becomes part of a psycho-pharmaceutical drug experiment – a new pill (Dylar) that was developed to remove or suppress a human’s fear of death. She believes the pill isn’t working, but while on the medication she becomes more discouraged and uncommunicative and has memory lapses.
If you no longer have a fear of death, you no longer feel innate thoughts of self-preservation that direct human behavior. So if you no longer feel the instinct to survive (directed by fear and pain), is the result depression, lack of motivation, suicide, dependence on another system/structure?
“It’s not a tablet in the old sense. It’s a drug delivery system. It doesn’t dissolve right away or release its ingredients right away.”
“I would think the controlled dosage is meant to eliminate the hit-or-miss effect of pills and capsules. The drug is delivered at specific rates for extended periods. You avoid the classic pattern of overdosage followed by underdosage… The system is efficient…It self-destructs.”

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