“Unhappiness is at the root of more pain, I would suspect, than any ailment that falls in the ‘physical’ body. And to think that we have compounds that could play such an important role that are really facing challenges in getting approved—I just find that really frustrating.” — Dr. Peter Attia
This is a special episode and features one of my dear friends.
A number of guests have started incredible podcasts after being on this show as their first-ever podcast interview, including legendary Navy SEAL commander Jocko Willink.
What people don’t know is that Jocko was introduced to me by a fella named Peter Attia.
Dr. Peter Attia (TW: @PeterAttiaMD, IG: @peterattiamd, peterattiamd.com) is a former ultra-endurance athlete (e.g., swimming races of 25 miles), a compulsive self-experimenter, and one of the most fascinating human beings I know. He is one of my go-to doctors for anything performance or longevity-related. He is also easily the best quarterback and sherpa for the US medical system I’ve ever met.
But here is his official bio to do him justice:
Peter is the founder of Attia Medical, PC, a medical practice with offices in San Diego and New York City, focusing on the applied science of longevity.
Peter trained for five years at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in general surgery, where he was the recipient of several prestigious awards, including resident of the year, and the author of a comprehensive review of general surgery. He also spent two years at NIH as a surgical oncology fellow at the National Cancer Institute where his research focused on immune-based therapies for melanoma. He has since been mentored by some of the most experienced and innovative lipidologists, endocrinologists, gynecologists, sleep physiologists, and longevity scientists in the United States and Canada.
Peter earned his M.D. from Stanford University and holds a B.Sc. in mechanical engineering and applied mathematics.
In our conversation in this episode, Peter actually interviews me, though he shares a lot of his own experiences. It is audio from Peter’s incredible podcast, The Peter Attia Drive, which can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or anywhere podcasts are found. It is one of the few podcasts I listen to regularly.
Many friends I’ve shared this particular episode with have now listened to it multiple times. It takes us both a few minutes to warm up, but then it goes really deep. These are many of the things people like Peter and me aren’t supposed to talk about publicly.
Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, or on your favorite podcast platform. You can find the transcript of this episode here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.
Want to hear me interviewing Peter? — Listen to our conversation here. In that interview, we discuss optimizing blood testing, drinking “jet fuel,” training for ultra-endurance sports, consuming synthetic ketones, using metabolic chambers, extending longevity by avoiding certain types of exercise, and much more (stream below or right-click here to download):
This podcast is brought to you by Peloton, which has become a staple of my daily routine. I picked up this bike after seeing the success of my friend Kevin Rose, and I’ve been enjoying it more than I ever imagined. Peloton is an indoor cycling bike that brings live studio classes right to your home. No worrying about fitting classes into your busy schedule or making it to a studio with a crazy commute.
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This episode is also brought to you by Walter Isaacson’s #1 New York Times bestseller Leonardo da Vinci, which chronicles the life and times of the Renaissance genius while showing us how we can harness da Vinci’s boundless curiosity and creativity. Not long ago, I also interviewed Walter about his writing and Leonardo, as I’ve known Walter for some time, and the book is spectacular. I think it’s his best biography yet, and that’s saying a lot considering how famous his bios of Benjamin Franklin, Einstein, and Steve Jobs are.
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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE
- Connect with Peter Attia:
Website | The Peter Attia Drive | Twitter | Instagram
- Previous Appearances by Peter Attia on This Show:
- Dr. Peter Attia on Life-Extension, Drinking Jet Fuel, Ultra-Endurance, Human Foie Gras, and More, The Tim Ferriss Show Episode 50
- Supplements, Blood Tests, and Near-Death Experiences, The Tim Ferriss Show Episode 65)
- My Life Extension Pilgrimage to Easter Island, The Tim Ferriss Show Episode 193
- Fear-Setting: The Most Valuable Exercise I Do Every Month by Tim Ferriss, TED 2017
- The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferriss
- The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life by Tim Ferriss
- The 4 Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat Loss, Incredible Sex and Becoming Superhuman by Tim Ferriss
- Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Tim Ferriss
- Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World by Tim Ferriss
- Michael Pollan — Exploring The New Science of Psychedelics, The Tim Ferriss Show
- Are Psychedelic Drugs the Next Medical Breakthrough? — Martin Polanco and Dan Engle on the Tim Ferriss Show
- The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide — Risks, Micro-Dosing, Ibogaine, and More — James Fadiman on the Tim Ferriss Show
- This is Water by David Foster Wallace (Full Transcript and Audio), fs.blog
- How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence by Michael Pollan
- Waking Up, Sam Harris meditation app
- Awareness Meditation, wikihow.com
- Transcendental Meditation
- Focused Attention, Open Monitoring and Loving Kindness Meditation: Effects on Attention, Conflict Monitoring, and Creativity — A Review (Lippelt et al., 2014)
- Headspace app
- Calm app
- Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body by Daniel Goleman and Richard J. Davidson
- The Science of Meditation — A Conversation with Daniel Goleman and Richard J. Davidson, Waking Up Podcast
- Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha by Tara Brach
- The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)
- Help Tim Ferriss Fund Research for the Treatment of Major Depression, crowdrise.com
- Council on Spiritual Practices, csp.org
- Psilocybin Can Occasion Mystical-type Experiences Having Substantial and Sustained Personal Meaning and Spiritual Significance (Griffiths et al., 2006)
- Mystical-Type Experiences Occasioned by Psilocybin Mediate the Attribution of Personal Meaning and Spiritual Significance 14 Months Later (Griffiths et al., 2008)
- Meditation Leads to Reduced Default Mode Network Activity Beyond an Active Task (Garrison et al., 2016)
- The Entropic Brain: A Theory of Conscious States Informed by Neuroimaging Research with Psychedelic Drugs (Carhart-Harris et al., 2014)
- Psilocybin for Treatment-Resistant Depression: fMRI-Measured Brain Mechanisms (Carhart-Harris et al., 2017)
- Neural Correlates of the Psychedelic State as Determined by fMRI Studies with Psilocybin (Carhart-Harris et al., 2012)
- Homological Scaffolds of Brain Functional Networks (Petri et al., 2014)
- Drug Deaths in America Are Rising Faster Than Ever, The New York Times
- Why We’re Donating $5 Million to MAPS by David Bronner
- Egg Boxing, peterattiamd.com
- Gran Torino, wikipedia
- Back Jack Floor Chair
- Jack Kornfield — Finding Freedom, Love, and Joy in the Present, The Tim Ferriss Show
- The Magic of Mindfulness: Complain Less, Appreciate More, and Live a Better Life, The Tim Ferriss Show
- Podcast Gear, The Tim Ferriss Show
- How to Build Popular Podcasts and Blogs, The Tim Ferriss Show
- Topo Chico
- Search Inside Yourself, Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute
- Meditation on Loving Kindness by Jack Kornfield
- I Don’t Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression by Terrence Real
- Solve for Happy: Engineer Your Path to Joy by Mo Gawdat
- Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson
- Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character by Richard P. Feynman and Ralph Leighton
- Letters from a Stoic by Lucius Annaeus Seneca or The Tao of Seneca
- Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis
- Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
- What it’s like living in Austin. [11:54]
- The differences between lifespan and health-span. [18:17]
- During childhood and adolescence, I believed I was “not designed to be happy.” [20:00]
- My TED Talk and close call with suicide. [22:00]
- Why I want to focus on discussing different facets of mental health on a first-hand basis. [25:20]
- What’s the type of thinking that triggers my downward spirals? [27:36]
- Why I changed my focus from investing in startups to investing in mental health. [28:02]
- How self-talk can be your best friend or worst enemy. [29:19]
- Why I think everyone, including Type A personalities, should try meditation. [32:44]
- Why men, in general, are bad at dealing with depression. [40:10]
- Peter’s (newly) most-gifted book, which is related to men and depression, and his previous #1 book. [41:36]
- The benefits and drawbacks of self-talk. [44:28]
- “The need to treat ourselves as well as we treat others. It’s women’s version of the Golden Rule.” — Gloria Steinem [45:53]
- How a couple of my podcasts made Peter aware of the effectiveness of plants to treat patients. [46:43]
- Peter’s first experience with psilocybin. [49:16]
- What started my interest in psychedelics? [49:31]
- My transformative experience with ayahuasca. [53:34]
- How my experience and research led me to focus on furthering the science of psychedelics and mental health. [1:01:24]
- How do we explain the ineffability of psychedelic experiences? [1:04:53]
- What is ego dissolution, and how do we explain it? [1:06:10]
- What are some of the meditation modalities and meditation apps out there? Why can meditation be so hard to do, but worthwhile to stick with? [1:18:19]
- “The consistent program that you follow is better than the perfect program that you quit.” [1:31:16]
- Why have I made a big commitment (more than $1 million) to funding scientific research, and to psilocybin and MDMA research in particular? [1:35:22]
- The story of Katharine McCormick and the birth control pill, and what a small number of committed people can do to change the course of history. [1:36:35]
- Why the FDA granted MDMA-assisted psychotherapy breakthrough therapy designation (which could expedite approval) for the treatment of PTSD, and how a Phase 3 clinical trial is in motion. [1:41:43]
- Ibogaine and the treatment of opiate addiction. [1:51:16]
- What is the Default Mode Network (DMN), how does it relate to mental health, and how do psychedelic compounds affect the DMN? [1:51:46]
Image credit: Homological Scaffolds of Brain Functional Networks (Petri et al., 2014)
Here’s Michael Pollan explaining the DMN, and the side-by-side images in figure above, in How To Change Your Mind “In a 2014 paper published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, the Imperial College team demonstrated how the usual lines of communications within the brain are radically reorganized when the default mode network goes off-line and the tide of entropy is allowed to rise. Using a scanning technique called magnetoencephalography, which maps electrical activity in the brain, the authors produced a map of the brain’s internal communications during normal waking consciousness and after an injection of psilocybin (shown [above]). In its normal state, shown on the left, the brain’s various networks (here depicted lining the circle, each represented by a different color) talk mostly to themselves, with a relatively few heavily trafficked pathways among them.
“But when the brain operates under the influence of psilocybin, as shown on the right, thousands of new connections form, linking far-flung brain regions that during normal waking consciousness don’t exchange much information. In effect, traffic is rerouted from a relatively small number of interstate highways onto myriad smaller roads linking a great many more destinations. The brain appears to become less specialized and more globally interconnected, with considerably more intercourse, or “cross talk,” among its various neighborhoods.”
- How MDMA, in the right setting, may help us “clean up a very messy experience that did a lot of damage; to help people to heal themselves in nonverbal ways. This is really key. It’s very hard for people to talk their way out of something that they didn’t talk their way into.” [1:55:29]
- Why has ibogaine gained the least traction in the US for treatment of opiate addiction? [2:01:55]
- My first-hand experience with opiate addiction and overdoses. [2:07:26]
- Unhappiness may be the single most important problem plaguing our civilization, and there are compounds that may be part of the solution. Is progress being made in terms of pushing through research and application? [2:13:40]
- What does it take to reschedule a drug? [2:16:50]
- The non-addictive potential of psychedelics. Food vs. cocaine vs. psilocybin. [2:17:43]
- Our most recommended and gifted books, and how Solve for Happy by Mo Gawdat has jumped into Peter’s #2 spot. [2:23:12]
- Was there anything not in Pollan’s book that I would have added? [2:24:27]
- How Peter is very proud to be one of the “Biggest Tools” and where people can find Egg Boxing. [2:30:01]
- From all the habits and tools that I have learned, what are the three to five things I return to most reliably? [2:31:58]
- What advice would I give to my 20- or 30-year-old self? [2:34:28]
- Michael Pollan
- Jim Loehr
- Josh Waitzkin
- Rick Rubin
- Chase Jarvis
- Brene Brown
- Tara Brach
- Jack Kornfield
- Terrence Real
- Esther Perel
- Gloria Steinem
- Paul Conti
- Martin Polanco
- Dan Engle
- James Fadiman
- Terence McKenna
- David Foster Wallace
- Corey McCarthy
- Sam Harris
- Jeff Warren
- Dan Harris
- Gabor Mate
- Katharine McCormick
- Gregory Goodwin Pincus
- John McPhee
- Chade-Meng Tan
- Jocko Willink
- Clint Eastwood
The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.
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60 Replies to “Dr. Peter Attia vs. Tim Ferriss (#352)”
My favorite part of the discussion was about anger. How hostility can be how depression is experienced, especially in men, especially in “Type A” men. I’d like to add my experience of ten years of anger vanishing in a flash when I started asking myself, “What do I feel entitled to.” With a little looking outside myself, the answer was and is always, “Nothing.” So I’ve come to see anger as an entitlement problem. I might really really want something, but I am entitled to nothing. Hope this helps someone like it helped me.
Thank you, Andrea. I really like this.
Damn…that first part left me wanting to cry. This hit super close to home as someone who has been using fear and anger as his motivator and “superpower” and I’ve run out and don’t know what to do or really where to begin in righting my ship.
Good stuff as always, thanks for talking about this more openly Tim.
Thanks for listening, Nick. I know the feeling, to be sure. Rest assured that the ship can be righted. I highly recommend “Radical Acceptance” by Tara Brach as a starting point.
Hi Tim, or rather, hi tim’s VA,
this is more a general comment. Any chance you can reduce your podcasts to like 20 min sections? while the content rounds interesting, I just don’t want to listen to 5 min of ads, then lots of pauses, and I could read a 10 min transcript.
The Da Vinci book is excellent and highly recommended!
At about time mark 2:22/23 they talk about book author Rick “Gurshen” , “…. for Abby”. I don’t see this person/author mentioned. Please clarify who this author and book title are. Tks
The transcript for this episode should be released in the next few days. This info should appear in the transcript, which you will be able to access by typing in “Peter Attia transcripts” into the search field at the top, right of the main blog page.
Hi Mo — That might be “Rick Gerson,” who is actually a hedge fund investor and mutual friend of ours.
Great podcast, Tim. I saw it in the archives at Attia’s site but never listened. Glad you shared it here.
I’m a meditator of 20 years and meditation teacher for the past 10. I’ve heard you discuss meditation elsewhere and always came away frustrated at your apparent lack of understanding of the various models. Your deeper dive into the subject here revealed a pretty accurate understanding of a few of the various forms. I was extremely pleased to hear someone getting the distinctions right instead of smearing them all up and failing to understand – and, hence, spreading that mis-understanding to others – several of the basic distinctions between approaches.
I believe there is more. There is a level of understanding of what meditation does, how it works, and why you might want to do it that runs counter to the orthodox version you have learned from your mentors.
Despite that, I’d like to say that the work you are doing is very valuable and I’m grateful to have you as a guide who does what you do so well. Thanks, as always!
Thanks so much for the work you do. I listened to the conversation you had with Dr Attia a day after watching a couple episodes of Netflix’s “Dope”. Dope, while eye opening, left me feeling depressed and sad; to me the two episodes I watched tell a tale of various actors in the US theater production of the war on drugs to which no one will ever win – each side constantly ratcheting their game upwards.
Conversely, your talk with Dr Attia left me feeling hopeful, encouraged, and optimistic about what can be achieved through meditation and the various compounds described in the podcast. Would a multi-part documentary highlighting the work you and many others are doing in this field be possible?
Thank you for the kind comment, Ian. I’ve been thinking about docs recently. TBD, as that line of work is tough, but it’s on the mind…
From 5BF — Quote I’m pondering —
“For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been entrusted to us, the ultimate task, the final test and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation.”
— Rainer Maria Rilke
This quote resonates with me personally & professionally in all ways except one. My son — he is the easiest person to love ever & has shown me how to love easier, deeper, simply by being. Context, I am a person who use to say I would never have children. Despite all the responsibility and difficulty that I saw being actualized and exponentially more than I could have imagined. The love runneth over – easily.
So, so much incredible, insightful, and helpful information/advice in this episode!
Does anyone have any recommendations for retreats/substances or anything at all that would have the same effects/outcomes of something like guided psychedelic sessions? (I have direct relatives with bipolar and schizophrenia so I’m hesitant to go down that road).
Heard youre attending the Secret SLC event this NYE. Do you have a plus one already? I would love to experience that for the first time! Let me know, thanks.
I’m only about halfway through this episode, but am very much enjoying it. I’m inspired to really commit to a meditation practice for at least a 10 day period, and enjoyed Sam Harris’ guided meditation when I tried it before. However, I must say that I was horrified to hear that Tim hasn’t dove headlong into the breakfast taco scene around Austin yet. Get with it, man; I thought you were a pro at this stuff! 😉 I’d recommend hitting El Arroyo’s for breakfast tacos at least once, but there are a bunch of other great ones around the Austin area as well.
One of Tims’ better interviews.
Not only was the discussion incredibly interesting, with both Tim and Peter contributing equally well, Tims’ speaking imroved dramatically against Peters flawless (zero ‘uhms’, ‘ah’s’ or other verbal ticks and staggers) way of talking.
This was a great eye-opener! Loved the connect, Thanks for talking about your experience with psychedelics and other forms; how to think about them differently. It takes people like to you to have the courage and bring awareness about a controversial topic and challenge the social norms! Thank you, Dr. Peter Attia, for this candid interview. It is of a different kind and brings out a different side of Tim. Really enjoyed listening to it.
Thank you for this episode! It has left me feeling very emotional. I have 1 tactical question. Tim made a comment that he is excellent at finding the top people for a given occupation or task. I’d be very interested to hear these techniques elaborated if possible. Thanks!
Hi Ken, Please check out The 4-Hour Chef book, where I describe my approach in detail. Happy holidays!
Tim…I know how incredibly busy you are and that’s it’s impossible for you to read all the comments, but just wanted to write on the off chance that you may see this. Even if you don’t, hopefully just putting this out there will somehow allow you to somehow feel my gratitude.
The first segment of this podcast is the most accurate way I’ve ever heard anyone put into words the way I’ve felt my entire life. I’m 39, a successful physician, investor, millionaire, championship powerlifter, college hockey player, martial artist, fitness addict, have dated dozens of beautiful women…everything that would define success. But my entire life I’ve felt nothing but emptiness, self loathing, dissatisfaction, and have been plagued by severe bouts of depression and suicidal thoughts. My extreme drive and inability to accept anything less than perfection has served me on many levels, but has led to Isolating myself, pushing away people who loved me, and many other behaviors that have ended up proliferating this cycle of depression. I feel bad so I push harder and find even more tasks and challenges to take on, which gives me less and less time to devote to the people around me. Recently after losing a wonderful girlfriend who loved me and treated me better than anyone ever has in my life, I’m finally realizing this and need to make a major change. It’s difficult because living this way is all I’ve ever known and I’m realizing that although I’ve always had many friends and make friends easily, I’ve had very few meaningful relationships and in many ways have no idea how to really connect with people. I’ve had several people who really cared and wanted me to let them in, but I just ended up pushing them away, hurting them and myself in the process.
Describing your experience and your message that I’m not alone hit me incredibly hard, and I’m taking steps to change. Thank you for so eloquently putting into words so many things that I’ve never been able to, and giving me the push I need to hopefully make changes in my life before it’s too late.
Thank you for the vulnerable comment. Peter and I are in the same boat with perfectionism, my man. Suffice to say, there are tools that can help. Tools of Titans (book) outlines a few I’ve found useful, including cold water exposure, low-dose lithium orotate (5mg on Amazon), etc., but please keep in mind that I’m not a physician and can’t offer medical advice.
All that said, I highly recommend checking out Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach. You could start with my podcast with her, if easier.
Keep up the good fight, David,
Thank you Tim! I’ve heard of Tara Branch’s book but haven’t read it…I’ve just ordered it. I also ordered all the books you and Dr. Attia discussed on the podcast and have just started reading “I Don’t Want To Talk About It”…it’s already hitting home and describing my experiences perfectly.
Thanks for reading and for the reply. I’ve been a fan for many years and really look forward to and have learned so much from your podcasts. I’ve been realizing that I’ve mastered so many areas of my life and have so much discipline, but strangely my thoughts, especially when it comes to how I think about myself and life in general, have a tendency to run completely out of control at times and once I start slipping it’s like going down a water slide. One negative thought leads to another and soon I’m overcome with that feeling of “what’s the point” and in a full blown existential meltdown that can take days to fight and claw myself out of. Hearing succrssful people that I admire like you and Dr. Attia express some of the same feelings is a big help for me, because it’s hard to me to discuss this with many people in my life. I don’t want to upset anyone or burden anyone with my issues, and have been ashamed of feeling this way because I know how amazing my life is in so many ways.
Thank you again for all you do Tim, and for giving me the boost I needed to start being more proactive about fixing this.
Last week I stumbled on your interview with Dr Gabor Mate and since then I have tumbled down the rabbit hole of all your interviews re: psychedelics. I have been practicing pediatrics for over 20 yrs, working with a population that is predominantly of color and disenfranchised on all levels. I’ve come to believe (know) that all the anxiety, depression, school failure, and likely a significant amount of adhd, asthma and obesity, is the direct result of TRAUMA. I now have more hope than I have felt in a long, long, time. Perhaps not in my lifetime, but in the lifetimes of the hundreds of children I have known (and before the human race kills itself off), treatment with psychedelics will become available on a wide scale. My ‘ah-ha’ moment during this most recent podcast is if enough folks had this guided treatment, it would without a doubt solve every problem with which humanity and this planet struggles. I feel profound gratitude for what you are doing. Thank you
Recently had the pleasure of attending five Ayahuasca ceremonies at a Peruvian facility with a Gabor Maté-trained integration director. Felt swallowed whole by the medicine — terrorized, transformed, and loved utterly all at once. “And that, too” I kept reminding myself during the worse parts of my trip, quoting Ram Dass whose teachings have affected me deeply, and whom I can’t wait to meet at a workshop in February. My thanks to you for inadvertently “introducing” him to me three or so years ago. Cheers, & take care.
Hey Tim– I was a human guinea pig as well for most of my life–I’m now 66–but in my lifelong struggle with depression & anxiety, I did 7 supervised ketamine infusions, 8 ayahuasca sessions in Brazil, guided Ibogaine session in Mexico, at least 20+ LSD/psilocybin sessions (generally alone in nature) and over 60 MDMA sessions (often with others, but for growth and opening, not in party settings, never been to a rave). I also had an isolation tank in my living room at one point, sat innumerable silent retreats with Jack Kornfield and many other vipassana teachers, (had lunch with Tara B.!).They were usually 7-day retreats, sometimes 10 or 20, also did a 40-day retreat alone in a cabin on a mountaintop, traveled through India to meet the Dalai Lama, Sai Baba, Poonjaji and many others…(I knew Stan Grof at Esalen, & was a student of Ram Dass’s in a small group when I was 23) On and on and on my search took me, and finally, despite having read very convincing books by Whitacre and others blasting Big Pharma and the bogus, behind-the-scenes shenanigans of ignoring failed results of clinical trials with Prozac and all the rest…in the end, although my experiences with psychedelics ranged from ecstatic & blissful Union to absolute horror shows involving EMTs, none of them, or any of the other tools you described which I’ve tried, led to any lasting or significant impact on my mental/emotional default system. Believe it or not, though this is not a hip thing to say in conversations like this, what has finally brought me to a semblance of at least a neutral state (and compared to the basement of despair and suicidal ideation, “neutral” is a miracle, and it sounds like you would get that) is a combination of Wellbutrin, Paxil and Adderall. After all that. And I’ve only mentioned the tip of the iceberg of my seeking. So it’s always annoying and frustrating for me to hear about all the wondrous claims and results and transformations spoken of in dialogues like this one, or in Pollan’s book. Maybe you can imagine what that might feel like. I wrote a poignant and funny memoir about my journey, but I get that you don’t want more books.
The trifecta of you, Tim, along with Sam Harris and Michael Pollan has me increasingly interested in undertaking a guided psilocybin session, but your words of caution regarding dose, setting, babysitter, etc. are landing, too, and I don’t want to be reckless about the project. I very recently moved to Austin from NYC (partly inspired by the good things you’ve said about this town), and I’m curious if you know of a respectable place to pursue such a thing around here? Doubtful you’ll have the chance to respond to such a specific, non-universally useful question, but as a fellow Austinite, I thought I’d give it a shot. All the best to you. -A
I think it would be useful to see some studies on gene expression profile and fMRI/EEG in people sitting at a table doing nothing and basically inventing theories of dust formation on the table because they just need to spend some time and are not provided the common tools for this.
Gents, Great podcast! Any studies/thoughts on which psychedelics might help lower hypertension? Thanks, John R.
There are studies on TM (transcendental meditation) lowering hypertension amongst 600 others on TM. Vipassana should most probably do on the same basis, as well as TM also lowers inflammation. Clifford Saron’s lab (Shamatha project) produces this information.
Thank you Systema2 for the reply… Best John R.
Thanks for the pods.
Hello…can you please remind us of the blog link for making larger donations for psychedelic research? This area is clearly underfunded. You mentioned it in one of your recent podcasts but I don’t see it here in the show notes. (Sorry if I missed it.) Thank you!!!!
To donate $100k or more, please go to tim.blog/science. There is also a link there for donations < $100k. Tim's original mention of his commitment of $1M to psychedelic research over the next few years may be found in the Michael Pollan episode, where you may also find the original link.
So what should the average depressed person who wants to try psylosibin do? Both people spoke so eloquently about a topic that almost no one has access to? Where does someone like me find this?
Another great podcast. I have deep respect for the work Dr. Attia is doing with new approaches to opioid addiction. He is doing important work to alleviate suffering. Now, if only, others in a position to do so, would consider Desomd Tutu: ‘There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river.We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling …
Absolutely on point quote. Thank you.
Amazing podcast. I’m fascinated by this subject. Is anyone aware of a “one stop shop” for all news related to new research/current trials regarding these compounds?
Hi Tim. This was an amazing listen. That book you spoke about where you would take a more practical, prescriptive spin on the area of consciousness – PLEASE write it one day. I would adore “The 4 Hour Mind”. 🙂 Happy Holidays and thanks for all you do!
This otherwise fantastic episode gave short shrift to ibogaine treatment as a real solution for the very long-standing problem of opioid addiction and overdose. As you two yourselves mentioned, well-trained clinicians are a necessity for any of these treatment modalities. Ibogaine is no different; what is different, however, is that ibogaine demonstrates efficacy right now for cessation from opioids.
Thanks for the comment and I agree. Ibogaine is very interesting, and I’m in conversations to fund some research involving it. That said, it’s also one of the few psychedelics with demonstrated cardiac risk and a documented history of associated fatalities. I’m cautiously optimistic, but we need more human safety data before it can be used safely on a larger scale.
First of all, thank you for this podcast. It’s probably one in my top 10! From curiosity: what is the reason that journaling has not been mentioned in you 3-5 things you return to most reliably? I thought that this was one of the more important things you did on a daily basis.
Great points throughout. From past experiences, describing your Lsd, MDMA, or psilocybin experience to someone who hasn’t had the trip is perhaps similar to parents describing the their feelings after the first baby to someone who hasn’t yet.
The comments about speaking to your 10 year old self is incredible. In therapy, my therapist will tell me to put 8 year old Mike in the empty chair and talk to him. Put him in the backseat while you’re driving. And give him giant hug. The 8 year old had his defense mechanism built in before he had words. The 8 year old has been protecting me to survive to this point. But it’s not working anymore so I can talk to him, let him relax. Accept the pain as your friend and protector, not an enemy. Making ourselves whole starts with accepting who we are/were. This is 10 months of group therapy talking, which really isn’t a lot, but I can feel the change, and feel my worthiness.
Thank you, Tim, for this very helpful podcast. And thank you for your podcast in general – one of my “go to” listens. My daughter and I both struggle to get outside of our heads to see things clearly, and so I have commmited to 30 days of meditation to try to develop a habit and begin to turn the situation around . She’s 13, so I’m compelling her to join me. Thanks for making it clear that meditation has this potential. Godspeed as you work to help those who struggle with depression and/or self hate.
‘quarterback and sherpa for the medical industry’
Isn’t a quarterback something to do with that ‘football’ game you US- North Americans play? And Sherpas are a Nepalese ethnic group.
Is this another example of your ‘US’ writing style the rest of us continue to consistently struggle to make coherent sense of. Regularly your choice of language doesn’t even exist in the dictionary (‘the bluebird is the winner’, NorCal, oh the list is long)
When you say your preferred CBD product ‘makes use of the bodys existing cannabinol system’, is that like saying, SSRI anti-depressants, or MDMA, make use of the bodys existing serotonin system? We’re all – of us of us non-US that is – are pretty used to this kind of thing from you by now
That was a great, fascinating listen, Tim! I really loved the discussion, though I am not into drugs. One thing that was really cool to hear was to listen how you struggled (and managed to, in the end) change the way you talk to yourself, so you don’t have this issue anymore, but it was mostly a side note in the episode.
Can’t lie – in this category I’m hungry for more, especially since I think I share similar ambition right now of wanting not to loathe myself, so if you have any materials that are worthwhile to go through in this category or tricks up your sleeve, I would love to hear them!
I’m about 40min into the podcast (plan to finish), but wanted to comment on your observation about the differences between men and women with regard to “bite lip and suffer in silence.” I don’t think men experience this more than women, but perhaps what we bite our lips about differ.
I completely resonate with your experience of deep self-loathing, and I will say self-hate (suicidal ideation starting in early childhood), but I thought that it was normal and that was just how humans feel. No one knew I was this depressed, and I myself was in denial until 29. No one knew because I would bite my lip and say nothing because I didn’t feel like I deserved help. As for social cohesion, in high school I would jump in my car at midnight on a school night and drive over to a friend’s house to give her support if she was having a rough time, but never thought I was worth this kind of attention.
So while I would readily discuss the strange dream I had the night before, I would not discuss the various ways I self-harmed (cutting, burning, excessive exercise, others). I might chat about the man I was crushing on, but I wouldn’t describe how I cried myself to sleep at night because I thought I was unworthy of love.
I don’t self-harm anymore, and as you can read above, I am much more open to discussing my inner landscape. Actually, it was your podcast, in particular your first podcast discussing Ayahuasca, that initiated a 6 month healing journey in Costa Rica with the medicine. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Tim, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for your honest vulnerable exposure to the deep seeded pain of so many like yourself and your journey to discover wholeness and peace. As a fellow summer 1977 baby living in Texas who has experienced much success as defined by the world today, I too have hungered for that peace and self-love that we all desperately desire. My journey has taken me to a place of such hope, contentment, and peace beyond my comprehension Discovering this identity that radically alters the way we see life, others, our purpose and so on has opened the doorway to a life I never dreamed was possible. It’s this place of rest that finally allows me to walk in the greatest success in every area of life beyond my wildest dreams.
My journey oddly enough never encountered the substances or helpful guides you and your peers have so well described and recommend. Rather, my mindset, belief system about myself and the world around me has been so radically altered and elevated to a place I believe we each desperately want. These few sentences can not fully or adequately address this journey and discovery, but if you, Tim, your staff ever have time in Austin for a cup of coffee and conversation, I’d love to compare notes as we each walk our path to this place of wholeness…Buzz me (@jpasscpa)
Tim, I am believing for you and so many others that 2019 will see more opportunity to share and experience this message of hope to the millions that need it. Our paths may never cross, but know myself and so many others are cheering and believing that your heart to see freedom for others will bear much fruit in the coming weeks, months, and years.
Best to you and all you do in 2019. May this be your greatest year ever!
Hi Tim and Dr. Attia, thank you so much for both of your podcasts and blogs. I wanted to suggest an amazing book that is very relevant to this podcast. It’s called Chasing the Scream by Johann Hari. It chronicles the War on Drugs and the neuroscience behind addiction. I think you would both enjoy it.
love you podcasts and your work, big fan! Could you please link which backjack chair you have? There is a myriad of options and would love to get the one you have..
Best regards, Andreas, Norway
Hi Tim, I’m a longtime follower of your work. I’m also a big fan of Peter Attia’s especially after he displayed such humility and empathy for a former patient in his TED talk. Your original blog about your close call with suicide impacted me profoundly. I’ve shared it many times. Thank you for writing it so that people like me don’t feel so alone. This podcast affected me similarly because I am so touched by your commitment to tackling debilitating depression, anxiety, and suicide. Your passion and pure intention regarding this painful subject is evident. I think I see it clearly because it takes one to know one. In your podcast you said something about men and I shouted out “No! women too!” we are also silent for our own reasons, sometimes because we are mothers and it’s not socially acceptable for a mother to talk about feeling suicidal. I know this from experience. I am a mother of three and I have struggled with bouts of ferocious depression mostly on my own because it feels taboo to speak about when you have to be strong for your children. But now that my children are young adults it’s come to my awareness that two of them are plagued by depression, and occasional suicidal thoughts also. This is clearly something I have to face head on now with help, not just for myself but for my family. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for doing the work you are doing to support psychedelic therapuetic research and please write that book you want to write soon. If anyone can do this important and so much needed topic justice it is you! Mahalo Nui Loa
Being a mother and talking about things like mental health, suicidal ideation or substance use is so damn hard. The stigma makes it so much worse. I’m with you 130%.
For several reasons, this episode with Peter Attia generated a quick epiphany on my end, in relation to the work being done with psychedelics and their role in treating mental health issues. I presently practice as a physician assistant, and would LOVE to be involved in the “guiding” that may be done, down the road, to use the substances appropriately to help individuals find the utility in these “medications”, and ultimately more thoroughly address their challenges. To keep it short, how can I stay involved as the process of these various compounds are explored, and scrutinized (hopefully!) by the FDA, so that the appropriate masses can reap the benefits? Thank you for the energy you are pouring into this, Tim!
I find it odd to start with ‘I’ again, so I’ll revert the order: You were creating figures with your body and a woman’s body. It was about acroyoga, your playlist on YouTube channel. Interesting that you are able to explain with precision and talk through at the same time you are doing the posture. It caught my attention. Also, the fact… (Ah! I also ordered the 4-hour work week and the 4-hour body.) that you mention that it helps you develop soft feet. Which I never thought of feet as a body part to be developed. Perhaps, muscles can be exercised, with machines, as you mention, on Mondays and Fridays. I remember that too, as part of a full body workout. I used to bodybuild. People don’t believe me when I say so, so I stopped saying it. Perhaps, the metabolism of a writer occurs in the fingers over keyboards and screens. It’s excessive to mention that this is, naturally, what I’ve been thinking of: my weight, my respiratory capacity, and how bad I want to get back to Pilates and Bikram. In the last note, I mentioned I bought three of your books, as you can see body is also a trigger point for me as I believe the body must be calibrated in order to serve us, but it’s like every morning this idea is erased from my brain, and I continue my day without any further thoughts on it, just reprimands. Or, reminders?
My second listen, after hearing on Peter’s site. So much to digest, so many angles and so personal. Thank you Tim and Peter.
Wow wow wow wow. Stellar episode with some really challenging subject matter. Especially the first 40 minutes, I’ve listened to it multiple times. It’s so amazing to hear other people talk about things like self loathing because it helps normalize it. Thanks so much for bravely speaking like you do, and of course Peter too. This one really hit home – it’s so lovely to hear others say the things you thought were only inside your own fucked up head.
You’re the best!
Really enjoyed this – I’m also a subscriber to The Drive – but hadn’t heard this one. I went to buy two of the books you listed from the show notes and found they were already in my library! So that will remind me to go back and READ them! Thanks for all the amazing content all the time.
Loved this podcast! – Been a while since I’ve laughed myself silly.
Definitely will need to try some of these mini games Peter Attia does.
Eleizer, could it be possible that you spent all those years running away from yourself? Did you learn anything at all from all those trips or was there things in them that you refused to acknowledge? I have no idea of course, just curious.