Erasing Fears & Traumas Based on the Modern Neuroscience of Fear

Huberman Lab Podcast Episode 49 - "Erasing Fear & Trauma"

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In this episode, Dr. Huberman discusses fear and trauma, including the neural circuits involved in the “threat reflex” and how specific experiences and memories activate that system. He also discusses how our body is involved in trauma and fear. First, Dr. Huberman describes the logic of fear mechanisms and how “top-down” processing–meaning connections from the parts of the brain that assign meaning to our feelings, are involved in fear and erasing fears and traumas. Then he discusses what successful fear and trauma treatment must include and considers various treatments for whether they meet that standard, such as EMDR, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Ketamine, other drug-assisted therapies, and more. Dr. Huberman also reviews new data on how 5 minutes per day of deliberate, self-imposed stress can erase fear and depression. And he reviews the role that social connection plays in erasing or maintaining fears by activating specific molecular pathways in the brain and body. Finally, he reviews supplementation with over-the-counter compounds for their effects on anxiety and fear and when to take them, if at all.

Timestamps

  • 00:00:00 Introducing Fear, Trauma & Trauma
  • 00:02:15 Athletic Greens, InsideTracker, Helix Sleep
  • 00:06:49 What is Fear?
  • 00:11:45 Autonomic Arousal: “Alertness” vs. “Calmness”
  • 00:13:44 Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis (HPA axis)
  • 00:17:36 “The Threat Reflex”: Neural Circuits for Fear
  • 00:28:24 Controlling Fear: Top-Down Processing
  • 00:32:27 Narratives: “Protective or Dangerous”
  • 00:35:58 Attaching Fear to Events: Classical Conditioning & Memory
  • 00:41:45 How Fear Learning Occurs: Long Term Potentiation, NMDA
  • 00:46:10 Extinguishing (Reducing) Fears
  • 00:50:25 Cognitive (Narrative) Therapies for Fear
  • 00:57:56 Repetition of Narrative, Overwriting Bad Experiences with Good
  • 01:05:28 EMDR: Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing
  • 01:14:00 Social Connection & Isolation Are Chemically Powerful
  • 01:18:23 Trans-Generational Trauma
  • 01:25:00 PTSD Treatments: Ketamine, MDMA, oxytocin
  • 01:39:25 How Do You Know If You Are Traumatized?
  • 01:46:16 Deliberate Brief Stress Can Erase Fears & Trauma
  • 01:49:50 Erasing Fears & Traumas In 5 Minutes Per Day
  • 01:59:42 Nutrition, Sleep, & Other General Support Erasing Fear & Trauma
  • 02:02:30 Supplements for Anxiety, Fear: Saffron, Inositol, Kava
  • 02:10:00 Synthesis
  • 02:11:46 Zero-Cost Support, Sponsors, Patreon, Supplements, Instagram, Twitter