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Huberman Lab

Erasing Fears & Traumas Based on the Modern Neuroscience of Fear


This episode I discuss fear and trauma including the neural circuits involved in the "threat reflex" and how specific experiences and memories come to active that system. I also discuss how our body is involved in trauma and fear. First, I describe 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 in erasing fears and traumas. Then I discuss what successful fear and trauma treatment must include and consider various treatments for whether they meet that standard such as EMDR, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Ketamine and other drug-assisted therapies and more. I also review new data on how 5 minutes per day of deliberate, self-imposed stress can erase fear and depression. And I review the role that social connection plays in erasing or maintaining fears, by activating specific molecular pathways in the brain and body. Finally, I review supplementation with over-the-counter compounds for their effects on anxiety and fear, and when to take them, if at all.

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  • 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

Please note that The Huberman Lab Podcast is distinct from Dr. Huberman's teaching and research roles at Stanford University School of Medicine. The information provided in this show is not medical advice, nor should it be taken or applied as a replacement for medical advice. The Huberman Lab Podcast, its employees, guests and affiliates assume no liability for the application of the information discussed.

Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac - https://www.blabacphoto.com