In this episode of Bulletproof Radio, my guest today is psychiatrist and psychopharmacologist Dr. Julie Holland. In her newest book, “Good Chemistry: The Science of Connection, From Soul to Psychedelics,” she explains why we need connection, how we’ve lost it, and how we might find it again. She believes psychedelics can help.
“We’re really not built to be isolated,” Dr. Holland explains. “We’re social primates, we’re built for connection. It’s how we survive.”
Dr. Holland stands on the frontlines of some of the nation’s leading and most exciting research surrounding psychedelic medicine and connection. “If we ever needed less suffering and more creativity, it is now. We need outside-the- box solutions to our current psychospiritual problems,” she says.
Psychedelic medicines, taken under the direction of a trained psychiatrist, can catalyze a connection with the self, nature, or the cosmos.
Dr. Holland reveals how we can “turn on” and “tune in” to the brain chemistry that supports connection and tamp down the fight or flight mode that derails sleep, metabolism, libido and much more. She helps us understand that our behaviors are driven by the hormones and neurotransmitters that make up good (and bad) brain chemistry, including; testosterone, estrogen, dopamine, serotonin and most crucially, oxytocin.
“The thing that we really haven’t heard enough about and that I am sort of preaching is the parasympathetic nervous system,” Dr. Holland says. “It’s the exact opposite of fight or flight. It’s not all about attacking and running away. Sometimes survival is about staying and connecting and collaborating, getting input from people, making good decisions.”
“The parasympathetic is where the body can repair itself and it’s also where we can repair our relationships,” she says. “It’s where we can sort of tend and befriend and mend the connections, it’s where we can be social.”
Listen on to the end to hear Dr. Holland’s top three recommendations for enhancing connection in your life.
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Follow Along with the Transcript
Book: GOOD CHEMISTRY: The Science of Connection, from Soul to Psychedelics
Bulletproof Radio: Dr. Julie Holland: Sex, Ecstasy & Antidepressants – #231
- Is even any objective event that would be so traumatic that everybody who experiences that event would have something like PTSD. – 2:13
- PTSD is one type among many different kinds of responses to trauma. – 4:06
- To what extent is it healthy to use anger as a motivator versus something else? – 8:55
- When something good happens, you second guess that you question it because you’re seeing something through a negative lens. – 12:01
- What’s the role of gratitude or forgiveness in working with people who’ve been traumatized? – 12:44
- Trauma survivors tend to think of themselves as victimized but they’re actually survivors. – 16:10
- What’s the mechanism of transmission of intergenerational trauma? – 21:31
- The idea that there is a biology associated to this is very resonant because people don’t feel that life begins just with them. – 25:01
Is the mother’s lineage more important than the father’s lineage? – 25:21
animal work is showing now that a lot of changes that occur in the placenta are really regulated by male sperm, by the contributions of the male DNA. – 27:12
Can you talk about cortisol and trauma and just what’s it good for, what’s it bad for, and what have you learned about it? – 30:22
- Cortisol and hormones are things that you really want to take under the supervision of a medical professional. – 38:24
- It’s just going to be a matter of time before other psychedelics like psilocybin or maybe even DMT are also going to be examined for their therapeutic potential.– 45:02
- Think about who you’re going to and what kind of work you’re going to do, understanding that you, the patient, have a lot of agency here in working in a modality that you will feel good about. – 57:46
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