September 17, 2018


Paul Conti, M.D.: trauma, suicide, community, and self-compassion (EP.15)

“We run away from our problems, and we don’t even know what our problems are.” —Paul Conti

by Peter Attia

Read Time 17 minutes

In this episode, psychiatrist Paul Conti, M.D. discusses the impact of untreated trauma, the rising rate of suicide, and the influence of modern society on mental health, to name a few important topics covered. Paul also talks about how to deal with these challenges for yourself, your loved ones, and the community at large.


We discuss:

  • Paul’s background, and what drove him to psychiatry [5:00];
  • How silent bravado and incessant striving can lead to a functional (and actual) death, and why Paul is critical of the current state of psychiatry [14:45];
  • Psychedelics, psychotherapy and the dissolution of the ego [20:30];
  • How current society may be contributing to the increasing amount of suffering [25:00];
  • The ubiquity and impact of untreated trauma [31:45];
  • The rising rate of suicide, parasuicide, and “accidental” death [35:30];
  • Types of trauma, why we minimize it, and Peter’s introduction to Bridge to Recovery [44:00];
  • Triggering shame and fear, childhood trauma, and why trauma doesn’t care about time [48:00];
  • The impact of the brain on the body, and overcoming trauma with self-awareness [55:00];
  • How to recognize and stop the cycle of shame transference [1:04:30];
  • Peter’s profound experience at Bridge to Recovery, and the importance of finding shared experiences with others [1:11:15];
  • How to identify and deal with our own personal trauma [1:19:00];
  • Finding meaning in struggle, why we are less happy than ever, and the impact of an isolated society [1:25:30];
  • What steps can we take as a society to make an appreciable impact on the rising sense of desperation and misery? [1:43:15];
  • Resources, book recommendations, and things you can do [1:56:15]; and
  • More.


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