Dr. John Huber and Ashley James
- What Mainstream Mental Health does
- DNA testing for psychotropic medicine
- What electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is
- What ketamine treatment is
- Dangers of using ketamine
- Different kinds of therapies
- Signs that someone is a psychopath
In this episode, Dr. John Huber shares with us how he is increasing mental health awareness by doing interviews and going on different shows. He shares various stories on how he has helped people deal with different mental health issues using different therapy techniques depending on what he thinks would be beneficial to the patient. He also shares that it is beneficial to go see a therapist once in a while so that the therapist has a record of how a patient is when he’s doing well and how he is when he’s not doing well.
Hello, true health seeker and welcome to another episode of the Learn True Health podcast. You’re going to love today’s interview. I thought it was a very interesting interview and I think this information needs to get out there. Thank you for sharing this episode with your friends and people you care about. We need to spread this information so that people can learn that there are more tools available to them to achieve mental health, emotional health and overall a happier life. We all deserve that.
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[0:03:04] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 413. I am so excited for today’s guest. We have on the show with us Dr. John Huber. Oh my gosh. This is going to be such a fantastic interview. Dr. Huber’s website is mainstreammentalhealth.org. His mission is to increase awareness about mental health. I think that’s really important because, as you just said before we hit record, you can take all the vitamins and you could do the perfect diet and you could do the perfect exercise and do absolutely everything perfect for physical health but if you don’t have your mental-emotional health you don’t actually have health. So Dr. John’s mission is to get us healthy in a mental and emotional way. You have so many years of experience so I’m really looking forward to tapping into that brain of yours so we can all learn how to be healthier mentally and emotionally. Welcome to the show.
[0:04:12] Dr. John Huber: Well, thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here. Anytime I can talk about mental health it just brings so much joy to my heart because we’ve got to do this. We’ve got to take this silent illness and make people realize that it’s not because you’re broken, it’s because you’re human. We need to be out there standing up for that.
[0:04:35] Ashley James: Yeah. I love that you said that. People feel often like there’s something wrong with them, that they’re incomplete, that they’re not whole and that they feel this guilt and shame when it’s totally human. It’s absolutely human. I was really amazed to hear in the history of Hawaii, which the ancient Polynesians took little canoes across the ocean to get to Hawaii. They’re pretty awesome people. But there was zero recorded history of mental illness until the Christian, Catholic people came in their ships and told them they should feel ashamed for being naked. But there was zero mental health issues. It was just amazing. After they changed their diet and took on religion and started to feel guilt and shame about their bodies and their culture, changed basically everything about what they were doing. All of a sudden then there was recorded events of schizophrenia. That it had never happened before in their culture and other mental illness.
So, it’s just really interesting that when we’re in perfect harmony with ourselves that were we’re really like going with the flow and everything’s good. But when we’re out of harmony with ourselves, I think mental illness is a symptom like our brain is saying, “Hey something’s wrong here. Something isn’t right.” So I just thought that was really interesting about the history of the Hawaiians. Now, you have many years of experience and you taught clinical forensic psychology. What was that like?
[0:06:18] Dr. John Huber: Well, I taught a lot of classes, but I’m a forensic psychologist, clinical forensic psychologist. I was lucky enough to be in a university that actually had brought in as I was becoming part of the faculty a forensic minor in psychology. Now, an undergraduate level that just kind of gives you some introductory stuff. You don’t have a license or you’re not skilled to go out and be able to do work for a police department or anything like that, but it starts getting people’s you know fingers and feet wet in what’s going on. Because when I got into this there was three schools in the United States at the doctorate level that didn’t require you to get a law degree and a Ph.D. to be a clinical forensic psychologist. I didn’t want to be an attorney. I wanted to be a practitioner that I could help people. One of the things I know about myself and I’ve known it since I was a young child, I get bored really easy. So I have to kind of create my own environment you know that I function in. One of those things is I need to be able to, okay if I start to feel myself getting tired or bored with something I need to move on and do something else for a day or two and then I can come back to that other thing if I have to continue working on a project or something like that.
So, for example, right now I’ve got my nonprofit. I do 1,100-1,200 radio interviews every year. I do approximately three to four hundred television interviews every year. I have my own podcast. Several hundred podcasts out there, I haven’t actually stopped to count them. I’m working on a book that I want to get out there. So, that’s just my nonprofit part right there. Then I have privileges at two medical hospitals where people get surgeries and they don’t understand why we have to cut a foot off or they’ve come to you and say, “I’d rather have my life go and be dead than have no leg.” I’m sitting there go, “Look at your grandkid right here, he’s three months old. Do you want him to remember you?
I get really bizarre answers from that because people have these preconceived notions about how everybody else sees them. It’s kind of like stage fright you know. People don’t like to get up in front of the audience and talk, but when people realize whether you’re singing, playing music, talking; that if somebody else wanted to come up there and talk they could talk to. You’re not keeping them from talking if you’re up there talking. Everybody has their own choices to make. A lot of people would rather sit back and listen and in some cases criticize after the fact. That’s okay because their opinions don’t change my opinion. If they bring me facts and research and data, then I look at the data and I do that. But an opinion, that’s just an opinion. They have a right to it, I have a right to mine.
I’m no better than they are there, they’re no better than me. If they’re willing to come listen to me, well I’m definitely going to give them an earful. I mean, that’s what I do. I’ve had people challenge me. I’ve had students challenge me. You get 500 students in there and a student asks you a question and you don’t know the answer to it. The student, “Well, you’re the professor. Don’t you know everything about psychology?” I’m like, “You know, there’s so much in psychology I wish I really did because I wouldn’t need to be here teaching you guys. I’d be teaching the teachers to teach you guys.” That kind of thing. This guy one day would just not leave it alone. He kept asking me about déjà vu, déjà vu, déjà vu and it was about the time the Matrix had come out. Finally, I just turned it, “You really want to know about déjà vu?” And he’s like, “Yeah.” I go, “It’s the Matrix resetting.” And the whole class, the whole class just like, “Did the professor just say that. He quoted the Matrix?” This kid is like, he’s dumbfounded. He doesn’t know what to say because he doesn’t have a rhetoric to that. I gave him an answer.
[0:10:28] Ashley James: That’s funny.
[0:10:29] Dr. John Huber: The rest of the class got it. He just kind of sat down and didn’t say anything else. About three weeks later he raised his hand and he goes, “Dude,” and the whole class turns around and looks at him like, “Did you just call the professor dude?” Then they turn around to look at me. I had corrected him. I said, “Excuse me, that’s Dr. Dude.” It’s not my ego. I’m there to teach them. I want them to learn. We know a lot of things about learning. If you put an emotion with learning, you remember it much better. I know professors who believe that, “Well, I’ll just make all the class angry at me because it’s easy.” I’m like, “No. I’d rather have them be laughing and enjoying the conversation because they remember that good feeling and they keep that with them when they study psychology from then on and out.” To this day, I’ve got students that are doing you know they’re residencies in thoracic surgery in New York State and all over the United States. I get emails and calls. I’m going to be in New York next week and I’ve got a couple of them going to introduce me to some of their surgery supervisors and want to go out to dinner and all this kind of stuff. You know how that makes me feel? It makes me feel like I did my job and I’m proud of those kids.
If you knew some of the stories and I see the successes. I mean these kids that were failing out of school and I pulled them into my office and, “Hey, I need you to do something for me,” and I give them a responsibility in the class. All of a sudden, their grade comes up to an A in my class. Then they’re like, “Man, I’m struggling in this class.” “Well, have you tried this? Go talk to the professor.” Then they end up graduating with 3.8-3.9 four years later. They’re telling me I’m the reason why they finish school.
[0:12:13] Ashley James: Wow.
[0:12:14] Dr. John Huber: Because I just give them a little bit of support. I give them some skills, some coping skills which is what I try to do in therapy. I want to create a patient who comes in and needs help a set of coping skills, a set of management, life management tools that they don’t ever have to come back to me. That’s my goal. They still do. They come back. I might not see one for three or four years and they call me. “Oh, hey. Can I get in next week?” “Sure, let’s come on in.” They just wanted to touch base. That’s awesome. I love that. Yeah.
[0:12:49] Ashley James: That’s so cool. It sounds brilliant that you have had that impact for so many years with thousands, thousands of young professionals that have gone on to help so many people. I love that ripple effect. That’s really beautiful. You mentioned this one thing about being on stage. This worry we have sometimes about what will other people think of us. I think sometimes it’s so ingrained that it’s like second nature this fear of what other people think of us or that person that would rather die than have them be an amputee. He couldn’t get over the hump, like in his mind like he needs a little bit of help getting over the hump of like you’ve got a whole life like you’ve got people that love you and you could have a really fulfilling life. Who cares you don’t have a leg.
[0:13:50] Dr. John Huber: Well they care.
[0:13:51] Ashley James: Yeah, of course.
[0:13:52] Dr. John Huber: But they care.
[0:13:53] Ashley James: But look at how much life you could have. They can’t even see past the no leg to all the love and joy and fulfillment that they could have.
[0:14:05] Dr. John Huber: Oh, but I have my ways. I have not lost the patient because they wouldn’t have an amputation.
[0:14:11] Ashley James: Well, that’s really cool.
[0:14:12] Dr. John Huber: In almost 10 years. It depends. I can remember specifically I had this one lady, 40 years old her daughter was 20 expecting her first baby. So grandma, she going to be a first grandma at 40 years old. She had uncontrolled diabetes and she ended up with gangrene on both her feet. We were going to have to amputate her feet. She’s like, “Let me die. I don’t want to bring a new baby up to look up to a gimp in a wheelchair the rest of their lives.” “A gimp?” “Yeah.” I go, “Okay, so you’re ready to die. I’ve got some friends that are really interested in the end of life thought processes and death and dying. Can I bring them in here? They’re actually here.” “Oh, yeah. Sure.” I ran down to the outpatient rehab department because there were three gentlemen in there who are double amputees who have amazing abilities on their prosthetics. They run around no canes nothing. They can run and jog and walk. You never know they have amputations. I’d met them because I’ve been at the hospital for a while and they’ve been in and out and now they were in outpatient.
I go, “Hey guys, I can’t tell you the patient’s name but she wants to die and I want you guys to act like you’re interested in dying and death and that kind of stuff.” “What? What?” “Well. She doesn’t think anybody can have a normal life with prosthetics,” and they just started laughing. “Sure. We can do that.” These are guys, 60-70 years old. They’re happy to be alive. They got their families. Literally, we’re walking down the hallway and we got one more room to go and one of the guys stop for a second, bent down on one knee and untied a shoe and walked in there. So they start asking her about death and dying. “So, you’re going to have an amputation here?” “No. I’d rather die. I don’t want to be a gimp.” The guy who untied his shoes was a little bit further away. “Oh man,” and he made a big deal about his shoe being untied. He propped that foot up there on there and his pant leg came up and you saw the steel rod of the prosthetic. “Well, okay. Well, maybe you know but they want both of my feet. You’ve only lost one.” He reached over and pulled up the pant leg on the other leg. She’s like, “What?” All three of the guys go, “Yeah, we’re all amputees, double amputees.” Let’s just say she was there for her grand baby’s birth.
[0:16:41] Ashley James: That’s awesome.
[0:16:44] Dr. John Huber: Changed her perspective, give her a different point of view. We get so stuck and this is the way things are and it’s not that way. Everybody has two eyes, hopefully, they’re functional to some extent, but we all see different things.
[0:16:59] Ashley James: Yeah. We all perceive the world in a different way. You and I could go to the same movie and walk away with a different experience.
[0:17:06] Dr. John Huber: Exactly. Me and my wife did that with, what was that, the Twilight series. She’s like, “Oh, man. It’s fantasy and it’s Beauty and the Beast and the vampire,” and I go, “No. It’s an emo girl who’s trying to decide if she’s going to experience bestiality or necrophilia.” Yeah. My wife didn’t think I was that funny.
[0:17:31] Ashley James: That’s exactly it. You mentioned that we’re worried about what other people think. I had a recent experience a few months ago where someone I’m really close to, I found out that she had a very negative viewpoint of me and of things I’ve done. Actually, it was completely untrue. It was just a completely untrue viewpoint. At first, I was very, very hurt because I had poured a lot of time energy and money into supporting her and helping her and doing everything I could to help her get over a certain difficulty in her life and she turned around and she made it mean. So many nasty horrible things. So at first, I was just kind of taken aback. Then I felt like my brain broke, like something in my brain snapped. I started laughing because I could have never in a million years predicted the things that she would have come up with.
I’ve spent my whole life worrying about what other people think of me, but no one has really ever actually come up to me and fulfilled my worry. I’m worried about what people think about my shape or my hair color or whatever. Like, “Oh, I’ve got some gray hairs,” or “I didn’t pluck the hairs on my chin,” or whatever. Whatever I’m worried about. No one has ever actually come up to me and fulfilled my worry, but people come up with the things like I could never even imagine, right? Something in my brain snapped because I got that no matter how much I worry, I could spend the rest of my life worrying about what other people think but those people will never actually think the things I’m worried about because they’re going to come up with their own stuff that is so weird that I could not possibly predict worrying about those things.
[0:19:33] Dr. John Huber: Oh, you know that reminds me. I was doing a presentation once with about 600 people there. My daughter was about two and a half, my son was about six but he was sick so I had to bring her with me. She’d been to the auditorium before and she picked the seat she wanted to sit at right down the middle, middle aisle. So people have their assigned tickets and all that kind of stuff. They come in there and here comes the person for that seat. She informed them that that was her seat. She walked them down to actually where we had a seat for her on the front row, this person got a front-row ticket. So they weren’t mad. They sat there. But I I’m one of those speakers, I can’t stand behind a podium. So I’ve got my wireless mic and I’m running circles, laps around this place while I’m doing my presentation. Finally, my daughter gets up while I’m talking and she kind of meets me at a crossroads. She grabs me by the hand and I got this wireless mic on and she goes, “Look, dad, you’ve got to calm down or these people aren’t going to be able to follow you.” She walks me up to the front and sits me down on the chair that’s right up next to the podium.
The place went crazy. It was hilarious. Yeah. Then she actually asked somebody for paper so she could keep taking notes while she was listening to my presentation.
[0:20:55] Ashley James: That’s funny. Well, of course, that was her perception.
[0:20:58] Dr. John Huber: Absolutely. Absolutely.
[0:21:00] Ashley James: Right. Because if no one was following you everyone would have been stir-crazy.
[0:21:05] Dr. John Huber: Right, but I love the fact that with that mic, I can walk up and I can put my hand on anybody’s shoulder and go, “So what do you think about…” and I don’t lose anybody that way because I do that. I’m one of those guys.
[0:21:17] Ashley James: I can tell. So, you have Mainstream Mental Health Radio, that’s your show. Is that the name of your podcast?
[0:21:29] Dr. John Huber: Mainstream Mental Health Radio, yes that is the name of my podcast. The website is mainstreammentalhealth.org, but we also have an extra way to get there by going to drpsycho.org. That’s DRPSYCHO.ORG and people remember that one. The minute I started using that man.
[0:21:49] Ashley James: Dr. Psycho.
[0:21:50] Dr. John Huber: Yes. We get slammed on our bandwidth there, but that’s fine. That’s what it’s for. We talk about anything mental health. I mean, I’ve had porn stars on. I’ve had the president of the APA. I’ve had professional wrestlers, actors, politicians, accountants, massage therapist, therapists. I’m trying to think. Man, I mean, just about anything. American Indians. Man, probably my most unexpected most exciting show I did was with Gerry Cooney, the boxer.
My dad passed away in 1994. So he never got to see me doing any of this stuff, but I remember my dad and I were big sports fans together, football. My dad really loved boxing so I would watch it. I didn’t necessarily care too much about it at that point in my life. I didn’t really see the skill I just saw the brutality. I know football’s brutal, but I could see the skill. I could see the athleticism in that. Now, I’m a third-degree black belt and I do see the skill because I have had to develop some stuff, some skills. But they offered, they say, “Hey. This guy Gerry Cooney wanted to come on and do your show.” I’m like, “Gerry Cooney, oh my God. I remember watching him fight when it was like 1980 or something.” He won. The first time I saw a fight finishing in less than a minute. I mean, I think it was 54, 56 seconds. I may be wrong but I think it was Leon Spinks. He walked in. It was in Vegas and bam, the whole thing was over. We planned on being there like three hours for 15 rounds. It was like, “Oh, okay. So now we get a listen to sportscasters hem and haw for the next two hours.” Yeah.
Now, 20 years later, 30 years later I get to interview this guy. I’m like my dad would be so excited. So I was excited and we start talking. Not three minutes into that interview, the hair stood up on the back of my neck and it stayed that way the whole time. This guy was amazing. He was so brutally honest. After that fight, he got offered a chance because he became the US heavyweight champion. He got offered a chance to fight for the world heavyweight champion. I want to say it was Muhammad Ali at that time but don’t get me on the actual statistics, but he had such a problem with alcohol. He had 180 days to sign the contract and he was too drunk those 180 days to sign the contract.
[0:24:29] Ashley James: Wow.
[0:24:31] Dr. John Huber: He then explained to me the way he was able to fight was he would go out in the ring and they would bump gloves and he would go back to his corner. When that bell would ring, he would turn around and it was his dad’s face on that boxer.
[0:24:44] Ashley James: Wow.
[0:24:45] Dr. John Huber: He would go pummel his dad’s face.
[0:24:49] Ashley James: Geez.
[0:24:50] Dr. John Huber: Then we started talking about it exploring his alcoholism and all this kind of stuff. He’s a recovering alcoholic. He’s got an amazing show on Friday and Monday nights on XM radio doing all the fight game and all this kind of stuff. He’s an amazing guy. I had dinner with him this past summer when I was up in New York. He came back on my show again. He always teased me, “Okay, you’re a black belt. Let’s spar.” I’m like, “Okay if you’re willing to make it a fundraiser for my nonprofit, I’ll let you knock the crap out of me.” Then I actually got to meet him and his hands made my hands look like I was a three-year-old. I’m like, “Okay. Well, maybe I could do a spit.” No. His arms were longer than my legs. I’m just dead. He’s like, “Oh, come on. I’m 14-15 years older than you.” I go, “Yeah. It don’t matter. I know better. I got a lot of education.”
[0:25:48] Ashley James: No kidding. What does your charity do? What does your nonprofit do?
[0:25:54] Dr. John Huber: Well, we’re kind of in phase one, which is we want to get people talking about mental health. I think we’re doing a really good job. I mean, I’ve been on Jenny McCarthy show. I’ve been on your show. I’ve talked with Dr. Drew several times on his show. It’s funny. All summer long, I had politicians calling me from Washington DC, from other states calling me up, “What’s your opinion on this? I got to go talk to these people. It’s like wait, people are actually talking about it now and they’re hearing me. I feel like I’m finally getting to that point. Our next goal is we want to do something for our first responders and our veterans. What I mean by doing something for them, we have a lot of great practitioners in the VA, for example, but we don’t have enough. We’re underfunded. They throw money in there but then they got to build infrastructure before they can put more therapists in there, more psychologists. It’s just, man, we’re fighting an uphill battle.
What I’d like to do is create some sort of system. We’ve got a model ready to go. When we get to this point, we would like to create a website where basically the veteran would log in and they would create an account. Within that account verify that they’re a veteran for sure. Then they get a code number. They take that code number to any licensed therapist in their community and that code number is what they log in with. It pairs them up. They send me the HIPAA consent from the patient and a summary of the notes. I don’t want details, just a summary of the notes so our auditors can make sure they’re actually doing psychotherapy. We pay them for their therapy services. For Central Texas, we think that if we had about 13 million a year, we could take away enough of the therapy from the VA that there would not be any delays at the VA in Central Texas. Nationwide, we’re looking at somewhere between $160-$180 million dollars and that’s nothing. I mean, it really is.
When you think about Planned Parenthood, it gets 800 million from Congress. Then they get 800 million from donations, another 600 million or 307 million from corporate America and they’re giving birth control pills out. I want to go out and stop what we have right now is 20 to 22 veterans killing themselves every day. We had one here in Austin two months ago. He walked in, he needed therapy. Now, to get a veteran to say, “I need therapy.” Think about the environment that they lived in as a military personnel where you are dysfunctional, you are a threat to the unit if you have mental health issues. So they hide everything, but that veteran finally gets to a place where his life is so distraught, so much in upheaval that they’re willing to go to the organization that’s supposed to be helping them and say, “I need a therapist.” They usually go when it’s at that dire point and they get told, “Oh, we’ll get you in 120 days. We got you an appointment set up with Dr. Smith.” That patient here in Austin, Texas walked over sat in the waiting room for a couple hours. The waiting room was full. He pulled out a gun and blew his head out. That is not unusual.
I’ve had veterans call me and say, at different parts of the United States, at different times I’ve been doing this now for four or five years. At one point there was an area the United States where there was a 13-month wait when you walked in and said, “I need a therapist,” before they could actually see one. That is, I mean, is so disgusting in so many different levels.
[0:29:40] Ashley James: Yeah.
[0:29:41] Dr. John Huber: These veterans put their lives on the line so we can have our independence, have our safety, have our freedoms and we can’t even get them a therapist. That’s phase two. That’s what I want to do. Right now, we’re making some headway, we’re getting some airplay. I think we’re starting to stir things up. Like I said, this past summer I was amazed at how many phone calls I was getting from politicians and things like that. I’ll tell you something. Also amazing, Bob Salter who is a sports broadcaster for WFAN in New York City, the largest all-sports radio station in the nation. The first NBC’s benchmark studio. He had me in this summer. He introduced me for five minutes and he opened up the mics and we talked mental health for two hours straight. Not one question about sports and the fans were asking the questions. I got home and for the next four months, I was getting handwritten letters from people thanking me. Thanking me for going. I didn’t get one derogatory statement. I didn’t get one person saying, “Hey, why didn’t we talk about the Giants?” I’m back on the air in two weeks on Sunday morning and they’re giving me two hours again.
[0:31:04] Ashley James: Oh, I love it.
[0:31:05] Dr. John Huber: So, it’s exciting and people are listening. People are taking a hit. That’s the first step. We got to get this. If you think about it, go back to the 80s, early 80’s. Childhood cancer, it was shameful what we were doing. We had a 15% survival rate. That means 85% were dying. There were some specific cancers that we cured better than others, but in general, 15% overall, 85% death rate. Today we have a 15% death rate and an 85% survival rate. What did we do? We started getting the histories of these kids. What was going on in their lives? What type of activities were they doing when they were six months old, when they were two months old, when they were two years old? Then they got their cancer at 6, 7, 8, 9 years of age, they had this really great history. We’ve been able to sit there and see, “Hey, these are some signs that we need to start watching these kids.” So, when they go in their pediatric checkups the pediatricians are going, “Hey, how is he doing? Is he turning over? Is he doing? Wait, let me go check this out.” And they start looking for things. You catch it before it ever becomes a terminal situation.
I know because I’ve worked with kids. I started my career as a school psychologist working with preemies, 16-18 months old, three years old before they ever get to school. Seeing these people dealing with developmental delays and how we are so underprepared for how to treat and interact with those kids. Then, historically we’ve just kind of thrown them in the classroom.
[0:32:43] Ashley James: Yeah.
[0:32:45] Dr. John Huber: And we’re playing catch-up. In the late 90s, they turn around, “Oh, we have to do research-based.” Well, there wasn’t a lot of research-based interventions actually. Everybody’s like, “Oh, it’s out there.” Well, where is it? Show me the math. Show me. What do we know? Drill and practice worked really well, but people hate drill and practice. So schools don’t like to do that, but if you go into a special education classroom you’re going to get drill in practice. That will breakthrough because you do the same problems over and over and over and it becomes automaticity. They don’t have to think about it. They know that one plus one equals two or you divide this fraction by this and this is what you get because they’ve done it enough. That all of a sudden makes the rest of the math easy. So, we start doing that and we break it down into really simple steps. All of a sudden these kids start having good lives at school. They actually like being in class. They’re not afraid if the teacher calls on them because they got some kind of answer, whereas before they would hide and they didn’t want to be known because the teacher was going to call on somebody to read in front of everybody. Well, I don’t have any sound-symbol relationships so I’m going to sound like a baby. What happens is people would rather be and a mean person who is a bully than somebody who’s considered dumb. That’s a shame.
[0:34:07] Ashley James: To clarify what you said before was it a $153 million a year to be able to cover the psychotherapy for all veterans?
[0:34:17] Dr. John Huber: Well, it’s not for all but it’s a big enough chunk that the VA would be able to take care of the rest. Actually, nationwide what we’re looking at is between $160 and $180 million. Somewhere in there. Because there’s a lot of management of audits and making sure people are following up and actually doing what they purport to do because I don’t want people to not help our veterans. So we have to have a mechanism in place. It’s kind of self-serving. Once the veterans register, they can basically go to anybody. They just have to present to us a copy of their license and their liability insurance so we know that they’re covered. Then we want them to submit a summary of their treatment and the billing information and we’d like to be able to pay them.
You think about that, that sounds like a lot of money and it is to an individual, but to this nation, it’s not. When we spend how many billions every year $1.2-$1.3 billion in Planned Parenthood. The tax dollars we give to Planned Parenthood’s about 800 million, between $600-$800 million every year. I don’t know what it is this year. I didn’t look at the budget. But just thinking about that, think about what they give for dry cleaning uniforms in the Navy. I mean, hey, wear them one more time before you dry clean them and save a little bit that way and use that money for your budget. Yeah. When you talk about trillions and trillions of spending in this country, less than $200 million dollars is a drop in the bucket. It’s a shameful experience to sit back and know that we have veterans that are asking for help and not able to get it because we don’t have enough therapists. When we try to hire new therapists, we don’t have the physical space for them. Then they go to a culture, the military culture, where mental health issues are considered so taboo that you’re broken, you’re a liability then to your platoon. Nobody wants to be around you so nobody admits to having any of those issues.
The strangest thing, in real life, in civilian life, men and women, they say men have about half, for example, depression that women do. I think what happens is I think about half the men aren’t willing to admit to it. They end up with anger issues, which is one of the ways that men tend to express depression. They have anger issues. Then they have adult-onset attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. They can’t focus, they can’t attend and guess, what? Those are symptoms that kids exhibit when they have depression. So, does it make sense that maybe adults might have depression? You notice, the pediatricians in my community they start going, “I’m not going to give him Ritalin. Let’s give them some Zoloft and see how they work first.” So why give them pharmaceutical grade crystal meth when their behavior will improve, it’s a Band-Aid. It’s not going to actually kind of fix what’s the underlying problem.
So, I think men actually have just as much depression and mental health issues as women. We’ve just been taught that there’s one emotion that is okay for us men to have and that’s anger. So, we turn everything into anger and nobody questions whether we are mentally healthy or not. He’s just mad. It’s a hard life being a man. It is. It’s a hard life being human period male or female across the board. I think we end up with a lot of people who should be getting help that aren’t. Women go and get help except the female veterans. They’re actually as resistant as male veterans are at getting psychotherapy. The female veterans are 10-20 times more resistant to getting psychotherapy.
[0:38:21] Ashley James: Sure. That makes sense because they have something to prove.
[0:38:23] Dr. John Huber: They have something to prove and not one of them that I’ve talked to, they’ve all said this one way or another, they don’t want to be the poster child for why women should not be able to go to combat because they wanted to go fight for their country.
[0:38:36] Ashley James: A really good friend of mine was held hostage at knifepoint by her friend, female veteran, who had seen horrific, horrific things. Dead children, just really, really horrific things in the Middle East. She just snapped one day and she held my friend hostage at knifepoint until the cops were able to calmly talk her down and get her admitted for help. There was a lot of signs that she was ramping in that direction. She wasn’t willing to get help. Luckily they were all able to talk her down and get her calm. It’s making it normal to seek help is the first step. I love that that’s what you want to do, you want to normalize that it’s human and normal to go get mental health, to seek it, to seek mental health. That it’s okay if you’re having suicidal thoughts if you’re depressed. If something is off, you’re not broken, you’re not wrong and bad, there’s nothing to be ashamed of.
The most healthy thing you can do for yourself is go get help. Like you said, the female veterans don’t want other women to be deterred from going into combat. You know what, by holding on to your mental illness you’re actually going to deter other women, but by seeking help, you are showing that you are strong and that you knew what you needed when you needed it. Because you’re going to come out of therapy, maybe months or years later, you’re going to come out the other end strong, sure of yourself, healthy. You’re going to come out the person you know you are in deep inside and you will be a prime example of what a healthy veteran does for other veterans.
In the moment, when we’re in mental illness, we’re so afraid of what other people think. We have to remember like the lesson that I got a few months ago. We have to remember, people will never actually be thinking about what you’re worried they’re going to think about. Because they’re coming up with their own stuff.
[0:41:03] Dr. John Huber: Absolutely.
[0:41:04] Ashley James: They’re going to be like making fun of you because your eyebrows are too close together. The stuff that you’re worried about they’ll never actually think about.
[0:41:13] Dr. John Huber: Not at all.
[0:41:14] Ashley James: But they’re going to come up with stuff that even you can’t even predict and you can’t even prevent because everyone’s got their own filters but all you can do is make sure that you are the healthiest person that you can be for yourself and for your loved ones. You mentioned that there’s a deficit of therapists. Is this just in the VA or is it across the board? Are we seeing that the United States and possibly other countries just don’t have enough mental health counselors?
[0:41:41] Dr. John Huber: Well, it’s hard to be a mental health counselor education-wise. Then you turn around and in the health care industry, it’s one of the lowest-paid areas. I mean, you’re sitting there talking with somebody. So the insurance companies that are driven by the funding of the drug companies don’t see any value in that.
[0:42:03] Ashley James: Because you’re trying to keep people off drugs.
[0:42:05] Dr. John Huber: Well, yeah. I used to be a hard no, no way, but man I’ve seen so many miracles happen from the right medication. That’s a whole another topic. I think we’ve got a new industry in the DNA testing. I’ve seen it over the last four or five years. I’ve had patients that struggled for decades, couldn’t find the right medication. Hey, let’s go get one of these DNA tests for psychotropic meds. Literally, me and his psychiatrists were like, this is like the drug it’s recommending is one we wouldn’t give to our cat because we’ve never had a patient be efficacious on it and have it benefit. But we did it and amazing. There was no six to eight-week turnaround for this person. In 48 hours they were like, “Wow. This is what normal is supposed to feel like?” They’re calling us and leaving messages going, “This is awesome.”
So, I think having that access to our DNA and that human genome and knowing that hey you don’t have enough receptor sites for this or you don’t have enough glands that are making the right neurotransmitter for you so we need to use the reuptake inhibitors so that there’s more of it floating around in your central nervous system and your body can use it. Man, that is amazing. Right now, I don’t know of any insurance company that actually pays for the test. The test is right around $300, but the patients who do it are usually at their wit’s end or their family is. They pay out of pocket for it. Four out of five patients that have used it it was a life-changing event for them.
[0:43:43] Ashley James: How does someone know when they would benefit from a drug or when it’s simply something they need to process and work through? I’m getting that drugs are a tool in our tool belt but they’re also a last resort, not a first resort.
[0:44:01] Dr. John Huber: Well, I think there’s other drugs that are further down the road. I think ECT is a last resort. We use it. I’ve seen it work, but what I like to see actually because I’m kind of weathered I’ve done this for a while and I’ve worked with a lot of different patients. I’ll come in and I’ll start working with a patient without drugs if they don’t want that, but there comes a point when I see, okay, the pathway they’re on is a pathway to failure. What I need them to do is even if it’s just for six or eight or ten months so I can get them on the right path to let me get them on the right medication with their physician so that they can kind of get a break and they can quit struggling with that depression all on their own and that is all-encompassing of them. Then we can start changing on the effects of changing how you think, your cognitive, reframing restructuring and develop skills that hey, if I go this way if I talk about this and I don’t separate myself and compartmentalize myself from this I’m going to get encapsulated in it and I’m going to fall into a deep depression. So I either should not be talking about it or I need to prepare myself and find a way to train myself through that conversation so I realize it’s not personal to me.
[0:45:20] Ashley James: So you’re helping them with the skills and you see that there’s certain people that are just trapped and that the medication is going to help them. You don’t want to put someone on meds for their so life necessarily, but you really want to use it as a tool to help them get over that. What’s ECT?
[0:45:35] Dr. John Huber: Electroconvulsive therapy. If you ever watched One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. It’s still done. I know my experience here in the state of Texas when I was at the State Hospital, we went through and all of the doctors had to sign off on it before. If anybody was dissenting it wasn’t going to happen basically. Then we sent it up to the Department of Health and let them sign off on it, the medical doctor at the top there. We didn’t do it a lot, but we had people who would walk in and have file charts that if you stood him up on it would be six-eight feet high. They’ve been getting every type of therapy known, every type of drug and nothing seemed to work. They were just miserably depressed. It was a last resort.
Now, along those lines in more recent history, I’ve been working with a gentleman, Dr. Carl Bonnett. He is the clinical director at Klarisana, which is a ketamine clinic. Starts with a K, klarisana.com. We have, over the years, been doing different treatments. We started primarily with our veterans. Dr. Bonnett was an emergency room director and physician for the VA for several decades and had access to a lot of data. We would sit there and look and watch these gentlemen come through there with PTSD. When they were given ketamine for something else they were better. So we started and worked and now we’re probably doing 400-500 veterans a year between all the clinics. Clinic in Denver, San Antonio, Austin, there was one in New Mexico and Wyoming I believe at this point now. We have a program where we give them an infusion. I know there are other clinics out there and some of them use intramuscular like just a shot in the shoulder or whatever. We have a lot of success with the IV pump where it’s just kind of free-floating. We monitor exactly how much ketamine is going into them for a certain amount of time. We don’t want them ketamine as used as anesthesia medication. We’re not putting it in a bolus type setting where they’re going to be knocked unconscious. That is not our goal. In fact, our facilities are not set up for any kind of sedation type stuff. We are there treating and using that medication psychotropically, like a psychotropic, like an antidepressant or antipsychotic.
The whole idea when we bring in the therapist side of it is we’re able to drop those individuals’ self-defense mechanisms and we can get right to the heart of the matter. But with the PTSD, the post-traumatic stress disorder, the advantages we have with that is one of the advantages it has as an anesthesia is that it has an amnestic quality to it. In other words, it helps people forget things they don’t want to remember.
[0:48:45] Ashley James: Permanently or temporarily?
[0:48:47] Dr. John Huber: Well, if you just get one or two infusions it’s going to do temporarily at that moment and I’ll talk a little bit more about this in a minute, but we do a series of them. We have a program designed. We talk about it being a 30-day but it’s actually more of a 12-month program and that we like to have the patients and do most of the work in the first 30 days. Then we have them come back once the next month. Based on that interaction we predict do they need to come back in four weeks or five weeks or six weeks the next time. We see them sporadically over the rest of the year. What we see is a permanent change for most of these individuals. It’s in my opinion, it’s kind of miraculous in fact. Why do I say that?
Well, think about your memory. When you use your memory you go in and you think of a childhood memory, in elementary school or whatever. You pull that out of that memory storage center. Only one part of your brain can use that memory at a time. No other part of your brain is doing it but your recall and you’re trying to focus on that, but as you recall that you remember the emotions and you start feeling those emotions and you remember the smells and you start having those smells. Then you start maybe somebody is standing there that you like maybe one of your kids and so you start telling them your story. Your kids kind of look at you and they ask you a question you never thought of and you go back to that memory and you change that memory just a little bit because of that input.
Now, what that’s like is going into an old analog Dewey Decimal System library and you’re looking for this book and you find the book and you pull it off and you stand there in the middle of the stacks and you flip the pages and you read this little chapter right there and, “Oh, wow. But that reminds me.” Then you write a little note in the margin. Then you put that book right back up in the library space when you’re through reading it. The next person comes and checks that book out, but this time they read your note as well because you’ve changed that memory. That book will never be the same because you added that in there and maybe they’ll add some to that memory. Then they put it up in the bookshelf again until you go back and pull that memory off again.
We can go through that process with the patients about their trauma event and get them to change that trauma event, their perspective on it to essentially, in some cases, have them you know drive part of the negative stuff out of their memory. Now, we can recover that memory. It’s not like they’ll never have that again ever again, but now they can function. Because when they think about being at a marketplace in Kabul, they don’t think about that IED blowing their friend’s leg off.
[0:51:58] Ashley James: What do they think about?
[0:51:59] Dr. John Huber: Well, everybody’s different. Everybody’s different. That’s part of the beauty of that. They remember that there was a firefight there maybe and they just don’t remember the specifics. Then when they see their friend then they remember it at that moment but then they go back to living their life. When they talk about it, they talk about the firefight, not their friend getting his leg blown off. So we alter their memories, but it’s not under my control really it’s under the patient’s control. They’re like, “I can’t do this. I can’t do this. I don’t know how to do this.” Well, the drug doesn’t care. That’s what I like about ketamine. Ketamine doesn’t care whether you think you can or not. It’s going to help you do it. One of the things we use it for, and this is what convinced me, is pain management, chronic pain management. Now, I broke my shoulder playing football in high school and trying to play in college. At 18 years of age, I have still pins in my shoulder, my left shoulder. I’ve had chronic pain since I was 18.
Well, when Dr. Bonnett and I got together, we were talking about all these different things. He started mentioning pain. I go, “Oh, man. My shoulder over 20-something years I’ve had this chronic pain.” Well, he’s a smart guy and he’s like, “Well, why don’t you come down the clinic and watch some of my patients go through the infusion and just monitor things. Maybe it’s something you want to do, maybe it’s not.” So I watched the day and there were some people in there for pain management. I came in the next day and one of them was a 20-something girl who had a degenerative bone disease that started affecting her about 14. By the time she was 16, she couldn’t sleep without heavy opiates every night because pain was so great. She walks in the front door, we’re sitting there you know having our little cup of coffee out of the Keurig. She walks in and she’s crying. I’m thinking, “Wow. This isn’t good.” Bonnett is just like, “Hey, how you doing? Pretty powerful experience yeah?” Like this is normal. So she starts saying, “Oh my God. It’s the first time since I was 16 years old I slept through the night without one narcotic.”
[0:54:10] Ashley James: Wow.
[0:54:11] Dr. John Huber: She came in and she got it. We do follow up with little microdosing and things like that. You don’t always have to keep coming back for these heavy infusions. But after I watched all that, Bonnett’s like, “Well, you want to try it for your shoulder?” I took one infusion and my chronic pain stopped.
[0:54:33] Ashley James: Forever?
[0:54:34] Dr. John Huber: Well, I take microdoses every once in a while. I’m a third-degree black belt. I do stupid things that somebody my age probably shouldn’t be doing, jumping off things and smashing things with my fists and my feet and knees and things like that, playing with swords and six-foot fighting staffs and like that. Then turning around and some sixth or eighth-degree black belt who’s you know pushing seven he knocks me on my backside. I’m like, “Oh, what? You’re a skinny old man. Why did you do that? How did you do that?” So I get some bumps and bruises and most of them go away or I set my hot tub for 20 minutes and it goes away, but when it gets back to my shoulder and I heard something there it starts bugging me. So I take one of the microdoses and I go to bed. I wake up in the morning and it’s like, “Wow. My pain doesn’t hurt. It’s gone.”
What we found out, and we’ve gotten the research on this from I think it was Johns Hopkins did this, they found out what happens. When you do those infusions in the right timing, your brain takes those nerve signals from your peripheral nervous system and feeds them through the lower brain stem. There’s a filter process in there that says, “Okay. This is pain, this is pain. Nope, this is normal. This is pain. This is pain.” And it sends them to the right places. Well, the ketamine resets that and says, “Oh, this is a chronic pain.” Every time you had this infusion you’ve had this pain and there’s no new damage there.
So it gets that homeostatic mechanism to actually no longer receive that as pain. It just says, “This is normal pain.” But if you rehurt yourself, that new pain is there and you know it’s there. Whereas an opiate would just kind of block the pain and you could go and get hurt by continuing to play with a bad torn muscle or something like that. It actually makes the pain go away too. My experience with opiates whether it was OxyContin or Norco or any of those things is what happened was, I just didn’t care about the pain it didn’t ever really go away but with the ketamine, it actually went away.
[0:56:47] Ashley James: What’s the mechanism of this drug, of ketamine? I mean, what is it? Can you explain a bit more about how it affects the brain? How it’s working on us?
[0:57:02] Dr. John Huber: I’m not a neurobiologist and a neuroscientist. I’ve sat through. We’ve had two medical ketamine conferences. The first one ever on ketamine for physicians in the United States was in Austin Texas two years ago in September. The last one was 2019 in Denver. Present for both of those and amazing research that’s been out there. Amazing thing. Most of the research has been done since the late 60s, early 70s is actually from Russia, but most of that technology and the ability to convert technical Russian language into technical English there aren’t people who can do that. So people haven’t had access to it. So Dr. Bonnett and myself were sitting there going, “What are we going to do?” and Bonnett is like, “Well, let’s try and call them.” So we got to hold of them and they speak fluent English and they were able to tell us what it was. It was like, “Wow.”
So, actually, we have a couple of them sitting on our board of directors, some of these researchers. They’ve told us some of the issues with their government because they’re trying to become more capitalists. Nobody owns a patent for the general ketamine. So, they’re not fostering research in that area because none of the drug companies are going to be able to capitalize on it so to speak.
So, they basically kind of had their research ended, but they have so much experience on it. We’ve been able to detox alcoholics, other drugs. We’ve detoxed heroin addicts with their help. We’ve been able to do heroin addicts without any significant withdrawal effects at all using the ketamine because the receptor sites that are used by heroin are also used by the ketamine. So they drop in there and then we basically replace that with the ketamine. Then we can easily wean them off the ketamine because it doesn’t have the withdrawal effects.
[0:59:07] Ashley James: That was my next question was about I’ve heard that ketamine has been used successfully for addiction. Besides withdrawal, how does it help people on the mental and emotional level with addiction, with overcoming addiction?
[0:59:22] Dr. John Huber: Well, you got to think about a lot of addiction. One of my patients was telling me that he had some bad things happen to him. He’s really depressed. He casually drank pretty much his whole life. Then one night, he was really depressed. He poured himself a drink and he took that drink and when he finished that drink he felt normal. For the first time in weeks, he felt normal. So he spent the rest of the night trying to duplicate that feeling and finished off a bottle and woke up three days later. He got up and what he wanted to do is feel normal again. So he went after that. Went down and got him another bottle. That first drink felt good but then he chased that first drink the rest of the night, that feeling. Okay. Then it got to a point where he became physiologically addicted to the alcohol. Then it became a 20-year issue and end up losing jobs, divorce, all this kind of stuff. So it took over his life.
Now, not everybody is specifically that way. There are people who just have that addictive personality. We know a lot of things about alcohol and drug use and drinking. For example, something like 94% of college students, at some point, in their college career go into binge drinking. We know that about 3% of those people continue binge drinking 10-15 years after they’re out of college and they’ve got an alcohol problem. So binge drinking might have happened one semester for you, “Wow. I’m not going to be able to finish college if I keep drinking like that,” and you get your drinking under control and you go on. But for some people, that’s how they feel normal. It could be because of some trauma whether it’s abuse, watching some horrific thing happen, living in a house where the parents are very violent with each other, violent towards the kids, maybe there’s sexual abuse that neither of the parents know about or maybe they both do. There’s so many reasons. The reality of it is I can’t say there’s one thing, but I could say trauma because all of these things that we’re talking about are some form of trauma. Whether you’ve seen somebody get hurt or somebody’s violated you or abused you or you’ve watched somebody else’s being abused. It’s all a form of trauma.
So there’s some trauma somewhere in there. The alcohol was allowing this individual, when they had the right amount, to not feel that and actually feel normal, but then they chase that normal feeling with the next 15 drinks.
[1:02:05] Ashley James: Right. The same could be said for food.
[1:02:10] Dr. John Huber: Absolutely.
[1:02:11] Ashley James: Look at chasing the dopamine. Eating food is the only time I feel happy, normal, safe, secure. It’s socially acceptable. It is socially acceptable to drink alcohol, but it’s socially acceptable obviously to eat. Less socially acceptable to do meth but that still doesn’t stop people from seeking it, and I have a client who is in and out of rehab because she says it is the only time she feels normal is when she’s on meth. Any other time, she feels incredibly depressed to the point of just not wanting to be here. She’s fighting it. She’s fighting it. She’s sober, but it just it really for me I’ve never done meth so I don’t know. I don’t know this. She said the first time it was amazing, but then it made it so that any other time she was sober, it was her life had lost all of its luster.
[1:03:09] Dr. John Huber: That’s what of my patients said about heroin. He’d been detoxed 13 or 14 times. We went through the detox with him and used the ketamine. He said, “This is the first time. Somebody jacked with my mind.” We’re like, “What do you mean jacked with your mind?” He used other profanity words and stuff but I’m like, “What do you mean?” He goes, “This is the first time when I got off the heroin that I didn’t even think about I need more heroin. All the other times I wanted more heroin.”
[1:03:43] Ashley James: That’s really fascinating. I prefer to do things holistically not with drugs but I see that this is really a powerful tool that can help people get to the other side. I would rather see someone on a drug and alive than not on a drug and dead, obviously. So, it’s like get the best tools for the job.
[1:04:09] Dr. John Huber: Get the best tools because you could do methadone but now you have a harder physiological addiction. What I see with the ketamine is that it changes their thought process. It changes how their brain takes those stimuli on. For example, last year we had about 14 alcoholics come through our program. All but one of them 100% sober. The 14th one just for lack of a number, he fell off the wagon. Now he’s, as of yesterday’s, five months sober. We got him back. We gave him a few booster bumps with the ketamine and he’s five months sober. I can tell you that because we have truck drivers, their companies can put those breathalyzers on their trucks and stuff like that. Well, we got him a portable one and said, “If you want to stay on our program you have to blow on this anytime it blows off.” It goes off randomly, anytime. Sometimes it’ll go off three times in an hour other times it’ll go off five times in 24 hours. It wakes him up at 2:00 in the morning to blow. He doesn’t know when it’s going to happen but he agreed to that because we’re trying to support our stuff with research. So we’ve got this stuff going on and it’s working for him. It takes a nice little picture of him. So we know it’s him blowing into the machine and he didn’t train his dog to blow into it or anything like that, which I kind of like to see. He’s now five months. He actually sat down with me yesterday. He said, “You know the last time I was five months sober or longer?” I’m like, “No when?” He goes, “I was in middle school.” This guy is 60 years old.
[1:06:00] Ashley James: Geez. Talk about achieving some mental clarity.
[1:06:06] Dr. John Huber: Absolutely. It’s so funny because like the last three months, his thought process has started to become, for lack of a better word, more adult-like and less ten-year-old like.
[1:06:17] Ashley James: Yeah. I bet.
[1:06:18] Dr. John Huber: It’s just amazing what’s going on with him. I had to wait until he left. I mean, I had tears on my eyes. I was like, “Oh my god. This guy’s finding his life back. He’s getting it back.” He actually said he’d gotten a new job. He went out and got some new clothes. His first day at the job, he got up to go get dressed and everything else his wife have gotten out before him and pressed everything. He goes, “In whole marriage, she never once did anything like that for him.” She was so proud of him being sober. He decided he didn’t like that other job because it was reminding him of drinking stuff so he made a change. He goes, “I got home and there were notes all over the house how proud she was of me.” He even goes, “That was amazing.” He goes, “You just don’t know when you’ve never gotten that before from anybody.
[1:07:21] Ashley James: So, for people who’ve struggled with depression, post-traumatic stress, chronic pain or some form of addiction and other forms of therapy they’ve tried it’s not worked, they’re struggling. You’re seeing really great results with ketamine. Also coupling ketamine with mental health counseling. You’re not just giving ketamine to people and then they just leave and that’s it. You’re actually you’re addressing the underlying issues as well, right?
[1:08:00] Dr. John Huber: Absolutely. That’s so much a part of it. Now, we’ve treated I think last year I treated, not me specifically but the clinic. We treated about 400 veterans with PTSD. They all didn’t get psychotherapy counseling. I mean, that’s a hard thing to push when we’re talking about that culture. If we couch it right, if they do it right, they don’t necessarily have to have the therapist right there, okay. Now some of them go in there and they’re all, “I’m not going to need a therapist.” They go find and they do halfway through it and then we get a call and one of us needs to go in and work with them. Because either they’re not getting the results they want or they’re getting results and they know that they need to, they’re putting this money in this and they need to take advantage of it and so let’s go ahead and get the therapist in there. It facilitates things much, much more quickly.
[1:08:57] Ashley James: Interesting. Are there any side effects of ketamine that people should be aware of? Obviously, they should do it under the care of a physician.
[1:09:08] Dr. John Huber: Absolutely.
[1:09:09] Ashley James: The clinic that you work with where it’s a lots of experience but are there things we should know in terms of the dangers of using it because it is a drug?
[1:09:21] Dr. John Huber: It is a drug. It’s actually an extremely safe drug, but just like water, there are problems. You can drown with water. So, we lose 1,200-1,300 people every year to bathtub drownings. So water can be dangerous even though we have to have it for life. So, taking that into consideration, ketamine was a drug that was designed originally the government, the federal government, went in and sent their laboratories to work to make a synthetic opiate and ended up creating this drug called PCP. It had some really great advantages but had some really bad things going on with it too. So bad on the street that’s called angel dust. So, they went back to the laboratories and they started cleaving off parts of these molecules and testing them and seeing what they could find out. One of them happened to be ketamine.
It has a very short half-life, 15 to 30-minute half-life. So, when we stop the IV or if you take the microdosing, let’s say. You put it on your tongue, it dissolves, you swallow it. Anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes later, you start feeling the effects of the ketamine. When you start feeling those effects, it’s going to be done in about 40 minutes. So whatever goes on, and one of the things that goes on actually are you start misperceiving the environment. You start hallucinating, okay, but it’s not out of your control. What we find is that if you start feeling like you’re losing control and it scares you, if you open your eyes the visual ground around you the visual images are strong enough that it’s a mild, relatively mild hallucinogen. You can actually even stop the hallucinations all together just by focusing on say a picture frame in a room. We also think what we call the shamanic experience, kind of letting that hallucination go through, allows you to roleplay some of those traumas.
So we want to encourage them to do that. We know though that less than an hour it’s going to be over. Once the patient gets that and they realize, “Okay, I’m going to let go of that. I’m not going to fight that. I’m going to let my brain weed this stuff out and get rid of the chaff. I’m going to sit there keep my eyes closed. If it gets too scary for me I can always open my eyes.” Then all of a sudden the experience is over. Now, Timothy Leary pushed LSD that, “Oh, we can do this with LSD.” The problem with LSD, it has a minimum, a four-hour half-life. That means you’re going to be going for eight hours. You’re going to be physically, emotionally exhausted. From the moment they take their microdoses until it’s no longer creating that shamanic experience for them they’re not reliving that trauma. We have this expectation of them that they’re going to let this thing roll. Because we’ve done it in the clinic with them and when we do it with an IV push, we keep that push going for at least an hour. So when we stop at that point it’s going to continue for that 15 to 30 minutes until the rest of it’s gone off, okay. But what happens along the way is you have some severe psychomotor retardation, your balance is completely off.
[1:12:57] Ashley James: You’re talking about LSD?
[1:12:59] Dr. John Huber: No. I’m talking about the ketamine.
[1:13:00] Ashley James: Okay, you’re talking about the ketamine now. Got it.
[1:13:02] Dr. John Huber: So, until that has been able to flush out of your system, we’ve got to wheelchair you there, we’ll take you to the bathroom and all this kind of stuff. We have some rules. After you get the ketamine, whether it’s a microdose, you’re not allowed to make any kind of decision. No financial decisions, no relationship decisions whatsoever. When we’re doing the IV push in that in that initial treatment dates, we make you sign a commitment that you will not watch news: cell phone news, internet news, television news, radio news. No news. Because by taking this ketamine, you’re letting your defense mechanisms down and we don’t want you to incorporate the negativity of news, because that’s how they sell it, in you. So, we prefer to have them in one of our facilities where we have massage therapists there and we have cordon bleu wannabe chefs who are going to the school doing their internships and cooking for and things like that. Got a nice hot tub and a pool and they can relax and we do yoga and we don’t have TVs there. They’re like, “Why you got everything else but there’s no TV?” Because you don’t need them.
[1:14:16] Ashley James: You take their cellphones away from them?
[1:14:18] Dr. John Huber: They get one hour a day and it’s supervised because we don’t want them going to the news, but that’s part of the thing. We pick them up at the airport. We want to have a car for them. They can Uber. They could if they wanted to, but again, we have their phone for an hour day so we would know about it. We want them to just chill. We want to teach them how to be human and that’s not being attached to a computer whether it’s a flat-screen TV or your computer. The interesting thing is most drug rehab programs, they want 45 to 90 days. Well, the average person can’t take three months off for vacation, unless they have a drug addiction then you get permission for their business then everybody knows their business.
So, we get CEOs who can take a 30-day vacation and they’ll take it with us and we’ll get them off their alcohol. Then they can come out for their follow-up one-day visit on a weekend or whatever and they’re set and they’re good to go. We’re having really good success rate about, 80% success rate for alcoholism, which if you talk to Dr. Drew Pinsky, I’ve talked to him several times. Been on his show several times, he’ll tell you that the best, at average success rate, for a regular 12-step intervention for alcohol rehab is 8%.
[1:15:43] Ashley James: Geez.
[1:15:45] Dr. John Huber: That’s what the research shows. Some of it shows as low as 2% or 3%. I’ve seen a few studies that went as high as 16%, but Dr. Drew told me on the air it is 8% as far as he’s concerned. So that means there’s 92% failure in that system. They know whether it’s this rehab or your rehab, that 92% of the patients are going to be back within three years.
[1:16:09] Ashley James: Well, that’s a lucrative business.
[1:16:10] Dr. John Huber: It is a lucrative business. So, people don’t really want us doing our business because we had 14 patients last year one of them fell off the wagon and now he’s at almost six months. A little over five months right now. We just did a little jumpstart with him and he’s there. So, our data shows about an 80% success rate. When our patients come in, for example, for PTSD one of the things they do is self-medicate. Whether it’s heroin, cocaine, marijuana, alcohol. We get that report. We’re not there to file charges on them and it’s not our job, but it’s funny when we go back and look at our raw data, those patients who weren’t even there for alcohol or cocaine or marijuana, 80% of them stopped.
[1:16:59] Ashley James: Wow. That’s huge. So your program is a 30-day program always or just for alcohol? How does that work?
[1:17:09] Dr. John Huber: No. It’s very specific. There’s reasons why ketamine is not appropriate for you. So one of the things we want to do is we want to do a psych eval on you. We can do a quick one and know within 24 hours whether this is an appropriate treatment for you. It costs us money so we charge you for that eval. You get your deposit for the rest of the 30 days back if you’re not appropriate, but the cost of that actually incurs some cost for us. We’ve learned what’s not appropriate. One of the things that obviously is not appropriate for ketamine treatment is if you have a history of psychosis, active psychosis especially if you have drug-induced psychosis it depends one of the drugs and how you were using and things like that. Just regular schizophrenia active psychosis or maybe bipolar disorder with psychotic episodes during your mania phase and things like that are not good indications that you’re appropriate for that. We have some cut-offs levels on you know the MMPI and the MCMI and like that that we use that have turned pretty good for us. We get pretty good shot at it. We don’t want to put anybody into a bad situation, but we also know that a lot of people are coming to us because nothing else has worked. So we want to try and get as many people as we can too.
We know, like okay, everybody who’s had these scores when we gave them they were not any better. Now they were out the $35,000-$40,000. They’re hurting because of that so it’s not appropriate for us to follow through with that. So, here’s your money minus the psychological evaluation. We’ll write you a nice report. You can take that with you if you’d like. Then we follow up with an evaluation at the end. We see pre and post-treatment intervention effects and it’s just amazing. We talked about that before the show, before we started taping. I really can’t get into too much of that, but it’s totally floored me. It’s made me go back and look at my 21 years of teaching graduate students and undergraduate students. Wow. If I’d only know then what I know now.
[1:19:37] Ashley James: Yeah. There’s some stories you can’t tell right now for legal reasons, but there will come a day when you can and I wanted to have you back on the show for sure because those stories need to be told. The listeners need to hear them. They’re pretty amazing, but for legal reasons right now, we can’t. We can’t talk about it unfortunately on the air, but one day you will be able to share these beautiful, beautiful stories. For listeners who are interested in going to the clinic, you work with that uses ketamine, what website would be best for them to look into that further?
[1:20:14] Dr. John Huber: KLARISANA.com. We have one in San Antonio. We have one in Austin. I’m doing more work with the Austin one. San Antonio is a really long drive for me. I have gone down there and done it. I know everybody in that clinic who works there. I know all the clinic here. My staff works up at this one mostly. We do occasionally again go down there. There is a Klarisana in Denver. That’s kind of become Dr. Bonnett’s home clinic. We all kind of bounce around between the three places as needed. We have Dr. Bonnett’s license in all the states that we’ve got. The therapy team here only does actual therapy in the states where we’re licensed, but we can supervise and teach therapists in other areas where we’re not licensed in different states how to do the appropriate intervention and stuff with that. We do supervise that.
[1:21:21] Ashley James: There are so many different, just coming back to your wanting to normalize mental health.
[1:21:27] Dr. John Huber: Yes.
[1:21:28] Ashley James: One of the first steps is also people understanding that the services that are available to them. On my show, I’ve had many Naturopathic physicians on the show. I’ve actually had listeners write to me and say to me, “I never knew that there was anything other than an MD that I could go to. I didn’t know that there was an osteopath and a chiropractor. I didn’t know that they could do the things they do.” Also, Naturopathic physician. So, I’ve actually had several listeners write to me and say that they were in pre-med and they switched to becoming a Naturopath because they didn’t even know a Naturopathy existed. Sometimes it’s a matter of letting people know that their services are out there. That there’s more than just the thing they’ve always been going to.
So, I know that there’s many different kinds of therapy, but maybe the listener doesn’t actually know that because we learn a lot from the mainstream media. Everyone’s heard of Freud so we think that the Hollywood version of therapy is we’re just lying on a couch complaining and sort of worrying about being judged by this person with a notepad. We haven’t really been given a very fair viewpoint of what therapy actually is by Hollywood or by the media. People who haven’t been to therapy don’t know what it’s like and what kinds of therapy there is out there besides the very stereotypical Freudian therapy. Could you go through and talk about what kind of therapies are out there? Especially talk about the ones that have better success rates.
[1:23:16] Dr. John Huber: Well, there’s a lot of different types of therapies out there. One of the interesting things, I’m currently working on a book right now on what it’s like to go to therapy for the first time. Because a lot of people are afraid to go to therapy, “They’re going to brainwash me. They’re going to have some kind of mind control over me.” The book will get into that, but the problem with that is it’s got to be a short read because if you’re depressed, you need to go see a therapist. You don’t want to sit there and read a novel. So, it’s been really a challenge. It’s coming along though. I’ve got a game plan. We’re working on making some adjustments. Maybe I can send you a copy of that and you can see if you want to have me on. We can talk about that as well too, but what we know is that there’s cognitive therapies.
The cognitive therapies are there to change framework, change positions, change language. For example, using absolutes. There’s no real absolute in this world is there except for what? You’re going to die. You can try and avoid taxes, but if you get caught, but you know you’re going to die. I mean that’s an absolute. We use things like everybody hates me. One of my favorite things, you know the seven billion people on this planet? That’s pretty amazing. How do you know all seven billion people? You know they hate you and then all the languages you’d have to master. So, we know that’s a fallacy, but we have to get the person to stop using absolute language. Because absolute language is very destructive to our psyche especially if you’ve got some bad things that have happened to you. If the dominoes have fallen just right in the recent past or maybe in distant past, but they continue. Little ones keep falling and it keeps reinforcing that belief set that you’ve created. So we want to change that cognitive restructuring.
Then we also have different types of psychoanalytic. Of course, we know Freud. Why is Freud so important? Why is he something that we always bring up? Well, Freud basically, he believes that everything resorts back to these unconscious conflicts between sex and aggression. So that becomes very seductive in storytelling when you can use aggression or sex. I mean it’s just we think about the good in the dark. The dark side is very seductive and the light side is it’s nice and warm and loving and it’s got its own seduction for that piece that we want to have there too. So, it’s seductive also but we all openly discuss wanting peace. We don’t all openly discuss that, “I wonder what it feels like to do something evil to somebody.” Everybody goes, “Oh, you’re sick.” “I didn’t do it. I just talked about it. Does that make me sick? You were telling me the other day how that person cut you off on the road and if you’d had a gun you were going to shoot him, but you didn’t have a gun so you didn’t shoot him. Does that make yours sick?”
Thoughts are not inherently sick. Your actions when you actually take action on them can be. So we have to kind of watch what that is, but we also then, they’re in between those two that cognitive you have other things like behavioral where we don’t really care what you’re thinking. We just want to reinforce certain behaviors so we can get those things to change.
Then we have blends, cognitive-behavioral. Now cognitive-behavioral and behavioral work really good. Insurance companies love them as a therapist because you can count and measure really well and you can make progress and we know. “Hey, they’re making progress. They’ve made three out of seven goals. We’re going to make two more in the next week and we’ll be done here in four weeks.” They love that. They don’t complain and argue with that, but at the same time, with the right patient and the right situation, I’ve had insurance companies say, “No. You do as much therapy as you want with those patients.” It was all the right things.
I had a young lady who was mauled by a pit bull and had peeled her face back and chewed her nose. They got there, got the dog off her, got her an ambulance and the plastic surgeon rebuilt her face. From that day forward, every day she looked in the mirror there was somebody else in the morning looking back at her. The insurance company’s, “Nope. Do all the therapy you need.” When I first saw her we were going three days a week. We ended up getting it down to once a month over a period of years. Then we stretched it out and then she did a couple of six-month checkups. Then the last time I heard from her she sent me an invitation to her wedding.
[1:28:09] Ashley James: Nice.
[1:28:11] Dr. John Huber: Exactly. Man, we had to use a very eclectic kind of thing because she was having all these intrusive thoughts because this is a stranger looking back at me at the mirror, but she was also having all these Freudian things about aggression. “I’m not mad. I love dogs.” It took me about 18 months for her to on her own decide she needed to get rid of the big dogs that she got after she got mauled trying to prove to herself she wasn’t afraid of dogs.
[1:28:41] Ashley James: Wow.
[1:28:44] Dr. John Huber: That changed her whole life perspective. Just one thing after another, I have to give it to that insurance company. They never once balked at any extension at all. Not one time. They didn’t give me a hard time. They didn’t say, “Oh, we need a copy every one of your notes.” It’s like, “Give us a summary what you’ve done so far.” That’s the way it’s supposed to be, but if you come into to my office because all your kids have gone off to college. Now you have no meaning in life. You were taking care of the hamster, but the hamster died. Now you just want to go commit suicide because a hamster died. It’s like, “Okay, first of all, you can get a new hamster. They have about three-year life expectancy anyway.” It doesn’t symbolize those children that left. They feel like that they’re not there anymore. So there’s some connections there.
Freud does all that symbology and how it replaces one thing for another and then you go to Carl Jung and all the images and the patriarchal matriarchal models and things like that and the collective unconscious. All these things that seem very mystical, but it’s really funny. I did my last doctorate degree, I did it at a school that had one of the researchers who had worked with Hermann Rorschach putting together a Rorschach test. He was not a young man, but he made me push my boundaries and made me learn the Rorschach test probably better than I wanted to be at it. When I have patients who come in and the cognitive stuff doesn’t work, the behavioral stuff, the cognitive-behavioral doesn’t work. When I start using thought stopping and Albert Ellis and all these and nothing’s working, I pull out some Freud and all of a sudden this person’s life changes in a matter of weeks.
[1:30:48] Ashley James: Wow.
[1:30:49] Dr. John Huber: It’s like whoa. This was right. This was right for this person. I had a guy who was very suicidal. He dropped out of school right before his senior year. His family knew the school board. I was working in Miami Dade County Public Schools then. They sent him into my office. They called me, “Can you see him?” Three out of the eight people on the school board and knew this person, the family personally. I’m like, “Okay. I cleared my plate. Get him here on Friday.” He comes in and he’s just like stone cold. There’s walls all around this guy. I pulled out the Rorschach chart or flats and I started using them therapeutically. About halfway through them, I knew exactly what had happened. This man had been sexually assaulted.
[1:31:39] Ashley James: What’s the Rorschach thing you’re talking about?
[1:31:42] Dr. John Huber: The inkblot test.
[1:31:43] Ashley James: Oh, inkblot. Okay. Really? You knew. So you’re holding up weird inkblots and he says, “I see a giraffe. I see a lizard.”
[1:31:50] Dr. John Huber: Yeah, yeah, yeah. He said all the things and I’m like, “This guy’s been violated.” So I put the cards down and I said, “So when were you raped?” The guy turned white I thought I was going to call an ambulance. He’s like, “Who told you?” He goes, “I told nobody. Nobody knows this. How do you?” He just kind of freaked out for a few minutes. I let him vent. I go, “Well, that’s why they pay me the big bucks. I got all these. See all those degrees on the wall? They’re actually good for something.” I was able to get this guy to give us a shot.
Miami Dade, as big as it is and all the problems it has with being big, that has some amazing things. For example, they have high school campuses on some of the community college campuses there. Adults can go there and get a high school degree through their Community College. It has a community college transcript and all that kind of stuff, but they’re actually working for high school degree. Then they can take their college credits to their bosses. So adults who didn’t finish high school are going back and finish high school.
Well, I picked up the phone. One of the psychologists I worked with who was stationed at one of those schools inside one of the college campuses. I’m like, “Hey, here’s what’s going on. If his parents find out what happened to him he’s gone.” I mean this kid, he had demonstrated that he would do it. I mean there was some history there.
[1:33:17] Ashley James: He’d commit suicide?
[1:33:18] Dr. John Huber: Yeah. So, the guy goes, “Let me talk to my principal.” We sat and talked to the principal. Principal said, “If you two psychologists are willing to this, I’ll do everything I can. I don’t need to know what has happened with this young man as long as this is the right placement for him.” So we had our admission review and dismissal meeting. We went through and we figured it was just going to be the parents, him and a couple teachers. We walked in and there’s almost 30 people in there because it’s a college campus. These college professors don’t know what’s going on. “I want to see this.” We’re like, “Oh my goodness.” So, me and the other psychologists sat next to each other. We just kind of mumbled through stuff and just started signing paperwork and passed it around. Everybody acted like they knew what they were doing. They signed the paperwork. We got the kid in. He graduated. I got a phone message left on my answering machine in my office that next summer. It was about seven minutes long. He started off by telling me, “I planned on killing myself the weekend after I met you.” He went from there to, “I can’t thank you enough. I just got a full ride to a major university.” He gave me the major university and all that kind of stuff. “You gave me my life back.”
[1:34:33] Ashley James: Yeah.
[1:34:34] Dr. John Huber: So when people criticize psychoanalysis, man it’s not right for everybody but when it works it works. The Freudian inkblot tests and all that kind of stuff. There’s a place for that and we need to need to show it respect. The reason why though that we really push that and you see it so much besides us being seductive it was the first time somebody had put together and organized theoretical orientation for psychotherapy. What went on before then was there was this guy called Emmanuel Church. He would go around and he was kind of the Oprah of the day. He would go to town theaters and people would come in there. People would come up and talk and their families would go up and he’d do family therapy in front of the audience.
[1:35:23] Ashley James: Wow.
[1:35:24] Dr. John Huber: Of course, who could afford to go? You got all your doctors and attorneys and your businessman and all this kind of stuff. So they were paying this guy tons of money. People would volunteer and be a victim and he would actually help them work through things. The doctors were sitting and going, “Man, look at how much money I could be making,” but the Hippocratic Oath says we either have to have research proof or we have to have strong theoretical orientation and we had neither one of them. So this guy could do it as entertainment and made lots of money. Then all sudden we had this book that come translated from German called Interpretation of Dreams by a guy named Sigmund Freud. He’d written a theoretical orientation for talk therapy. Now doctors could go do that. He was the game-changer.
[1:36:16] Ashley James: Yeah.
[1:36:17] Dr. John Huber: We went from there to okay let’s break this down. What if this is really working? We found out some specific things. Even if you go to a psychoanalytic school where they’re going to teach you psychoanalysis, the first techniques they show you are Carl Rogers’ person-centered therapy because if you can’t get your patient coming back to therapy, it doesn’t matter if you’re the best therapist in the world if they’re not there to do therapy. What do we know about Carl Rogers is that he makes that person feel valued and empowered and they want to come back. So you start with that and then you go do your orientation, whatever you do best at that point. So, it’s just a lot of skill. The best predictor though of whether you’re going to be successful in therapy is not what orientation the therapist has.
[1:37:03] Ashley James: Really.
[1:37:04] Dr. John Huber: It’s how long the therapist has been doing therapy.
[1:37:07] Ashley James: Really.
[1:37:09] Dr. John Huber: Because just like I told you, when people say what is my orientation? I’m a cognitive-behavioral therapist when it comes to therapy, but I know how to use eclectic psychotherapy. I can use Freud. I can use Jungian therapy. I can use Gestalt therapy, but I don’t start with that. I start with my patient. What is my patient going to respond to the best? How do I know that? Experience. I find out through my structure of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy that okay, this isn’t working, that’s not working, this get a little bit of benefit from here so we’re not going to throw that out but I need to tweak it a little bit. I have to keep the same goals in mind the whole time. The cool thing with, again cognitive behavior, I can count and measure and I can make progress. So, I tend to keep part of that cognitive-behavioral perspective in there even if I pull in psychoanalysis or hypnosis or something like that into my treatment of the patient. Because then I’ve still got that benchmark that I can say, “He’s making progress,” or “He’s not making programs.”
[1:38:19] Ashley James: I imagine hypnotherapy or any of your therapy actually would be really positive while working with someone who’s doing the ketamine because their resistance has been dropped.
[1:38:34] Dr. John Huber: Their defense mechanisms have been dropped. I use that word specifically because that’s one of the things Freud talks about, our defense mechanisms. We lie to ourselves. Even in cognitive behavioral therapy, we lie to ourselves. We lie to ourselves that, “You know, I’ve been smoking for 15 years. I’m not going to get cancer.” We lie to ourselves, “Oh, it’s not going to happen to me. Those rules don’t apply to me. I’m John. It’s not going to happen.” It will. It’ll catch up. You play the game long, enough you’re going to get hit with a flag.
[1:39:09] Ashley James: My friend is in marriage counseling and her husband is coming up with these lies. She’s just staring at him. She’s kind of dumbfounded. She doesn’t even know what to say to the therapist. She’s just so, in the moment, she’s not a type of person to fight or argue. She’s just observing and kind of shocked because he believes his lies. He’s saying these lies that are just like totally not true, like measurable. He said, “We’ve gone on seven family vacations,” or whatever he’s mentioned. She’s like she can count three. She’s like, “No.” He says, “I always take the kids to the park on the weekends.” He’s done it three times in seven years like that kind of thing. He believes his lies. It’s just really amazing to sit back and then go, yeah, how much do we lie to ourselves and believe it? “I’m going to go to the gym tomorrow.” “Just one chocolate bar.”
[1:40:06] Dr. John Huber: Yeah, exactly. That’s the crazy thing about lie detector test because if you believe your lies you’re not going to show up as lying.
[1:40:12] Ashley James: Wow.
[1:40:14] Dr. John Huber: So that’s why that’s not what we should be using. With the best lie detector test we have is that jury of your peers and that judge up there not some machine. Because you get all these other perspectives. You don’t just get yours when you go into court. We have other witnesses there. We have DNA testing there. We have drug testing. We have alcohol testing. We have fingerprints, whatever. We got all this other stuff there. It’s not just you and that machine, because again if you truly believe or heaven forbid you’re a truly antisocial personality disorder, a true sociopath and don’t mind the fact that you may have harmed somebody significantly, you’re not going to have a physiological reaction to that. So a sociopath is less likely to fail a lie-detector test. That’s who we want to try and catch, right? Then why do we keep using them? Well, we keep using them because the whole game is we want to scare the person enough to make them think that we really can tell they’re lying so they just cop a plea and tell us what really happened.
[1:41:27] Ashley James: Wow. I did not know that about lie-detector test that if you believe the lie that you won’t get caught. Right. I guess, yeah. Because it’s measuring the stress response.
[1:41:40] Dr. John Huber: Exactly. Your heart rate, blood pressure, galvanic skin response, respiratory. Yes.
[1:41:46] Ashley James: Psychopaths would not have that.
[1:41:49] Dr. John Huber: Yeah. Unless you maybe hurt their car and then you’ll see a physiological response.
[1:41:56] Ashley James: Right. Don’t they believe that they own people like inanimate objects like a car?
[1:42:04] Dr. John Huber: Well, the inanimate objects have value to them. People are just objects to be used to get certain things they want. So when you’re through getting what you can get out of that person you throw them away. It doesn’t matter what happens to them.
[1:42:16] Ashley James: How do we know we’re dealing with a psychopath? What if someone goes, “I wonder if I’m married to one or I wonder if my boss is one or what if my coworker is a psychopath?” What are the signs to be aware of?
[1:42:28] Dr. John Huber: Why don’t you just him bring down in my office and for a specific sum I’ll just figure that out for you. I’m pretty good at it. What you want to look at, what I told my college students, the people when they’re dating whether a man or a woman if they let their friends call you all sorts of names and put you down and demean you but they blow up if they touched their car wrong or they slammed the door too hard on their car or they have a favorite hunting knife or a gun or something that they treat like it’s the Holy Grail, red flag. Don’t walk away, run away. Because that inanimate object is more valuable to them than a living person. Run away. Another thing, it’s funny how it happens, dogs. Not just one dog but every dog this person comes around doesn’t really like that person, red flag. Dogs pick up on our physiology. That’s why seizure dogs, true helping dogs that are trained, can pick up on your seizure thirty to forty-five minutes before it actually happens.
[1:43:48] Ashley James: Wow.
[1:43:50] Dr. John Huber: You’ll be safe. You got a seizure dog, oh, it’s time to go. So they’ll take you and sit you downtime. Go lay down on the couch over here. They got their patterns of behavior so we have to train the people to read the dog’s movements too, but it’s pretty amazing when that happens. You get patients that are no longer slamming their heads on the corner of the coffee tables because they started having a seizure and were expecting it.
[1:44:15] Ashley James: Right. Very interesting. Dr. Huber, I could talk to you all day long. Yes, I definitely want to have you back on the show, but you knew that. You’re such a pro. Every show you’re on they want to have you back. You’re very entertaining and educating. That’s the perfect combination, right? To be entertained while you’re learning. So, you’re an excellent guest. I definitely want to have you back especially when you published your book, especially when you can share more formation about ketamine that after some things have happened in the near future, hopefully. It’s been such a pleasure having you on the show. I love your mission that your nonprofit is here to normalize mental health. That going to a counselor should be like we take a shower, we want to have physical hygiene, we go to a mental health counselor to make sure we have mental hygiene, right?
[1:45:22] Dr. John Huber: Absolutely.
[1:45:24] Ashley James: Just make it normal. Normal, healthy people can go to therapy.
[1:45:27] Dr. John Huber: They should, even if it’s just a check-up. I tell people that. “Why? I don’t have any problem.” Think about it, your world is going great. If you go see a therapist just to kind of know what you look like when world’s going great and then the bottom falls out, that therapists already has a history with you and they know where you need to be. But more important than that, if you’re one of those people who tend to not have problems for real and you cope and you manage, your friends come to you all the time for help. There’s been more than one time in most of those people’s lives where they go, “Hey, buddy. Why don’t you go see a therapist?” They’re going, “Oh, okay.” But instead of saying that, “Why don’t you go to my friend John? I’ve talked to him a couple of times.” They’re more likely to go see me then instead of let’s just pull up a phonebook and find a therapist here.
[1:46:15] Ashley James: Ah. So get a relationship with a therapist so that you could even help your friends and send them to your friend the therapist you’ve been seeing. It’s good to have one in your pocket.
[1:46:26] Dr. John Huber: Absolutely. One more therapeutic tool for you to help function and cope. I’m not saying you have to see them. You can go in there and meet them one time. You feel comfortable with him, you talk a little bit, you just want to, “Hey, things are going pretty good right now, but if something happens I want to have it. I know my kids are getting ready to graduate from college. My daughter is talking about getting married. I just don’t know how I’m going to react to all that. So I want somebody who kind of I already know. I don’t want to have an introductory session that’s been three sessions trying to figure out what my life looks like normal before we start therapy.”
[1:47:02] Ashley James: I have a friend who’s a personal chef in Seattle, very busy woman. She has a boyfriend and she has a daughter with this boyfriend. The daughter’s about four or five years old and she’s a very busy woman. She’s a busy mom. Every day is driving to a different person’s house and cooking for them. That she cooks five-days-worth of food in one afternoon. She’ll have maybe two clients a day. So it’s just like go, go, go, go, go. She made a post on Facebook that was really beautiful. To all her friends she said, “Listen, you guys say I’m a great mom. You say I’m a great entrepreneur. You say like wow you’ve got your whole life together. How do you do this? How do you pull it all together? How do you have a successful career and have a great relationship and you’re also like a really attentive as a mom? How do you do this all?”
She goes, “Listen, I do it because I see my therapist three times a week. I sometimes see them more than three times a week. My therapist helps me stay successful and stay sane.” She goes, “Everyone should have a therapist. Everyone should have a mental health counselor. It should be like going to the gym. You go to the gym three times a week. You go to your therapist.” She goes, “That’s why I don’t explode at my boyfriend and that’s why I don’t completely like go off the rails with my kid. When my kid’s frustrating, when my boyfriend’s being crazy and when my life is being insane I don’t take it out on the wrong people. I don’t take it out on people. I don’t blow up at people because I am able to like deal with it and work through it with my therapist. Then I am a loving attentive mom that is present to my daughter. I don’t bring my work home with me. I’m able to be intimate and loving and vulnerable partner with my boyfriend because I don’t take my frustrations out on him.”
So she just basically said to all our friends the same mission that you have. She wants everyone to know that healthy human beings go to therapy. That if we’re not going to therapy it’s sort of like not taking a shower and not going to the gym. If you’re not really having that like checking in with yourself a mentally and emotionally, then there’s like some like dirty laundry being built up in your closet basically. So, I love that she pointed out that we could use therapy like a mental gym and just keep ourselves fit and healthy mentally and emotionally.
[1:49:46] Dr. John Huber: Absolutely. That is what we’ve got to do. I take my own advice. I tell my patients, “Look, you’re spending too much time on your cell phone.” Two years ago I took a 60-day break from internet on my cell phone and all that. It’s hard doing what we do and not having connections online. I can do it, you can do it.
[1:50:14] Ashley James: I love that. Yes. I know you have a whole talk about the phone and how it increases, it’s been shown to increase anxiety and depression. We want to, even though people are probably listening to this on their phone, but we want to spend less time with electronics and spend more time with real people, more time with connecting with ourselves. Before we hit record though you said something beautiful about going outside. Would you like to wrap up today’s interview with that?
[1:50:40] Dr. John Huber: Well, that’s where I was going to go.
[1:50:41] Ashley James: Is that where you’re going. I knew that’s where you’re going. Awesome.
[1:50:42] Dr. John Huber: That’s where I was going to go. One of the best things, we have to get connected. We have to get back to being human. I do it. I mean it’s 28 degrees outside and my wife just thinks I’m nuts. I go outside, I take my shoes and socks off and I put my feet on the ground. I just breathe, focus on the stars, focus on the possum running across the fence line down the road. Just be and breathe.
There’s research out there about being in physical contact with the ground and what it does to your neurochemistry and your brain. My goal is to make about 20 minutes. Sometimes it’s really cold, but cold and rainy is the worst. I don’t know if I do five minutes on some of those days, but I try to do it every day. I got my little chairs sitting out there right next to my hot tub so if it gets real cold I can jump in a hot tub and keep my feet on the ground. Sometimes I’m out there for an hour and a half with my feet in the ground. My dogs love it. They come curl up around my feet. It’s really funny because when I first started doing it they didn’t know what was going on. We have rescue puppies who’ve been abused and stuff like that. Now, man, they come in they get between our legs and kind of wrap themselves around us. It’s like they’re trying to help us make that connection, it’s like they picked up on what we’re doing.
[1:52:10] Ashley James: I want you to listen to, I’ll send it to you. I have an interview with Clint Ober on grounding and earthing. He did, I believe it was 24 scientific studies where they prove that –
[1:52:23] Dr. John Huber: Yeah, I read some of his studies. I haven’t read all of it.
[1:52:24] Ashley James: You did? Okay. Awesome.
[1:52:27] Dr. John Huber: I would love to hear the interview.
[1:52:28] Ashley James: Yeah. He has a great story that when we ground ourselves or you could use a grounding mat if you don’t want to go outside, but the going outside part is fantastic. You’re connecting with the Schumann resonance, you’re connecting with the earth energy, but when you put your bare feet on the ground you’re releasing electrons. So there’s an actual measurable anti-inflammatory effect that happens because we’re releasing all these excess electrons that are causing damage. That’s the connection between the mental and emotional body. The physical body and this energetic body that we have. You’re bringing it all together in that moment when you’re spending time outside in nature breathing, feeling your body, connecting back with the earth just releasing and letting go of all that excess energy and connecting with the universe. Then you can start to process your day in a way that is cathartic.
So, it’s beautiful. I love that advice. I think we should all do it. We should all get out in nature more and put our feet in the ground and just breathe. Thank you so much, Dr. John Huber, for coming on the show today. Listeners can go to mainstreammentalhealth.org to check out your nonprofit. Of course, all the links to everything that Dr. John does is going to be on the show notes of today’s podcast at learntruehealth.com. Is there anything you’d like to say to wrap up today’s interview?
[1:54:02] Dr. John Huber: I always like to say and remind people that you should always leave something for somebody and a good something. For example, the things I’ve learned today about your interview style made me feel extremely comfortable. I think it helped me open up a lot. So I really appreciate you giving me that during the interview. I want to remind everybody that life is really what happens while we’re making plans so just buckle up.
[1:54:31] Ashley James: Buckle up and love yourself and love each other. Thank you so much. This has been such a pleasure. I can’t wait to have you back on the show.
[1:54:40] Dr. John Huber: Awesome. I can’t wait to be back.
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