#76 - Kyle Kingsbury: Finding meaning, depression, and psychedelics


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By Peter Attia, MD, Peter Attia, and MD. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

In this episode, Kyle Kingsbury, retired UFC fighter and director of human optimization at Onnit, discusses the purpose and meaning that football and MMA gave him but which also acted as a distraction from his inner demons. Kyle opens up about his use of PEDs (steroids, testosterone, HGH) in college and talks about some of the misconceptions around them. Next, Kyle talks about his battle with depression and a close call with suicide that lead to life-changing experiences with psilocybin and ayahuasca—which really became the turning point in his own journey towards being more emotionally healthy, finding inner peace, and being a better husband and father. *DISCLAIMER: The substances spoken about in this episode are illegal and by no means are we advocating for anyone to use them or experiment with them. There are physical, physiological, psychological, and legal risks around the use of these plants. This conversation is purely informational only.

We discuss:

  • Growing up in a volatile home [6:30];
  • Playing college football at ASU, and letting go of NFL aspirations [15:45];
  • Kyle’s experience taking anabolics (steroids/testosterone), misunderstood science, and fear mongering [23:15];
  • Kyle’s experience with taking HGH [35:30];
  • The Whizzinator [36:45];
  • Struggles with depression and drugs, and a lack of meaning after football [41:00];
  • Kyle’s close call with suicide, and a spiritual experience [47:15];
  • Finding refuge with mixed martial arts, and Kyle’s early success in cage fighting [52:30];
  • Lessons from Kyle’s first loss in fighting, and training for the UFC [59:45];
  • First experiences with psilocybin and ayahuasca, quieting the monkey mind, and finding inner peace [1:07:15];
  • Overt vs. covert depression, depression in men vs. women, and the transition from adaptive to maladaptive behaviors [1:16:00];
  • Peeling back the layers with ayahuasca: Kyle tells stories about the most transformative experiences with psychedelics [1:19:00];
  • Does Kyle feel like he has lost his “edge” as a result of his journey? [1:26:15];
  • Where would Kyle be had he not discovered the power of psychedelic medicines? [1:29:45];
  • Parenting: Stopping the cycle of trauma, reconnecting to our ancestral roots, and Kyle’s opinion on ayahuasca as a potential tool for kids [1:31:40];
  • Relationship with parents, blind spots, compassion, and forgiveness [1:37:15]; and
  • More.

Learn more: https://peterattiamd.com/ Show notes page for this episode:peterattiamd.com/kylekingsbury/ Subscribe to receive exclusive subscriber-only content: https://peterattiamd.com/subscribe/ Sign up to receive Peter's email newsletter: https://peterattiamd.com/newsletter/ Connect with Peter on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

103 episodes