In this timely and profoundly original new book, bestselling writer and physician Gabor Maté looks at the epidemic of addictions in our society, tells us why we are so prone to them and what is needed to liberate ourselves from their hold on our emotions and behaviours. For over seven years Gabor Maté has been the staff physician at the Portland Hotel, a residence and harm reduction facility in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. His patients are challenged by life-threatening drug addictions, mental illness, Hepatitis C or HIV and, in many cases, all four. But if Dr. Maté’s patients are at the far end of the spectrum, there are many others among us who are also struggling with addictions. Drugs, alcohol, tobacco, work, food, sex, gambling and excessive inappropriate spending: what is amiss with our lives that we seek such self-destructive ways to comfort ourselves? And why is it so difficult to stop these habits, even as they threaten our health, jeopardize our relationships and corrode our lives? Beginning with a dramatically close view of his drug addicted patients, Dr. Maté looks at his own history of compulsive behaviour. He weaves the stories of real people who have struggled with addiction with the latest research on addiction and the brain. Providing a bold synthesis of clinical experience, insight and cutting edge scientific findings, Dr. Maté sheds light on this most puzzling of human frailties. He proposes a compassionate approach to helping drug addicts and, for the many behaviour addicts among us, to addressing the void addiction is meant to fill. I believe there is one addiction process, whether it manifests in the lethal substance dependencies of my Downtown Eastside patients, the frantic self-soothing of overeaters or shopaholics, the obsessions of gamblers, sexaholics and compulsive internet users, or in the socially acceptable and even admired behaviours of the workaholic. Drug addicts are often dismissed and discounted as unworthy of empathy and respect. In telling their stories my intent is to help their voices to be heard and to shed light on the origins and nature of their ill-fated struggle to overcome suffering through substance use. Both in their flaws and their virtues they share much in common with the society that ostracizes them. If they have chosen a path to nowhere, they still have much to teach the rest of us. In the dark mirror of their lives we can trace outlines of our own. —from In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts From the Hardcover edition.
Based on Gabor Maté’s two decades of experience as a medical doctor and his groundbreaking work with the severely addicted on Vancouver’s skid row, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts radically reenvisions this much misunderstood field by taking a holistic approach. Dr. Maté presents addiction not as a discrete phenomenon confined to an unfortunate or weak-willed few, but as a continuum that runs throughout (and perhaps underpins) our society; not a medical "condition" distinct from the lives it affects, rather the result of a complex interplay among personal history, emotional, and neurological development, brain chemistry, and the drugs (and behaviors) of addiction. Simplifying a wide array of brain and addiction research findings from around the globe, the book avoids glib self-help remedies, instead promoting a thorough and compassionate self-understanding as the first key to healing and wellness. In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts argues persuasively against contemporary health, social, and criminal justice policies toward addiction and those impacted by it. The mix of personal stories—including the author’s candid discussion of his own "high-status" addictive tendencies—and science with positive solutions makes the book equally useful for lay readers and professionals. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Gabor Maté
Publisher: Random House of Canada Limited
Release Date: 2009-01-06
A timely and original book that explores the fundamental nature of human addiction and the current epidemic of different types of addictions with society. Starting with a dramatically close view of Mate's drug addicted patients, he skilfully weaves in stories of real people while providing a bold synthesis of clinical experience, insight and up-to-date findings. This became a bestselling book upon publication in Canada and comes highly recommended by casual readers, experts and reviewers alike.
In this breakthrough guide to understanding, treating, and healing Attention Deficit Disorder, Dr. Gabor Maté, an adult with ADD and the father of three ADD children, shared the latest information on: · The external factors that trigger ADD · How to create an environment that promotes health and healing · Ritalin and other drugs · ADD adults …and much more Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) has quickly become a controversial topic in recent years. Whereas other books on the subject describe the condition as inherited, Dr. Maté believes that our social and emotional environments play a key role in both the cause of and cure for this condition. In Scattered, he describes the painful realities of ADD and its effect on children as well as on career and social paths in adults. While acknowledging that genetics may indeed play a part in predisposing a person toward ADD, Dr. Maté moves beyond that to focus on the things we can control: changes in environment, family dynamics, and parenting choices. He draws heavily on his own experience with the disorder, as both an ADD sufferer and the parent of three diagnosed children. Providing a thorough overview of ADD and its treatments, Scattered is essential and life-changing reading for the millions of ADD sufferers in North America today. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Marc Lewis
Publisher: Hachette UK
Release Date: 2015-07-14
The psychiatric establishment in the Western world has unanimously branded addiction a brain disease. And the idea that an addict has an incurable illness, as opposed to a contemptible moral weakness, has served an historically important role in changing how addiction is understood, researched, and treated throughout the world. But as renowned developmental neuroscientist and recovered addict Marc Lewis argues in this illuminating, compelling, likely controversial book, addiction is not in fact a disease. Addiction, whether to drugs, alcohol, gambling, food, sex, or cigarettes, is rather a developmental learning process resulting from the normal functioning of the human brain. Through vividly rendered, compassionate stories of five addicts, interpreted in the light of state-of-the-art neuroscientific knowledge, Lewis shows how the compulsion to use arises in a brain that is highly efficient in pursuing singular goals. He reveals addiction as an unfortunate twist of fate for a brain doing what it's designed to do—seek pleasure and relief—in a world that's not cooperating. He shows that recovery from addiction is indeed possible,and that it is nothing like remission from a disease, because brain physiology doesn't need to change for addicts to get better. The Biology of Desire is vital and enlightening reading for anyone who has wrestled with addiction themselves, in their families, or as a medical or treatment professional. It illuminates a path to more effective treatment for addicts, and limns the essential requirements for individual recovery. Combining clearly rendered scientific explanation with insight, compassion, and even humor, Lewis boldly challenges us all to re-examine our approach to addiction, and whether the metaphors we've used to explain it have now become obstacles to healing.
Author: Gabor Mate
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2011-01-05
Genre: Health & Fitness
1 The Bermuda Triangle 2 The Little Girl Too Good to Be True 3 Stress and Emotional Competence 4 Buried Alive 5 Never Good Enough 6 You Are Part of This Too, Mom 7 Stress, Hormones, Repression and Cancer 8 Something Good Comes Out of This Is There a "Cancer Personality"? 10 The 55 Per Cent Solution 11 It's All in Her Head 12 I Shall Die First from the Top 13 Self or Non-Self: The Immune System Confused 14 A Fine Balance: The Biology of Relationships 15 The Biology of Loss 16 The Dance of Generations 17 The Biology of Belief 18 The Power of Negative Thinking 19 The Seven A's of Healing Notes Resources Acknowledgments Index
Author: Marc Lewis
Release Date: 2012-03-06
Marc Lewis's relationship with drugs began in a New England boarding school where, as a bullied and homesick fifteen-year-old, he made brief escapes from reality by way of cough medicine, alcohol, and marijuana. In Berkeley, California, in its hippie heyday, he found methamphetamine and LSD and heroin. He sniffed nitrous oxide in Malaysia and frequented Calcutta's opium dens. Ultimately, though, his journey took him where it takes most addicts: into a life of addiction, desperation, deception, and crime. But unlike most addicts, Lewis recovered and became a developmental psychologist and researcher in neuroscience. In Memoirs of an Addicted Brain, he applies his professional expertise to a study of his former self, using the story of his own journey through addiction to tell the universal story of addictions of every kind. He explains the neurological effects of a variety of powerful drugs, and shows how they speak to the brain—itself designed to seek rewards and soothe pain—in its own language. And he illuminates how craving overtakes the nervous system, sculpting a synaptic network dedicated to one goal—more—at the expense of everything else.
Author: Gordon Neufeld
Publisher: Vintage Canada
Release Date: 2011-11-30
Genre: Family & Relationships
A psychologist with a reputation for penetrating to the heart of complex parenting issues joins forces with a physician and bestselling author to tackle one of the most disturbing and misunderstood trends of our time -- peers replacing parents in the lives of our children. Dr. Neufeld has dubbed this phenomenon peer orientation, which refers to the tendency of children and youth to look to their peers for direction: for a sense of right and wrong, for values, identity and codes of behaviour. But peer orientation undermines family cohesion, poisons the school atmosphere, and fosters an aggressively hostile and sexualized youth culture. It provides a powerful explanation for schoolyard bullying and youth violence; its effects are painfully evident in the context of teenage gangs and criminal activity, in tragedies such as in Littleton, Colorado; Tabor, Alberta and Victoria, B.C. It is an escalating trend that has never been adequately described or contested until Hold On to Your Kids. Once understood, it becomes self-evident -- as do the solutions. Hold On to Your Kids will restore parenting to its natural intuitive basis and the parent-child relationship to its rightful preeminence. The concepts, principles and practical advice contained in Hold On to Your Kids will empower parents to satisfy their children’s inborn need to find direction by turning towards a source of authority, contact and warmth. Something has changed. One can sense it, one can feel it, just not find the words for it. Children are not quite the same as we remember being. They seem less likely to take their cues from adults, less inclined to please those in charge, less afraid of getting into trouble. Parenting, too, seems to have changed. Our parents seemed more confident, more certain of themselves and had more impact on us, for better or for worse. For many, parenting does not feel natural. Adults through the ages have complained about children being less respectful of their elders and more difficult to manage than preceding generations, but could it be that this time it is for real? -- from Hold On to Your Kids From the Hardcover edition.
An exposé of Alcoholics Anonymous, 12-step programs, and the rehab industry—and how a failed addiction-treatment model came to dominate America. AA has become so infused in our society that it is practically synonymous with addiction recovery. Yet the evidence shows that AA has only a 5–10 percent success rate—hardly better than no treatment at all. Despite this, doctors, employers, and judges regularly refer addicted people to treatment programs and rehab facilities based on the 12-step model. In The Sober Truth, acclaimed addiction specialist Dr. Lance Dodes exposes the deeply flawed science that the 12-step industry has used to support its programs. Dr. Dodes analyzes dozens of studies to reveal a startling pattern of errors, misjudgments, and biases. He also pores over the research to highlight the best peer-reviewed studies available and discovers that they reach a grim consensus on the program’s overall success. But The Sober Truth is more than a book about addiction. It is also a book about science and how and why AA and rehab became so popular, despite the discouraging data. Dr. Dodes explores the entire story of AA’s rise, from its origins in early fundamentalist religious and mystical beliefs to its present-day place of privilege in politics and media. The Sober Truth includes true stories from Dr. Dodes’s thirty-five years of clinical practice, as well as firsthand accounts submitted by addicts through an open invitation on the Psychology Today website. These stories vividly reveal the experience of walking the steps and attending some of the nation’s most famous rehabilitation centers. The Sober Truth builds a powerful response to the monopoly of the 12-step program and explodes the myth that these programs offer an acceptable or universal solution to the deeply personal problem of addiction. This book offers new and actionable information for addicts, their families, and medical providers, and lays out better ways to understand addiction for those seeking a more effective and compassionate approach to this treatable problem. From the Hardcover edition.
With addiction on the increase, and drugs and drug use an integral part of human culture, a radically different approach is needed to help us expand upon the knowledge already accumulated in the sciences
Author: Lenore Rowntree
Publisher: Brindle and Glass
Release Date: 2017-06-08
A revised and updated edition of a collection of personal essays that illuminate what life is like for those who live with mental illness, and how it impacts their family members. More than 4 million Canadians and 57 million Americans suffer from a diagnosable mental illness, and yet there are still considerable stigmas and a great deal of misunderstanding surrounding even the most common diagnoses—schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder, clinical depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and dissociative identity disorder. Rather than analyze the diagnoses and symptoms, these first-hand accounts focus on the very essence of a psycho-emotional breakdown, and respond to the mental, physical, and emotional turmoil it inevitably causes. What does a mother do when her teenage son's personality suddenly fractures? How does a police officer cope when his employer refuses to provide adequate care until he can prove his PTSD is work-related? How do children grow up under the care of a manic father whose illness lands him in and out of medical and social incarceration? Raw, honest, and painful, these essays communicate disappointment and despair, but also courage and compassion. They offer a lifeline for sufferers and support for their friends and family, and promote new and improved attitudes toward those with mental illness. With a foreword by respected physician, bestselling author, and renowned speaker Dr. Gabor Maté, Hidden Lives gives readers a place to turn, and provides a platform to share their struggle.
Author: Edward J. Khantzian
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Release Date: 2008-09-18
Addictive behaviors beg for an informed explanation to guide patients, families, students, and clinicians through the maddening and often incomprehensible nature of the addictions. Too often addiction is perceived to be merely a moral weakness or purely a brain disease, ignoring the deep personal pain that can permeate the lives of the addicted. But taking an honest look at the underlying emotional or mental issues can more clearly illuminate not only the causes of the addiction, but also the cure. Doctors Edward J. Khantzian and Mark J. Albanese, leading researchers in the field of addiction, see addictions primarily as a kind of self medication—a self medication that can temporarily soothe anxiety or pain, but that ultimately wreaks havoc on the lives and health of both the addicted and their loved ones. With practical advice, compelling case studies, and nuanced theory drawn from their years in clinical practice, Doctors Khantzian and Albanese look at the core reasons behind many addictions and provide a pathway to hope. Understanding Addiction as Self Medication looks at a range of addictions, including alcohol and substance abuse, and clearly explains how to understand other addictive behaviors through the lens of the Self Medication Hypothesis. This book provides a much-needed guide to both understanding addictions and working towards healing.
Author: Johann Hari
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: 2015-01-15
Genre: Social Science
Drugs are not what we think they are. Addiction is not what we think it is. And the war on drugs is not what we see on our TV screens. In Chasing the Scream, Johann Hari shares his discoveries through the riveting true stories he uncovered on a 30,000-mile journey – from the founder of the war on drugs who stalked and killed Billie Holiday, to a transgender crack dealer in Brooklyn, to the only country that has ever decriminalised all drugs, with remarkable results. You will never look at addiction – or our society – in the same way again.
Author: Linda Schierse Leonard
Publisher: Shambhala Pubns
Release Date: 1990-10-01
Drawing on the lives of famous writers and her own bout with alcoholism, a psychoanalyst examines the similarity of experiences shared by addict and artist and offers advice on trading addiction for creativity and joy