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.
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.
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
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: 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.
In Buddhist myth, the dead may be reborn as "hungry ghosts"—spirits with stomach so large they can never be full—if they have desired too much during their lives. It is the duty of the living relatives to free those doomed to this fate by doing kind deeds and creating good karma. In Shyam Selvadurai’s sweeping new novel, his first in more than a decade, he creates an unforgettable ghost, a powerful Sri Lankan matriarch whose wily ways, insatiable longing for land, houses, money and control, and tragic blindness to the human needs of those around her parallels the volatile political situation of her war-torn country. The novel centres around Shivan Rassiah, the beloved grandson, who is of mixed Tamil and Sinhalese lineage, and who also—to his grandmother’s dismay—grows from beautiful boy to striking gay man. As the novel opens in the present day, Shivan, now living in Canada, is preparing to travel back to Colombo, Sri Lanka, to rescue his elderly and ailing grandmother, to remove her from the home—now fallen into disrepair—that is her pride, and bring her to Toronto to live our her final days. But throughout the night and into the early morning hours of his departure, Shivan grapples with his own insatiable hunger and is haunted by unrelenting ghosts of his own creation. The Hungry Ghosts is a beautifully written, dazzling story of family, wealth and the long reach of the past. It shows how racial, political and sexual differences can tear apart both a country and the human heart—not just once, but many times, until the ghosts are fed and freed.
In this groundbreaking collection, well-known and cutting-edge authors bring to light life with mental illness. These evocative essays, by writers who either suffer from or have close family members diagnosed with mental illness or a developmental disorder, aim to break down the stigma that surrounds one of the most devastating of human tribulations. The writers recount their experiences with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder, clinical depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and dissociative identity disorder. What does it feel like to be psychotic? What sorts of thoughts go through your mind while you are killing yourself? How does a mother go on after her schizophrenic son throws himself into an unfinished construction site? The anthology drills to the core of compassion and disappointment—transcending hope and sometimes finding beauty in insanity. With a foreword by physician and bestselling author Gabor Maté, MD, Hidden Lives gives readers a place to turn and communicates not despair but courage.
Author: Philip J. Flores
Publisher: Jason Aronson
Release Date: 2004-01-01
This work shows how to give substance abusers an attachment experience and a sense of community where they feel they are accepted and belong. Therapy, directed along the lines described, allows the person to get close to others who are accepting of him without a cost to his identity and autonomy.
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
Author: Chris Grosso
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2014-03-04
From a recovering addict, musician, and tattooed indie culturist: a guidebook for today’s generation of spiritual misfits who crave a dogma-free path. Brutally honest and radically unconventional, Chris Grosso’s collection of stories and musings about his meandering journey of self-inquiry, recovery, and acceptance shows what it means to live a truly authentic spiritual life. Set amongst the backdrop of Grosso’s original music (included for download via QR codes in the text), Indie Spiritualist encourages you to accept yourself just as you are, in all your humanity and imperfect perfection.
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: Lilian C. J. Wong
Publisher: Purpose Research
Release Date: 2013-08
This is a rare collection of papers by leading authorities on addiction recovery. The distinguished list of contributors includes Alan Marlatt, George Vaillant, Stanton Peele, Jaak Panksepp, and Scott Tonigan. Although each represents different theoretical perspectives of addiction and recovery, all see recovery as more than mere abstinence. The first half of this book contains addresses from the Fourth International Meaning Conference, which focused on meaning and addiction. The second half of this volume uniquely focuses on the positive psychology of meaning and spirituality as an answer for addiction. The existential dilemmas of meaninglessness, boredom, and anxieties often trigger cravings for substance abuse. Geoffrey Thompson and Paul T. P. Wong articulate that only a personally meaningful life is powerful enough to overcome addictive cravings and satisfy the deep-seated human yearnings for happiness and meaning. Ken Hart connects the spiritual underpinnings of Alcoholics Anonymous to the New Thought movement and transpersonal psychology. This edited volume offers practical resources not only for addiction counselors and treatment centers, but also for college and university professors who teach addiction studies. Instead of focusing on coping skills and cognitive-behavioral strategies, a holistic approach emphasizes fulfilling the human needs for well-being, meaningful living, and self-transcendence. "This book is transformative, renewing a sense of aliveness and community from the deadness of addiction." -Brent Potter, PhD, author, Elements of Self-Destruction "This bracing volume offers an open-minded and open-hearted exploration of many key issues touching addiction and its treatment, from grief and loss to meaning and spirituality. It ranges far beyond the narrow and limiting confines of the usual reductionist perspectives." -Gabor Mate, MD, author, In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction "Perhaps one of the most important additions in years in the literature on the intersection between existential and positive psychology, and its application for substance abuse disorders." -Alexander Batthyany, PhD, International Academy of Philosophy in the Principality of Liechtenstein; University of Vienna; Director, Viktor Frankl Institute, Austria; principal editor, Collected Works of Viktor Frankl (14 volumes)."
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
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.