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Overcoming the myth of normal

January 11th, 2022

Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside activist and physician, Dr. Gabor Maté has co-authored with his son Daniel Maté, The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness and Healing in a Toxic Culture (Knopf $35) due out in September.

The book contains groundbreaking investigations into the causes of illness in a bracing critique of how our society breeds disease by its very nature. It also provides a pathway to health and healing.

“Health and illness are not random biological states in a particular body or body part. They are, in fact, expressions of an entire life, a life that cannot be understood in isolation,” says Dr. Maté. “It arises from a web of circumstances, relationships and experiences in the context of a certain society and culture. And what passes for normal in our society is neither healthy nor natural. By bringing to light  and debunking the myth of normal, we are empowered to create a more genuinely scientific, healthful and life-giving view of what it means to be healthy, physically and emotionally.”

Dr. Gabor Maté received the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize in 2009 for In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction (Knopf 2008), which looked at the addictions of his patients while casting a critical eye on his own addictive passion for buying classical music. He reveals how addictions invariably arise from, or compensate for, emotional traumas, whether the addict drives a BMW or resorts to criminal behaviour to survive on the street. 9780735278363

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