The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness, and Healing in a Toxic Culture


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by Dr. Gabor Maté with Daniel Maté

From the Publisher: The instant New York Times bestseller by the acclaimed author of In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, a groundbreaking investigation into the causes of illness, a bracing critique of how our society breeds disease, and a pathway to health and healing. In this revolutionary book, renowned physician Gabor Maté eloquently dissects how in Western countries that pride themselves on their healthcare systems, chronic illness and general ill health are on the rise. Nearly 70 percent of Americans are on at least one prescription drug; more than half take two. In Canada, every fifth person has high blood pressure. In Europe, hypertension is diagnosed in more than 30 percent of the population. And everywhere, adolescent mental illness is on the rise. So what is really “normal” when it comes to health?

Over four decades of clinical experience, Maté has come to recognize the prevailing understanding of “normal” as false, neglecting the roles that trauma and stress, and the pressures of modern-day living, exert on our bodies and our minds at the expense of good health. For all our expertise and technological sophistication, Western medicine often fails to treat the whole person, ignoring how today’s culture stresses the body, burdens the immune system, and undermines emotional balance. Now Maté brings his perspective to the great untangling of common myths about what makes us sick, connects the dots between the maladies of individuals and the declining soundness of society–and offers a compassionate guide for health and healing. Cowritten with his son Daniel, The Myth Of Normal is Maté’s most ambitious and urgent book yet.

Praise for the Book: “The Myth of Normal may forever change the way you view your life experiences, and how they can shape your biology. But more importantly, Gabor Maté points us to a path of desperately needed communal healing.” -Elissa Epel, PhD, Professor, UCSF, co-author of best seller The Telomere Effect

“In this brilliant, compelling and groundbreaking book, Gabor Maté unveils the societal trance that has blinded us to the death-grip of pervasive trauma in our world. He shows that this is not our ‘personal’ trauma. It is sourced in a culture that undermines meeting our basic needs for connection, authenticity and meaning. Drawing on his decades of pioneering clinical work, fascinating contemporary science and contemplative wisdom, Maté offers us a way to bring clear seeing and a greatness of heart to the crisis of our times.” -Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance and Radical Compassion

“Gabor and Daniel Maté offer a powerful and surprising redemptive path out of the toxic illusion of ‘normalcy.’ This remarkable and revolutionary book will profoundly impact the wellbeing of self, society, and our earth at a time when wisdom and compassion are essential for our common survival.” -Rev. Joan Jiko Halifax, Abbot, Upaya Zen Center

About the Author: Dr. Gabor Maté is highly sought after for his expertise on a range of topics including addiction, stress, and childhood development. Dr. Maté has written several bestselling books, including the New York Times bestseller The Myth of Normal, the award-winning In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with AddictionWhen the Body Says No: Exploring the Stress-Disease Connection, and Scattered Minds: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It, and has coauthored Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers. His works have been published internationally in nearly thirty languages.

Daniel Matéis a Brooklyn-based composer-lyricist who has received the Kleban Prize, Cole Porter Award, and Jonathan Larson Grant. His musicals include The Trouble With Doug and The Longing and the Short of It. Other shows in development include Hansel & Gretl & Heidi & Günter, Middle School Mysteries, and an adaptation of the Russell Banks novel The Sweet Hereafter. He is the host of the YouTube program Lyrics To Go and runs a “mental chiropractic” service called Walk With Daniel.

ISBN: 0593083881    –    EAN: 9780593083888

Additional information

Weight 28 oz
Dimensions 9.5 × 6.5 × 2 in