by Gabor Maté with Daniel Maté
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.
"In The Myth of Normal, Gabor Maté takes us on an epic journey of discovery about how our emotional well-being, and our social connectivity (in short: how we live), is intimately intertwined with health, disease and addictions. Chronic mental and physical illnesses may not be separate and distinct diseases, but intricate, multilayered processes that reflect (mal)adaptations to the cultural context that we live in, and the values we live by. This riveting and beautifully written tale has profound implications for all of our lives, including the practice of medicine and mental health." -- Bessel A. van der Kolk MD, President, Trauma Research Foundation, Professor of psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine, #1 New York Times Bestseller: The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma
"Wise, sophisticated, rigorous and creative: an intellectual and compassionate investigation of who we are and who we may become. Essential reading for anyone with a past and a future ." -- Tara Westover, New York Times bestselling author, Educated
"This gripping book builds upon two key truths for our time, that everything is connected, including psychic wounds and physical illnesses, and that these are not anomalies but ordinary, even epidemic, in the society we've built. The Myth of Normal is a powerful call for change in how we live with, love, understand, treat, and think about each other, by someone ideally situated to map the terrain and to give us some valuable tools with which to navigate it." -- Rebecca Solnit, author of Hope in the Dark and Orwell's Roses
"The Myth of Normal is a detailed and wide-ranging look at what we all need to know--but all too often fail to live into--when it comes to human health, sanity, maturation, and happiness. It's also a clear-eyed examination of the benefits, triumphs, limitations, and blind spots of our health and mental health care system." -- Resmaa Menakem, bestselling author of My Grandmother's Hands, The Quaking of America, and Monsters in Love
About the Authors:
Dr. Gabor Maté is a renowned speaker and bestselling author, 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 Addiction, When 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 Maté is 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.