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  • Published: 20 September 2022
  • ISBN: 9781785042720
  • Imprint: Vermilion
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 576
  • RRP: $35.00

The Myth of Normal

Trauma, Illness & Healing in a Toxic Culture




A book that changes everything – from the legendary Dr Gabor Maté

'It all starts with waking up... to what our bodies are expressing and our minds are suppressing'

Western countries invest billions in healthcare, yet mental illness and chronic diseases are on a seemingly unstoppable rise. Nearly 70% of Americans are now on prescription drugs. So what is 'normal' when it comes to health?

Over four decades of clinical experience, renowned physician and addiction expert Dr Gabor Maté has seen how health systems neglect the role that trauma exerts on our bodies and our minds. Medicine often fails to treat the whole person, ignoring how today's culture stresses our bodies, burdens our immune systems and undermines emotional balance.

Now, in his most ambitious and urgent book yet, Dr Maté connects the dots between our personal suffering and the pressures of modern-day living - with disease as a natural reflection of a life spent growing further and further apart from our true selves. But, with deep compassion, he also shows us a pathway to health and healing.

Filled with stories of people in the grip of illness or in the triumphant wake of recovery, this life-affirming book, co-written with his son Daniel, proves true health is possible - if we are willing to reconnect with each other and our authentic selves.

  • Published: 20 September 2022
  • ISBN: 9781785042720
  • Imprint: Vermilion
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 576
  • RRP: $35.00

About the author

Gabor Mate

Gabor Maté is a retired physician who, after 20 years of family practice and palliative-care experience, worked for over a decade in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side with patients challenged by drug addiction and mental illness. The bestselling author of four books published in twenty-five languages, Gabor is an internationally renowned speaker highly sought after for his expertise on addiction, trauma, childhood development, and the relationship of stress and illness. For his ground-breaking medical work and writing, he has been awarded the Order of Canada, his country’s highest civilian distinction, and the Civic Merit Award from his hometown, Vancouver. He is an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Criminology, Simon Fraser University. To learn more, join his e-news list at www.drgabormate.com.

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Praise for The Myth of Normal

Gabor Maté's connections - between the intensely personal and the global, the spiritual and the medical, the psychological and the political - are bold, wise and deeply moral. He is a healer to be cherished

Naomi Klein, author of No Logo and The Shock Doctrine

A book literally everyone will be enriched by - a wise, profound and healing work that is the culmination of Dr Maté's many years of deep and painfully accumulated wisdom

Johann Hari, author of Stolen Focus

Brilliant, compelling and groundbreaking. Gabor 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 Compassion

A compelling book that will challenge your views and help lift the veil of illusion to what is truly happening in your mind and in your body

Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness

Gripping ... a powerful call for change in how we live with, love, understand, treat, and think about each other

Rebecca Solnit, author of Men Explaining Everything To Me

An astonishing achievement, epic in scope and yet profoundly down-to-earth and practical. I will read this book again and again

V (formerly Eve Ensler), author of The Vagina Monologues

Gabor Mate 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 ... This riveting and beautifully written tale has profound implications for all of our lives, including the practice of medicine and mental health

Bessel van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps the Score

Wise, sophisticated, rigorous and creative: an intellectual and compassionate investigation of who we are and who we may become

Tara Westover, author of Educated

A book in which readers can seek refuge and solace during moments of profound personal and social crisis

Esther Perel, psychotherapist and author of Mating in Captivity

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Is addiction a choice? | Big Questions with Gabor Maté

Dr Gabor Maté joins us at Penguin to answer some Big Questions on addiction, 'normality', and becoming your true self. Order your copy of 'The Myth of Normal' today. Western countries invest billions in healthcare, yet mental illness and chronic diseases are on a seemingly unstoppable rise. Nearly 70% of Americans are now on prescription drugs. So what is 'normal' when it comes to health? Over four decades of clinical experience, renowned physician and addiction expert Dr Gabor Maté has seen how health systems neglect the role that trauma exerts on our bodies and our minds. Medicine often fails to treat the whole person, ignoring how today's culture stresses our bodies, burdens our immune systems and undermines emotional balance. Now, in his most ambitious and urgent book yet, Dr Maté connects the dots between our personal suffering and the pressures of modern-day living - with disease as a natural reflection of a life spent growing further and further apart from our true selves. But, with deep compassion, he also shows us a pathway to health and healing. Filled with stories of people in the grip of illness or in the triumphant wake of recovery, this life-affirming book, co-written with his son Daniel, proves true health is possible - if we are willing to reconnect with each other and our authentic selves.