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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2022 Gabor Maté and Daniel Maté (P)2022 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"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

"Gabor and Daniel Maté have created a magnificent resource for us all in The Myth of Normal, a powerful, in-depth, science-packed, inspiring story-filled opus that helps us see how stress within our culture shapes our well-being in all its facets. By carefully reviewing medical and mental health through a wide lens of inquiry, they challenge simplistic views of disease and disorder to offer instead a wider perspective on human flourishing that has direct implications for how we live individually, at home, and as a larger human family. A thorough and inspiring work of the heart, this book urges us to question our assumptions and think deeply about who we are and how we can live more fully and freely, harnessing the power of the mind to bring healing and wholeness into our shared lives on Earth."--Daniel J. Siegel, MD, Clinical Professor, UCLA School of Medicine, Executive Director, Mindsight Institute, New York Times bestselling author of IntraConnected: MWe (Me plus We) as the integration of self, identity, and belonging

"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

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