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

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Daniel Maté

18 Hours 12 Minutes

Penguin Audio

September 2022

Audio Book Summary

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.

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  • Anonymous

    Peterson impression spot on. Lol

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  • Anonymous

    Gabor Mate is ahead of us all. One of the best reads/listens I’ve had.

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  • Jurgita Ziabkinaite

    The book is really amazing. It made me reflect. Although I do not necessarily agree with every author's insight, the overall impression was exciting. However, the narrator irritated me with doing the voices and accents when quoting the sources. I found it absolutely unnecessary and even mocking-like at times.

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  • Cecilie L.

    one of the most important books I've ever read

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  • Rebecka L.

    One of the best books I've read. Everyone should read this one! Healing and self development.

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  • Jaclyn R.

    A truly inspirational journey for developing life-changing habits on viewing and living life to its highest potentials. It should be a mandatory read for everyone in both mental and medical fields, and all parents and caregivers alike. A definite re-read for life.

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  • Steve B.

    All so good. Mental health symptoms and injury to be treated versus the diagnosis being the end all that be all.

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  • Adriana Muntean

    This is what I consider to be a "bible", a must-read book for all of us, not only mental health professionals. It is our duty towards the generations to come, to at least try to be more psycho-emotionally educated and in touch with ourselves, to learn to embrace authenticity and heal. Dr. Gabor Mate did his part, I am hopeful that we can start doing ours.

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