From our most trusted, compassionate authority on stress, trauma and mental well-being—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 the richest, most technically advanced, most health-obsessed human society ever, all is not well. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the devastating vulnerabilities in our healthcare systems and across the population, chronic illness and general ill health has been on the rise. When the baseline of what we can expect when it comes to our health takes into account these alarming drops in overall wellness, what, then, constitutes “normal”?
Over four decades of clinical experience, renowned physician, therapist and public health advocate Gabor Maté has come to recognize our society’s version of “normal” as a false construct. Too often, clinicians home in on the rigidly defined disorders they can diagnose and not the underlying interplay of lived experience and invisible illness-causing agents like stress and trauma, not to mention cultural, interpersonal and environmental factors. Our disorder-attuned medical approaches, for all their technological sophistication, often fail to see and treat the whole patient, and can ignore how the world we live in demonstrably affects health.
In The Myth of Normal, a career-defining culmination of a lifetime of medical practice and deep interrogation of the ways we try to build healthy and happy lives, Gabor Maté, with his trademark compassion and eclectic erudition, demystifies medical science and shines a light on how connected we all are, mind and body, but where clinical practice—and even our cultural conceptions of illness—is still catching up. He brings his courageous, people-centered perspective to the great untangling of commonly held myths about what makes us sick, the three-dimensional physical, mental, and social forces that impact health and wellness, and offers a compassionate “path to wholeness” in his most ambitious and urgent book yet.
Reviews and Endorsements:
“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 and this exciting book arrives at just the right time.” —Naomi Klein, author of No Logo and The Shock Doctrine
About the Authors:
Gabor Maté, MD, is the bestselling author of In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction, When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress, and Scattered Minds: The Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder. A former medical columnist for the Globe and Mail, Dr. Maté weaves together scientific research, case histories and his own insights and experience to present a broad perspective that enlightens and empowers people to promote their own healing and that of those around them. He has had a family practice, worked as a palliative care physician, and worked with the addicted men and women in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. In 2018, Dr. Maté was appointed to the Order of Canada in recognition of his passionate advocacy for social change in the prevention and treatment of addiction and mental health.
Daniel Maté is a composer, lyricist, and playwright for musical theatre based in BC and New York. He has been active since 2007, when he graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with an M.F.A. in Musical Theatre Writing. He also holds a B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy from McGill. With his father, Dr. Gabor Maté, he has facilitated numerous health and wellness seminars, including Hello Again, a workshop series for parents and their adult children.