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In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts Audiobook

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

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Publisher's Summary

Profoundly original, best-selling writer and physician Gabor Maté looks at the epidemic of addictions in our society, tells us why we are so prone to them, and details what is needed to liberate ourselves from their hold on our emotions and behaviors. Gabor Maté is a staff physician at the Portland Hotel, a residence and harm-reduction facility in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. His patients are challenged by life-threatening drug addictions, mental illness, Hepatitis C or HIV, and in many cases, all four.

But if Dr. Maté's patients are at the far end of the spectrum, there are many among us who are also struggling with addictions. Drugs, alcohol, tobacco, work, food, sex, gambling, and excessive inappropriate spending: what is amiss with our lives that we seek such self-destructive ways to comfort ourselves? And why is it so difficult to stop these habits, even as they threaten our health, jeopardize our relationships, and corrode our lives?

Starting with a close view of his drug-addicted patients, Dr. Maté looks at his own history of compulsive behavior, weaving a story of real people who struggle with addiction with the latest research on addiction and the brain. In a bold synthesis of clinical experience, insight and cutting edge scientific findings, Dr. Maté sheds light on this most puzzling of human frailties. He proposes a compassionate approach to helping drug addicts and, for the many behavior addicts among us, to addressing the void addiction is meant to fill.

"I believe there is one addiction process, whether it manifests in the lethal substance dependencies of my Downtown Eastside patients, the frantic self-soothing of overeaters or shopaholics, the obsessions of gamblers, sexaholics and compulsive internet users, or in the socially acceptable and even admired behaviours of the workaholic. Drug addicts are often dismissed and discounted as unworthy of empathy and respect. In telling their stories my intent is to help their voices to be heard and to shed light on the origins and nature of their ill-fated struggle to overcome suffering through substance use. Both in their flaws and their virtues they share much in common with the society that ostracizes them. If they have chosen a path to nowhere, they still have much to teach the rest of us. In the dark mirror of their lives we can trace outlines of our own."
—from In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts

©2009 Gabor Maté (P)2011 Post Hypnotic Press Inc.

What the Critics Say

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  •  
    Will Walker 06-08-15
    Will Walker 06-08-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Excellent, heart-expanding encounter with the roots of addiction"

    As someone new to the medical field, I found myself working every day in hospital wards filled disproportionately with people in the grips of addiction, which is comorbid with, and predisposes to, conditions as diverse as depression, ADD, HIV, cancer, and disastrous bacterial infections. I saw how strong the tendency is for health care workers to get angry at these patients, judge them, dismiss them, give up on them. This book helped me open my heart more to these difficult patients by explaining the epidemiology and brain science behind addiction. I think understanding the sources and experience of addiction better can help anyone work with their own addictions or those of another with greater clarity and compassion. Strongly recommended for physicians, nurses, medical students, and other practitioners and trainees in any medical field.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margie Garcia Causby 06-21-16

    Reading is my favorite thing to do, I love books, especially in audio.

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    "Greatest book ever written about addicions"
    What did you love best about In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts?

    i love the compassion Dr Mate shows for those considered the scum of the earth, it made me realize that society is quick to judge but slow to help. im going to do better from now on , this doc is such a great man , He started a new movement and will be honor one day for sharing his work with the world.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    timtam 05-13-16
    timtam 05-13-16 Member Since 2015
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    "A Humanizing Look at Addiction"
    What about Daniel Maté’s performance did you like?

    Daniel was a fantastic reader... loved his voice and engagement


    Any additional comments?

    Despite getting bogged down in the first 10 chapters; which were good, but did go on quite a long time, I found the book both picked up and became more relevant at about Chapter 10 when Gabor Mate includes himself. His inclusion of himself brings in a courageous vulnerability to the already vulnerable lives he shares . At this marker, he begins weaving together the initial stories, his own story, successes, failures, policies and ways to consider addiction. In the end, I feel like his breadth, depth and scope of addressing addiction and considering humanizing policies and treatment makes this book a must read. I would like to think in the future we could create more liberal, comprehensive, less stigmatizing and healing treatment options for addiction in the US.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    kelly 05-09-16
    kelly 05-09-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Definitely the best book I have ever read on addiction"

    I cannot say anything negative about this book! Excellent, heartbreaking at times, informative, love the statistics that are uses, articulate!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Tayliegh Lopez 04-24-16 Member Since 2014
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    "it will help you understand"

    addiction is difficult for anyone on the outside to watch. thank you doctor mate for caring about the upper east side.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Tater 03-11-16
    Tater 03-11-16
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    "First responders this helpful"

    I find in my volunteer EMT roll I interact with addicted population quite frequently. I have been bothered by the way I look at this population and my often frustration with the population. This book has help soften me heart and open my mind to treat this as an disease that it is.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Michal 02-25-16
    Michal 02-25-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Very informative"

    Very informative and well written book dealing with addiction.
    Discusses both the personal human aspect and the science behind addiction.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Chris 02-19-16
    Chris 02-19-16 Member Since 2014
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    "great to listen to"

    The understanding of patterns and triggers were great to fill the tool box with :)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Michelle 02-04-16
    Michelle 02-04-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Refreshing and important views on addiction"

    Loved it. Workaholism is just like being a drug addict. A must read! it humanizes addictions and the addicted in a compassionate way.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    mutasim 01-28-16
    mutasim 01-28-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Powerful"

    This book changed my perspective immensely! Gabor mate gave me the courage to face my addictive tendency and empathy for my human brothers who suffer from the hungry ghost.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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