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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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Performance
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  •  
    timtam 05-13-16
    timtam 05-13-16 Member Since 2017
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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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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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
  •  
    K. Jackson Everett, WA United States 03-26-13
    K. Jackson Everett, WA United States 03-26-13 Member Since 2016

    K. L. Jackson

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    "Top-notch Overview of Addiction"

    If you are only going to listen to one audiobook on addiction, this is the one I would recommend. The scientific information on the addictive process and brain chemistry is accurate, up-to-date, and explained in a very clear manner without being "dumbed-down." The author, a physician who works with addicts, alternates between stories of the individuals with whom he works and the brain science information, in a way that enhances the educational aspect of the book. The narrator, the author's son, has a pleasant voice that is easy to listen to. I found myself wanting to listen to this one hour after another, which I wouldn't have expected from a book dealing with such an intense subject. I will probably purchase the print version so that I can refer to the information about the brain science, but I'm glad I listened to it first, because I was able to absorb the information in an entertaining manner. I would recommend this book to anyone, even those who think they already know a lot about the subject. There's a lot of misinformation out there about this subject, and this author really knows his stuff.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
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    Phoebe SAINT LOUIS, MO, United States 11-03-16
    Phoebe SAINT LOUIS, MO, United States 11-03-16 Member Since 2014

    jkjffjka

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    "This book applies to more than you'd think."
    What did you love best about In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts?

    It's not the entirety of the book by any means, but the author has a couple of addictions of his own, both of them of behaviors rather than substances, and his description of them (one of them extremely specific) are relentlessly honest, perceptive, and thorough. He goes into how they affect his life, particularly his dealings with other people, as well as what very likely produced them, and in so doing illuminates the nature of addiction generally in a way that is extremely relatable, often squirmily so!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    nathan nordstrom 11-01-16 Member Since 2017

    I am a inspirational/motivational book reader, mixed with sci-fi. ya a little bit of fact and fiction.

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    "applicable to everyone"
    Would you listen to In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts again? Why?

    There is so much more to this story that you can take in.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    so many WOWs


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kyle 10-24-16
    Kyle 10-24-16
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    "Life changer!"

    If taken seriously, this book should change North American drug policy and the way that all of us think about and interact with people suffering from addiction.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Josef 10-18-16
    Josef 10-18-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Need to read if working in medicine"

    This book helped me change my approach to patients with addictions at a time when I was extremely burnt out.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    niesie 10-03-16
    niesie 10-03-16 Member Since 2016

    ~niesie~

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    "Scholarly, evidence and experiential data, delivered as much more than a lecture."

    I was already interested in the influence of epigentics... Now, I am obsessed! Not just a book about addiction, but also about the social sciences as we understand and misunderstand them.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Smile Yoga 09-03-16
    Smile Yoga 09-03-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Life Changing"

    If you are an addict, live with one, or work with them, you need this book. Shatters the traditional view of addict as loser and identifies the addict in all of us.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Irish 08-22-16
    Irish 08-22-16
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    "From an addicts point of view."

    Dr. Mate' has provided the validation of my personal theories as I have battled addiction for my entire life. Always seeking understanding I have found peace within Mate's books. Thank you so very much. Namaste'

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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