The Myth of Normal

By Gabor Maté, Daniel Maté,

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

Book description

'It all starts with waking up... to what our bodies are expressing and our minds are suppressing'

Western countries invest billions in healthcare, yet mental illness and chronic diseases are on a seemingly unstoppable rise. Nearly 70% of Americans are now on prescription drugs. So what is 'normal' when it…

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Why read it?

4 authors picked The Myth of Normal as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Our mental and physical health is affected by our unprocessed trauma in a way that our current medical systems aren't prepared to address.

And nearly all of us have experienced some form of trauma, not least because many aspects of our societal and political systems have created situations that aren't "normal" to the human psyche. Finding who to blame for the trauma is not the author's point. Addressing it is. The author makes this broad-based, impassioned plea based on his years of medical practice and his personal experience.

This book is a treatise on the value of self-reflection, therapy, and…

Intensely moving discussion about trauma, how it has been normalized in our culture, and how to heal (both ourselves and the wider society). I have read several books on trauma before, but I had never had some of the key concepts explained so clearly before. Mate differentiates between trauma with a capital T and regular trauma with a small t. In his view, they are both a problem, and we should not compare trauma. So what is the difference between using his own story and using his own? To save him from the Holocaust, his mother gave him up as…

This book inspires me because it discusses the significance of taking responsibility for reflecting on the more difficult and often hidden aspects of ourselves.

It helped to open up my mind to my blind spots and increase self-awareness. Based in medicine and psychology this book promotes the kind of honest and important self-reflection that is an asset in improving leadership culture and how you relate to others, even in conflict. 

Gabor Mate’s book is reflective and deep; it offers information on how adverse experience shapes people.

The author provides rigorously researched information on how all of the intersections of our…

Maté argues persuasively against the dominant genetic and biophysical roots theories of mental illness. He presents a solid body of research published over several decades to argue that mental illness is a manifestation of trauma, often childhood trauma. Maté co-authored the book with his son. He does not flinch from reflecting on his own life history, recounting his own childhood trauma, resultant mental health challenges, and the less-than-flattering manifestations of that trauma in his closest relationships. He also draws upon his own professional experience working with those who have suffered trauma. I was particularly drawn to Maté’s discussion of the…

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