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Happy Mind, Happy Life: 10 Simple Ways to Feel Great Every Day. A science-backed guide to a calmer, happier you.

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Dr Gabor Maté on Why We Are All Addicts

by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee   /  March 31, 2021

CAUTION ADVISED: This podcast contains themes of an adult nature.

This week, I’ve decided to re-release a conversation that I had over 2 years ago, yet one that still remains one of the most important conversations that I’ve had to date on this podcast. Since I first released this conversation back on episode 37 of the podcast, the number of listeners has grown exponentially and I’m really keen that all of my new listeners hear this conversation. For those of you who have already heard the conversation, I think you will still get a huge amount of value from re-listening. Dr Gabor Maté is one of the world’s most revered thinkers on the psychology of addiction, his radical findings based on decades of work with patients, challenged by catastrophic drug addiction and mental illness are reframing how we view all human development.

Dr Maté firmly believes that addiction is not a choice, neither is it all about drugs and illicit substances. Instead, he believes that addiction affects most of us – whether it be to alcohol, nicotine, sugar, work, or exercise…the list is endless. According to Dr. Maté, the source of addiction is not to be found in our genes but in our early childhood. He calls for a compassionate approach toward addiction, whether in ourselves or others. As he puts it, the question we need to ask is not why the addiction, but why the pain.

We also talk about how we now live in a culture that doesn’t meet our human needs. Indeed, the conditions necessary for healthy child development are increasingly under threat in today’s society. We delve into how our emotional stress can translate into physical chronic illnesses. Loneliness and a lack of meaningful connection are on the rise, as are the rates of autoimmune disease and addiction.

It was a real honour to sit down and talk eye-to-eye with Gabor about his truly revolutionary work. This was a deep and powerful conversation and I hope it helps you in your life.

Disclaimer: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.*

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Watch the video version of this interview – click below.

'Personality itself is a defensive structure that we develop as a way of dealing with our pain.' Click To Tweet

Connect with Gabor:

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Gabor’s books:

Further learning:

Related Feel Better Live More podcast episodes:

#106 Gabor Maté: Is Coronavirus Showing Us Who We Really Are?

#94 Is Everything You Know About Depression Wrong? With Johann Hari

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*DISCLAIMER: Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.

†Disclosure: All books marked with a † are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We take part in Amazon’s affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon’s website. You are not charged any extra by using these links to purchase books.

Dr. Rangan Chatterjee MbChB, BSc (Hons), MRCP, MRCGP