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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must-read,
This is a life-changing book. I'd heard about the connection between repressed emotions and diseases before but not from a GP. The science is interesting but a bit involved and heavy-going at times. If I were to make a criticism, it would be that it is a bit heavy on description and a bit light on prescription, ie I would appreciate more expansion on the final chapters, where the path to healing is discussed.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Her security lay in considering other people's feelings, never her own.,
Learn to say no!
We currently live in a society where most of us are emotionally stifled from a young age. To express anger, whether it be in front of our parents, in school, or in the workplace, is socially unacceptable in many cases. We live our lives in a hierarchical system, and often do not feel in control of the direction in which we are going. We're taught to be nice, to not rock the boat.
"If you don't have anything positive to say, don't say anything",
"That's very negative of you".
We are socially isolated, we no longer live in nurturing communities. Most of us no longer do any meaningful work that we actually care about, instead taking a job simply to pay the bills and the debts. We have no real say in where this society and world is heading, and we live under the rule of government, corporations and oligarchs who kindly decide our fate for us.
In such a society, this book is essential reading. The emotional repression of 21st century industrial society is one of the biggest contributors to poor health and disease, up there with the terrible western diet, and the environment saturated with chemicals, heavy metals, and radioactive fallout.
Gabor Maté doesn't touch on the larger social issues that got us into this mess, and focuses more on individual stories and family dynamics that program us for a life of Inadequacy, approval-seeking and low self-worth, creating the perfect storm for degenerative disease. All is not lost, and knowledge does protect, therefore I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
I will post a few excerpts from the book which I found worth highlighting. They're gathered from all over the book, but hopefully placed in a logical and readable order.
"There is a remarkable consistency in people's coping styles across the many diseases we have considered: the repression of anger, the denial of vulnerability, the "compensatory hyper-independence". No one chooses these traits deliberately or develops them consciously."
"... many people spend unwittingly spend their entire lives as if under the gaze of a powerful and judgmental examiner whom they must please at all costs. Many of us live, if not alone, then in emotionally inadequate relationships that do not recognize or honour our deepest needs. Isolation and stress affect many who may believe that their lives are quite satisfactory."
"Chronic stress is activation of the stress mechanisms over long periods of time when a person is exposed to stressors that cannot be escaped, either because she does not recognize them, or because she has no control over them... Chronically high cortisol levels destroy tissue"
"Hans Selye wrote, "that for man the most important stressors are emotional." ... Three factors that universally lead to stress: Uncertainty, lack of information, and loss of control."
"Emotionally draining family relationships have been identified as risk factors in virtually every category of major illness."
"For the child it is no relief to feel sadness or anger if no one is there to receive those emotions and to provide some comfort and containment."
"How much of what I have believed and done is actually my own, and how much has been in service to a self-image I originally created in the belief it was necessary to please my parents?"
"When early environmental influences are chronically stressful, the developing nervous system and the other organs... repeatedly receive the electric, hormonal, and chemical message that the world is unsafe or even hostile. Those perceptions are programmed in our cells on the molecular level. Early experiences condition the body's stance toward the world and determine the person's unconscious beliefs about herself in relationship to the world."
"If we would heal, it is essential to begin the painfully incremental task of reversing the biology of belief we adopted very early in life."
""Positive thinking" is based on an unconscious belief that we are not strong enough to handle reality...
The general belief is that positive emotions must be conducive to good health. While it is true that genuine joy and satisfaction enhance physical well-being, "positive" states of mind generated to tune out psychic discomfort lower resistance to illness"
"If you face the choice between feeling guilt and resentment, choose the guilt every time... If a refusal saddles you with guilt, while consent leaves resentment in it's wake, opt for the guilt. Resentment is soul suicide."
Okay, I wish I could just quote the entire book!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So why don't the doctors know this stuff?,
Illness doesn't just happen. There are reasons WHY it happens, always. And we're not talking alcohol, cigarettes, poor diet and lack of exercise here. These practices are of course not conducive to good health, but believing them to be the primary cause of cancer, heart disease etc is naïve, and falls frighteningly wide of the mark. Dr. Mate explodes this myth by showing us the true cause of dis-ease. On the assumption that we all of us want to be well, this book should be compulsory reading.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab!,
I have Lupus and it is a real insight into my disease from a completely different angle...which was surprisingly spot on! Great book, a lot of help for me.
5.0 out of 5 stars Huge Fan,
I am a huge fan of Gabor Mate.
I am currently studying natural medicine and nutrition and although I feel nutrition and diet is a huge factor..Ive always felt its more than that. I have clients on what would be categorised as top exercise and diet regimes.. yet still suffering a variety of ailments…. what I see in common… stress. And a lot of stress. Gabor Mater lays this out precisely and in an easy way to understand.
This book will definitely be staying in my library of references. Thank you again Gabor Mate.
4.0 out of 5 stars thought provoking,
Lots to think about in here if your gut is telling you there is a connection between your illness/condition and emotional issues/ psyche. May encourage you to have therapy as well as medical intervention.
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth a read.,
Written with compassion and understanding. Tended to feel repetitive by the end though. I really enjoy the life histories and the therapy based elements of the book. Highly recommended.
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read in today's stressful world,
Very clever man and the book made absolute sense to me. Can be very technical at times - he is a doctor - but persevere.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars,
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