How Psychedelics Can Improve Our Mental Health and Using Compassion To Treat Addiction

Understanding human development through the lens of science and compassion.

Advocating a New Way to Understand and Treat Addiction with Dr. Gabor Maté

Ferriss goes into some deep topics with Dr. Gabor Maté, a physician who specialises in neurology, psychiatry, and psychology. He’s well known for studying and treating addiction. One of the most leading edge doctors in the addiction and psychology arena, Ferriss really opens up and lays it all on the table, it’s a must watch!

Gabor Maté’s believes we should not be asking; why the addiction, but why the pain? Leading to an examination of that person’s life rather than just looking at their brain chemistry.

The Canadian is calling for a compassionate approach toward addiction, in ourselves and in others. The source of addictions is not to be found in genes but in the early childhood environment. Compassionate Inquiry is a psychotherapeutic technique he’s developed seeking to uncover what lies underneath the appearance we present to the world.

His work began by chance, by happenstance he found himself working in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (North America’s most concentrated area of drug use) for over a decade with patients battling hardcore drug addiction, mental illness and HIV, including at Vancouver’s Supervised Injection Site.

The most common cause of death of those under 50 is overdose, and in the U.S. every 3 weeks you have the equivalent of a 9/11, in terms of the number of people dying. Where’s the public outcry? Where’s the resources? Where’s the political will? Where’s the mobilisation of the media and all the public health entities?

Podcast Snippet – Dr. Gabor Maté

What is addiction?

“Addiction is a complex psychological process that manifests in any behaviour. Not always substance related; craving, pleasure and relief in the short term. But negative consequences in the long term and the inability to give it up.”

Maté shows how the whole system is broken; the American Society For Addiction and the American Legal System’s definition; His analysis in the podcast is a real eye opener and provides a disturbing realisation that they’ve got their approach to addiction and mental health completely backwards and ultimately wrong.

The reason why addiction treatment is failing and ineffective is because physicians don’t understand it, they keep dealing with the effects; which is the addiction and the behaviours which are the effects of the addiction, but not the cause; the trauma.

Dr. Gabor Maté

This podcast delivers some truly deep conversations between the two, unravelling Ferriss’ past; his personal bouts of depression and substance abuse. You begin to understand the calibre of Maté’s approach to psychology, the class and compassion is captivating, which leaves you feeling as if you’re right there in the room.

Other stimulating topics covered are:

  • Child development in the womb
  • How our early environment affects us
  • Parent – Child relationships – brain development and stress
  • Childhood Trauma
  • Gene expression
  • “Trauma is not what happen to you, that is a traumatic event, it’s what happens inside you.”
  • Approach to transcending trauma; recovery and reconnection
  • Acceptance, Connection, Emotional Development
  • Bypassing the conscious, defensive, ego-ic mind
  • Benefits of daily Yoga – as a meditation. Recommends; Inner Engineering Yoga
  • Psychedelics as healing modality in a guided setting – super highway to self -awareness; Ayahuasca, Psylosybin
  • Social culture in 2019 is creating snowflakes
  • Stress disease connection

The list may look daunting and a tad depressive but Maté and Ferriss bring the complete opposite to it, a portal into a higher sense of self-awareness and what we can do to help and salvage humanity and ourselves from the vice of addiction. Knowledge is only potential power, it’s what we do with it that counts. I’m insanely grateful and inspired by the message Maté espouses, a real pioneer of psychology and thought leader of our time.

In summary;

We shouldn’t see this an individual issue, it’s a social issue. Buddha said “without the many there cannot be the one, and without the one there cannot be the many”. We are social creatures, our brains are wired together, we’re not isolated creatures, we must look at both the individual and at the broader, social and cultural environment.

I don’t want to ramble on to much, so it’s over to you to watch, listen, whatever suits you. I know you’ll find some powerful insights from this podcast and Gabor Maté. I’ve included a link to his latest book; In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts

Please let me know your thoughts and your personal cliff notes. We must talk more openly about mental health as a society and I welcome your thoughts and input.

Kokoro.

Books and Links

Dr. Gabor Maté — New Paradigms, Ayahuasca, and Redefining Addiction (#298)

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