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

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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)

How to create a gratitude mindset with maps…

When it comes to maps, there is no one better in the world, in making and explaining them, than Oxford University Geographer Danny Dorling.

A pioneer in the methods of creating and understanding the world though maps, his Ted TalkMaps That Show Us Who We Are, Not Just Where We Are – is a must watch for any intrepid explorer with a thirst for knowledge.

British social geographer Danny Dorling presents a fascinating view of the world with some incredibly revealing maps. The focus looks to inform us of how the world is changing and how it looks relevant to the human population; historically, geographically and to a degree socially.

Using beautiful and unfamiliar world maps created by Benjamin Hennig, Danny Dorling shows us that in many ways life is slowly getting better and there’smuch to be optimistic about, as long as we continue to connect with each other. We need new ways of viewing the world, its future, and how we can avoid fearing the other; other people, countries, races etc, we often are focussing on the differences, rather than focusing on how similar we actually are. We currently fear people from other countries too much, we fear what we do not know. Instead, these visuals can breakdown these limiting views and we can begin to see the world as a whole.

World Airline Travel Routes
World Airline Travel Routes

This TED talk provides a much more relevant and clearer interpretation of the world than the mainstream media depicts for us, which is heavily fear based. We are shown the terrible aspects of humanity on the news every night but we are not shown what is far more important; we are not told that world population is slowing down, we are not told about how we are beginning to use less and waste less.

Precipitation Patterns: Rainfall from a People’s Perspective

The sheer scale of progress that’s been made by humans in a short space of time isn’t always easy to comprehend, but by using the language of the mind; context, statistics, with the language of the eye; maps, data visualisations, we are able to sow the seeds for a perspective shift, of the world as a whole. Data visualisation is truly powerful. Data is now the new oil.

Oceans removed. This is a map of 7.4 Billion people and drawn in proportion to those people.

Children Could Be The Final Frontier For The Future of Homo Sapiens. But, Are We Properly Preparing Them To Face It?

“We’re all agreed on the extraordinary capacity that children have, their capacities for innovation.

All children are born artists, the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up.

Van Gough

Sir Ken Robinson’s heart warming TED talk, offers a message with deep resonance, dissecting the current education system that we find implemented the world over, has been distributed widely around the Web since its release in June 2006, viewed a staggering 57,961,789 times.

He touches on how academic ability has come to dominate our view on intelligence, because the universities designed the system in their image. As a consequence many highly talented, brilliant, creative people think they are not. What they were good at in school wasn’t valued and was actually stigmatised. He believes we cannot afford to carry on this current path, a 19th century industrialism view of the world blueprint, that is bringing students into a revolutionary different one.

“We are educating people out of their creativity capacities…
… I believe we don’t get educated into creativity, we get educated out of it.”

Sir Ken Robinson, 2006 TED Talk

Due to a process of educational inflation, suddenly a Degree isn’t worth anything. Where as you needed a BA now you need a MA, or a PHD for the others. Robinson believes this indicates the whole structure of education shifting beneath our feet. Calling for us to radically rethink our view of intelligence.

Are we ready for it? That’s the big question.

Using the platform of TED that showcases the gift of imagination, Sir Ken Robinson believes our task is to educate children’s whole being, so they can face this future. By encouraging them to explore their natural talents, and be careful that we use this gift wisely, not to force them into a practical box at an early age. We must see our children as the hope that they are.

“Creativity is the process of having original ideas that have value.”

Sir Ken Robinson, 2006 TED Talk

This is an absolute must watch for any individual, as we all care about education and our future as a species on this planet. This humbling, thought provoking, engaging TED Talk, is filled with hope and inspiring changes we must make, to better serve the next generation.