Breaking Free of Old Habits, Addiction, and Past Traumas with Dr. Gabor Maté



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Many of us carry around unrecognized guilt, different forms of addiction, and other types of destructive coping mechanisms—all of which can be traced back to traumatic childhood experiences.

It’s never too late to address trauma and improve our emotional, mental, and physical health in the process. This is such a critical topic for optimal wellness and self-growth, that today we’re resharing one of our most popular episodes exploring it, with the one and only Dr. Gabor Maté.

Dr. Maté is a retired physician who, after 20 years of family practice and palliative care experience, worked for over a decade in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside with patients challenged by drug addiction and mental illness. Gabor is the bestselling author of four books published in twenty-five languages, and is an internationally renowned speaker highly sought after for his expertise on addiction, trauma, childhood development, and the relationship of stress and illness. 

His book on addiction received the Hubert Evans Prize for literary non-fiction. For his groundbreaking medical work and writing he has been awarded the Order of Canada, his country’s highest civilian distinction, and the Civic Merit Award from his hometown, Vancouver. His books include: In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction; When the Body Says No; Exploring the Stress-Disease Connection; Scattered: How ADD Originates and What You Can Do About It; and (with Gordon Neufeld) Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers

In this episode, we dive into:  

  • The pain-body concept (4:06)
  • Dr. Maté’s definition of addiction (9:57)
  • How a painful experience or trauma is at the center of all addictions (15:03) 
  • Dr. Maté’s childhood trauma and how it led to his own addictive behaviors (22:01)
  • Understanding the difference between responsibility and blame, and why “it’s not all our parents’ fault” (30:29)
  • What is happening physiologically in the brains of addicted people (39:36) 
  • The key to healing painful experiences (46:37) 
  • What does it mean to recover (47:56)
  • How to approach the healing of behavior addictions fostered by our culture (51:11)
  • Dr. Maté’s non-negotiable self-care practice (1:00:03)

For more on Dr. Gabor Mate you can follow him on Facebook @DrGaborMate, on Twitter @DrGaborMate, on YouTube @DrGaborMate, and through his website

Also mentioned in this episode:

For more on Dhru Purohit, be sure to follow him on Instagram @dhrupurohit, on Facebook @dhruxpurohit, on Twitter @dhrupurohit, and on YouTube @dhrupurohit. You can also text Dhru at (302) 200-5643 or click here

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Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD
Mark Hyman, MD


Mark Hyman, MD

Mark Hyman, MD is the Founder and Director of The UltraWellness Center, the Head of Strategy and Innovation of Cleveland Clinic's Center for Functional Medicine, and a 13-time New York Times Bestselling author.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.


If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

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