Inspiring

Dr. Gabor Maté’s talk on addiction to power is one of the best messages of the past 10 years

April 8th, 2021

When you hear the word addiction, it usually connotes drugs.

But what people don’t know is that addiction comes in many forms. It takes on different shapes that one is sometimes unaware of it, and anyone can be a victim of it regardless of gender and age.

In the spirit of “ideas worth spreading,” a Canadian physician was invited as a guest speaker to enlighten everyone about addiction, and his call for a compassionate approach towards it.

Dr. Gabor Mate, a renowned addiction expert, believes that the source of addiction is deeply rooted in the early childhood environment.

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Dr. Gabor kicks off his discussion by saying that if a doctor’s success is measured by the longevity of his patients, then he would consider himself a failure.

It is because his patients die relatively young due to addiction to either drugs or alcohol. It’s not as if he is incompetent as a doctor, but perhaps because these people don’t want to help themselves. They don’t want to be rescued.

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To quote the Egyptian writer and Nobel Prize for Literature winner Naguib Mahfouz, “Nothing records the effects of a sad life as graphically as the human body.”

Their depression and misery are taking a toll on them. Even if they end up losing everything from beauty to health to wealth, even if it costs them their very lives, they continue to cling to their addiction because it sustains them.

Which begs the question: why do they continue to seek something that destroys them?

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For Dr. Gabor, they are suffering.

He strongly believes that it all boils down to the person’s environment and his upbringing when he was still young, which greatly affects his behavior and growth.

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If a child has been subjected to trauma or any kind of abuse, it results in an emotional loss.

Whether it is physical or emotional pain, it inflicts long-lasting damage to a person’s psyche. Their wounds may have healed, yet the scars remain. Thus creating psychological voids they wish to fill.

And their addiction offers them the respite, a sense of peace and control that they need.

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Addicts are insatiable people with a nearly endless appetite.

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As he explains, drugs or alcohol are not addictive per se.

It’s just that some people are more susceptible or vulnerable to these things because that is the only way they can acquire whatever is absent in their lives. For it is just human nature to seek pleasure and avoid pain. For these people, that is their own way of dealing with their problems or stress.

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What separates this type of addiction from the other is only the degree of severity, but the obsessive preoccupation is there.

For Dr. Gabor, anything that gives you temporary relief or pleasure, but in the long-term causes harm, not only to yourself but to other people as well, is considered an addiction.

So be kind to everyone you meet, for you don’t know the battles they are fighting.

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Often, people don’t have the luxury to choose their battles. The life they are born with leaves them no choice.

It is really amazing how Dr. Gabor helps people to recover from their addiction by focusing on the underlying problems they had as a child that might have somehow contributed to their decisions when they got older.

If you also want to be inspired by his words of wisdom, check out the full video below:

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Source: Gabor Maté, Wikipedia

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