gabor on childhood trauma
anything that is ‘wrong’ with you began as a survival mechanism in childhood – gabor maté
28 min interview (jun 2019) w Gabor:
in a certain sense i’m an absolute imposter.. because i write all these diff books.. i speak in many diff countries.. i talk about addiction and child development and stress and parenting.. and i’m only saying one thing.. when you treat children well they’re going to be ok.. if you don’t treat them well they’re not going to be ok.. a very simple message.. that anybody’s great grandmother could have told.. so the fact that this is even necessary a sign of the times
2 min – so much of what people suffer from relates to childhood experience
3 min – important to define trauma: from greek wound.. when loss of feeling .. loss of awareness of feeling.. reduced flexibility in responding to the world.. a hardness there.. in response to the wound.. so trauma is a psychic wound that hardens you psychologically .. but then interferes w your ability to grow/develop.. it pains you .. so now acting out of pain.. it induces fear.. so now acting out of fear.. so w/o knowing it your whole life is regulated by fear and pain that you’re trying to escape from by various ways.. that’s what trauma is.. so trauma is not what happens to you .. trauma is what happens inside of you as a result of what happened.. trauma is that scaring that makes you less flexible.. more rigid.. less feeling.. and more defended
5 min – this is a highly traumatized society
6 min – majority of people don’t understand trauma.. ie: something horrific happening rather than an internal psychic wound.. avg med student doesn’t even hear the word psychic trauma in their ed.. legal system knows nothing of trauma.. so used punishment.. rather than supporting really troubling people..
8 min – w/o capacity to know what feel and interpret appropriately .. lost.. we’re born w that.. but adults ignore gut feelings..
9 min – if environ cannot support gut feelings and healthy emotions .. then child in order to belong.. fit in.. will automatically/unwittingly/unconsciously.. repress their emotions/connections to self for the sake of staying connected to the nurturing environ.. w/o which the child can’t survive.. a lot of children are in this dilemma.. do i feel/express what i feel.. or do i have to suppress that in order to be acceptable.. to be a good/nice kid
10 min – if parents themselves are not in touch w their feelings .. they can’t tolerate the child’s feelings.. it threatens them.. auto disconnect w selves to continue to be looked after.. then get to.. i don’t know who i am.. realize not living own lives..
11 min – (study 2 days ago) 80% of people in canada stressed by jobs.. the more disconnected kids are.. the more they can fit into econ that doesn’t care about human feelings but rather profitability/production.. so just a cycle that keeps going
12 min – so your new book – myth of normal illness/health in an insane culture.. how insane is our culture
depends how you define sanity.. what makes society insane is that it tramples on human needs
so when someone is normal in society.. they’re conforming to an insane standard..
then book on connecting parents w adult children.. writing w son
i would say almost every mental health disorder originates in childhood experience and originates as a coping mech
14 min – in early life.. anxiety is an attachment alarm.. child’s biggest need.. attachment.. serves a positive purpose.. fear is adaptive.. a coping mech
15 min – but what happens to a person whose parents are taught by med experts ie: not to pick up kids when crying.. now natural fear.. that causes the crying.. that brings parent.. which ends the anxiety.. is embedded in the child.. so what begins as a coping mech becomes generalized..
16 min – so when ie: anxiety attacks.. is not anything external.. it’s the embedded anxiety developed as a child
in a society that makes people more isolated all the time.. there’s more general threat.. and when that general threat hits people who are in childhood over immersed in anxiety that’s not relieved by the parent coming to help them.. so to your friends (w panic attacks).. see that that anxiety is a normal response to what actually happened to them (as children).. and that it can be relieved/recovered-from if they look at its sources
18 min – suggestions to people waking up to this.. continue.. on my gravestone: a lot more work than i anticipated.. it’s a lot of work but it’s necessary/beautiful work.. the more you get to know yourself.. the freer you are.. approach self w genuine curiosity/compassion.. what is this all about..
20 min – on ayahuasca – can relive/revision childhood experience w insight of an adult.. get to know true nature.. not for everybody.. but for a lot of people can be profound journeys of the soul
23 min – mind and body can’t be separated.. a lot of stresses that were suppressed in childhood as coping mech.. i feel disease is body saying not to stresses in life they haven’t said no to.. so ask self.. ie: how much of a people pleaser are you et al
25 min – as 18 yr old i was very focused on fixing world.. nothing wrong with that but was also an escape from stress i was facing.. so i’d say.. get to know yourself.. and combine curiosity (really don’t know.. really open to finding out) about self.. on real needs
listening again 6 mos later
june 2019 – Dr Gabor Maté on Childhood Trauma, The Real Cause of Anxiety, Our ‘Insane’ Culture and Ayahuasca – 28 min video
“When I talk about being connected to ourselves, I’m talking about actually knowing what we feel and experience in a given moment, and being able to interpret that appropriately. You’ve never met an infant who’s not connected with its gut feelings. By the time you talk to adults, you find many people who even if they have their gut feelings, they ignore them. Something happens between infancy and adulthood that disconnects us. What that is, is our need for acceptance by our environment.”
See the full interview discussing how widespread trauma is in modern society, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7pV0IPWUlI.
28 min video:
i’m an imposter.. i’ve written books and give talks.. but all i’m saying is .. treat children well and they’ll be fine.. don’t and they won’t
3 min – greek word for trauma is wound.. healing involves scar tissue.. bigger wound.. bigger scar.. loss of feeling, reduced flexibility.. a psychic wound that hardens/pains you.. whole life regulated by fear and pain.. trauma isn’t what happens to you.. it’s what happens inside you
5 min – very few people grow up fully untraumatized in this culture..
6 min – also less resilient.. because resilience requires connection
7 min – most people.. and legal system.. ed system.. knows very little about trauma.. so end up punishing rather than rehabilitating
connected to self – knowing self.. feelings.. et al
9 min – we were born w that capacity.. never met an infant not connected to gut feelings.. by the time talk to many adults.. many don’t even have gut feelings.. because they ignore them.. so something happens from infancy to adulthood that disconnects us.. what is that..t
not yet scrambled ness
what that is is the need for acceptance by our environ.. if our environ cannot/will-not accept our gut feelings and healthy emotions.. then the child in order to belong and fit in will automatically/unwittingly/unconsciously repress/suppress emotions and connection to self for the sake of staying connected to the nurturing environ.. w/o which the child can’t survive.. t
10 min – a lot of children are in this dilemma.. do i feel/express what i feel or do i have to suppress that in order to be acceptable.. to be a good/nice kid..t
if parent isn’t in touch with self.. can’t tolerate the child’s feelings.. react in anger.. and the child learns.. i mustn’t feel what i feel.. because i have to belong to my parents.. a tragic choice.. not even a choice.. automatic.. then we get into adulthood.. and.. i don’t even know who i am..t
11 min – fit w econ ..(study/report this summer .. 80% of males in canada stressed in jobs) .. econ needs people who will go into meaningless/drudgery/intolerable (jobs) .. but will put up with it.. so there’s a confluence with the needs of the econ and the way we parent kids.. t
bs jobs et al
the more disconnected kids are .. the more they can fit into the econ.. t.. that doesn’t care about human feelings.. just cares about profit and production.. so just a cycle..
new book – myth of normal in an insane culture
12 min – if you look at sanity as something that’s congruent w human nature/needs.. never mind nature.. just look at needs.. for meaning/connection/validation/belonging/transcendence.. and look at those as needs.. this society is insane because it tramples on those human needs.. that’s what makes it insane.. so normal in society.. they’re conforming to an insane standard
writing another book with my son: hello again.. a fresh start for adult children and their parents
14 min – (on anxiety and panic attacks) in general.. all mental health disorders originates in childhood experience as a coping mech
afraid when we’re threatened.. child’s biggest need.. attachment w parent.. so should feel fear when not around.. and when parent is responding to their (natural) parent instinct.. they will respond when child cries out..
15 min – what happens to a person who’s parents are taught not to pick up kids when crying.. now that natural fear that causes the crying.. which brings the parent.. which ends the anxiety .. is embedded in the child.. so what begins as a coping mech.. now becomes generalized
16 min – so .. when i have that anxiety when there’s no immediate threat.. what is that about.. it’s not a response to anything external.. it’s the embedded anxiety that i developed as a child.. in a society that makes people more isolated all the time (so a cry for some desperate help from childhood trauma – normal – needs relief)
18 min – the more you get to know yourself.. the freer you are.. whatever you bring out of self.. will free you.. whatever you don’t will kill you
19 min – align your psyche w body..
20 min – on ayahuasca – under proper circumstances.. can relive childhood experiences.. w the insight of an adult.. so get to know true nature.. get to make friends w it.. a romanticized version.. sometimes just get a stomach ache.. and for some.. fears can be very difficult.. not for everybody.. but for a lot of people can be profound journeys into the soul
but .. an adult not in tune w self.. no? – insight in need of detox
24 min – endometriosis.. fibromyalgia.. all from childhood trauma.. stresses from suppressing self.. their disease is their body saying no
25 min – (advice to 18 yr old) – i was trying to fix the world.. because of stuff i was suppressing.. so.. get to know yourself.. combine curiosity about self.. curiosity means .. you really don’t know.. really open to finding out .. and open to any kind of outcome.. that takes a lot.. because people are afraid of what they will find
26 min – so to 18 yr old self.. relax.. the world is benign.. it will support you.. use it to support yourself.. get to know yourself.. not on selfish needs.. but on real needs.. don’t neglect one (inside) for the other (outside)
But the memoir is mostly about the shattering effect that early childhood trauma, addiction and grief can have generations later. It’s a subtle exploration of the “ripples”, as Taylor puts it.
Was his dad abusive? “No,” he says firmly. “My father was a remarkable and powerful and beautiful guy who self-medicated with alcohol … But he was by no means an abusive or stumble-bum or knee-walking or ditch-sleeping drunk.”
Still, an unpredictable parent is rarely a recipe for a stable adulthood. “Sure,” he says. “But complacent happiness is not a gift of the gods, either.”
His first big hit, Fire and Rain, about the suicide of a friend, includes the themes that came to define his songwriting – the precarity of our emotional lives, happiness as something to be treasured and the natural world’s capacity for renewal. The line “I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend,” prompted Carole King to write You’ve Got a Friend for him in response.
“To be able to take a juice that solves your internal stress …” he trails off. “One of the signs that you have an addiction problem is how well it works for you at the very beginning. It’s the thing that makes you say: ‘Damn, I like my life now.’ That’s when you know you shouldn’t do it again.” His wasn’t the addiction of rock mythology, chaotic and glamourised. Taylor says mostly he used the drug to “get normal”.