In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Gabor Maté, M.D. & Peter A. Levine, Ph.D.

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts

By Gabor Maté, M.D. & Peter A. Levine, Ph.D.

  • Release Date: 2010-01-05
  • Genre: Self-Improvement
Score: 4.5
From 21 Ratings
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Based on Gabor Mate’s two decades of experience as a medical doctor and his groundbreaking work with the severely addicted on Vancouver’s skid row, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts radically reenvisions this much misunderstood field by taking a holistic approach. Dr. Mate presents addiction not as a discrete phenomenon confined to an unfortunate or weak-willed few, but as a continuum that runs throughout (and perhaps underpins) our society; not a medical "condition" distinct from the lives it affects, rather the result of a complex interplay among personal history, emotional, and neurological development, brain chemistry, and the drugs (and behaviors) of addiction. Simplifying a wide array of brain and addiction research findings from around the globe, the book avoids glib self-help remedies, instead promoting a thorough and compassionate self-understanding as the first key to healing and wellness.

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts argues persuasively against contemporary health, social, and criminal justice policies toward addiction and those impacted by it. The mix of personal stories—including the author’s candid discussion of his own "high-status" addictive tendencies—and science with positive solutions makes the book equally useful for lay readers and professionals.


  • Outstanding

    By lksix6
    This book opened up so many doors for me that I was unable to see before. I feel like I was finally able to put the missing pieces of the puzzle together. Thank you Dr. Maté! Your work means so much to me.
  • A Life-Enhancing Book

    By C. Mandell
    My mind has been opened with Mate's wisdom, my heart opened by his incredible compassion. Not only one of the most informative on human nature, but one of the most transformative as well. I am in awe.
  • A True Blessing

    By dimax47
    As an alcoholic I found this book more helpful than others I read due to the insights and practical steps Dr. Mate offers to the addicted brain. His advice has proven helpful to me as I learn to be self-compassionate versus self-critical. A must read, in my opinion.