25 Famous Gabor Mate Quotes on Trauma and Human Beings

Dr. Gabor Mate, a well-known lecturer, and best-selling author is highly sought after for his knowledge of a variety of subjects, including addiction, stress, and child development. The World of Hungry Ghosts: Intimate Encounters with Addiction, When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress, and Scattered Minds: The Causes and Treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder are just a few of Dr. Maté’s best-selling books. Hang On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers is another book he co-authored. In more than thirty different languages, his writings have been published abroad.

Best Gabor Mate Quotes on Trauma and Healing

  1. “Addiction is not a choice that anybody makes; it’s not a moral failure. What it actually is: it’s a response to human suffering.”
  2. “I believe that ADD can be better understood if we examine people’s lives, not only bits of DNA.”
  3. “Trauma is not what happens to you, it’s what happens inside you as a result of what happened to you. ”
  4. “Human biology and human neurobiology are interpersonal. The brain is a social organ, and it’s affected by the environment, and particularly it’s affected by the psycho-emotional environment.”
  5. “Whether these features become talents or problems depends, in short, on how the child’s nature is nurtured.”
  6. “Knowing oneself comes from attending with compassionate curiosity to what is happening within.”
  7. “While nervous tension may be a component of stress, one can be stressed without feeling tension.”
  8. “Whatever the hopes, wishes or intentions of the parent, the child does not experience the parent directly: the child experiences the parenting.”
  9. “Children are a great incentive and impetus for parents to learn about themselves, about each other, and about life itself. Unfortunately, much of the learning may occur at their expense.”
  10. “Trauma is that scarring that makes you less flexible, more rigid, less feeling and more defended.”
  11. “You need to look at what is it about our society that generates what we call abnormality?”
  12. “When we flee our vulnerability, we lose our full capacity for feeling emotion.”
  13. “The DSM defines attention deficit disorder by its external features, not by its emotional meaning in the lives of individual human beings.”
  14. “It’s not an automatic outcome of living in the world that we should become disconnected. It’s a product of a certain way of life and a certain way of parenting and certain childhood experiences, where it becomes too painful to stay connected so disconnection becomes a defense.”
  15. “What seems like a reaction to some present circumstance is, in fact, a reliving of past emotional experience.”
  16. “Love felt by the parent does not automatically translate into love experienced by the child.”
  17. “Adaptiveness is the capacity to respond to external stressors without rigidity, with flexibility and creativity, without excessive anxiety and without being overwhelmed by emotion.”
  18. “The attempt to escape from pain is what creates more pain.”
  19. “Our birthright as human beings is to be happy, and the addict just wants to be a human being.”
  20. “The essence of trauma is disconnection from ourselves. Trauma is not terrible things that happen from the other side—those are traumatic. But the trauma is that very separation from the body and emotions.”
  21. “Shame is the deepest of the “negative emotions,” a feeling we will do almost anything to avoid. Unfortunately, our abiding fear of shame impairs our ability to see reality.”
  22. “The automatic repression of painful emotion is a helpless child’s prime defense mechanism and can enable the child to endure trauma that would otherwise be catastrophic. The unfortunate consequence is a wholesale dulling of emotional awareness.”
  23. “The research literature has identified three factors that universally lead to stress: uncertainty, the lack of information, and the loss of control.”
  24. “Trauma is a psychic wound that hardens you psychologically that then interferes with your ability to grow and develop. It pains you and now you’re acting out of pain. It induces fear and now you’re acting out of fear.

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