’This book is filled with compassion and honesty and offers a fresh approach to understanding life with addiction’.
Title: In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close encounters with addiction
Author: Gabour Maté
Reviewer: Jennie Walker, Principal Lecturer, Nottingham Trent University
What was it like?
This is a well-written account of addiction, which skilfully blends personal stories and research to provide a distinctive opportunity to explore this specialist subject. The content covers a wealth of topics including how the addicted brain develops, the neurobiology of how the addicted brain functions, and the complexities of living with and managing addiction. This is a captivating read which draws the reader in to the raw emotions and encounters of addiction as well as the challenges faced when caring for patients with addictive tendencies.
What were the highlights?
One of the key highlights is that the author is a well-known expert in the subject area. The writing style offers unique insight into addiction and enables the reader to relate to the experiences and adversities of addiction. The content naturally leads the reader to contemplate their own habits and addictive tendencies in both personal and professional aspects of their lives.
Strengths & weaknesses:
This book is filled with compassion and honesty and offers a fresh approach to understanding life with addiction. The mix of personal stories and scientific underpinnings proficiently challenges stereotypical perceptions of addiction and makes the reader consider their own opinions and feelings on the subject. One of the many strengths of this book is that it avoids recommending overly prescriptive self-help remedies but instead focuses on the importance of self-understanding as a key step towards wellness.
Who should read it?
This book would be appreciated by those who are interested in learning more about addiction and addictive behaviours. It would be equally enjoyed by health professionals or those with a general interest in the subject.
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