Gabor Mate

Gabor Mate is a data scientist and author of the book, “In The Realm Of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction.” In this interview with Christopher Ryan, he talks about how one can use psychedelics like ibogaine to make addicts feel ‘trapped in hell’ and give them their freedom back.

Gabor Mate is a Hungarian-born Canadian physician and author who has written extensively about the benefits of ayahuasca. He is married to the author Louise L. Hay, and has two children with her.

Gabor Mate

Gabor Maté is a retired Hungarian-born Canadian physician with a specific interest in children development and trauma.

Gabor has spoken frequently on a variety of themes relevant to him after retiring as a physician, including addiction and both physical and mental health.

He has published many books on a variety of subjects, including addiction, ADHD, and mind-body wellness.

Gabor’s knowledge in a variety of vital areas has made him a highly sought-after speaker.

But what do we know about Gabor and what can we take from his experience?

This comprehensive Gabor Maté biography will cover all you need to know about him, as well as what we may learn from his perspectives.

Information about Gabor Mate

• Twitter: @drgabormate • Facebook: @drgabormate • Website: • Full name: Gabor Maté • Date of Birth: 6 January 1944 • Age: 78 years old

Gabor Mate: Who Is He?

Gabor Maté is a former physician who is now a recognized expert and lecturer on a variety of topics, including addiction and mind-body wellness.

He is well-known for his knowledge in a variety of subjects, including addiction, stress, and early development.

Gabor was born on January 6, 1944, in Budapest, Hungary. When he was five months old, his maternal grandparents were murdered at Auschwitz, his aunt vanished during the war, and his father was forced to work for the Nazis.

In 1956, he and his family immigrated to Canada.

Gabor often discusses how the harsh conditions of his youth led to some of his subsequent personal problems.

Gabor notes in his TEDx lecture in October 2012, “I was born to Jewish parents in 1944, right before the Germans conquered Hungary.”

“When the German army marched into Budapest, I was two months old.” My mother called the doctor the next day and asked, “Will you come see Gabor since he’s weeping all the time?” ‘Of sure, I’ll see him,’ the doctor said, ‘but I should warn you, all my Jewish kids are wailing.’

Gabor Mate

(Photo courtesy of Gabor Mate/Handout)

“How much do newborns understand about Hitler, Genocide, and War?” Nothing. What we were picking up on were our moms’ worries and fears, which shaped the brain of the infant.

“I receive the impression that the world doesn’t want me,” she says. My mother isn’t pleased when I’m around, therefore I’m guessing she doesn’t want me.

“How did I end up as a workaholic later on?” Because even if they don’t want me, they will need my services. Now I’ll be a well-known physician. That way, I’ll be able to compensate for the fact that I didn’t feel desired in the first place.”

Gabor worked for 12 years on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, including at Vancouver’s Supervised Injection Site, with people suffering from hard-core drug addiction, mental illness, and HIV.

Gabor also has over 20 years of expertise in family practice and palliative care.

He is well-known for his speeches and seminars, which he delivers to health professionals, educators, and lay audiences in North America and across the globe.

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction, When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress, and Scattered Minds: A New Look at the Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder are just a few of Gabor’s best-selling works.

With developmental psychologist Gordon Neufeld, he co-authored Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Matter More Than Peers.

His addiction book is a must-read. The Hubert Evans Prize for Literary Non-Fiction was awarded to In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts. He has also received the Order of Canada, Canada’s highest civilian honor, as well as the Civic Merit Award from his city of Vancouver.

Gabor has appeared in a variety of media outlets and is a frequent guest on podcasts.

In February 2018, he was a guest on The Tim Ferris Show podcast, and in October 2018, he was a guest on Russell Brand’s Under The Skin podcast.

One of Gabor’s frequent themes is that patients should be encouraged to reflect on their childhoods and how they have influenced their adult actions throughout time.

Gabor Mate on The Tim Ferriss Show (photo courtesy of YouTube/The Tim Ferriss Show)

Gabor Mate on The Tim Ferriss Show (photo courtesy of YouTube/The Tim Ferriss Show)

Gabor is unquestionably one of the most well-known figures in the domains of childhood development and emotional trauma.

If you’ve ever listened to Gabor’s interviews or attended one of his workshops, you’re already aware of how effectively he can cut through people’s pain and get to what seems to be the base of it in a short amount of time.

Gabor Maté’s Quotations

Gabor Maté has delivered a lot of presentations over the years, and he has a number of memorable phrases that may be used to encapsulate his key themes. Here are a few of our personal favorites:

“Trying to get away from suffering always makes things worse.”

“[The issue is] why the agony, not why the addiction?”

“It’s hard to comprehend addiction without considering what relief the addict derives from, or seeks to get from, the substance or addicted behavior.”

“Stress is often seen in medical thought as a series of very distressing but discrete events, such as abrupt unemployment, a divorce, or the loss of a loved one. Many individuals are stressed by significant events, but there are persistent everyday pressures in people’s life that are more insidious and detrimental in terms of long-term biological implications. Internally created tensions wreak havoc without seeming out of the usual.”

“When I pass harsh judgment on another person, it’s because I perceive or see in them some component of myself that I don’t want to face.”

“Three elements have been identified in the study literature as generally causing stress: uncertainty, a lack of knowledge, and a loss of control.”

“What we call personality is often a mishmash of actual features and chosen coping techniques that do not represent our inner self – rather the loss of it.”

“At the heart of all addictive behaviors is a wounded… The wound may not be as deep or as terrible as it once was, and it may even be completely covered, but it still there. As we’ll see, early stress or traumatic events have a direct influence on both the psychology and neuroscience of addiction in the brain.”


Gabor Maté is the author of numerous best-selling novels, as we said before. Here are the titles of his four books:

• Scattered Minds: A New Look at Attention Deficit Disorder’s Origins and Treatment (1999)

• The Cost of Hidden Stress: When the Body Says No (2003)

• Co-authored with Gordon Neufeld, Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Matter More Than Peers (2004)

• Close Encounters with Addiction: In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts (2008)

TED Talk

In 2012, Gabor Maté presented a TEDx presentation at Rio+20. Gabor discusses addiction to everything from drugs to power in her address, titled The Power of Addiction and The Addiction of Power.

Gabor Mate giving his TEDx talk in 2012 (Photo: YouTube)

In 2012, Gabor Maté gave his TEDx presentation (Photo: YouTube)

Gabor lays down some of the connections between some of history’s leaders who he believes were “addicted to power, riches, acquisition… they want to make themselves greater” throughout the 19-minute discussion, which can be seen on YouTube.

“When I was attempting to understand the addiction to power, I looked at some of the most powerful individuals in history,” he says during the discussion. I studied Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, and others.

“First and foremost, why did they need so much power?” Surprisingly, they were all extremely petite individuals physically. They were foreigners, not part of the majority of the people.

“Stalin was a Georgian, not a Russian, Napoleon a Corsican, Alexander the Great a Macedonian, not a Greek, and Hitler an Austrian, not a German.”

“I had a strong feeling of uneasiness and inadequacy.” They needed power to feel good about themselves and to grow. They were prepared to wage wars and murder a lot of people in order to get that authority.”


Retreat Gabor Maté

Gabor Maté has said in many interviews that he has conducted a number of healing retreats in the past, where he has put some of his ideas into practice to assist individuals in working through their issues.

During many media appearances and speeches, he has spoken extensively about his work with the indigenous Amazonian plant medicine Ayahuasca.

Gabor Maté Ayahuasca retreats at the Temple of The Way of Light in Peru are advertised on the internet, with one scheduled for the summer of 2019.

Gabor Maté: What Can We Learn From Him?

Gabor Maté is unquestionably a trailblazer in the realms of addiction, mind-body wellness, and childhood development.

Gabor’s work is marked by his openness to talk about his personal challenges and how understanding his past has aided him in making progress.

He hasn’t shied away from discussing his personal vices, such as a habit of collecting classical music compact CDs.

Gabor’s work has a lot to teach us, and we have a hunch that the themes he addresses will become even more relevant in the coming years.

Final Thoughts

We can learn a lot from Dr. Gabor Maté and his work.

Although his beliefs are unlikely to be applicable to everyone, the themes he discusses are very significant and should be researched more in the next years.

We congratulate Gabor on his achievements and hope that you have found this biography to be informative.

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Gabor Mate is a Hungarian-born Canadian author, lecturer and public intellectual. He has written more than 80 books on topics such as social justice, the philosophy of science, and Eastern European history. Reference: gabor maté quotes.

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