Gabor Maté is a physician and author focusing on topics such as the impact of trauma on the body, on our habits and on our actions. He recently wrote the Myth of Normal. One of the very many quotes that strikes a chord in me is:
Late stage capitalism is expert in catering to this sense of present-moment dread—in fact, much of its success depends on the chasm between us and the present, our greatest gift, getting ever wider, the false products and artificial distractions of consumer culture designed to fill in the gap. … Ultimately, what we are distracted from is living.
Our lifestyle is full of instant gratification. The foundations of health are easier in a lot of ways. We can go to the grocery store to find a myriad of choices for food, we can have water in our house, we can buy a comfortable mattress to place in the protection of our four walls, we can send out a text and “hear” back in seconds. The time we used to spend is now substituted by the time we spend at work and how much our work is worth. Time is our valuable trading commodity. Depending on race, socioeconomic status, family connections, how much our time is worth is assigned at birth (with very few people able to overcome this in their lifetime).
Due to this and the cost of living, the time that we have outside of work is our most important commodity. We can spend hours reading a book, or we can buy that hot new phone (dopamine burst) and scroll through instagram (dopamine burst, dopamine burst) or watch Tik Tok videos (dopamine burst, dopamine burst, dopamine burst). Society has set us up with a myriad of things to give us a happy relief that is unsustainable.
The same goes with our medicine. You have depression? Here’s your prescription. You have past trauma that you want to talk about? Go see someone about that.
Does that mean I’m against conventional medicine and counselors? No, but sometimes it’s not enough.
To give you more insight into my perspective, I do think antidepressants are important. I have patients who want to stay natural but don’t have the energy to get out of bed. I’m not going to tell you that walking on a broken foot is fine, I’m going to give you a crutch.
However, there is no easy fix, no pill you can take that makes everything better. Back to the antidepressant metaphor, that affects your interactions with your social circle, what you eat, how you sleep. Did it start as a genetic inheritance, unsolved trauma, addiction to our “consumer culture”?
You can’t go through human life without being complex and it’s my job to create an individual plan to reintegrate you to wholeness, so you can get back to fully living. I can do that as a sole provider or as an adjunct to someone else you are seeing.