View Full Version : TEDxTalks, "The Power of Addiction and Addiction of Power"

10-06-13, 04:15 PM
The Power of Addiction and Addiction to Power: Gabor Mate M.D. at TEDxRio +20

10-06-13, 11:04 PM
(1:38)...the addictions are powerful, and the question is why?

And as one of my patience said to me.

"I'm not afraid of dying", he said, "I'm more afraid of living".

And the question we have to ask is, why are people afraid of life?

And, if you want to understand addiction.

You can't look at what is wrong with the addiction, you have to look at what is right about it.

In other words, what is the person getting from the addiction?

What are they getting that otherwise they don't have?

And what addict's get, are relief from us, from pain, what they get is a sense of peace, a sense of control, a sense of calmness, very very temporally.

And the question is, why are these qualities missing from their lives, what happened to them?

Now if you look at the drugs like heroine, like morphine, like codeine, if you look at cocaine, if you look at alcohol.

These are all pain killers.

One way or another, they all sooth pain, and that is the real question in addiction.

Is not why the addiction, but why the pain?


-Gabor Mate M.D.

10-07-13, 12:05 AM
(p87-88) 4. Windows of opportunity/windows of vulnerability: ( The sequential development of the brain and the activity-dependence of many key aspects of neurodevelopment suggest that there must be times during development when a given developing neural system is more sensitive to experience than others.

In healthy development, that sensitivity allows the brain to rapidly and efficiently organize in response to the unique demands of a given environment to express from its broad genetic potential those characteristics which best fit that child’s world.

If the child speaks Japanese as opposed to English, for example, or if this child will live in the plains of Africa or the tundra of the Yukon, different genes can be expressed, different neural networks can be organized from that child’s potential to best fit that family, culture and environment.

We all are aware of how rapidly young children can learn language, develop new behaviors and master new tasks.

The very same neurodevelopmental sensitivity that allows amazing developmental advances in response to predictable, nurturing, repetitive and enriching experiences make the developing child vulnerable to adverse experiences.

Sensitive periods are different for each brain area and neural system, and therefore, for different functions.

The sequential development of the brain and the sequential unfolding of the genetic map for development mean that the sensitive periods for neural system (and the functions they mediate) will be when that system is in the developmental ‘hot zone’ – when that area is most actively organizing.

The brainstem must organize key systems by birth; therefore, the sensitive period for those brainstem-mediated functions is during the prenatal period.

The neocortex, in contrast, has systems and functions organizing throughout childhood and into adult life.

The sensitive periods for these cortically mediated functions are likely to be very long.

The simple and unavoidable conclusion of these neurodevelopmental principles is that the organizing, sensitive brain of an infant or young child is more malleable to experience than a mature brain.

While experience may alter the behavior of an adult, experience literally provides the organizing framework for an infant and child.

Because the brain is most plastic (receptive to environmental input) in early childhood, the child is most vulnerable to variance of experience during this time.

Two forms of “neglect” will be considered below: extreme multi-sensory neglect in childhood and a more subtle, insidious decrease in our opportunities to elaborate our socio-emotional potential caused by the sociocultural changes in how we choose to live.

The sensory deprivation neglect results in obvious alterations in neurobiology and function while the second form has an almost invisible toxic impact on the developing child – and ultimately, society.

-Dr.Bruce D.Perry, "Childhood Experience and the Expression of Genetic Potential: What Childhood Neglect Tells Us About Nature and Nurture", P87-88.