Monday, May 30, 2011

Sexed, Stressed, and Sick (addictions)


For Memorial Day Democracy Now! presented special programming combining the amazing contributions to understanding the root of diseases many think are genetic. He also exposes the complicity of the pharmaceutical industry: Americans, who comprise only 5% of the world's population, are prescribed 66% of the world's psychoactive medications such as Prozac.

Sex addiction is one of the main compulsions in America today, largely stemming from our traumatic childhoods, exposure to ubiquitous porn, our craving for comfort, and religious oppression. (Image: a scene from "Choke,"

They are actually due to childhood trauma, diet, and stress. Canadian physician, disease and addiction expert, and bestselling author Dr. Gabor Maté presents his findings together on one program.

The screen, the screen, we're as addicted to our screens as children are to candy.

This includes his groundbreaking Buddhist work In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction on sex, computer screen, workaholism, drug, excitement, and fast food cravings, which drive feel good brain chemicals.

Internet porn, masturbation, adultery, alcoholism, "acting out," what's at the root of our compulsive/self-soothing behaviors?

From disease to addiction, parenting to childhood ADD (attention deficit disorder), Dr. Maté’s work focuses on the centrality of early childhood experiences on the development of the brain and susceptibility to a wide array of "incurable" diseases and addictions.

Early childhood experiences such as being sexually mole

sted or emotionally traumatized impact everything from behavioral patterns to physical and mental illness. The relationship between emotional stress and disease -- and mental and physical health more broadly -- is often considered controversial within medical orthodoxy.

But Dr. Maté convincingly argues that many doctors seem to have forgotten what was once a commonplace assumption -- that emotions are deeply implicated in the development of illness, addictions, and psychological disorders and, more importantly, in their healing.