This book explores an entirely new way of understanding psychological and mental distress based on Dr Razzaque’s work as a consultant psychiatrist together with the insights he has gained as a regular practitioner of meditation. His extraordinary conclusion: mental illness can also be a form of spiritual awakening. Dr Razzaque provides evidence for this from a range of sources including direct clinical case material from his work in acute mental health services to the latest findings from neuroscience and the insights of meditative traditions. The book describes new forms of treatment for mental illness inspired by Eastern approaches and centering, in particular, around practices such as mindfulness. These therapies offer both patients and their families the inspiring idea that the approach to their psychological difficulties should go beyond just “treating” episodes of mental illness but also, where possible, help the individual to complete the process of spiritual growth they have begun. Dr Razzaque argues passionately that our society as a whole could benefit from developing an awareness of the spiritual power of this process of transformation. Written in the tradition of the bestselling insights of neuroscientist Eben Alexander and therapists Irvin D. Yalom and Oliver Sacks, Breaking Down is Waking Up, will speak to both professionals in the field of mental health as well as those suffering from mental illness, their family and friends and, indeed, all those who have an interest in exploring the deepest layers of what it really means to be human.
Dr Russell Razzaque is a London-based psychiatrist with sixteen years’ experience in adult mental health. He has worked for a number of national and international organizations during his career including the University of Cambridge, the UK Home Office and the Ministry of Justice, and he currently works in acute mental health services in the NHS in east London. He is also a published author in human psychology with several books on the subject, and he writes columns for a number of publications including Psychology Today, The Independent, The Guardian and USA Today.