In the video below Dr. Russell Razzaque shares what he learns about the psyche when he starts meditating. He is surprised when he comes to recognize many states he experiences in meditation to be similar to states that are pathologized in psychiatry. He sees them in his patients and recognizes them in his own experience when meditating.
I’ve certainly found meditation to be a way to learn how to recognize and integrate many parts of my psyche…including those which got me locked up and drugged many years ago as a young woman. It’s become clear to me too that which gets labeled pathological in psychiatry are simply extreme examples of what is simply human nature.
The biggest problem in the mental illness system is that most mental health professionals don’t understand these things about the psyche. They don’t know their own minds and therefore are afraid of people who display the darkest parts of their minds. Thus they do not know how to help, but worse yet, use treatments that are actually damaging to people and don’t heal them either.
This guy is figuring it out. I love that he says that it’s different for everyone and that no one should tell another what their healing process should look like. Yes, that is true. We need a smorgasbord of options. An endless variety of options, really, since many therapeutic healing practices aren’t considered clinical at all. In the end, it’s about learning to live well. Not about finding the right technique. And that truly looks different for every human being as they come to know who they are.
Dr. Russell Razzaque is a London-based psychiatrist with sixteen years’ experience in adult mental health. He is the author of Breaking Down is Waking up.
Breaking Down is Waking up: The connection between psychological distress and spiritual awakening — it’s often one and the same!