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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An act of bravery - it takes courage to stand up and be counted as one of the 'one in four', 23 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Sane New World: Taming the Mind (Hardcover)
If you've not encountered how mindfulness techniques can help with depression before, this book by Ruby Wax is a good place to start. It explains the concepts simply and wittily, and provides useful exercises at the end to help put the theory into practice.

I found the second chapter - 'For the Normal-Mad' - superfluous (it seemed a case of stating the obvious to me) but still I'd recommend the book overall, especially if you're down. The short chapters make it easy to digest when concentration is poor (often a side effect of depression) and Ruby's willingness to expose her own vulnerabilities makes it feel as if you're in the company of a good friend as you read.

There are, it's true, other more fulsome books on mindfulness out there (I'd recommend 'The Mindful Way through Depression' by Williams, Teasdale, Segal and Kabat-Zinn if it's detail you're after) and there are more searing accounts of going through breakdown too (I'd cite Sally Brampton's 'Shoot The Damn Dog' and Gwynneth Lewis's 'Sunbathing in the Rain' as two of the best I've come across) but they don't detract from this book, which, as a cross between the two genres (part self-help tome, part memoir), aims to do something different.

Moreover, because Ruby Wax is a household name, there's every chance 'Sane New World' will find its way into the hands of people who might not otherwise read about depression, and that can be no bad thing. I have enormous respect for Ruby and admire what she's done (and continues to do) to raise awareness of mental illness. Indeed, as an aside, I'd go so far as to say the programmes she fronted for Channel 4 in 2012 acted as a source of inspiration to me personally. So thank you Ruby, for being brave enough to stand up and be a spokesperson for one in four; 'the Mad-Mad'. That takes even greater courage than stand-up comedy, and I'm sure I'm not alone in being grateful for your bravery.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Sep 2013 12:34:02 BDT
Great review; I'll certainly check out Ruby's book. There's a history of mental illness in my family (bi-polar) and raising awareness of the one in four is essential. My mother was unable to speak of my father's depression and subsequent suicide for years. This damaged her, and my sister and me. Sadly, there's still so much prejudice out there.

Posted on 25 Sep 2013 15:01:49 BDT
cfs says:
Sarah,

Thanks for recommending... I have just recently acquired a copy from amazon and also enjoying reading it. As I enjoy your books of course.
Clare x
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