Vajrayana practice and psychological disorders

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Re: Vajrayana practice and psychological disorders

Postby aE3 » Sat May 21, 2011 12:01 pm

Reading Chogyam Trungpa's 'Shambala - The Sacred Path of the Warrior' really helped (helps) me through the dark periods.
Also reading Shantideva's 'The Bodhisatva Vow' helped.
Finally, Dilgo Khyentse's 'The Wish Fulfilling Gem' which is a meditation, visualition on Guru Rinpoche, really helped.
I didn't read these with a mind to proactice directly, but the wonder & beauty of it all made real sense & I felt a lot better & on the road to recovery. (I got diagnosed as depressed with bpd)

Hope you find a way.
all life has equal value
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Re: Vajrayana practice and psychological disorders

Postby orgyen jigmed » Wed May 25, 2011 11:21 pm

Depression is a major public health problem, in part because like other chronic conditions it tends to run a relapsing course. According to the Western Biopsychosocial perspective, the onset and course of depression have been shown to relate to a variety of biological, historical, environmental, and psychosocial variables. These include the biomedical perspective of disturbances in neurotransmitter functioning, a family history of depression or alchoholism, early parental loss or neglect, recent negative life events, a critical or hostile spouse, lack of a close confiding relationship, lack of adequate social support, and long-term lack of self-esteem.

On the other hand, in many Shamanic traditions worldwide, depression is universally characterized by "soul loss" or feelings of emptiness. However, the rGyud-bzi lists five groups of causes of psycholgocial disorders namely, karma, grief-worry, poison, humoral imbalances (rlung), and unseen demons( kun-brtags gdon-nad)(Clifford,1993). This contrasts with the Traditional Chinese medicine known as Zhongyi, which according to Zhang (2007), feelings of unhappiness and sadness are associated with the experience of stagnation and blockage of flow of emotions that impede the chi mechanism. Yu (stagnation/blockage) occupies such an an important role in the clinical manifestation of Chinese medicine that some famous doctors in the history of Chinese medicine insist that yu is the single most important factor that results in medical disorders. Zhongyi refers mainly to a body of accumulated healing knowledge and practices based on a naturalistic explanation of disease and health rationalized in the language of "Yin-Yang", and "Wuxing" or the five transformative phases. Taking all this into perspective, the reality of multiculturalism in the West is seeing a new development of a new healing tradition which seeks to integrate traditional healing practices into counselling and psychotherapy.

Although the list above of Eastern ethnomedicines is by no means exhaustive, nonetheless Western scientific research suggests that without treatment, people suffering recurrent depression experience relapse at rates as high as 80%. Unlike those not living in the Western world, the majority of those with depression are treated in primary care, and maintenance anti-depressant medication is the mainstream approach. To stay well, people with a history of recurrent depression are recommended to continue antidepresant medication for at least 2 years (Cooper et al., 2007; NICE, 2004; Olfson, Marcus, Tedeschi, & Wan, 2006; van Schaik et al., 2004).

On the other hand, many experience unpleasant side effects, rates of adherence tend to be low, and many express a preference for alternative ethnomedicines, spiritual practices or psychological interventions. In response to this challenge, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) was developed with a specific focus on preventing relapse/recurrence of depression (Segal, Williams,& Teasdale, 2002). MBCT is a relatively brief, 8-week group program. With 8-15 service users per group, MBCT has the potential to help a large number at relatively low cost compared with individual therapies, and may provide an alternative approach for relapse prevention (Teasdale et al., 2008).

Cognitive therapies are based on the idea that faulty or unrealistic, irrational patterns of thinking can create a constricted and distorted outlook on life, which manifest as a wide range of psychological disorders. This is very congruent with the Buddhist view of suffering. However, one reason why people may prefare to opt for traditonal healing is not only due to the emphasis on natural remedies, but also in their ability to share the universal value of connectedness and non-competitiveness, over individualism. To its disadvantage Vajrayana practices may also attract neurotic people in search for a cheap miracle, who find some relief from anxiety and resolution of everyday conflicts and problems in such religious activity.
"If the aspiration for enlightenment is your motivation in coming to see me, there is no remedy except meditative practice. I, too, will only practice." - Zurpoche Sakya Jungne
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Re: Vajrayana practice and psychological disorders

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu May 26, 2011 9:13 am

orgyen jigmed wrote:On the other hand, many experience unpleasant side effects, rates of adherence tend to be low, and many express a preference for alternative ethnomedicines, spiritual practices or psychological interventions. In response to this challenge, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) was developed with a specific focus on preventing relapse/recurrence of depression (Segal, Williams,& Teasdale, 2002). MBCT is a relatively brief, 8-week group program. With 8-15 service users per group, MBCT has the potential to help a large number at relatively low cost compared with individual therapies, and may provide an alternative approach for relapse prevention (Teasdale et al., 2008).
This is the therapeutic method that I have been teaching over the past four years. Truth is that I never learnt this method academically, I studied and practised social sciences when much younger and combined this knowledge with 15 years of Buddhist mindfulness practice to come up with a method incredibly similar to what is being taught as MBCT. I only learnt of MBCT earlier this year! It is a fact that mindfulness pracice is incredibly effective in cases of stress/anxiety and depression. I have had fantastic results with getting people to stop medication. If the case is psychiatric I do not reccomend cutting medication BUT 99% of the people I work with have a psychological or social problem and not a psychiatric problem. Unfoprtunately doctors here in Greece dish out anti-psychotics and tricyclics as if they are candy! :shock:
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Vajrayana practice and psychological disorders

Postby orgyen jigmed » Thu May 26, 2011 3:46 pm

"gregkavarnos wrote
Unfortunately doctors here in Greece dish out anti-psychotics and tricyclics as if they are candy!


Although I need to be careful not to be dangerously irresponsible particularly towards damaging the confidence of service users pertaining the competence of psychiatrists in general, or the reputation of psychiatry, it remains a fact that there exist hidden personal financial rewards and incentives meant for those psychiatrists who can increase sales for the pharmaceutical industry – especially from the promotion of antipsychotic drugs.

Without a doubt, there is a greater role for the pharmaceutical industry in supplying drugs to treat these 'new' disorders. For example, there is now evidence that "every psychiatric expert involved in writing the standard diagnostic criteria for disorders such as depression and schizophrenia has had financial ties to drug companies that sell medications for those illnesses" (Washington Post, April 2006).

On the other hand mental illness is real, and most psychiatrists neither misuse nor abuse psychiatry. As can be testified by many service users and their families’ psychiatry have been found of increasing value. However, while antipychotics and tricyclics have been claimed to have specific action against psychotic symptoms, some critics also argue they act in a much cruder way by producing a chemical lobotomy or a "chemical straight jacket" which inhibits all creative thought processes.

Nevertheless, it must be emphasised that in sever cases of depression or other serious mental illness these drugs are a necessity not an option, and until they ‘kick in’ other forms of therapy including psychotherapy such as MBCT - cannot be useful. What I am arguing here is only that while psychiatry and Mental Health Services all over, applauds the role of such drugs in emptying the hospitals, critics such as Moncrieff (1997) argue that they merely helped to replace expensive custodial care with long-term drug-induced control.

References:

Washington Post, April, 2006. "Experts Defining Mental Disorders Are Linked to Drug Firms". http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 02560.html

Moncrieff, J. (1997, Summer). Psychiatric imperialism: the medicalisation of modern living. Critical Psychiatry Network. Reprinted from Soundings, 6. http://www.critpsynet.freeuk.com/sound.htm
"If the aspiration for enlightenment is your motivation in coming to see me, there is no remedy except meditative practice. I, too, will only practice." - Zurpoche Sakya Jungne
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Re: Vajrayana practice and psychological disorders

Postby Malcolm » Thu May 26, 2011 3:55 pm

Must read book:

The Normal And The Pathological:

http://www.amazon.com/Normal-Pathologic ... 0942299590

"The Normal and the Pathological is one of the crucial contributions to the history of science in the last half century. It takes as its starting point the sudden appearance of biology as a science in the 19th-century and examines the conditions determining its particular makeup.Canguilhem analyzes the radically new way in which health and disease were defined in the early 19th-century, showing that the emerging categories of the normal and the pathological were far from being objective scientific concepts. He demonstrates how the epistemological foundations of modern biology and medicine were intertwined with political, economic, and technological imperatives.Canguilhem was an important influence on the thought of Michel Foucault and Louis Althusser, in particular for the way in which he poses the problem of how new domains of knowledge come into being and how they are part of a discontinuous history of human thought."


orgyen jigmed wrote:
"gregkavarnos wrote
Unfortunately doctors here in Greece dish out anti-psychotics and tricyclics as if they are candy!


Although I need to be careful not to be dangerously irresponsible particularly towards damaging the confidence of service users pertaining the competence of psychiatrists in general, or the reputation of psychiatry, it remains a fact that there exist hidden personal financial rewards and incentives meant for those psychiatrists who can increase sales for the pharmaceutical industry – especially from the promotion of antipsychotic drugs.

Without a doubt, there is a greater role for the pharmaceutical industry in supplying drugs to treat these 'new' disorders. For example, there is now evidence that "every psychiatric expert involved in writing the standard diagnostic criteria for disorders such as depression and schizophrenia has had financial ties to drug companies that sell medications for those illnesses" (Washington Post, April 2006).

On the other hand mental illness is real, and most psychiatrists neither misuse nor abuse psychiatry. As can be testified by many service users and their families’ psychiatry have been found of increasing value. However, while antipychotics and tricyclics have been claimed to have specific action against psychotic symptoms, some critics also argue they act in a much cruder way by producing a chemical lobotomy or a "chemical straight jacket" which inhibits all creative thought processes.

Nevertheless, it must be emphasised that in sever cases of depression or other serious mental illness these drugs are a necessity not an option, and until they ‘kick in’ other forms of therapy including psychotherapy such as MBCT - cannot be useful. What I am arguing here is only that while psychiatry and Mental Health Services all over, applauds the role of such drugs in emptying the hospitals, critics such as Moncrieff (1997) argue that they merely helped to replace expensive custodial care with long-term drug-induced control.

References:

Washington Post, April, 2006. "Experts Defining Mental Disorders Are Linked to Drug Firms". http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 02560.html

Moncrieff, J. (1997, Summer). Psychiatric imperialism: the medicalisation of modern living. Critical Psychiatry Network. Reprinted from Soundings, 6. http://www.critpsynet.freeuk.com/sound.htm
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Re: Vajrayana practice and psychological disorders

Postby orgyen jigmed » Thu May 26, 2011 4:55 pm

"Namdrol
The normal and pathological


Definitions of 'normality', like definitions of 'health', vary widely throughout the world. These definitions are based on shared beliefs within a group of people as to what constitutes the ideal, 'proper' way for individuals to conduct their lives in relation to others. To a Western psychiatrist, the behaviour of the shaman during his trance may closely resemble that of the schizophrenic. However, shamans in their ritual performances act in conformity with cultural beliefs and practices.

However, most cultures disapprove of forms of public behaviour that are obviously not being controlled by the rules of their society, and which they usually label as either 'mad' or 'bad'. Although psychiatric knowledge and practice are themselves cultural constructions shaped by the influence of social, cultural and political forces on the process of diagnosis, in the West, normality is merely a 'statistical average'.

Nonetheless, mental illness is a reality which require immediate solution focused methods irrespective of cultures. Whether explained as spirit possession, witchcraft, the breaking of religious taboos, divine retribution, and the 'capture' of the soul by a malevolent spirit or as depression - it is the process of distress or 'Dukkha' which the service user is attempting to cure through a transformation of experience. In this respect, culture prevails in how it manufactures patients, and how these are healed according to the manufacturers' interpretations
"If the aspiration for enlightenment is your motivation in coming to see me, there is no remedy except meditative practice. I, too, will only practice." - Zurpoche Sakya Jungne
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Re: Vajrayana practice and psychological disorders

Postby Gyaltsen Tashi » Sat May 28, 2011 5:50 am

Would Black Manjushri be a good practice for those with paranoid schizophrenia?

"If a person has a lot of superstition or paranoia, then manifest in the wrathful aspect of Black Manjushri, whose appearance is similar to Vajrapani, standing with his right leg bent and left leg stretched out. His hair is raised up and he is wearing a tiger skin. His left hand at his heart is holding a lotus, on which rests the Prajñaparamita text." ~ Lama Zopa Rinpoche

http://www.lamayeshe.com/index.php?sect=article&id=334

The oral transmission by Lama Zopa Rinpoche is here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfYJaxmSdFg
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Re: Vajrayana practice and psychological disorders

Postby orgyen jigmed » Sat May 28, 2011 11:46 pm

Gyaltsen Tashi wrote:
Would Black Manjushri be a good practice for those with paranoid schizophrenia?


Usually, it is better if you ask the Lama who gave you this practice. Paranoid schizophrenia should not be ignored and should be treated properly. Although schizophrenia occurs in all cultures, symptoms and treatment differ depending on the culture. According to Amchi Ngawang Thinley and Amchi Sherab Tenzin,Tibetan Doctors practicing in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal - both share the same opinion, that Westerners with acute mental health conditions such as paranoid schizophrenia, are to seek effective treatment within Western Mental Health Centres prior to approaching Tibetan Medicine (personal communication, March 2007).

In the West, Paranoid Schizophrenia is considered to be primarily a distrubance of thought, as well as mood. However, it seems to me, that you may be attempting to cure such a peculiar condition alone; through the power of the supernatural, you hope to establish alliances with positive supernatual figures, and through the use of esoteric symbols, you are expecting to effect a cheap substitute for effective treatment.

However, treatment is more likely to occur if you engage the immediate expert advise of a Clinical Psychologist, at your earliest - considering that this forum is not the best medium to seek competent psychopathological advise; and although it may help you to occupy your time - you may actually be wasting time, as resorting to religious referents does not necessarily have a healing function.

As you may already know, a Clinical Psychologist is a member of a profession devoted to understanding and treating individuals affected by a variety of emotional, behavioural, and/or cognitive difficulties; she or he will also be competent to advise you on medication, family therapy and social skills training, which are necessary for you to deal effectively with this particular condition; furthermore, you will learn how to prevent relapse, and how to make the correct adjustments within the community; for untill health is achieved there can be little time for study and practice.

As an end note, consideriing that everything is impermanent, I remain confident that given the right support, love, knowledge and understanding you will soon regain the trust, health, and confindence that you need, and become yourself fully and completely, as you regain the capacity to focus on your practice.
"If the aspiration for enlightenment is your motivation in coming to see me, there is no remedy except meditative practice. I, too, will only practice." - Zurpoche Sakya Jungne
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