Depression

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greggorious
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Depression

Postby greggorious » Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:29 pm

I've been diagnosed as suffering from major depression for over 12 years, I've been various medications during this time but still feel as though I'm getting nowhere with gaining emotional well being.
Is there a Buddhist interpretation of what depression is? Am I paying the price for negative karma in a past life? Also are there any views on anti depressants in Buddhism?

Greg
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah

ricketybridge
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Re: Depression

Postby ricketybridge » Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:57 pm

Hi Greg,

I, too, have been diagnosed with depression. Although medication has helped me a LOT, I didn't feel like I was at 100% until I discovered the jhanas. I know that might sound weird to the vets here, but chemically, it totally makes sense: they unleash massive doses of dopamine, which is seriously lacking in the depressive's brain.

But it wasn't just a wave of euphoria: it also came with a massive paradigm shift. It finally made me actually believe what cognitive-behavioral therapy had been trying to make me believe for years: that I'm okay, have always been okay, and will always be okay; that I can be happy NOW instead of having to fulfill all my desires first. I don't think I wouldn't have been able to fully give myself over to the tenets of the dhamma without having had such an experience (and continuing that experience through meditation on a daily basis).

If you've already experienced the jhanas, then I would just suggest experimenting more with medication, going to (more?) therapy, and/or going to a support group like Emotional Health Anonymous.

-rick

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cooran
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Re: Depression

Postby cooran » Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:16 pm

Hello Greg,

Causes of Depression:
http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/pub ... /index.cfm

Westerner are particularly afflicted with unrecognised self-devaluing. It is often the fact that many weeks/months of Metta practice, targeting oneself, are needed to adjust this. It is not 'selfish' to direct lovingkindness practice towards yourself.

This might be of assistance:
Meditation and Depression
http://www.wildmind.org/applied/depression

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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retrofuturist
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Re: Depression

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:25 pm

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Ben
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Re: Depression

Postby Ben » Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:32 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: b[email protected]..

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ground
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Re: Depression

Postby ground » Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:43 am


fragrant herbs
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Re: Depression

Postby fragrant herbs » Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:48 am

i was depressed for that many years and learned positive thinking and cured my problem. dr. david burns has a book out called mood therapy that you may like. i didn't know about or use his methods, just used positive affirmations all day long--thinking them to myself and had made them up myself.

David2
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Re: Depression

Postby David2 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:32 am


Northernbuck
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Re: Depression

Postby Northernbuck » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:31 pm

Greggorious,
I was diagnosed with bipolar about 6 years ago, and not just the simple bipolar I or II, nope, I am Cyclothymia. This mean that I can mood change in the blink of an eye. I do not look at this as something that is a burden, or that I was cursed with. It is a decease, much like depression, or diabetes, or cancer, or leukemia. There is no difference between mental illness and physical illness. There are medications that help with physical illnesses and medication to help with metal illnesses. I do not believe that the Buddha would think that taking medicine to help with physical or mental pain is wrong. I am on Valproic Acid which helps to even out the waves of emotion that I tend to get. Meditation helps smooth the waves out even more. Remember that life is suffering and it does not matter if it is temporary or a lifetime of suffering. I have accepted that this is what I have to deal with and I accept it. The only advise I have is to continue to work with your physician on the medication and meditate. With metta

Brian
But if this neutral feeling that has arisen is conditioned by the body which is impermanent, compounded and dependently arisen, how could such a neutral feeling be permanent? - SN 36.7

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Ben
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Re: Depression

Postby Ben » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:01 pm

Thank you Brian for sharing.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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ground
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Re: Depression

Postby ground » Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:11 am


rowyourboat
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Re: Depression

Postby rowyourboat » Mon May 23, 2011 9:35 pm

Depression is a kind of mental suffering. And as all suffering does, it also arises due to some unconscious clinging to one or some of the aggregates. Check this really nice sutta on what I think is about a depressed monk and how the Buddha goes about helping him. (by letting him identify the cause of suffering and seeing the efficacy of whatever he was clinging to.

With metta

Alternate translation: Walshe
At Savatthi. On that occasion Ven. Tissa, the Blessed One's paternal cousin, told a large number of monks, "Friends, it's as if my body is drugged. I've lost my bearings. Things aren't clear to me. My mind keeps being overwhelmed with sloth & torpor. I lead the holy life dissatisfied. I have uncertainty about the teachings."

Then a large number of monks went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there, they told him: "Lord, Ven. Tissa, the Blessed One's paternal cousin, has told a large number of monks, 'Friends, it's as if my body is drugged. I've lost my bearings. Things aren't clear to me. My mind keeps being overwhelmed with sloth & torpor. I lead the holy life dissatisfied. I have uncertainty about the teachings.'"

Then the Blessed One told a certain monk, "Come, monk. In my name, call Tissa, saying, 'The Teacher calls you, my friend.'"

"As you say, lord," the monk answered and, having gone to Ven. Tissa, on arrival he said, "The Teacher calls you, my friend."

"As you say, my friend," Ven. Tissa replied. Then he went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, the Blessed One said to him, "Is it true, Tissa, that you have told a large number of monks, 'Friends, it's as if my body is drugged. I've lost my bearings. Things aren't clear to me. My mind keeps being overwhelmed with sloth & torpor. I lead the holy life dissatisfied. I have uncertainty about the teachings'?"

"Yes, lord."

"What do you think, Tissa: In one who is not without passion, desire, love, thirst, fever, & craving for form, does there arise sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair from change & alteration in his form?"

"Yes, lord."

"Good, Tissa, good. That's how it is for one who is not without passion for form.

"What do you think, Tissa: In one who is not without passion, desire, love, thirst, fever, & craving for feeling... perception... fabrications, does there arise sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair from change & alteration in his fabrications?"

"Yes, lord."

"Good, Tissa, good. That's how it is for one who is not without passion for fabrications.

"What do you think, Tissa: In one who is not without passion, desire, love, thirst, fever, & craving for consciousness, does there arise sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair from change & alteration in his consciousness?"

"Yes, lord."

"Good, Tissa, good. That's how it is for one who is not without passion for consciousness.

"Now what do you think, Tissa: In one who is without passion, desire, love, thirst, fever, & craving for form, does there arise sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair from change & alteration in his form?"

"No, lord."

"Good, Tissa, good. That's how it is for one who is without passion for form.

"What do you think, Tissa: In one who is without passion, desire, love, thirst, fever, & craving for feeling... perception... fabrications, does there arise sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair from change & alteration in his fabrications?"

"No, lord."

"Good, Tissa, good. That's how it is for one who is without passion for fabrications.

"What do you think, Tissa: In one who is without passion, desire, love, thirst, fever, & craving for consciousness, does there arise sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair from change & alteration in his consciousness?"

"No, lord."

"Good, Tissa, good. That's how it is for one who is without passion for consciousness.

"What do you think, Tissa — Is form constant or inconstant?"

"Inconstant, lord."

"And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?"

"Stressful, lord."

"And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: 'This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am'?"

"No, lord."

"... Is feeling constant or inconstant?" "Inconstant, lord." ...

"... Is perception constant or inconstant?" "Inconstant, lord." ...

"... Are fabrications constant or inconstant?" "Inconstant, lord." ...

"What do you think, Tissa — Is consciousness constant or inconstant?"

"Inconstant, lord."

"And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?"

"Stressful, lord."

"And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: 'This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am'?"

"No, lord."

"Thus, Tissa, any form whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every form is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.'

"Any feeling whatsoever...

"Any perception whatsoever...

"Any fabrications whatsoever...

"Any consciousness whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every consciousness is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.'

"Seeing thus, the instructed disciple of the noble ones grows disenchanted with form, disenchanted with feeling, disenchanted with perception, disenchanted with fabrications, disenchanted with consciousness. Through disenchantment, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion, he is fully released. With full release, there is the knowledge, 'Fully released.' He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'

"Tissa, it's as if there were two men, one not skilled in the path, the other skilled in the path. In that case the man not skilled in the path would ask the man skilled in the path about the path. The second man would say, 'Come, my good man, this is the path. Go along it a little further and you will see a fork in the road. Avoiding the left fork, take the right. Go along a little further and you will see an intense forest grove. Go along a little further and you will see a large marshy swamp. Go along a little further and you will see a deep drop-off. Go along a little further and you will see a delightful stretch of level ground.

"I have made this comparison, Tissa, to convey a meaning. The meaning is this: The man unskilled in the path stands for a run-of-the-mill person. The man skilled in the path stands for the Tathagata, worthy & rightly self-awakened. The fork in the road stands for uncertainty. The left fork stands for the eightfold wrong path — i.e., wrong view, wrong resolve, wrong speech, wrong action, wrong livelihood, wrong effort, wrong mindfulness, wrong concentration. The right fork stands for the noble eightfold path — i.e., right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. The intense forest grove stands for ignorance. The large marshy swamp stands for sensual desires. The deep drop-off stands for anger & despair. The delightful stretch of level ground stands for Unbinding.

"Rejoice, Tissa! Rejoice! I am here to exhort you, I am here to aid you, I am here to instruct you!"

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, Ven. Tissa delighted in the Blessed One's words.

Provenance:©2005 Thanissaro Bhikkhu.Transcribed from a file provided by the translator.This Access to Insight edition is ©2006–2011.
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With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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BlackBird
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Re: Depression

Postby BlackBird » Tue May 24, 2011 1:23 am

Well you're in good company I dear say

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pe ... e_disorder

I am in therapy at the moment, and it's becoming clear that I have bi polar and an anxiety disorder. If I don't meditate I get very anxious, especially in social situations. It also helps reduce the intensity of my depressive episodes. Meditation really is one of the best things available for depression. Like anything you can turn a weakness into a strength. Emphasize every small victory, develop that admiration for yourself.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." -

alan
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Re: Depression

Postby alan » Tue May 24, 2011 3:44 am

Interesting link. Can't help but notice that a lot of creative individuals are included.
Good luck with your disease, BlackBird.
Oh by the way I'd just like to ask those who condemn depressed people as not following the Dhamma to take a good look at this. Depression has many causes, some of them physical. No lectures please.

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manas
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Re: Depression

Postby manas » Tue May 24, 2011 3:58 am

I'm glad to find this thread. I wish to add my name to the list of those for whom the morning sit in meditation (or standing, walking etc) is a support for tackling the rest of the day's challenges.

As for whether I can claim to be truly following the Dhamma or not, since my mind is regularly afflicted by depression, well i'm not the one to judge that. Honestly, though, my mind is far better at coping with the stresses of life than before Dhamma practice, so it's definitely helped me alot. Plus I'm one of the few adults in my circle of friends, family and acquaintances who are trying to keep the five precepts. I know plenty of hardworking, socially functional individuals who are not depressed like me, but who drink alcohol or smoke pot to unwind at the end of a day. So, I guess they have their delusion, and I have mine (identification with habitual negative thought patterns and emotional states).
Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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BlackBird
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Re: Depression

Postby BlackBird » Tue May 24, 2011 11:19 am

"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." -

suguno
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Re: Depression

Postby suguno » Tue May 24, 2011 11:32 am


rowyourboat
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Re: Depression

Postby rowyourboat » Tue May 24, 2011 1:25 pm

It struck me that some forms of psychotherapy are 'unethical' from a Buddhist perspective because they encourage the expression and growth of defilements. However modern approaches like CBT are much more compatible with mindfulness based approaches. I believe at the end of the day (no judgement here), that depression is plain suffering - the cause of that suffering is a deep seated attachment to the way things should have been (and never was). It is an attachment to love and affection never received. These are quite deeply buried and takes quite refined mindfulness and the removal of many gross defilements (these make depression worse) to uncover. I suppose the four noble truths formula can be applies to curing depression.

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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manas
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Re: Depression

Postby manas » Tue May 24, 2011 11:25 pm

Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

PeterB
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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: Depression

Postby PeterB » Thu May 26, 2011 11:07 am



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