Life

Re: Life

Postby Yudron » Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:17 pm

Thrasymachus... I'm really sorry you had such bad experiences with the mental health system. You have come to your own conclusion, and there is no point in arguing with you. I would like to say about medication that all medicines are not the same, and SSRIs would not be used for a person hearing voices. Each medicine has it's own sphere of action and side-effect profile.

If the OP is not comfortable with psychiatrists, he could see his own doctor and discuss his concerns with someone who's opinion he respects.

In any event, whenever someone is loosing interest in living, help is needed from outside, because the person has lost perspective.

I am a family nurse practitioner by education and specialized in homeopathic medicine for 20 years of practice, so I am not an apologist for mainstream medicine.
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Re: Life

Postby viniketa » Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:19 pm

Rather than post than posting additional "general" comments to the OP's original question, here, I've started another thread here: viewtopic.php?f=34&t=10612&start=0

:namaste:
If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
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Re: Life

Postby Jesse » Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:40 pm

I thank everyone for their support & suggestions.

Im really glad you wrote this. I can't diagnose you, but it's possible you might be developing schizophrenia, or another another disorder of the brain/nervous system. If that is the case, no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to solve it yourself. You sound like you think these symptoms are the result of some kind of weakness or flaw that you have. If a friend of yours developed a brain tumor, would you say they should treat themselves? Well, some mental illnesses are caused by physical changes in the brain--not tumors--but just as serious. Untreated schizophrenia or bipolar disorder can be fatal, and we can already see that you are considering suicide. Anti-psychotics, if you need them, are much better than they once were, they have much fewer side effects.


I am not developing schizophrenia, the difference is I have no choice as to the voices, I do have a choice if I believe the stories they spin, aka the delusions. I'm not and will never resign myself to an incurable condition, because there is no such thing. If I have learned anything from meditation & contemplation it's that while certain parts of our moods aren't under our control, our reaction to them is, the same goes with all of our thoughts and beliefs, the natural ebb & flow of our emotions are almost always tolerable, it's the dwelling on them and focusing repeatedly on negative thoughts & feelings which cause the intolerable reactions & states of mind.

That's not to say it's easy, because it's not and I do have a tendency to consider myself weak and flawed when I can't practice this. Which is alot.

I do not like the current mental health system because I believe it is mostly a barbaric stone aged system, though practices like Cognitive behavior therapy and Mindfulness based therapy are a huge leap in the right direction, the thing is you have to pay alot for these treatments and free healthcare won't cover them. (I doubt it anyway.)

It is important to note that many societies considered hearing voices as a gift. In most tribal societies you could have been a shaman and attained a relative position of authority.


This has been occasionally true in the past, but I'm far beyond that point and it's no gift, though I would certainty like to believe that at times, it's far easier to consider yourself gifted than cursed.

I am sorry ghosto1, but it seems you misunderstood what I meant. The effect of an episode is not judged by what others "see" and how they react to what they "see", but what happens to you. You cannot hide your episode from yourself. If you lose "control" or "awareness" of the fact that the voices are just your thoughts then YOU will suffer the episode, as a consequence of which... The unfortunate consequences of having an episode and being hospitalised because of it, are nothing in comparison to the consequences the episode will have on your mind. It will make Dharma practice impossible.


This happens mainly when my mood deteriorates past the point where I can control it anymore. When I am not depressed or angry the voices don't bother me, so it's been sort of a struggle to overcome my depression first, and that's where the willpower comes in. I gave up dharma practice along while ago.

Thus, a bit of advice on the "voices" (which can be the mindstreams of "others"): do not try to engage in conversation or interaction, do observe in non-reactivity; do not try to analyze or understand the content of what they relate, merely allow it to pass like any thought; do not think of any as a 'teacher' in the classic sense, but in the same sense that your foes are your best teachers.


I know most of it is a product of my own mind, there have even been voices specifically telling me this. Therein lies the problem, if some of it is my mind, and some of it others, is it salvageable? Maybe but the voices worth talking to aren't exactly the talking type either. Like you say observing without reacting is the solution. It's difficult sometimes.

if they are being "rational" then it's hard to see where the conflict arises - is it possible that something requires resolution? If they are very critical of you, is it possible that you actually feel the same way and have not really accepted that?
My own personal experience with such phenomena would be to say that they are making a demand and that it is only by listening and understanding that they will subside - to ask yourself what it would take to satisfy their demand?


It's not really like that, more often then not listening to them only is harmful, more or less they just lie, they play games and the point is always to be hurtful.
"We know nothing at all. All our knowledge is but the knowledge of schoolchildren. The real nature of things we shall never know." - Albert Einstein
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Re: Life

Postby viniketa » Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:50 pm

ghost01 wrote:It's not really like that, more often then not listening to them only is harmful, more or less they just lie, they play games and the point is always to be hurtful.


ghost01 - Is it possible to listen and not feel hurt, not mind the lies, not play in the game?

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Re: Life

Postby Jesse » Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:12 am

viniketa wrote:
ghost01 wrote:It's not really like that, more often then not listening to them only is harmful, more or less they just lie, they play games and the point is always to be hurtful.


ghost01 - Is it possible to listen and not feel hurt, not mind the lies, not play in the game?

:namaste:


No. It's one or the other.
"We know nothing at all. All our knowledge is but the knowledge of schoolchildren. The real nature of things we shall never know." - Albert Einstein
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Re: Life

Postby viniketa » Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:39 am

ghost01 wrote:
viniketa wrote:
ghost01 wrote:It's not really like that, more often then not listening to them only is harmful, more or less they just lie, they play games and the point is always to be hurtful.


ghost01 - Is it possible to listen and not feel hurt, not mind the lies, not play in the game?

:namaste:


No. It's one or the other.


In this case, your plan of using sheer willpower to overcome the "voices" seems to be even more dangerous. I, personally, fear for your mental integrity and your life under these circumstances. Might it be possible, instead, to use your will power to brave the health care system and resist the attempts of prejudicial diagnosis, remaining in the system long enough to find a good doctor and possible helpful medications? They are there, but one has to "kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince". In other words, use your determination to cure yourself to help you navigate the system rather than be swallowed by it.

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If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
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Re: Life

Postby Jesse » Sun Oct 28, 2012 2:15 am

In this case, your plan of using sheer willpower to overcome the "voices" seems to be even more dangerous. I, personally, fear for your mental integrity and your life under these circumstances. Might it be possible, instead, to use your will power to brave the health care system and resist the attempts of prejudicial diagnosis, remaining in the system long enough to find a good doctor and possible helpful medications? They are there, but one has to "kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince". In other words, use your determination to cure yourself to help you navigate the system rather than be swallowed by it.


I will be fine, contemplating suicide is a natural reaction to overwhelming mental pain, but I will never actually do it, because I want to live. I will be fine, and thank everyone again for their support and kindness.
"We know nothing at all. All our knowledge is but the knowledge of schoolchildren. The real nature of things we shall never know." - Albert Einstein
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Re: Life

Postby viniketa » Sun Oct 28, 2012 2:21 am

ghost01 wrote:I will be fine, contemplating suicide is a natural reaction to overwhelming mental pain, but I will never actually do it, because I want to live.


I agree that contemplation of suicide is as "natural" as any thought, especially in the case of "overwhelming mental pain", or "physical" pain, for that matter.

What I find more problematic is the fact that the pain is "overwhelming". What can we do, either DW specifically or Buddhists generally, to help so that the pain is not so overwhelming? :consoling:

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Re: Life

Postby deepbluehum » Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:19 am

ghost01 wrote:I have been having issues for a long time now, and honestly I don't know why I am posting this here except for the fact I have shared this with no-one else. In some ways I am at my wits ends, and something has to change I'm really just not sure what.

I am extraordinarily hesitant to post this because of the stigma associated with mental illness, and I have not even told any of my closest friends or family. And I would like to ask in advance for permission to have this post deleted after I have received some advice.

My problems mostly stem from the fact I have a bunch of voices in my head. Rather that I can't seem to force myself to admit they are my own thoughts and not some external entity/s. My reasons of course seem well examined to me, but I'm sure there's reasonable arguments against my logic as well.

The thing that doesn't measure up to me, is that the voices are mostly extraordinarily coherent, and intelligible and as much as I have looked I can't seem to 'tie' them to my own will, or train of thoughts. I can be fully engaged in thinking about something and lo-and-behold there's a voice speaking like another person in my mind. (these are not auditory hallucinations, they are thoughts).

Of course I have also reasoned there is no 'me', or 'them', merely thoughts and my labeling them me and other is the source of the problem, but there is a huge difference in knowing this and experiencing it.

Also when I am going to sleep it really seems to get worse, there is just this static of what seems like random sentences, lots of people talking and random vivid images.. often times of scary faces etc. Occasionally it will persist all night long into my sleep, and I will get woken up by them constantly and be extremely agitated.

I am not interested in seeing a psychiatrist or taking anti-psychotics, mostly because I want to solve this issue myself and be done with it for good.

The main issue is that at times it becomes so frustrating because I can't control it, and often can't ignore them. Some of them do taunt me and if I let it affect me it just spirals down to the point where I get so depressed and angry I can't even leave my bed. My anger has gotten so out of control over it at times I have just wanted to end it, honestly. There is no way to describe the anger/depression except to call it literal hell.

There of course have been helpful voices which have given me ways to deal with it, but often times I just can't put this advice into practice, and I know writing this how absurd it seems, obviously I should be locked in a white room with a straight jacket on, but hey that's life.

I am just looking for advice, maybe from someone who has experienced something similar, and/or some outside perspective.. It's not easy dealing with something like this alone, so.. Thanks.


Don't control. Don't listen. Don't ignore. Go higher to the empty-awareness. I say this very seriously to you, because you still are coherent enough for reasoning. These appearances appear automatically. This is the fundamental nature of mind for everyone. If you give them attention, you give them individuality and then they can come alive. Let them be free, like children playing in the yard, and you be like the grandfather swinging in the hammock, knowing they are there, but not paying attention to their silly games.
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Re: Life

Postby Anders » Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:03 am

I don't know if this would work, or even if it is possible with vocies going on, but I would imagine that if you meditate enough to get to the kind of samadhi where 'your own' internal voice no longer verbalises or manifests as anything more than a light pulse, that something similar could/would happen to the other voices.

How much meditation do you have under your belt? How does this condition respond to meditation?
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: Life

Postby Anders » Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:06 am

and fwiw, for someone with a mental condition, you sound remarkably sane in your approach to it. It probably isn't easy, but from my armchair it does look like you have the tools needed for attempting to manage this in a positive manner.

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I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

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Re: Life

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:34 pm

Topic unlocked please take note of the changes to the ToS in the "Announcements", especially clause 4 before posting.

Thanks!
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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: Life

Postby Jesse » Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:35 pm

Just wanted to post some feedback for anyone else having similar problems. The advice which has helped me most in this thread have been:

Don't control. Don't listen. Don't ignore. Go higher to the empty-awareness. I say this very seriously to you, because you still are coherent enough for reasoning. These appearances appear automatically. This is the fundamental nature of mind for everyone. If you give them attention, you give them individuality and then they can come alive. Let them be free, like children playing in the yard, and you be like the grandfather swinging in the hammock, knowing they are there, but not paying attention to their silly games.


and

There is a buddhist story about a guy who was haunted by a demon every night,
and he asked a master what to do about it.
the master told him to grab a handful of beans and put them in a bowl
and then when the demon appeared, to ask the demon how many beans were in the bowl.

So the guy put the beans in a bowl and went to sleep and that night when the demon appeared he asked the demon how many beans are in the bowl but the demon couldn't answer and after that never came back.

So the point is that the demon didn't know because the guy didn't know.
The demon was a manifestation of the guy's mind.
You know that these voices are a manifestation of your mind.
but the voices don't know that!!!
So how can you prove it to them?


When I can't manage the first part, the second one helps alot.. especially at night. Thanks
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Re: Life

Postby Lhug-Pa » Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:38 pm

deepbluehum wrote:Don't control. Don't listen. Don't ignore. Go higher to the empty-awareness. I say this very seriously to you, because you still are coherent enough for reasoning. These appearances appear automatically. This is the fundamental nature of mind for everyone. If you give them attention, you give them individuality and then they can come alive. Let them be free, like children playing in the yard, and you be like the grandfather swinging in the hammock, knowing they are there, but not paying attention to their silly games.


:good:

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Re: Life

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:43 pm

Doesn't sound fun.

I know a couple voice hearers who are completely sane, while this is often associated with Schizophrenia etc, I think there might be a fair number of people who are otherwise "normal" that hear voices. I've been told that white noise can makes the voices worse, might be worth checking at least.

A quick google search revealed:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hearing_Voices_Movement

Might be worth pursing, I wish for you to be able to expediently find a way to cope, and please get help if/when you need, it may take some time but the worst thing is to suffer something like that alone.

I know it doesn't compare, but I developed very severe tinnitus a couple of years ago after my eardrum burst twice, and it caused me to have a real crisis for over a year, somehow I got it into my head that it meant I was dying, I was absolutely convinced and the constant loud buzz, ring and hum made it almost impossible to deal with my own thoughts in a coherent way. I would wake up at night when the noises are louder (due to the quiet at night) and it truly felt like, and I really believed something was burrowing through my sinuses and inner ear...a tumor, parasite etc. one of the worst part is I would have dreams of people talking to me but their voices were distorted in the same manner as the noises I hear. I still have the Tinnitus but have either "learned" to deal with it, or I simply have learned to disregard it as "normal".

I ended up doing EMDR once I was functional enough to actually go to appointments:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_moveme ... processing

I have no idea if such a thing would be helpful to you, but I figured id' throw it out there, it was quite helpful for me in evening out my feelings about the tiniitus. Good luck, and i'll be thinking good thoughts for you.
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is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Life

Postby duckfiasco » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:57 pm

Wonderful, wonderful advice. Even for people who don't hear voices, thoughts bubble up unbidden in all of our minds, like birds flying across the sky. You don't know where they're coming from or where they're going, but they leave no trace behind in the sky. What can you do but be like grandfather in the hammock? :) This thread has been of benefit to me as well.

I really hope you can find some relief given the circumstances. I think your approach of rolling your sleeves up and using this as grist for the mill of practice will bear fruit.

I'll try to send some merit your way as well. :buddha2: :heart:
Namu Amida Butsu
The Perfect Way knows no difficulties
Except that it refuses to make preferences;
Only when freed from hate and love,
It reveals itself fully and without disguise.
- Sengcan (tr. Suzuki)
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Re: Life

Postby Konchog1 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:45 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:I know a couple voice hearers who are completely sane, while this is often associated with Schizophrenia etc, I think there might be a fair number of people who are otherwise "normal" that hear voices.
I don't think hearing voices is bad in of itself. it matters what the voices are saying. As I told a French friend "At least [Joan of Arc] heard God and not the Devil"
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

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Re: Life

Postby greentara » Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:04 am

deepbluehum wrote: "Don't control. Don't listen. Don't ignore. Go higher to the empty-awareness. I say this very seriously to you, because you still are coherent enough for reasoning. These appearances appear automatically. This is the fundamental nature of mind for everyone. If you give them attention, you give them individuality and then they can come alive. Let them be free, like children playing in the yard, and you be like the grandfather swinging in the hammock, knowing they are there, but not paying attention to their silly games."
Sounds wonderful, I hope it works, I hope it brings about the detachment you need.
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