Author Topic: meditation and mental illness  (Read 18701 times)

magicwords

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meditation and mental illness
« on: September 16, 2008, 04:24:05 PM »
im not sure if this topic is apporiate but here goes

i suffer from manic depression and i've taken up meditation acouple months ago after hearing about how it can be so much more benifical then western treatments. meditation only after acouple months has done helped me cope with my illness in way medication could never touch or come near. one of my main symptoms is distractibility and racing thoughts (fast mind.) you can guess how wonderful it felt to finally fell as if i gained some control over this symptom by being able to maintain stillness of thought and improve my concentration

im curious if anyone else, if they fell comfortable enough, would like to share there experinces with mental illness and meditation.

frepi

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Re: meditation and mental illness
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2008, 06:05:54 PM »
I cannot say that I suffer from this kind of illness but I defenitelly benefit from meditation. I think I suffer from a mild type of depression, dysthymia. Life as always seemed "gray" to me. Depressing thought patterns keep my brain busy with old problems that have no impact on my actual life except by bringing my mood down. Meditation has helped me look at those thoughts for what they are: garbage. It made me realise that I am not my thoughts, that I could let this serial yaker talk without identifying to its rubbish and go on with my life. I take medication, but I meditate to help me ignore this inner ennemy when I will reduce and eventually stop taking the pill.

magicwords

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Re: meditation and mental illness
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2008, 01:05:38 AM »
yes meditation will defintley do that to depressive thoughts. im so glade to have learned about it because before all i would simply do is try to will myself out of them by simply just thinking of the oppisite which never really did much. its very freeing

Matthew

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Re: meditation and mental illness
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2008, 11:26:10 PM »
Depression is a sign of repression of anger turned inwards. It usually results from childhood experiences where you were in some way repressed and unable to shout out - usually at the grown ups doing the repression. The inability to place blame on these role models who repress the child lead to a psychic set up where the child blames themselves - they have to they worship their parent who is hurting them so it must be their fault. This usually leads to deep rooted patterns of negative circular thinking - we call this "depression".

Meditation is very effective at dealing with depression because one of the key outcomes of meditation is that our mind calms and slows and we are able to throw out the garbage as we can therefore see it - those patterns of thinking that have kept us trapped.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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Re: meditation and mental illness
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2008, 11:26:33 PM »
ps welcome to the form Magicwords :)
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Jack

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Re: meditation and mental illness
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2008, 09:59:28 AM »
Magicwords, practicing here in the States and attending several retreats, I have found that a larger segment of mental health professionals practicing meditation.  Lately, I have heard about similarities between Buddhism and psychology.  Certainly, several of the mental health folks in my own small Sangha believe there to be a strong case to be made about the psychological effects of meditation.  By the way, it is wonderful how you have found these benefits :)

In peace,
Jack

Hazmatac

  • Member
Re: meditation and mental illness
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2008, 08:12:48 PM »
I've heard it said about 70 percent of all illnesses are stress related (according to the Jose Silva Ultramind course website). Relaxation, I've heard, helps with stress, and one of the benefits of meditation is relaxation.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2008, 03:12:58 PM by Hazmatac »

RusskiPower

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Re: meditation and mental illness
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2008, 08:30:10 PM »
Magicwords, I am mildly bipolar myself and three best things I did to have a happy and accomplished life are:

1) never letting medication to screw up permanently my brains (they are my most important money-making tool you know!);
2) banning alcohol from my diet, it is a depressant and it can exacerbate your symptoms;
3) Vipassana: meditation actually changes the structure and biochemistry of your brain (see links below). The bipolar syndrome is causesd by a misbalance of 'happy' and 'unhappy' hormones produced by the glands in your brain. Slowly but surely Vipassana fixes that too, I am talking from my own experience. I am in no position to give medical advice, I can only say it worked fine for me.

here are the links: Meditation changes your brain

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A43006-2005Jan2.html
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051110215950.htm
http://www.physorg.com/news125767090.html
http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn8317
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article3554215.ece
http://www.physorg.com/news10312.html
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16842848/

n1kgqh

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Re: meditation and mental illness
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2008, 10:13:04 PM »
Social anxiety, its a form of anxiety that you get when your around people or social enviornments. It may sound absolutely ridiculous, but  it was actually very crippling for me because its basically like shyness on crack, and you can imagine how many friends I've not made because of it. I've been practicing meditation for the passed month and a half. And the most important thing I have learned so far was the equinimity quality of it, which I still haven't mastered, but it has helped me make mistakes and not be so hard on myself. Another thing that I am learning is the metta bhavana, which is teaching me to instead of express fear towards people, express love and compassion towards people, which is having a profound effect, but time will only tell where this all will take me eh.

Samsara Addict

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Re: meditation and mental illness
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2008, 10:22:04 PM »
There is growing acceptance of the benefits of mindfulness for mental health problems in Europe and the States. G Mark Williams, a clinical psychologist and meditator, recently published a book called "The mindful way through depression" It is aimed specifically at uni-polar depression nonetheless it is filled with insights and you may find it helpful. It is based on a new treatment that combines cognitive therapy with mindfulness called Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). Also, Paul Gilbert another eminent psychologist and meditator recently published a book on self-compassion. They are both very influential figures and I believe over the next decade as the research evidence accumulates, the wisdom and methods of the buddha will increasingly become part of mainstream psychological therapy.

RusskiPower

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Re: meditation and mental illness
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2008, 11:01:29 PM »

frepi

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Re: meditation and mental illness
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2008, 01:58:42 AM »
Read Jon Kabat-Zinn. He is the father of MBCT. I just finished "Where ever you go, there you are" and I will start "Full catastrophy living" in a few days. He basically comes through clinical practice to the same conclusion as buddhism. I like his practical approach. Highly recommended.

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
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Re: meditation and mental illness
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2008, 08:55:07 AM »
John Kabbat-Zinn's work including his "Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction" programmes and "Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy" is excellent.

One point I would raise. There has been much talk about psychology and Buddhism, links between them, is Buddhism psychotherapy? etc, etc etc,.

Buddhism is not psychotherapy. They have fundamentally different aims:

Psychotherapy aims for a healthy functioning ego.
Buddhism aims to dissolve the false sense of self called "ego".

Ego itself has slightly different connotations when used in Buddhist language and psychological language. For sure, mindfulness meditation as an adjunct to therapy has proven to be very positive and there are many studies supporting this.

From a piece I wrote on this subject some time ago: Buddhism Is Not Psychotherapy:

Quote
...

The body holds memory with the mind. In fact, the bodymind holds memory. Body and mind are not separate. It is only the egotistical self interest of false selves which think the mind so powerful and apart. As the practitioner re-engages with the body and discovers its reason and logic and methods he can quickly realise the fallacy of his mind and use this in a humorous way to help further weaken the false selves with which he identifies.

Psychotherapy is about creating workable false selves which are comfortable in their limited mental universe. Buddhism is about dissolving the duality between body and mind. It could be called Psychesomatherapy but frankly Buddhism is less of a mouthful.

...

This short article is now on the reading list for a study unit in Buddhism & Psychology as part of the Masters in Science Degree course in Consciousness & Transpersonal Psychology offered by Liverpool John Moores University.

in the Dhamma,

Matthew
« Last Edit: October 31, 2008, 09:04:37 AM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
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deanmw

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Re: meditation and mental illness
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2008, 07:48:56 PM »
I must admit that this is an area that interests me - meditation versus psychotherapy. Ken Wilber & his colleagues at the Integral Institute are of the opinion that meditation alone does not necessarily deal with the shadow material in the unconscious, and that a more healthy approach includes both practices - i.e. meditation & psychotherapy.

Also although meditation and Buddhism in particular aims to dissolve the ego, is it not more a case that the ego is being transcended (and included). Whilst the ego may be dissolved during peak experiences, is it not the case that day to day living requires a functioning ego, albeit a wiser one?
« Last Edit: November 02, 2008, 12:52:42 PM by deanmw »

pamojjam

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Re: meditation and mental illness
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2008, 03:22:25 AM »
Hi everybody,

Meditation is very effective at dealing with depression because one of the key outcomes of meditation is that our mind calms and slows and we are able to throw out the garbage as we can therefore see it - those patterns of thinking that have kept us trapped.

.. or in my own words I would say one also is enabled to embrace it all - 'cos rising and passing can accelerate and resistance become pointless.

Buddhism is not psychotherapy. They have fundamentally different aims:

Psychotherapy aims for a healthy functioning ego.
Buddhism aims to dissolve the false sense of self called "ego".

I think this also depends greatly on the individual practicing and the stage where one finds one self. Those who set out with a determination as Gautama appears to have had are really rare - and most do come to meditation to get rid of something initially (some sort of pain or conditioning, motives so similar as for psychotherapy) - and not for being done with it all.

However, consistency of practice given, this can't hinder insight into the pain of perfect mental health too in the end - from an ultimate perspective.

And at times I'm amazed what for example some focusing friends tell me about the I out of their plain experience: 'something definitely having to be there in relation to, but never actually any of the content itself' (and anything that can be named is content).

Trying to get at the sense of what this could mean to them I find a strong similiarity to the 5 traditional strengths of a meditator: Saddha, Viriya, Sati, Samadhi and Panna - some sort of confidence, determination, stillness, awareness and wisdom. Which in turn could be taken again as the much sought after ego-strenght by psychologists. (leaving for a moment those aside, who would seek the opposite in their clients for having a healthy income ;-)

Misunderstanding abound. Psychotherapy is used for breaking free - and Vipassana for reaching mental health. Or they are used for both and in some cases something completely different again. Looking at motives I almost know what is what, but only almost..

And when I wish everybody well this distinction doesn't matter anymore :-)

So I wish ease to all, be it from a short cold or the long cycle of rebirth.

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: meditation and mental illness
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2008, 10:42:46 AM »
Buddhism is not psychotherapy. They have fundamentally different aims:

Psychotherapy aims for a healthy functioning ego.
Buddhism aims to dissolve the false sense of self called "ego".

I think this also depends greatly on the individual practicing and the stage where one finds one self. Those who set out with a determination as Gautama appears to have had are really rare - and most do come to meditation to get rid of something initially (some sort of pain or conditioning, motives so similar as for psychotherapy) - and not for being done with it all.

...

And when I wish everybody well this distinction doesn't matter anymore :-)

Very true. Many paths and many fruits: goals, goal-less-ness, discipline, motivation, practice, psychotherapy all have their place.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Sam67

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Re: meditation and mental illness
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2010, 10:00:11 AM »
I was helped a lot with my own social anxiety problems by meditation (present-moment for reducing the anxious-obsessions, and insight medtation to help me dissolve terrible feelings of anxiety). Plus developing the inner witness to let the anxious thoughts and feelings 'float past'. I also was helped a lot by Social Anxiety Anonymous (a 12 Step program for social anxiety disorder), they have a spiritually based 12 Step program of recovery for overcoming social anxiety.

Moderator edit: please do not link to twelve step programs
« Last Edit: April 13, 2010, 11:20:46 AM by The Irreverent Buddhist »

Jhananda

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Re: meditation and mental illness
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2010, 02:24:11 PM »
The whole reason why I took up the contemplative life 37 years ago was to deal with my own neuroses.  While I also went through 10 years of psychotherapy, which was very good; nonetheless, I would have to say it was the daily meditation practice and self-awareness that I cultivated in my contemplative life that produced the greatest benefit for my psyche. I created a page of links on this subject.  Perhaps some of you may find one or more essays useful to you.

The Psychology of Gnosis

atomjack

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Re: meditation and mental illness
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2010, 08:12:09 PM »
Sorry for this being long, but I wanted to explain my personal experience with meditation and mental illness.

I was diagnosed with OCD and the depression that comes along with it. I saw a psychiatrist that experimented with a few different medication combinations. At one point I was taking a mood stabilizer, an anti-psychotic, an anti-depressant, and a psycho-stimulant. She was described as "conservative" with her prescriptions, which makes me wonder what the opinions of a "liberal" psychiatrist would of been. The medications did not help and caused my symptoms to worsen as well as cause other mood related problems to surface. When I'd speak up to my psychiatrist about my concerns and problems with the meds, I was always left with the feeling of not being heard.

During this time, I was seeing a psychologist that proclaimed that her form of treatment was "eclectic" and she had told me that she had experience treating OCD. I soon found out that she was very psychodynamic and analytical and that she obviously did not know how to handle someone with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Her approach to therapy was to discuss and analyze my problem, only causing my symptoms to worsen. Because OCD is so irrational, illogical, and confusing, discussing and analyzing the thoughts and emotions is not a good idea when treating the disorder. The more research I was doing, the more I realized that my therapist had no idea how to treat OCD and so I stopped seeing her and moved on to another who practiced a Cognitive Behavioral approach.

The first time I made actual progress was with a CBT therapist. Through exposure therapy I desensitized myself to the anxiety my obsessions would give me and was able to see that they weren't as big and scary as they might seem. While this helped with my anxiety and compulsions greatly, I still noticed my thoughts racing and the obsessions taunting me in my head. During this time I was researching meditation and decided to start practicing awareness.

Once I decided to be disciplined, the meditating turned out to be more of a success than I could have ever imagined. After years of my life and money going to psychiatry and psychotherapy, meditation has decreased my OCD symptoms in significantly less time and for free. Where once I had debilitating anxiety, I am now able to live with any thought or feeling and know that soon it will pass. With psychiatrists telling me that I will be suffering for the rest of my life, that it is a defect in my brain chemistry, that this disorder is part of who I am, and that my only hope is that medication will give me a little relief, I question the practice of psychiatry and am concerned that it does more harm, not just with medication, but with their view of mental illness they push onto their patients. I know many people who are in a situation that I was. If they only knew that with a little discipline, time, and patience, through meditating, their lives could possibly change forever.

Morning Dew

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Re: meditation and mental illness
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2010, 09:04:49 PM »
Quote
If they only knew that with a little discipline, time, and patience, through meditating, their lives could possibly change forever.

And for the better. Well said my friend  :)

Thank you for sharing!

 :)

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
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Re: meditation and mental illness
« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2010, 10:48:43 PM »
Sorry for this being long, but I wanted to explain my personal experience with meditation and mental illness.

.....

Once I decided to be disciplined, the meditating turned out to be more of a success than I could have ever imagined. After years of my life and money going to psychiatry and psychotherapy, meditation has decreased my OCD symptoms in significantly less time and for free. Where once I had debilitating anxiety, I am now able to live with any thought or feeling and know that soon it will pass. With psychiatrists telling me that I will be suffering for the rest of my life, that it is a defect in my brain chemistry, that this disorder is part of who I am, and that my only hope is that medication will give me a little relief, I question the practice of psychiatry and am concerned that it does more harm, not just with medication, but with their view of mental illness they push onto their patients. I know many people who are in a situation that I was. If they only knew that with a little discipline, time, and patience, through meditating, their lives could possibly change forever.

emphasis mine

atomjack,

No worries about long rants :) we're here to support each other. Sometimes one simply needs a witness to one's suffering to help alleviate that suffering.

I have emphasised a key phrase in your post. Psychiatry is not medicine. Medicine deals with illness and disease - things you can see with a microscope, scanner, blood test or other diagnostic.

Psychiatry can not do this. It is in fact a form of "quackery":

Quote from: Google_Search
Definitions of  quackery on the Web:

    * medical practice and advice based on observation and experience in ignorance of scientific findings
    * charlatanism: the dishonesty of a charlatan
      wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

    * Quackery is a derogatory term used to describe unproven or fraudulent medical practices. Random House Dictionary describes a "quack" as a "fraudulent or ignorant pretender to medical skill" or "a person who pretends, professionally or publicly, to have skill, knowledge, or qualifications he or ...
      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quackery

    * The practice of fraudulent medicine, usually in order to make money or for ego gratification and power; health fraud; An instance of practicing fraudulent medicine
      en.wiktionary.org/wiki/quackery

    * Deliberate misrepresentation of the ability of a substance or device for the prevention or treatment of disease. ...
      www.medicinenet.com/chronic_pain/glossary.htm

What Psychiatry does is group a set of behaviours defined as abnormal and then attempt to cover the symptoms with random chemical interventions. The question has to be asked what is normal? A further question: is "normal" truly "mental health"?

If Psychiatrists could take a blood test and diagnose an illness or show you something on a scan and point to the problem - then you have a mental illness or disease. It is rare the cases in which they can do so.

The rest of their job consists of trying to chemically restrain people to act within some bound of "normalcy" which is actually the form of collective madness we need to escape if we are ever to have truly healthy human societies.

The new DGSM-V is currently online for discussion. It "medicalises" everything from being a thief to having sexual desires for post pubescent minors and even has a new definition that can only truly be called the mental illness of "being a teenager". Symptoms: Does not like to get out of bed in the morning, rebels against authority, unwilling too do as told.

Psychiatry is going to disappear up it's own anally retentive ass soon enough. We can ship the quacks off to an Island where they can diagnose each other to death.

Your discovery that meditation can cure the "incurable" does not surprise me and it seems to me you can, not in an egotistic way, be rightly proud of the triumph you have achieved. May you continue to flourish in the Dhamma to the benefit of yourself and others.

Warmest regards,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

atomjack

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Re: meditation and mental illness
« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2010, 04:30:08 PM »
Thank you Morning Dew and Matthew. You would think that after years of trying many different kinds of psychiatric medications that did not work or made things worse, I would have given up eventually. However, when someone is suffering, they will do whatever they can to end it. If a psychiatrist keeps telling you, "you just need to find the right combination of medication and then everything will click into place," then a sufferer will keep coming back, keep spending money, and keep trying medication because they don't know where else to go. By blaming their problem on brain chemistry, they can take the power away from the patient and convince them that they need psychiatric help. Luckily after years of frustration, I could see that it is a manipulative and untrustworthy practice.

While I hope that everybody could see psychiatry for what it is, right now it is too powerful of a business. With the amount of money it brings in, drug companies and psychiatrists continue to help each other and will do whatever it takes to convince people that there is something wrong with them and the only hope is drugs. Along with much of our society looking for a quick and easy fix, people will play right into the industries hands.

Matthew, do you really see people waking up and causing the fall of psychiatry someday soon?

sinkingthinking

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Re: meditation and mental illness
« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2010, 10:02:20 PM »
Quote
What Psychiatry does is group a set of behaviours defined as abnormal and then attempt to cover the symptoms with random chemical interventions. The question has to be asked what is normal? A further question: is "normal" truly "mental health"?

If Psychiatrists could take a blood test and diagnose an illness or show you something on a scan and point to the problem - then you have a mental illness or disease. It is rare the cases in which they can do so.
I know this is off-topic but that's not true. Neuroscience has identified neurological differences between people with and without every mental condition that I know about, as well as blood tests to find genes that often contribute and other blood differences between the people with and without it (for example children with ADHD have a higher than average level of lead in their blood streams and a lower than average level of iron and also omega 3 due to genetic metabolic differences, as a group, although the exact amount varies because so many different things contribute to the under-development of those parts of the brain). The reasons they don't diagnose with physiological differences are as follows:

1) Cost. Brain scans are very expensive and waiting lists are long, and so in most cases are reserved for things that can ONLY be diagnosed that way.

2) Most neurological behavioural disorders have many different biological causes and 'first causes'. The same behaviour might be caused by the absence or malformation of one neuropathway in one person and another neuropathway in someone else, and different resulting chemical imbalances, explaining why different drugs work for different people with the same disorder. For example, some people respond terribly to one group of anti-depressants but well to another, because the first group doesn't reverse their particular imbalance. Some people probably have imbalances for which no suitable drugs have been created yet. However it makes sense to group people with similar symptoms together even if the causes are somewhat different, partly because it helps researchers to identify which things can cause those symptoms and how commonly by comparing them as a group to non-sufferers as a group. Also, non-drug therapies like cognitive-behavioural therapy or counselling can help people function or deal with the symptoms regardless of what exactly is causing them. I could have identical CBT sessions to other ADHDers regardless of whether dopamine (targeted more by the stimulant drugs) or noradrenaline (targeted more by the SNRI drug) is more important to my particular case of ADHD, or whether I'm one of the ADHDers with a small cerebellum or with a small prefrontal cortex, because organisational aids like post-it notes etc. will help anyone who has organisation problems to some extent, whatever the neurological basis for them.

3) Most importantly and related to point 2, if you think about it, it would actually be really stupid if they did do it that way! Imagine someone who was quite obviously suffering depression, unable to leave their bed, wanting to die, becoming delusional etc., being told that they don't have depression because their brain scan result showed something different than what was found in samples of other depressed people! It would be absurd. Obviously that person's depression would have been caused by a different phenomenon than what had been identified in scans of other people with the same symptoms, but it's still depression. The brain is so complicated that the same outcome can develop from many different faulty connections. It's like one Christmas tree light failing and causing the other lights to go out, regardless of which bulb had the problem. The row of lights behaves the same way regardless, it stops working, just as the human brain can fail to perform a task and produce a kind of behaviour if any single group of neurons in a pathway fails to perform its role in that task.

*This post was brought to you by methylphenidate, enabling sinkingthinking to type prose this long in under 3 hours since 2009 ;D
« Last Edit: April 14, 2010, 10:18:43 PM by sinkingthinking »

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
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Re: meditation and mental illness
« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2010, 07:13:52 PM »
Quote
What Psychiatry does is group a set of behaviours defined as abnormal and then attempt to cover the symptoms with random chemical interventions. The question has to be asked what is normal? A further question: is "normal" truly "mental health"?

If Psychiatrists could take a blood test and diagnose an illness or show you something on a scan and point to the problem - then you have a mental illness or disease. It is rare the cases in which they can do so.
I know this is off-topic but that's not true. Neuroscience has identified neurological differences between people with and without every mental condition that I know about, as well as blood tests to find genes that often contribute and other blood differences between the people with and without it (for example children with ADHD have a higher than average level of lead in their blood streams and a lower than average level of iron and also omega 3 due to genetic metabolic differences, as a group, although the exact amount varies because so many different things contribute to the under-development of those parts of the brain). The reasons they don't diagnose with physiological differences are as follows: .....

There is no evidence that these changes are not caused by the state of mind of the person - or that other nutritional or vitamin deficiencies or environmental factors are the cause of these changes and the mental state of the person. Vitamin D deficiency has now shown to have a positive relationship with schizophrenia, depression, seasonal affective disorder. Many mental health issues have been linked to poor diet. Here's one example:

"A 10-week study was conducted in which all food was provided for the families of 24 hyperactive preschool-aged boys whose parents reported  the existence of sleep problems or physical signs and symptoms. A within-subject crossover design was used, and the study was divided into three periods: a baseline period  of 3 weeks, a placebo-control period of 3 weeks, and an experimental  diet period  of 4 weeks. The experimental diet was broader than those studied previously in that it eliminated  not only artificial colors and flavors but also chocolate, monosodium glutamate, preservatives, caffeine, and any substance that families reported might affect their specific child. The diet was also low in simple sugars, and it was dairy free if the family reported  a history of possible problems with cow's milk. According to the parental report, more than half of the subjects exhibited a reliable improvement in behavior and negligible placebo effects. In addition, several nonbehavioral variables tended to improve while the children received the experimental diet, particularly  halitosis, night awakenings, and latency to sleep onset."

For the majority of people seen by Psychiatrists the truth is there is nothing physically or genetically wrong with them. It is a combination of environmental factors such as diet, traumatic experience or incoherent upbringing - especially poor feedback from the mother when the child is very small, or abusive behaviour by a caregiver - that lead to "mental health issues".

Warmly, in the Dhamma,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

sinkingthinking

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Re: meditation and mental illness
« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2010, 10:16:08 AM »
Quote
There is no evidence that these changes are not caused by the state of mind of the person - or that other nutritional or vitamin deficiencies or environmental factors are the cause of these changes and the mental state of the person.

For the majority of people seen by Psychiatrists the truth is there is nothing physically or genetically wrong with them. It is a combination of environmental factors such as diet, traumatic experience or incoherent upbringing - especially poor feedback from the mother when the child is very small, or abusive behaviour by a caregiver - that lead to "mental health issues".

First you claimed it's rare that any physiological differences such as blood content can be found and therefore the conditions are not related to the body and so shouldn't be treated as the body's problem but the mind's problem, now you suggest that yes, the brain organ is often being affected by environmental harm such as from nutritional deficiencies as evidenced by blood tests and brain scans, but still psychiatrists and others who diagnose them are wrong to consider the resulting conditions to have a physiological basis? Nutritional differences are physiological differences that you can 'see with a microscope' as you put it!

Admitting that conditions can be caused by nutrition is to admit that they are physiological as opposed to caused by the mind. And furthermore, any physiological difference that causes differences in behaviour must be doing so by directly or indirectly affecting the brain. The brain is the target of psychiatric drugs. Therefore there is no conflict between your view that nutrition can be responsible and the fact that psychiatric drugs can alleviate the symptoms.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2010, 10:20:18 AM by sinkingthinking »