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
santa100 wrote:Yes, outdoor aerobic exercises would definitely help. Jogging, biking, hiking, or brisk walking are all good. If you've never done them before, make sure to start out slowly and gradually build up the speed and duration. Eventually if you could maintain 1hr-jogging 3 times a week, that'd be great. Good luck..
Tilt, that's a darn good point. I was just reflecting that although I don't agree with putting labels on people and I don't accept them either, I have been variously 'diagnosed' as having 'post traumatic stress disorder' and 'social anxiety'. Anyway, the reality is that (as you pointed out) there really isn't a 'quick fix', and I have indeed found that the best attitude to take is acceptance, to stop fighting my current reality (secretly wishing that my life had not turned out this way) and to use the painful emotions that swirl through me on a daily basis as objects of 'right recollection - awareness / clear comprehension' (my awkward rendering of 'sati-sampajanna'). I'm not going to go into any detail about it, but I don't think anyone would actually be surprised that i feel alot of painful emotions on a daily basis, if they knew my past and even current situation. So maybe this is just how it is...but whether we got a fortunate life or an unfortunate one (contacting the Dhamma however was my one great good fortune), either way we have to let go of the identification with that story: 'I am so-and-so, this happened to me, I have this job, these friends (or lack thereof), these likes and dislikes...etc etc...' Whether it's a happy story or a sad one, it's still just a story...and needs to be seen for what it is. In case I sound flippant, I don't mean to. Even 'witnessing' the painful emotions / feeling hurts. But at least, with a pinch of sati-sampajanna, a bit of panna can come to one's aid, reminding us: 'These painful emotions / feelings are impermanent and not-self'.tiltbillings wrote:The problem is that "depression" is not a singular thing. The causes and manifestations are wildly various as are the possible treatmnent solutions -- that is, assuming that one's depression is ameanable to treatment.
The problem that I have with some of the the above is the wishful thinking and hope for perfection that goes with the unstated magical thinking that it can all be resolved one's "enlightenment" -- ah, my depression will go away if I practice Buddhism and become enlightened.
For some, depression is a fact of life with which they have to cope, have to struggle, until they die. Can Dhamma practice help with that? Probably, but it is may not make it go away, and in some instances it certainly will not. So, the question is, what is one looking for in terms of Dhamma practice vis a vis depression (or any other mental illness)?
greggorious wrote: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?
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