Depression

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Re: Depression

Postby Jhana4 » Thu May 26, 2011 11:45 am

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?

Greg


The late Dr. Albert Ellis invented REBT ( Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy) which later changed and became Cognitive therapy. Some people think it is more effective than cognitive therapy. The best book on the subject is the latest edition of Dr. Ellis' "Guide To Rational Living". You can read an excellent overview and introduction to his system here.

Meditation helps, as other people in this thread have stated, but I've also seen articles from the research community that seem to indicate this. *Vigorous* aerobic exercise also has a good reputation for helping depression. Also good nutrition, particularly getting a lot of b-vitamins.

Try out everything under the sun until you find something that works for you. No reason you can't see a therapist and meditate as well.

Good Luck
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One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Depression

Postby santa100 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:22 am

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..
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Re: Depression

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:20 pm

cooran wrote: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.



Very good point, and IMO it could take many years of metta practice. One of the problems with depression can be the tendency to be self-critical about being depressed, something which the first stage of metta practice can address directly.

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Re: Depression

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:25 pm

BlackBird wrote:Being affected by depression does not make you less of a Dhamma practitioner.


Absolutely. And depression provides a very direct experience of what mental suffering really is.

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Re: Depression

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:27 pm

suguno wrote:- spicy foods



A nice curry always cheers me up. ;)

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Re: Depression

Postby Pacific » Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:44 am

Spiny O'Norman wrote:
suguno wrote:- spicy foods



A nice curry always cheers me up. ;)

Spiny


yeah, it does me too. Seems many here have depression of one kind or another. I've had depression since my late teens although it's under control these days, pretty much. I find regular meditation, mindfulness, herbal supplements (St john's wort, fish oil - I was on zoloft for many years), exercise, being creative and trying to enjoy the simple things in life help a lot. small pleasures are nice.
One thing i would like to say though, is that unless you've had serious depression it's very, very difficult to understand somebody who has it. perhaps it's one of the reasons depression wasn't taken seriously until relatively recently... people just couldn't understand what the "problem" was
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Re: Depression

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:09 am

Greetings,

I'm inclined to think that living in accordance with the following sutta, would help stave off depression... and just to add a personal touch, I've coloured red some of the ones I've struggled with of late.

Sn 2.4: Maha Mangala Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .soni.html

Thus have I heard:

Once while the Blessed One was staying in the vicinity of Saavatthi, in the Jeta Grove, in Anaathapi.n.dika's monastery, a certain deity, whose surpassing brilliance and beauty illumined the entire Jeta Grove, late one night came to the presence of the Blessed One; having come to him and offered profound salutations he stood on one side and spoke to him reverently in the following verse:

Many deities and human beings
Have pondered what are blessings,
Which they hope will bring them safety:
Declare to them, Sir, the Highest Blessing.

(To this the Blessed One replied):
With fools no company keeping.
With the wise ever consorting,
To the worthy homage paying:
This, the Highest Blessing.

Congenial place to dwell,
In the past merits making,
One's self directed well:
This, the Highest Blessing.

Ample learning, in crafts ability,
With a well-trained disciplining,
Well-spoken words, civility:
This, the Highest Blessing.

Mother, father well supporting,
Wife and children duly cherishing,
Types of work unconflicting:
This, the Highest Blessing.

Acts of giving, righteous living,
Relatives and kin supporting,
Actions blameless then pursuing:
This, the Highest Blessing.

Avoiding evil and abstaining,
From besotting drinks refraining,
Diligence in Dhamma doing:
This, the Highest Blessing.

Right reverence and humility
Contentment and a grateful bearing,
Hearing Dhamma when it's timely:
This, the Highest Blessing.

Patience, meekness when corrected,
Seeing monks and then discussing
About the Dhamma when it's timely:
This, the Highest Blessing.

Self-restraint and holy life,
All the Noble Truths in-seeing,
Realization of Nibbaana:
This, the Highest Blessing.

Though touched by worldly circumstances,
Never his mind is wavering,
Sorrowless, stainless and secure:
This, the Highest Blessing.

Since by acting in this way,
They are everywhere unvanquished,
And everywhere they go in safety:
Theirs, the Highest Blessings.
Here ends the Discourse on Blessings.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Depression

Postby cooran » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:16 am

Hello all,

Hope this might clarify just what depression really is, and how to affect change:

What is Depression?
• Depression is not simply normal sadness, being moody or just a low mood, but a serious illness. It causes both physical and psychological symptoms.
• Depression is common. Up to one in four females and one in six males will experience depression in their lifetime.
• Depression is the leading cause of suicide.
• Depression is often not recognised or treated.
• Current treatments for depression are safe and effective.
• Depression also commonly occurs with specific anxiety syndromes.
Are you depressed?
Complete the checklist below to see if you are possibly suffering from a depressive illness. Please note, we keep no record of your test results or identity.
…………………
http://www.beyondblue.org.au/index.aspx ... pgodxDoO7g

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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Re: Depression

Postby Ben » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:34 am

Good one, Chris!

I also want to say that in my observation, some practitioners will find benefit from Paul's approach or by engaging with Dhamma practice. But for many other practitioners their condition may indeed be so acute as to require medical and therapeutic intervention. If anyone is suffering from depression, I think, the best thing to do is to get it checked out by a medical professional. Very many practitioners benefit greatly from a combination of medical treatment alongside their Dhamma practice.
kind regards

Ben
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in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: Depression

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:01 am

Greetings,

A good blog post on the subject of depression - http://www.ryanminster.com/life/depress ... dog-calls/

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Depression

Postby PeterB » Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:01 am

I think it important both for understanding depression and in its treatment for the range of conditions that " depression " is shorthand for, to be as seen no different from other conditions in many ways.
If you have acne you go to a skin specialist.
If you have toothache you go to a dentist..unless you are as idiotic as me , I recently spent ten days in pain hoping it would go away on its own...it didnt.
If you are depressed for no obvious reason,( if you have recently been bereaved or made redundant from your job a degree of depression is within the range of normal responses..) then get checked out.
No biggie, no mystery..And I am not playing down at all the suffering caused by depressive conditions. it is great.
I am just saying that there are tried and trusted ways of managing the symptoms of depression, many not involving meds, although meds can be life savers at times, and sometimes ways of seeing its cause.
Although the latter is often not so important as might be assumed.
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Re: Depression

Postby altar » Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:07 am

Depression is low, dull, and heavy. It lends itself to misery and apathy and is not light.

Empathy is its counterpart, enthusiasm a counterforce. Thus company and friendliness dispel it. Intuition is like an elixir for it. Weariness with excitement a cause, worldliness a mainstay. Impermanence the knowledge that drives against it. Striving is the way to overcome it. Joy where it holds no footing. Energy an ally to those without it. Delight in its cessation is peaceful. Meditation is the cure, and nature the beyond (but is all around anyway).
It is karmic (mainly). Karma with dark results. And in the present is often like habitual malaise.

I wrote most of this a few days ago and I'm sorry that I keep posting and taking things down. This time it stays...
and i echo retro that contentment is the way of dhamma.
and cheerfulness should be somewhere in this post...
Last edited by altar on Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:11 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Depression

Postby altar » Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:54 am

i wonder if we could start a thread on happiness...
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Re: Depression

Postby FaceaceRAWR » Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:26 am

altar wrote:i wonder if we could start a thread on happiness...


I'd love that! I've also struggled with depression which is actually what brought me here in the first place.
And what I read about westerners [like me] devaluing themselves sounds very correct. I'd love to help myself, but if I do it without really trying... :thinking:

Anywho, there are a lot of extremely useful sites here and I wanted to say my thanks for them all. :clap:

Sincerely,
Ace :strawman:
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Re: Depression

Postby PeterB » Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:16 am

" Low self esteem " is one component of some kinds of Depression. It is largely a symptom, not a cause. Albeit a symptom that needs addressing.
Much Depression does not conform to the common view of Depression at all. Often there is no noticeable change in affect and mood, rather it presents as a psychosomatic condition. As backache, as flu that never completely goes, as sleep disturbance, as digestive problems....etc.
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Re: Depression

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:38 pm

PeterB wrote:Much Depression does not conform to the common view of Depression at all. Often there is no noticeable change in affect and mood, rather it presents as a psychosomatic condition. As backache, as flu that never completely goes, as sleep disturbance, as digestive problems....etc.


If there is no noticeable change in affect and mood, how do you know these psychosomatic conditions are related to depression?

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Re: Depression

Postby PeterB » Sat Aug 20, 2011 2:00 pm

By cross referral to other symptoms which may or may not include a flattening of affect.
It is common for example for patients who are experiencing a number of symptoms to get no relief from the usual remedies that apply to that condition when it is largely physical in origin.

The reverse also applies. In my view antidepressants are to be used with caution, but fairly frequently an antidepressant with no known intrinsic painkilling qualities will "cure" long standing physical pain of uncertain origin.
Thus confirming a tentative diagnosis of depression.
Which can then be approached using alternatives to medication.
It is common for those experiencing various types of pain to be told that the cause may be Depression by a process of elimination, and to respond that they have never felt better.." apart from this pain that you doctors can't get to the bottom of "..
I am of necessity simplifying what is a subtle process.

We are complex and all of a piece.
Last edited by PeterB on Sat Aug 20, 2011 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Depression

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Sat Aug 20, 2011 2:07 pm

PeterB wrote:By cross referral to other symptoms which may or may not include a flattening of affect.
It is common for example for patients who are experiencing a number of symptoms to get no relief from the usual remedies that apply to that condition when it is largely physical in origin.
The reverse also applies. In my view antidepressants are to be used with caution, but fairly frequently an antidepressant with no known intrinsic painkilling qualities will cure long standing physical pain of uncertain origin.

We are complex and all of a piece.



Thanks, this is interesting stuff.

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Re: Depression

Postby PeterB » Sat Aug 20, 2011 2:09 pm

I added a bit.

:anjali:
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Re: Depression

Postby fragrant herbs » Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:01 pm

I had depression for 12 years. I used positive affirmations to get rid of it and quit therapy. It worked the first day I tried it, and then I just kept it up. First I looked at my thoughts, and they were all negative, and then I took each thought and changed it into a positive affirmation and repeated it silently all day, and at the end of the day my depression had been lifted. After that I would not allow negative thoughts to enter my mind but would push them aside and replace them with positive. It means being mindful of what you think about. I have not suffered from depression since even though I can be upset over things, and this happened back in 1981. Dr. Burns has a book on it called, Mood Therapy, and his technique is different from how I did it. Also Daniel Golestein (?) has a book Destructive Emotions. I realized as what was written in a metaphysical book, "It is your thoughts that depress you and not the other way around." My therapist had been trying to tell me that because I was depressed I had negative thoughts. How stupid he was. And now they say it is chemical, but I believe that negative thoughts cause the brain chemistry to change, as does Dr. Burns, but he thinks it can go on so long that you can't reverse it. I don't believe that because I was severely depressed for all those years, as I said, 12.
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