I'm so depressed

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I'm so depressed

Postby greggorious » Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:26 pm

I've fallen back into a heavy depression again. I know there are some Buddhists who like to think of the hell realms as literal places, but to me it's the worst state of mind you can think of. I'm in the hell realms, and no matter how hard I try I can't get out. Doctors don't help, anti depressants don't help, the dharma hasn't helped.
"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
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Re: I'm so depressed

Postby Sam Vara » Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:58 pm

greggorious,

I'm really sorry to read your post, and hear that you are feeling so bad. I am hoping that it will pass quickly. Maybe the doctors and medication and the Dhamma have already helped a bit, but the results are not manifest yet. Keep trying if you can, and remember you are not alone in your suffering.
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Re: I'm so depressed

Postby David2 » Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:06 am

and no matter how hard I try I can't get out.


Maybe you are trying too hard? Give it time. Observe your body and feelings carefully, they are constantly changing, there are no two moments in which you have exactly the same feelings. It's all anicca, impermanent.
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Re: I'm so depressed

Postby santa100 » Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:24 am

When you're down, don't just sit there and breathe the stale air in your room. Get out to the open sky and start moving: jogging, running, biking, whatever you like.. The fresh air not only will make your body feels good but also your mind..
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Re: I'm so depressed

Postby Ben » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:56 am

Hi Greg,
greggorious wrote:I've fallen back into a heavy depression again. I know there are some Buddhists who like to think of the hell realms as literal places, but to me it's the worst state of mind you can think of. I'm in the hell realms, and no matter how hard I try I can't get out. Doctors don't help, anti depressants don't help, the dharma hasn't helped.


I think it wise to have a conversation with your doctor regarding your treatment. If you have been put on medication for your depression and you are taking some of the modern SSRI anti-depressants, they do take a number of weeks to take effect. You may also wish to look at some of your behaviours that maybe exacerbating your depression. CBT can also be an extremely useful tool in your arsenal. If you are still getting no relief then you need to talk to your doctor or therapist to adjust your treatment. You can also enact some lifestyle changes that will help you "feel" better. Regular exercise, a healthy diet and regular sleep patterns are also very helpful.

Don't give up on your Dhamma practice. It is to your long-term benefit and will eventually greatly assist you in removing the root-causes of dukkha. Some years ago I was in contact with researchers at Macquarie University in Sydney who found that cancer patients suffering from depression were significantly benefited by mindfulness practice in conjunction with their medication and 'talk therapy' based treatment for their depression.
kind regards,

Ben
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sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

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Re: I'm so depressed

Postby ground » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:58 am

greggorious wrote:I've fallen back into a heavy depression again. I know there are some Buddhists who like to think of the hell realms as literal places, but to me it's the worst state of mind you can think of. I'm in the hell realms, and no matter how hard I try I can't get out. Doctors don't help, anti depressants don't help, the dharma hasn't helped.


You are thinking too much. You have been running back and forth between what you think of as "Theravada" and what you think of as "Zen" ... accepting this and rejecting that ... but all you have been accepting and rejecting are just your own thoughts .... relax, my friend ... relax and recognize your real enemy ... unskillful thought. Now you may wonder "But what then is 'skillful thought'" ... but you cannot find out through thinking, thinking cannot differentiate between its being skillful or unskillful. First you have to relax and calm all your thinking and experience the relief through less thinking or - even better - not thinking at all ... only after this experience it may dawn what skillful thinking may be but this dawning is not brought about through thinking.


Kind regards
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Re: I'm so depressed

Postby RMSmith » Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:52 pm

The depression will dissipate on its own, as long as you don't dwell on it. Its existence relies on being fed by attention. I was severely depressed for 4+ years recently. It slowly faded after a month or so, when I decided I was too tired to have it around anymore. I focused on other things and forgot all about it.
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Re: I'm so depressed

Postby bodom » Sun Mar 11, 2012 3:11 pm

RMSmith wrote:The depression will dissipate on its own, as long as you don't dwell on it. Its existence relies on being fed by attention. I was severely depressed for 4+ years recently. It slowly faded after a month or so, when I decided I was too tired to have it around anymore. I focused on other things and forgot all about it.


First lets have a medically qualified professional give greggorious's depression some attention before recommending any courses of action like this.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: I'm so depressed

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Mar 11, 2012 3:32 pm

greggorious wrote:I've fallen back into a heavy depression again. I know there are some Buddhists who like to think of the hell realms as literal places, but to me it's the worst state of mind you can think of. I'm in the hell realms, and no matter how hard I try I can't get out. Doctors don't help, anti depressants don't help, the dharma hasn't helped.


Have you looked at your lifestyle with a qualified therapist, or are you going to a doctor and asking for a prescription?
some medications take time to work, and need a reduction time when coming off of them.
How much exercise do you get, I mean actual exercise like running, swimming, & walking?
do you spend time in nature/with friends, do you communicate with them what you are going through?
are you eating a well balanced diet with all the vinamins and minerals needed?
what are you practising off the cushion, any of the virtues which led the gods to be born in that state, and do you recollect your own virtuousness, your own good qualities?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: I'm so depressed

Postby Fede » Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:12 pm

It's also worth considering gaining a 'second opinion'... a friend of mine nearly took his own life on more than one occasion, and was put onto several different meds.... but eventually his diagnosis was revised, confirmed and he was subsequently given the correct medication. Medication he was 'compatible' with, and which helped him....
The medication he had been given to date, actually made his condition much, much worse.....it was literally killing him - or making him wish he was dead.

Check it out with more than one professional.
sometimes, in matters of the brain, they're feeling their way too.....
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Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


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Re: I'm so depressed

Postby greggorious » Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:13 pm

Thanks for your replies. It's always easy to reccomend that someone with depression go to see a doctor, be put on anti depressants, see a psychiatrist etc. To be honest I've lost all faith in doctors. In our capitalist society I've met too many doctors who are only too happy to just shove loads of pills down my throat. I've been on many different anti depressants over the past 15 years, and this is where it has got me, even more depressed than I was before. Meds just aren't an option for me anymore. This is why I became interested in Buddhism, and especially meditation, cos I want alternative ways to combat my "Mental illness". Usually the people who suggest meds are people who have never even been on them. They all have horrific side effects and I've had enough. I've been in therapy too for many years and have felt no progress at all.
"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
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Re: I'm so depressed

Postby Aloka » Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:18 pm

Hi Greg,

I'm really sorry that you're not feeling so good. I don't know which country you live in, but it certainly might be worth asking your doctor if Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy is available to you (it includes meditation)

Here's some information for you at the link:

http://mbct.co.uk/about-mbct/

This is a BBC report from 2008 about it.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7319043.stm


with kind wishes

Aloka
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Re: I'm so depressed

Postby greggorious » Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:24 pm

Thanks for the link. It's actually very near me, that centre, I'm from North London. I'm guessing it's a private practice charging lots of money though, and I'm unemployed.
"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
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Re: I'm so depressed

Postby Aloka » Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:28 pm

greggorious wrote:Thanks for the link. It's actually very near me, that centre, I'm from North London. I'm guessing it's a private practice charging lots of money though, and I'm unemployed.



I think its available on the NHS Greg, which is why its worth asking your GP about it.



.
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Re: I'm so depressed

Postby Aloka » Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:47 pm

.

If you're unemployed Greg, why not try doing some voluntary work for a while until you can find a job ?

If you like animals, for example, animal rescue centres sometimes take on volunteers to help look after rescued animals at the centres, or NHS hospitals take voluntary workers to do various jobs. There are lots of things you could do to help others in some way.


.
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Re: I'm so depressed

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:02 pm

The cycle of depression is hard to get out of. I have had many people come to me over the years seeking some relief from their suffering.

Them: I am depressed. Will meditation help me?

Me: Yes, and listening to Dhamma talks, or reading inspiring Dhamma books.

Later: I am still depressed.

Me: You need to meditate more.

Them: I cannot meditate regularly. I'm depressed.

Me: :shrug: Please try harder.

I also suggest voluntary work, exercise, etc., but the problem is difficult to resolve.

In Buddhism, you really do have to work out your own salvation with diligence.
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Re: I'm so depressed

Postby greggorious » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:23 pm

The reason I find it so hard to meditate when I'm depressed, is not so much the act of doing it. I can easily get myself to meditate, it's the visions I have, it's like I enter a nightmare, a first class ticket into the hell realms.
"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
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Re: I'm so depressed

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:24 pm

hi greggorious
there are many councillors within the NHS who are trained in mindfulness based practices such as MBSR is only one method used although I think it would be hard not to find one who uses Mindfulness who has not done the MBSR or equivalent training as it is certified and recognised by universities and other medical centres, so carries allot of weight.

and what meditation are you doing? there are plenty of techneques out there and the one you are using is possibly not the right one for you at the moment!
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: I'm so depressed

Postby greggorious » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:28 pm

I try doing 15 minutes of breath concentration (Samatha I think?) in the morning and observation (Vipassana?) in the evening. Maybe I should just do breath concentration for now?
"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
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Re: I'm so depressed

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:38 pm

Also try Buddhānussati and Mettabhāvanā.
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