cause of depression

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: cause of depression

Postby BlueLotus » Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:39 pm

All I know is, we managed to land on the moon many years back but our well supported scientific community hasn't been able to still find an actually lasting and long-term-effective treatment to one of the most common psychological problems today - which is depression. Yes, I am sour. :tantrum:
User avatar
BlueLotus
 
Posts: 274
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:46 am

Re: cause of depression

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:25 pm

Landing on the moon, or searching for the Higgs Boson, etc, is a matter of developing and applying some (admittedly quite interesting and challenging) well-defined science and engineering. Much simpler than fixing up a mind... [We physical scientists and engineers have it easy --- commiserations Peter... :console:].

:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10533
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: cause of depression

Postby PeterB » Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:24 pm

I was going to write something similar Mike..but it seemed a bit presumptuous for me to do so.. :smile:
Beside which I always remember what my main mentor used to say.." what we are doing is more an art than a science "...Me..I am usually flying by the seat of my pants....
PeterB
 
Posts: 3903
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: cause of depression

Postby BlueLotus » Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:11 am

Peter B is a psychiatrist? Sorry I didn't know
User avatar
BlueLotus
 
Posts: 274
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:46 am

Re: cause of depression

Postby PeterB » Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:41 am

Blue Lotus...its absolutely OK to say what you think.. :smile:
PeterB
 
Posts: 3903
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: cause of depression

Postby Ben » Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:50 am

BlueLotus wrote:All I know is, we managed to land on the moon many years back but our well supported scientific community hasn't been able to still find an actually lasting and long-term-effective treatment to one of the most common psychological problems today - which is depression. Yes, I am sour. :tantrum:


I was at a graduation ceremony for Monash University's faculty of medicine a few days ago. I was very interested to hear the citations of many of Medicine and Psychiatry PhD awardees. From this interested but ignorant lay-person's point of view - there is some incredible research being conducted on the nature of and treatment for depression.
I tihink one of the main issues seem to be an expectation of a silver-bullet solution that is efficacious for everyone. The reality is that everyone's brain chemistry is slightly different.
kind regards,

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
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


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16219
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: cause of depression

Postby danieLion » Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:55 am

PeterB wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Hi Daniel,
danieLion wrote:Please cite a name, otherwise I'll treat this as hearsay.

I presume he means PeterB.

:anjali:
Mike

Indeed MIke...I am psychiatrist with nearly 25 years experience in the field..and along with many of my colleagues in the UK field I have used CBT for the last 12 years.
Uner the British NHS system there is no gain financial or otherwise to be had for preferring one type of treatment over another.
CBT is a enormously useful tool. And it has its limits. It usually does not address to any great degree the group of depressive conditions that used to be called "endogenous " Which are frequently genetically linked and are more like diabetes than they are a " mental " condition in that they involve metabolic dysfunction.. And those conditions are not "statistically insignificant "..it is a large group.
It certainly makes a change to have a lay person OVER estimating the usefulness of a given intervention..!
But I am also long enough in the tooth to recognise a fixed belief when I encounter one. :smile: ..so I will leave it there.
:anjali:

And I know the cognitive distortions of LABELING (by calling me "lay person" derogatorily), JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS/MIND READING (charging me with "OVER estimating" and accusing me of having a "fixed belief" without evidence beyond your imaginative inferences), MAGNIFYING (your experience and "expertise" over mine) while MINIMIZING (my experience and credentials over yours).

And what exactly do you mean by "lay person? Why don't you cite some studies that support your claims instead of leaving it there with your argument to authority fallacy.
danieLion
 
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: cause of depression

Postby danieLion » Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:01 am

BlueLotus wrote:All I know is, we managed to land on the moon many years back but our well supported scientific community hasn't been able to still find an actually lasting and long-term-effective treatment to one of the most common psychological problems today - which is depression. Yes, I am sour. :tantrum:

Why would you write such an irrational thing? Have you actually tried CBT, or RET, or DBT?
What is a "well supported scientific community"?
Maybe depression isn't just a scientific problem. Heck, maybe it's just a mental problem. The Buddha gave great advice on training the mind.
Last edited by danieLion on Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
danieLion
 
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: cause of depression

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:30 am

danieLion wrote: And I know the cognitive distortions of LABELING (by calling me "lay person" derogatorily), JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS/MIND READING (charging me with "OVER estimating" and accusing me of having a "fixed belief" without evidence beyond your imaginative inferences), MAGNIFYING (your experience and "expertise" over mine) while MINIMIZING (my experience and credentials over yours).
You are a direct health care provider?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19754
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: cause of depression

Postby danieLion » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:16 am

tiltbillings wrote:
danieLion wrote: And I know the cognitive distortions of LABELING (by calling me "lay person" derogatorily), JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS/MIND READING (charging me with "OVER estimating" and accusing me of having a "fixed belief" without evidence beyond your imaginative inferences), MAGNIFYING (your experience and "expertise" over mine) while MINIMIZING (my experience and credentials over yours).
You are a direct health care provider?

Define "direct health care provider." This is reminiscent of a belief in the sovereignty of the medical profession.

If you've not read the following, you might find them helfpful:
-The Social Transformation of American Medicine: The Rise of a Sovereign Profession and the Making of a Vast Industry by Paul Starr
-The Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine by James Le Fanu
-Deadly Monopolies: The Shocking Corporate Takeover of Life Itself--And the Consequences for Your Health and Our Medical Future by Harriet Washington

And even if I'm not a "direct health care provider" by your defintion(s), the point was that credential dropping is the fallacy of argument to authority in this context.

I don't care if you're the Editor in Chief of JAMA: it's obvious to anyone with the ability to think critically that most if not all of the cause(s) of depression are mind produced and that the Buddha taught the same thing.
I'm astonished so many people find that far fetched.

In the introduction to Rev. Sumedho's The Way It Is, for instance, Rev. Sucitto, translates domanassa in the dependent origination (a.k.a, The Second Noble Truth which postulates that dukkha--of which depression is a form--has a cause) formulation as depression.

Why are we so uncomfortable to admit that the Buddha and CBT have a lot in common?

Rev. Sucitto's not.

Sayadaw U Tejaniya's not.
Rev. Tejaniya wrote:What Are Defilements?

Defilements are not only the gross manifestations of greed,hatred, and delusion but also all their friends and relatives, even the very distant ones!! See if you have ever had one of the following--or similar--thoughts cross your mind: “Those lights should not be on at this time of the day!” “His behaviour is so irritating.” “He should not have done that.” “I could do it a lot faster.” “I am a hopeless meditator; my mind cannot even stay on the rising-falling for one minute.” “Yesterday my meditation was so good; today I am all over the place.” “Wow, this was a wonderful sit; now I need to be really mindful so I don’t lose this feeling.” “I must stay in the Dhamma hall; others will think I am lazy if I don’t.” “I need an extra portion of potatoes today because it’s good for my health.” “Yuk! The salad has onions in it.” “No bananas again!” “He is so selfish, so inconsiderate.” “Why is this happening to me?” “Who is responsible for cleaning the toilets?” “Why is this yogi walking here?” “They shouldn’t be making so much noise!” “There are too many people here; I can’t meditate.” “Someone is sitting in my seat!” “She is so pretty!” “He walks so elegantly!”

All such thoughts are motivated by defilements!! Don’t undeestimate them!

Have you ever told someone you were not angry even though you clearly did not like what he had done? Do you sometimes talk negatively about your boss, a member of your family, or even a good friend? Do you occasionally tell a dirty joke? Do you habitually sweet talk people into doing things for you? Do you automatically raise your voice when someone does not agree with your point of view?

All such talk is motivated by defilements! Watch out for it!

Have you ever knocked really hard on someone’s door, or refused to enter a room simply because someone you dislike was in there, or jumped a queue, or used the shampoo someone left in the bathroom,or made a private call using your employer’s phone line, or done any similar actions – all sort of unthinkingly?

All such actions are motivated by defilements! Become aware of them.
-Don't Look Down On The Defilements: They Will Laugh At You, Part I (pp. 7-8)


Just look at all those congitive distortions--and in a description of mind from a contemporary Theravadin meditation master! In case you forgot what cognitive distortions are, here are the ten most common:

1. All-or-nothing thinking: You see things in black and white categories. If your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure.

2. Overgeneralization: You see a single negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat.

3. Mental filter: You pick out a single negative detail and dwell on it exclusively so that your vision of all reality becomes darkened, like the drop of ink that discolors the entire beaker of water.

4. Disqualifying the positive: You reject positive experiences by insisting they "don't count" for some reason or other. You maintain a negative belief that is contradicted by your everyday experiences.

5. Jumping to conclusions: You make a negative interpretation even though there are no definite facts that convincingly support your conclusion.

-Mind reading: You arbitrarily conclude that someone is reacting negatively to you and don't bother to check it out.

-The Fortune Teller Error: You anticipate that things will turn out badly and feel convinced that your prediction is an already-established fact.

6. Magnification (catastrophizing) or minimization: You exaggerate the importance of things (such as your goof-up or someone else's achievement), or you inappropriately shrink things until they appear tiny (your own desirable qualities or the other fellow's imperfections). This is also called the "binocular trick."

7. Emotional reasoning: You assume that your negative emotions necessarily reflect the way things really are: "I feel it, therefore it must be true."

8. Should statements (musterbating): You try to motivate yourself with shoulds and shouldn'ts, as if you had to be whipped and punished before you could be expected to do anything. "Musts" and "oughts" are also offenders. The emotional consequence is guilt. When you direct should statements toward others, you feel anger, frustration, and resentment.

9. Labeling and mislabeling: This is an extreme form of overgeneralization. Instead of describing your error, you attach a negative label to yourself: "I'm a loser." When someone else's behavior rubs you the wrong way, you attach a negative label to him, "He's a damn louse." Mislabeling involves describing an event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded.

10. Personalization: You see yourself as the cause of some negative external event for which, in fact, you were not primarily responsible.

From: Burns, David D., MD. 1989. The Feeling Good Handbook. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc.


I presume a lot of the problem here is that because most people have not read their Hume on causality (Cf. A Treatise of Human Nature and An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding; and for John Searle's scathing critique of Hume's views see this; see also Kant and Hume on Causality) they think that if they just find a cause or causes then they can find a cure. But as any good congnitive behavioral therapist (one of the things I mean by "good" is that they never or very rarely dispense the semi-poisounous toxic chemicals known as anti-depressants) will tell you, overcoming depression is not easy. The desire for easy answers is perpetuated by unfounded beliefs in the efficacy of modern scientific and western philosophical causal analysis or, in a word, delusion.
danieLion
 
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: cause of depression

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:48 am

danieLion wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
danieLion wrote: And I know the cognitive distortions of LABELING (by calling me "lay person" derogatorily), JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS/MIND READING (charging me with "OVER estimating" and accusing me of having a "fixed belief" without evidence beyond your imaginative inferences), MAGNIFYING (your experience and "expertise" over mine) while MINIMIZING (my experience and credentials over yours).
You are a direct health care provider?

Define "direct health care provider." This is reminiscent of a belief in the sovereignty of the medical profession.
So, the take away from this statement is that you do not do direct patient/client care, you do not do the therapy in question as a therapist with others who are in need. Is this correct?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19754
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: cause of depression

Postby Anagarika » Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:28 pm

BlueLotus wrote:All I know is, we managed to land on the moon many years back but our well supported scientific community hasn't been able to still find an actually lasting and long-term-effective treatment to one of the most common psychological problems today - which is depression. Yes, I am sour. :tantrum:


There've been some interesting developments in the field of depression research. What I've heard is that in the area of pharmacology and depression, the use of ketamine has been profound in treating people with chronic depression. Some docs have ruled out common SSRIs as being helpful for some people, but ketamine holds promise. Thus, the chemical aspect of treating depression. See, if you're interested: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/10 ... onnections

I also live just down the road from Dr. Richard Davidson at U Wisconsin, who has been doing world class research into the use of meditation/MBSR and the treatment of depression, PTSD, and other psychological disorders. http://www.investigatinghealthyminds.org/ There's no sense that Dr. Davidson rules out pharmacology in treatment, but implements CBT and mindfulness to treat these disorders, in the company of pharmacology.

I agree with an earlier poster that there's no duality with chemical causes vs. causes developed by negative cognitive processes. It may be that with new pharmacology, and new approaches to CBT and MBSR, people with chronic depression may have a real path forward to successfully treating this illness.
User avatar
Anagarika
 
Posts: 634
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:25 pm

Re: cause of depression

Postby cbonanno » Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:07 pm

BuddhaSoup wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:All I know is, we managed to land on the moon many years back but our well supported scientific community hasn't been able to still find an actually lasting and long-term-effective treatment to one of the most common psychological problems today - which is depression. Yes, I am sour. :tantrum:


There've been some interesting developments in the field of depression research. What I've heard is that in the area of pharmacology and depression, the use of ketamine has been profound in treating people with chronic depression. Some docs have ruled out common SSRIs as being helpful for some people, but ketamine holds promise. Thus, the chemical aspect of treating depression. See, if you're interested: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/10 ... onnections


Forget Ketamine, check out GLYX-13:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121207094604.htm

Hint for those who can hear: It al all about glutamate in your diet and glutamate released when you are under stress.
User avatar
cbonanno
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:21 pm
Location: Carrboro, NC, USA

Re: cause of depression

Postby Anagarika » Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:14 pm

cbonanno wrote:
BuddhaSoup wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:All I know is, we managed to land on the moon many years back but our well supported scientific community hasn't been able to still find an actually lasting and long-term-effective treatment to one of the most common psychological problems today - which is depression. Yes, I am sour. :tantrum:


There've been some interesting developments in the field of depression research. What I've heard is that in the area of pharmacology and depression, the use of ketamine has been profound in treating people with chronic depression. Some docs have ruled out common SSRIs as being helpful for some people, but ketamine holds promise. Thus, the chemical aspect of treating depression. See, if you're interested: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/10 ... onnections


Forget Ketamine, check out GLYX-13:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121207094604.htm

Hint for those who can hear: It al all about glutamate in your diet and glutamate released when you are under stress.


Great link, thanks. I'm curious: what's the glutamate issue? How does glutamate in diet affect depression? What foods contain glutamate such that they be avoided?
User avatar
Anagarika
 
Posts: 634
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:25 pm

Re: cause of depression

Postby PeterB » Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:56 pm

BuddhaSoup wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:All I know is, we managed to land on the moon many years back but our well supported scientific community hasn't been able to still find an actually lasting and long-term-effective treatment to one of the most common psychological problems today - which is depression. Yes, I am sour. :tantrum:


There've been some interesting developments in the field of depression research. What I've heard is that in the area of pharmacology and depression, the use of ketamine has been profound in treating people with chronic depression. Some docs have ruled out common SSRIs as being helpful for some people, but ketamine holds promise. Thus, the chemical aspect of treating depression. See, if you're interested: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/10 ... onnections

I also live just down the road from Dr. Richard Davidson at U Wisconsin, who has been doing world class research into the use of meditation/MBSR and the treatment of depression, PTSD, and other psychological disorders. http://www.investigatinghealthyminds.org/ There's no sense that Dr. Davidson rules out pharmacology in treatment, but implements CBT and mindfulness to treat these disorders, in the company of pharmacology.

I agree with an earlier poster that there's no duality with chemical causes vs. causes developed by negative cognitive processes. It may be that with new pharmacology, and new approaches to CBT and MBSR, people with chronic depression may have a real path forward to successfully treating this illness.

I had the great pleasure of meeting Dr Davidson at a conference in 2009, in addition to being a " star "in the field he is a very nice and very warm human being.. ..his work is truly pioneering and laying a solid basis for an exciting and eclectic response to depressive and other conditions as outlined by you in your final para..There is reason for some real optimism in the sphere.

:anjali:
PeterB
 
Posts: 3903
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: cause of depression

Postby Anagarika » Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:21 pm

PeterB wrote:
I agree with an earlier poster that there's no duality with chemical causes vs. causes developed by negative cognitive processes. It may be that with new pharmacology, and new approaches to CBT and MBSR, people with chronic depression may have a real path forward to successfully treating this illness.

I had the great pleasure of meeting Dr Davidson at a conference in 2009, in addition to being a " star "in the field he is a very nice and very warm human being.. ..his work is truly pioneering and laying a solid basis for an exciting and eclectic response to depressive and other conditions as outlined by you in your final para..There is reason for some real optimism in the sphere.

:anjali:[/quote]

:anjali: :toast:
User avatar
Anagarika
 
Posts: 634
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:25 pm

Re: cause of depression

Postby cbonanno » Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:58 pm

BuddhaSoup wrote:Great link, thanks. I'm curious: what's the glutamate issue? How does glutamate in diet affect depression? What foods contain glutamate such that they be avoided?


http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF00345492?LI=true#page-1
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121113134807.htm
http://www.cabdirect.org/abstracts/19811420686.html;jsessionid=B6DFBA90DAA7A7E114E81F9035AE38B6
http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/90/3/832S.short
http://www.msgtruth.org/avoid.htm

For me, when I abstain gluten and dairy, my mind is much more calm. I eat whole, simple foods as well.

But no need for all the science really, just get back to basics, do not look for sensual foods or exciting times, cultivate dispassion, let the body take care of its own balance without your mind interfering.
User avatar
cbonanno
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:21 pm
Location: Carrboro, NC, USA

Re: cause of depression

Postby Kamran » Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:27 pm

As danielLion mentioned, Congative Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is highly effective and compliments Buddhist meditation practice.

My understanding of CBT is that emotional disturbances are caused by irrational thoughts. You have to catch these thoughts and dispute them rationally. This is where meditation and mindfulness is very helpful. When you are mindful you can notice your irrational thoughts occurring, and use rational methods to get rid of them.

There is quite a bit of overlap between Buddhist practice and CBT. For instance, I noticed that some methods recommended by Thanissaro Bikhu to get rid of unskillful thoughts are also used in CBT.

I think CBT is a great tool not just for those with clinical depression or anxiety, but for anyone who is battling against their defilements.
When this concentration is thus developed, thus well developed by you, then wherever you go, you will go in comfort. Wherever you stand, you will stand in comfort. Wherever you sit, you will sit in comfort. Wherever you lie down, you will lie down in comfort.
User avatar
Kamran
 
Posts: 191
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 3:14 am

Re: cause of depression

Postby BlueLotus » Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:30 pm

BuddhaSoup wrote:
I also live just down the road from Dr. Richard Davidson at U Wisconsin

Thanks for the links man. I thought you were a monk :tongue:
User avatar
BlueLotus
 
Posts: 274
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:46 am

Re: cause of depression

Postby Anagarika » Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:00 pm

BlueLotus wrote:
BuddhaSoup wrote:
I also live just down the road from Dr. Richard Davidson at U Wisconsin

Thanks for the links man. I thought you were a monk :tongue:


Blue Lotus, I was a samanera in Thailand for a period of time. You may know that it's common for men to ordain temporarily in the Thai Sangha. It was a great experience, and I may end up, once my responsibilities/debts/jobs in the world abate, going back and ordaining.

If I were a monk, my contributions to this site would certainly be more wise and more profound. I'm just a grinder, like everyone else trying to fit the Buddhapractice into life, and not revealing myself too much an idiot on this forum. :toast:
User avatar
Anagarika
 
Posts: 634
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:25 pm

PreviousNext

Return to General Theravāda discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: phil and 10 guests