Thanks Dogen, well let me add my perspective to your comments on Buddhism as "cure". I am manic Depressive, I have high blood pressure and heart disease(I've already had one heart attack), I have very high chlorestorol, I just recently came down with type two diabetes(non insulin), which I will have the rest of my life if I don't lose a lot of weight, I even have a slight thyroid imbalance as a side effect of one of my other medicines, One of my manic depression medicines also causes depression as a side effect, so I have to take another medicine for depression. In all I take 10-12 different medicines every day, for all of the aforementioned conditions, and believe it or not, I do very well, I'm not plagued by med side effects, I'm very happy, the only really abnormal thing I do is sleep too much, sometimes, or when I'm sleeping "normally" I can get slightly manic, or excited, kind of like I have been the last couple days, so I have to be very careful the manic doesn't progress to less than normal sleep, in which case I have to increase the dose of my Knock out pills to get more sleep.
Enough about medicine, Im on a Buddhist path, grounded in the lay precepts, making effort on the 8fld path, really trying to bring more love and compassion for others into my life, and yes, I believe there is a path in Buddhism, that I am journeying on, that someday, even if its not this lifetime, will bring me to enlightenment,and to experience Nirvana, my goal is to be a Bodhisattva, not a non returner, even if that is not fully talked about in Thervada traditions. anyway the point is, possibly, I have no idea how likely, I may reach enlightenment before I pass on, and if I do, I am under no illusion or even dream that I will not still need to be taking most of this medicine, if not even more as I get older. In other words I don't mix my spirituality with my physical health, I've tried being cured of illness by religion, and it always ends up badly, in the hospital......And I do not believe the medicine I take in any way hinders my spiritual Journey, short of going on a vegan diet and losing 50lbs, its rather unlikely the amount of medicine I take is going to go down, but that's not any problem, it doesn't make me a second class Buddhist puttajhana that will never reach arhatship because I have a treatable mental illness, as one rather annoying poster tried to say in a thread on mental illness about a month ago, my sicknesses, illnesses, and medications don't define who I am, The buddha defines who I am, just another person on the path, a path to a better way of living.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk Johnhttp://trickleupeconomictheory.blogspot.com/