psychiatric drugs and the fifth precept

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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Cittasanto
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Re: psychiatric drugs and the fifth precept

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Dec 13, 2009 1:59 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Bonsai
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Re: psychiatric drugs and the fifth precept

Postby Bonsai » Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:08 pm

Yes, I agree. I definitely phrased it wrong, since it sounds like Buddha was obsessed with morals in and of themselves rather than a doctor who gets to the heart of the problem (First two noble truths).

PeterB
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Re: psychiatric drugs and the fifth precept

Postby PeterB » Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:51 pm


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LauraJ
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Re: psychiatric drugs and the fifth precept

Postby LauraJ » Sun Dec 13, 2009 3:34 pm




Conquer the angry man by love. Conquer the ill-natured man by goodness. Conquer the miser with generosity. Conquer the liar with truth. -The Dhammapada

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LauraJ
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Re: psychiatric drugs and the fifth precept

Postby LauraJ » Sun Dec 13, 2009 3:37 pm




Conquer the angry man by love. Conquer the ill-natured man by goodness. Conquer the miser with generosity. Conquer the liar with truth. -The Dhammapada

PeterB
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Re: psychiatric drugs and the fifth precept

Postby PeterB » Sun Dec 13, 2009 4:27 pm

Yes I remember your helpful input too Laura, there was one chap in particular who had read a book or two on Aryuveda and on that basis felt able tell to people to come off all meds ( which can result in convulsions ) and do Medicine Buddha practice instead. It was very good that Ben among others, stepped in.

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LauraJ
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Re: psychiatric drugs and the fifth precept

Postby LauraJ » Sun Dec 13, 2009 4:55 pm




Conquer the angry man by love. Conquer the ill-natured man by goodness. Conquer the miser with generosity. Conquer the liar with truth. -The Dhammapada

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Monkey Mind
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Re: psychiatric drugs and the fifth precept

Postby Monkey Mind » Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:02 pm

Medicine during Buddha's time period involved consuming a lot of hash and drinking elixirs that were highly alcoholic. So when we read suttas about monks who are severely ill, and "bravely" declining the medicine of the day, and thus receiving Buddha's praise... I think we have to consider the cultural context. It is also worth noting that 1) these were monks, not lay people; and 2) the hospice care they received from their monastic community was probably far superior to the quality of health care today. In other words, "don't try this at home".
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710

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Re: psychiatric drugs and the fifth precept

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:28 am


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Cittasanto
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Re: psychiatric drugs and the fifth precept

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:14 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Dhammanando
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Re: psychiatric drugs and the fifth precept

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:26 am


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Cittasanto
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Re: psychiatric drugs and the fifth precept

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:38 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

chownah
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Re: psychiatric drugs and the fifth precept

Postby chownah » Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:50 pm

There are lots of different psychiatric drugs and people in general react differently to each of them and take them for different reasons and expect different effects so it doesn't make sense that there could be an answer that would blanket the issue conclusively. I think a good Theravadin approach to this is for each person to decide if taking the drug leads to dispassion and not to passion, if it leads to equanimity and not agitation, etc......or does not taking the drug lead in the right direction.....
chownah

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Re: psychiatric drugs and the fifth precept

Postby PeterB » Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:44 pm

There are of course other alternatives for some people with some Mental Health conditions. Certainly in Europe ( which is the situation best known to me ) an eclectic model is emerging which uses medication and/or other forms of intervention. There was a time in the seventies and early eighties when the prescription pad was kept very close to hand, but, in Europe at least that is changing and has been for some time. Of course as has aready been said, it the question also needs to be asked how much dispassion and equanimity is likely to be experienced by a sufferer from Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder if they are unmedicated ? The answer is for many, not much at all.

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Cittasanto
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Re: psychiatric drugs and the fifth precept

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:04 pm

for the last two posts :anjali: Sadhu :anjali:


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Annapurna
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Re: psychiatric drugs and the fifth precept

Postby Annapurna » Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:24 pm

http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

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Annapurna
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Re: psychiatric drugs and the fifth precept

Postby Annapurna » Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:33 pm

http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

Mothra
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Re: psychiatric drugs and the fifth precept

Postby Mothra » Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:31 pm

I'm so tired of people using the "mental illness is like diabetes or cancer" argument. That analogy is not true. Quotes from this article say it better than I can:

"For example, a defect in a person's visual field may be satisfactorily explained by correlating it with certain definite lesions in the nervous system. On the other hand, a person's belief -- whether this be a belief in Christianity, in Communism, or in the idea that his internal organs are "rotting" and that his body is, in fact, already "dead" -- cannot be explained by a defect or disease of the nervous system."

"Let me therefore say once more that my aim in presenting this argument was expressly to criticize and counter a prevailing contemporary tendency to deny the moral aspects of psychiatry (and psychotherapy) and to substitute for them allegedly value-free medical considerations. "

The full article is at http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Szasz/myth.htm
It was written in 1960 by a psychiatrist. The title might sound provocative but the argument is fairly plain and eloquent. There's not enough reasonable (scientologists and new age gurus don't count) argument out there about the dangers of psychiatry as it is practiced today. You have prepubescent kids being prescribed things for ADD and Autism, older kids whose grades slip and they are diagnosed ADD and medicated. Not to mention the countless prescriptions for antidepressants and antianxiety medications. It is uncompassionate to thrust the suffering and vulnerable into the hands of psychiatry so that "their disease can be cured". It should be reserved for only the most extreme cases (like the TOS talks about), which is only a (small?) part of the amount of patients being treated.

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altar
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Re: psychiatric drugs and the fifth precept

Postby altar » Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:36 pm

Hi,
I don't think these drugs can be compared to other more physical related illness remedies for a few reasons, one in particular related to sila: These drugs are taken with the intention of altering the mind.
As for the effectiveness and harmfulness of these drugs in general, this is not quite as related, but still relevant.
This is a good article on the subject. http://www.scribd.com/doc/19458201/The- ... t-Whitaker
Also askapatient.com is a good source of user reports, there are thousands.
Another reason these drugs are more suspicious than physical ones is that they cause a host of effects that indicate some mental change, maybe more-so than any physical-related remedy.
Lastly, these drugs are introducing a physical change, however there is no observed physical abnormality. Actually, it is observed that at least some of these drugs create physical abnormalities.
I think sila is individual and circumstantial to a certain extent but here I think too many allowances are made.
So, there you go,have a good day..
Zack

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Cittasanto
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Re: psychiatric drugs and the fifth precept

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:14 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.


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