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schizophrenic

what is schizophrenic?

if you are a doctor, nurse, patient, friend or relative to a schizophrenic how would you define it

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Comments

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    There is more than one diagnosis. My cousin is a paranoid schizophrenic. When he's on his meds and they are well adjusted, he just comes across as a bit shy and particular (who isn't about some things). But if his meds go off, he can get violent because his paranoid delusions cause him to experience the world differently. He believes people are listening through his lightbulbs and covers them with aluminum foil. He stays up all night because it's not safe to sleep. He attacked a friend of his because he thought he'd been hired to hurt him. Just my own experience, he lives next door to us.

    But the paranoia is not something everyone experiences and like any mental illness, even the same diagnosis can present very differently and with differing severity between people. There are, if I remember right, a couple of people here who deal with it, so you might do a search on the page (up at the top) and see what they've had to say about their experience.

    upekka
  • wojciechwojciech I yam whatever you say I yam Veteran

    Schizophrenia is a mental illness where a person experiences psychosis, hallucinations, paranoia and/or delusions. This can take the shape in a myriad of experiences but generally those are the main symptoms. i myself have challenges with Schizoaffective disorder which was my official diagnosis more than 7 years ago. Schizoaffective disorder is schizophrenia mixed with diagnosed depression. Suicidal tendencies, thoughts and behaviors are not out of the norm for people with this same diagnosis.

    Basically i hallucinate and get paranoid and often manic/depressed when off my meds. It's like a roller coaster of emotions combined with rapid paced thoughts that can be so fast it feels like torture.

    Even with meds, i still experience auditory hallucinations. Basically it sounds like a voice is talking to me that is separated from my internal thinking. If you've never experienced an auditory hallucination, its like somebody is talking in your ear but it's contained within the mind, it sounds like a voice (or voices) that is not your own thinking voice that is talking to you.

    i've come to the conclusion that these might be spirits communicating with me but not everybody will agree with that and that may be the cause for some to think i'm a loony. Oh well, it is a very challenging illness to deal with and that is something that helps me make sense of it all. Much like Lonely_Traveller, its been an inspiration for me to find my path with the Dhamma as well. Hope that helps.

    dhammachicklobster
  • thanks @karasti , @Lonely_Traveller

    with the experience i'v got through dhamma/ meditation and after reading about schizophrenic i came to a conclusion that schizophrenic must have had meditation experience before

    when i say 'before' that included previous births

    since they are born into places where there are people who are not familiar with meditation, there is no one who can guide these "schizophrenic" to meditation

    if anybody could guide them into meditation they would have helped themselves and would be able to see for themselves what is happening within their mind

    instead these people who have a grate skill are labeled as 'schizophrenic'

    this unfortunate situation also not anyone's fault, but their own previous bad kamma (unskillful cause) and experiencing the bad effect now

    whatever happened in the past is happened, no one can change it now, but being skillful person now (creating skillful cause now) one can reap good effect from now on (future)

    that is Beauty of Buddha's Teaching

  • TravellerTraveller East Midlands UK Veteran
    edited December 2016

    @upekka, I don't know about the karma of previous lives but my illness is definitely the result of the karma of this life. If I hadn't swallowed all those pills and smoked all those joints would I have ended up ill? I doubt it. I lived a very unskillful life. Since finding the dharma I know longer do drugs or drink alcohol though some days its a struggle. When I was ill yesterday the only thing I really wanted to do was pour four cans of beer down my mouth but instead I meditated.

    I agree with you though that skillful behaviour now will create future better circumstance.

    @wojciech Has given a good definition above. @wojciech Mate my GF is Schizoaffective but tends more towards mania when ill followed by prolonged depressions afterward. I feel for you mate.

    lobsterdhammachick
  • I have known two schizophrenics quite well.

    One was a cyber friend who practiced dharma, helped others by running a Buddhist forum and experienced actual visual visitations/hallucinations. These she managed to transform into yidams through Tantra, making her more stable apart from the alcoholism which she was in denial over. I lost contact with her after she seemed able to give up the alcohol and start a herbalism course and closed the forum ...

    Another friend was a long term inmate of a mental institution. Quite an interesting character for me because clearly he had considerable spiritual development but was also 'crazy as bat shit' to put it into psychiatric language. ;) His rambling speech was completely delusional and when entering the end phase of his monthly injection medication, became particularly irrational. He was an elderly Pole, who had decided to join the nazi regime when Poland was invaded by Germany during WWII. He also seemed to be in denial over his homosexuality.

    From my limited understanding some old Testament prophets were schizophrenic. Mohammad developed auditory voice whispering, which he initially diagnosed as 'madness' until 'Final Prophethood' seemed his preferred explanation. Crowley the influential British bad boy occultist developed auditory dictation abilities from 'higher beings' after doing drugs, ridiculously wrong rituals and generally being a complete jerk. The mess such 'spiritual' [ahem] people leave behind is considerable. Their 'other worldly' dictations seem in line with their personalities ... how strange - Not! B)

    Past life explanations seem to be induced 'Buddhist schitzophrenia/delusion/ignorance' in my opinion.

    Sanity. Recommended - if possible. Take medication/treatment if available. <3

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I have worked with some friends who were schizophrenic, and still talk to them regularly. It's an interesting condition where the voices, hallucinations and delusions interact, and to be called properly schizophrenic you need to have a number of symptoms off the list. Just hearing voices for instance is not enough, and there are a surprising number of voice hearers out there who are not psychiatric patients, about four times as many as those with a diagnosis.

    A real schizophrenic usually has what is called 'cognitive deficits' in a number of areas, as well as a propensity to experience a range of delusions where their mind is pulled off the rational track by some idea or other which snowballs. Often it includes an interest in conspiracy theories, and currently I'm hearing quite a bit about being a "targeted individual" or being "gang stalked". Often this is driven by delusions of reference, where you think other people, the tv, the radio are talking about you.

    I've been interested in the interaction between mental illness and spiritual beliefs for quite a while, through the phenomenon of spiritual emergency, which often manifests as a spiritually driven mental health breakdown of some sort. There is quite a bit of academic work in the area that has been done by Stanislaw Grof, and there are a number of organisations around the world which work with people who encounter these things such as the Spiritual Emergency Network.

    Whether meditation is the answer I rather doubt, unless you are already an advanced practitioner. Most westerners who encounter a psychotic break can't reach a meditative state - they are too overcome by internal turmoil and delusion to be able to create distance from their thoughts, and are actually better served by grounding practices and intensive sila which can sometimes bend the content of their delusions into more positive forms.

    lobster
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @upekka said:
    what is schizophrenic?

    if you are a doctor, nurse, patient, friend or relative to a schizophrenic how would you define it

    Extreme delusion.

    lobsterupekka
  • Being able to perceive and even have a close relationship with imaginary beings.

    Religious people pretty much.

  • wojciechwojciech I yam whatever you say I yam Veteran

    @lobster said:
    From my limited understanding some old Testament prophets were schizophrenic. Mohammad developed auditory voice whispering, which he initially diagnosed as 'madness' until 'Final Prophethood' seemed his preferred explanation. Crowley the influential British bad boy occultist developed auditory dictation abilities from 'higher beings' after doing drugs, ridiculously wrong rituals and generally being a complete jerk. The mess such 'spiritual' [ahem] people leave behind is considerable. Their 'other worldly' dictations seem in line with their personalities ... how strange - Not! B)

    From my understanding, it is clear that Shakyamuni was visited by Mara just before he became enlightened beneath that sacred tree. Would this not be classified as a hallucination by today's medical standards as well?

  • @wojciech said:

    From my understanding, it is clear that Shakyamuni was visited by Mara just before he became enlightened beneath that sacred tree. Would this not be classified as a hallucination by today's medical standards as well?

    Perhaps.

    Early Buddhists, as well as later Buddhists, acknowledged both a literal and "psychological" interpretation of Mara. Mara can be interpreted either as a real external demon or as internal vices that one faces on the pathway to enlightenment. From the psychological perspective, Mara is a manifestation of one's own mind. No external demon exists since it emerges from our own deluded thoughts.
    http://mesosyn.com/myth2-1.html

    DhammaDragon
  • @seeker242 said:

    @upekka said:

    Extreme delusion.

    true,

    that is why i said, if there is someone who can guide such 'schizophrenic' to see how deluded they are, that would be a grate help for them to continue their spiritual journey from where they have stopped it, either in this life itself or in previous life

    what actually should do is guide them to see within, instead of without

    others are also deluded but the difference is others' talking can not be heard by outsiders while 'schizophrenics' talk loud so others can hear

    Buddha said 'all worldlings are mental patients'

    not only 'schizophrenic' but we are too included in schizophrenia

    Traveller
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Mingle said:
    Being able to perceive and even have a close relationship with imaginary beings.

    Religious people pretty much.

    That's actually rudely flippant, not to say ridiculous.

  • wojciechwojciech I yam whatever you say I yam Veteran

    @upekka said:

    @seeker242 said:

    @upekka said:

    Extreme delusion.

    true,

    that is why i said, if there is someone who can guide such 'schizophrenic' to see how deluded they are, that would be a grate help for them to continue their spiritual journey from where they have stopped it, either in this life itself or in previous life

    what actually should do is guide them to see within, instead of without

    others are also deluded but the difference is others' talking can not be heard by outsiders while 'schizophrenics' talk loud so others can hear

    Buddha said 'all worldlings are mental patients'

    not only 'schizophrenic' but we are too included in schizophrenia

    Thanks for mentioning this @upekka -- while my diagnosis almost guarentees i'll have challenges that somebody without my same diagnosis does not have -- it is important to realize we are all caught up in delusion and samsara.

    Your advice to guide people to see within instead of without would be suitable for anybody! Schizophrenic or not! Good call!

    i would be careful with your generalization of schizophrenics talking so loud that others can hear -- i am actually very quiet, reserved and thoughtful with my communication and indeed carry the diagnosis of Schizoaffective.

    it can be easy to lump people into boxes but just like all classes of people, schizophrenic or not, we all have uniqueness and our own strengths and weaknesses. Not all of us are loud :pleased:

    lobster
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @seeker242 said:

    @upekka said:
    what is schizophrenic?

    if you are a doctor, nurse, patient, friend or relative to a schizophrenic how would you define it

    Extreme delusion.

    I don't agree. Out of the few schizophrenics I've known, two have been very capable researchers, knowledgeable about their disease and able to argue medical minutiae to a T. They both have their individual problems, but they can be mentally very capable.

    It's a spectrum, some schizophrenics have symptoms that present very severely, and others are much less so, at least when not unduly stressed. Similarly, some are delusional and others merely cope with voices and cognitive deficit. You can't treat the whole category as one whole and call them all 'extremely delusional', it's just not an accurate representation.

    Research has actually started to show that what we call schizophrenia, which is merely a catch all diagnosis for patients sharing a certain set of symptoms, could under the hood be a number of different conditions. The current methodology psychiatry uses to classify patients is somewhat broken - if someone says, my leg hurts, are you going to treat a bruise the same as a sprained ankle? Yet that is what psychiatry does.

    Kaydeekaylobster
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran
    edited December 2016

    @ajhayes said:
    Schizophrenic is a diagnosis. What's more important is the person afflicted with the condition.

    I heard the Dalai Lama (I think) say that people are not their illness, they are people with the illness. There are not criminals, there are people who have committed crimes.

    In my position this has helped me to be more in tune with the people I am trying to help. One of my goals is to never lose sight of the humanity in every situation

    I don't know if this was remotely on topic, but, I thought I should chime in.

    Absolutely agree 100%.

    @Mingle said:
    Being able to perceive and even have a close relationship with imaginary beings.

    Religious people pretty much.

    Please administer an upper cut to yourself and STFU. It's not remotely witty or helpful. You've just basically told everyone who has shared their experiences and how they live with their disease that their problem is just because they're religious people pretty much.

    Stop being a dickhead mate. :-1: :-1: :-1:

    TravellerKaydeekayajhayes
  • TravellerTraveller East Midlands UK Veteran
    edited December 2016

    @dhammachick, thanks couldn't have put it better myself.

    Kaydeekay
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @Lonely_Traveller that was restrained.

    But I just want to add, as a general thought of mine - it's really easy to post stuff here and on all online forums "for the lolz". I've been guilty of it on a regular basis. But it's NEVER ok to use mental illness, race or religion to belittle people. EVER. No excuses. And to do so goes against Right Speech. Given the issues we've had with Right Speech on here not so long ago, I think it bears thinking about.

    Just my 0.02

    _ /\ _

    lobster
  • TravellerTraveller East Midlands UK Veteran
    edited December 2016

    @dhammachick Restrained eh, I just took it as Aussie bluntness but there you go.

    dhammachick
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @Lonely_Traveller said:
    @dhammachick Restrained eh, I just took it as Aussie bluntness but there you go.

    :lol: You can ask @federica about that. She's had to temporarily ban me a few times for my bluntness hehehehe

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    ....But I did it with love...... ;) <3

    dhammachick
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @upekka said:

    @seeker242 said:

    @upekka said:

    Extreme delusion.

    true,

    that is why i said, if there is someone who can guide such 'schizophrenic' to see how deluded they are, that would be a grate help for them to continue their spiritual journey from where they have stopped it, either in this life itself or in previous life

    Agreed! However, guiding them to see how deluded they are is really the most difficult thing about the illness. I've been trying for years with my brother and it's extraordinarily difficult. Mostly difficult because in order to guide them, they have to want to be guided. Or, at least be open to it. If they aren't, there isn't much you can do really.

    @Kerome said:
    I don't agree. Out of the few schizophrenics I've known, two have been very capable researchers, knowledgeable about their disease and able to argue medical minutiae to a T. They both have their individual problems, but they can be mentally very capable.

    It's a spectrum, some schizophrenics have symptoms that present very severely, and others are much less so, at least when not unduly stressed. Similarly, some are delusional and others merely cope with voices and cognitive deficit. You can't treat the whole category as one whole and call them all 'extremely delusional', it's just not an accurate representation.

    Sure, it's not the same for everyone. However, when I look at my brother's thought process, extreme delusion is what is there. His thought process is completely and totally irrational. So much so that he doesn't even believe he has a problem. And therefore isn't willing to see any doctor or take any kind of medication. If it were not for my sister and I helping him, he would be unemployed and homeless, all because of his delusions. Most schizophrenics have problems just holding a job. The unemployment rate for schizophrenics is something like 60-80%. Compared to the average population, that's pretty extreme.

    lobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited December 2016

    @dhammachick said:
    Please administer an upper cut to yourself and STFU. It's not remotely witty or helpful. You've just basically told everyone who has shared their experiences and how they live with their disease that their problem is just because they're religious people pretty much.

    Stop being a dickhead mate. :-1: :-1: :-1:

    @Mingle, strongly-worded as this is and harsh as it may sound, I would agree with the gist.
    "Please engage brain before putting mouth in gear."

    Free Speech is not necessarily Right Speech and does not absolve one from a metaphorical fist in the nose, when the rubber hits the road.

    Hopefully we can draw a close to the reproach with an assumed understanding that you've got the message.

    'Nuff said.

    MingleKerome
  • it can be easy to lump people into boxes but just like all classes of people, schizophrenic or not, we all have uniqueness and our own strengths and weaknesses. Not all of us are loud :pleased:

    Indeed. Well said.

    People with very severe illness simply can not practice :cry: though they may gain comfort from some aspects of dharma. <3 However most of us are on a scale, hopefully leading towards increased capacity to improve our dukkha. Schizophrenia is an impediment but then samsara is [shrug] the place we move to Nirvana from ... In one sense the need to deal with an impediment with all available resources may bring us to dharma ...

  • KaydeekayKaydeekay UK Explorer
    edited December 2016

    Thank you everyone for sharing your own experiences. I was thinking the other day, that mental illness is, in a sense, an attempt to create a barrier between yourself and overwhelming suffering when all other methods fail (not sure if I fully believe that but just a little insight I had). Of course other conditions have to be ripe, such as genetic disposition, traumatic or stressful experience, and certain thinking styles or characteristics (and sometimes drugs too, which can reorganise how you are seeing things in the mind - though I don't think this will have an affect alone personally). Doesn't that then put all human beings on the same spectrum as each other - as we all create traps in our mind/mental habits to defend against the sufferings of existence?

    While, in a sense, all mental illness lends itself to and has its roots in delusion. Also, quite the opposite. Because it strips away the stability of reality and of concepts other people turn to for safety, you then begin to more easily see things about reality that people who are more comfortable cannot see (or at least without a consistent spiritual practice).

    You stop trying to chase so intensely the way out of suffering, because you cannot get away from it; you see that paradoxically there is no way out of suffering, but that suffering is the way out.

    My experience of PTSD often lends me to feel frightened of being trapped in situations where I will experience suffering that I cannot control.

    I then think, well i already have experienced intense suffering, I have already experienced the death of myself, 'myself' as a concrete, knowable concept. Yet a part of me didn't die and cannot die, so why be afraid of death or of intense suffering, which is a mental/emotional death of the self? There is a real me that is free beyond that. What I felt yesterday is that it was so humbling to see that I was free, and that we all were truly free.

    I'm not sure if this is delusion, or a small awakening.

    Travellerlobsterajhayes
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I have never ascribed the term 'normal' to myself. There again, I've never ascribed it to anyone else. "Conventional" would be a more accurate term. Following social convention doesn't make you normal or otherwise.

    I honestly have no idea what 'normal' is.

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @federica said:
    I honestly have no idea what 'normal' is.

    I'm an Aussie - ain't no way I'm normal :tongue:

    Travellerajhayes
  • @upekka said:
    thanks @karasti , @Lonely_Traveller

    with the experience i'v got through dhamma/ meditation and after reading about schizophrenic i came to a conclusion that schizophrenic must have had meditation experience before

    when i say 'before' that included previous births

    since they are born into places where there are people who are not familiar with meditation, there is no one who can guide these "schizophrenic" to meditation

    if anybody could guide them into meditation they would have helped themselves and would be able to see for themselves what is happening within their mind

    instead these people who have a grate skill are labeled as 'schizophrenic'

    this unfortunate situation also not anyone's fault, but their own previous bad kamma (unskillful cause) and experiencing the bad effect now

    whatever happened in the past is happened, no one can change it now, but being skillful person now (creating skillful cause now) one can reap good effect from now on (future)

    that is Beauty of Buddha's Teaching

    I think Lying or creating heavy karma by misinformation or something to do with information. I am guessing.

  • @seeker242 said:
    guiding them to see how deluded they are is really the most difficult thing about the illness. I've been trying for years with my brother and it's extraordinarily difficult. Mostly difficult because in order to guide them, they have to want to be guided. Or, at least be open to it. If they aren't, there isn't much you can do really.

    "they have to want to be guided" is the most important part

    whoever want to take the initiative in guiding 'them' should help them to develop the confidence in 'you'
    never show them 'you' know better than 'them' or 'they' have an illness and 'you' want to help 'them' to get rid of it

    never tell them 'the way they think is wrong' and 'the correct way of thinking is another'

    instead we must talk with them and let them talk and we should be the listeners

    it is not easy task, but that is the only way we can develop their confidence in us

    once the confidence is built, it is easy to show them 'where their thinking patterns go wrong'

    sure, it is easy to said than done, but make an attempt is never go waste

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Hmm changing even a normal adult's view on anything they really believe is a task worthy of the Buddha himself.

    You can imagine what it is like trying to correct a schizophrenic in the middle of a psychotic episode - even trained psychiatrists make little headway.

  • ajhayesajhayes Northern Michigan Veteran

    @dhammachick said:

    @federica said:
    I honestly have no idea what 'normal' is.

    I'm an Aussie - ain't no way I'm normal :tongue:

    ....I didn't want to be the first to tell you that. Thanks for taking the initiative. :awesome:

    TravellerShoshindhammachickKaydeekay
  • wojciechwojciech I yam whatever you say I yam Veteran

    @Kaydeekay said:
    Thank you everyone for sharing your own experiences. I was thinking the other day, that mental illness is, in a sense, an attempt to create a barrier between yourself and overwhelming suffering when all other methods fail (not sure if I fully believe that but just a little insight I had). Of course other conditions have to be ripe, such as genetic disposition, traumatic or stressful experience, and certain thinking styles or characteristics (and sometimes drugs too, which can reorganise how you are seeing things in the mind - though I don't think this will have an affect alone personally). Doesn't that then put all human beings on the same spectrum as each other - as we all create traps in our mind/mental habits to defend against the sufferings of existence?

    i will argue against your first point here.

    My mental illness is not any attempt to create a barrier between myself and suffering. i drowned in a bath tub at the age of 2 years old and was in a coma for 2 weeks. Doctors say this had a traumatic effect on my brain's chemistry and development -- there's actually no explanation for my Schizoaffective disorder other than being in a coma for so long they say "something" happened -- which is fine by me.

    i have no choice in my illness, or even what my mind does -- hardly my doing and hardly my "choice" or attempt at anything -- mental illness is something that happened to me because of factors beyond my control, ie- drowning in a bath tub and being thrown into a coma at such a young age.

    Really, it's like any challenge anybody would have. You deal. You get thrown down. You stand up and fight. The warrior attitude is one of fearlessness. Not a lack of fear but a willingness to go beyond fear.

    That being said, i want to commend you on the second part and absolutely agree with you. People diagnosed with mental illness are not the only ones caught in samsara and delusions. We all have those. Delusion and mental suffering is a universally human dilemma, no?

    Let's talk about fear, perhaps we could get some consensus on "normal" people's delusions that way :dizzy: i kid, i kid.

    @Kaydeekay Blessings to you in your challenges with PTSD. That is a hard one, and i definitely wish you abundance of joy and health on your path. thank you for sharing. :bowing:

    lobsterTravellerdhammachickKerome
  • I really valued what @ajhayes said:

    Schizophrenic is a diagnosis. What's more important is the person afflicted with the condition.

    I heard the Dalai Lama (I think) say that people are not their illness, they are people with the illness. There are not criminals, there are people who have committed crimes.

    In my position this has helped me to be more in tune with the people I am trying to help. One of my goals is to never lose sight of the humanity in every situation

    I was talking to my sister today, who has serious mental health issues. Still a person, still a sister. Very hard being ill, whatever the nature/cause.

    As I look around at the norms [allegedly] I realise increasingly I have more in common with the mad, poor, sangha, dervish, crazy, Buddha beggars than the frenzied shopping, gibbering facebook monkeys. Too harsh? Too bad!

    Somebody votes for crazy leaders, supports inhumanity, crass commercialism etc. We are living amongst samsara savages. o:)

    TravellerKeromedhammachickajhayes
  • TravellerTraveller East Midlands UK Veteran
    edited December 2016

    I dunno about savages @lobster, they like us are just caught up in the personality view. We however have been fortunate enough to find a way out.

    lobsterShoshin
  • Quite right @Lonely_Traveller 'savages' is a trigger/hot spot wording to press buttons and find they have no effect . . .

    The dharma savages/wrathful crazy bodhis use language that may involve a range of words from gentle tweaking to blood drinking . . .

    OM MANI PEME WELL HUNG

    ajhayesTraveller
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Recidivist Samsarist Veteran

    @wojciech said:
    From my understanding, it is clear that Shakyamuni was visited by Mara just before he became enlightened beneath that sacred tree. Would this not be classified as a hallucination by today's medical standards as well?

    It is rather a metaphor, @wojciech , of the onslaught of temptations the Buddha went through before his shift in perspective due to Enlightenment.

    lobsterkarastiTraveller
  • KaydeekayKaydeekay UK Explorer

    @wojciech said:

    @Kaydeekay said:
    Thank you everyone for sharing your own experiences. I was thinking the other day, that mental illness is, in a sense, an attempt to create a barrier between yourself and overwhelming suffering when all other methods fail (not sure if I fully believe that but just a little insight I had). Of course other conditions have to be ripe, such as genetic disposition, traumatic or stressful experience, and certain thinking styles or characteristics (and sometimes drugs too, which can reorganise how you are seeing things in the mind - though I don't think this will have an affect alone personally). Doesn't that then put all human beings on the same spectrum as each other - as we all create traps in our mind/mental habits to defend against the sufferings of existence?

    i will argue against your first point here.

    My mental illness is not any attempt to create a barrier between myself and suffering. i drowned in a bath tub at the age of 2 years old and was in a coma for 2 weeks. Doctors say this had a traumatic effect on my brain's chemistry and development -- there's actually no explanation for my Schizoaffective disorder other than being in a coma for so long they say "something" happened -- which is fine by me.

    i have no choice in my illness, or even what my mind does -- hardly my doing and hardly my "choice" or attempt at anything -- mental illness is something that happened to me because of factors beyond my control, ie- drowning in a bath tub and being thrown into a coma at such a young age.

    Really, it's like any challenge anybody would have. You deal. You get thrown down. You stand up and fight. The warrior attitude is one of fearlessness. Not a lack of fear but a willingness to go beyond fear.

    That being said, i want to commend you on the second part and absolutely agree with you. People diagnosed with mental illness are not the only ones caught in samsara and delusions. We all have those. Delusion and mental suffering is a universally human dilemma, no?

    Let's talk about fear, perhaps we could get some consensus on "normal" people's delusions that way :dizzy: i kid, i kid.

    @Kaydeekay Blessings to you in your challenges with PTSD. That is a hard one, and i definitely wish you abundance of joy and health on your path. thank you for sharing. :bowing:

    Thank you for sharing that! I guess some things are in the brain or developmental, so I retract what i said :). I don't really think mental illness is a 'choice' in the literal sense. Guess I am curious about where things originate from... I don't really have any fixed beliefs about it, but just some ideas which are floating around in my mind.

    I love what you said ^_^ - "Really, it's like any challenge anybody would have. You deal. You get thrown down. You stand up and fight. The warrior attitude is one of fearlessness. Not a lack of fear but a willingness to go beyond fear. "

    Thank you for your lovely words :)! I wish the same to you ^_^!

    I really love the open discussions that we have about mental health on the boards. It is really nice to gain a deeper perspective of what other people's experiences are of their conditions, and the openness that everyone has here on the boards :).

    ajhayeslobsterTravellerwojciech
  • @lobster said:

    The dharma savages/wrathful crazy bodhis use language that may involve a range of words from gentle tweaking to blood drinking . . .

    do you mean Mara's battalion?
    or
    Buddha's battalion in disguise?

  • Yes

    federicaupekka
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @federica said:

    @Mingle said:
    Being able to perceive and even have a close relationship with imaginary beings.

    Religious people pretty much.

    That's actually rudely flippant, not to say ridiculous.

    Richard Dawkins said much the same thing, in his book "The God delusion".

    lobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I rest my case.

    dhammachick
  • TravellerTraveller East Midlands UK Veteran

    God told me he doesn't believe Richard Dawkins exists.

    dhammachickKaydeekayfederica
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @federica said:

    @Mingle said:
    Being able to perceive and even have a close relationship with imaginary beings.

    Religious people pretty much.

    That's actually rudely flippant, not to say ridiculous.

    Richard Dawkins said much the same thing, in his book "The God delusion".

    He has a point, of sorts. If you look at many who have not in the past been thought schizophrenic, such as Christian visionaries, saints, American Indian shamans, prophets of ages long gone, you just can't tell. They might have been psychotic, or eating mushrooms, or genuinely inspired.

    Certainly ancient shamans were selected on "having the gift" - this may very well be a schizophrenic illness, or just hearing voices... being able to hear spirits was kind of a requirement, part of the culture. Voice hearers are a lot more common than schizophrenics, so perhaps most tribes got lucky and had fairly rational shamans.

    SpinyNormanShoshin
  • wojciechwojciech I yam whatever you say I yam Veteran

    is there any room in Buddhism for spirits to exist? i know in the Dhammapada Shakyamuni mentions gods.

    and i have heard of the term hungry ghosts in the lower realms. would it be too far fetched to think that those hungry ghosts would communicate with human beings?

    i'm interested in hearing your honest opinions!

  • @wojciech said:
    is there any room in Buddhism for spirits to exist? i know in the Dhammapada Shakyamuni mentions gods.

    and i have heard of the term hungry ghosts in the lower realms. would it be too far fetched to think that those hungry ghosts would communicate with human beings?

    i'm interested in hearing your honest opinions!

    if and only if one can develop his/her mind status up to 4th jhana he/she can converse with gods, see the status of hungry/angry ghosts

    but

    to understand Buddha's Teaching 'we' don't need that skillfulness

    wojciechlobster
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Recidivist Samsarist Veteran

    @wojciech said:
    is there any room in Buddhism for spirits to exist? i know in the Dhammapada Shakyamuni mentions gods.

    and i have heard of the term hungry ghosts in the lower realms. would it be too far fetched to think that those hungry ghosts would communicate with human beings?

    I have often quoted Mark Epstein's book "Thoughts without a Thinker," where he presents the Wheel of Life as a model of the neurotic mind, so again, hungry ghosts and hell realms are used metaphorically.

    The Wheel of Life mandala depicts the Hell Realm and that of the Hungry Ghosts as simply realms of painful psychological afflictions and mental anguish.
    The sufferer is unable to see their dilemma as dependent upon their own perspective, and the individual feels pain but cannot recognize himself as the creator of that pain.
    As a result, more mental anguish ensues.

    But even in the lowest realms, there is always the figure of a Buddha sitting in quiet contemplation, which means that Samsara, Hell, Nirvana are rather mental states than outer realms disconnected from our reality.
    They are one shift in perception away from each other.
    According to Epstein: _"Release from suffering is won through a change in perception, not through a migration to some kind of heavenly abode." _
    What we consider psychological dukkha holds within the key to our liberation, if only we are able to change perspective and watch the anguish from another standpoint.

    Naturally, in the case of mental pathologies, choosing a shift in perspective is not always a voluntary decision.
    Yet, psychologist Howard Cutler also said in "The Art of Happiness:"

    "The ability to shift perspective can be one of the most powerful and effective tools we have to help us cope with life's daily problems."

    lobsterwojciechKeromeKannon
  • Very insightful post from @DhammaDragon
    many thanks.

    I do not trust what I think, hear or say. It probably has a degree of ignorance/delusion.

    Just because a Buddha, voice, Guru, God, Holy Ghost, Trump said it, offers no guarantee for us samsara dwellers ...

    ... Maybe 'no-thought' works?

    DhammaDragonupekka
  • wojciechwojciech I yam whatever you say I yam Veteran

    Thanks @DhammaDragon that's very insightful and reassuring!

    DhammaDragon
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Recidivist Samsarist Veteran

    I don't know if reassuring, @wojciech , but at least it is another take on hell realms and hungry ghosts.
    Something which comes closer to the way we understand things today, without all the superstitious trappings of yore.

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