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schizophrenic

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Comments

  • KeromeKerome Certainty is the enemy of wonder The Continent 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'm interested in hearing your honest opinions!

    Certainly in the context of schizophrenia many sufferers hear voices, which they often interpret as beings of various kinds - sometimes real and worldly, and sometimes spiritual. My personal take is that trying to fit such experiences into a religious framework, by interpreting voices as say hungry ghosts, is rarely beneficial.

    I once came across a piece of writing by Osho on the subject of voices, in which he said they were fragments of your own mind, and that chasing them leads to neurosis. From what I have heard from friends, that seems to be largely true, although some of them continue to hold to supernatural explanations for some of their voices.

    So perhaps for a schizophrenic it is a mixed state - some of the things they see might be what Buddhism talks about when they talk of gods, and other things might be fragments of their own mind motivated by moments of extreme stress.

    wojciech
  • Yes, perhaps reassuring was the wrong word choice.

    You set me straight! Let's try that one, haha :pleased:

  • upekkaupekka Veteran

    @lobster said:
    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.

    good girl

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

    brilliant

    ... Maybe 'no-thought' works?

    spot on

    lobsterBuddhadragon
  • ZenshinZenshin Veteran East Midlands UK Veteran

    One thing I've found about my Dhamma practice in realtion to my Schizophrenia is that cultivating a level of non-attachment to my thoughts helps. Most of the time these days I'm watching my mind and find when my ego wants to spin out into its paranoia trips I just let go of the thought and let it vanish back into the void, usually with a smile at my deluded ego.

    seeker242lobsterBuddhadragon
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran
    edited July 2017

    @Jeffrey said:
    I have recently come across an article about a mentally ill person who did an intensive meditation retreat and became suicidal and did die by suicide. To me the story suggests that people with psychiatric problems should be gentle with meditation and it also suggests to me that intensive meditation retreats should have a psychologist on staff if possible to identify what is happening and what to do about.

    http://www.pennlive.com/news/2017/06/york_county_suicide_megan_vogt.html

    Yes. I think you've made an extremely valid point @Jeffrey

    I also become very concerned by people who go off their meds because they believe they can "meditate away the illness" That is just as unskilful and futile as the morons who proclaim you can "pray away the gay"

    Buddhism is not a cure-all for the world's ills. I wish people would acknowledge/realise this.

    HozanlobsterBuddhadragon
  • ZenshinZenshin Veteran East Midlands UK Veteran

    I'm not dumb enough to come off my meds, I don't think that Buddhism is going to cure my Schizophrenia, but a couple of hours meditation a day helps. I agree @dhammachick I've heard of people with mental health problems being told by the Hare Krishna's to give up their meds all they need is devotion to Krishna and folks at AA meetings being told all they need is their higher power.

    Medication, however, is not a cure all for mental illness either I know plenty of people who still suffer intense symptoms despite being medicated. I'm lucky I respond to meds well, I don't really suffer any symptoms as long as I have my depot injection every couple of weeks.

    KundolobsterBuddhadragon
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @Traveller said:
    I'm not dumb enough to come off my meds, I don't think that Buddhism is going to cure my Schizophrenia, but a couple of hours meditation a day helps. I agree @dhammachick I've heard of people with mental health problems being told by the Hare Krishna's to give up their meds all they need is devotion to Krishna and folks at AA meetings being told all they need is their higher power.

    Medication, however, is not a cure all for mental illness either I know plenty of people who still suffer intense symptoms despite being medicated. I'm lucky I respond to meds well, I don't really suffer any symptoms as long as I have my depot injection every couple of weeks.

    Please don't misunderstand my post's intentions. I think combining both meditation and medication is the best course of action. But ultimately, everyone is unique and so is what works best for them.

    ZenshinlobsterBuddhadragon
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @Traveller said:
    One thing I've found about my Dhamma practice in relation to my Schizophrenia is that cultivating a level of non-attachment to my thoughts helps. Most of the time these days I'm watching my mind and find when my ego wants to spin out into its paranoia trips I just let go of the thought and let it vanish back into the void, usually with a smile at my deluded ego.

    <3
    Impressive.

    When you are as crazy as me, smiling at delusions, involves a constant grin ... ;)

    ... good insights from @dhammachick and @Jeffrey (very sad, poignant and valid warning of inherent dangers of mind bungling by well meaning dharma fools)

    Buddhism is not a cure-all for the world's ills. I wish people would acknowledge/realise this.

    Sanity is a blessing. For some of us it is an ideal/stabilisation to aim for ...
    Thanks guys B)

    ZenshinHozan
  • ZenshinZenshin Veteran East Midlands UK Veteran

    Well @lobster anytime you realise you are grasping and let go is a moment of mindfulness, it strengthens the mindfulness "muscles" so its all good.

    lobsterKannon
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    People shouldn't go on and off meds without their doctor, or think any one thing will cure them. But that "any one thing" includes meds, too. There are people who need to be on, and stay on meds to regulate problems, I won't argue that. People who are schizophrenic, bipolar, etc. But, I do think we are mostly way overly medicated for mental illness with no care for the root cause. For most people, something is going on that they can otherwise control that has affected their brain chemistry to the point they now need meds. What we eat, how we move, our jobs, our stress levels, so many things all change chemistry of our brains. Meds can straighten it out, but they cannot solve what caused things to go haywire to begin with (again, I am not talking about the much more rare people who truly needs meds but rather the average person who is taking anti-anxiety or anti-depressants without seeking help for the root cause of their issues). Meditation CAN help with those issues and help people get off meds. In time. With supervision. The number of people who truly need to be on meds long-term and the number of people who are on them is way out of order.

    very sad story about the person who experienced such pain at meditation retreat. Indeed, working with our minds is a daring venture not to be undertaken by those who are really sensitive to what they might find in there. Proceed with caution.

    pommesetoranges
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited July 2017

    @Jeffrey said:
    I have recently come across an article about a mentally ill person who did an intensive meditation retreat and became suicidal and did die by suicide. To me the story suggests that people with psychiatric problems should be gentle with meditation and it also suggests to me that intensive meditation retreats should have a psychologist on staff if possible to identify what is happening and what to do about.

    This is precisely why Goenka retreats normally prohibit people with a history of mental illness from attending, or at least try to...

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    A 10 day intensive vipassana retreat seems really heavy for someone new to meditation. I have been meditating for years, and it still intimidates me. The girl in the story took meds for anxiety but per her parents, it was fairly mild and she did not suffer depression or suicidal issues prior to the retreat, it seems she just had a really poor reaction to it.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited July 2017

    We all suffer from one form of "mental affliction" or other (bearing in mind pun intended we are "all" rafting our way across Samsara's ocean )..Some just need a little more assistance (be it through medication) when dealing with theirs...

    Zenshinlobsterpommesetoranges
  • KeromeKerome Certainty is the enemy of wonder The Continent Veteran

    To give a little perspective to anyone who is interested, here is the Coffe & Psychosis podcast where people discuss their experiences during an attack of schizophrenic illness...

    https://coffeeandpsychosis.com

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Thanks @Shoshin for the kleshas reminder. <3
    I feel it brings us all closer to a common dukkha. Crazed by samsara is something we all understand through our dharma study and meeting adepts such as Jigong - the crazy monk ...

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    @seeker242 did you read the article I linked? It was a Goenka retreat.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @Jeffrey said:
    @seeker242 did you read the article I linked? It was a Goenka retreat.

    Yes, which is why I said "or at least try to" =) If she didn't have a note from her doctor saying she was stable and could handle it, I bet they would have rejected her application outright.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    or she simply didn't say that she was being treated for anxiety, which is what many people would do. Because they don't want their issues to keep them from doing things they are set on doing so they won't talk about it even if the whole purpose is to help and protect them. I have an adult kid who does this. He doesn't want his health concerns (asthma) to hold him back so he'll lie as long as he's feeling well. And he doesn't want his issues to define him in that way, so he outright rejects telling people even if it puts him at risk. I doubt he's the only younger person who thinks that way.

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    I knew a woman and used to even talk to her on the phone every day who went to a meditation retreat I think something Theravadan and from what I conjecture they handled her to join the retreat quite well (in my opinion). She was mentally ill and they gave her different experience to suit her (again this is my conjecture as I didn't go or talk to the people at the retreat) because I remember her saying that she did stuff with hugging stuffed animals and things with 'metta' (lovingkindness).

  • HozanHozan Veteran

    My brother worked for M&S in Cork in Ireland for 7 years. A great company to work for.

  • ZenshinZenshin Veteran East Midlands UK Veteran

    I have come accross someone on a mental health site that didn't have a mental health problem who was destabilised by a Goenka retreat, my advice to them was to do metta practice. There was a small study at the University of Virginia that showed metta practice can help with the anhedonia that some Schizophrenics experience.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @karasti said:
    or she simply didn't say that she was being treated for anxiety, which is what many people would do.

    I've heard of people doing that and that's a bad idea...Breaking the precepts to get into a Buddhist retreat...Not a great way to start a retreat!

    Although, according to the article she did disclose everything and because of that needed her Docs permission and they gave permission so they let her in.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    Not everyone who goes to meditation retreats is Buddhist. Nor is everyone who chooses to lie about what they put on a form.

    It is crazy to me that this center, or any, allow people to enroll in such an intense retreat with no experience, no proof, no references or anything else. It is irresponsible. Most retreats I have been on (or looked at) require increasing proof of time spent in such environments, and references from those who can verify that you are capable to handling such a thing. I'm a bit surprised that anyone with zero meditation experience would think such an intense retreat would be the ideal way to get started.

    It is a horrible thing to have happened, but it seems a lot of people dropped the ball and the problem isn't with meditation itself, but with irresponsibly run centers with questionable people helping with such an intense experience that is mind-altering. And potentially with her doctor being unaware what he/she was signing consent for. My 15 year old son is going to summer camp in Colorado next week and the amount of paperwork, signatures, and lengthy doctor questionaires just so he can swim and hike and ride a horse is incredible. That they would require so much less for such a meditation retreat is a bit nuts to me. But I have also seen that some who are very experienced in meditation are rather aloof to the concerns of others and think any bizarre reaction is part of the process. Perhaps it is, yet not everyone experiences it the same way.

    To get no support for her concerns afterwards is inexcusable, and at minimum they should have suggested she get further psychological help as her experience wasn't normal. There's no way she would have known it was or wasn't. Though, I do question why she was released from her 8 days in psych ward if she was still so removed from reality.

    JeffreyHozan
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited July 2017

    The 10 day retreat is just an introduction. Given the overall structure of Goenka retreats, it's not really that intensive. The 45 or 60 day one could be considered intensive. The fact that they try to prohibit people with serious problems is a responsible thing to do. Thousands upon thousands of people do them all the time with no problems. Yes it's sad when people are harmed. It's easy to single out those times but looking at the big picture, driving a car is statically more dangerous than doing a retreat like this. Very few people are harmed by meditation retreats. Summer camps have tons of forms only because summer camps have a team of lawyers not wanting to be sued.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    edited July 2017

    a retreat done in basically social silence with HOURS a day of meditation for someone who has never meditated is intense and extreme. For someone with meditation experience, it's another story, and I'd bet most people have at least some experience. Most people don't "hear from friends the benefits of meditation" and then sign up for a 10 day retreat where there is no speaking, limited access to even the teachers at the retreat to ask questions of experiences etc.

    I looked into a 5-7 day cabin retreat, and even for that they required references and information about meditation experience and experiences being alone for periods of time. If you didn't have those things, you weren't allowed to attend, even though interaction would have been of your own choice as you could go into town for groceries and whatnot. It was a "design your own retreat" with your own cabin. But anything beyond a weekend required information and references as to your ability to handle it.

    And yes, I am well aware of car accident statistics. Perspective is always important. But when stories like this continue to make the news, it discourages people from trying meditation and encourages those who believe it to be dangerous.

    Zenshin
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited July 2017

    My very first experience with meditation ever was a 12 hour day seven day silent retreat. No problems at all just like most people People who have problems like this are few and far between. People do these retreats as their first meditation experience all the time and very rarely is that a problem. One reason why is because people with pre-existing issues are normally not allowed to attend. If anyone could have foreseen what happened to this girl of course they wouldn't have allowed her to go... It's real easy to judge after the fact because hindsight is always 20/20.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    There are lots of things that don't happen frequently, yet safety measures are put in place to protect people better. If you are going to host people for events that have shown in the past that they can have severe negative impacts on even some people (and this wasn't the only suicide after a Goenka retreat) then you take more steps to help people protect themselves. We recall products for less. We change laws for less. One girl was disemboweled and died as a result of a pool drain, we changed the laws so more people didn't get hurt in the future. For me, the bottom line is they can do more to ensure the safety of the participants, both proactively and reactively. At minimum, there was no excuse for the way they handled her issues which started days before her parents were finally called. And no excuse for how dismissive they were of her. Despite ending their emails with "Metta!" they obviously don't know what the word means.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited July 2017

    Not allowing people with mental illness to attend is a precaution. Just because there isn't a perfect track record of 100% safety doesn't mean that anyone is being greatly irresponsible. The actions of a couple people also don't reflect on an entire organization. To suggest otherwise is nonsensical. The idea that the people don't know what metta means is also nonsensical. Expecting human beings to behave perfectly 100% percent of the time is also nonsensical.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    They did not express love or care for her. I most certainly don't expect perfection. But giving proper attention to someone experiencing an issue isn't expect perfection. Its' just common sense. They dumped her emails off on someone who never responded (and who possibly never even got her emails). They DID allow her to attend, even knowing her issues. They also apparently disallowed other participants access to their required medication. It doesn't seem like they have policies that are very consistent, or at least are not followed consistently, and that does reflect on the organization as a whole.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited July 2017

    The idea that they don't care about people is downright ridiculous. They are volunteers. The only reason why they are there to begin with is because they care...You think that they knew that she was on the verge of suicide? Seriously? Do you think people who do meditation can see the future or something, come on now...

    Like I said hindsight is always 2020 the problem with hindsight is that it's hindsight. You think you could have seen that coming? Of course you would not have been able to, unless you have some kind a crystal ball or something...

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    I never claimed they should have seen the future. But when she continued to contact them about her problems, they could have done more other than "I sent your email along. Again." And yes, I would have done more than simply forward emails.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    what is schizophrenic?

    Well @upekka ...Do you have your answer ?

    upekka
  • upekkaupekka Veteran

    @Shoshin said:

    what is schizophrenic?

    Well @upekka ...Do you have your answer ?

    yes, but who would believe me

    better shut up =)

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @upekka said:

    yes, but who would believe me

    better shut up =)

    In the meantime @upekka check out this link and when reading through it, keep in mind "kleshas" and the defilements which we all experience on different levels from time to time ...
    For example

    Delusions – an unusual belief that seems quite real to you, but not to those around you. A delusional person is convinced their belief is true. An example might be they strongly believe the FBI are trying to hunt them down.
    Thought disturbances – how you process thoughts or your ability to concentrate and maintain a train of thought may be affected. For example, you may feel like your thoughts are racing and friends may notice you constantly changing the topic of conversation or that you are easily distracted, or may laugh at irrational times. Your speech may become quite disorganised, and you may use made up words that only you understand.

    upekka
  • shanyinshanyin Novice Yogin Sault Ontario Veteran

    I have been diagnosed with shizophrenia. Personally I don't see any reason to believe it. I do not experience hallucinations and seem to suffer even more on medication.

  • shanyinshanyin Novice Yogin Sault Ontario Veteran

    I have however, become violent at times. I have even expressed the desire to become violent on this forum once. But I have also been on the receiving end of violence from family friends, and the hospital.

  • KeromeKerome Certainty is the enemy of wonder The Continent Veteran

    @shanyin said:
    I have however, become violent at times. I have even expressed the desire to become violent on this forum once. But I have also been on the receiving end of violence from family friends, and the hospital.

    It sounds like you have some unresolved issues around violence... a lot of Buddhism is based around the ideas of harmlessness and peace and compassion, for yourself and others. Do you have a plan to overcome this?

    And do you think it's related to your schizophrenia diagnosis?

  • shanyinshanyin Novice Yogin Sault Ontario Veteran

    I removed people from my facebook who I used to do drugs with and party with. I am still extremely angry like a bull. I would like to practice zazen.

  • shanyinshanyin Novice Yogin Sault Ontario Veteran

    I mean... in answering your question I'm not sure if I'm telling you that's my plan to deal with violence or anger itself.

  • shanyinshanyin Novice Yogin Sault Ontario Veteran

    Another thing I am trying to do is work on my english speaking skills. If you have any links to lessons on how to speak, read, understand and write english properly that would be good.

  • shanyinshanyin Novice Yogin Sault Ontario Veteran

    I would like to seperate myself from my family.

  • KeromeKerome Certainty is the enemy of wonder The Continent Veteran
    edited July 2017

    It sounds like you are coming from a difficult place, and trying to move to a better one, which is a very good effort to undertake :) Have you tried using the forum search function? Lots of questions have been asked and answered before, and it can be useful to root through the old threads.

    Relating to practice, one thing I've found helpful is to pay particular attention to the roots of my emotions - to see what is hiding behind a feeling. Often there is a reason, an injury, an expectation unfulfilled, a dream. Finding these things can help set you free.

    In the end you have to do the actual work. Calming the mind does not happen automatically, it's something we work at, through meditation and introspection. It is not a quick process, it often takes years for insight to come.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    @shanyin as we have discussed multiple times in the forum, it can take a long time to find the right combination and dosages of meds that will work for you. It is common for combinations to make people feel worse, but there are many, many more that can be tried that may help you. Regardless of whether you choose to accept your diagnosis, you have to accept what your perception and reaction is in everything that has happened, and stop putting the blame on hospitals, doctors and family. They may well have had fault, but you cannot change or control any of it. Only your actions and reactions. Meditation alone is not going to cure you of the thoughts you experience, and in fact (as we have discussed in this thread) could make it worse.

    shanyinHozan
  • shanyinshanyin Novice Yogin Sault Ontario Veteran
    edited July 2017

    That deserves an "insightful"

  • upekkaupekka Veteran
    edited July 2017

    @shanyin said:
    I have however, become violent at times. I have even expressed the desire to become violent on this forum once. But I have also been on the receiving end of violence from family friends, and the hospital.

    we all do mistakes.
    there is no need to think about them and worry about them now.
    if they come into the mind again, just determind not to make the same mistake here after.> @shanyin said:

    I removed people from my facebook who I used to do drugs with and party with.

    good move

    I am still extremely angry like a bull.

    when you write the above line you were not angry.
    you were trying to express an emotion that you had before.
    see, we are not angry all the time.
    we can increase that 'no angry time' by involving something that we enjoy

    I would like to practice zazen.

    this is good thing to involve

    @shanyin said:
    An'that is just a thought arise in mind'other thing I am trying to do is work on my english speaking skills.

    speaking with people without hesitation that you would make grammer mistake
    is the best way to practice speaking skillIf

    you have any links to lessons on how to speak, read, understand and write english properly

    just google, there are some websites and you can choose one

    @shanyin said:
    I would like to seperate myself from my family.

    you can seperate yourself from anyone or anything by practising 'whenever thought related to someone or something' arise in your mind, be mindful of it and reminds the mind 'that is just a thought arose in 'my' mind, no need to involve in it'

    if you can do the above, you are practising 'Insight meditation' without knowing you are practising insight meditation

    you yourself can see the results after few days

    ***see, there are some grammer mistakes in this post. if you check my earlier posts in this forum you would see that i used to make more grammer mistakes before. i didn't hesitate to participate in discussion just because i can not express myself as a native speaker. no matter how hard i tried i wouldn't be able to express myself as a native because my native language is something else. instead, i am proud of myself that i can express myself to a foreigner using his/her language

    lobsterShoshin
  • shanyinshanyin Novice Yogin Sault Ontario Veteran

    Can anyone offer more down to earth advice on getting away from my family? I call them sometimes for company. Then I call them if I need things.

  • ToshTosh Veteran
    edited July 2017

    @Traveller said:
    Schizophrenia is more than likely an umbrella term for several different conditions that have similar symptoms. My schizophrenia is probably not genetic for instance but is caused by damage to my nervous system by street drugs. Most of the time I show no symptoms but I know pelnty of people on medication who do. Anyway I don't particularly care any more what the causes are if I hadn't have gone mad I wouldn't have the Dhamma.

    I once tried to help a guy in A.A. who had what he called 'crack paranoia'. He always felt like he was being followed by drug dealers, who he had passed on information to the police about.

    Not understanding, I tried reasoning with him; he lived in a different city, hundreds of miles from where these drug dealers were. And a decade had passed.

    But no, he always felt like he was being followed, watched and about to be attacked. He kept on relapsing on the booze, which took him to the drugs.

    I think he's probably dead now.

    Well done on your own recovery.

  • 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

    No. We don't know you, we don't know your family and we actually don't know whether your wish is either wise or foolish. So, no.
    I suggest you speak with someone qualified.

    And if everyone is telling you the same thing, maybe they have a point.

This discussion has been closed.