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Why live at all?


I suffer from extreme anxiety and I've also been diagnosed with depression. During most of the day I have to consciously try to distance myself from the terrible daydreams I have. Most of these daydreams involve me or a loved one being mistreated, but some of them are about me accidentally or intentionally severely hurting someone. Anyway, during these daydreams I feel nothing but despair and I have to try hard not to make plans to commit suicide.

I recently bought an Acceptance & Commitment Therapy workbook, which is helping me distance myself from the emotional pain. Also, I recently became a Buddhist and I'm actively trying to follow the Eightfold path to eradicate my suffering. But I still have one question: Why live at all? All day long, my mind shows me the terrible things that could happen to me or my loved ones. Why not just kill myself now and spare myself the pain? Suffering is a part of life for everyone and according to Buddhism, you have to take measures to eradicate suffering. Why bother living if you have to actively try not to suffer?

I'm sorry for the depressing post. I hope you guys can help me.
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Comments

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran
    This is not a depressing post, it is a teaching that we can all understand and generate compassionate understanding for.

    The truth is you have to develop compassion for yourself, and then become compassionate for those immediately around you, and then for those who you don't know or even dislike.

    I am sorry to hear your mind is showing you 'vivid images ' of your personal death. Would it make you feel differently if you knew that others suffered from such fearful experiences and visions of death. I had a very difficult time today meditating on death and impermanence. But It settled.

    metta
    yagrmsac123Kundo
  • @ anataman

    Thanks for responding. If I understand you correctly, you are saying that I should live despite the possibility of experiencing pain because I'm supposed to develop compassion for everyone? How did you arrive at that conclusion? And what difference does it make to the world whether I commit suicide or live compassionately?

    Thanks for telling me that I'm not alone in experiencing anxiety.
  • yagryagr Veteran

    All day long, my mind shows me the terrible things that could happen to me or my loved ones. Why not just kill myself now and spare myself the pain?

    You seem (to me) to be operating off of an erroneous assumption. You ask, "Why not kill myself now and spare myself the pain [of things that could happen].

    Anything could happen. Anything positive or anything negative.


    anatamanBuddhadragonmsac123Kundo
  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    @ anataman

    Thanks for responding. If I understand you correctly, you are saying that I should live despite the possibility of experiencing pain because I'm supposed to develop compassion for everyone? How did you arrive at that conclusion? And what difference does it make to the world whether I commit suicide or live compassionately?

    Thanks for telling me that I'm not alone in experiencing anxiety.

    I am saying this - your thoughts are just thoughts. They will lead you to wherever they end, but you have the ability to disengage from them at any time.

    My conclusions are drawn from my understanding of the nature of my self. It has taken 20 years to even begin to understand, what, why and when I do anything, and then I fall into various trappings that make me upset, that is why I practice buddhism.

    I believe you should live at least to experience the truth that pain does not last forever, I do not have prior knowledge of your circumstances, but if you would like to clarify further, it would be an honour for me to listen to your plight.

    I am saying nothing more or less than it would be a well motivated gesture on your behalf to try and develop compassion for your self - unless you do that, you will likely be unable to develop compassion for anyone else.

    So in the event that I am possibly being misinterpreted I would like to make something clear and simple - everything you experience starts and ends with yourself. Your interaction with others has impact. Imagine what certain actions will do to your family and siblings etc

    You are not worthless; far from it; others may require your help too, but you may be missing their cries for help if you are only attentive to the inner voice, that has no substance, and if you rechannel the energies stated and then we might have a meaningful dialogue

    Forget about what the world may regard; polarity is just that
    pegembaraLostSoulnoflies
  • shanyinshanyin Novice Yogin Sault Ontario Veteran
    Genkaku you have made me want to get get a councellor for own depression
  • While I cannot understand what you are going through I hope I can give my answer for the question of why to live. I live because there is potential for me to grow and learn. It is an upwards path even though it doesn't seem like it at times.

    My girlfriends counselor said that riding emotions is a lot like riding waves. We just let go of our tensions and go wherever the universe wants you to go. The universe will help you. It is a benevolent universe though not always easy. Letting go a little bit will help you a little bit. Letting go a lot will help a lot.

    Have you tried meditating? You may be pleasantly surprised. Grab onto the dharma as a life raft. It won't let you down if you can keep following it. The dharma is no other than the universe.
    ThaiLotuspommesetorangesBuddhadragonLostSoul
  • @followthepath, you sound a lot like me, lol.

    There is no answer to this question ...... in fact, logically, your conclusion may seem perfectly legit. But instead of seeing it from the philosophical standpoint, we must see it from the scientific standpoint. Philosophical questions are not necessarily valid. For instance, if I ask why is there poverty, the philosophical or religious answer may revolve around karma, sin, evil, etc. Not valid. The logical, scientific answer would entail understanding the nature of society, the economic and political structure - and thereby concluding as to why there is poverty.

    Just an example. My point is, there is a difference between philosophical why and scientific why. The former is meaningless - it is like asking why are unicorns white and not black - the question itself is fundamentally wrong. So the answer - such as unicorns are not black because (insert reason) - will also be wrong.

    Trust in science, logic. Then you won't be unhappy or suicidal. In fact, such questions have no meaning insofar as science is concerned. These are just philosophical snares.
  • I suffer from extreme anxiety and I've also been diagnosed with depression.
    Indeed.

    What help is required?
    Jeffrey
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited March 2014


    I suffer from extreme anxiety and I've also been diagnosed with depression. During most of the day I have to consciously try to distance myself from the terrible daydreams I have. Most of these daydreams involve me or a loved one being mistreated, but some of them are about me accidentally or intentionally severely hurting someone. Anyway, during these daydreams I feel nothing but despair and I have to try hard not to make plans to commit suicide.

    I recently bought an Acceptance & Commitment Therapy workbook, which is helping me distance myself from the emotional pain. Also, I recently became a Buddhist and I'm actively trying to follow the Eightfold path to eradicate my suffering. But I still have one question: Why live at all? All day long, my mind shows me the terrible things that could happen to me or my loved ones. Why not just kill myself now and spare myself the pain? Suffering is a part of life for everyone and according to Buddhism, you have to take measures to eradicate suffering. Why bother living if you have to actively try not to suffer?

    I'm sorry for the depressing post. I hope you guys can help me.

    There are many reasons not to commit suicide, e.g., ending one's life prematurely would deprive them of many future, joyful experiences; it'd cause pain for their friends and family; it's not necessarily a cure for suffering if one accepts the teachings on rebirth, a process which doesn't ceases at death if there's still craving present in the mind (in the this case, craving for non-becoming); etc. But whether one chooses to accept them is another story. That said, if you're really having serious thoughts of suicide, I strongly urge you to talk to someone about how you feel, whether it's a friend, relative, or a professional counselor (particularly the latter).
    followthepathKundo
  • jaejae Veteran
    @followthepath...

    Hi nice to virtually meet you, if you don't mind me asking are you getting help? Are you taking medication?

    If not like others have advised please get help, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    You have to fight through the lethargy and help yourself, its worth it.
    lobster

  • I suffer from extreme anxiety and I've also been diagnosed with depression. During most of the day I have to consciously try to distance myself from the terrible daydreams I have. Most of these daydreams involve me or a loved one being mistreated, but some of them are about me accidentally or intentionally severely hurting someone. Anyway, during these daydreams I feel nothing but despair and I have to try hard not to make plans to commit suicide.

    I recently bought an Acceptance & Commitment Therapy workbook, which is helping me distance myself from the emotional pain. Also, I recently became a Buddhist and I'm actively trying to follow the Eightfold path to eradicate my suffering. But I still have one question: Why live at all? All day long, my mind shows me the terrible things that could happen to me or my loved ones. Why not just kill myself now and spare myself the pain? Suffering is a part of life for everyone and according to Buddhism, you have to take measures to eradicate suffering. Why bother living if you have to actively try not to suffer?

    I'm sorry for the depressing post. I hope you guys can help me.

    Sometimes, I like the idea of being able to be born again. You get a chance to do things you have not done and get a chance to meet the people you wish to meet. When you believe in rebirth, suicide probably becomes meaningless. You may kill yourself and yet have to live again. Sometimes, I like the idea of karma too. Reap what you sow. You have to pay for what you have done; but in your case, you may not have done anything wrong. Sometimes, the environment may be at fault. People may have mistreated you. In that case, why allow yourself to suffer? Our mind is the forerunner. We take lead in whether to feel happy or not.
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    One cannot think to develop love and compassion for others until they truly feel it for themselves. Sometimes though, I think the "fake it til you make it" can help you develop it for yourself as you work to help others at the same time. I imagine it depends on the person.

    Personally, I think suicide as a way to exit one life and join another seems like a risky proposition. Whether it's true, we don't know, but there is a saying that a human birth in a time where a Buddha has presented the Dharma is extremely rare. I want as much time to refine my practice as I can get! Also, who knows what kind circumstances you would be reborn in, suicide or not.

    @followthepath I truly believe as humans, we are hear to learn to love. Not romantic love, but how to love and practice compassion for all sentient beings. That we are meant to live a life of service to others, but that that can mean a number of things. Don't be hard on yourself with regards to following the Eightfold Path. It is something we practice and continually review and learn from. It isn't something you set as a goal to 100% follow it each day, because if you set that bar you are going to cause suffering on yourself when you fail, because it's inevitable. The most important thing is to understand it and evaluate your life with it on an ongoing basis. Try not to be averse to your feelings, the more you try to push they away the harder they will push back. I'm sorry you are struggling so. I hope the things you are doing will help and that if needed, you will seek further help to get through it all. It can be helpful to practice Tonglen for yourself, as well. Or picture Buddha or another teacher practicing it for you.
    jaeBunks
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    A friend of mine, who suffers deep depression, posted this article today, I found it quite interesting and applicable to Buddhist study, and thought you (and maybe others) might find it interesting. It has to do with being able to accept rather than reject how you are feeling.
    http://www.alternet.org/books/youre-making-your-depression-worse-self-help-bringing-us-down?paging=off&current_page=1#bookmark
  • @Jason said:
    I suffer from extreme anxiety and I've also been diagnosed with depression. During most of the day I have to consciously try to distance myself from the terrible daydreams I have. Most of these daydreams involve me or a loved one being mistreated, but some of them are about me accidentally or intentionally severely hurting someone. Anyway, during these daydreams I feel nothing but despair and I have to try hard not to make plans to commit suicide.

    I recently bought an Acceptance & Commitment Therapy workbook, which is helping me distance myself from the emotional pain. Also, I recently became a Buddhist and I'm actively trying to follow the Eightfold path to eradicate my suffering. But I still have one question: Why live at all? All day long, my mind shows me the terrible things that could happen to me or my loved ones. Why not just kill myself now and spare myself the pain? Suffering is a part of life for everyone and according to Buddhism, you have to take measures to eradicate suffering. Why bother living if you have to actively try not to suffer?

    I'm sorry for the depressing post. I hope you guys can help me.

    There are many reasons not to commit suicide, e.g., ending one's life prematurely would deprive them of many future, joyful experiences; it'd cause pain for their friends and family; it's not necessarily a cure for suffering if one accepts the teachings on rebirth, a process which doesn't ceases at death if there's still craving present in the mind (in the this case, craving for non-becoming); etc. But whether one chooses to accept them is another story. That said, if you're really having serious thoughts of suicide, I strongly urge you to talk to someone about how you feel, whether it's a friend, relative, or a professional counselor (particularly the latter).

    As I said before, these arguments won't work. What if a person's position in life makes sadness outweigh joy? My point is, logic (far from helping) will usually work against what you're trying to convey. So living is essentially a matter of faith - meaning, even though there is strife and misery, we continue to harbor a desire to live ..... for some reason (call it survival instinct or whatever else).

    followthepath
  • anandoanando Explorer

    Hello,
    you should not use the 8fold path in your psychical codition. It might even get worse.
    Make a therapy to get rid of these sysmptoms and then start meditating the 8foldpath.The reason why we are here is to be found in buddhist Genesis. Humans are supposed to have two selfes, the first is the physical and the second is the spiritual onne or it is called Lightbeing. These lightbeings are of cosmic origin.
    This is not my invention, it is written down in Dighanikayo, the Longer Collection of the
    Pali-Canon.
    The teaching of gotamo buddho is a tool to change consciousness until the 8 Jhana.
    These are only exercises, once reached they make themself obsolete.

    anando

  • shadowleavershadowleaver Veteran
    edited March 2014

    I feel nothing but despair and I have to try hard not to make plans to commit suicide.

    Dear @Followthepath, I am going to take what you are saying literally and seriously.

    What you are describing is a medical emergency. Seek professional help immediately. If you do not have the financial ability to do so, please turn to charity or religious organizations, whether you agree with their dogma or not. That is not important in your present state. Even if "official" professionals are out of reach to you, there must be some counselor somewhere near you who has some experience dealing with your affliction.

    This truly has little to do with any philosophy/religion and is in a different realm. If the need to live is not self-evident, the problem is at the biological level and nothing anyone tells you in books or discussion boards is going to carry much weight. Modern medicine and therapy have ways of dealing with the associated biology and they get better every year.

    If you want Buddhist advice, I'll put this in Buddhist terms for you. Buddhism is all about: seeing the moment as it is, accepting it for what it is and taking the correct action to help the moment. All Buddhist practices have one purpose: develop that one skill. There is absolutely nothing else to "Buddhism".

    Your situation as it is that you are ill and the illness is lifethreatening. Accept that you cannot help yourself through regular means. The correct action is to go to those who can help you: doctors, psychotherapists or counselors. You would certainly do that if the illness was in your foot or your intenstines, right?

    I sincerely wish you well.

    Jeffrey
  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    I would like to think that @followthepath has some kind of insight and could find the right help if desired.

    However, it would be nice to receive clarification on the threads objective. Can you do tha @followthepath, and perhaps, someone here can suggest a more appropriate response, or are there other factors undisclosed?

    Metta

  • @Jason said:
    I suffer from extreme anxiety and I've also been diagnosed with depression. During most of the day I have to consciously try to distance myself from the terrible daydreams I have. Most of these daydreams involve me or a loved one being mistreated, but some of them are about me accidentally or intentionally severely hurting someone. Anyway, during these daydreams I feel nothing but despair and I have to try hard not to make plans to commit suicide.

    I recently bought an Acceptance & Commitment Therapy workbook, which is helping me distance myself from the emotional pain. Also, I recently became a Buddhist and I'm actively trying to follow the Eightfold path to eradicate my suffering. But I still have one question: Why live at all? All day long, my mind shows me the terrible things that could happen to me or my loved ones. Why not just kill myself now and spare myself the pain? Suffering is a part of life for everyone and according to Buddhism, you have to take measures to eradicate suffering. Why bother living if you have to actively try not to suffer?

    I'm sorry for the depressing post. I hope you guys can help me.

    There are many reasons not to commit suicide, e.g., ending one's life prematurely would deprive them of many future, joyful experiences; it'd cause pain for their friends and family; it's not necessarily a cure for suffering if one accepts the teachings on rebirth, a process which doesn't ceases at death if there's still craving present in the mind (in the this case, craving for non-becoming); etc. But whether one chooses to accept them is another story. That said, if you're really having serious thoughts of suicide, I strongly urge you to talk to someone about how you feel, whether it's a friend, relative, or a professional counselor (particularly the latter).

    Thanks everyone for your responses. Jason, what you're saying about rebirth is interesting to me. I've read a little about the Buddhist concept of rebirth and I don't really understand it. Is it the same as reincarnation? How can we be reborn if there's no self?

    The Buddhist concept of karma also confuses me. From what I've read, it kind of seems like the Buddha taught that every bad thing that happens to somebody is their own fault. I thought that was kind of unfair. What about starving kids in impoverished countries? If they were born into unfortunate circumstances how is that their fault? Anyway, Jason, do you think that if I killed myself I'd experience karma in the next life?

    I call myself a Buddhist because I accept the four seals and try to live according to the Eightfold path. But karma and rebirth baffle me. I wonder if the fact that I don't understand those concepts means I'm not truly a Buddhist.
    I'm currently taking psychiatric medications for my anxiety and depression. Thank you all for your concern.

  • 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

    Why live at all?

    because now I'm here, it would be a dreadful waste if I didn't put it to good use..... ;)

    vinlynanatamanBuddhadragonKundo
  • 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

    @followthepath said:
    The Buddhist concept of karma also confuses me. From what I've read, it kind of seems like the Buddha taught that every bad thing that happens to somebody is their own fault. I thought that was kind of unfair. What about starving kids in impoverished countries? If they were born into unfortunate circumstances how is that their fault? Anyway, Jason, do you think that if I killed myself I'd experience karma in the next life?

    >

    I think you've got that a bit skewed, hun.

    karma, literally means, quite simply, volitional, deliberate or wilful action.
    Vipaka is the consequence, so everything you do, starts with your deliberating it in your head.
    The Buddha also said that speculating on the Law of karma was largely fruitless because you'd go nutz trying to figure it all out.
    Which is why we don't really speculate on starving kids and impoverished countries.
    because we can't answer your question on the matter, and neither can anyone else.

    Jeffreyanataman
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    self, as we typically define it, is all that we feel ourselves to be. It's what identifies us. It's what makes us "us" so to speak. It's all our experiences and feelings and thoughts and emotions, perceptions, ego, everything we think we are. Except in Buddhism, all that stuff isn't real, it doesn't exist. The only thing that exists is (hard to explain for me) the background unconscious. The very deepest part of us that contains our karmic imprint, and our past lives. It isn't our identity, it's much deeper than that. THAT is what is reborn. Not the rest of everything we consider ourselves to be.

    I do believe it is said if you take your own life that yes, their are negative karmic consequences to that. But I don't have a source off the top of my head but that might be just from reading and not sutras/suttas. There is another discussion on the board right now regarding karma that you might find interesting. You have to remember Buddhism isn't just about right now. Well, it is, LOL, but where we are right now also includes causes and conditions that existed prior to this birth. So, in part, where we are is a result of our actions in our last life. You will find Buddhists who believe in the "if you starved someone else you will eventually be born into a life where you are the one who starves" and you will find others who do not believe that. I'm not sure, myself. It's not really to do with fairness, though, as far as we consider fairness to be, I don't think. None of the suffering in life is really ever fair.

    And no, your questions about either of those doesn't in any way make you not a Buddhist. Many, if not most, people have questions about those same topics, especially at the start. Just keep practicing, meditate in a way that works for you. You will probably find some things that you cling to now will start to fall away (including beliefs) and you will probably also find that your understanding changes. The only thing you can really do is be open to the idea that what you believe now about those 2 topics, or any others, might change as you practice. As long as you can be open to that, that is all you need to do. Even if you can't do that yet, don't worry about it.

  • upekkaupekka Veteran
    edited March 2014

    @followthepath said:
    I recently became a Buddhist and I'm actively trying to follow the Eightfold path to eradicate my suffering.


    good

    But I still have one question: Why live at all?

    we get a human life now and this is the good chance that we can practice Noble-Eightfold-Path and stop Rebirth and eradicate suffering

    however first we have to enter into the Noble-Eightfold-Path by practising normal- eightfold-path

    practising nomal-eightfold-path means practising virtue, concentration and Insight

    by doing so one day we get Noble Right View and from then on we can practice Noble Eightfold Path which helps to stop Rebirth and stop suffering

    so while we are alive we must practice normal-eightfold-path to get the Noble Right View and then practice Noble-Eightfold-Path to stop Rebirth to stop suffering

    so this moment that we get as our life is the precious moment that we can use to stop suffering
    (hope you get the answer to the question 'why we live at all?')

    All day long, my mind shows me the terrible things that could happen to me or my loved ones

    mind is full of fanatics

    we all have them

    what we have to do is remind the mind 'this is just a thought in the mind so i must let go of it'

    each time you do this you will see 'you do not suffer because of that thought' any more

    get rid of suffering of that thought is then and there

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    I think the point of life is to point out we are living - now. Only then we can stand in a place where we can reflect on such things. The world can be viewed as mechanistic, but some people can and do transcend the springs, cogs and coils that have constrained our reality and stipulated that we are nothing more than divine machines, or in an infinite monkey cage, with a pre-programmed sense of self-determination, and no free-will.

    Now it has been pointed out we are living - lets get into a more full and frank discussion of life, and lets not take a polarised opposing view from the outset, lets see other points of view, and whilst we are at it lets get to know each other, perhaps have a cup of tea together, whilst we discuss it. HEY IF YOU WANT TO COME AROUND TO MINE AND HAVE A MEDITATION SESSION - THAT WOULD BE NICE - THE INVITATION IS OPEN. but not tomorrow - my in-laws are here and they don't get the meditation thingy. lol

    I bet in Plato and Socrates in their time there was plenty of time to lounge around and discuss the physis, eating olives, bread, and drinking wine. Now we are all too busy.

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited March 2014

    Sorry, @followthepath, I don't have time to answer all of your questions, but if you're interested, you can find some of my thoughts about kamma, rebirth, and what get's reborn here, here, and here.

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    @yagr said:
    Anything could happen. Anything positive or anything negative.

    Hi @followthepath!
    Why live at all? Because we have to!! We don't know why we're here and sometimes dukkha, suffering is there, but there's more to life than that. YOU are the one that can make the difference. You are choosing every day if you'll be happy or not. You can control the way you look at things, your reactions, the way you tell yourself the story.

    Life can be wonderful, too and like @yagr said "Anything could happen. Anything positive or anything negative."

    The Buddha was a very pragmatic man and would not squander his time with metaphysical speculations. Don't ponder on "why live at all." JUST LIVE! Live this moment. Go out for a walk. Read a book. Talk to someone. See a film. Going out of your rut, just going out when you feel like staying inside watching your belly button could make a difference.

    Some things don't depend on you but many do. Try to expand the circle of your choices. If you can't handle it all alone, look for help. Someone out there is waiting to hold out their hand to you!! All you have to do is ask for help!!

    The Buddha was very clear "Guard your mind against negative thoughts." He was right that your mind, out of control, is your worst enemy. Don't buy into the negative chatter. Believe the positive stuff too. Remember how he was tempted again and again on the night before his enlightenment. We all have to battle the demons of negativity.

    Kill yourself? And miss out on the wonderful things that are waiting to take place in your life? And miss out on the wonderful things that are probably taking place NOW and go unnoticed by your radar?

    Think twice. We're all in this together.

    yagr
  • Why live? Because there is joy waiting for you out there, even though you can't see it yet. Only the living have a chance to experience this joy.

    It gets better. It really does.

    VastmindBuddhadragonKundo
  • I'm currently taking psychiatric medications for my anxiety and depression.

    Good news. Let the dancing commence . . .

    @Cinorjer said:
    Why live? Because there is joy waiting for you out there, even though you can't see it yet. Only the living have a chance to experience this joy.

    It gets better. It really does.

    Yep. That's the plan. I think it is called 'The Buddhist Path' :)

    yagrKundo
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited March 2014

    Our suffering is not meaningless if we use it to learn to trust the path to Awakening and our connection to it through those who are committed to it and whose prayers and pranidhanas protect us as we go through difficult times.

    ~Lama Shenpen

    lobster
  • ♪♫•¨•.¸¸❤¸¸.•¨•♫♪
    Will be dedicating my morning practice to @‌followthepath
    ♪♫•¨•.¸¸❤¸¸.•¨•♫♪

    . . . and those in difficulties. Urge others to do the same. Oh you do? Of course . . . [Lobster puts on dunce cap and goes back to the 'duh' corner]

    OM MANI PEME HUM HRIH

    Cinorjer
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    So, followthepath, can you give us any feedback on how you are feeling?
    Metta

  • howhow Veteran

    No doubt about it, that is a Bodhisattvic sized load of karma you are carrying. We start birthed only by the karmic inertia of ignorance.

    Why live at all?

    Living is a chance to bring resolution to that inertia. As a Meditation practitioner moves from worldly self interest towards a more spiritually based selflessness, what one formally experienced as ones personal suffering actually evolves into ones very purpose for existing.

  • msac123msac123 Explorer

    @followthepath said:
    I suffer from extreme anxiety and I've also been diagnosed with depression. During most of the day I have to consciously try to distance myself from the terrible daydreams I have. Most of these daydreams involve me or a loved one being mistreated, but some of them are about me accidentally or intentionally severely hurting someone. Anyway, during these daydreams I feel nothing but despair and I have to try hard not to make plans to commit suicide.

    I recently bought an Acceptance & Commitment Therapy workbook, which is helping me distance myself from the emotional pain. Also, I recently became a Buddhist and I'm actively trying to follow the Eightfold path to eradicate my suffering. But I still have one question: Why live at all? All day long, my mind shows me the terrible things that could happen to me or my loved ones. Why not just kill myself now and spare myself the pain? Suffering is a part of life for everyone and according to Buddhism, you have to take measures to eradicate suffering. Why bother living if you have to actively try not to suffer?

    I'm sorry for the depressing post. I hope you guys can help me.

    I am glad that you posted this because I have been diagnosed with severe major depressive disorder, been on and off medication, gotten myself into situations that I shouldn't have gotten myself involved in, have extreme guilt over stuff, and tried to kill myself (don't mean to sound sad or morbid) 5 times. When I started reading more about Buddhism, I become more aware of how my actions affect the world. It does get hard for me sometimes because I have excessive guilt over stuff and makes me want to die at times. I understand why you be would asking this question because it would be so much easier to get rid of the pain through suicide. However, I agree with genkaku. Leave Buddhism out of it. Buddhism is a PATH, not something that can be understood without that path. So, thinking that you should commit suicide to end the pain (I definitely understood where you're coming from, but I am going to tell you that it's not worth it and need to definitely continue seeking help because it does get easier and better over time) is incompatible with Buddhism because Buddhist philosophy says that you can reduce the pain. So, my advice to you (and hopefully this helps) is to think in karmic terms. You help yourself and because you help yourself, you help others. You help others in ways that you wouldn't think probably think about, but in the end, you do help others.

    lobsteranatamanfollowthepath
  • You help yourself and because you help yourself, you help others. You help others in ways that you wouldn't think probably think about, but in the end, you do help others.

    Exactly so. We have people here who are dying, some too soon, recovering alcoholics, the overly anxious, the manically depressed. There may be some normals but that is just showing off . . . One of the inspiring things is how cyber contacts do listen, do care, do support each other. It is a ripple effect.
    Sometimes people do not know how valuable they are. We need all the Boddhisattvas we can get. Dukkha is hard going at times. When you find joy, the contrast is what makes it more intense . . . so to speak . . . :)

    msac123karastiJeffrey
  • @lobster said:
    Sometimes people do not know how valuable they are. We need all the Boddhisattvas we can get. Dukkha is hard going at times. When you find joy, the contrast is what makes it more intense . . . so to speak . . . :)

    This is just a rationalization. Truth is, living is a matter of faith. Logic doesn't apply. Sorry to be blunt, @lobster, but let's be realistic, shall we? If you convince a depressed person through logic (that life is worth living), the very same logic could be used prove the opposite. It is a double-edged sword. That's why it's better to just accept these things on faith, and not think or analyze too much.

  • "life is not worth living" is a distortion. So a person using their own faculties can see for theirself it is a distortion. It is not something that you need argue about, rather it is something they can see for themself.

    Listen to your crazy laugh
    before you hang a right
    And disappear from sight

    What do they know anyway
    You'll read it in a book tonight

    ~fox in the snow by Belle and Sebastian

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited March 2014

    @betaboy said:

    Sorry to be blunt, lobster, but let's be realistic, shall we?

    Ladies first. IMHO the mentally ill are not able to discern their disability, they do not wish to face it. Just as the dying wish to avoid death. The blunt wish to be treated as if sharp. The alcoholics are at least not street drunks, the drug takers at least not low life junkies etc. We rationalise our situation. We deal with it as best we know how. At the moment @betaboy‌ your two edged sword may be blunt on one side . . .

    @Jeffery exposes, knows and acknowledges his demons. Inspiring. @dhammachick is dying and joshing and working. Many other examples of practical efforts. How wonderful. You too, I feel are trying to come to terms with 'the black dog' . . .

    So two sided sword wielder . . . are you willing to overcome your demons or just mine? I have plenty to spare . . .
    The truth my friends is we are not able to face the bluntness of swords, until cutting into our self

    . . . look after yourself.

    En Garde

    Kundokarasti
  • @dhammachick said:
    Raven

    I am sorry you're hurting. I understand your frustration, but there is no need to lash out at me. I am not your enemy. This is a discussion forum where we try to see the same issue from different angles. Logic may have helped you, but others may find more comfort in faith. Logic may convince a person that death is better than life (since life is full of pain and death is the end of all that pain). But faith will convince a person that, despite this pain, life is beautiful and must be lived to the fullest. That's all I am trying to say.

  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @betaboy said:
    I am sorry you're hurting. I understand your frustration, but there is no need to lash out at me. I am not your enemy. This is a discussion forum where we try to see the same issue from different angles. Logic may have helped you, but others may find more comfort in faith. Logic may convince a person that death is better than life (since life is full of pain and death is the end of all that pain). But faith will convince a person that, despite this pain, life is beautiful and must be lived to the fullest. That's all I am trying to say.

    I'm not hurting, I'm giving you the blunt truth you asked for in a previous post.

    vinlyn
  • but there is no need to lash out at me.

    There is every need.
    Some are more needy . . .

  • @dhammachick said:
    I'm not hurting, I'm giving you the blunt truth you asked for in a previous post.

    Really? This is what you said in your previous post (your exact words): @betaboy I'll be blunt - you are a self centred, attention-whoring pain in the arse.

    The above are personal attacks. You are not merely stating the truth (whatever that is). You're making personal attacks.

    lobster
  • You're making personal attacks.

    Indeed.
    Nothing else seems to work for you, to be blunt. What would you recommend for those unskilful at sword wielding?

    Kundo
  • @lobster said:
    Nothing else seems to work for you, to be blunt. What would you recommend for those unskilful at sword wielding?

    Guns?

    lobsterfederica
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    @lobster said:
    Nothing else seems to work for you, to be blunt. What would you recommend for those unskilful at sword wielding?

    And, such criticisms have come up before. More than once. And you seem to make no effort to learn from them.

    May I suggest that Buddhists need to be open-minded and to at least consider criticisms?

    Kundo
  • @betaboy said:
    This is just a rationalization. Truth is, living is a matter of faith. Logic doesn't apply. Sorry to be blunt, lobster, but let's be realistic, shall we? If you convince a depressed person through logic (that life is worth living), the very same logic could be used prove the opposite. It is a double-edged sword. That's why it's better to just accept these things on faith, and not think or analyze too much.

    It's rhetoric in the service of a good cause, i.e., ending the suffering of suicidal ideation.

    The fact that rhetoric can also be used in the service of a bad cause, i.e., fostering suicidal ideation, is irrelevant to the positive intent here, just as knife's potential as a weapon is irrelevant when it's being used to perform surgery.

    It does all come down to faith, but that faith can be manipulated in skillful ways.

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    Life's an adventure really, and if you see every problem as a mental everest, you will be standing on top of the world all the time.

    It seems a bit of a shame that @betaboy is an advocate of suicide. I am starting to see his world view as one of being shackled to an anchor and dangling it over the edge of a boat in centre of the pacific ocean, in a storm. very unhealthy.

    I agree with @dhammachick that anyone contemplating suicidal thoughts and ideas needs professional counselling, and not the views of people who tout faith as the only way to live.

    vinlynKundojayne
  • 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

    @betaboy said:
    Guns?

    Takes the skill out of it..... :D

  • @Followthepath if you want to talk to someone who has been diagnosed with chronic anxiety disorders since the age of 12, just message me in the PM section whenever and we can just talk about day to day things.

  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @betaboy said:
    The above are personal attacks. You are not merely stating the truth (whatever that is). You're making personal attacks.

    Yes. I'm treating you the same way you treat others? Pretty shitty isn't it?

    vinlynhow
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