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Interesting Thought - Painkillers? Anti-depressants? - Dhamma Wheel

Interesting Thought - Painkillers? Anti-depressants?

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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Radman622
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Interesting Thought - Painkillers? Anti-depressants?

Postby Radman622 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:59 pm

Since Buddhism teaches that all pain and suffering is a result of Karma, I had an interesting thought about the use of medications designed to lessen or eliminate bodily pain. Obviously Buddha does not teach that you should not take medicine that will help you to recover from a sickness, this would be in violation of the Middle Way he taught. The Buddha himself became sick and accepted medicines to recover.

However, medicines which are not required in order to recover from sickness, but only so that one can experience comfort and not have to confront the suffering caused by the symptoms of an ailment - whether it be a headache, or a muscle pain... I am wondering if from a certain perspective, one might see this as trying to "dodge Karma" by diminishing or not experiencing the pain. If perhaps, you are trading the Karmic consequence of the headache or what have you for a different consequence, and in so doing, "delaying" bad Karma.

A similar perspective could be taken on anti-depressants, that the reason the person is depressed is because they have not followed the Dharma, and that instead of relieving their suffering, the drug will only create new suffering, or displace the Karmic consequences of their actions elsewhere.

I am not an authority on Buddhism, just a curious learner trying to gather a variety of perspectives and thoughts, so feel free to point out any case in which I am wrong. :)

:namaste: -Conrad

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Modus.Ponens
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Re: Interesting Thought - Painkillers? Anti-depressants?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:15 pm

The pain killers question is an interesting one. I'll let the debate unfold to see where it goes.

However, regarding depression, depression is not just sadness. It's also, among other things, a behavioural change where it's very easy to be heedless, due to lack of will power. So, anti-depressants should not be put on the same level as pain killers.
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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Re: Interesting Thought - Painkillers? Anti-depressants?

Postby Radman622 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:26 pm


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Re: Interesting Thought - Painkillers? Anti-depressants?

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:33 pm

Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta


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Radman622
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Re: Interesting Thought - Painkillers? Anti-depressants?

Postby Radman622 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:41 pm

See, this seems to me to be a more reasonable and moderate approach akin to the spirit of The Middle Way. Is there anyone who disagrees?

I had always heard and seen it as "Karma" but it "Kamma" a more widely accepted form, or does it not really matter? I also noted "Nirvana" represented as "Nibanna" in the forum. Is this difference linguistic, sectarian, or simply a matter of preference?

Sorry for the quick off-topic question. ^

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Re: Interesting Thought - Painkillers? Anti-depressants?

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:54 pm

Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta


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Annapurna
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Re: Interesting Thought - Painkillers? Anti-depressants?

Postby Annapurna » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:06 pm

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

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Radman622
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Re: Interesting Thought - Painkillers? Anti-depressants?

Postby Radman622 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:35 pm

Well, for that reason, and because one of the ingredients in many pills is Gelatin, which I find to be in contradiction with my vegetarian ethics, I have decided to avoid painkillers and unnecessarily over-the-counter medication whenever possible.

I think you make an important point about how pain exists for a reason! When a child places their hand on a lit stove burner, they feel pain and pull their hand away by instinct. Apart from a mental handicap, you can be sure that child will not touch a hot stove again. Even though in that moment, they did not like the pain, it was very important for that pain to exist to warn them about the bodily dangers of excessive heat. In the same way, other pains may be messages from our bodies about how to adjust our lifestyle for greater health.

Oh yes, I did not mean to imply that someone in severe pain or undergoing a medical operation of any kind should refuse pain medication or any medication prescribed by a licensed physician. I believe that this would not be in keeping with the Buddha's teaching of the Middle Way.

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Re: Interesting Thought - Painkillers? Anti-depressants?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:09 pm

He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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Re: Interesting Thought - Painkillers? Anti-depressants?

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:28 pm

It's interesting that there seems to be a level of pain we find tolerable or acceptable, where we won't take ameliorative medications--we tough it out--but when we cross a certain threshold we will. This threshold varies from person to person I imagine. My grandfather died from a painful form of cancer, yet he refused painkillers, because he said he wanted to meet Jesus with a clear mind. Furthermore, he remained pleasant and grateful to everyone who helped him to the very end. I remember him giving a piece of candy to a nurse's aide who brought him a glass of juice.

We never know what we'll do in a situation until we're in it, but I wonder if I had the same or similar condition if I'd have the will power to refuse painkillers. I suspect I'd hit the morphine pump as often as I could.

BB
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Re: Interesting Thought - Painkillers? Anti-depressants?

Postby Maarten » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:41 pm

In my view getting I'll is the result of bad kamma, and being fortunate enough to have medicine available is good kamma. Refraining from taking the medicine could be good / bad kamma depending on the results.

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Re: Interesting Thought - Painkillers? Anti-depressants?

Postby Annapurna » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:54 pm

Interesting replies, for sure...

I once had 2 teeth pulled and a piece of jawbone cut out, to get at the root of one of them...I was given lots of painkillers and was supposed to return the next day.

The operation was between 2 and 3 pm and the anestetic stopped around around 9 pm at which time I was in unspeakable pain, but a close, spiritual friend called and talked to me and told me to breathe a certain way and to listen intently and so I did.

I can't remember what he told me, only, that I slowly emerged from the panic of pain and calmed down and accepted that there is pain now, and that it shall pass, and after 30 minutes, I felt it going away. I waited a bit to make sure ...and then said; "It stops...

I listened some more, then I felt sleep coming ....and went to sleep at 10 pm and had a painless night...

the next morning the dentist looked at me very concerned and compassionate and asked if it had been very bad....and I said that I was in pain for 30 minutes and then it stopped, without painkillers....he could hardly believe it.

The only medication I took was Rescue Remedy drops by Dr. Bach. And shepherds purse tea to stop the bleeding...

It was very surprising for me it worked out this way and I don't know if it would work this way again...
http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

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Re: Interesting Thought - Painkillers? Anti-depressants?

Postby Annapurna » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:58 pm

Bubbabuddhist, I am impressed by your grandfather.
http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

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Re: Interesting Thought - Painkillers? Anti-depressants?

Postby Radman622 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:51 pm


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Re: Interesting Thought - Painkillers? Anti-depressants?

Postby Annapurna » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:54 am

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

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Re: Interesting Thought - Painkillers? Anti-depressants?

Postby theY » Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:30 am

At risk.

Although, this case may be right on precept, but when you use the drug, you may lose your consciousness.

Consciousness losing is dangerous.

We should control our eating folow to Nutrition facts label to avoid hypertension, etc., except: accident case.

In thailand, we should eat rice 8-12 ladles per day, 6-10 spoons of fat-less meat, etc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutrition_facts_label
Above message maybe out of date. Latest update will be in massage's link.
--------------------------------------------------
Tipitaka memorization is a rule of monks. It isn't just a choice. They must done it.
bahussuto nāma tividho hoti – nissayamuccanako, parisupaṭṭhāpako, bhikkhunovādakoti.

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Re: Interesting Thought - Painkillers? Anti-depressants?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:45 am

Nurse to Patient: So, you are in some pain?
Patient: I can't sleep. The pain in my spine [from cancer metastasis] is excruciating.
N: Well, it is your karma, most likely. Somewhere along the line you acted rather badly and now you are paying the price. I would recommend that for your own good that you just bear it. You'll be better off in your next life for it.
P: What the hell is the matter with you. I AM HAVING PAIN!!! GIVE ME SOMEYTHING FOR IT!!!
N: I could do that, but I'd be doing you no favor whatsoever, and I certainly do not want to pay the price for that action.
P: YOU CRAZY SON OF A BITCH!!! GIVE ME SOMETHING NOW!!! THIS PAIN IS KILLING ME!!!!
N: If you insist, but I cannot take responsibility for your action here. You have a choice, after all, to burn off, as it were, some very bad karma.
P: Shut your godamned face and go get the pain medication. And you can be sure that you superiors will find out about this.

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Re: Interesting Thought - Painkillers? Anti-depressants?

Postby Radman622 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:58 pm


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Re: Interesting Thought - Painkillers? Anti-depressants?

Postby Annapurna » Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:19 pm

Conrad, you might be interested in the following anecdote from my Dad's practice as a country doc who did house calls.

Cancer pain can be excrutiating, and woe to the one who didn't have a doc back then who would give you enough morphine.
My father always did, and taught the spouses how to inject, so he wouldn't have to go there every day a few times.

One day, one of his colleagues harshly criticised him, that he'd be creating "morphine addicts", by allowing them to self apply as much as they needed (to be painfree, mind you)

My father replied:

"Who gives a damn if he's an addict, if he's dead in 2 weeks anyhow...???

I am sure you won't find him loitering near your morphine stocks, take my word for it! He wants to die in dignity, not a high."

This other doc denied enough morphine, for said reasons.

My Dad would get totally upset over him too.

He was one of the first who fought with hospitals over enough morphine for his patients if they had to be hospitalized.

People were so thankful. :smile:
http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

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Re: Interesting Thought - Painkillers? Anti-depressants?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:43 pm



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