mental illness

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Re: mental illness

Post by PeterB » Sun Dec 13, 2009 4:57 pm

The Dalai Lama has repeatedly urged Buddhist students to take precribed meds. He himself uses allopathic medicine as well as traditional.

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Re: mental illness

Post by LauraJ » Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:30 pm

I always remember a quote from Trungpa Rinpoche. It's something to the effect of: "It's all emptiness. Now, let's be practical."
I think it's very wise to be practical sometimes!

Anyhow I'm scooting off topic. The question posed was whether or not the TOS are appropriate, and I feel that they are for a plethora of reasons.

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Re: mental illness

Post by Annapurna » Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:12 pm

Exactly my line of thinking!

Now, that a Rinpoche said it....hehe. :tongue:

Well! Damn! "No work, no food." :tongue:

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Re: mental illness

Post by Mothra » Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:44 pm

While I don't see how the TOS should be changed, I agree with zack on all his other points. I'm sad that the view is so widely held that what psychiatrists prescribe is "medicine", and what their patients suffer from is physical illness (it's called mental, but that's not true if they treat it physically with drugs). I don't know what the answer is, but I believe there must be better alternatives than "your brain chemicals are off, let the doctor tinker with them until a desirable result is achieved." The drugs can cause very real harm, I had some terrible experiences on them. People are quick to discourage illicit drugs and alcohol, yet equally as quick to condone mind altering drugs as treatment for mental distress. In my mind, thinking that psychiatry helps people is similar to thinking prison helps criminals. It's a way of sweeping aberrant people under the rug. Of course my feelings are very strong on the issue because it has affected my life a great deal.

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Re: mental illness

Post by Annapurna » Sun Dec 13, 2009 10:27 pm

Perhaps it wasn't the ideal medication for you.

Body and mind form a unity. What affects the one, also affects the other.

Chemical imbalances are very frequent in mental and physical diseases. Did you know that a lack of certain vitamins ( C , B) & minerals and too much of some metals (copper) can make you crazy?

Haa, and then if you find out what's up through a hair mineral analysis and supplement ad detoxify people suddenly become "normal" again, without any psycho-medication...

Our mental hospitals are full of people who just didn't eat the right stuff, and nobody knows....

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Re: mental illness

Post by Monkey Mind » Sun Dec 13, 2009 11:04 pm

There's a few things going on simultaneously in this thread, how to sort these out? The TOS is very wise and from the standpoint of protecting vulnerable people. Maybe there is an aspect of the wording that could be more affirming instead of negating, Zach? I too am concerned about stereotypes and stigmatization of mentally ill people, and although I did not read that in the TOS I did not look for it either.

The other topic is this idea that consumers of mental health services feeling disgruntled with the product. As I said before, I am both consumer and professional in that system, and agree with most or all of your points. However, a stereotype is being perpetuated in that mental health care is not synonymous with allopathic psychiatric medication. Psychotherapy and counseling are effective, perhaps as effective or more effective than allopathic psychiatric medication as demonstrated by research; these modalities are far more cost effective than medicine. The age-old argument about "dangerous psychotic people" is a red herring on a number of levels, but in this context I don't think you started the thread talking specifically about dangerous psychotic people. (But notice how the focus goes there...) And my final point: the field of psychology/ psychotherapy has become fascinated with so-called "Buddhist-influenced" psychologies (examples of Jack Kornfield, John Kabbot-Zinn, Steven Hayes, Marsha Linehan, etc.) I think there are a lot of opportunities for practicing Buddhists to contribute to positive mental health, both as consumers and mental health professionals.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710

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Re: mental illness

Post by altar » Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:48 am

Hello all,
I have read the replies and wrote this revised TOS. I don't think the changes are too significant and I don't [think] the revised version is definit[iv]ely better than the old one. But if people like it maybe it can be considered. Revised sections are in bold:

Dhamma Wheel is for the exploration and discussion of the Dhamma. While the aim of the Dhamma is to provide a path to the end of suffering, members of Dhamma Wheel are not qualified to deal with acute episodes of mental illness of another, as expressed on a discussion forum. The Administrators and Moderators of Dhamma Wheel request your compliance with regards to the following guidelines which is designed for the benefit of all:

-- Members who are suffering a serious mental illness are advised to seek help from a qualified medical professional, therapy, or trusted persons (for example a family member or monastic). Members who are suffering from an acute phase of a mental illness, including intention to self harm and/or suicidal should seek immediate assistance." onclick=";return false;
-- Members who are experiencing an acute phase of mental illness or suicidal ideation are welcome to seek referral to medical and crisis services from administrators and moderators.
-- Members are asked not to use Dhamma Wheel as a platform to express intentions of self harm or suicide, the experience of voices or other hallucinations or other artefacts of acute mental illness.
-- When encountering a member suffering an acute episode of a mental illness, we should treat that member with compassion and refer that member to appropriate counsel or emergency services within that person's community and to Dhamma Wheel staff.
--Members are asked to be cautious about labelling other members as mentally ill, as it is a term that is vague or misleading in certain contexts, and can cause stigmatization.
It's mostly minor, but, anyway, there you go.

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Re: mental illness

Post by catmoon » Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:01 am

So long as we don't go down the Scientology path I'm happy. I'd hate to have a bereaved John Travolta on my conscience.

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Re: mental illness

Post by Aloka » Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:25 am

Monkey Mind wrote:I am not sure what the agenda of the OP was, but When I first read this post it touched on a concern I have.
In my therapy office, I've encountered people who refuse to take pain meds, psychiatric meds, even HIV or cancer meds because they believe to do so is inconsistent with Buddhist teachings. Most of these folks have been the "do it yourself" variation, I encourage them to seek monastic guidance. However, there is a Tibetan Rinpoche in my area who promotes an anti-med agenda. All I can do is shrug and say that's not what I learned in Buddhism 101.

This reminds me of some posts I read in a Tibetan Buddhist group a couple of years ago which alarmed me, where the group manager was recommending that people did "purification " practices for medical problems instead of seeking medical help.

All I can say is that the Rinpoches I have had contact with myself most definately don't promote an anti-med agenda.


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Re: mental illness

Post by Cittasanto » Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:40 am

I think two threads where the ToS have been brought up in this regard, and the number of refutations are an indication!

can this thread close now!
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But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
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