Intrusive Thoughts

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Tangent-Man
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Intrusive Thoughts

Post by Tangent-Man »

Are there any people who have experience with Schizophrenia / Psychosis and have any ideas how to deal with intrusive thoughts i.e. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intrusive_thought from a Buddhist perspective?

Are there any Suttas anyone could recommend that may help with this?

I specifically find it difficult reconciling the first verse of the Dhammapada when my mind feels corrupted with intrusive thoughts. How can we do anything with a mind with a lustful thought for example even if the act itself is wholesome (like making a cup of tea or something or doing our jobs). Are we to accept that all acts we take / make will cause us suffering until we purify our minds? Is it like accepting a work in a progress sort of thing?

Some people / Monks have suggested Pirith chanting or even just listening to pirith can be helpful?

Thanks in advance,

Pete A
befriend
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Re: Intrusive Thoughts

Post by befriend »

That sucks man intrusive thoughts are the worst. I've had them for years, I still have some but I notice when I'm being a good Buddhist like taking the five precepts in the morning and abstaining from wrong speech, and cultivating metta on a steady basis they weaken over time. It's like a scale there's some emotional dark stuff in us but if we keep cultivating bright actions and refraining from dark ones the bright will increase over a long time it took me many years i would recommend reciting the karaniya metta sutta enough to memorize it this gives me a not so concentrated way to practice metta. Buddha is the doctor and prescribe medicine for everyone you will get better. ❤️ :console: take a look at the sevitabbasevitabba sutta it says that merit decreases demerit the main sutta I live by.
Take care of mindfulness and mindfulness will take care of you.
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SDC
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Re: Intrusive Thoughts

Post by SDC »

MN 20 is probably the most well-known.
"Remembering the meditators of old, and recollecting their conduct, even in the latter days, it’s still possible to realize the deathless." -Thag 16.10
...
befriend
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Re: Intrusive Thoughts

Post by befriend »

What also helped me was doing positive affirmations and gratitude thoughts. A positive affirmation is a healthy sentence made In the present tense such as today is one of the best days of my life or I choose all my interactions to be joyful and loving. All is well in my world. It's a Great recovery tool.
Take care of mindfulness and mindfulness will take care of you.
dharmacorps
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Re: Intrusive Thoughts

Post by dharmacorps »

Sometimes I have heard it recommended that those struggling with schizophrenia/psychosis focus on chanting, parittas, and also especially practice generosity and giving. Sometimes this can help make the practice advance, even in those who cannot meditate due to their condition. Something to consider. :anjali:
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Re: Intrusive Thoughts

Post by befriend »

:goodpost:
Take care of mindfulness and mindfulness will take care of you.
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Naga108
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Re: Intrusive Thoughts

Post by Naga108 »

Intrusive thoughts are difficult.

First, you need to have very strong mindfulness to stop your thinking. Once you have that, you can catch the thoughts and realize it is just a thought.

The problem lies not in the thought itself, but the narratives around the thought.

The narratives and commentary of the thought keep you hooked.
"'What am I becoming as the days & nights fly past?'..." (AN 10.48)

:buddha1:

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SteRo
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Re: Intrusive Thoughts

Post by SteRo »

Tangent-Man wrote: Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:29 pm Are there any people who have experience with Schizophrenia / Psychosis and have any ideas ...
No, sorry, I have no experience with Schizophrenia / Psychosis. Maybe that premise is not a good one to start a thread with.
Exhaling अ and inhaling धीः amounts to བྷྲཱུཾ་བི་ཤྭ་བི་ཤུད་དྷེ
SarathW
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Re: Intrusive Thoughts

Post by SarathW »

“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
justindesilva
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Re: Intrusive Thoughts

Post by justindesilva »

Intrusive thoughts of a normal person or a psychophreniac is not the same. Such thoughts of a normal person can be controlled by meditation or whatever. Yet the mind control of a psycho...... is beyond self control and has to be treated with medication or electrolysis and meditation is not their answer.
This fact can be accepted as late Dr. Harichandra , a reputed psychiatrist and a well known Buddhist with knowledge of abidamma never tried methods other than medication. He even had treated monks who were mentally sick only with medical therapy.
Western psychiatristry shows that psychosis occurs by a chemical imbalance in the brain and on neurosis.
SarathW
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Re: Intrusive Thoughts

Post by SarathW »

It appears there are two aspects of the problem.
Perhaps the psychological aspects may be treated with Vipassana Meditation.
================
Specialist to consult
Psychiatrist
Specializes in the branch of medicine concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.
Psychologist
A health professional who specializes in the scientific study of behaviour and its related mental processes.

https://www.bing.com/search?q=schizophr ... 8aaabb470e
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
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Modus.Ponens
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Re: Intrusive Thoughts

Post by Modus.Ponens »

Tangent-Man wrote: Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:29 pm Are there any people who have experience with Schizophrenia / Psychosis and have any ideas how to deal with intrusive thoughts i.e. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intrusive_thought from a Buddhist perspective?

Are there any Suttas anyone could recommend that may help with this?

I specifically find it difficult reconciling the first verse of the Dhammapada when my mind feels corrupted with intrusive thoughts. How can we do anything with a mind with a lustful thought for example even if the act itself is wholesome (like making a cup of tea or something or doing our jobs). Are we to accept that all acts we take / make will cause us suffering until we purify our minds? Is it like accepting a work in a progress sort of thing?

Some people / Monks have suggested Pirith chanting or even just listening to pirith can be helpful?

Thanks in advance,

Pete A
I highlighted the blue sentence because I think that is the way to reduce intrusive thoughts. Every being has unwholesomeness or evil in them until they achieve total liberation. So it's inevitable to be imperfect. And to be more flawed than we wished we were. It's part of being a non liberated human being with human instincts. So what ever thought arises in the mind let it arise, be, and fade.

Thoughts are not actions. You can have all sort of thoughts with no intention of having them. For example, if you're in a hospital and you see someone in a bad situation, you can think to yourself "that person is probably going to die" and then an image of that person dead can arise in your mind. The mental image arose through association. You didn't decide "let me imagine how this person looks when dead". This means that it's the mental decisions that are mental actions.

So let the thoughts arise, be, and fade, like clouds in the sky. And if in some instances you feel difficulty doing that, then let that feeling of difficulty itself also arise be and fade. If you stop trying to fight how things are, you'll be more peaceful. And it doesn't mean doing unwholesome actions, so it's a win-win.
"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
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Re: Intrusive Thoughts

Post by befriend »

You should consult a reputable psychiatrist. Schizophrenia is the most severe mental illness it is not a thought disorder it's an emotional mental medical condition. Take medication and practice Dhamma as comfortably as possible, medication helped me for my intrusive thoughts but I also have to keep doing Dhamma to keep the psychosis at bay. Don't treat it soley on a spiritual level treat it on a medical, physical, spiritual, emotional level treat it on all levels. As someone who has schizophrenia I'll share what intrusive thoughts are in my experience "toms an asshole" one minute later "Tina's a jerk". Another 3 minutes go by "what a stupid bitch!" And these are the mild thoughts. When these thoughts go through your head all day long and the majority of your thoughts are unintentionally negative it f*** up your emotions and mind. It makes your face look like an asshole even when your a good person so people treat you like shit sometimes.
Take care of mindfulness and mindfulness will take care of you.
befriend
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Re: Intrusive Thoughts

Post by befriend »

many people get diseases we are lucky enough to have a disease that is not terminal and can be cured with medicine and good kamma.
Take care of mindfulness and mindfulness will take care of you.
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Modus.Ponens
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Re: Intrusive Thoughts

Post by Modus.Ponens »

befriend wrote: Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:11 pm You should consult a reputable psychiatrist. Schizophrenia is the most severe mental illness it is not a thought disorder it's an emotional mental medical condition. Take medication and practice Dhamma as comfortably as possible, medication helped me for my intrusive thoughts but I also have to keep doing Dhamma to keep the psychosis at bay. Don't treat it soley on a spiritual level treat it on a medical, physical, spiritual, emotional level treat it on all levels.
Consulting good medical professionals is crucial.

I would add that taking care of the three pillars of health helps. This is important general advice that literally helps everyone, but physicians often do not mention it explicitly. Sleep, exercise and nutrition are the foundations of health. Sleep at least 7.5 hours per night, at the same time, in a totally dark and silent room. Eat healthy by avoiding refined sugars, processed foods, and fried foods. Exercise by walking outside during the day to get sun light, and doing callisthenics at home. Also, avoid unnecessary stress, especially before sleeping.
"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
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