The legitimacy of western psychiatry?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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tiltbillings
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Re: The legitimacy of western psychiatry?

Post by tiltbillings » Sat Dec 25, 2010 9:58 am

PeterB wrote:
TMingyur wrote:
Individual wrote:As my wisdom has grown (or so I think), western psychiatry seems less and less valid.
It is valid ... in its own context but of course not in a buddhist context.

Kind regards
Thats interesting. I became a psychiatrist , after seven years to become a doctor of medicine and a further three years to get on the psychiatric register, at the behest of my then teacher Trungpa Rinpoche.
A millions years ago, in the early 70's, while I was working on an acute care, unlocked psych unit, there was a nursing assistant, working on the unit, who was telling some of the patients that all they needed was to let Jesus into their hearts, to be washed in the blood of the lamb and things would be good, they would be cured. One of the patients reported him in less than flattering terms.

I am afraid there is serious naivete about mental illness and a lot of wishful thinking when it comes to one's religion.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

PeterB
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Re: The legitimacy of western psychiatry?

Post by PeterB » Sat Dec 25, 2010 10:14 am

Psychiatry is no more and no less "Buddhist" than dentistry, dermatology, or gynacology. a mindful Buddhist dentist and I have one, is mindful. A mindful Buddhist psychiatrist, and I know quite a few, is mindful.

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ground
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Re: The legitimacy of western psychiatry?

Post by ground » Sat Dec 25, 2010 10:55 am

PeterB wrote:
TMingyur wrote:
Individual wrote:As my wisdom has grown (or so I think), western psychiatry seems less and less valid.
It is valid ... in its own context but of course not in a buddhist context.

Kind regards
Thats interesting. I became a psychiatrist , after seven years to become a doctor of medicine and a further three years to get on the psychiatric register, at the behest of my then teacher Trungpa Rinpoche.
PeterB wrote:Psychiatry is no more and no less "Buddhist" than dentistry, dermatology, or gynacology. a mindful Buddhist dentist and I have one, is mindful. A mindful Buddhist psychiatrist, and I know quite a few, is mindful.
Well from my perspective you are sort of mixing up categories.

What is the context of psychiatry?
It is curing or alleviate mental illness of others. "mental illness" is what a collective has defined and agreed on as being "mental illness". "curing or alleviate" refers to the individual being mentally ill and the collective being disturbed by this individual and the aims of this collective not being appropriately supported by this individual due to mental illness.


And what is the context of buddhism?
It is curing one's own illness diagnosed by the Buddha applying the Buddha's prescribed remedies.


So it is all about relative human aims and the means for success in the contexts of these aims.

Kind regards

PeterB
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Re: The legitimacy of western psychiatry?

Post by PeterB » Sat Dec 25, 2010 11:33 am

There is in fact no consensus on what consitutes "mental illness"...views range from seeing all " mental ilness" as a psysiological anomaly to seeing all "mental illness" as faulty learning...and many shades in between. I am not mixing up catagories . I am saying that such catagories are only found in theory not in practice. In reality most psychiatrists I know use an eclectic approach..many like myself have added Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to their repetoire ( CBT has nothing to do with Behaviourism btw ). Which looks directly at the thoughts and feelings that are arising in the now for that person. CBT is of limited use for those with psychotic conditions like Schizophrenia or Bipolar Syndrome.
And Buddhist meditation is of limited use for those suffering from such conditions too. Unless they are subject to a regularly reviewed and carefully thought through medication regime.
Otherwise the the likelihood is twofold
Those with psychotic conditions will be overwhelmed by the release of cognitive material and/or they will not be able to sustain consistant practice.

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ground
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Re: The legitimacy of western psychiatry?

Post by ground » Sat Dec 25, 2010 11:51 am

PeterB wrote:And Buddhist meditation is of limited use for those suffering from such conditions too. Unless they are subject to a regularly reviewed and carefully thought through medication regime.
Otherwise the the likelihood is twofold
Those with psychotic conditions will be overwhelmed by the release of cognitive material and/or they will not be able to sustain consistant practice.
That from my perspective is the context of psychiatry: curing or alleviating mental illness of others with reference to the individual. Considering the lack of the capacity of a Buddha that is in the range of capacities of ordinary beings especially if accompanied by compassion.


Kind regards

PeterB
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Re: The legitimacy of western psychiatry?

Post by PeterB » Sat Dec 25, 2010 12:06 pm

Its just words.

Hoo
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Re: The legitimacy of western psychiatry?

Post by Hoo » Sat Dec 25, 2010 12:39 pm

tiltbillings wrote:....I am afraid there is serious naivete about mental illness and a lot of wishful thinking when it comes to one's religion.
Well said, Tilt. Thanks for sharing your work experience in the field. Thanks Peter for sharing your education, experience and perspective. It took me six years to finish my undergrad and counseling degree, you mean I could have spent ten years and become a psychiatrist? ;) (sigh ;) )
PeterB wrote:....views range from seeing all " mental ilness" as a psysiological anomaly to seeing all "mental illness" as faulty learning...and many shades in between. I am not mixing up catagories . I am saying that such catagories are only found in theory not in practice.
IMH experience, it became more of a practice issue for the counselors, therapists and psych. social workers. Each client had their own mix of issues related to body/brain/environment/learning, etc. I believe most psychiatrists do adopt an eclectic approach. The ones I worked with were usually quite aware that illnesses were at least 3-dimensional but I did have one psychiatrist that believed it was all chemistry. To be fair, I have also met therapists who believed that talk therapies were the only effective treatments, that medical was only chemical warehousing. And there are psych social workers that believe that nothing significant can be done in an office, yada yada. But they all seem to grow out of that within a year or so of graduation and beginning practice, usually.

Hoo, now retired and Master of Faded Glory :)

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adosa
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Re: The legitimacy of western psychiatry?

Post by adosa » Sat Dec 25, 2010 5:42 pm

‘True wisdom is less presuming than folly. The wise man doubts often, and changes his mind; the fool is obstinate, and doubts not; he knows all things but his own ignorance.’ — Akhenaton

Unfortunately I lost a best friend a few years ago from bipolar disorder when he decided that his meds weren't necessary. Preaching crap such as the OP is dangerous even life threatening.


adosa
"To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas" - Dhammapada 183

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tiltbillings
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Re: The legitimacy of western psychiatry?

Post by tiltbillings » Sat Dec 25, 2010 5:48 pm

adosa wrote:‘True wisdom is less presuming than folly. The wise man doubts often, and changes his mind; the fool is obstinate, and doubts not; he knows all things but his own ignorance.’ — Akhenaton

Unfortunately I lost a best friend a few years ago from bipolar disorder when he decided that his meds weren't necessary. Preaching crap such as the OP is dangerous even life threatening.
Pretty much.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

Individual
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Re: The legitimacy of western psychiatry?

Post by Individual » Sat Dec 25, 2010 8:16 pm

But the commercials regarding some anti-depressants tell us they can increase the risk of suicide.
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra

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tiltbillings
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Re: The legitimacy of western psychiatry?

Post by tiltbillings » Sat Dec 25, 2010 8:22 pm

Individual wrote:But the commercials regarding some anti-depressants tell us they can increase the risk of suicide.
So, all of psychiatry is to be dumped.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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