Mental illness

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Mental illness

Postby CaiHong » Wed May 06, 2015 12:45 pm

I would like to ask members of this forum about how mental illness plays out in the whole scheme of things. I went to youtube and there was a Q A with Eckhart Tolle and a woman whom I surmised was suffering from a mental illness, asked Eckhart a similar question. I was not really satisfied with the answer. I have 2 loved ones at the moment one is dying and the other is going through bipolar mania. Dying I can understand, madness is way more difficult.

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Re: Mental illness

Postby Fore » Thu May 07, 2015 1:13 am

Yes, mental illness is a rough thing to deal with. It is difficult for those with bi-polar to practice awareness, they are overwhelmed by thoughts and continuously react to them. Try medication and traditional therapy, the path of awareness Mr. Tolle is teaching is difficult if not impossible for those with severe bi-polar disorders to navigate, most times they spiral downwards into a breakdown and end up worse for trying.
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Re: Mental illness

Postby CaiHong » Thu May 07, 2015 1:21 am

Thanks Fore,
If all thinking is mostly delusional, do you think that it is possible for someone to step back from their thinking, just the same as a so called normal person and presence can come to the fore. (Not you)
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Re: Mental illness

Postby Fore » Thu May 07, 2015 1:30 am

Sure when the thoughts are not intense, but when the thoughts become intense this is where the bi-polar disease prevents the individual from simply observing these intense thoughts they end up reacting blindly. Most meditation retreats are designed to bring up these intense thoughts to the surface in an environment where one can observe them and come out of them. Bi-polar disease prevents these individuals from observing they can spiral into a really low place and remain there for some time.
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Re: Mental illness

Postby EnterZenFromThere » Thu May 07, 2015 9:33 pm

There's a growing body of evidence in support of thought exploring meditative practices as a therapy for severe mental disorders. For a brief time I was going to be a PhD student working with a professor of clinical psychology in the UK who specialises in using mindfulness therapy for paranoid schizophrenia. Prior to his studies the general consensus in the medical community was that opening the mind would make these individuals suffer more. Counter to this, my professor's studies actually found that thought exploration via mindfulness meditation dramatically improved symptoms in the majority of patients. Some did have a negative reaction, but far less (the study I'm recalling from memory was an initial qualitative investigation - I think 7 participants reported significant improvements while 3 reported negative effects. That study was far from definitive but does suggest mental illness and self exploration can go hand in hand - even in more extreme cases. My professor's name was Paul Chadwick. If you search his name with mindfulness on google scholar it will come up with a number of studies for those who are interested.

If I were you though, I wouldn't concern myself much with what I believe someone else's experience may or may not be like (whether they are suffering from a mental disorder, medical disorder or are perfectly well and healthy). The suffering you are attributing to these others is created by yourself, for yourself, via your perception of your experiences. It might sound heartless, but worrying over the suffering of others really doesn't help anyone. Work out why you are experiencing YOUR suffering and consider anything else as secondary. In my opinion, anything else is irresponsible and selfish.
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Re: Mental illness

Postby CaiHong » Fri May 08, 2015 12:22 am

THanks Fore and Zen,
To even discuss mindfullness at this stage is not really an option although I have suggested trying to step back from his thoughts and just observe them as thoughts.
Zen I have thought about what you said, why I concern myself with the suffering of others and I do get what you are suggesting, my concern is more for the people around him, his young family and wife but even then I feel I am missing the point somewhere, part of me wants to just let it go and let what wil be, be. But I also feel responsible and that I must exercise the little control I have over the situation. I think compassion and neutrality are called for. I clearly see my selfishness in this, in that it's distubing having people dying and going mad around me. I question how much real compassion do I have for these people.

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Re: Mental illness

Postby rachMiel » Fri May 08, 2015 1:25 am

Seeing that someone is in pain seems expansive to me. It opens your awareness to those around you.

Feeling another person's pain seems quite different. Particularly if you consider those feelings a virtue and encourage them, amp them up, as if it were somehow a demonstration of your love/loyalty to share their pain.
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Re: Mental illness

Postby CaiHong » Tue May 12, 2015 12:48 am

Thank You RachMiel

had a good day with my loved one yesterday and we were able to talk about thoughts and how not to let them lead him down the rabbit hole and best to try to stand back from them.

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Re: Mental illness

Postby dijmart » Sat Jun 06, 2015 11:16 pm

I have bipolar. What exactly do you want to know?
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Re: Mental illness

Postby dijmart » Sun Jun 07, 2015 4:56 pm

Perhaps this was your actual question....

CaiHong wrote:If all thinking is mostly delusional, do you think that it is possible for someone to step back from their thinking, just the same as a so called normal person and presence can come to the fore.
CaiHong


Well, there is hypomania and mania, in hypomania, yes, Bipolar people can step back from the thinking a bit to realize what is happening. IF they've had prior experience doing so, but not if they didn't, is my experience. In mania, there is too much energy and momentum behind the episode to step back from it without medication assistance. Bipolar mania is severe enough to require hospitalization many times and part of the treatment plan is stabilizing the person with meds so they can function. Also, quiet, non stimulating environments without stressors is best. Trying to teach someone in the grip of mania about thought watching is not useful to them, as they have racing thoughts and emotion and will not have the patience to even listen and may cause psychotic features if pushed on to them. You have to wait until the episode is over and they return to baseline. The best treatment for someone with Bipolar is to have them be an some treatment that keeps them stable enough to not go into mania to begin with, although sometimes it will still happen.
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Re: Mental illness

Postby CaiHong » Mon Jun 08, 2015 1:24 am

Dijmar,
thanks for sharing your experience and giving some I in sight into my loved ones illness. He kept on his meds due our insistence, He has stabilized and can see that his thinking was out of wack once he wasn't in the grip of it. We are trying to stress the importance of not taking on too much but it seems like he may be slipping back. He is off his meds and now he complains that he can't sleep well and want the doctor to prescribe sleeping tablets.
Thanks again
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Re: Mental illness

Postby dijmart » Mon Jun 08, 2015 2:50 am

CaiHong wrote:Dijmar,
thanks for sharing your experience and giving some I in sight into my loved ones illness. He kept on his meds due our insistence, He has stabilized and can see that his thinking was out of wack once he wasn't in the grip of it. We are trying to stress the importance of not taking on too much but it seems like he may be slipping back. He is off his meds and now he complains that he can't sleep well and want the doctor to prescribe sleeping tablets.
Thanks again
Caihong


Insomnia is common with Bipolar diagnosis, I have it as well. However. I take my regular meds as prescribed and still have insomnia, so I am prescribed a med that forces sleep nightly (and still takes 2 hrs to take effect), after trial and error of lessor strength meds that simply didn't work. If he didn't have sleep issues and now he does it's probably because he stopped his regular medications, as they have a sedation effect to some degree. Mine not as much because they are extended release. Anyways, my doc has said I seem to have better insight into my illness, then many with Bipolar that he treats. I didn't always, but once officially diagnosed I researched as much as I could and have been a very compliant patient for years.

It's an illness and needs to be treated as such. When he's sick, he doesn't have full control over his thoughts/feelings as "regular" people do. Also, for 2-3 months after severe mania or depression we are at "high risk" for it too happen again. Simply because "balance" has not yet fully been restored, although many don't seem to get this or understand this. Stress is the number one thing that can swing him right back into mania, unfortunately. I personally have a job that can at any moment be high stress, my doc doesn't like it, but that's probably the only non-compliance I have... If I was having relapses over and over I would quit, but I don't. Knock on wood I haven't had mania for..umm...3 and a half yrs. I believe.

Good luck to you.
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Re: Mental illness

Postby ashley72 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 3:12 pm

What causes bi-polar?

I know the sufferer is symptomatically inflicted with extreme mood swings (manic => depressive) . But what is the underlying cause of the disorder. In other words, what causes the onset of bi-polar disorder.
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Re: Mental illness

Postby dijmart » Mon Jun 08, 2015 6:02 pm

I googled it for you, but my mom has it, it can be hereditary.

The cause of bipolar disorder is not entirely known. Genetic, neurochemical and environmental factors probably interact at many levels to play a role in the onset and progression of bipolar disorder. The current thinking is that this is a predominantly biological disorder that occurs in a specific part of the brain and is due to a malfunction of the neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the brain). As a biological disorder, it may lie dormant and be activated spontaneously or it may be triggered by stressors in life.
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Re: Mental illness

Postby ashley72 » Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:09 am

At the moment it seems like more a label or category for sufferers who cycle between manic & depressive mood swings than a well defined mental disorder.

A lot of people including sportspeople & celebrities claim they suffer from bipolar, but is there any way of conclusively testing someone for bipolar?

I put it in the same category as ADHD, another disorder a lot of children get labelled merely because they are easily distracted by things around them.

Until they have more definitive tests for these disorders, I'm a little skeptical about the diagnosis.
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