Advice for Depressed People

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Advice for Depressed People

Postby Guest » Sat Feb 05, 2005 1:03 am

I was just wondering, what would kind of advice would you give someone who is depressed or suicidal?

I was reading an article about Buddhist extremists who committed suicide because that was the way into getting into heaven. Sick, I know. In any case of suicide or depression, people seek suicide as a way of being in peace forever because they can't handle their life. How would you prevent someone from committing such an act?
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Postby kiki » Sat Feb 05, 2005 4:13 am

People who are suicidal are totally wrapped up in a storyline the ego has created, and ego has convinced itself that the only answer to relieve their suffering is to kill oneself, and THAT is just another story.

If they can be led to see (not believe) that the ego is not real that would undercut all storylines, both 'good' and 'bad.' Without a story there can be no suffering. Byron Katie has a book entitled "Loving What Is" which ET has endorsed and which helps people see what is true and what is only a belief.
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Postby barbarasher » Sat Feb 05, 2005 8:40 am

I also recommend Byron Katie's book entitled "Loving What Is". I am listening to the audio verion these days as I drive.
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Postby Guest » Sun Feb 06, 2005 12:48 am

I agree. The way to look at it is, if you don't like your life, change it.

For example: If you feel hopeless because you feel nobody likes you, well, it's time to change. I know some may think, "Yeah, but that's creating a new ego," but you don't have to create an ego, just be. Free the thoughts and that doesn't mean, don't think. If you want to think, think for important reasons, like eating, shopping, etc. Of course, good, pleasant thoughts are always good, but don't attach yourself to it.

Erasing the story of me is the best thing that can ever happen to you.

The greatest book to help a depressed/suicidal person is The Power of Now in my opinion because Eckhart Tolle was once in a suicide depression, and he's free now, so that shows hope for anybody.

Now, some people may think, "I don't like being alive either way," but is death the end? What if it's not? What if you are a creature/human again? What if the same problem comes up again? Keep killing yourself? I don't think so.
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Postby Guest » Sun Feb 06, 2005 3:24 am

Hi,

I read some of the replies to the question of dealing with, or helping those who are very depressed and or are showing signs of taking thier own lives. I believe what they say is true, and I tip my hat with graditude for the expressions..., yet I believe is useless to one whom is clouded in darkness and depression.
In my experiance, I have found that most that are living at this level of mentality do not hear most of what we say to them. At least not thru our words. I you are indeed dealing with someone extremely depressed, I would suggest just listening to them. Let them tell you all about it. Don't let your mind reach for.... and try to make them feel better. We have really no idea what is going on in their minds and to inject our thoughts may just add to thier confusion.
Just listen to them with a full awareness of your own compassion (in which is the presence working thru you). They may take you place's you don't really want to go (in their telling)... and in truth, as long as you remain aware objectively... non-personally, you won't get pulled down, but rather... your compassion will raise you both.
Thru your conscious compassion, the right things will come out of you. Trust the compassion, and don't let thoughts take you for a ride.
This is a very serious issue to both us... in that we recognize pain and suffering in those whom seem to be separate from us, and in those whom are seen as separate... for thiers is a cry for help.
I pray this helps,
Jim
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Postby Guest » Mon Feb 07, 2005 11:40 pm

I agree Jim. You are very understanding. You can't just tell them Tolle's teachings like, "Be present." You can't just do that and expect great results from a depressed person.

You need to spend as much time as possible until you are sure they are better. It is a very serious issue. Little do they know that they can control and live in peace, but be that as it may, work with them into Tolle's teachings.

One thing we all have to remember and understand, no matter how hard you try with a person with such issues, they are the only ones who can cure it for good. You can only help. So help those to help themselves. :D
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Postby Guest » Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:56 am

thank you for this thread. i agree whole-hearedly with Jim. I have had the blessing of living with a severely depressed person for some time now. My first reaction to this depression was to try to instruct. But a person in that state is not usually very open to new ideas or "teachings" or anything like that. The words of tolle (and others) sound extremely "fluffy" to such a person. I quickly backed off of pushing any sort of teachings or "spirituality" onto this person. But i still couldn't help but try to do things to make her feel better. I see now this has pulled me into a depression/elation cycle with her.

For me, the most difficult thing in learning to live with this person was to not "react against" the depression. I know (intellectually) that I just need to stay present, and to allow the depression (or whatever emotional state occurs) to be. I have practiced this with limited success. By allowing her to be, *I* am more able to be in the present. But I also find myself occasionally being sucked back into the mindlessness. I love this person very deeply, but at this point I'm more concerned with *me being who i am* and constantly practicing mindfulness and compassion than i am with trying to fix or cure or change this person.

If anyone has any advice for me or any similar experiences, i would love to hear them.

thank you,
a friend
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Postby Jim » Tue Feb 15, 2005 5:03 pm

A friend wrote:

I love this person very deeply, but at this point I'm more concerned with *me being who i am*

I think this touches the root of our own suffering. We must try to remember... and remain aware of the fact that nothing happens by accident in life, and that we are exactly where we are meant to be... and that we are in the company of people around us... not for their bennifit, but for our own. Each and every moment is given perfectly that we may grow.
When you say "me being who i am"........., do you think that you may be laying down the *ground rules* for who i should be? And where do these rules come from...
I too have gone thru the experiance of living with a depressed person..., in which, has been healed. In my experiance, it's been a slow process. And thru the process.., i have watched many different feelings, thoughts... and concepts within myself arise.... and fade away.
We must surrender to the moment and hold trust in the Presence. There is much more going on beneath the surface than we usually realize... and to the benefit of all.
Hang in there... :)
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Postby Guest » Tue Feb 15, 2005 10:20 pm

thank you, again, Jim. by "being who i am", i certainly don't *intend* to be laying down any ground rules or making any sort of judgements or making any demands or "you shoulds" or anything like that. I intend to remain present and accept each moment as it comes, without any of the judgement or labeling or categorization (that i like to do on occasion ;) ). I do feel this situation is a gift, and i'm very thankful for the opportunity to be with this person. But i also find myself getting discouraged from time to time. but maybe its just the rain?

Anyway, now i have another question for you. My religious background (read "story") is in semi-protestant Christianity. I'm finding myself slowly withdrawing interest in "religion" and kind of "investing" in practicing presence. I've also taken up A Course In Miracles. Anyway, you mentioned "trust" in your response and i can definitely relate to that. Trust (or Faith) has been one practice from religion (in general) that i find very beneficial. But i never hear anything about Trust in relation to presence or awareness. Is it possible to trust and to be present? Or does trust lead to increased presence? I never hear tolle saying anything about trust. i'd love to hear what your experience is in this matter.

thank you again for your encouragement.
a friend
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Postby Guest » Wed Feb 16, 2005 10:43 pm

Hey,

I'm not Jim, but I'd love to help you out in your situation. Let me ask, what kind of depression is he/she suffering from? Is it really severe? Anyway, whether or not it's severe or not so bad, I'd like to give you some advice, but I'd like to know first what he/she is mainly depressed about, or what makes him/her depressed.

I have suffered so much in my life with continuous thoughts of nonsense. Tolle has helped me help others and I'm very thankful. So I know that if it can work for me, it can work for your friend or whatever he/she is to you. No person is limited with happiness. And like the Buddha said, "No hell lasts forever." Even though you may feel he/she is going to be depressed forever, think again.

So please tell me the story of him/her, like how the depression started, what it came from, what makes he/she sad, etc.
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Postby Guest » Thu Feb 17, 2005 2:05 am

a friend wrote:
Trust (or Faith) has been one practice from religion (in general) that i find very beneficial. But i never hear anything about Trust in relation to presence or awareness. Is it possible to trust and to be present? Or does trust lead to increased presence? I never hear tolle saying anything about trust. i'd love to hear what your experience is in this matter.


Dear Friend,

As we awaken to this very moment, Trust is a given.
In it’s simplicity, Trust is an earned knowing.
The problem is…, most of us want to add to it’s true meaning. We want to use trust to gain or perform change. In this sense, this is non-acceptance of what is.

In this very moment... ... there is a source of power underlying all things. With an open, clear and honest perspective, it is very easy to recognize the intelligence within the very cells of life. That which moves the cell to divide, or moves the chick to break the shell... or the winter coat of an animal to thicken in the proper season… ect. Life knows what it is doing… even without our thought.

When we want to start typing on the keyboard, how much thought do we really give to this action occurring? Don’t we trust that our hands will arrive and do our will? Yet, it is when things don’t happen as expected that red flags are raised.
“Not my will, but Thine be done.”
Trust lies hand in hand with acceptance. As we practice the teachings of surrendering our will… our desires…, and indeed, our life, we understand that everything is happening exactly as it should… perfectly.
As we withdraw ourselves from our perceptions, and let loose the burden from our shoulders, we can begin to smile..
All is well,
Jim
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Postby kiki » Thu Feb 17, 2005 4:56 am

In it’s simplicity, Trust is an earned knowing.
The problem is…, most of us want to add to it’s true meaning. We want to use trust to gain or perform change. In this sense, this is non-acceptance of what is.


This is beautifully stated. I would even say being totally present IS trust, IS faith, but with no one who is holding that trust/faith, and therefore having no agenda for that trust/faith at some subtle (or not so subtle) level.

Nice post, Jim - thanks.

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Postby a_friend » Thu Feb 17, 2005 7:51 am

thank you all for your replies!

i guess that i probably have an incomplete understanding of Trust. For me, trust implies a "not knowing" and a surrendering. Presence, on the other hand, seems to imply a knowing (or an awareness). I have experienced a complete surrender that has lead to a knowing. I'm just wondering if this surrender is the same thing as the Trust/Faith that I hear all the conventional religions talking about or if its something else. I'm also wondering if the teachers of presence are hesitant to use the vocabulary of "trust" and "faith" because it might give some people the wrong idea.

for the other Guest...the depressed person is my wife. I don't know why i didn't just come out and say it to start with, i guess i was feelin a bit shy or protective or defensive or something. anyway, she's wonderful in so many ways (including the depression). she is amazing with animals, and she always prepares meals for me, and she is just a complete miracle. I don't think there's any one thing she's depressed about, but there are certainly things that will push her over the edge. The common denominator is her absolute resistance to the inevitable. She's been very closed in the past, but has recently opened up a bit by reading and practicing a bit of kabbalah. i pray that even the smallest ray of light will somehow break through the darkness here. and maybe it already has, and that it is just a matter of time.

when she's feeling really down, she is actually a bit self-destructive. for obvious reasons, its extremely difficult for me to stay present through these phases and to avoid some form of anxiety/fear. So the dilemma is that i want her to wake up from this nightmare and at the same time i want to wake up to the peace which is not dependent on external circumstances, and which accepts every moment as it is. you see what i mean?

thank you all,
a friend
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Postby kiki » Fri Feb 18, 2005 3:34 am

a_friend wrote:For me, trust implies a "not knowing" and a surrendering. Presence, on the other hand, seems to imply a knowing (or an awareness).


I would say they are the same thing. In presence there is knowingness/awareness, but this 'state' of presence is a resting within the unknown - it is fresh and new moment to moment, and that is because there is no ego enity which is projecting its ideas, beliefs, and prejudices onto what is presently manifesting. There is a simple surrendering to what is without any agenda because while in presence there is no entity to have an agenda, there is just awareness. This makes everything fresh and new as it unfolds; if something is new, by definition, it must be unknown.

I'm also wondering if the teachers of presence are hesitant to use the vocabulary of "trust" and "faith" because it might give some people the wrong idea.


The difficulty with 'trust and faith' is that they strongly imply a separate entity which would or could have trust or faith. Teachers of presence, for the most part, have seen through the illusion of the separate enity, and perhaps that's why those words aren't used very much - they would reinforce the idea that we are separate.

What most people don't understand (because most have never actually directly investigated for themselves) is that in reality there is no separate entity, only temporary appearances of what seem to be separate entities. Those seemingly separate entities are only ideas of self which ego has constructed to maintain its identity. Ego itself is nothing more than one's ideas of self which are perpetuated through the repititon of its 'story of me.' Without the story of 'me' there is no ego, only awareness.

I'm just wondering if this surrender is the same thing as the Trust/Faith that I hear all the conventional religions talking about or if its something else.


Personally, I think the various religious institutions took the original meaning of trust/faith (as described above) and corrupted that meaning unintentionally through its continued and conditioned belief that we ARE separate entities. They have failed to get beyond a dualistic view of the world, rather than discovering the underlying nondualistic reality. Of course, this is mere conjecture on my part.

I am glad you asked these questions - they have occurred to me from time to time as well, and so this is my 'take' on it.
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Postby a_friend » Fri Feb 18, 2005 8:35 am

thank you for this articulate response, kiki. While i know i haven't "seen through the illusion" yet, i totally follow you and feel the resonance of these words.

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