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20100621

For Mental Unrest, the Remedy is to "Know Thyself"

It has been said that most neuropharmaceutical drugs work by amplifying the placebo effect.

However, you can improve the placebo effect by choosing drugs and/or therapy and/or exercise to beat depression, provided you believe strongly in the power of the mind augmented by drugs, therapy or exercise will help you overcome mental unrest, specifically when expressed as anxiety and depression.

As for anxiety, all that one requires is the motivation and willingness to address a group of people in group therapy. Later, if one is willing, it is possible to abandon anxiety completely in a comedy club. Though, the preferred choice to resolve depression and anxiety would be daily exercise outside.

Sadly most morbidly anxious people tend towards social isolation which may lead to depression and attendant psychoses. However, most anxious people suffer needlessly.

Some of them have bought the propaganda that nothing works. They are so jaded about religion that they believe the myth that Buddhist meditation is primarily a religion and thus, is suspect.

Contrary to their suspicion about meditation, two of the new psychotherapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy and didactic behavioral therapy use mindfulness techniques, and even translate the basic teaching into language that is nonsectarian.

Thus the Four Noble Truths become:
  1. Stress in Life causes mental unrest.
  2. The cause of that mental unrest is an unhealthy ego i.e. clinging to a permanent self in a egoistic and selfish manner.
  3. The solution is to detach oneself from such an idea through meditation.
Most new therapies basically teach one to control one's mind, of which most people are ignorant in regard to how it arises.

When applied to oneself, a book on basic psychology is useful to study, and one will learn to apply knowledge gained from reading it to study one's own mind.

Most anxiety and depression is due to the delusion that one's external environment is the cause of one's anxiety and depression.

The truth is, anxiety and depression is due to delusions one has chosen about oneself, and that contrary to one's assertion that the world is the cause of anxiety and depression, that each of us is both the cause of one's mental unrest and the solution to that unrest.

Hence, the adage, "Know thyself".

1 comment:

Steve said...

IMHO depression which leads to suicide is related to Western secularism and the mistaken notion about emptiness & the fear of nonexistence.

Usually at the root of suicide is the delusion caused by an unhealthy belief in nihilism, that nothing is real, and the false conclusion that one's life is worthless, brought about by social isolation.

The Buddhist knows that the Void is real, and that emptiness is the shared quality with everything in life.

Knowing that, the antidote to suicide is clear: gratitude to everyone who has impacted on one's life, and out of that gratefulness choosing to be of service to others.

It is this dedication to life which should be inculcated in others.