Author Topic: Yoga and mental illness.  (Read 16006 times)

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August 21, 2014, 11:46:46 AM
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attempting

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Short version: Can the practice of a spiritual path like yoga help to cure (some pretty severe) mental illness?

Long story, I have had psychotic breaks that have included everything from hearing voices torment me, seeing visions of hell in my minds eye, having terrifying delusions, and even seeing a demon manifest into reality onto my TV screen. It was unimaginably horrible, like seeing something clearly that is literally impossible, or atleast should be. Felt like my soul got kicked in the balls. In my insanity it felt as if a malevolent intelligence was manipulating me and pushing me closer and closer to destruction. Before it revealed its true face to me it tricked me into feeling love for it. None of you can imagine how disturbing it all is. What fueled most of it was days and days of being full of an un-natural energy that made it impossible to sleep.

I'm currently on tons of medications including mood stabilizers, anti-psychotics, and such. When I also need sleeping pills at night because I get extremely restless and anxious, and sometimes faces and strange beings even pop out at me in my minds eye as I'm trying to rest. My diagnosis is bipolar with psychotic features but honestly it was alot like schizophrenia. Honestly I feel pretty dead inside.

So my question is, can yoga/meditation fix me? If so, where should I start? My dream is to be enlightened but I'm already so damaged I don't know if I could ever possibly get there.


August 21, 2014, 12:30:06 PM
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Good advice, Rayn.

Yoga and other meditative practices will most likely worsen the problem. Especially if you are new to these practices because at the beginning stages most people are stuck in their heads while they only think they are feeling their whole being. Firstly, you should have a qualified instructor for such practices, mentally unstable or not, and a meeting with your doctor, psychologist, and yoga/qigong instructor prior to beginning to see if you are mentally ready and able to perform these practices.

If you are in India or China however, or have an Ayurvedic or Traditional Chinese Medicine clinic near you, consult them about your problems. Herbs, acupuntcture, massage, qigong/yoga, etc, can help, but only under a professiinal. For now, movement, proper dieting, good night sleep, and plenty of relaxation may help.
"Spirit is in a state of grace forever.
Your reality is only spirit.
Therefore you are in a state of grace forever."

"As relfections of the Source, we are little gods."

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August 21, 2014, 12:47:12 PM
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attempting

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Well that's pretty bad news, if attempting meditation on my own can make things worse I really hope I can find a good teacher, because I really hope to experience mystical states someday before I die, and this is a lifelong illness... I guess I'm just karmically fucked.


August 21, 2014, 01:06:40 PM
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Teacher won't help, if you want your state to improve, you should avoid things based on meditation.

August 21, 2014, 01:19:06 PM
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attempting

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Teacher won't help, if you want your state to improve, you should avoid things based on meditation.

So what you're saying is that because I'm mentally ill I shouldn't even attempt to walk the spiritual path? I can't take your advice because you're literally telling me I'm hopeless. My mind is an anxious paranoia generating machine and I have a burning desire to experience higher consciousness, to be truly at peace and free inside. But if meditation can only make things worse I might as well just do fucking heroin or something.

August 21, 2014, 01:26:05 PM
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Calvin

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Teacher won't help, if you want your state to improve, you should avoid things based on meditation.

So what you're saying is that because I'm mentally ill I shouldn't even attempt to walk the spiritual path? I can't take your advice because you're literally telling me I'm hopeless. My mind is an anxious paranoia generating machine and I have a burning desire to experience higher consciousness, to be truly at peace and free inside. But if meditation can only make things worse I might as well just do fucking heroin or something.
You are not hopeless, everyone is capable of spiritual growth. You may not be fit, at least not currently for some of the more active and agressive mental practice. You might need to focus on more passive practices first, accompanied by practices that will balance your energy on a more physical level

In your current circumstances I  wouldnt recommend immediately taking up a meditative/mystical path As others have stated well, it will most likely bring a lot of uncomfortable things to the surface that would probably be really hard to deal with.

I would, however, find it highly agreeable to focus on some of the more physical aspects and approaches that deal with energy on a denser level. Something like Qi Gong and standing postures, and some aspects of hatha yoga, particular the physical asanas... I would avoid the meditative aspects and some of the more "mystical" or active practices of yoga, and focus on living meditation; things like nama and niyama (But start slow, be easy on yourself, and dont be overly ambitious. One step at a time).  I would highly recommend starting a basic Qi Gong routine of standing postures, Ba Duan Jin, and the likes, but keep it simple and start slow, dont be overly ambitious.  If you are inclined to the sort of thing; Id recommend prayer. Start and end your day with a simply prayer for guidance and peace, patience and stability, or whatever you feel inclined to. The point here is to not be extreme in any of these practices, as I myself have had to deal with some consequences of being overly ambitious during times of "mental instability", for lack of a better term, and its not a good thing.

Koujy's articles on beginning qi gong should be a good start, though I would avoid the meditative practices at first and simply focus on, slowly I might add, the standing postures and movements.  In fact, Koujiryuu would be a good person to message and talk to about this sort of thing, I'd recommend talking to him.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2014, 01:52:37 PM by Calvin »
Vitamyst

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August 21, 2014, 01:54:39 PM
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I guess I'm just karmically fucked.

I look at my mental illness as being within my brain and not my soul. They are not one in the same, so just because my brain is fucked, this does not mean my soul is fucked since I am truly my soul. That distinction has helped me, because the disease is in my brain where I am not my brain; therefore, I am not my disease.

This is very true, and a really good perspective. Thats why I said to focus on the more physical practices and things that deal with the denser energy body.
Vitamyst

"The only source of knowledge is experience."

"Like, how do you summon 1.4 significant members? Simple, 1 significant member, followed by a certain number of random occurences of Arck."
-Vivi, on the summoning of past members

August 21, 2014, 01:56:53 PM
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attempting

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I just hope that as long as I exist I never have to see another demon again.... You guys seriously can't imagine how much of a scar that left on my psyche. It was an otherworldly abomniation, and everything about it was just pure wrongness in its essence... It was painful in a deep spiritual way to behold. I can't recall what it looked like exactly except for the fact that it had white voids for eyes. I don't know whats more disturbing, the rational explanation that that was a hallucination brought on by sleep deprivation, or the idea that somehow my disease actually allowed me to "see beyond". On one hand that kind of soul-crushing sanity melting horror is capable of being generated by my own brain, and on the other spirits that awful may actually exist. Truly something that I shouldn't have ever had to think about.


August 21, 2014, 02:44:34 PM
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You can still walk a spiritual path without the status quo techniqiues of meditation, prayer, or ritual. When you see your demons, accept the visions, the fear, the crying, pain, hunger, lust, whatever is haunting you. Revel in your insanity for those moments. Stop fighting your demons, mental or spiritual. When you have come down from an episode, try and reflect on why they are tormenting you. If it is a demon of anger, of pure brutal hatred, examine the media you are ingesting (violent or horror movies, books, video games, etc, can effect your mood and sensory hallucinations). Examine your feelings toward people in your life, or aspects of yourself you are trying to reject. Above all, if you can, find people to talk with. (To be clear, you are not trying to fix the problem, you are just taking notice of your actions and reactions. Building awareness is the first key to personal understanding and overall health). People you trust and love.

I understand it may seem like no one loves or understands you or even you don't feel love for them, but I am sure there is at least one person you can confide in. When I was lost I found my way through with these principles. In my second lapse into mental instability I had no psychotherapist, no doctor, no guru, no sifu, no psychic counselor. I felt I had nothing. But I had a really good friend I would drink, talk, and escape with. I also had the internet. I got closer to both my parents seeing that some of my demons were there demons. We shared demons, yet we got over them by facing our fears and stepping outside of our comfort zones a little bit a time. Sorry for the rant, but I have been where you have been and found a light in the darkness (actually, I used the darkness as my light).

With all of that out of the way, I would stay clear of Koujiryuu's articles until you are feeling better, off the majority of your medications, and have been dedicated to a yoga or qigong class for at least a year. What people fail to recognize, and I have talked to Koujiryuu privately about this, is he has never had a teacher beyond books, DVD's, and internet messaging. His writing style is spectacular and his articles are filled with good information, but there are subtleties to even the most basic practices of qigong and other forms of energy work you just can't learn or conceptualize via the written word or even Skype. Without the proper tools you can, at best, doing a rote routine that gets you nowhere, and worst, you can severly amd irreversably damage your psyche and physical body. Ba Duan Jin and I Chuan, as simple as they may seem on the outside, deal with emotional release through the cleansing of the organs and, especially I Chuan (or Zhan Zhaung), builds intense heat and strain on the tendons, ligaments, and joints without proper, in person, instruction from a master. Whenever you are feeling good about life, focus on your goals and do whatever you can to achieve them, in the meantime, I wish you well until you reach your stability and enlightenment.
"Spirit is in a state of grace forever.
Your reality is only spirit.
Therefore you are in a state of grace forever."

"As relfections of the Source, we are little gods."

"...part of me doesn't want to believe that auto-eroticism while crushing on a doodle (sigil) could manifest a check in the mail box, but hey, it did."

"Everybody laughs the same language."

August 21, 2014, 03:24:54 PM
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Explorer

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why not   try some of the nlp patterns on you .. go to a good experienced Nlp master practitioner who is a master hypnotist as well..

the hypnotist will teach you self hypnosis as well so you can later access the state and give suggestions to yourself later..

if you want to learn yourself try silva method ... get the old book the silva mind control method by jose silva and practice the exercises daily 5 times for 40 days .. many people have come out of cancers/ heavy migranes/Arthritis/insomnia  etc 

if the problem is not related to astral/soul/karmic related problems it  most likely will get fixed  hopefully .. no harm in trying i guess

best wishes to you
« Last Edit: August 21, 2014, 03:44:49 PM by qwert »

August 21, 2014, 03:58:17 PM
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NLP might be good. Good suggestion, qwert. But I would avoid the Silva Method alone. Maybe try a seminar because there will be others there sharing experiences instead of one person trying to figure out what is real and what is not. Plus, it's a psychic method, so, you want to be extra careful. Insomnia, cancer, etc, are not mental but physical in the medical sense, so be aware of that.
"Spirit is in a state of grace forever.
Your reality is only spirit.
Therefore you are in a state of grace forever."

"As relfections of the Source, we are little gods."

"...part of me doesn't want to believe that auto-eroticism while crushing on a doodle (sigil) could manifest a check in the mail box, but hey, it did."

"Everybody laughs the same language."

August 21, 2014, 04:00:09 PM
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You can definitely walk a spiritual path without meditation (or other practices that might aggravate your condition), though it may be more difficult. Choose a path, be aware of what practices are (at least temporarily) off-limits, and tailor it to suit yourself. Calvin suggested qi gong and hatha yoga; I think that's a great idea. You might also want to get get involved in a martial art, or try out the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram if you want to test your boundaries.

I don't know about your diet and exercise habits, but definitely think about them: stay away from things like saturated fats, sugar, and white bread; eat plenty of clean fish (generally, farm-raised or imported fish are not good), lean meats, fruits, and vegetables; and aim for varied exercise three or more times weekly. To some extent, your mental health is dependent on your physical health, and by increasing your physical health you can hope to allay some symptoms. Even if it fails in that, being physically healthy just generally makes people feel better.
"Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself" -George Bernard Shaw

August 21, 2014, 04:33:43 PM
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Calvin

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You can still walk a spiritual path without the status quo techniqiues of meditation, prayer, or ritual. When you see your demons, accept the visions, the fear, the crying, pain, hunger, lust, whatever is haunting you. Revel in your insanity for those moments. Stop fighting your demons, mental or spiritual. When you have come down from an episode, try and reflect on why they are tormenting you. If it is a demon of anger, of pure brutal hatred, examine the media you are ingesting (violent or horror movies, books, video games, etc, can effect your mood and sensory hallucinations). Examine your feelings toward people in your life, or aspects of yourself you are trying to reject. Above all, if you can, find people to talk with. (To be clear, you are not trying to fix the problem, you are just taking notice of your actions and reactions. Building awareness is the first key to personal understanding and overall health). People you trust and love.

I understand it may seem like no one loves or understands you or even you don't feel love for them, but I am sure there is at least one person you can confide in. When I was lost I found my way through with these principles. In my second lapse into mental instability I had no psychotherapist, no doctor, no guru, no sifu, no psychic counselor. I felt I had nothing. But I had a really good friend I would drink, talk, and escape with. I also had the internet. I got closer to both my parents seeing that some of my demons were there demons. We shared demons, yet we got over them by facing our fears and stepping outside of our comfort zones a little bit a time. Sorry for the rant, but I have been where you have been and found a light in the darkness (actually, I used the darkness as my light).

With all of that out of the way, I would stay clear of Koujiryuu's articles until you are feeling better, off the majority of your medications, and have been dedicated to a yoga or qigong class for at least a year. What people fail to recognize, and I have talked to Koujiryuu privately about this, is he has never had a teacher beyond books, DVD's, and internet messaging. His writing style is spectacular and his articles are filled with good information, but there are subtleties to even the most basic practices of qigong and other forms of energy work you just can't learn or conceptualize via the written word or even Skype. Without the proper tools you can, at best, doing a rote routine that gets you nowhere, and worst, you can severly amd irreversably damage your psyche and physical body. Ba Duan Jin and I Chuan, as simple as they may seem on the outside, deal with emotional release through the cleansing of the organs and, especially I Chuan (or Zhan Zhaung), builds intense heat and strain on the tendons, ligaments, and joints without proper, in person, instruction from a master. Whenever you are feeling good about life, focus on your goals and do whatever you can to achieve them, in the meantime, I wish you well until you reach your stability and enlightenment.

I think theres a lot of good insight here, and I'm entirely in agreement with you.  I directed him to speak to Koujy for the exact reasons you provided, and was simply stating that IF he absolutely feels inspired and motivated towards a spiritual practice, those would be the ones I suggest. Of course finding a class or teacher in person would be invaluable, and as you mentioned there are a great many subtleties to the practice that are often only explained in person, but if you absolutely can not manage to make this happen, and persist on the practice, you can find the most basic practices in their most skeletal form with enough detail to have some effectiveness in books, articles, etc. This is why I stressed baby steps

I also suggested talking to Koujy, as you mentioned, because he is self taugh, and has had to deal with a lot of issues from his practice.  He might have some insight or recommendations for one earnestly seeking that road. Perhaps he might even advise against it, Im not sure, thats why I said to talk to him about it.

All in all the importance of a proper instructor can not be over stated, and in my opinion is an absolute necessity. Im, strictly speaking, a firm believer in initiatory tradition and a strong teacher/student relationship. I have personally beheld a few of its many wonders and benefits. But if one starts SLOWLY, carefully, and with the most basic practices and attention to detail, then positive things can be achieved... but it as you mentioned, a slippery slope.

You can definitely walk a spiritual path without meditation (or other practices that might aggravate your condition), though it may be more difficult. Choose a path, be aware of what practices are (at least temporarily) off-limits, and tailor it to suit yourself. Calvin suggested qi gong and hatha yoga; I think that's a great idea. You might also want to get get involved in a martial art, or try out the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram if you want to test your boundaries.

I don't know about your diet and exercise habits, but definitely think about them: stay away from things like saturated fats, sugar, and white bread; eat plenty of clean fish (generally, farm-raised or imported fish are not good), lean meats, fruits, and vegetables; and aim for varied exercise three or more times weekly. To some extent, your mental health is dependent on your physical health, and by increasing your physical health you can hope to allay some symptoms. Even if it fails in that, being physically healthy just generally makes people feel better.

Id advise against the LBRP heavily, it has a powerful impact on the psyche and contains within it some pretty heavy initiatory currents.  I agree whole heartedly with the rest of your post.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2014, 04:43:41 PM by Calvin »
Vitamyst

"The only source of knowledge is experience."

"Like, how do you summon 1.4 significant members? Simple, 1 significant member, followed by a certain number of random occurences of Arck."
-Vivi, on the summoning of past members

August 21, 2014, 04:45:51 PM
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Explorer

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NLP might be good. Good suggestion, qwert. But I would avoid the Silva Method alone. Maybe try a seminar because there will be others there sharing experiences instead of one person trying to figure out what is real and what is not. Plus, it's a psychic method, so, you want to be extra careful. Insomnia, cancer, etc, are not mental but physical in the medical sense, so be aware of that.

yeah you maybe right in this case going alone is probably not better .  i am  sure though NLP/hypnosis will be very effective though as it has shown in the past in treating schizophrenia , hallucinations, full blown panic and anxiety attacks etc

August 21, 2014, 11:49:36 PM
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Yes, I agree, if you cannot find a teacher it is better to self study than not at all, but one must be extra cautious, as you mentioned Calvin, or else mental and psychic attachments can, and usually do, effect the practitioner negatively without paying close attention to the media at hand, usually books, and reading between the lines by listening to your body-mind complex. This is why I always stress awareness. From tactical martial skills to metaphysical ability, it is best if we are aware of our good and bad qualities, emotinal attachments, and desires. When we need to press forward, when we should relax, and when we should simply continue.

Qwert, Self- Hypnosis has helped me greatly. I started my personal trips with hypnosis through the techniques found in Nocturnal Witchcraft by Konstantinos until I finally was able to take a six- week Yoga Nidra class. And NLP is a paradigm I would rather love to be certified in.

All in all, I think the biggest spiritual boon comes from accepting and loving ourselves and attuning with others we want to be with. Sometimes it is a slow and arduous process, but if we allow our struggles to give us strength we thus become determined beings and can accomplish feats we once thought impossible with much greater ease than we ever previously expected. This is coming from someone who has dealt with suicidal tendencies, paranoia, terrifying visions, demonic entities, and brutal violent hatred. So, attempting, you are not alone. The path gets easier as long as we allow ourselves to believe it. Use belief as a tool. Don't let others tell you you cannot walk a spiritual path. This life, your life, is your spiritual path, just be mindful of the pitfalls of delving too deeply into arcane and abstract concepts and techniques of the occult.
"Spirit is in a state of grace forever.
Your reality is only spirit.
Therefore you are in a state of grace forever."

"As relfections of the Source, we are little gods."

"...part of me doesn't want to believe that auto-eroticism while crushing on a doodle (sigil) could manifest a check in the mail box, but hey, it did."

"Everybody laughs the same language."