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If the mind is quiet are you free of depression?

 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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29 June 2015 16:31
 

If the mind is quiet does depression vanish?  Does depression require thinking?

 
 
Gregoryhhh
 
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29 June 2015 16:56
 
unsmoked - 29 June 2015 02:31 PM

If the mind is quiet does depression vanish?  Does depression require thinking?

Answer to question 1 - yes and no and maybe
Answer to question 2 - yes and no and maybe
(just sayin)
gregory

Post Scriptum: I hope that clears that up . . . smile

 
 
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30 June 2015 04:59
 
unsmoked - 29 June 2015 02:31 PM

If the mind is quiet does depression vanish?  Does depression require thinking?

In my experience, yes.  But I can speak only for myself.

The trick is not to achievie a quiet mind, but to keep a quiet mind.  You have my sympathies.

 
saralynn
 
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saralynn
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30 June 2015 12:58
 

The problem is that when you are depressed, meditation seems like too much of an effort.

 
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30 June 2015 14:08
 
unsmoked - 29 June 2015 02:31 PM

If the mind is quiet does depression vanish?  Does depression require thinking?


I went to meditation class after a long break this week - after practicing meditation for a few years, I’ve concluded that I pretty much still suck at it but I’ve gotten a bit better at meditating with people who are good meditators. My brain is better at syncing, or something. Anyways, amidst a deeply peaceful meditation, it seemed to me that the difference is not between thinking and not thinking, it’s the difference between thinking and emotional attachment. Suddenly all the thoughts that made me feel deeply anxious seemed like just thoughts, like funny things to watch floating by. It wasn’t like feeling emotionally numb, either, just that emotions were similarly fleeting and not, in the end, anything to really worry about. It was good because it gave me some perspective on stupid, petty things that have been driving me crazy - this nanny I’ve been quarreling with, for example - it occurred to me how much of the problem is on my end, because through the very act of taking simple sniping and blowing it out of proportion, I’ve been framing her as this mean, problematic person based on how I feel, when I could, potentially, hold it differently and change my view of who she ‘is’. (As an aside, it was a lovely experience, but of course as soon as I went home I kept thinking, “Ok, I have to have a meditation like that, that’s good, and that’s what good mediators do, and…”, and then it was of course completely shot to hell, ha ha.)


To answer your question, I think it’s possible for depression not to be depressing when the mind is quiet, if that makes any sense.

 
 
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30 June 2015 16:58
 

Variation on the OP questions:

If you’re watching a hilarious movie, wiping tears of laughter, can you be depressed at the same time?  Is there a difference between ‘escapes’ and meditation?

 
 
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04 July 2015 23:08
 
Skipshot - 30 June 2015 02:59 AM
unsmoked - 29 June 2015 02:31 PM

If the mind is quiet does depression vanish?  Does depression require thinking?

In my experience, yes.  But I can speak only for myself.

The trick is not to achievie a quiet mind, but to keep a quiet mind.

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05 July 2015 14:50
 
saralynn - 30 June 2015 10:58 AM

The problem is that when you are depressed, meditation seems like too much of an effort.

(Charles Barsotti in the New Yorker)

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06 July 2015 13:18
 

I think this IDEA stems from the concept that SADNESS is an EMOTION, and that THINKING a lot of THOUGHTS that lead to SADNESS creates or adds to DEPRESSION. There’s a lot of truth in that. But I also THINK that the key isn’t to totally quite the MIND, but rather it is also important to use POSITIVE and SKEPTICAL THOUGHTS to penetrate your PERCEPTION in order convince itself that NEGATIVE EMOTIONS are ADJUSTABLE.

I think this idea stems from the concept that sadness is an emotion, and that thinking a lot of thoughts that lead to sadness creates or adds to depression. There’s a lot of truth in that. But I also think that the key isn’t to totally quite the mind, but rather it is also important to use positive and skeptical thought to penetrate your perception in order to convince yourself that negative emotions are adjustable.

I think this idea stems from the concept that sadness is an emotion, and that thinking a lot of thoughts that lead to sadness creates or adds to depression. There’s a lot of truth in that. But I also think that the key isn’t to totally quite the mind, but rather it is also important to use positive and skeptical thoughts to penetrate your perception in order to convince itself that negative emotions are adjustable.

 
 
nv
 
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06 July 2015 13:42
 
Jb8989 - 06 July 2015 11:18 AM

I think this idea stems from the concept that sadness is an emotion, and that thinking a lot of thoughts that lead to sadness creates or adds to depression. There’s a lot of truth in that. But I also think that the key isn’t to totally quite the mind, but rather it is also important to use positive and skeptical thought to penetrate your perception in order to convince yourself that negative emotions are adjustable.

But what if you’re not a skeptic at heart? For instance—what if you’re a romantic, whether by programming or as a result of your personality? In such a case, wouldn’t highly skeptical thought derail your peace of mind?

[edited to fix a goddamned typo]

[ Edited: 07 July 2015 17:37 by nv]
 
 
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06 July 2015 13:47
 
unsmoked - 30 June 2015 02:58 PM

Variation on the OP questions:

If you’re watching a hilarious movie, wiping tears of laughter, can you be depressed at the same time?  Is there a difference between ‘escapes’ and meditation?


Maybe I have this wrong, but to my mind meditation works out to something like saying: Your experience will always be changing. You can’t control what’s going to show up in your stream of consciousness, Cartesian theater, or however you frame that. You can, however, be pretty assured that you will always be having some kind of experience, so if you learn to enjoy the experience of experience in general you’re better off. This is sometimes paired with claims that the less transient and changing the level of experience you are focused on - i.e., focusing on experience itself vs. fleeting sensory impressions - the more vivid and ‘real’ it will self-evidently appear to be, making it seem as if this is not a completely arbitrary way of focusing one’s attention.

 
 
Brick Bungalow
 
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06 July 2015 15:33
 

No.

It’s a great source of relief to calm recursive thought and mental chatter but it isn’t the whole story. Depression also has a physical dimension. A chemistry. Some people report being depressed ABOUT something but others simply experience depression itself.

I think there is a persistent and unsympathetic temptation to reduce mental illness to the psychological factors (I don’t accuse anyone here) however there are a lot of people who’s symptoms actually do require more decisive intervention.

 
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07 July 2015 16:38
 
Brick Bungalow - 06 July 2015 01:33 PM

No.

It’s a great source of relief to calm recursive thought and mental chatter but it isn’t the whole story. Depression also has a physical dimension. A chemistry. Some people report being depressed ABOUT something but others simply experience depression itself.

I think there is a persistent and unsympathetic temptation to reduce mental illness to the psychological factors (I don’t accuse anyone here) however there are a lot of people who’s symptoms actually do require more decisive intervention.

Depression Itself

Suppose a person who is suffering from the physical dimension of depression answers the phone and hears the voice of a long-lost friend - is it possible for their depression to suddenly vanish?  IF this is possible is it because an external event can trigger the release of ‘feel-good’ hormones that are usually deficient in that person?  I don’t know the answer.

 
 
nv
 
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07 July 2015 17:24
 
unsmoked - 07 July 2015 02:38 PM
Brick Bungalow - 06 July 2015 01:33 PM

No.

It’s a great source of relief to calm recursive thought and mental chatter but it isn’t the whole story. Depression also has a physical dimension. A chemistry. Some people report being depressed ABOUT something but others simply experience depression itself.

I think there is a persistent and unsympathetic temptation to reduce mental illness to the psychological factors (I don’t accuse anyone here) however there are a lot of people who’s symptoms actually do require more decisive intervention.

Depression Itself

Suppose a person who is suffering from the physical dimension of depression answers the phone and hears the voice of a long-lost friend - is it possible for their depression to suddenly vanish?  IF this is possible is it because an external event can trigger the release of ‘feel-good’ hormones that are usually deficient in that person?  I don’t know the answer.

I don’t think that even clinical depression translates to no happiness chemicals being produced at all. Maybe one of the therapists will correct me if I’m off here, but even the most depressed person gets momentary mood lifts occasionally, especially if the person has a roof over their head and decent physical health and nutrition. A call from a long-lost friend might stimulate lots of positive feelings, but then when it’s done, the depression could return with force especially if the caller won’t be visiting or calling again in the near future.

 
 
RobtHedeen
 
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29 July 2016 17:35
 

I have suffered from bouts of severe depression my entire life. About 15 years ago it got so bad I genuinely started to fear for my life, and finally sought medical help. I went on an anti-depressant - Paxil. After a few days, when it kicked in, the first thing I noticed was that my mind became quiet. I was not emotionally numb in any way - just the on-going interior monolog had shut down, and I felt better, happier, smoother. This was a great revelation to me - the cause of my misery was these conflicting thoughts raging through my head. I was not conscious of them but they were surging over me. After a year, I went off Paxil (undesirable sexual side effects), but by then I had understood what was going on. I began a process of meditation where I could examine these depressing thoughts dis-passionately, understand them as weird chemical hic-ups, and push them aside. I still drop into depression occasionally but I am able to control it and emerge beyond by meditation.

 
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04 August 2016 01:59
 

Depression is multi factor, changing some can help (thought patterns, social life, expctaitons and goals, achieving things, pleasures, meditation etc). Sometiomes its more ovewhelming.

 
 
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