Meditation and depression.

Discussion in 'Yoga and Meditation' started by Hipkatmeow, Jan 30, 2005.

  1. Hipkatmeow

    Hipkatmeow Member

    I really want to start meditating... I have depression... I was wondering if it could possibly help it? I was also thinking it could make it worse... does anyone have any experience with this? thanks much!
    peace and love kat
  2. Sebbi

    Sebbi Senior Member

    It can do both.

    I would avoid it to be honest, unless it's likely that you'll have sucessful meditation sessions.

    If you are likely to be sucessful then go for it - it will definately help. Remember that with meditation you've got to start small (i.e. go as far as you can fessibly go) and when you're depressed normally the only way to get any success is to start really really small.

    If I'm feeling down instead of meditating I just allow things to happen, internally especially. I believe that every emotion has it's purpose and if we allow our emotions to do as they wish (i.e. not pushing them away) and not clinging on to them, then our emotions purposes will be fulfilled and will leave when ready.

    Google: rumi guest house

    This poem sums it up really.


  3. Gonna have to disagree.

    Meditation can help - I do not see how it can hurt. If it is not producing good results, it is not meditation.

    Just find someone with which you can study meditation with or under.

    Am I wrong in this logic?
  4. Spacer

    Spacer 'Enlighten yourself'

    I could see it helping, or taking up something like Tai-Chi, Chi Gung or Yoga would also be very beneficial.
  5. Sebbi

    Sebbi Senior Member

    I found an article on it a while ago:


    The guy who wrote it is very pro meditation during depression but he does say to be careful.

    "When not to use Meditation

    Although meditation can be very helpful in relieving depression or in preventing depression from arising, the act of focusing inwards can actually heighten feelings of despair. I would suggest not trying to meditate when you are extremely depressed, and especially not at times that you are having any thoughts of self-harm.
    As one experienced meditator said, "Meditation while clinically depressed can result in intensification of feelings of despondency, hopelessness, and negativity generally. The metta practice is theoretically a good thing, but in practice it can be a nightmare if all you feel is self-hatred!"

    I agree, and if meditation seems to be making things worse, then I would advise you to stop immediately.

    Hoowever, I have worked with extremely depressed students who have benefited from meditation when they have had constant guidance and feedback from an experienced teacher to make sure that they are using meditative techniques in a helpful way.

    Although such opportunities are unfortunately very rare, a very experienced meditation teacher who is on hand to give you step by step guidance can probably help you even when you are experiencing severe depression."


    "Adding (or not adding) to depression

    I have a friend called Joan who suffers from clinical depression, I've noticed she has a tendency to feel guilty about being depressed. It's as if she is, at times, unable to accept that there is a disability that is somewhat beyond her control. Can recognizing and accepting this reduce guilt and therefore reduce one element of the depression? I think it can.

    A lot of the work that I do with beginners in meditation involves helping them to avoid "beating themselves up" over perceived failures. There seems to be a strong tendency in many people to take an already unsatisfactory situation (I'm distracted) and make it worse by ascribing blame to oneself (I can't meditate because I'm useless). Much of my meditation coaching involves being encouraging to my students so that they give themselves a break from this self-flagellation.

    With practice, it is possible to unlearn the habit of beating oneself up, and to learn to be more patient and not heap on the guilt. I think that this is one major way in which meditation can help to ameliorate depression - or at least the aspect of depression that is "self-imposed" through guilt and self-blame.

    I emphasize in my meditation teaching that we have to learn to let go of harsh judgments about ourselves. For example when we realize that we've been distracted in meditation it's important to let go of any tendency to criticize (since that's just another form of distraction) and to bring our awareness back to the breath with kindness, patience, and persistence. The more we practice doing this, the more automatic it will become for us to deal with our perceived shortcomings in this kind of way.

    I think that the guidance of an experienced teacher is important here - we need someone who can help us to see what patterns of behavior are helpful and which are not, and who can also help us find new and more creative ways of responding to our experience. "

    There you go...

  6. MelvnDoo

    MelvnDoo Member

    i´ve found that if i´m particularly bummed or bothered about something, even just the thought of meditating later on in the day makes me feel a million times better. but meditation really shouldnt be about fixing all your problems because then it´s not really meditation.

    i´ve also read that meditation should pretty much do nothing for you (which i dont really agree with) - it´s just something you do and that´s that. whatever side-effects come, come. but you should never be trying to accomplish anything with meditation - it all goes back to your intention. so if your intentions are pure, then you´ll be A-O-K.
  7. White Feather

    White Feather Senior Member

    Meditation may only help if the cause of your depression is because of too much thinking.

    If all you are doing is contemplation instead of meditation then that could make it a whole lot worse.

    In your case you could contemplate why you're depressed. Meditation would be you looking at your mind thinking about why it is depressed. So you would see your mind contemplating. :D It's kind of like looking at a record playing music... ("What's a record?)
  8. Syntax

    Syntax Senior Member

    I'm gonna say that it has a definite possibility of making it worse if you just do the meditation without a physical workout. You'll just end up thinking about your depression (I know that you aren't supposed to think while meditating, but I think it will happen anyway). After a good physical workout, say, Ashtanga Yoga, you'll be able to relax and meditate.

    Just my opinion.
  9. yeah give it a go. Dont know until you try. Each persons meditation affects the differently.
  10. empathy

    empathy Member

    i have depression and i've recently taken up meditation. it's really helped me, i feel less anxious and much more at peace with myself. i do, however, agree that it problably has some risk involved with depression.
  11. LunaPeace85

    LunaPeace85 Member

    I have depression as well and I don't meditate. I have tried in the past and it was unsuccessful. I am not sure if it was unsuccessful because of the bad environment I was in, or my mental state. Either way, I am going to try to get things in my life in order before I start meditating. I do sit quietly sometimes and just allow myself to feel. I enjoy this because it's like everything is ok and there is no right/wrong way to feel. Just a thought...
  12. Utopia_Erwtje

    Utopia_Erwtje Member

    Im depressed and other things... sometimes meditation helps, sometimes not... sometimes it really gets me out of reality... but sometimes it gets me in :s... sorry... cant get it more clear...
  13. Jedi

    Jedi Self Banned

    Make sure you have plenty of light in the room. Wear white clothes, make sure you don't have any noise or you are not bothered by it , sit comfortably in a chair or on the floor. Close your eyes, think of white light. Whiteness is the symbol of purity, which is your true self, think of that pure self which is you and if you have disturbing thoughts, let them in but do not act on them, do not try to suppress them or think too much, just let them go and start chanting
    "May I be well"
    "May I be kind"
    "May I be generous"
    "May I be peaceful at ease"
    "May I be happy"

    Continue to chant that way, and just let any emotion you have come to the surface and dissapear and when you feel comfortable, include some one you love or live with, in your chanting , that is---

    Say something like this :

    May (some one you think of) be well
    May (some one you think of) be kind
    May (some one you think of) be generous
    May (some one you think of) be peaceful at ease
    May (some one you think of) be happy.

    Keep doing it and include everyone...

    May everyone be well
    May everyone be kind
    May everyone be generous
    May everyone be peaceful at ease
    May everyone be happy

    Do this for as long as you like- but probably the whole session is for 20 mins ... usually thats how everyone else does it.
  14. Hipkatmeow

    Hipkatmeow Member

    Well it actually helped me. i noticed that when i smoked pot... I could have a bad emotion... or thought... but just feel it deal with it and then let it go... thats why I wanted to meditate I ddint wnat to have to rely on drugs to start feeling better... SO meditation does help me and Im learning how to just let things go and feel them... know that its of to feel that emotion or have that thought and then let it go... so I guess it does work.

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