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Dharma Diagnostic Clinic, aka "What was that?"

Mental health problems after stream-entry


I've pondered this issue lately. I have seen and experienced all kinds of weird, anxious and dreadful things during my meditative journey of 12 years, both before and after awakening/stream-entry. The worst period I had was 2.5 months of such fears that my legs were like overcooked spaghetti, totally limp. Despite of all this I never needed medical help or was diagnosed with any mental health issues by medical professionals.

I know of a Danish man who in an interview told that he was depressed for 15 years after his awakening. I think he was diagnosed also. His depression was severe at times. Another case I know of is also an awakened person who received a psychosis-diagnosis.

Having experienced a whole lot of weird mental and emotional states myself, it is no surprise for me that the subconscious mind can bring up stuff that the person is not able to understand or put into context and therefore he or she will become mentally/emotionally unstable for an undefinite period of time, perhaps short perhaps long. I don't have extensive knowledge on the issue but I'd like to ask for your input on this matter. Also sources are welcome.

Thank you.


RE: Mental health problems after stream-entry
10/1/14 9:22 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Drawing upon my psychology background (I have masters) I would say that there are many causes of anxiety and depression as well as the other mental illnesses, and if a person is depressed due to a biological cause I am not sure how being 'awakened' would necessarily mitigate those causes.

For instance what if the cause of your depression is a malfunction serotonin system. Maybe you fried your brain from too many pills of ecstasy? Or perhaps years have dieting on junk food and lack of exercise have left your hormonal system out of whack? Perhaps you aren't meeting your daily vitamin and nutrient needs. Not getting restful sleep, or otherwise upsetting your circadian rhythms.

The mind/body connection goes both ways.

RE: Mental health problems after stream-entry
10/1/14 11:54 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
It's an interesting question, but I believe it will probably be several centuries before we have a robust science of awakening and mental health. If you look at this message board and others like it, you get the impression that stream entry, kundalini symptoms, and so on, are quite common. This is a totally misleading impression. Once you start looking at the peer-reviewed journals, you realize that even anecdotal reports are few and far between, and the real hardcore, well-constructed, well-controlled, repeatable experimental studies are almost non-existent. My own take on it is that these practices undo early (even preverbal) conditioning, and in particular they remove very deeply ingrained defense mechanisms. This is followed by a rearrangement of the individual's cognitive structures. This reorganization can take some time, and during the intermediate period, the individual often experiences unusual forms of perception and even a temporary disruption of the normal, well-regulated functioning of the nervous system. However, I would be the first to admit that I have absolutely no way of proving this.

RE: Mental health problems after stream-entry
10/3/14 4:45 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Not sure if this helps.. I started a thread a few weeks ago covering similar ground to what you are asking about. You can read it here.

RE: Mental health problems after stream-entry
10/5/14 11:42 AM as a reply to Piers M.
Thanks Piers emoticon

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