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Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms

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Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms b man 3/17/15 6:25 PM
RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms Drew Miller 3/16/15 7:16 PM
RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms Dada Kind 3/16/15 8:51 PM
RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms Dream Walker 3/17/15 12:57 PM
RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms Jake 3/17/15 6:34 AM
RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms Jenny 3/17/15 6:14 PM
RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms tom moylan 3/21/15 5:37 PM
RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms Bailey . 3/21/15 10:51 PM
RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms Not Tao 3/21/15 11:22 PM
RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms Jake 3/22/15 12:12 AM
RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms b man 3/23/15 7:29 PM
RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms b man 4/3/15 8:01 AM
RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms Andreas 4/3/15 9:33 AM
RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms Andreas 4/3/15 10:21 AM
RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms b man 4/3/15 6:07 PM
RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms b man 4/3/15 6:53 PM
RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms b man 4/4/15 2:36 PM
RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms b man 4/5/15 5:37 AM
RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms b man 4/5/15 3:59 PM
RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 4/4/15 3:03 PM
RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms Jo Jo 4/4/15 4:33 PM
RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms b man 4/3/15 6:14 PM
Hi guys, 

This is a weird one. I have been thinking about going to see the doctor for a while (possibly over a decade) about mild depression, which I have recently learnt is called Dysthymia. 

I thought for a while my feeling this way was because of drinking a lot of alchohol, then I thought it was because of quitting drinking, then I thought it was dark night stuff, and now I am super healthy, training to run a marathon, Job is a bit stressful but nothing too major, but Ive been thinking about it alot recently and I just dont very often feel really happy, and its almost become the norm for me, that I just kinda get on with life, thinking that it will get better. Now that I am doing everything that I should be - eating ok, sleeping ok, exercising enough, etc, I figure that its just something chemical in my brain possibly.

I know I should go and get involved in things outside of work but since I stopped drinking my urge to be social is low. Likewise with finding a new relationship, I have dragged my heels on this for years, and met lots of nice girls but just talked myself out of it. 

anyway, I think I have some fairly strong Dark Night symptoms at times as well and I think I might just like to see how I feel with a bit of help. Maybe just for a while, to see if life is any better. Anyway, it feels like a wierid thing to be considering and I was quite content to just soldier on with the DN symptoms and deal with it until I read something that someone here posted recently that going on Anti-depressants had really helped them, and it was only a short term thing, helped them to change the momentum back in the right direction. 
Anyway, wondering if anyone has any thoughts around this or whether its just a Dark Night kinda thing that I should try and last out a bit longer. 

I also am going crazy that I cant find a goddam insight teacher in London. Theres 8 million people here and I just dont get it, so if anyone can help with that also, that would be great 

cheers, 
Bman

RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms
Answer
3/16/15 7:16 PM as a reply to b man.
Hi B Man,

I can relate to your experience B Man. I've been there myself quite a bit in my life.  Here's something you might find interesting. Taken from here: http://www.lionsroar.name/chogyam_trungpa.htm

Question: Is this true of any emotion, that you just deal with it by getting
directly into it?


Trungpa Rinpoche: If you really get into it, which doesn't mean to say that you
have to kill somebody or suppress it, but just get the texture of its own
nature, yes.


That sounds too simple.


It is simple, that's why it's workable. This doesn't need special training, just
use basic instinct.


It seems that in certain emotional states, part of the state itself is a kind of
paralysis; you are unable to respond, you're actually stuck in that place. Do
you mean that at that point there must be an extra effort of conscious attention
to that?


Well, when you get stuck, it is a beautiful situation. You have more chance to
relate with the textures. Let it be that way, rather than trying to get unstuck.


What about depression? All the things you are talking about seem to be energies,
emotions of energies, but a state of depression seems to be a negative energy,
or absence of energy.


Depression is one of the very powerful energies, one of the most common energies
that we have. It is energy. Depression is like an oxygen tank which wants to
burst, but is still bottled. It is a fantastic bank of energies, much more so
than aggression and passion which are kind of developed and then let out. They
are in some sense frivolous, whereas depression is the most dignified energy of
all.


I'm not quite satisfied. You say it's a bank of energy. How do you take the
money out of the bank or does it just stay in the vault?


Well, try to relate to the texture of the energy in the depression situation.
Depression is not just a blank, it has all kinds of intelligent things happening
within it. I mean, basically depression is extraordinarily interesting and a
highly intelligent state of being. That is why you are depressed. Depression is
an unsatisfied state of mind in which you feel that you have no outlet. So work
with the dissatisfaction of that depression. Whatever is in it is
extraordinarily powerful. It has all kinds of answers in it, but the answers are
hidden. So, in fact I think depression is one of the most powerful of all
energies. It is extraordinarily awake energy, although you might feel sleepy.


Is that because it wipes everything away? Could it be a kind of emptiness, a
sort of doorway to meditation. I mean, in that kind of depression there is the
feeling that nothlng is happening at all.


Well, that's it. That's quite a profound thing. It has its own textures. Let's
say that you feel extraordinarily depressed, and there is no point in doing
anything. You seem to be doing the same thing all over again. You give up the
whole thing but you can't. And on the whole, you are extremely depressed and
trying to do something is repetitious. And trying not to do something is also
irritating. Why should you do something? The whole thing is absolutely
meaningless. You feel extremely down. Trying to get into the things that used to
inspire you makes more depression, because you used to get off on them and you
can't anymore. That's very depressing and everything is really ordinary,
extremely ordinary and really real, and you don't really want to do anything
with it. It's an extraordinarily heavy weight pushing down. You begin to
experience that your ceilings are much heavier than they used to be, and the
floor becomes much heavier than it used to be. There is a whole wall made out of
lead, compressing you all over the place; there is no outlet at all. Even the
air you breathe is metallic, or lead, or very thick. There is no freshness at
all. Everything that depression brings is really, really real and very heavy.
And you can't really get out of it because the idea of getting out of it itself
brings further depression, so you are constantly bottled and pushed in that
situation and you would like to just purely sit around.


Well, if the whole thing gets worse, then just trying to step out, which seems
to be the only answer, is a suicidal approach. Things get very heavy and very
slow. Meeting inspiring friends, who used to be inspiring friends, becomes
depressing. When you try to put on a record of the music that used to inspire
you, it also brings depression. Still nothing ever moves. The whole thing is
black, absolute black.


But, at the same time, you are experiencing tremendous texture, the texture of
how the stagnation of samsara works, which is fantastic. You feel the texture of
something. That entertainment didn't work. This entertainment didn't work.
Referring back to the past didn't work; projecting into the future didn't work.
Everything is made out of texture, so you could experience depression in a very
intelligent way. You could relate with it completely, fully. And once you begin
to relate with it as texture of some kind, as a real and solid situation which
contains tremendous texture, tremendous smell, then depression becomes a
beautiful walkway. We can't discuss it really. We have to actually get into
heavy depression and then feel about that.


Unite with the depression.


Yeah, you become the depression.


What about extreme physical panic or discomfort, the nausea, the headache,
thinking you're going to pass right out, and sometimes the sweat, the cold
sweat, the shortness of breath where you can't catch your breath.


It seems to be psychosomatic. According to the Buddhist way of viewing physical
health, any sickness that comes up is a hundred per cent, if not two hundred,
psychosomatic. Always.


So you just keep going back to that point?


Yeah, back to mind, back to the heart. There is a Zen writing called "Trust
in the Heart." You should read that.


So what you're saying is that everything that I experience and everything that I
think as "I-experience" is really buddhamind, experiencing itself?

Yeah, without fear. That's the lion's roar. That is lion's roar.


When you are doing sitting meditation, do you bring the emotions that arise in
everyday life to your sitting, or is it simply enough to go back to your breath?


Well, as far as the sitting practice is concerned, emotions are thinking, pure
thinking. In our everyday life situations, emotions are a challenge,
possibilities of path.


So it would seem that the only time an emotion could harm you is if you try to
repress it, if you try to push it back.


As well as if you try to analyze it fully, or act it out in a frivolous way.


What do you mean by frivolous?


Well, go out and kill somebody. You know that.


It seems like emotions take on a quality of coming towards you, so you have to
figure them out, analyze them.


I don't see problems with that. It's a question of whenever there is doubt, you
find out the root of the doubt, and find out where the doubt came from, not
particularly in order to solve the problem as such, but just to relate with the
face value of things happening on the spot. That's what is called, in Buddhist
terms, scientific mind. It is experiencing, analyzing on the spot without value
judgment. So from that you begin to learn with tremendous directness, the simple
facts of the matter, and you go on from that. You don't have to be goal oriented
particularly. And scientific mind is not particularly goal oriented. True
scientists are unconcerned with the goal. They are fascinated by finding out the
facts of the matter.


I don't quite know what you mean by experiencing emotions in meditation as
thoughts. A powerful physical sensation might go along with an emotion. I don't
know what you mean by experiencing it as a thought.


An emotion is also a thought. You're enraged with anger, as if you are almost
going to levitate on your meditation cushion. And it's still your thought, so
you say "a thought," "thought;" you say
"thinking," "thinking," "thinking."


Are you saying that there is actually no feeling without thinking?


Well, you see the thing is, the fifth skandha of consciousness, of thinking,
plays the leading part, the introductory one. This goes back to the conceptual,
the feeling and everything. So the fifth skandha plays an important part,
always. The fifth skandha is always the leading point.


I know the point is not to get rid of your depression or anger, but do they wear
out, like distractions?


No promise, my dear. Wait and see. Have more patience.

RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms
Answer
3/16/15 8:51 PM as a reply to b man.
This is all casual opinion. Just a few ideas

I'm no fan of the chemical imbalance hypothesis, but, have you considered first trying non-presciption supplements that increase the relevant neurotransmitters? For dopamine that would be L-Tyrosine, L-Dopa, or just velvet beans. For serotonin that would be L-Trytophan or 5-HTP. There are many other nootropics, herbs, supplements, etc that people have found helpful with depression. St. John's Wort has been shown to be as effective as TCAs and SSRIs.

You say your diet is ok, but different diets work for different people. Maybe consider trialing different diets for a month or two. I'd say the same for your exercise.

And, most of all, I'd recommend trying some form(s) of bodywork -- yoga(s), Reichian/Bioenergetics, Rolfing, taichi/qigong, Pilates, etc etc. These have profound effects on mood, energy level, etc.

Good luck, hope this helps

RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms
Answer
3/17/15 6:34 AM as a reply to b man.
I also am going crazy that I cant find a goddam insight teacher in London. Theres 8 million people here and I just dont get it, so if anyone can help with that also, that would be great 

Keep in mind that you don't need to work with a teacher in person. I skype with my teacher every week as opposed to meeting him face to face. I've been working with a teacher for a month and a half now and its a big help in terms of sanity, motivation, support, etc, all very positive things. Especially during a tough dark night when you think you are going crazy, it's huge to have someone who has been there and done that who can relate and give you advice.

So far, thats been the biggest benefit of working with a teacher that ive found. Honing in on weak areas of my practice has also been a big thing, along with techniques that are very specific to where I am on the path.

RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms
Answer
3/17/15 12:57 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Droll Dedekind:
have you considered first trying non-presciption supplements that increase the relevant neurotransmitters?
(Not to be considered medical advice)
Try some S-Adenosyl methionine - known as SAM-e
Order online or most vitamin shops have it. In the US that is
I have been taking it for a long time and it has made a big difference for me. I recomended it to anther yogi and it made a difference for him too.
I take 400 mg daily first thing in the morning on an empty stomach
Try it for two weeks and see if the lows of the depression stop going so low. It does not "make" you happy, it cuts off the lowest of the lows so it is easier to manage.
The other thing that helps is a vitamix blender and upping your intake of fresh organic vegetables...it is difficult to get all the nutrition out of industrial produced food.
Try supplimentation and look up nootropics
Good luck,
~D

RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms
Answer
3/17/15 6:14 PM as a reply to b man.
I have major depressive disorder, which is for life. 

I went off my SNRIs a few years ago because of a side effect of high blood pressure.

I went the alternative medicine/supplement route when I hit a very severe dark night before second path. I was under the advice of an MD who was heavily into supplements. She ran tests, urinary metabolite tests to assess neurotransmitter balance. I was told my serotonin was low and my norepinephrine was low, and that my dopamine was high (not being converted to norepinephrine well). My genetic profile explains the inefficient conversion of dopamine.

Anyway, this doctor insisted that I take 5-HTP. NIGHTMARE!  Literally. My anxiety skyrocketed, and I started having terrifying nightmares. Since I was also on other supplements and vitamins/minerals, when I had problems, I couldn't figure out what, if anything was causing them, so the doctor actually kept telling me to increase the 5-HTP. Every time I did, the anxiety got worse. I was actually in a state of terror most of every day.

I finally figured out what was going on, quit the supplement, fired that doctor and went to my neuro to be put back on an SNRI.

The result was that the trouble stopped and as soon as the SNRI kicked in, equanimity arose, and path was soon behind that.

My advice from my own experience:

Never take supplements causally as if they are somehow safer than drugs because "natural." Arsenic is natural, and it will kill you. These things are unregulated, so proceed at your own risk.

Test with reliable and valid tests before supping. I stick with mineral balance as the foundation of health, which it is, and then add single vitamins in to optimize all levels. Retest. Taking folic acid without knowing your MTHFR mutation status--not a great idea. Low magnesium--not a great idea, given that every single cell in your body uses mag. Get the Magnesium RBC test (not just magesium), and get levels at 6 or 7.

I've never found SSRIs to work; in fact, they make me more anxious. Same with my friends and family. SNRIs, however, are like a 2000-watt light has been turned on. They work, at least for me. They can take a long time to kick in, though, like 4 weeks. These are better than just increasing the seratonin--they don't increase the amount; they just keep it in the synapse longer. Too much is a bad thing.

Lastly, I highly endorse taking antidepressants if one has clinical depression. It helped with the Dark Night tremendously.

RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms
Answer
3/21/15 5:37 PM as a reply to b man.
I don't like SSRIs etc.  They are SUPER addictive and unless there is a very serious situation I advise staying away from them.  There are also lots of different kinds out there with very different properties and uptake targets.  Some of them should never be taken for more than a couple of weeks yet they are often perscribed for much longer than that. 

Things like valium have a much longer effective time range than others and is often used to help wean an addicted person off of the shorter time line drugs.  Unless you are in a crisis don't look to these things.

RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms
Answer
3/21/15 10:51 PM as a reply to b man.
If you have been thinking about this for more than a dedicate then you should, without a doubt, look into this.  Even if much of your trouble is coming from a hypothetical “dark knight” it still is completely fine to deal with this on the mundane level.  I was on medication during portions of my paths.

Medication has a bad stigma and I expect this might be especially true in a meditation forum.  There are other anti-depressants than SSRIs, like wellbutrin.

The fact that you are exercising and eating well really push this point home.


“Dark Night kinda thing that I should try and last out a bit longer.  “

No! You have nothing to prove. 


On a side note, why have you talked yourself out of having relationships with girls? That could be extremely helpful.

RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms
Answer
3/21/15 11:22 PM as a reply to b man.
I'd like to second Droll's recomendation to do some body work. Even if it's as simple as trying to develop body awareness with meditation. If your depression is mild and cronic, it might just be that you are too stuck in your head, ruminating on negative thoughts, and disconnceted from being alive. Your comments about avoiding social relationships might be telling. Ruminations tend to center around social situations and self-judgement. If you can learn to forget yourself and inhabit your body a bit more, these kinds of things suddenly seem like less of a big deal, and the world just feels like a friendlier place.

Good luck, though. Don't be ashamed to consider medication if you really feel you need it. It might just be that you haven't found the right therapy yet, too, though, and you can help yourself out without messing with your brain chemistry. A shrink might be able to clue you into some good CBT.

RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms
Answer
3/22/15 12:12 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
I am agreeing with Not Tao and anyone else who has suggested physical bodywork. A huge help for me throughout these strange and dark times has been exercise. Lifting heavy ass weights, stretching, foam rolling, running, biking, takes awarness out of the mind and places it in the body. Even though it is for a temporary time, it is some nice relief. Not to mention the physiological changes and dopamaine and all that science shit that happens to your body when you exercise. I'm overtired right now so I defnitely sound like a fool but working out is like medicine, not to mention the most obvious and talked about benefit, THE GUNS! Having a physically aesthetic physiqe takes time but it does wonders for self confidence and makes you feel much better.

Keep in mind though, if you are "on the ride", all of these things are just bandaids, temporary solutions, and to my knowledge the easiest way to make permanent change is through insight meditation. However, it does not at all change the benefit of exercise, clean eating, stretching, even anti-depressants of medication. All of this stuff will definitely make things easier for you. This makes me think about how my teacher keeps recommeding that I do metta meditation. I keep thinking "but that shit is lame, it wont help me make progress on the spiritual path". By that logic, I shouldnt bother working out or eating clean because they would not help me on the spiritual path either.

Anyway, I definitely just had a moment of self realization but I hope this it of some benefit to you b man, good luck.

RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms
Answer
3/23/15 7:29 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
apreciate all the time and effort in these replies. Its really helped me in making a decision about going to the doctor or not. And I'm gonna go and get some bloodtests done this week and just find out if anything is physiologically wrong and then make a decision from there. I think there is no right answer with this stuff, but based on what I have read on here and from talking with friends and family, some of whom have been on antidepressants in the past, I think my conculsion is this:

1 - its not something to be taken lightly
2 - its not something to be taken too seriously either 
3 - if it works, do it for a period and reassess things down the line

anyway. I'll let you know how I get on. 

Considering the option of maybe also (or instead) getting some councelling/therepy again. It helped to quit booze a while back and sort a few things out I was struggling with at the time. Maybe its time to do so again, help to deal with some of my "stuff" that seems to be presenting itself again recently, since taking it up a few notches over the last 3 months with the meditation volume, and consistency.

anyway. thanks again all. Much apreciated indeed. 

RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms
Answer
4/3/15 8:01 AM as a reply to b man.
well i did go to the doctor and they have given me some SSRIs - I took them for a few days and they were really strong. Kind of like taking MDMA or Ecstasy tablets but without the euproria. I decided they werent for me, and that im going to try again to deal with the way I feel via natural means - I've been learning about what blocks or interferres with seretonin production (green tea is on that list apparently, which I used to drink buckets of, so thats all gone in the rubbish bin.) and started taking some St. Johns Wort tablets which is given as an alternative to antidepressants in Germany apparently, in all but the most serious depression.

The emotional feeling is back now I have been off them for a few days, and I really starting to think that these are darknight / meditation symptoms. Feeling raw from vipassana. I have felt like this a few times after big amounts of meditation and am now thinking that the sustained vipassana practice that I have been building over day and night is meaning that this is how I am feeling because of that. Theres still alot of the physcial and energetic blockage in my left leg that is releasing and I think that might be letting out some toxins and other sanharas. 

I also found that the medication made it much harder to do vipassana initally. I could get to feeling my body and get samadi but it took longer and felt like there was a viel to get through. 

RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms
Answer
4/3/15 9:33 AM as a reply to b man.
It can take weeks to get the medications inorder. A few days is not enough time for it to worm. I personally was put on a drug called Efexor. It worked wonders for me. My dad has also has good effects on drugs except onetime thecdoctor forgot to remind him of the inset symptoms. Was not a fun few weeks for him. Then it was smooth sailing.

Honestly sometimes I think these dark night stuff people talk about is just a genetic dispossition towards depression, given the groups of people that often become searchers on the path.

RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms
Answer
4/3/15 10:21 AM as a reply to b man.
Untreated depression leads to brain damage. One should choose scientifically validated methods to treat it. So all chakras, energies, christals should be the very last resort. Zapping the brain with electricity is a more prudent step than chakras. Quicker also.

RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms
Answer
4/3/15 6:07 PM as a reply to b man.
Gordo . .:
...Thai samatha based insight offers more happiness and more stable concentration. Samatha is good because it will help you to sit with the sadness mind state and not blow out into anger ect...


thats interesting you say that Gordo, because I think I remember reading that Samatha was a good way to bring up alot of our "stuff" and doing that during a dark night wasnt particually advisable, and better to wait until reaching path. Have I misunderstood that? I cant remember where I read it, maybe MTCB or maybe here on DhO

RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms
Answer
4/3/15 6:14 PM as a reply to b man.
Gordo . .:
You can also get a bottleneck situation in the legs,arms and head. It helps if you can learn when to back off a bit as a good  steady flow is better than a traffic jam, so to speak...


Hi Gordo, 
thanks, this is interesting information. Ive been working with a very percevable energy blockage in my left thigh, for about 3-4 years since I first noticed it on my first 10 retreat. Just recenly its really starting to shift in release energy at almost every sit, and quite often just during the day. I was quite worried a while back wondering if it would make me sick when it finally released, but it has been much more gradual than that. 3 years is not a quick period of time after all. 

RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms
Answer
4/3/15 6:53 PM as a reply to b man.
b man:
Gordo . .:
...Thai samatha based insight offers more happiness and more stable concentration. Samatha is good because it will help you to sit with the sadness mind state and not blow out into anger ect...


thats interesting you say that Gordo, because I think I remember reading that Samatha was a good way to bring up alot of our "stuff" and doing that during a dark night wasnt particually advisable, and better to wait until reaching path. Have I misunderstood that? I cant remember where I read it, maybe MTCB or maybe here on DhO
found it - on page 253 of the old MTCB ...
The period after completing a progress of insight and after gaini ng some stron g se nse o f mas tery of its st ages is also a great time to work on one’s concentration practice abilities. The reason for waiting is that concentration practices and insight practices tend to have a certain inertia to them. If you have recently been trying to get into really stable samatha states, this can make it harder to see things flicker for a while. If you have recently been training hard to see things flicker, it can be hard to get into really stable samatha jhanas. Thus, what you don’t want to do is to gunk up the natural mastery phase of your practice until you are comfortable enough with these stages to get stuck in one and not have it be a big deal. This usually takes at least a few weeks, but this is a very crude guideline, and everyone is different regarding issues of timing. Judge for yourself how well you handle stages such as Re-observation and decide if you would be alright if you got stuck in it for a few hours. The time after gaining some mastery of these stages is also a great time to work on one’s stuff. Actually, doing concentration practices and working on one’s stuff go very well together, as concentration states tend to cause our stuff to come bubbling to the surface where we can work with it.

RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms
Answer
4/4/15 2:36 PM as a reply to b man.
Gordo . .:
.... I found that doing samatha did not stop insight, the 3 characteristics continued to present themselves. .....

thats interesting. I wonder, is it the same for doing metta? Quite a few people have mentioned that more metta would be beneficial, but I dont want to slide back down the ladder too much, if you know what I mean, as I find the cycling more violent if I have big breaks in vipassana and then come back to it... Would you recommend switching entirely to doing Samatha practices in that case then Gordo? What about daniel ingrams recommendation to wait until path has been reached to do this?

RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms
Answer
4/4/15 3:03 PM as a reply to b man.
I relate to several things already written here, b man. I would just add, for myself, an analogy to the brain re-setting when it's moved from the presence of a high sugar/salt diet to a low sugar/salt diet: It takes a while for the hypothalmus to re-establish a new homeostatis around the new conditions (low salt/sugar).

So, too, meditation: a lot of activities (creating/driving at big up and down moods/pleasant sensations) goes away and it takes a moment for the mind to re-regulate around sensate gratification. I think this is why "simpler pleasures" are associated with meditative practices.

Does that make any sense in your experience?

And I feel that at this point one is transitioning, that just like the etymology of jhana moves to zen (jhana-->cha'an-->zen), as the meditatively sourced new set-point (homestatis) happens --- gratification and stress sensations become more subtle (as I think you indicate above) --- the practice enters the momementarily application, vitaka-vicarra, meditative practices on/off cushion can become more sincerely inspected, a natural "deeper dive"  may happen.

I liked reading your thread and replies. Thanks. 

______________
editedx1 for clarity 
And i see your reply to Gordo. 
Metta is useful. If it's hard to 
remember to use, that's insightful to me emoticon

RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms
Answer
4/4/15 4:33 PM as a reply to b man.
I second everything that Gordo wrote.
This did it for me, too. I couldn´t have described it in such an exact way.
It took me one year intense sitting, one hour in the morning and one before bed, then the depressive states dissolved together with some real hard blockages.
There are still some blockages and blind areas left, which I am currently working with, but these do not "contain" depression.
Metta is also good. I did not do systematic metta practice, just when the sitting was too hard, or when I got impatient, I reminded myself to be kind with myself.

RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms
Answer
4/5/15 5:37 AM as a reply to b man.
Gordo . .:
...
Hacking into the vedena underlying depression to expose non self were the fish and chips.....

Yep agreed. This is vipassana, though, right? Hacking into this vedena or feeling tone, all around the body is primarily been my practice. I am interested in doing more samatha and metta, but it seems that the suggestion of most is that doing insight practice is the only way out of the dark night. push on through. Your post challenges that belief, which I realise I may have misunderstood. It also indicates that not one way fits for everyone, though I got the impression from MTCB that daniel had done some pretty thorough research before writing that book and had met lots and lots of people along the way.

Maybe I am clinging to tightly to the methods in the book, its true but they are so clear and that resonates with me. Alot of what I had found to be of challenge, apart from dealing with the "fall out" of meditation cycles, is that its easy to get confused about simple methods, when you read and read and realise that those methods arent so simple after all. I really appreciate the advice and I have personally experienced the benefits and joy inherent in both Samatha and Metta practices, so maybe I need to examine the fear of sliding back if I were to stop or reduce Vipassana time to devote more of that time to metta and samatha.

I think going through a few years of cycling and meditating alot where I was getting alot of dark night stuff coming up, then having to stop for a period as it was just too hard to hold my life together due to the way those cycles were making me feel, has impacted me a little. This impact has been both positive and negative: Positive, in that I decided that I needed to find a way to stop the breaks in practice, and maybe this would avoid the boom and bust type journey I was having with awakening. So I have been trying this, for nearly 4 months now without missing an evening or a morning sit. But I found I had to reduce the length of the sits, if I wanted to continue to practice in this way, to reduce the volatility of the fall-out symptoms. Negative in that I think this is why I am reluctant to "get off the ride" so to speak and start doing other forms of meditation (metta, samatha) because it feels like I things are more manageable now, I seem to get less of the really intense boom and bust cycling but there is a feeling that the dukkha is just there a lot of the time, just like a baseline sometimes. I guess I thought it was managable like that but perhaps the fact that I was prepared to try antidepressants last week proves otherwise. 

I used to always do Samatha if I felt I had a case of "monkey mind" that morning or evening or for any other reason I wasnt able to focus clearly, but I am finding if I keep vipassana practice consistant, doing even a small amount (10-30 mins) of vipassana mornining and night, it means that my mind stays lazer sharp and I dont feel like samatha is required. I also experimented with doing metta at the end of some sits but this didnt seem to work too great logistically. Somone recently mentioned that they have decided to do Metta on fridays, I quite like that idea of choosing one or maybe two days to dedicate in this manner, but am wondering if this will break the momentum of the vipassana?

I think i might be a little hung up on this idea of keeping that momentum going. I seem to have read a number of people who have said that it was only when they really started to get consistancy and momentum like this that their own practices really started to turn a corner, so I have been trying to go down that road also, but I guess there was no indication from them just how strict they were being with that.

By the way, I appreciate the help a lot. 

RE: Antidepressants and Dark Night symptoms
Answer
4/5/15 3:59 PM as a reply to b man.
Thanks. Thats genuniely great advice which really addresses some of the key issues that I have been trying to get straight. Your answers are clear, concise and pragmatic and have helped to clear up quite a few doubts or confusions, so thats for taking the time to address some of these issues, its very much apprieciated.