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Is medication obstacle for meditation progress?

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Hi!

Im thinking about returning to investigate a diagnosis with my psychotherapist and get some medication. Im wondering if this will be an obstacle to my practise somehow? I mean if I use for example Ritaline, maybe I will develop a dependency on the drug and hence my natural concentration abilities will decrease, shrink, shrivel. Like getting a vehicle to do the work of my muscles, hence the muscles will lose strength. You will have a hard time to convince me about anything else since it feels so obvious that this is how it will turn out. Same but different with some happy-pills.  Maybe they will put out of balance when I stop taking them, worser then before took them.



Short history, if theres interest

I did a 20 day retreat by my self recently, it was really flat experience, even though I succeded to master concentration a bit better. I wanted to do the retreat for 1 month, but stoped, after my aversion to regular meditation increased and now I do it verry irregular 3 weeks later. Im verry frustrated, negative and low. I succed to not express it loudly extrovertly though, but I fear I will give a blast on my family when I meet them over christmas.

Since I began practicing vipassana almost 3 years ago I have progressed even though I fall back sometimes, like now. When I fall back it feels like I didnt do any progress at all and Im lacking fine expression now when Im in this shit, whatever....

Before I began practicing vipassana, I did some vipassana and anapana, but didnt know what it was in theory really. Once I think I reached 4th jhana and the A&P. But Im really not sure! I can be so doubtful and lost in these maps. And currently I deleted the MTCB book from my computer and dont want to see it. However if I did, I was later into the dark night which was a bit liberating, but into seeing the hell I earlier was able to suppress. And I think, since i began formal vipassana practice, that I succed to reach reobservation and even equanimity, but then I just fall back and do the loop one fucking more time fuck.

Also, the thing is, when I was reading through the stages in the MTCB, I felt I recognised every stage 1-10 and felt very at home when I came to read about Low Equanimity and then the home feeling started to fade away when I came to the next stage of Equanimity. Still I can think that I have not even passed Mind and body.

RE: Is medication obstacle for meditation progress?
Answer
12/10/15 8:04 AM as a reply to Jonas Emil Eriksson.
Yo!  Medication and therapy matter a lot.  I have all too much experience with this.  People will give you very politically correct, or safe answers on here, and elsewhere, coaching you to 'not meditate and just see therapists and stay on your meds.'  The problem is that this may serve to bring up frustration, alienate you, and cause you to want to go your own way regardless.  If you have the spiritual itch, nothing will stop you from meditating, and that is a good thing.  However, the other things are good too.

Everyone who treads this path of spirituality and mental illness comes to the same conclusion, in the end; it can be overcome and obliterated, but it requires a balanced approach.  Many of these practitioners will go through stages where they go off their meds prematurely or refuse to take meds initially.  They may also decide that they do not need therapy.  You will have to tread your own path here, but I promise you that the correct approach lies in high-quality, intelligent and simultaneous effort in psychotherapy, medications, and meditation.

You will have to find a good psychiatrist.  Sometimes you will have to try a certain medications for months at a time before knowing whether it will work.  I did this for years.  I am no longer on medications, but they were absolutely necessary and helpful for a long time!  Eventually, you will reach a stage of development where you may not need them.  Be optimistic about this, yet resolutely wise in each step of your journey.

RE: Is medication obstacle for meditation progress?
Answer
12/10/15 8:58 AM as a reply to Noah.
Thank you Noah for sharing your experience!

Could you be more specific in how it helped you and if you can describe, how it works? Im verry doubtful with attainments since my personal map is just a mess. I had profound experiences of different kinds, but I feel so lost, even more lost then before I encountered any inordinary experience of consciousness.

I was hoping for an answear that was more explainatory and directly related to my concerns.

RE: Is medication obstacle for meditation progress?
Answer
12/10/15 9:21 AM as a reply to Jonas Emil Eriksson.
I don't know if I will be able to provide an answer that is directly related to your concerns, but I will try.  Hopefully this will be helpful in some way.

Specifically, it depends on your individual biochemistry and psychodynamics.  Find the right meds and therapy and you will feel very relieved.  But the solution must match the problem, in all cases.  For me this was emdr therapy, which dramatically curbed anxiety and agitation, as well as a mood stabilizer cocktail, which helped to limit the range of negativity that I could dip into.  

In terms of attainments, I was in a position, at a recent time in my life, to do basically non-stop practice of mindfulness while going about daily activities.  It sounds like you have similar amounts of time and energy, which is good.  I also started working with a teacher after reaching low equanimity.  This helped a huge amount.

In my opinion, completing insight cycles will definitely improve one's mental health, but there is no way of knowing exactly how.  These benefits can not be relied upon to completely fix your issues.  My experience has been that the path shifts have limited my emotional range in a healthy, balancing kind of way, so that I go to less emotional extremes much less often.  Most recently, insight practice also seems to be curbing other negative habits, such as obsessive thinking, and the compulsion towards certain behaviors.  I believe that the more deeply embedded a certain problem is in the mind, the more 'vertical transcendence' (insight progress) is required to become free from it.

The reason I am sharing these things is because I found the promise of improvement to mental stability to be incredibly empowering.  If this has the opposite effect, or any negative effect, please disregard this type of goal-orientation.  Its just one approach to practice.  People make leaps and bounds with many different styles and attitudes.

Also, working with the law of attraction has been very important for me.  This involves prayer, positive visualization, affirmation, etc.  I have done this sort of thing every day for five years.  I can't discount its effect, even if we call it suggestion or placebo.

RE: Is medication obstacle for meditation progress?
Answer
2/1/19 10:11 AM as a reply to Noah.
I been off internet for a long time. Thanks for your reply. I have booked a meeting with a psychologist now and then we will see if I can get medicine. Even though I feel more balanced now, maybe I dont need it. Meditation help a lot on its own. But I thought like this before and then it comes really difficult times when I just want medicine immediatly and thats why I never completed my diagnosis investigation, but this I think is also because I got ADD, I dont finish what I started.

RE: Is medication obstacle for meditation progress?
Answer
12/19/18 5:42 PM as a reply to Noah.
Noah:
Yo!  Medication and therapy matter a lot.  I have all too much experience with this.  People will give you very politically correct, or safe answers on here, and elsewhere, coaching you to 'not meditate and just see therapists and stay on your meds.'  The problem is that this may serve to bring up frustration, alienate you, and cause you to want to go your own way regardless.  If you have the spiritual itch, nothing will stop you from meditating, and that is a good thing.  However, the other things are good too.

Everyone who treads this path of spirituality and mental illness comes to the same conclusion, in the end; it can be overcome and obliterated, but it requires a balanced approach.  Many of these practitioners will go through stages where they go off their meds prematurely or refuse to take meds initially.  They may also decide that they do not need therapy.  You will have to tread your own path here, but I promise you that the correct approach lies in high-quality, intelligent and simultaneous effort in psychotherapy, medications, and meditation.

You will have to find a good psychiatrist.  Sometimes you will have to try a certain medications for months at a time before knowing whether it will work.  I did this for years.  I am no longer on medications, but they were absolutely necessary and helpful for a long time!  Eventually, you will reach a stage of development where you may not need them.  Be optimistic about this, yet resolutely wise in each step of your journey.

This is good advice and aligns with my own experience. I would just emphacise that it's good to thread on the side of safety. Some illnesses may be to serious to be able to do meditation. Others require that you wait some time until you are ballanced and stable enough to meditate and benefit from it. Explore, but do it carefully. 

RE: Is medication obstacle for meditation progress?
Answer
6/16/16 11:04 AM as a reply to Jonas Emil Eriksson.
Hi Jonas, after writing this post on this same "prescriptions" board, I realized that your question had a lot in common with mine.

I have ADHD and have been taking Concerta (a slow release form of Ritalin) for two years now. I do believe that medication was what pushed me through the arising and passing event (together with many other personal circunstances, I was going through a rough patch).

I have not experienced any addiction or meaningful side effect since. Just don't take it too close to bedtime or it would be difficult to sleep, that's all. I don't even take it on weekends and haven't experienced any anxiety because of it, more on the contrary, I am much more relaxed, but not sure that is the absence of Concerta or the "weekend effect" ;)

However, during weekdays I do really need to concentrate for work, and although medication is not "magic" (you really need to complement it with cognitive therapy, and to develop good working habits) it does make a great difference. That is, if you have ADHD, a prescription, and do follow ups with your psycologist/psychriatrist, of course.

Feel free to ask or respond here or in the linked post above. Happy to share my experience, but summing up, Ritalin is not a big deal, it did actually help me in my meditations, and tons of kids and adults have been taking it for decades with no significant side effects, so if you need it and your physician thinks it can help, why not?

Cheers, Daniel M.

Does Daniel M Ingram's hospital have a reputable psych ward
Answer
12/16/18 8:02 PM as a reply to Jonas Emil Eriksson.
I have been suicidal for so long. I am just reaching out.

RE: Does Daniel M Ingram's hospital have a reputable psych ward
Answer
12/16/18 9:02 PM as a reply to Sleeping Buddha Syndrome.
Sleeping Buddha Syndrome:
I have been suicidal for so long. I am just reaching out.


Go to http://suicidepreventionlifeline.org

You can call or chat online. 18002738255

If it is real bad, call 911. Now.

RE: Does Daniel M Ingram's hospital have a reputable psych ward
Answer
12/17/18 2:42 PM as a reply to Jason Massie.
I have had a few hospitalizations. Never really reached out on here. Thought it was worth a try. Had a rough night. Turned out a long shopping trip has helped today.

RE: Does Daniel M Ingram's hospital have a reputable psych ward
Answer
12/17/18 3:02 PM as a reply to Sleeping Buddha Syndrome.
I have had a few hospitalizations. Never really reached out on here. Thought it was worth a try. Had a rough night. Turned out a long shopping trip has helped today.

What were you were hoping would happen here? I think the suicide prevention hotline/chatline suggestion and the more urgent request for you to call 911 immediately if you were really in dire straights was appropriate.

RE: Does Daniel M Ingram's hospital have a reputable psych ward
Answer
12/17/18 3:35 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
I agree with Chris and Jason and Anna, and I’m glad you are feeling better now, Sleeping Buddha Syndrome. Take care!

RE: Does Daniel M Ingram's hospital have a reputable psych ward
Answer
12/17/18 3:22 PM as a reply to Sleeping Buddha Syndrome.
Sleeping Buddha Syndrome:
I have had a few hospitalizations. Never really reached out on here. Thought it was worth a try. Had a rough night. Turned out a long shopping trip has helped today.


It's great that you reached out. This community can definitely provide social support and a kind word while you are struggling, however (and I say this as someone who has been clinically depressed before) - please reach out to a doctor and get some professional help too! Proper treatment will help it pass. Please hang in there and know you are not alone in your struggles. 

RE: Does Daniel M Ingram's hospital have a reputable psych ward
Answer
2/1/19 9:43 AM as a reply to Sleeping Buddha Syndrome.
Sleeping Buddha Syndrome:
I have had a few hospitalizations. Never really reached out on here. Thought it was worth a try. Had a rough night. Turned out a long shopping trip has helped today.


I hope Im not too late, or that you are too low to read in this thread and follow some advices. Im glad that your shopping trip helped, those small moments might seem insignificant, but they also matter.

RE: Does Daniel M Ingram's hospital have a reputable psych ward
Answer
2/1/19 9:36 AM as a reply to Sleeping Buddha Syndrome.
Sleeping Buddha Syndrome:
I have been suicidal for so long. I am just reaching out.


Why do I want to help you from commiting suicide? I think death is a relief. When the concept of death and life vanish. But some deaths can be really rough, since I have experience to meet this event when I used dmt, also other substances have caused me a more gentle experience. You know what you have to meet when facing death, while also having a lot of shit in your mind and body?

What I been thinking in the moments I was close to suicide is; What will happen to others if I commit suicide? How will my mother do if I commit suidie? She would get completely mad and suffer like hell I think, even if that could cause her to wake up from her ignorance, it would not be worth it. Get happily enlightened! I know how bad and meaningless everything can seem, please get through it! We are doing this together you know, we are in the same boat, what you do effects me, what I do effects you.

You dont even know what happens when you die, will you continue without a body? Will your karma cause you to experience another realm like hell or heaven? Is suicide a solution?

RE: Is medication obstacle for meditation progress?
Answer
12/17/18 3:34 PM as a reply to Jonas Emil Eriksson.
I medicate and meditate, and as far as I can tell, the medication is not a problem. I take ADHD medication, antidepressants and lots of antihistamines and histamine 2 receptor blockers and other medicines for my allergies and astma. If ADHD medication were addictive, I would probably not have so much difficulties remembering to take it and to renew my prescriptions, and I wouldn’t skip my medicines because getting the medz and a glass of water is so utterly boring.

RE: Is medication obstacle for meditation progress?
Answer
12/19/18 5:32 PM as a reply to Jonas Emil Eriksson.
I take ritaline and something light for anxiety. I was taking these before SE. I tried to stop after SE but it turned out to be a bad idea. Maybe after 3rd path I can leave them, but for now I function much better under these meds. 

I've had very, very serious mental health issues in the past. One of the main reasons I know I've crossed SE is because my mental health did not deteriorate after it, even though I've been dealing with extremely rough life events and circumstances.

Ritaline does not cause addiction. Nor habituation, i.e., you don't have to increase the dose through the years to get the same effect.  Regarding mood medication, I have no experience.

But I would recomend (to anyone actually) changing the diet to something that doesn't cause depression and other adverse effects. No refined carbs. No processed foods. Eat on a 10 hour window per day and fast for the other 14. These should be enough to stop autoimune reactions to bad eating habits. I recomend watching Dr Rondha Patrick on the Joe Rogan and Tim Ferris podcasts to get knowledge about nutrition and health from an actual expert and researcher.

Also, good sleeping habits are at least as important to health as nutrition and exercise are. The expert on this is Nick Littlehales. He has interviews on youtube packed with useful information.