Meditation Cured My Depression & Alcoholism Without Harmful Drugs
This article is based on a letter we received from a man who had learned to meditate…
In December 2012, I lost control of my life.
Late in December 2012, I had a real bad breakdown.
I mean really I was in a terrible place, and it wasn’t for the first time in my life. I’ve always suffered cyclical bouts of intense Depression that severely effected my life. Back then the word was a little more shameful then it is now. We definitely didn’t mention it in the home I grew up in, neither did we talk about anxiety, self-medication, or alcoholism, and certainly not PTSD. But now I know due to a growing body of research that for the vast majority of my life I suffered all of these ailments of body and mind.
With constant anxiety, depression, PTSD, and issues with addiction, I can’t describe how they were all interrelated and made my mind hell.
I used to try to find the cure in drinking. It worked really well apparently! Every night I’d throw back a 24-pack and somewhere along the line I would find a lovely mental sweet spot where my anxiety would give me respite temporarily. I could just be still, and the pains of the past and present would all just quiet down for a little while. It felt great, and lasted for a solid twenty minutes or so, and then I’d be drunk and hungover the next day. My anxious conditions increased even worse when I was hungover, with voices of self-doubt, self-hatred, fear, and worry.
Thankfully, I realized the problem I was having and I stopped drinking, which was a good start. However, getting sober was not enough to keep me from succumbing to ongoing stretches of Depression, which I understand is common with many other people as well.. They swept over me still and left me reeling. Not often as usual and not as bad but, the thing about Depression is, when you’re in it, you hardly have an interest in consoling yourself with a simple thought like : Say, I only feel like 75% hell instead of 110% hell, the way I used to fell when I was depressed AND drunk.
But something happened in December of 2012, my mind went haywire again. But despite feeling as if I’d rather die than to go on living, I Understood that I wasn’t the type of person to commit suicide. Nor did I want to go back to being an alcoholic. Best of all, despite being so exhausted I could barely summon the energy to use the restroom, I felt extremely motivated to find a cure. A REAL, TRUE, ONCE AND FOR ALL CURE! For the healing of my being.
I’ve used anti-depressants at several times during the nineties, none of them helped at all, and none of them CAN help, as they treat the symptom and not the cause!
Just take at a look at these 10 adverse reactions to treating depression with medication. Who wants those side effects?!
“Meditation for just half an hour can relieve depression as much as popping a pill, claim researchers. They found regular meditation could also relieve anxiety, pain and stress.
In a U.S. study of previously published research involving 3,500 people, meditation alleviated symptoms of depression on a par with conventional anti-depressants.” Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/
It’s time we realized that we have a natural holistic cure, meditation, that can get us off these addictive and harmful drugs the pill pushers in big pharma business are trying to shove down our throats! It’s time to LEARN TO MEDITATE!
“A new study from Canada shows that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy using meditation provides as much protection against a relapse of depression as antidepressant drugs. The researchers from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto studied 160 patients, ages 18-65, who had been treated for major depressive disorder and had two past episodes of depression. In the initial stage of the study, all of the patients were treated with antidepressants until they were symptom-free. Then, some remained on medication, some were given a placebo instead, and those in a third group were assigned to receive mindfulness-based cognitive therapy.
The patients who were assigned to the mindfulness group attended eight weekly group meetings and did daily homework, which included practicing mindfulness. All groups were assessed at regular intervals. After 18 months, the investigators found that relapse rate in the mindfulness group was about 30 percent, the same as it was for the patients who continued to take antidepressants. The relapse rate in the placebo group was much higher, 70 percent.
The investigators noted the “growing recognition” that major depression is a recurrent disorder and made the point that a lot of patients resist taking antidepressants on a long-term basis, either because they just don’t want to take the drugs or because they can’t tolerate the side effects. For that reason, an effective non-drug approach to preventing relapses is a welcome option for patients who suffer from major depression.” ~ Source the December, 2010, issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.
I did know about meditation and in fact had been meditating off and on for a dozen years. But now I wanted to see if I could try to commit myself to a serious, daily practice in the hopes of overcoming my demons for good. It was a tall order, but i was sick of falling regularly due to my own mind. Also a growing body of neuroscience was proving the astonishing results experienced by meditators scientifically. The buzz was out there: Meditate, It’s darn good for you! And so I applied the following method:
And I learned the three simple techniques of posture, breath, and mindfulness listed at the link above. It’s been about two years since I started that experiment, and I haven’t missed a day practicing the techniques I learned. I’m telling you, I’m still in half-disbelief myself: meditation worked. I don’t mean I feel a little better. I mean the Depression is actually completely gone. Sometimes there are hard days, but when issues come up, real, imagined, or a combination of both, meditation always provides me the mindfulness to sort my mental issues out and the strength to transcend them in my mind, and even gain wisdom from them.
You know those Magic 8 Balls that when you ask a question to them, and shake them, a little white triangle appears offering YES, NO, and UNCLEAR? Pretend that your mind is that magic 8 ball. Now pretend your question has to do with something truly getting to you: relationship problems, guilt, regret, addiction, complexes stored in our unconscious. Meditation is like shaking the 8 Ball – you will always get a clear answer to the problems ailing you that you aren’t aware of without the deep mindfulness of our unconscious repressions and complexes gained in meditation.
Through regular meditation practice, I could meditate in all sorts of circumstances, not just at home on a cushion! A favorite example of this is when I was invited to an event called a 60-In-Sixty to support Fusebox Festival, a renowned fringe theater extravaganza in Austin. Sixty different performers got one minute to do whatever they wanted. I decided I’d use my slot to meditate, and have the rowdy, packed house join me.
Adding to this difficult challenge was the guy who went on before me who snag about dreaming of singing in front of people naked! Which, yes! He sung actually naked, his member flapping in the breeze. There was a collective groan and recoil in the crowd. He shuffled off the stage after the longest minute ever and then it was my turn.
I sat on my cushion, got into the half-lotus, and began to practice the techniques I learned at http://www.trypnauralmeditation.com/heart-coherence-system-fp. To my astonishment, the entire room fell into dead silence. Everyone breathed with me! Everyone was holding the space! I could hear my heart bashing against my ribs, I kept breathing, they kept breathing, it was a long minute, but a very good one that drove home a big point!
My year of meditating using Shaktipat’s basic system paid off tremendously! I could still hold myself, and even others, while in that crazy, noisy, space. With a mind clear and free.
It was almost like a symbol of my life, all those crowded voices being the crowded unresolved issues of my unconscious. Now, I just sit on my cushion, get in proper position, breathe, and practice the mindfulness Shaktipat taught and the voices stop, and the silence is beautiful.
**Note the letter above is a letter we received from a man who had learned to meditate at our partner site here: http://www.trypnauralmeditation.com/heart-coherence-system-fp