Stress and Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder and Depression – Easy Way to Your Mind
After writing the article “A depressed girl and the butterfly effect” (Check http://udaypai.in/a-depressed-girl-and-the-butterfly-effect/), I have not touched this subject. But an interesting case came up couple of months ago.
Ashwin (not real name), a software engineer working in Sunnyvale and my regular reader, visited me two months ago. A curious case. He said: “They have started treating me for dysthymia. I met lot of doctors; I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, anxiety neurosis and major depression respectively. I tried many things – Yoga, meditation, pranayama, prayers, alternative medicines, holistic, Ayurveda, Homeopathy…Now I am on modern psychiatric drugs and heavy anti-depressants… The dosage is getting heavier…I think I have no scope in life…I am scared but getting suicidal thoughts…I have come to meet you as a last resort”
I have put in the disclaimer. “I am not a counselor. Nor a psychiatrist or psychologist. Not a healer or miracle maker. I don’t even believe in spiritual healing. I am just an ordinary human being.”
“But you have researched about it. You will have some solution…”Ashwin said.
“Ashwin, I have not researched on psychology. My subject is only mind. However, I know that most forms of mental illness can be cured. Depression has 100 percent cure if you address it early. It’s difficult (but not impossible) to come out of such disorders, once brain mapping is confirmed wave pattern anomalies and the dependency on drugs make the cases worse…I am sorry that I cannot do anything. That’s neither my job nor my focus. You better see some expert doctors…”
“I have no scope for life. I am done for. I am scared to commit suicide and I am scared of even thinking about it. But eventually I will have to do it…I need some help here, Uday sir,” his eyes were tearful. I remembered my mother’s words: “If somebody comes for specific and genuine help do not ignore them. Do whatever you can.”
Suddenly I said: “Our ancestors knew the reasons for the mental illness. They have provided a solution that would prevent such diseases. This much I know. But curing a disease is a doctor’s job.”
“Okay sir. At least tell me, what’s the reason for the diseases?”
“Our ancestors classified the mental diseases into two category – (1) Naisargika (natural) and (2) Aarjitham (Accrued or earned)”
“There are three subdivisions in Naisargika (natural) mental illness. Mathrujam (the genes from the mother), Pithrujam (the genes from the father) and Atmajam (Came via Atma. Atma doesn’t have an English word. So let’s call it inner-self). After thousands of years, the modern psychiatry has proven the first two as scientific truth. But science doesn’t approve the “Atma” factor. In due course, they might. So, for the time being, Atmajam is a belief, though I know it exists.”
“Okay. What’s Aarjitham?”
“The accrued illness comes from ‘Annaiam’ (acquired from the food we take in) and ‘Salmyajam’ (acquired from the atmosphere). The first one – that is mental illness can accrue from the food – is not proven by science. The second one – every being is influenced by the atmosphere it is brought up, like the home, school, village, country, religion, community etc. and the habits of the grownups there. The modern science calls it as conditioning.”
“Uday sir, what’s the solution?”
“Let’s discuss about Naisargika first. It is important to have born to good parents with good genes. So, in those days, people were looking for things like lineage, hierarchy (gotra), pedigree, family background etc. for marriage so that the couple will have healthy and good progeny. Now those things are replaced by money, power and external looks. Today, you are free to choose your spouse; it’s a basic individual’s freedom. But, then your selection could be based on the little or no-experience and narrow understanding about life. What’s more is that you are conditioned with a wrong concept of love and marriage by the media (movies, stories and advertisements). So you could end up marrying a wrong person without checking his/her ancestry. The result? Innocent children may suffer.”
“In fact, my parents had so-called love marriage…”Ashwin said.
“Now you cannot do anything about it. We do not know if one of your parents carried that dangerous DNA with him/her…”
“They say, good atma is the result of good karma. Good karma is dependent on one’s dharma. (I have discussed about the difference between dharma and morality, check website ). Dharma is founded upon Varna. A person earnestly following his/her Varna would be dedicated, devoted and determined doer. He/she will produce only good karmic power. There will not be any conflicts with innate nature as the person’s Karma is based on his/her karma. Our ancestors believed that at least you can do good karma in this life, so that, an unknown living being that will have your atma in future will be a good…” (Here, re-birth is not proven by science. You can check “Is rebirth real at http://udaypai.in/is-rebirth-for-real/).”
“Oh, so if my illness was natural, there is no remedy?”
“As I said, our ancestors focus more on the prevention aspects rather than cure. They have provided you with dharmic principles. Which, of course, were not followed. There are cures in Ayurveda. But I am very skeptical about it. Hardly anybody practices pure, real Ayurveda now-a-days. Most of the herbs and medicines are not available. The real Ayurveda combined with some holistic life style that include pranayama, yoga, dhyana and to an extend prayer (The power of prayers, again, not proven scientifically. But it may have at least some placebo effect in the mind) can do some help….”
“What if it is accrued?”
“Yes, it might have accrued from food habit. No psychiatrist will ask with you about the food you eat before diagnosing your illness. But we are what we eat, says our ancestors. Food consumption should be based on profession (Varna), life, time, place, family, age, gender and individual. “From earth herbs, from herbs food, from food seed, from seed man. Man thus consists of the essence of food” (Taittiriya Upanishad). Our ancestors have done extensive research for 1000s of years and found that what we eat determines our mental as well as physical state. And they have developed a unique and important concept of Viruddhahara (dietetic incompatibility). There are 18 categories of Viruddhahara. They say insanity derives from food….”
“As you said earlier, it is not scientifically proven…”
“RIght. When you eat food NOT according to your karma, problems can pop up. For instance, a stock broker sitting in front of a computer (Vysya) and a person who does physical labour in the agricultural land (farmer) has different dietary requirements. They told it in different language. So, it is very important to check if you eat the compatible food.”
“You said about the atmosphere…”
“Yes. Atmosphere influence a lot. For instance, the parenting. Both parents are working and the child is thrown at the mercy of a maid or play school. The child will surely develop lot of psychological issues. Pampering has created arrogant and adamant kids. In the school and colleges, nobody teaches you common sense. Your job is to mugging-up theories and thoughts of somebody which has nothing to do with bare life here. The modern education takes you away from the soil and sun. It’s like cutting off the roots, which will definitely create conflicts in you… Nobody teaches you the values of giving and co-existing. All they teach you superficial etiquettes. They inflate your ego in the name of personality development. You learn only to compete. All these things will create mental illness…”
“But we have religious and spiritual life…” Ashwin asked in between.
“I am not spiritual, so I can’t talk about spiritual life. Religions are multi-level marketing set up that thrives on superstitions. So religion is NOT going to help you anyways…”
“What about belief in god?”
“90% of the people who have mental illness are strong believers. Why is it that belief in god didn’t save them? The religious fundamentalists, fanatics and terrorists are huge believers. They are lunatics too. So how can you say belief in god can save you from any mental illness?”
“So god can’t help?”
“Yes, God or divinity is the best solution. You will have to realize that god is inside as well as outside. You should realize that you are the part of divine cosmos. You must know that you are pure and divine. That’s IMPOSSIBLE as long as you have concepts or ego. Your mind is fully conditioned with lot of concepts or assumptions about god, depending upon the religion or region you had been brought up. Concepts and memories form strong belief system and ego. The ego will always create noise and conflicts. A person with ego cannot realize the God. The moment you reach egoless state, you can feel the presence of god.”
“How to reach egoless state?”
“It is very simple and easy. Just be aware. Create awareness in you. When you are aware of the divine you and experience the divine existence around you, your thoughts producing factory will stop. No thoughts = mind is calm and relaxed. You will feel the stillness inside. Peace and happy. Our ancestors developed thousands of methods for it. There are nearly 40 Gitas that talk about it. You may search and find a method of your choice…Each has different sadhana (practice). Because every individual is unique. A person is perfect with his/her imperfections…”
I talked to him for two hours. Mostly, about his family and ancestry only. We could locate the root cause of the diseases. We have formulated a sadhana that is useful for him. He is continuing his Sadhana. I am sure he can manage his problems.
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