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Laozha
12 Apr 12, 17:50
Hello everyone,

I have been looking for a place to learn about Buddhism for a long time. Compared to many people, i am very lucky. I am healthy and I just received a job offer from a good company. Everything seems to be perfect to others. However, I am struggling with depression. My parents' divorce and my mother's unstable mental condition take away my hope. My mother always tells me that there is no reason for me to complain. She does not understand why i am depressed. I also feel very guilty to be depressed. Medical treatment is the last route i want to take since it will not fill the emptiness inside of me. I am looking for something spiritual to guid me. I am looking forward to learn more about Buddhism in this forum and hope i can regain my strength and control of my life.


Laozha;D

Joan
12 Apr 12, 17:52
Welcome to the forum Laozha, I hope you find what you are looking for. The people on this site are very helpful and supportive
Joan

Aloka
12 Apr 12, 18:05
Welcome Laozha,

I hope that you will enjoy being a member of our community. Please feel free to ask questions in the Buddhism for Beginners forum and our members will answer as best they can, according to their own understanding of Buddha's teachings.

In the meantime, this might be helpful to you and you can listen along while reading the text, by clicking on the MP3 at the top of the page.

"What is Buddhism ?"

http://www.dhammasukha.org/Study/Talks/Transcripts/WHAT-MAR03-TS.htm


with kind wishes

Aloka ;D

Esho
12 Apr 12, 18:36
Hello Laozha,

Welcome to BWB! :wave:

Please feel free to ask any questions.

At the Study Links section you will find some advice so to be started with Meditation (http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/showthread.php?356-Meditation) which can improve some depressive problems.

Although, some of them need the aid of medication and, in my opinion, there is nothing wrong about being helped with medication when it is needed.

;D

Laozha
12 Apr 12, 19:49
Thank you for your warm welcome. I have just started reading about meditation. It seem to be a good place to start to calm down my mind. Esho, I agree with you medication in some cases is helpful, but I don't want to make my mother worry since the medication has to go through my family doctor and will leave a medical record. My mother's condition is worse than mine. We have a family history of depression. I want to be mentally strong myself so that i can help her to recover. Please do not misunderstand my message. I would recommend anyone who suffer depression to seek medical help if they can. Medication can help you to control your emotion, but i believe spiratual guidance can change your attitude toward life. That's why i joined this forum.

Esho
12 Apr 12, 20:02
Esho, I agree with you medication in some cases is helpful, but I don't want to make my mother worry since the medication has to go through my family doctor and will leave a medical record.

I understand Laozha,

:hug:


but i believe spiratual guidance can change your attitude toward life.

Absolutly true.


That's why i joined this forum.

Great Laozha!

We think of BWB also as a learning community. Members here are at different stages of understanding and face many different problems. Our aim is to help each other and share our spiritual journey together.
;D

Element
12 Apr 12, 23:46
welcome Laozha

i would first recommend to find a good (compassionate) counselor, a person you can talk to, face to face. you could even try to find a counselor in a buddhist centre. to be able talk about the issues in your life, about how you feel, etc, can be very helpful

about meditation, when you sit still, alone, your mind will face itself, which can promote motivation & self-healing. you can also learn to practise mindful breathing, which calms the body & mind

about depression, buddha taught the cause of sorrow, lamentation, grief & despair is craving or wanting. wanting things to be other than they are is one type of wanting. wanting things to not be other than they are is another type of wanting

so when Buddhism is practised, to overcome suffering, the general method is to investigate our wants/cravings/expectations to examine if they accord with the nature of reality

for example, about divorce, buddha taught when either both or one person is lacking in virtue (deep compassion & kindness) then divorce can certainly happen to married people. buddha also taught unskilful habits such as gambling, loss of wealth, addiction to intoxicants, etc, can lead to divorce.

buddha taught human experiences & relationships follows the law of kamma (action). for example, when a person is a thief, due to the law of kamma, they may spend their life in prison. similarly, when one or both of a husband & wife are lacking in virtue, in accordance with natural law, divorce may happen.

therefore, if we develop understanding about the reasons for two people divorcing, this understanding can help free the mind from suffering by promoting a more realistic outlook. we can examine the quality of the relationship between mother & father and their individual personal qualities and ask questions: "Was it possible or probable they would divorce?"

also, about depression, buddha taught it is the nature of both the mind & body of human beings to be subject to disease, especially when a human beings reaches old age. it is often very difficult for a woman that has been married for many years to not get depressed when her marriage fails. often, women develop very strong family bonding and, even when they do not particularly love their husband, divorce is very difficult for them because they have psychological bonded & identify with their family unit, their home, etc

for example, my best friend was very depressed when her husband left her. she lay in bed for two weeks, depressed, until she recovered some normality. or my sister has been mildly depressed for many years and it was my sister who left her husband. or another friend had a marriage in which her & her husband were very different people but when her husband divorced her she was very angry & depressed. although she did not really love her husband intimately, her self-identity was based on her family, children, etc. this is why some religious teachers teach divorce is wrong because often one party suffers alot, particulary the woman

about your own feelings, i sense you love your mother & father very much but i can only suggest you try to separate your wishes for them from the reality of their individual lives, from the reality of their individual karma and from the reality of their individual personal decisions

your mother is now depressed. this is related to her life's journey. this is related to her karma. but now, you may possibly have a personal expectation towards her to not to be depressed

similarly, you may not agree with the actions of your father. but this is related to his life's journey. this is related to his karma. but now, you may possibly have a personal expectation towards him

so to help your own depression, although the Buddhist way can be tough, you may consider:

(1) instead of wishing or expecting your parents not be divorced, try to consider it is very natural & expected marriages end in divorce when either one or two people have not developed sufficient virtue, kindness & compassion towards eachother

(2) instead of wishing or expecting your parents had sufficient virtue, kindness & compassion, try to consider it is very natural & expected people are deficient in virtue, kindness & compassion because not each human being is perfect; not each human being is free from ignorance (not-knowing); not each human being has devoted time to developing a spiritual path, such as Buddhism

(3) instead of wishing or expecting your mother not be depressed, try to consider it is very natural & expected your mother develop depression due to divorce, given she is a mother who has probably devoted her life to her family

(4) although you are a child of your mother and dearly love her, it is expected her depression about the loss of her husband be greater than your sense of loss. although you have not lost your mother, your mother has lost her husband. therefore, try to think more about the actual difficulties your mother is going through (rather than thinking about your personal feelings & wishes). try to see her loss is far greater than yours

(5) trying to protect eachother's feelings in families by hiding feelings can be harmful. since you sound very bonded to your mother, you can consider communicating how you feel about her & her situation to her. when you tell your mother you are also feeling "very unhappy" about her divorce & depression, this can generate love between both of you, which may help the depression of both of you. buddha taught honest communications in a family is important (but you will have to ask yourself about the suitability of this option)

to end, we can try to help eachother on the internet, which i have tried to do. please feel free to ask any questions, communciate how you feel and communicate solutions & options you have thought of

but generally i believe to talk to another person, in person, about such problems, is better. a counselor, a priest, a monk or similar may be able to help you reconcile your feelings

with kindness

element ;D

Laozha
13 Apr 12, 02:19
element,

Thank you very much for your help. I am not sure if i have 100% understood what you said, but it felt really nice to just share my feeling with someone and know that there are people like you who are willing to help. I think i will have to go read your comments a few more times.

you mentioned about expectation. I do think sometimes i have an expecation for my mother. I expect her to be strong, to be positive and to be supportive. So when i saw her depressed and crying, i feel something must be wrong. Maybe as you said, she is going through a difficult period in her life. She also needs a way to release her stress. Since i am the closest person in her life, she trusts me enough to show her vulnerable side to me. Maybe you are right, i should talk to her about our problems at an appropriate time.

Thank you again for you help.

Laozha

Moonfeet
13 Apr 12, 06:40
Welcome to the forum Laozha ;D

woodscooter
16 Apr 12, 09:11
Hi Laozha,

Welcome to Buddhism Without Boundaries!

Woodscooter

monkey
16 Apr 12, 19:55
Everything seems to be perfect to others. However, I am struggling with depression.


Laozha;D

Laozha, you and I have this in common. My friends look at my life and think it is pretty good (I have a good job, recently bought a house, am healthy, etc.) My parents split up about over a year ago but I still struggle with it because (largely for financial reasons) I live with my father. I was depressed before, also due to family history; but their situation certainly didn't help. I too am opposed to medical treatment unless it is necessary; currently I am struggling to decide what 'necessary' means.

Time makes things easier as does learning to let go and recognize the impermanence of emotions. This is very difficult though, and it seems like through the worst days of it becomes even harder. I have found studying Buddhism to help, reading the advice of the practitioners here and the links they post. I re-read at least half of it, some of it several times. Keep reading, ask questions, and you will find the strength you have inside :)