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Leo17 Posted - Jan 25 2012 : 8:14:51 PM
love and light to the ayp community. i would really appreciate your input on an issue i am currently dealing with.

i have been having a very difficult time emotionally - dealing with a lot of anxiety and depression and downright fear to be honest. i have been struggling to get through work each day and intense suffering has almost become my norm :( i simply can not go on like this w/o changing something.

i am wondering what to do.. i am thinking it might be time to surrender to the big bad antidepressants to help me get out of this funk.

i do the morning and afternoon SB and DM. but have been adding extra meditation time. i read somewhere that most emotions are primarily physiological and i am trying to let them go w/ a vippassana approach. i even do deep breathing throughout the entire day, but can't seem to re-wire myself out of this conditioned anxious loop that is almost constantly running.

is there anything i should know or could be doing to help better my situation? thanks for any input.

25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Mikananda Posted - Feb 18 2012 : 09:58:56 AM
Find some other activities in your life that you enjoy. Take up music, art, or some type of physical activity. You will meet like minded people, reduce stress and have fun.
Leo17 Posted - Feb 15 2012 : 6:24:18 PM
@LittleTurtle: Totally, Celexa (or Citalopram) is what I landed on after doing quite a bit of research on the best drug w/ the least side effects for anxiety/depression. It has been more helpful than I could have hoped for in giving me the perspective you are talking about. I honestly could go back to a non-medicated state w/o much of a problem because I have done it for so long and its what I am use to. But I think using this as a transition will be a good thing...
LittleTurtle Posted - Feb 15 2012 : 1:23:04 PM
I usually stay away from any meds if I can but I have taken Celexa a couple times in the past when I really needed it and it was worth doing. It allowed me to take a step back so to speak and view the situation causing the depression from a different calmer perspective. Celexa is good because it acts almost immediately unlike many other psyche meds. Just be careful that when you are ready to come off of it that you wean yourself down. Don't stop abruptly because in some people that can cause a horrible crash.
warlock Posted - Feb 15 2012 : 12:30:15 PM
Leo17- Sounds like you are doing the right thing. Anti-Depressants can be helpful in some circumstances. Most people find that they need them for a while and eventually are able to stop using them once the depression has abated.
matangi Posted - Feb 15 2012 : 01:24:40 AM
I have just now taken the time to read these wonderful posts...silly me. Leo, my heart warms to hear you are feeling better!
matangi Posted - Feb 15 2012 : 01:11:46 AM
Forgive me if I am repeating another post. Something you wrote rang strong...
"can't seem to re-wire myself out of this conditioned anxious loop that is almost constantly running" ... I have used acupuncture describing my own feeling in almost the same words and was told that it is difficult to unhook that loop. In those times, acupuncture helped me immensely.

In other, even more difficult times, i chose wine I suppose because I trusted the wineries more than I trusted the pharmaceuticals. But that is personal choice.

If you are inclined at all to try alternative methods, I encourage that. If you feel an allopathic strategy best, listen to your voice. These are interesting and sometimes challenging times. Do not fault yourself and stay honest with yourself.
Leo17 Posted - Feb 14 2012 : 8:39:08 PM
Thanks for all the kind words and advice. I did start on a mild anti-depressant, Celexa, a week ago and it is really helping "return to homeostasis" so to speak. And that is just what I needed right now. So yes, warlock, I agree to use everything in our arsenal to cope. I will check out the Min Chex, they sound wonderful. After starting the anti-depressant, the only "help" its providing is just a mild numbing of the nerves allowing me to be more tolerable of people and my environment.

@AssortedVibrations: I totally agree I think they will help me get through the tough time and if I continue my daily practices and keep a clean diet ( I do tend to consume alcohol a few times a week) then I think progress will be made and eventually I'll be able to transition back off of them w/ ease.

@Etherfish: Yes I agree that the modern way of life can be too much for a sensitive person, especially having to work long ours just to survive comes into play. Our human bodies and nervous systems are trying to adjust to this new way of life at breakneck speed. Its not a surprise to me that anxiety and depression is very common. We are biologically the same as we were 50,000 years ago but survival now depends on a whole different skill set than our hunter / gatherer days.

This suffering is my great teacher, and I will learn each lesson life has in store for me as they come. But for now, I am grateful modern medicine does have somewhat of a temporary remedy for the problem, they are more effective then I thought they would be.

Love to you all :)
warlock Posted - Feb 14 2012 : 11:07:57 AM
I don't believe there is one way to treat depression. Yoga will help spiritually. Sometimes, people have chemical imbalances. I was depressed for a while... went to a doctor.. found out I had hypothyroidism..a physical condition. It is good to take a balanced approach. Modern medicine is absolutely helpful along with ancient spiritual traditions. Use everything in your arsenal to help with depression.
Queen Posted - Feb 13 2012 : 6:57:25 PM
Hi Leo,

I am quite a newbie to AYP so I'm not sure I can offer any great wisdom just yet, but I just wanted to say I relate to your post... I've been battling depression for around 3 years. Recently I have been experiencing a lot of irrational fear - the anxiety is often catatonic and interspersed with panic attacks. I too am hoping meditation will help. Do you drink? I've found it makes it worse, so I've given it up for the time being.

Try not to think of anti-depressants as a 'big bad', or the final indication that you have 'failed'. You're not surrendering, you're simply getting a helping hand to get you back above water. There is a lot of taboo surrounding depression and medication, which is so upsetting - it just makes the whole experience worse!

And that's good advice Estherfish... Pressure = anxiety. Rarely do we do something that we don't deem 'useful' in some way, that doesn't revolve around working towards some kind of goal. We're very bad at experiencing intrinsic joy (well, I know I am anyway...)

I think we should order some of those Min-chex :)
img Posted - Feb 13 2012 : 01:33:44 AM
I found it helpful in times of stress and suffering to eat as little as possible. Because we, Western people, eat huge amounts of food, let me say that 'as little as possible' means that you are always hungry, but you eat just enough that you don't die. It's nothing extreme though: for example, when you get a headache from hunger or feel you're getting dizzy, eat a small bit of food so oyu don't collapse.
If you are working, then adapt the food level so that you are hungry, but you can somehow get through your work day.
Hunger diverts your attention from emotions, protects you from being spun round and round by your subconscious and allows you to get through work time and human interactions, one day at a time.
As for the suggestion to talk to a priest, it is more likely to work if you process verbal communication well. I personally found that just sitting in the church helps me deal with hard times; the building itself, especially of old churches, has accumulated energy which, combined with your own, can help restore the inner balance.
Etherfish Posted - Feb 10 2012 : 6:54:15 PM
A lot of good advice above. You should try those things a little at a time, and wait to see how you feel, so you can isolate what helps.

I have experienced that anxiety at everything, and it is not necessarily a mental problem. I am a very sensitive person, and if you follow the modern lifestyle, it can induce anxiety in a sensitive person. Modern technology is very distracting, and causes anxiety: traffic when driving, cell phone instantly bothering you whenever someone wants to, my cell phone buzzing on my hip every time I get a freakin' email (can't stop it I've tried), noisy television ads, in the news people expecting all of society to change so it doesn't "offend" them, on and on. Everyone buzzed on caffeine to speed it all up, and disasters everywhere, with instant news reports.

Unless you live in an Amish community, you are exposed to all of this that almost seems designed to create anxiety.
So I decided I need to have peace in my life, in addition to meditation time. I need to spend time doing things that don't involve TV or radios or cell phones or cars.

Spend an hour or two every day doing something simple, and quiet, where nobody is talking, and you can't hear the TV. It doesn't need to have a goal because that is pressure. Something that feels nice like a hot bath or sitting in the sun, or quietly reading or gardening or working with tools if you like that.

Only YOU know what feels good for you, but pick something that doesn't involve other people, and quiets your anxiety.

Needing things from other people can be solved by giving what you need. Find people who need something like maybe people in retirement homes or homeless shelters and do some volunteer work. Just a couple hours now and then. When you start giving what you need, it makes a big difference. It makes you stop being so needy, and you will feel better.
ddaniel Posted - Feb 10 2012 : 5:32:45 PM
Hey Leo. I feel for you... depression can sometimes feel like an impossible obstacle to get over.

I personally didn't like the way prescribed antidepressants (I tried them all) made me feel, and quit taking them many years ago.

I had unexpectedly good results from a homeopathic drug called 'Min-Chex' by a company called Standard Process. They were recommended by my mom's chiropractor, who is into eastern medicine and yoga herself.

You can buy them from Amazon here:

They also helped me with sleep and anxiety, and I noticed their effect within a week of starting them. Maybe they can help you as well!

Best of luck.
Assorted Vibrations Posted - Feb 10 2012 : 4:23:53 PM
When I started AYP, I was clinically depressed and on anti-depressants. As time went by I started to feel better. After some time I lowered my dose, and then after some more time (overall less than a year) I quit them all together. I think that in your situation, you may find some welcome relief with anti-depressants for now, and then as time passes (and you continue your practices) you will feel less and less need for them until the day that you realize that you don't need the help anymore. Love.
anita Posted - Jan 31 2012 : 2:38:47 PM
Hi Leo,

I really relate to what you are feeling. I am just coming out of a six-year long depression and had to take antidepressants. They are not THE answer but think of them as maybe one tool available to you that can help. I had the help of an excellent psychiatrist who let me know that the drugs were available to help me IF I found them helpful and we could try things together and see it it helped. As I got a better handle on my anxieties, anger, sadness and other stuff, I was freed up to go after the things I love to do and to open myself up in more positive ways to relationships with people around me. Meditation helped a lot with that. I second whoever said that exercise is important, we hold a lot of anxiety in our bodies and it is important to release it. Sleep is important and very healing and exercise helps us to sleep well. For me, proper nutrition helps me to feel well and more positive, I have found that I am extremely sensitive to carbohydrates, they tend to drag me down a lot. I get more positive energy out of a mostly protein diet personally.

Anyway taking antidepressants is not necessarily forever, maybe it will just help you get through a rough period and you will find other avenues of strength and joy that will support your mood. I get a lot of help from light therapy in the winter. Depression needs to be adressed in a multiplicity of ways and you and a good doctor who isn't just pushing pills can figure out the answer for you. Supportive therapy is a big help too. They say that journalling about your feelings (or talking things out with a supportive friend) is equally successful for people who choose not to or can't afford therapy. Good luck to you!
gatito Posted - Jan 29 2012 : 4:12:14 PM
My suffering is primarily related to my relationships with people. I want for nothing more than to share love and intimacy with everyone I encounter, but most of the people I am around usually do not share the same interests and I feel a lot of pain. I am sure I play more of a role than I "think" I do in this pain but I am just not seeing it. You know what they say about Karma, it can be a bitch!

Doesn't sound like a serious health problem to me Leo - more like the normal human condition - but there's certainly lots of options - I guess it's your call

With Love

machart Posted - Jan 29 2012 : 3:52:43 PM
Originally posted by Leo17

i am wondering what to do.. i am thinking it might be time to surrender to the big bad antidepressants to help me get out of this funk.

is there anything i should know or could be doing to help better my situation? thanks for any input.


There is nothing wrong with taking antidepressants...they are not bad...if you need them take them...if they work great ... if they don't stop taking them.

But one thing that really helps me when I'm kind of down is to bust out a lot of calorie burning physical the house...and then watch a funny movie like "Bruce Almighty" will my friend once again enjoy the miracle of life!
AumNaturel Posted - Jan 29 2012 : 3:18:15 PM
Originally posted by Leo17
I thought meditation and yoga were the answer, but as Karl put it may only add fuel to the fire which is what I'm experiencing.

Indeed, serious health problems are outside the scope of what a support forum focusing on yoga can provide, so I too encourage you to consult a general practitioner.

In terms of yoga and health, the topic is touched on a few times in the lessons. Lesson 200 in the book has a good part on that to start with. Yogani does say "if there is inherent instability in a person, any yoga practice could cause some aggravation of that." Elsewhere, at the start of Lesson 336, he reassures that yoga will be effective regardless of the reason used to take it. To me that says it is equally valid to undertake yoga for health as it is for any other reason, so from that point of view I can only encourage you to continue your SB and DM and to have faith and not under-rate their effectiveness, if only to enhance coping and minimize strain or stress in the short term. Wishing you all the best. I can imagine it is anything but easy.
Lili Posted - Jan 28 2012 : 9:49:11 PM
In addition to the good advice above, I would suggest you look for advice from people who are qualified to give it-e.g. for spiritual matters ordained priests, or in case you have suspicions of some deficiency/imbalance, medical doctors/psychiatrists, or even better both. Some times certain vitamin/other substance defficiencies can cause depression. Try praying the Jesus prayer "Lord Jesus son of God, forgive, forgive, have mercy on me, a sinner." Having lots of respect for yoga meditation EFT etc imho these are no substitute for formal church membership. If you are in the position to talk to a Christian Orthodox priest do that if not listen to some resources online. Im giving some below. Best wishes, Lili
gatito Posted - Jan 28 2012 : 2:10:39 PM
Dear Leo

I'd be very suprised if most of us here hadn't shared your experiences at one time or another in their lives and we're all sharing our opinions about your unique situation from our own perspectives of what "works" for us. (Not right and wrong )

Personally, I believe that yoga holds the answers to all life's problems if we can find them and employ them with intelligence and maturity. Yoga's roots are lost in prehistoric times (from a certain perspective ). Yoga has been tested and refined in the furnace of time and Western psychology, psychotherapy and psychiatry are not even out of the starting gates from this point of view. So don't give up on Yoga, just be aware that too much can blow the fuses (sometimes with apparently subtle effects that we don't notice ourselves). This is one of the problems in attaining mastery, because mastery involves CPD and CPD involves feedback from others.

I'm going to go out on a limb - because I'm a newbie (to AYP) and my skillset doesn't lie in meditation - and share what I believe might be a "Basic Recipe" for AYP.

(Gary Craig talks about "The Basic Recipie" in EFT with respect to a set-up and tapping pattern in EFT, which works for most issues without any need for refinement. He said to try it on everything, including physical issues because it sometimes works and there's no down-side - unlike AYP "sensitive meditators").

Yogani talks about Deep Meditation being all that's necessary to complete the journey (and as someone else said - he hasn't led me astray yet, so I'm inclined to take that on trust ).

So try the "Basic Recipe" - 20 minutes Deep Meditation twice a day (or less - some people are apparently so sensitive that they have to substitute mantra refinements or even breath meditation) and realise that you find yourself in the company of people who certainly do share your interests!!!

Self pace by getting feedback from your own experience and the forum (if you want it.......and bear in mind we could all be wrong ourselves ) See how it goes (and forget the vipassana - it's from a different Path - there's no need to complicate things).

With Love


Edit: Spelling correction - I couldn't even spell meditation!!
Leo17 Posted - Jan 27 2012 : 5:32:24 PM
Ahh thank you so much everyone who has posted. Reading over all these loving posts was like a breath of fresh air. Your words are heart felt. I resonated with a lot of the advice that was given here.

I have had a pretty traumatic life ever since birth and I am just trying to find a comfortable grip on things. I thought meditation and yoga were the answer, but as Karl put it may only add fuel to the fire which is what I'm experiencing.

My suffering is primarily related to my relationships with people. I want for nothing more than to share love and intimacy with everyone I encounter, but most of the people I am around usually do not share the same interests and I feel a lot of pain. I am sure I play more of a role than I "think" I do in this pain but I am just not seeing it. You know what they say about Karma, it can be a bitch!

Bodhi Tree Posted - Jan 26 2012 : 10:42:03 AM
Karl shares some very real and practical wisdom. Meditation and breathing will not solve everything. Yogani talks about the "magic bullet syndrome", in which our mind tends to want a quick fix or a guaranteed solution. The only solution is living a full life, favoring a pace of "slow and steady" so that we can integrate the influx of the evolutionary energy and purpose of kundalini/inner silence.

I've learned that personally. I used to be a big-time drug/alcohol user, and I've had to change the people I hang out with, as well as my lifestyle. Letting go of a comfortable identity as a "partier" was a bit scary at first. However, meeting sober people and seeing their success and freedom is hugely rewarding and inspirational for me to continue with the spiritual lifestyle--not just in practice routines (meditation/breathing/samyama), but also in daily activity (karma yoga, attending a metaphysical church, AA meetings, performing random acts of kindness). Finding a satsang in your area could be incredibly helpful, because as Karl says, we are not alone in these struggles. We are united, together, One.
karl Posted - Jan 26 2012 : 04:21:37 AM
The human body is often very good at warning you when something isn't right. That might be your job, lifestyle or whatever.

I have, for some time, not been in favour of using spiritual practice as an aid to smoothing out a bumpy lifestyle or a problem area. It doesn't work like that. Infact, it might well up the pressure to force a lifestyle change, leading to increased pressure.

I once read that the inner Guru is no soft touch, once awoken it does not fear for the death or damage to the mind or body. It simply drives in the direction that you have desire for and if you fail to heed its gentle voice it can get pretty insistent.

Spiritual union, or Yoga, does not try and integrate your lifestyle. It is a single minded seeker which is symbolised as the one pointed mind. If you listen and move with it then things go smoothly, if you don't, things can get pretty rough. It's a hard task master and does not spare the lash

Once you follow the inner guidance it all locks into place. The inner Guru is giving you lessons, helping you overcome certain things on the way and does not like to be used as an Asprin or anti-depressant.

Some people have decided to follow that Guru, others try and use it to their advantage and are surprised when it doesn't give them an easy life.

It's a long term commitment and there are always set backs because it's never easy to make big decisions without some level of fear creeping up. It does not matter if you need to use anti depressants for a while or quit practices for a few years, that's just the route that has to be taken.

It's helpful to let someone else in to look at what's going on such as a councillor, or a very impartial friend. More meditation isn't the answer you need right now and more of the same will only make things worse. If you think you need anti depressants go and have a chat to your GP. Be assured that your in a Q with a long line of people with exactly the same issue, our modern lifestyles are very stressful.

Good luck
brother neil Posted - Jan 26 2012 : 04:19:14 AM
what do you do for work? you know there are many intentinal communities worldwide that you can find on the web that their goal is an overall change in lifestyle, back to the basics? is it possible living in a spiritual type of community may be closer to your hearts desire?
vijikr Posted - Jan 26 2012 : 02:33:41 AM
Hi Leo,

I feel deep breathing whole day that should be given some break or self space with that.

You could try Samyama and unload whatever that you FEAR to yous ISHTA.

Love n Light
Bodhi Tree Posted - Jan 26 2012 : 01:22:40 AM
Greetings Leo,

Inner affirmations are powerful. As Yogani mentions, you can tell yourself: I will make it through this crisis. God is with me. This is just a stage and an opportunity to grow and become closer with the divine Self.

Also, I just posted this, which is some genius writing from the master Dr. Seuss:

On that note, I would also suggest: Be creative. Don't be afraid to express your sadness through writing, drawing, singing, playing like a child, even. The creative outlet is a powerful way to work out the obstructions, in addition to AYP practices.

Godspeed, and know that your inner flame can never die, even when it seems most dim. May it illuminate and warm your soul.


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