Monday, June 30, 2008

Well it has been a long time hasn't it :)

Wow - almost a year since my last post - thanks to a comment from Moy (whom I do not know!) I thought I should update - quickly.

So.. when I last wrote it was pretty much as I was beginning to come out of the depression - though I don't think it was really until November 2007 (almost a year after going manic) that I felt good again. And I knew I was feeling better as I was cracking jokes again :) Always a good sign.

I have since started onto Lithium - which is the classic Bi-Polar (though I am still in denial about that one) drug. Will be on that for 3 years total - and then clear of the lot.

I do think a lot about what happened to me - what it all means. For example - when I was manic I would have sworn blind that I was healing people with my thoughts. I honestly believed I was.

I wasn't.

But I completely believed I was. It does make one wonder sometime about saints & miracles etc...

I am now back in work full time - with a nice wee promotion, and generally things are looking pretty sweet really.

If I could choose again, I would not do Vipassana. This is not because I don't think there is some value in it - but because for me & my make up it obviously didn't fit well. I think it is utterly irresponsible of them to take anyone off the street onto the course with no training or preparation. It's a huge mental stress you're putting yourself under..

One laughs now, but seeing as I thought I was pretty much like Jesus (not Him, just like Him - quite normal really)... I had a go at walking on water.

Didn't work.

But imagine I'd thought I could fly?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something similar happened to me, so thanks for sharing your story. It feels okay to know you're not alone.

you might want to check out this blog here; as it explains a lot of what happened to you and me. it even has a name (the condition) and it's called "spiritual emergency".

Good luck and keep us posted.

10:29 AM  
Anonymous kartik said...

I will be taking my vipassana course in a few weeks.

But they clearly mentioned in the website that people with psychiatric problems should not attend the course. Especially those who are on medication are discouraged from attending the course. This is not a substitute for therapy.

I have done a bit of research and I feel that those who have fragile mental constitution should not try meditation at all.

I really hope the meditation will be a blessing in my life. Anyways, I am planning to gradually increase the meditation time till the retreat like you suggested.

11:15 AM  
Blogger patrick said...

Hi Kartik,

Good luck with the course.. and yes, I remember (ish) the literacy saying that people with psychiatric disorders shouldn't do the course.

My point is.. *I had NO history of psychiatric disorders on either side of my family (or me)* ... so it came as a complete surprise.

Basically, I feel that 10 days of silence for people who are intensely (or reasonably at least!) sociable is a massive stress which can trigger these events.

12:34 PM  
Anonymous kartik said...

oh dear! now I am really worried :(

so vipassana almost turned your life upside down! I am glad to know that you are alright now and that you have picked yourself up quite well.

But I am really not in a position to take that risk. I am going to vipassana cause I believe it can make me a better person, more efficient in handling stress. Going psychotic would be the exact opposite of what I would be hoping for.

3:07 AM  
Blogger patrick said...

Hi Kartic,

The reason I went on the course was because I went on a seminar on leadership given by Colin James (a South African / Australian business man..).. and yes.. I had no idea of the potential consequences (hence this blog).

As for 'almost turning my life upsdie down'... well, while mania is great fun (you try walking on water) the downside of about 6-8 months of depression is hardly worth it.

Now, all that said... everyone's mental makeup is different, and what happened to me *most likely* won't happen to you. But it's good to be aware.

Lots of people (even friends of mine) do get benefits from the practice... I'm just saying - that for me, basically, it turned me mad and that without warning.

Obviously not everyone doing it goes mad.. but I believe (as I have experienced it) the potential is there.

If you are building up to it slowly, great - best thing you can do I reckon.

Good luck, and would be great to hear how you get on.

3:46 AM  
Blogger Pooja said...


7:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Truly, I want to point out that course is NOT Vipassana meditation, it is a twist on it. One man's interpretation. not for me! I just finished the 10 day course and was shocked because I went into it after doing real Vipassana insight meditation. So sorry this was your intro, or anyone's intro. The real thing pulled me out of a suicidal depression. Milder, gentler, not 10 days. I dropped you a note.

4:04 PM  

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