Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


How Would the Dalai Lama Treat a Mood Disorder?

posted by Beyond Blue

I was delighted by this response to my post, “My Holistic Approach to Depression” by Beyond Blue reader Rick S.:

I am a Buddhist and have meditated for 35 plus years. I teach meditation and teach Buddhist philosophy in the advice that I give to people in daily life. No one who knows me would think that I am weak or not highly spiritual or highly motivated in my spiritual journey. 

I also suffer from severe depression and severe anxiety or PTSD, if not talking to the government, lol. I have a family history of depression and serious mental illness. I take medication for the depression and PTSD and they have definitely improved the quality of my life in all areas. Even the Dalai Lama has spoken on the value of medication for these illnesses. Since we have them available, not using them does not make sense. It is like not using other medical therapies and surgeries and practices that are available to improve our lives.

Thank you so much, Rick, for that perspective! I have often wondered how the Dalai Lama would treat a person with a serious mood disorder like mine. Now I know!



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Laura

posted May 27, 2009 at 5:28 pm


I’m glad to hear a major religious figure that many people look to for wisdom on various subjects stating the obvious. Being mentally ill means you have to take meds now&again, if not regularly to be able to function. It’s great to get some validation. Thanks for the article.



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Agu Toempa

posted May 28, 2009 at 4:14 pm


The Dalai Lama’s younger brother talks about treating his bi-polar with lithium. He has often said in public that it has saved his life. He continues to be on lithium. For those who are mentally ill, the Dalai Lama has always advocated use of meds if they help.
http://www.thebuddhadharma.com/issues/2008/fall/brothers.php
” During his eight-year tenure as the Dalai Lama’s private secretary, Choegyal found himself experiencing extreme emotional highs and lows, and it was getting in the way of his work. Finally, feeling the need for serious treatment, he resigned from the post and sought help from the best doctors in the area. It was the beginning of a lifelong dependency on lithium, and the end of his affair with alcohol. “Not everyone knows that bipolar is treatable,” he says. “But with treatment, you can definitely have a certain level of normalcy.”



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Xenu

posted May 29, 2009 at 10:28 pm


If nothing else but meds works, then go for it. However, doesn’t it make sense to exhaust the more conscious alternatives first? How many people reading this have actually tried somatic psychotherapy techniques or body-based meditation techniques, which can be extremely powerful. These days there is a commercial tendency to pathologize just about every form of mental disorder and then over medicate it.



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