How to Deal With Depression?
In our time, many people suffer from depression. Fortunately, Dharma practice can cure or at least alleviate this mental affliction effectively. One practical way to break the chain of depression is to pray to the Buddha Akshobhya by chanting his mantra. Another way is to relax the mind through meditation. Give these suggestions a try and free yourself from the chain of depression.
Hi, Khenpo Rinpoche. I’ve been following your lectures recently and feel that my symptoms of depression have been relieved a bit. As a patient who has suffered from depression for eight years, I often fall into despair and feel there is no hope in life. Yet other times I almost feel I’m normal.
In fact, I do not have much confidence in myself, as to whether I can be cured completely or not. Sometimes, through chanting Buddhist sutras, I feel better, which makes me believe I will not be trapped in that state again. But there is always one day I just fall back into this depressed state. It seems to be an endless cycle.
A few days ago when I fell into a low ebb, I was afraid to stay alone, because I kept thinking of suicide and could not get rid of that emotion. But thinking of my parents, I have never made the attempt. Really, I’m so seriously ill that I wonder if this could ever be healed.
Indeed many young people suffer from depression. In some ways, I do not think your symptoms are irreversible, especially since you have encountered the Buddhadharma.
Previously when I was lecturing at Cambridge University, I talked a lot about this topic and also provided some instructions on how to deal with it. Maybe some of you here, although you keep it to yourself, are also suffering from some form of depression. I heard from British news reports that one-sixth of the population is depressed. Even for me, staying in London lately, I find that when the weather is gloomy, even I will wonder if I was getting depressed.
Yet I am confident in stating that through certain Buddhist practices, depression can be greatly alleviated and can even be cured. You can pray to Acala (who is said to be the emanation of Buddha Akshobhya) by chanting his mantra:
oṃ caṇḍamahāroṣaṇa hūṃ phaṭ
This mantra can be of great help to you. You can also try relaxing your mind through meditation. Depression, as a disease that prevails in our time, is indeed a big issue of the age. What we can do is try not to allow ourselves become too attached to many things in the life, and learn to let things be. When our mind becomes more and more relaxed, then nothing can trouble us. I’m very confident of this. I hope all of you can pray sincerely.