I’ve suffered from a lot of mental/emotional illness in my 33 years on this planet. From about 11 years old on I’ve had pretty severe social anxiety that lead to agoraphobia and seemingly constant suicidal ideation, despite my nature being very outgoing and social.
I think I spent 2005-2021 in an almost continuous existential crisis that no therapy or medication was able to solve. Don’t get me wrong, those things are very good for stabilizing you and I recommend them wholeheartedly for making sure you don’t end up in a downward spiral. Seriously, please seek those things out if you feel lost and without hope. They WILL keep you from getting worse. You can even see that therapists and psychologists endorse mindfulness as real effective treatment now, so they’re clearly interested in becoming as well informed as they can in helping people, even if it takes admitting something thousands of years old from a culture on the other side of the planet was onto something.
But I never experienced the kinds of positive change that I did after taking Buddhism and meditation seriously. It’s not that Buddhism is nice and pretty. It’s not about false positivity. It deals with Samsara and Dukkha. Dukkha is not pretty. Life can be ugly and unwieldy.
But after decades of suffering and confusion I’ve finally reached a very noticeable level of recovery. I just got a decent job after being unemployed for years, and during the interview today I felt a level of calmness no amount of xanax or therapy was ever able to give me.
I attribute my very obvious improvement to Buddhism and taking the idea of Kamma seriously. We can’t do anything about negative Kamma generated in the past, but every moment is an opportunity to mitigate it. If you decide to meditate and feel goodwill toward every being then your present and future WILL be better than if you don’t. I am clear proof to myself that that’s the reality, so hopefully anything I’ve said here resonates with you and convinces you that that’s possible for you also.
Would care to tell us what exactly you did, and how it improved things for you?
I always like to ask people giving testimonials what exactly they did and how it helped them in case I missed something in my approach with technique, attitude, diligence, etc… I’ve learned a lot by answers I’ve gotten to that question in past. I learned things that helped, not just letting me know if ancient word mean “a twig without bark” or just “a twig”.
Chances are your details might help other readers too.
Moderators: thank you for reopening this thread and giving me an opportunity to ask this question which may help people.