Can a stream winner be depressed or have anxiety disorder?

No Venerable, I think we are of the same oppinion.

Ok sorry then. Read here for the sufferings leftover at nibbāna with remainder.

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What is real suffering: being guilty of wrongdoing, immorality, hurting others, not following the precepts, and living an unwholesome and hollow life?

Or is it: feeling physical pain, having mental turbulence, being sad, feeling normal human emotions?

Which one of these sets characterizes the type of suffering you think Buddhists try to get out of the most, and which is actually the greater, or possibly to be understood as the real suffering? Perhaps that is the hidden message.

All are included in suffering.

All ends only at parinibbāna. Before that bodily pain still is potentially there.

I just updated it. This is my current view on it.

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Probably need to differentiate between mental unpleasantness and mental suffering .
For example arahant doesnt feel sad or being angry but arahant may feel some mental aversion which is mental unpleasantness due to physical unpleasantness but they can endure it .

Aversion is a very technical term. It’s part of hate and all hate/aversion/dosa is eradicated for the non-returner already.

There’s no mental aversion in arahants.

Also no this thing.

This is exactly the second arrow.

The Buddha complained of back pain and even took leave of the sangha after a dhamma talk to rest it.

The Buddha also states, in his old age, that it is only with the ending of certain feelings (probably while in jhana) that his body feels any comfort.

Nibbana is, thus, a state of mind.

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Buddha himself took periods of rest and meditation to alleviate his own back pain in his later years and alleviate his back pains by lying on stacked up robes . That is an aversion from pains , a Tendency to Avoid . Not saying in the sense similar to mental Dislike or Hate !

Diagnosis wasn’t meant to be a permanent judgement, but that’s not the reality. Maybe they can find interesting indications of mental disorder in the object of interest, and when they are unwilling to learn they keep on treating diseases and forget that the patient before them is a spirit that has a human experience and has untapped resources for healing any condition by himself.

The doctor chops the head of his patient and puts himself in between so to make the patient becoming dependant on his so-called expertise.

As someone who experiences a lot anxiety and depression and even mania, I’ve often wondered about this. I don’t have any idea where I am on the path. It can be really frightening because if I don’t attain stream entry because of mental illness by the time I die, what on earth will happen after all the years of practice? Maybe I will still get to be reborn in a state where stream entry is possible. This is kind of the “buoy” I hold on to. Practicing because the results are good in this life and next life too. No drawbacks to practice. I’m glad you asked this because it’s something I wonder about too.


I used to suffer depression but recovered from it with the help of medicine and practice of meditation. I no longer have this mental illness. Now, I wish I could become a stream enterer sooner or later. :pray:


In general thet idea of a noble or Buddha being without this and that, i feel, really needs revision.

One can claim that a Buddha cannot have burdensome mental feelings based upon the doctrine, but if one can still be burdened with not being understood, that does not show a total lack of mental distress.

I feel it is the same with: being totally without any sense of self, or being without any me and mine making, or possibility to become emotional etc. I believe this is a much to strict interpretation of the doctrine.

I believe the only true removal is the removal of fetters and fettering. ie. instinctive and compulsive me and mine making of body and mind which is very different in nature then making skillful use of body and mind as me and mine. Or compulsively becoming angry which is very different from becoming angry some times just to draw a line. Or being lost in conceiving scompulsively and making freely use of the ability to conceive. Or being governed by inner drifts and being inspired and passionate about something.

I believe liberation must not be seen in terms of inabilities but in terms of freely to use.

I believe that wisdom and disorders do not conflict. Probably disorders are a sign of wisdom combined with certain trauma. Maybe Buddha also was depressed or anxious meeting this truth of suffering and realising he was also of this nature of sickness, decay, death. Jung always tried to see the wisdom in mental disorders. I like that in Jung.

Can a noble develop Alzheimer?

It seems like the answer to this would depend in part on the view you take of the nature of consciousness and what is consistent with the laws of nature.

One popular physicalist view is that all mental states are identical with brain states. If depression is identical to some type of brain state, and if it were possible to induce such a brain state in anyone, then it seems to follow that a stream winner could be made to be depressed. It could also be possible to induce an arahant to have delusive beliefs, unwholesome desires and ill will if these things are also identical to brain states, though one might think that what one would really have done in such a case is destroy the arahant and create a new person (though I’d be inclined to say that there isn’t an answer to the question of whether they would or would not be the same person—I believe in anatta).

It is, of course, open to deny that mental states are identical with brain states (as I think many Buddhists might) or that it would not be possible to induce this brain state in anyone. If depression isn’t identical to some brain state, then there’s no prima facie reason to suppose that it could be induced by manipulating the brain. However, there does seem to be evidence that it’s possible to directly induce emotional states through stimulation of parts of the brain with electrodes:

It is also possible that a stream winner or arahant would react differently to, for instance, a severe lack of dopamine in their brain than would an ordinary person such that they wouldn’t have the symptoms we’d call “depression”.

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Me too Mickey…my only goal now, living with some mental illness but on good medication, is to hopefully achieve stream entry somehow before I die.

You can think of it as an extra avenue of your mind. Once you’ve Spiritually Mastered that avenue, even with the help of medication, you will certainly be able to reach the peak stages of Stream Entry or even Enlightenment. You should know that such a thing is possible for you even right now, even in this very moment. To Realize how wonderful you truly are will help you cross the River of Nibbana. Entering it is the first step, so go ahead, there are countless Ones before you who have, and for those who hold Nibbana dear, your Practice is reflected in them. :pray:

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Please be careful about keeping the conversation abstract and neither divulge personal medical information nor solicit or dish out medical or psychological advice. All of that is against the forum guidelines.


Everybody has to face the physical illness and nobody is exemption. Some of the super mundane experiences cannot be explained by the modern scientific explanation. e.g depression - the modern science says lack of some chemical at certain part of the brain - at apparent level… but at the deeper level the real cause is changing at vedana (sensation) level. They react to the vedana (sensation) level when they face anger or depress because they do not get what they want and accumulating more sankara. The trained meditators can face the any physical illness by not reacting at the mental level (equanimity) and do not suffer mental pain. The Lord Buddha mentioned what to do at Nakulapita Sutta.

Just as a PSA:

The new umbrella review – an overview of existing meta-analyses and systematic reviews – published in Molecular Psychiatry, suggests that depression is not likely caused by a chemical imbalance, and calls into question what antidepressants do. Most antidepressants are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which were originally said to work by correcting abnormally low serotonin levels. There is no other accepted pharmacological mechanism by which antidepressants affect the symptoms of depression.

…These studies also looked at the effects of stressful life events and found that these exerted a strong effect on people’s risk of becoming depressed – the more stressful life events a person had experienced, the more likely they were to be depressed.

What is real with a stream-winner who does not experience states of stress that the profoundly sick society has deemed an illness caused by a self that is slave bound to the system of destruction of spirit?

Those who thrive in this sick cycle are beyond rescue, never mind how many retreats you throw at them.

Last night, one of, if not the richest country and so on …, the minister of welfare said it out loud: Our main point of attention and what must be protected at all costs is our “working line” - in this country, we are highly efficient, we think the quality is a matter of speed, so we speed it up to max, all the time with a keen eye on the “line”, and look in horror and disgust when more and more “human bacon” breaks down for no apparent “logical” reason.

I hoped the lady would say: We are fully capable of letting the parents stay at home with full payment from us all to ensure that our future seeds have an optimal launching pad for exploration and innovation.

I belive in pissed-off stream winners.