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Suffering from depression


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VJKK VJKF

I dont know why I am even writing a post here to be honest, I am probably older than 90% of the people here. I went to the gurdwara this evening and I was thinking about suicide in darbar sahib. I dont know why. I wouldnt ever do such an act. I was extremely upset inside though and maharaj knows why. I know I should be stronger than this. I am trying to do as much paat as I can, I know it's not enough. my health is suffering because of the way I feel, mentally, physically, emotionally.

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Dearest _what name_ Jee,

I suppose if you are older than 90% here I am probably around your age hehe.

I cannot start to tell you how many sufferings, problems, difficulties, pains, setbacks and sins I have experienced in my life which has many times made me feel so very worthless and better off dying, especially when things appear all so rosy for everyone around me.

However, one thing Gurujee through Gurbani has whispered in my heart is that human life is absolutely precious and should never ever be traded away through suicide etc. In the darkest hour of our life, yes we can feel suicidal but we have to use the last bit of God given will power and strength to pull through that dark hour. Remember the dark clouds in the sky will not last forever. They get blown away and next day there is sunshine.

If your feelings for suicide arise from having sinned remember Gurbani says ''jis papi ko mileh na dhoee, saan aaveh, ta nirmal hoee''. If your suicidal feelings arise from sickness Gurujee says ''rogan te aur soghan te jal jogan te bau bhant bchavei''. If your suicidal feelings come from general failure in life and poverty remember Gurbani says ''nicho uch kare mera govind...''. Gurujee does not give you any leeway or allow you any excuse to committ suicide and there is another better way out for anything that makes you feel to suicide.

You have mentioned you do more and more paath. This is very very good. I also recommend that you do paath with understanding. Through the internet or through readily available pothis you can find translations so you know the meaning of what you are reading. I say this because Gurbani as our Guru guides us and enlightens us to understand our life, our problems and the way forward. This in turn will encourage you to do more path. Doing mulmantar and gurmantar simran is absolutely helpful too.

To be in chardikela or vibrant rising spirits is a very important component of being a Sikh. Following the path of Sikhi, doing your nitnem, simran, going regularly for diwans and kirtan darbaars at your local gurudwara, reading Gurbani and connecting with other vibrant Sikhs all helps you to be in chardikela. Also if you are already not, then never have anything to do with alcohol, drugs etc because they cause problems and diseases. Also no matter what your problem always try to do some form of consistent exercise be it swimming, cycling, walking, gyming, etc. At the height of my illnesses in the past I have gone for long walks to be strong. I went through a bad illness a few years ago but today, I employ a personal trainer who makes me sweat a lot hehe.

Gurbani teaches us to value human life very very preciously because even angels worship this human body which was created to worship God. We had to go through so many lifetimes as plants and animals before we finally got this body. So no problem we have, can be bigger than the duty we have to worship God. I remember when I was absolutely sick after a big operation, God gave me the grace and strength to still wake up amritvela and do my prayers and pray for others. So as Sikhs we have to fight on because we are survivors.

You can pm me or others direct too if you need to open up more about your problem upsetting you, in private.

Always chant this beautiful line from gurbani ''rakho rakho kirpa dhar, teri saran tereh dwar''. There are many shabads in Gurbani which help you pray for God's protection and help.

I pray to Gurujee in my heart to help you out and put you on the path of chardikela so you regain your mental, physical and emotional energy.

If depression, bipolar and continously feeling suicidal is among your problems then you do need to really talk with your doctor, but if it is a one off, then just fight it off. Life is a jewel and you need to let this jewel show you its worth as you continue to live. Suicide does not solve any problem because you will simply come back again in another form with the same old karma that made you feel suicidal in the first place, still hanging over your head.

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Dear bhenji/bhaji,

The bhaji who's posted above have explained beautifully about how you can try to overcome the suicidal feelings.

There's another point to be noted. Everything that happens to us is a result of our own Karams. If one commits suicide, the bad karmas don't get erased...one still has to pay the result in their next lives....not to forget that committing suicide is in itself a great sin!

I'm sorry, I don't mean to make you feel worse than you already do. But do give it a thought. We're not this body. We're the soul in it. God knows how many thousands of years we've been wandering around in the universe before we got this human body (which is also the only life-form where one can meditate upon God and meet Him)...it's not supposed to be wasted away.

I've dealt with post-natal depression in the past. The main way to get through it is to identify the root cause.

There are other little things that do help as well:

  • Wear bright colours (honestly, try to chuck out the blacks, browns and greys...or mix them with bright colours).
  • Don't let it be dark at home or in the room you're in. The brighter it is, the more it helps to uplift the mood.
  • Don't watch anything sad on the telly and try not the watch the news; it's more than often sad and depressing. Try not to watch telly for more than an hour in a day. Watch comedy at the most. If watching a film...absolutely turn off the telly after it. Only watch it if you're watching a specific programme that interests you.
  • Try and develop new hobbies or invest time in the hobbies you've had.
  • NEVER SIT IDLE!!! (very important)!
  • Get out and get fresh air every single day.
  • Identify the tiny little things in your life that make you happy (even a bit). They usually go unnoticed.

The above mentioned points will help you uplift your mood for while. But it's a process. The more you consciously try to uplift the depressed mood, the more you'll help yourself. You have to always remember that you're battling with it (it sounds worse, I know, but it really helps).

There are other couple of things that I think are worth mentioning. So, I was sent for counselling. And I asked this person about how to overcome the thoughts about my difficult childhood...they simply kept popping up again and again in my head without even trying to consciously think about it...was very unsettling. He replied, "Can you change what happened?". I said, "No." He said, "Then why even think about it." I honestly couldn't believe the advice I was being given. In my head I replied back, "Duh!"

That was my last ever session and I decided to find another way to deal with it. (And the doctors can only ever prescribe you medicines which, I believe, are only helpful when you just don't ever get a clear mind and are totally unable to deal with it....only for a short time).

This was when I thought very seriously about the above mentioned points of life, death and the soul.

I was wondering whether you could share the reason for your condition, anonymously of course (if that is what you want), and may be we can all together try and help a bit.

ਸਵੈਯਾ ॥
SWAYYA

ਧੰਨ ਜੀਓ ਤਿਹ ਕੋ ਜਗ ਮੈ ਮੁਖ ਤੇ ਹਰਿ ਚਿੱਤ ਮੈ ਜੁਧੁ ਬਿਚਾਰੈ ॥ ਦੇਹ ਅਨਿੱਤ ਨ ਨਿੱਤ ਰਹੈ ਜਸੁ ਨਾਵ ਚੜੈ ਭਵਸਾਗਰ ਤਾਰੈ ॥
Bravo to the soul of that person, who remembers the Lord through his mouth and reflects in his mind about the war of righteousness; who considers this body the war of righteousness; who considers this body as transient, ascends the boat of Lords` praise and ferries across the dreadful ocean of the world;

ਧੀਰਜ ਧਾਮ ਬਨਾਇ ਇਹੈ ਤਨ ਬੁੱਧਿ ਸੁ ਦੀਪਕ ਜਿਉ ਉਜੀਆਰੈ ॥ ਗਯਾਨਹਿ ਕੀ ਬਢਨੀ ਮਨਹੁ ਹਾਥ ਲੈ ਕਾਤਰਤਾ ਕੁਤਵਾਰ ਬੁਹਾਰੈ ॥੨੪੯੨॥
Who makes this body as the abode of forbearance and enlightens it with the lamp of intellect and who taking the broom of knowledge in his hand sweeps away the rubbish of cowardice.2492.

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VJKK VJKF

I was beginning to think no one was going to reply with anything meaningful so thanks to the above members for sharing, it's much appreciated.

Before I continue, I just want to re-iterate that I have no intentions of committing suicide. I was just shocked at the time that I was even thinking about it whilst in the gurdwara. It was not something I should have dwelled on, for even a moment and I realise that now. I wasn't clear myself what I wanted to say to sangat, so I could have led you to think that way.

It's been interesting reading the responses because after writing the posting, I thought to help myself I need to go back to basics, to get myself out of this mode of depression. For example, actually getting dressed properly and not just chucking any old shirt on, tying my dastar etc, so I am ready to leave the house first thing.

The other thing that came to my mind was, as one of the above posters said that I need to focus on understanding gurbani and for me, that was like a light bulb moment, I thought to myself I need to make more effort to listen to katha. Thinking back, I used to cope better having read paat and then listening to katha. I am not the greatest fan of reading translations, whilst it is clearly beneficial. I think gurbani is so deep that I could read a translation and still not understand the shabad. I hope that makes sense, I am not knocking the translations, its me and my level of understanding.

I am going to have to keep this message a short one as I am finally going to make my way out of the house. I will however, reply to the above posters later in more detail.

thanks again,

VJKK VJKF

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VJKK VJKF

It is true the best thing about being down and depressed, is the coming back up stronger. I thought I was but then fell again, so I just have to keep trying. The thing that is helping me the most at the moment is that I have set myself a goal to do x amount of paat to help me in the future. Although, I do worry about those around me, some who I feel are less fortunate than me and I feel I should be doing something for them too... at the same time I realise I can't sacrifice my own well being trying to help someone else... otherwise what use am I to anyone. Knowing me, I wont put myself first. I think I will try and find a way to do both, as a compromise.

On a positive note, I have been listening to some kirtan today, which has been nice, it's quite mellow so I have played it a few times.

In response to humkire:

I agree with you on a lot of the above, I am amritdhari, I don't have anything to do with alcohol/ drugs etc. I know exercise really helps mental stability... its something that means alot to me. I have been training for many years. Half my battle is making sure that I don't miss any sessions, when I am ill, I tend to not go, not because I don't want to... its kinda hard to explain. It's not exactly that I cant physically make it there. I don't want to mention my illness here. All I will say is that it ruin's me. One thing I will say, is the other day I looked in the mirror, and I didn't like what I saw. I am glad that I looked in the mirror, as crazy as that might sound to anyone reading, I need to look in that mirror again to see how I have become ill... to motivate me to get better.

Thank you for this ''rakho rakho kirpa dhar, teri saran tereh dwar''. I will endeavour to recite/chant/listen to this.

I don't have any chardikala gursikh sangat really. I did for a short time but then people come and go. At my age, people are busy with there own lives, kids etc. I go direct to maharaj when I need to talk (well on the days I make it to the gurdwara).

In response to Raaj.Karega.Khalsa:

Thank you for sharing your life experience with me and suggestions for overcoming the depression. No doubt it will help others who maybe in a similar situation. It's interesting that you mentioned about clothes because whilst my work wardrobe has a mixture of colours, my home/ non-work wardrobe comprises of black, grey and blue. I had a big clear out not long ago, god that felt good getting rid of some things. However, I am not in a position financially to go out and re-vamp my wardrobe with new clothes at the moment. I have brought a few things recently where I have managed to get discount or sale items.. i remember one day i felt so down, that i just wanted to buy something... although i knew this wasnt the solution, so stopped at one item.

I try to not to watch tv but its always on at home, so its an easy distraction. I don't get saddened by the news, real life stories, crime... if anything would make me feel down it would be a film based around a happy couple or family. I would rather not watch tv but then I dont live amongst a gursikh family so the environment can be somewhat challenging at times. I just look forward to the future and being settled in my own home one day, hopefully with maharaj's kirpa it won't be too far away... and I will be more at peace there. Like you mentioned penji, hopefully I can create a postive environment, even if it is just a matter of painting the walls, changing the carpets, adding my own finishing touches. God I dont know if I am beginning to sound materialistic now. I should be grateful for what I have, it is so easy to compare to people that have more, than to appreciate a roof over my head, heating and hot water etc.

One thing I really must do, like you said penji, is get out and get fresh air. This is something I have not been doing but I think would be helpful, especially in the morning to start the day. At the moment my routine is so up side down, to put it politely. I am going to bed when I should be waking up... well almost. I am not one that can do a very early amritvela and then go back to sleep, I feel worse if I go back to sleep. so I have to make sure I am sleeping on time, which means doing everything else on time and that is not happening at all. It's the most simple things that can throw you. so I guess i need to make a concious effort to do everything by the clock, or there abouts. God, I kinda know what to do but the hardest thing is making it happen.

I would love to be able to share, whats causing me to feel anxious, depressed here but I am not sure I can. I have been a little bit calmer the past couple of days because I have realised that no man can change things, ultimately it is maharaj that controls every man, so I am reaching out to maharaj for help, he is the giver and he can make things happen/ make things better/easier for me, so I am trying my upmost to pray for his help and support.

VJKK VJKF

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VJKK VJKF

I have just had someone chat to me about having desire. I really don't understand, am I failing because I have desire, but how does one live without desire? I am so confused. I clearly have no understanding of gurbani otherwise I wouldn't be in such a state. I feel stressed, I don't know what I am supposed to do. I feel so lost now. What should I be doing ardas for? What should I be praying for? Can someone who has some gian of gurbani please help me out here.

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VJKK VJKF!

To the original poster .... I am Amritdharee and I'm going through alot of the same that you have described. I usually bottle everything up and try to forget about it but in this case I feel that it might be better to talk about it or try to see things from someone else's perspective.

If you wish to talk then please don't hesitate to contact me either on here via PM

In the meanwhile I pray that your situation improves and that you begin to feel stronger. VaheGuru Kirpa Karan.

Kind Regards

K Kaur

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duKu dwrU suKu rogu BieAw jw suKu qwim n hoeI ]
dhukh dhaaroo sukh rog bhaeiaa jaa sukh thaam n hoee ||
Suffering is the medicine, and pleasure the disease, because where there is pleasure, there is no desire for God. ang 469

You can read all the Gurbani you want, but it all depends on what you want in life. If you want worldly things then you will always be depressed. No doubt Gurbani heals all mental and physical wounds, especially Sukhmani Sahib. However Gurbani teaches the essence to life is to live for Maharaj. The above tuk can be understood in the most simplest way. When we fall (get depressed) then we remember God to help us out and when God gives us everything then we don't even say God's name by mistake. Go deeper with this tuk by asking yourself what is true pleasure and true suffering? Gursikhs will tell you even though they practice rehat to the fullest and are singing Maharaj's name 24/7, they are still suffering because their atma and God have not become one; are closer, but they don't want closer, they want Maharaj. Everyone else looks at them and says, what they got to worry about........Maharaj has done so much kirpa on them.........you don't need to do seva and simran all day...........we can take breaks. To truly understand Gurbani we need to step outside of ourselves (not follow, ignore the mind) and jump into Guru Sahib's lap (understand we are children of Maharaj and have no knowledge about how to live).

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VJKK VJKF

I feel more confused than ever before. I want this atma to be at one with maharaj... anything less is not enough but that i feel is up to maharaj.

the part i am really struggling with is desire for worldly things because we all have basic needs to survive food, water, shelter etc. we need jobs or some form of income to pay for such things long term anyway and well our guru's themselves had wives, children etc. it is my understanding that we have to marry so that we can continue the faith, if i had children, in my mindset they would be born and brought up to serve maharaj. so now is that a worldly desire?

i dont doubt i have worldly desires.. but what makes something a worldly desire? i just dont understand, should we be living in huts with just the basic essentials and have no desire for anything that is above essential?

I am not expecting all my pain and suffering to disappear, i would imagine that the more gurbani you read, the better you are at, with coping with lifes battles. i dont know how u can forget maharaj when he is there 24/7 but then what do i knw.

so kor bisarai jin sabh kuch deheea

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It is all about what you want and what you make of it.

Only five has given you a valid explanation above, I don't know what is confusing you about that ?

Everything, including how your income and raising your family come in, is all part of his Hukam.

You have to learn to let it be that way and let the hukam dictate. It's when we think that it is all our freewill, that we start to feel all the burden and problems. Because it is not our freewill it is ALL him and his hukam.

Accept and deal with whatever comes your way, is the way forward.

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VJKK VJKF

I feel more confused than ever before. I want this atma to be at one with maharaj... anything less is not enough but that i feel is up to maharaj.

the part i am really struggling with is desire for worldly things because we all have basic needs to survive food, water, shelter etc. we need jobs or some form of income to pay for such things long term anyway and well our guru's themselves had wives, children etc. it is my understanding that we have to marry so that we can continue the faith, if i had children, in my mindset they would be born and brought up to serve maharaj. so now is that a worldly desire?

i dont doubt i have worldly desires.. but what makes something a worldly desire? i just dont understand, should we be living in huts with just the basic essentials and have no desire for anything that is above essential?

I am not expecting all my pain and suffering to disappear, i would imagine that the more gurbani you read, the better you are at, with coping with lifes battles. i dont know how u can forget maharaj when he is there 24/7 but then what do i knw.

so kor bisarai jin sabh kuch deheea

Think back to when you were a little kid and you wanted something, which your parent did not provide as they knew it would only hurt you. I did not tell you or ask you to stop drinking water or don't marry. However let's take your water example. Since you're much older than me you would know drinking too much water is bad for your health. So would you offer your kids buckets of water and tell them go for it? Same goes with food. Also marrying the wrong woman can also be bad in various ways. We punjabis have a saying about a wife..............either she can make a house or break it. Think of your body as a house, would you invite something in your house that will cause you depression (ego) after taking medicine (Gurbani)?

What you are struggling with is not stress or depression. You are struggling with ego. You state above that I need this i need that. Okay fair enough, but who told you that you need it? I'm not saying you do this, but speaking in general. When a Sikh does not want to do something they state its up to Maharaj. However when their mind feels like doing something then they don't say its up to Maharaj. The Sikh goes out and does it. How come they do this? Again speaking in general, when it comes to taking a shot of alcohol its my mind feels like doing it..........party time bro But when it comes taking Amrit, then its.................thats up to Maharaj............Maharaj has not blessed me with kirpa.

Many people of today think that they can live in luxury and still follow Maharaj. All the Gursikhs that i have met live simple lives. They might have millions in their bank accounts, but not one person would say this Gursikh is wealthy. They are the dust of everyone's feets because they follow Maharaj's Hukam. If you sit with Gursikhs and hear them speak they will never say i need this or that. All they will say is I need Maharaj Darshan, Gurmukh pyares darshan to show me the way, sadh sangat so I can do their seva. Even when they state this.............they are following rehat to the fullest.

What are you worried about? Does a 6 month old baby worry about getting fed, it lays there shaking his little hands and feet in enjoyment? Maharaj told us three things: make a honest living, provide time for selfless service, and biggest task of them all meditate on Maharaj. While doing these be that 6 month old Baby enjoying the task. You'll find out very quickly, which you already have most likely, that the mind hates doing these three things............its like eating saag without mukhni or butter in it. Instead the mind wants delicious meals, a highing paying job to purchase nice things, good looking wife to stare at and the list goes on.

The ego has its own personality..................you don't give it what it wants, then it makes you suffer through depression. Give it what it wants and it makes you suffer in the long run.......get addicted and depend on many things to function in life. Satguru says don't fight it and don't suppress it. Buddha at first gave into the ego and had every luxury in life, but this made him depressed and did not satisfy his inner quench. So he went out and tried to destroy the ego. He tried many things, from hurting the mind and body to depriving the mind and body. The ego did not go away, but just got stronger. So instead Buddha sat and listened to what the ego wanted. Buddha had a conversation with the ego and the ego started to calm down and listen to Buddha. But the ego being the ego it wanted power over Buddha. Buddha sitting in meditation, the ego appeared as a demon. The demon wanted a fight. Buddha trying to speak with the ego and was telling it I don't want to fight. But the ego was not backing down. Buddha thought about ignoring it, but the ego got stronger. So he stepped back and acknowledged it. He thought about fighting it with the sword. After a while Buddha tapped the ground he was sitting on and the ego disappeared. If he had fought with the ego, then he would have lost because in the process of defeating the ego he would have thought I have defeated the ego. Instead Buddha tapped the ground truly acknowledging their is something bigger than me and that is nirvanna. Although Buddha said all desires are the problem, even the desire for God, but we can learn from his dealing of the ego. Just that Satguru says, saying all desires are the problem, is the ego. Satguru says to fix this, ask for what I tell you to ask for through Gurbani.

Best source to understand what is a worldly desire, ask Maharaj by contemplating over Gurbani.

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