• Thank you, Chirag, and no, Bhanu Prabhu, there is a difference between seeing a psychiatrist and a therapist.  I am not talking about getting medicine.  I am talking about getting help, qualified, compassionate help.  Depression IS the same as a broken leg, it is a broken mind, it's just not as materially visible.  As you said, it is a mental illness.  It is more than just being sad.  And, like I said, yes, try all of  your Krishna Conscious activities, and do things for your health.  I am not saying it will not help, more Krishna Consciousness is always recommended.  Look at the case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  This is a very serious form of mental illness brought on by trauma, most experienced by war veterans and sexual abuse victims.  I suggest you do some research on the subject matter.  As our philosophy teaches, the car is like the body and the driver is the soul, so yes, my analogy does fit here and is in line with Srila Prabhupada's teachings.  The wheels of the car are like our mind (attached to the steering mechanism), allowing us to maneuver successfully through life.  The mind IS part of the material body, as it says in Bhagavad Gita.  So, yes, a broken mind IS like having a broken car, and CAN require professional help, depending on the extent of the damage and the patient's ability to cope on his or her own.

    I am blessed to be dear friends with senior devotees who are Srila Prabhupada disciples and major leaders of Iskcon, who are in the profession of counselling and therapy.  One is the head of social work at a hospital in a major North American city, and others are licensed therapists and psychologists who have patients both inside and outside of Iskcon, some heading up the Iskcon Grishasta Vision Team.  All of them will tell you the same thing I did.  It is from them I learned this information.  I am repeating what I have learned from our trusted leaders and healers in this field. It is not a mental concoction on my part.

    Again, a person with depression may need help getting raised up to the platform where they are able to even chant their rounds.  Unless one has experienced true, real, DEEP, clinical depression, one can never understand the ramifications of the illness.  It is all too easy to say, "Just chant, just get over it, Krishna will help you," unless you have been there.  When you lack the desire to live, and you can't get out of bed for a week, nor can you eat and have lost your desire to associate with other human beings, you NEED professional help.  AND, if you engaged in Krishna Consciousness for a while, and it helps for a while, but then you find yourself slipping back down into depression, you NEED professional help.  

    Professional help, again, is NOT medication.  It is seeking a behavioural or trauma therapist who will understand how what you've been through in your life has affected your behavioural habits and coping mechanisms.  They will help you to learn tools to understand how to move through the pains of your life by understanding them, not by negating them.  Tools like art therapy may be used.  The tools they provide, for the devotee, must be used in TANDEM with Krishna Consciousness.  AND a qualified therapist, even if not a devotee, will incorporate your spiritual beliefs into helping you utilize the tools to recover.  It is a beautiful process when done right. 

    It takes humility and bravery to reach out for help, and it is SO rewarding.  I highly encourage any devotees who are suffering from depression to understand that you are not alone. Research depression.  Look at your life, if you have suffered abuse, or tragic deaths of loved ones or witnessed violent acts, even car accidents, divorce, loneliness.  There are so many things that can contribute.  AND, I am not one for medication, and believe that EVERYTHING must be tried before resorting to chemicals, BUT, if one no longer has the desire to live, and is constantly thinking suicidal thoughts, then who are any of us to say it is wrong for someone to take something that is saving their lives?

    Dear devotees, don't be afraid to reach out for help.  You just have to make sure the help you seek is qualified, just like you wouldn't take your car to any old mechanic who could be ripping you off or not fixing things properly.  

    Your servant,

    Nitai Priya Devi Dasi

    • Hare Krishna

      Thank you. I needed some of that. It is a disease and not just general sadness. It gets triggered suddenly and saps all your energy leaving you with headache or numbness. I am suffering from it for past nine years and never had the courage to visit a psychiatrist. I believe that it is an incurable disease like most of the diseases are. My grandfather is taking treatment for it for past 40 years and still is not cured. That's the reason that discourages me to go to a psychiatrist. Although, this disease is ruining both my material and spiritual life. I have discussed this with my spiritual mentor many times. They say just chant and follow the principles you would get cured. Somehow it is not working for me. On some days when while chanting I feel very blissful but I am not able to keep that mood for long. On other days when I am too much under its attack I feel angry at Krishna even. I know this is not good for me and I should alter my attitude. But sometimes I feel that I don't have the power to do it.

      • Hare Krishna

        Sorry to hear about your long term depression. I have suffered with depression too in the past. My personal opinion is that you must find something that you are passionate about in life. What activities did you enjoy when you were a child? When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up? I rarely get depressed these days because I have discovered my passion in life.

  • Hare Krishna,

    Please accept my humble obeisance.  All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Jaya.

    I appreciate the devotional sentiments that have been stated by the other devotees in this forum, but there seems to be a lack of knowledge thus far on the subject.  Yes, Krishna Consciousness is watering the root of the tree, which clears the dust from the heart.  But please understand, depression is NOT just a feeling of sadness.  Depression is a genuine ILLNESS.  Chanting Hare Krishna does not immediately mend a broken leg, nor does it repair your kitchen plumbing when the pipes have burst.  Chanting Hare Krishna and devotional service are meant to give you the INTELLIGENCE to handle the problems that come your way with the appropriate methods.  When you have an infection, it is not because you are not Krishna Conscious enough.  It is because you are SICK and you need to take the right steps to be cured, which generally requires professional help.

    Depression is common, and can be helped by generous amounts of physical exercise (preferably walking), a balanced diet, revealing your mind to insightful people, doing your best to help others with their problems (it takes you away from your own), and of course, a healthy, regulated sadhana.  If those methods are sincerely applied and the depression still takes root, then the issue runs deeper and you should seek the advice of a QUALIFIED therapist.  Again, all in conjunction with your Krishna Consciousness.  The cause for depression may stem from an abusive childhood, a trauma experienced, an unfaithful partner, the loss of a loved one, fear of the future, or perhaps it is genetic.

    The danger in saying that through application of Krishna Consciousness one can heal their depression, is that when someone is truly and deeply depressed (not just sad or grieving), it can sometimes be impossible to engage in one's Krishna conscious activities.  The loss of desire to chant, the loss of desire to associate with devotees, friends and family, etc.  Sometimes we need professional help to pull us up to a level where we will be able to chant, and regain our desire to associate with devotees, friends and family.  If the plumbing is broken, you call a plumber, if the car has a mechanical issue, you take it to a mechanic.  When you break your arm, you go to the hospital.  Depression also requires the qualified professional.  

    Let us use our Krishna Consciousness to increase our intelligence, not to naively stick our head in the sand and hope that it will change the tires on our car.

    Your servant,

    Nitai Priya Devi Dasi

    • Dear Nitai Priya DD mataji, 

      Thank you for putting it so aptly. I refer to both your replies. They were spot-on and very practical. I do agree with you that sadly, there isn't much education on mental health. I come from an Asian country and alot of people from Asian cultures and environments are not aware of mental illnesses and the consequences. There needs to be more honest and understanding devotees like yourself to educate each other on this :) 

    • Hare Krsna! I appreciate this.
    • Hare krishna,AGTSP

      Depression is Mental related illness and you cant relate to it by giving physical examples like Chanting Hare Krishna does not immediately mend a broken leg, nor does it repair your kitchen plumbing when the pipes have burst. 

      Engaging yourself in Krishna Consciosness activities does eradicate depression ,Its Much better than Going to a Pshyciatriasts who gives drugs which have several side effects. You Just have to take the Spiritual Medicine of japa like chanting 16 rounds ,foll regulative principles hear lectures and read Bhagavat Gita And Bhagavatam.

      Even If you dont get any Joy in japa just keep doing it ,these are testing times youll regain your happiness Eventually .

      Your Servant

  • Get Satsang of shrimad bhagwad gita & shrimad bhagwad (krishna lila) from pure devotee of krishna, ask about your problem to devotee face to face,do kirtan, chant maha mantra. at last seat at your temple in your home and seriously ask to krishna vigrha about your problem , give water of your tears heartly,  krishna will definetly give inspiration what to do ok. hare krishna. from rana paresh  

  • Volunteer

    Hare Krishna dear Devotees, please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

    The meaning of the word depression is like fall down from that stage of consciousness in we were some time before. So which means from happy stage to unhappy stage. 

    So that unhappiness in material world is known as dissatisfaction with life. We do not have source from where we can get happiness.

    Usually that happiness is love. So all we need is love.

    There are 3 types of love:

    1. love which we get from food

    2. love which we get from opposite sex or any other relations with other people

    3. love which we get from connecting with Supreme Person-Krishna.

    So usually people who do not worship Krishna - God try to soak the first two sources to get that doze of love. They or true we try to eat nicely, have good, trusting friends and we like to talk to them, have nice husband or attractive wife...

    But Devotees know that those 2 are temporary so they try to get the 3rd type of love. And that is achieved as very true said by Rahul Prabhu by chanting the Holy Names - attentively.

    But it is true if we are in ignorance we are not able to chant nicely.

    So if people do not get second type of love they lie down on FOOD as an example, there was survey among abase people. Why they get fat? The most given answer is because of dissatisfaction in life they start to EAT.

    It can be seen also usually un married boys or girls are very attractive. They are slim, with muscles....because they want the second type of love and getting that. But after getting married they get frustrated from relations and start to eat....

    so in this way, only solution is connection with God - Sri Naam Prabhu can help.

    Usually, when i am in such depression i cry (first), then i pray (second) opening my heart to the Lord to give me strength to control my senses and overcome this situation.

    "my Lord let me be unhappy, let me feel unhappy but no matter what please give me strength to serve to Your Devotees and to You and make Them and You happy!"


    So it says that happiness and service is the two sides of one coin.

    When we serve selflessly happiness always follows.

    Coin is one. 

    So no matter what seeing the goal - love for Krishna we have to move on. 

    As Lord Brahma prays in 10th Canto 

    tatenukampam sushumikshamanam (i do not remember exactly)

    no matter what difficulty is there in Devotee's life by his past karma he continues to serve to Lord...

    so we have at least to try to be like this.

    Your servant, 

    P.S. yes, fasting. Especially on Ekadashis - nirjal fasting makes mind purer and clearer and when there is purity determination will come. 

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