my mental illness

i have been chanting 16 rounds for two years.Everything was going nice.i was gradually progressing.But 1 month before i got a mental illness called panic anxiety attack.So i am disturbed. Please guide me. how to deal with this problem.Can a devotee have a mental illness or it is due to any offence done by me unknowingly.

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  • Dearest Govind prabhu,

    This reply might be really late but I will still be going ahead in hopes that someone who might be going through the same issue as you,in the future, might stumble upon these replies and thus help him or herself. I have been lingering on such topics on this forum for quite long and I frequently feel disheartened when I come across the type of replies given by devotees on this topic. The only valid and truly practical reply is that by Nitai Priya DD mataji on the post “How to overcome Depression” asked by user ‘hare Krishna’. Do try to check out her reply if possible.

    I genuinely understand how you feel as I was also diagnosed with anxiety or more specifically PTSD. Panic attacks are intense and not easy to overcome. Intrusive thoughts and feelings of suffocation are experienced frequently when a person, devotee or not, is afflicted with this condition. It almost feels like there is another entity inside of you,which is why it is very common for people with mind issues to be mistaken as a possessed or haunted person.

     Let me prepare you for something you might undoubtedly face (or have already faced as I can see in this discussion) with certain family members or devotees. Some of them are always not going to understand the difference between a clinical mental condition and difficult phase in life. To be elaborate, many people might say things like, “ Oh, don’t just sit down there and be scared/depressed, this is something we all go through. Why don’t you just relax and be happy?” or if devotees, “ Just chant the depression/anxiety away. All problems will be rectified if you just chant the holy names and pray to Krsna.”. While these people are TRYING to mean well, they come off as completely wrong. They don’t know that a person experiencing a mind illness cannot even bring themselves to even brush their teeth or eat or shower. I have been there before. It’s not that they don’t want to do those things, they can’t bring themselves to. Similar to a mute person, it’s not that he doesn’t want to speak but since he’s mute, he does not have the ability to. A mentally afflicted person feels like he is under the whims of his mind. To top that, there are a hundred things running in his mind all at once which includes suicidal suggestions. He cannot even sleep through the night. And since, he is NOT the mind( Mind is subtle body, separate from us), it is very insensitive to say things like “Get over it”,“Why do you keep thinking about it,just don’t think about it”,”You’re not doing devotional service properly”, “ If you remember the real reason is to go back to Godhead,there will be no problem, shower your love on Krsna”. If the person could, don’t you think he would have?

    We don’t go to a person who has cancer and say “ Oh prabhuji, it’s just Cancer. Get on with your life!”. Do we? Then why is the same thing being said to a sufferer of mental disease. It is very painful,dark and scary. It requires much compassion, understanding and acceptance towards the affected individual. So dear prabhu, please take one,tiny,baby step per day.And practise acceptance with yourself. Understand that your mind is just like a machine which generates automated thoughts, The more you’re sensitised to it, the more it repeats the same thing. I won’t go more into details about this, try reading on anxiety and intrusive thoughts on . This would help you to understand more on how anxiety works. I also suggest that if you still continue to have debilitating anxiety and emotional breakdowns, DO THE RIGHT THING. Make an appointment with a qualified therapist who specialises in panic attack management. I used to be against taking medications but I’ve personally met happy and stable people (some of them, devotees ) whose lives are much peaceful and better due to these medications. And medications can also be weaned off after awhile when your condition is different now and you don’t need them.

     Even HH Badrinarayan Maharaj, who is part of GBC, said that if someone needs medication to bring themselves out from bed and chant at least one round, then they SHOULD be taking it , there is nothing wrong with it if it’s going to help them stay alive and do their duty.(Have not quoted him word for word but this is along the lines of what he said) .When someone’s leg has broken and he is crying in pain, we don’t run and bring a japa bag to him and say “Chant prabhu, your leg will be fine”. We bring him to the hospital where his healing takes place and in that better condition, he is able to do maybe some of what he used to do before, gradually. Hence prabhu,consult a qualified therapist who YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH. Neuroplasticity and mindfulness techniques will be used to help you cope and manage. Alot of these are in placement with Vedic values. If you’re exposed to a lot of media and similar anxiety triggering platforms such as Facebook, try to stave off them. Meditation and breathing exercises are also part of what a therapist might use. In my case, being a devotee made this much easier as we have experience in chanting and also staving off social media and movies helps in KC as well. However, I still had a little attachment to watching TV, so instead of artificially renouncing watching TV altogether, I still watch it but only things with vedic content,ISKCON lectures and innocent cartoons. This has helped me a lot.

    So dear prabhu, please do what you feel is best for you! Don’t compare yourself with others’ standard and stick to asking advice from just one devotee who you know understands you. Many people say many,different things but at the end of the day, it’s your life journey towards Krsna. Do the right thing!

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  • Hare Krishna Prabhu,

    Desi cow gomutra ark is known to be bringing positive energy to make spiritual progress alongwith curing physical illness. Now a days our devotees are manufacturing desi cow gomutra ark - easily available in Iskcon temple stores. It costs about Rs.50 to 100 per bottle depending on the place. It helps devotees as well as Karmis. So take gomutra ark regularly for 3 months and you will start seeing the results in a months time.

    Dosage : 1 cap (of the bottle) with two caps warm water empty stomach - morning and evening. Gomutra is tikshn (strong) so you may feel some discomforts for few days but it will settle down. It increase pitta in the body so to balance it have Aloe Vera juice 30 ml in the morning empty stomach.

    Hare Krishna,

    Vasudev (Panchgavya Practitioner)

  • sir, i am nt an advanced devotee but every illness can be cured when we chant .. that is the grtness of  hari naam..while chanting jst think of krsna and radha maa and the way he was always thr with you ...tht will increase the devotion.. nd yeah determination is important..listen to bhajan and chant will reduce ur anxiety..participate in sankirtan best way to feel gud.. :) :) hare krishna

  • Good thing is you have a cure for your mental illness. Believe it or not i came into krishna consciousness bcoz i was a patient of high anxiety level/panic attacks/DP/DR. It is the mahamantra that cured me. Although it took continuous chanting for one month. So be happy, krishna gave this punishment but also cure with it.
  • Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya sarvam iti mahatma sudarlabh, " I offer my humble respects to Sri Vasudeva the Cause of all causes. May He be merciful to me. " 

    Dear Mihir, 

    This is what you posted: 

    Sun gazing taught by HRM can cure all mental and physical disorders. Please contact HRM for guidance.

    Please permit me to post this scientific view: 

    How long does it take before your eyes get damaged when looking at the sun?

    Answer :

    Damage to the eyes from sun exposure can take two forms: short-term damage and long-term damage. Short-term damage ("solar retinopathy") occurs when a person stares directly at the sun, and is a result of too much ultraviolet light flooding the retina. In extreme cases this can cause blindness, but is so painfull that it is rare for someone to be able to stare at the sun for that long. Typically, eye damage from staring at the sun results in blurred vision, dark or yellow spots, pain in bright light or loss of vision in the center of the eye (the fovea). Permanent damage to the retina has been shown to occur in ~100 seconds, but the exact time before damage occurs will vary with the intensity of the sun on a particular day (clouds and haze can weaken the sun's rays) and with how much the viewer's pupil is dilated (decongestants and other drugs will dilate pupils). Obviously, no one has done a study to measure the exact time before damage or blindness occurs, but doctors collect information after events like the 1999 solar eclipse, when people who stared directly at the sun for several minutes went to see their doctor. In one study, about half had permanent damage. Short-term damage can be easily prevented: never look directly at the sun. During sunsets, when the intensity of ultraviolet light is lower due to scattering, avoid looking directly at the sun for more than a few minutes at a time. Sunglasses and camera filters do not prevent short-term damage, and may make it more likely by dilating your pupil and/or allowing you to stare at the sun longer without pain.

    Long-term damage is also caused by the effects of ultraviolet light, and can result in cataracts (cloudy spots on the eye lens), corneal sunburn and growths on the surface of the eye. This type of damage can be the result of a lifetime of sun exposure, and the effects usually don't show up until people are in their 50's or later. Long-term damage is harder to prevent, especially in people who spend a lot of time outside. The best prevention is to wear sunglasses that block UV light (both UVA and UVB).

    Haribol always, 

    Krsnaraja Melvin 

    • Dear Rishi Prabhu Hare Krishna . 

      You said you had more severe mental disorders . How are you now ?

      Do you take any other medicines ?

      How long one has to take the medicine  Saraswatarishatam and aswagandha ? I did a little research and found it is dependent on doctor's prescription. I am not aware of any ayurvedic doctor in our locality . I have also no faith in the so called doctors who sit in local chambers of Baba ramdev's pharmacy . 


      • Hare Krishna Gopal Krishna Prabhu,

        Yes, I am currently suffering from a very severe psychological disorder. Because of that disorder, my life(material & spiritual both) has been ruined. I highly need of prayers and the help of Krishna Conscious devotees. I also lost faith from the doctors, since my childhood, suffering a lot in my student life. I'm being diagnosed wrongly by many doctors and still my case is taken very lightly by doctors and my family too. Family situation is also very serious.

        Saraswatarishtam can be taken for no more than a month.
        Dosage: 14-24ml(1-2 tablespoons) with mixing the same quantity of water with it, two times a day immediately after meals.

        Ashwagandha capsules two times a day 15 min after the meals daily, try for a month. These medicines do not seem to have any significant side effects, are totally natural, safe and can be taken by anyone. Just do not overdose it because it increases levels of thyroid hormone, which could exacerbate the negative effects of hyperthyroidism. If you or from your family have had been suffered from hyperthyroidism, then it's best to take breaks from use. For instance, you can take a week off each month or take it 3 or 4 times a week as opposed to daily. :)

        If you can not find them from your nearest medical store then it's available online too. Buy any Himalaya, Dabur, Baidyanath, Patanjali etc.

        Medications are only for the support of your anxiety/disorder which is important. With this, you must associate more with the devotees. The ultimate solution is to chant and be happy.

        Hare Krishna.

        • Dear Rishi Prabhu,

          I pray to Lord so that you recover from the illness. 

          Had these medicines helped  you as you are so positive about these two medicines  but are telling that you are not cured yet ?

          I am shocked and came to know many many devotees are suffering from such disorder. Even some had developed this problem after coming to KC . 

          • Hare Krishna Prabhu,

            Thank you very much for your prayers :) 

            And yes I'm very positive about these medicines. My mental illness is not Panic/Anxiety attack disorder or something. It is more than just that. btw I suffered from depression and anxiety for more than one year in my college's 1st year in 2014-15. Only devotional services or association can be sensitive during this time because our mind is already affected so Maya can attack with her full potential. These medicines had supported me to overcome from that tough time. It's been just 3-4 months since I'm active and coming to ISKCON and a part of it. before that, I used to attain lectures sometimes in my college, given by my Shiksha guru. Chanting/Kirtan/dancing/hearing lectures and more association with devotees helped me a lot. I've also observed that many new young devotees are coming with such disorders in ISKCON. However, In Ayurveda, It is said to be our past life's sins that cause such mental disorders in this life(We all know our all problems are the reaction of our karma). Actually, Sometimes it is the main reason why they come and attract to ISKCON. Therefore, they've got another chance to the human form of life to correct it. I'm a live example here. It sounds funny. Believe it or not. :)

  • Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya sarvam iti mahatma sudarlabha, " I offer my humble respects to Sri Vasudeva, the Cause of all causes. May He be merciful to me. " 

    Dear Govind Prajapati, 

    Your Question: Everything was going nice.i was gradually progressing.But 1 month before i got a mental illness called panic anxiety attack.So i am disturbed. Please guide me. how to deal with this problem.Can a devotee have a mental illness or it is due to any offence done by me unknowingly.

    First, we have to understand what is Panic Anxiety Attack. Here`s one from HelpGuide.Org  which I quote, "A panic attack is a sudden surge of overwhelming anxiety and fear. Your heart pounds and you can’t breathe. You may even feel like you’re dying or going crazy. Left untreated, panic attacks can lead to panic disorder and other problems. They may even cause you to withdraw from normal activities. But panic attacks can be cured and the sooner you seek help, the better. With treatment, you can reduce or eliminate the symptoms of panic and regain control of your life." 

    Still from HelpGuide.Org

    Signs and symptoms of a panic attack

    Panic attacks often strike when you’re away from home, but they can happen anywhere and at any time. You may have one while you’re in a store shopping, walking down the street, driving in your car, or sitting on the couch at home.

    The signs and symptoms of a panic attack develop abruptly and usually reach their peak within 10 minutes. Most panic attacks end within 20 to 30 minutes, and they rarely last more than an hour.

    A full-blown panic attack includes a combination of the following signs and symptoms:

    • Shortness of breath or hyperventilation
    • Heart palpitations or a racing heart
    • Chest pain or discomfort
    • Trembling or shaking
    • Choking feeling
    • Feeling unreal or detached from your surroundings
    • Sweating
    • Nausea or upset stomach
    • Feeling dizzy, light-headed, or faint
    • Numbness or tingling sensations
    • Hot or cold flashes
    • Fear of dying, losing control, or going crazy


    My Personal Opinion: 

    If only we have this belief that Krishna is the Cause of all causes. Then we will discover the root of our problems. He is no other than Krishna Himself. Why is Krishna giving us problems? If we can not find solutions to our Krishna-related problems, We pray to Krishna to heal us. & acknowledge we have sinned. By His mercy, Krishna will hear and cure us. In other words, Krishna will make a way when there seems to be no way. 

    Haribol always, 

    Krsnaraja Melvin

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