Meditation Is a Psychological Stressor and Should Not Be Recommended

AlexR

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A literature search for psychotic states related to meditation was carried out on PubMed, Embase and PsycInfo. In the case presented a diagnosis of acute polymorphic psychotic disorder was made. Other case reports dealt with either a relapse of a pre-existent psychotic disorder or with a brief psychotic reaction in patients without a psychiatric history. Meditation can act as a stressor in vulnerable patients who may develop a transient psychosis with polymorphic symptomatology.
Meditation is overwhelmingly seen as an activity with only positive benefits that can not be harmful in any way. This couldn't be further from the truth. There have been far too many serious adverse effects that occur after a meditation practice is taken up and it is seemingly always brushed under the rug or explained away by some spiritual mumbo jumbo while the victim is left on their own to suffer. These victims are told that this is a normal process and happens because repressed emotions or psychological trauma is being brought to the surface from the meditation. It is time to think of the possibility that meditation is not bringing stressors to the surface, but IS the stressor itself. I personally can not think of one person who has objectively improved themselves or their lives through meditation, but I know of at least three people who have suffered from serious side effects that nearly or have completely derailed their lives. Meditation can cause serious, lifelong psychological-damage and should not be recommended to people looking to improve their lives. There are much better stress reducing activities that do not induce psychosis.
 

dlind70

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Meditation makes one vulnerable to psychic attack and this is why teenagers are very much encouraged to eat meat and more zinc because teenagers are very much growing once you've hit a certain age I noticed meditation may help you.
 

dlind70

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Meditation is biological sonic resonance. Meditation is really strange.some people say that has to do with sex and some people actually say you're not really meditating or practicing it unless you have a hard-on but other than that you really have to research this thing it's basically the opposite side of sleep because if you're not sleeping you're meditating in that state and it's much easier to do at night
 

dhtsupreme

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I find this funny. Meditation is only a stressor if you keep reacting to your thoughts which is the exact opposite of meditation or if you neglect your general health

Thoughts can be like living with a wild dog. If you're like Cesar Millan you don't react to the dog when it's acting up, knowing it will soon settle down. It's the act of sitting with your thoughts and detaching from them. Instead of getting stressed by them you're breaking the stress response by not reacting emotionally to them and accepting them. You will soon be able to change your behavior by the second through raised awareness of a thought/emotion and use focused attention to remain calm and not get sad, angry etc.

It's about acceptance and calming yourself in the face of mental stress. If anything it trains you to be more stress resilient

This is a more recent article to the one you linked
"A total of 19 studies and 28 cases were included in the review. The patients described had an age range of 18-57 years; there was equal distribution of males and females. The diagnoses included acute psychosis in 14 cases, schizophrenia in 7 cases, mania with psychotic symptoms in 3 cases, and schizoaffective disorder in 1 case. The types of meditation described were Transcendent, Mindfulness, Buddhist Meditation like Qigong, Zen, and Theraveda, and others like Bikram yoga, Pranic Healing, and Hindustan Type meditation. Of the 28 cases reported, 14 patients had certain precipitating factors like insomnia, lack of food intake, history of mental illness, stress, and psychoactive substance use .

"At the same time, there is a body of research describing the beneficial effect of meditative practice in clinical settings for patients with psychotic disorders. "

It's common sense that meditation works for a variety of issues including the one you claim it induces. Unfortunately people like yourself take things out of context and apply a solution for the whole when there are more factors involved in why it doesn't work for somebody. Most people could use it so they have more awareness and less reactivity for many life circumstances/predicaments
 

AlexR

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@dhtsupreme So half of the people who broke down into psychosis had no known issues and the other half had factors that include mental illness, but also insomnia and stress. It doesn’t seem like it takes much to induce psychosis with meditation and it’s a gamble that nobody should take. Especially given that the negative effects of meditation are not talked about and brushed aside due to it being culturally accepted that it is harmless and only beneficial. I never see articles about meditation warning the reader that attempting it may cause psychosis when it is a very real thing that happens at a frequency that is not acceptable. Meditation is “common sense” as you say just like soybean oil consumption is good for your heart and sugar causes every health issue known to man. The only reason we don’t see more negative effects from meditation is that thankfully most people are not disciplined enough to degrade their mind with it long enough.
 

Cloudhands

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Yeah okay one article is going to prove that eons of what different cultures find useful is stressful. Im sure if you have a bunch of obese people do a pushup their stress levels will increase too lol. I can find 10 positive studies surrounding meditation for every one you cherry pick with negative effects. Nothing personal, i just dont think that coming to a conclusion on just this one study gives the whole picture.
 

AlexR

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Yeah okay one article is going to prove that eons of what different cultures find useful is stressful. Im sure if you have a bunch of obese people do a pushup their stress levels will increase too lol. I can find 10 positive studies surrounding meditation for every one you cherry pick with negative effects. Nothing personal, i just dont think that coming to a conclusion on just this one study gives the whole picture.
It’s not one article, it’s a research paper analyzing many other studies. It’s also not about causing stress, it’s about meditation causing temporary or permanent psychosis which is a risk that walking or doing some pushups won’t cause. Meditation-induced psychosis is finally being recognized and no, other cultures did not find meditation universally helpful. A phenomenon known as the dark night of the soul is talked about in monasteries and it is pretty similar if not the same thing as meditation-induced psychosis. Also, this appeal to ancient cultures is the most braindead argument made on this forum and in other places. A lot of cultures have not survived or are completely incompatible with modern cultures and are objectively worse. Whenever you make that argument, just know that it doesn’t actually mean anything and is as pseudo-intellectual as it gets.
 

dhtsupreme

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@dhtsupreme So half of the people who broke down into psychosis had no known issues and the other half had factors that include mental illness, but also insomnia and stress. It doesn’t seem like it takes much to induce psychosis with meditation and it’s a gamble that nobody should take. Especially given that the negative effects of meditation are not talked about and brushed aside due to it being culturally accepted that it is harmless and only beneficial. I never see articles about meditation warning the reader that attempting it may cause psychosis when it is a very real thing that happens at a frequency that is not acceptable. Meditation is “common sense” as you say just like soybean oil consumption is good for your heart and sugar causes every health issue known to man. The only reason we don’t see more negative effects from meditation is that thankfully most people are not disciplined enough to degrade their mind with it long enough.
Oh boy you make it sound like it's as serious as taking an ssri drug. 14 people had issues in 19 meditation studies scientists have conducted. Do you not realize how miniscule that is? There are probably other reasons why they struggled and got acute psychosis that researchers were unaware of


"Almost all reported cases of meditation-induced psychosis took place during meditation retreats where people meditated for several hours each day.4"

Most people don't meditate for several hours a day. If you feel odd then just stop. How difficult is that? Is this not common sense?

No it's not common sense that soybean oil is good for your heart. You're taking a bean and extracting the oil at high concentrations for consumption. Common sense is that sugar from a naturally growing fruit on a tree is healthy and 100 times better than sugar in a candy cane from a factory devoid of anything else. That's simple thinking. Most don't need an article to realize that. What they struggle with is stopping the habit of eating a candy cane. Meditation helps with that. You feel the urge to eat a candy cane and stay calm focusing on your breath, watch the thought to eat a candy cane go away like a cloud passing through the sky and eat a nice fruit feeling good about yourself

It's been done for 1000's of years. There's so many anecdotes of it working for individuals and here you are saying it causes psychosis off of a few cases lol Meditation is so useful and can also help people that struggle with thinking before they speak. You should try it gl
 

Dustin94

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In my opinion, anyone who practices meditation correctly, which is the continued and successful application of awareness towards one object, will experience some benefit.

I have heard instances of people having adverse experiences with meditation, but meditation is not supposed to always feel comfortable, because uncomfortable thoughts, physical sensations, sexual urges etc. may arise during the process. This doesn’t mean that meditation itself is bad. In fact, meditation is often described as a purification, and that means it is not always peaceful and pleasant.

Personally, I practice spinal breathing prayanama and mantra meditation. This is the “advanced yoga practice” by yogani that can be found online. My life is always better when I meditate using this method. However, being that it is purifying, it’s not always comfortable when I practice it.

It’s weird how meditation works that way, but as someone once described to me, our brains/memory/consciousness is like a computer. When we experience things, the computer wants to interpret, objectify, and process each experience. Until this is complete, each experience is like a “program” or “task” that the computer needs to run/integrate/close (whatever you want to call it). When we are backlogged with programs that have not been integrated, our life is impacted negatively, and these programs demand our attention. This is why all the thoughts start flooding in as soon as we sit down in a room doing nothing, or we lay down in bed before we sleep. Meditation is like a cleaning software that processes out all these programs, and allows the computer to run efficiently. To say this spiritually, meditation is the forgiveness and pulling away of energy and judgment towards each experience, which allows consciousness and non-judgmental experience based on reality, to arise.
 

Cloudhands

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It’s not one article, it’s a research paper analyzing many other studies. It’s also not about causing stress, it’s about meditation causing temporary or permanent psychosis which is a risk that walking or doing some pushups won’t cause. Meditation-induced psychosis is finally being recognized and no, other cultures did not find meditation universally helpful. A phenomenon known as the dark night of the soul is talked about in monasteries and it is pretty similar if not the same thing as meditation-induced psychosis. Also, this appeal to ancient cultures is the most braindead argument made on this forum and in other places. A lot of cultures have not survived or are completely incompatible with modern cultures and are objectively worse. Whenever you make that argument, just know that it doesn’t actually mean anything and is as pseudo-intellectual as it gets.
Yes im aware that appeal to nature is a logical fallacy, but this isnt an formal debate, im not trying to prove anything im just pointing out how rediculous it is to view meditation as harmful based on one meta analysis. You dont have to believe me, nor do you have to reap the benefits of meditation. But when done right, and not overdone its an extremely beneficial practice. Most mindful practices acknowledge the dangers of overdoing or doing meditation wrong, nothing new or special, but to then go on to think that meditation is harmful is like saying carbohydrates are harmful because starch gives some people issues. Mindfulness can be extremely helpful, and while when done wrongly, or without the correct intent, it can be harmful, meditation is not harmful. A pair of scissors could be harmful as well, so maybe you should have someone else cut your coupons from now on hahaha
 

AlexR

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Yes im aware that appeal to nature is a logical fallacy, but this isnt an formal debate, im not trying to prove anything im just pointing out how rediculous it is to view meditation as harmful based on one meta analysis. You dont have to believe me, nor do you have to reap the benefits of meditation. But when done right, and not overdone its an extremely beneficial practice. Most mindful practices acknowledge the dangers of overdoing or doing meditation wrong, nothing new or special, but to then go on to think that meditation is harmful is like saying carbohydrates are harmful because starch gives some people issues. Mindfulness can be extremely helpful, and while when done wrongly, or without the correct intent, it can be harmful, meditation is not harmful. A pair of scissors could be harmful as well, so maybe you should have someone else cut your coupons from now on hahaha
It doesn’t matter if it’s a formal debate or not. You used that argument as the backbone of your belief as to why you think meditation is totally harmless. You’re simply not correct when you say that meditation when done right is completely safe. Meditation retreats now make you sign waivers acknowledging the risk of meditation-induced psychosis, except they call it, “strong emotional experiences may unexpectedly appear”. Your arguments are completely in bad faith and not relevant to the discussion. This is nothing at all like saying carbohydrates are bad because of starches. On the contrary, it’s more like saying to avoid PUFA-laden foods as there are better ways to fuel your body, just like there are better ways to reduce stress and build concentration and discipline.
 

Cloudhands

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It doesn’t matter if it’s a formal debate or not. You used that argument as the backbone of your belief as to why you think meditation is totally harmless. You’re simply not correct when you say that meditation when done right is completely safe. Meditation retreats now make you sign waivers acknowledging the risk of meditation-induced psychosis, except they call it, “strong emotional experiences may unexpectedly appear”. Your arguments are completely in bad faith and not relevant to the discussion. This is nothing at all like saying carbohydrates are bad because of starches. On the contrary, it’s more like saying to avoid PUFA-laden foods as there are better ways to fuel your body, just like there are better ways to reduce stress and build concentration and discipline.
Meditation makes me feel great! Never been to a retreat but it helps me stay calm and let sheet go. So im gonna let this sheet go lol.
 

S-VV

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Meditation, yoga, rolfing, alexander technique, feldenkrais, tai chi, chi kung, somatics etc.. are fundamental anti stress techniques with a lot of common elements. I think they are one of the big missing pieces of the peat framework
 

Uselis

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I was about to ask were data pulled from retreats. Retreat it's like severely out of shape individual would enter bootcamp. Chances are he'd injure his body except injuring your nervous system has MUCH more serious consequences.

There is also silence code for whole retreat which could be serious issue for people not used to that. Silence in general imo is healing but going from stimulus loaded life multiple years in row into complete no noise environement can be terrifying.

I personally think there is no need to do formal meditation but , yep, I am the one who had horror story from it. Blames on me though. I think if you're into nutrition/lifestyle somewhat seriously it's a meditation on it's own as far as using awareness goes. To see how X food or Y lifestyle choice affects your state is a daily practice imo. And as far first task of any meditation goes - calming the body and mind with breathing, you can do that with bag breathing as well.

As a side note I think westerners are much more likely to run into problems if undertaking meditation too seriously. A good amount of us has goal orientated mindset, achievers outlook, embracing grind/suffering and all that jazz while neglecting joy and relaxation. Practicing joyfullness is like a lubricant for whatever issues might arise because of meditation.
 

Cloudhands

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Meditation, yoga, rolfing, alexander technique, feldenkrais, tai chi, chi kung, somatics etc.. are fundamental anti stress techniques with a lot of common elements. I think they are one of the big missing pieces of the peat framework
I do tai chi and chi kung. My sifu has spoken about something called chi kung psychosis which i believe is in the chinese DSM, but its not like its common, and when someone does come into the academy saying that the ancestors have been visiting them or that they can see peoples chi he just tells them to stop doing it for a little bit then theyre back to normal.
 

dhtsupreme

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In my opinion, anyone who practices meditation correctly, which is the continued and successful application of awareness towards one object, will experience some benefit.

I have heard instances of people having adverse experiences with meditation, but meditation is not supposed to always feel comfortable, because uncomfortable thoughts, physical sensations, sexual urges etc. may arise during the process. This doesn’t mean that meditation itself is bad. In fact, meditation is often described as a purification, and that means it is not always peaceful and pleasant.

Personally, I practice spinal breathing prayanama and mantra meditation. This is the “advanced yoga practice” by yogani that can be found online. My life is always better when I meditate using this method. However, being that it is purifying, it’s not always comfortable when I practice it.

It’s weird how meditation works that way, but as someone once described to me, our brains/memory/consciousness is like a computer. When we experience things, the computer wants to interpret, objectify, and process each experience. Until this is complete, each experience is like a “program” or “task” that the computer needs to run/integrate/close (whatever you want to call it). When we are backlogged with programs that have not been integrated, our life is impacted negatively, and these programs demand our attention. This is why all the thoughts start flooding in as soon as we sit down in a room doing nothing, or we lay down in bed before we sleep. Meditation is like a cleaning software that processes out all these programs, and allows the computer to run efficiently. To say this spiritually, meditation is the forgiveness and pulling away of energy and judgment towards each experience, which allows consciousness and non-judgmental experience based on reality, to arise.
Awesome analogy and thank you for sharing that! This is exactly what I experienced.

Filtering through thoughts/emotions. No objective in mind, but afterwards being less likely to swim against the current (fighting thoughts/emotions) and better able to go with the flow. Def a practical and spiritual use to them which makes it useful for anybody with an open mind to try it
 

AlexR

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I do tai chi and chi kung. My sifu has spoken about something called chi kung psychosis which i believe is in the chinese DSM, but its not like its common, and when someone does come into the academy saying that the ancestors have been visiting them or that they can see peoples chi he just tells them to stop doing it for a little bit then theyre back to normal.
This is what I love about meditation experts. Most, if not all, know that meditation can cause mental breakdowns and psychosis and act like it’s no big deal. Some people are just more sensitive to the mind-toxin that is meditation and have complete mental breakdowns. Don’t be fooled that because you are not one of those people, that meditation must be a good thing. You can just tolerate higher doses of mental poison without inducing psychosis, but to me, it seems like it’s already having deleterious effects on you.
 

Daft

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There's different kinds of meditation, but at its most basic it's akin to staring into a fire - something most humans know to be calming and mind clearing, it's even akin to the act of reading, as it literally consists ultimately of simply controlling your attention. When you do this excessively - yes it appears to open up the possibility of mental issues in at least some, but the literature which you can look into with the above as a more basic starting point shows experiments objectively showing stress reduction through mild use via several basic measures of stress. Mantra is one way of accomplishing the basic aim of concentrating attention which the above's technique focuses on but is by no means the only or best way.
 

Cloudhands

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This is what I love about meditation experts. Most, if not all, know that meditation can cause mental breakdowns and psychosis and act like it’s no big deal. Some people are just more sensitive to the mind-toxin that is meditation and have complete mental breakdowns. Don’t be fooled that because you are not one of those people, that meditation must be a good thing. You can just tolerate higher doses of mental poison without inducing psychosis, but to me, it seems like it’s already having deleterious effects on you.
Lmfao i think its funny how youre only responding to my comments, guess i struck a nerve
 

Uselis

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There's different kinds of meditation, but at its most basic it's akin to staring into a fire - something most humans know to be calming and mind clearing, it's even akin to the act of reading, as it literally consists ultimately of simply controlling your attention. When you do this excessively - yes it appears to open up the possibility of mental issues in at least some, but the literature which you can look into with the above as a more basic starting point shows experiments objectively showing stress reduction through mild use via several basic measures of stress. Mantra is one way of accomplishing the basic aim of concentrating attention which the above's technique focuses on but is by no means the only or best way.
I used to stare at a candle for hours lol. It's fascinating for me how something so ruthless and fierce as fire can also be so calming and lock your gaze for so long.
 
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