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Islam Mental Illness and Music

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by namjiwankaur, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. namjiwankaur

    namjiwankaur
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  3. Archived_Member16

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    AS A MATTER OF INTEREST:

    Missing Sprituality in Mental Health & Remaining in Chardhi Kala

    August 20, 2012 - by Chaan Pardesi

    Missing Sprituality


    'I believe there is a spirituality in every body', says a Granthi from the stage of Gurduara Sahib Seven Kings, London.But the mental health services of most western nations do not agree.The spiritual needs of people experiencing mental health problems can often be overlooked or even pathologised.

    So where does that leave those for whom religion is a way of life, asked a Sikh patient once, who I met while conducting a forensic assessment of crime and health for his possible discharge and on going care.This made me think, any one of us attempting to find some meaning behind a traumatic life experiences would be asking and feeling.It made wonder for a long time; and thereafter any time, I came across a Sikh [for that matter a Muslim, Hindu or of any religious persuasion] clientele in my professional capacity, I always beared that in mind; However, quite concerned that they were stuck into a system like that seen in the film , "ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST"; I always offered that extension of spirituality choice, when I come into contact during such assessments.

    In the Oxford English dictionaries Spirituality is defined as:

    1) Relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things: I’m responsible for his spiritual welfare having a relationship based on a profound level of mental or emotional communion: he never forgot his spiritual father (of a person) not concerned with material values or pursuits.

    2) Relating to religion or religious belief: the country’s spiritual leader

    Other definitions from other dictionaries say the same more or less.Spirituality is important for most, and many of us, when experiencing distress.It can provide a sense of belonging and hope, as well as enhancing coping strategies and a sense of control.For a Sikh, the path of Sikhism is 'a way of life as it encompasses an whole holistic life journey, actions and experiences; so it is not hard to imagine the typically "western approach falls short for many religiously orientated people.

    "It's what motivates them to help themselves", I told a meeting of senior managers, during a National conference in Brighton ;because my experience tells me that if we explain for example what the Gurbani says in terms of depression then it resonates so much more, for example for a Sikh.

    I believe Sikh communities in the western countries need an integrated approach to mental health care.Currently, there is no such Sikh service that can try and combine both western interventions and specialist Sikh counseling.Typically the Sikh side of treatment could involve references to the Shabad Guru, Guru Granth Sahib; to take comfort or guidance from, and /or offering of specific prayers[path]like sukhmani Sahib,that can , through the practice of recitation, give the person a feeling of solace and peace.

    In sukhmani, 'Prabh Ki Simeran Pooran Ki Asa, Prabh Ke Simeran Man Ki Mal Jaye' offers that by remembering the Lord, the desire is fulfilled,the mind's filth is removed, and the ambroisal Name is absorbed in the heart- goes a long way in strengthening the mental faculities of any person with spiritual leaning.

    From my experience and statistics shows people recover much quicker as they use a combination of medication, cognitive behavioural therapy aand counselling based upon Sikh Values; as this move recognises and actively encourages the SPIRITUAL that is so integral and central to the daily Sikh life.

    The question, can a spiritual aspect to treatment really be of benefit then?A Muslim patient, Zainab, a rethink mental illness supporter and practising Muslim says that prayer allows her to "clear her mind."When she experienced depression a few years ago, it was CBT aand talking to her Imam that helped her .She points out the similarities between mindfulness and prayer; just another patient, Tarmninderjeet Virk, a Sikh also found the similarities in the prayer and mindfulness.Mindfulness is often recommended for mental health problems. Tarminderjeet says "They are very similar, and when I realised I already had this "tool" [prayer] available to me as part of my religion then

    Accepting the lesson

    But for some Sikh/Muslim Communities it is not just about tailored treatment, it goes deeper then that. In the Koran it states that 'no calamity befalls but with the leave of Allah [Surah at-taghabun 64;11, the Koran]

    In Guru Granth sahib, the prayers of Jap Ji Sahib; Rehraas sahib; Kirtan Sohila, sukhmani Sahib are all pillars of strength and faith for the Sikhs. Jap Ji sahib is a sacred bani from Five that Amritdhari Sikhs should recite every day. The banis are Word of God-disseminated by Guru Nanak - and his ten Forms of Enlightenment to humanity. Most Sikhs, if they cannot recite the Gurbani themselves,would be content to listen it being recited by someone who knows and join in the Ardas jointly.Ardas is a suplicatory prayer, conducted at the end of any prayer at any time of the day.

    In Nanak's Jap Ji Sahib, one recites 'Mannai tarai Gursikh'- for having firm faith, belief and devotion, the Guru himself has achieved salvation and will make his Gursikhs [followers] the same,injects a strong bond of faith in the bani.

    So unlike the western point of view that looks to genetics, biology and medication to understand and treat mental illness, for many Sikhs [and other followers of eastern religions] the reason is simple, it is the Will of Waheguru [God Almighty].

    'Life is a test' explains another Sikh Ajay Ganda, who runs a small mental health recovery project for Sikhs in Kent; and it's about "how we deal with hardship and how we learn to move forward".from the Sikh perspective , it is less about trying to "fix" the problem and more about the acceptance or endurance of a " lesson"-Guru Da Bhana- the will of Guru; agya Bhai akal ki - order of the God Almighty. For Sikhs patience means to keep close to Guru-Guru Angh sangh sahaii hove- and to accept calmly the trials He sends , without complaining or feeling sad-Tera bhana mitha lage!

    However,on the other side of the coin, after having worked with Sikh and other minority groups, I feel this attitude can sometimes prevent people from seeking help.In many cases the family as a whole sees the mental illness as a burden, given to them by the Karta Purakh (the all prevailing Mighty, or Allah for Muslims.)

    This can of course have devastating effects, and it is why, my experience says we need a all inclusive holistic approach and treatment that takes into account the role of God ion a person's understanding of the world.In my presentation most of the senior managers present at a national conference agree.It is a case where people need to address "what does God say about this experience I am having"

    Missing the spiritual

    An in depth report by the Mental Health Foundation, called Keeping the Faith, concluded that spirituality represents" an expression of an individual's sense of humanity providing meaning and direction " and that spiritual activities , as part of an integrative approach can support the mental health and "healing of individuals". Crucially they found that it applied equally to those who were connected to an established religious faith, but also those that weren't.The report blamed the lack of spirituality in Mental health services on a " traditional science discipline "where religion and spirituality are seen as something "undefined and indefinable, that is

    outside of the professional's sphere of influence and interest.So where does that leave the western mental health services ? It is no wonder , the current set up of services fails often to address the needs of the Sikh, Muslim or Hindu or any person with a religion.It is just not about the Muslim or Sikh or Hindu communities,perhaps it is also about the whole communities that do believe in spirituality of some sorts.What if the mental health services were not only geared to encompass a persons faith, but actively sought out the meaning behind symptoms and then asked what can this teach us? After all, if we position spirituality as whatever gives an individual's life meaning, purpose and fulfillment, then surely SPIRITUALITY is need by all , irrespective of any religious back ground or atheists, included,in fact is it not fundamental?

    Sikh communities need greater awareness about mental health and the connection with spirituality and seek their rights to spirituality. It is important that we stay in Chardhi Kala - healthy mental state and share the daswand - one tenth of sewa with the world.

    source: http://www.{url not allowed}/news/missing-sprituality-mental-health-remaining-chardhi-kala
     
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  4. Navdeep88

    Navdeep88 Canada
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    Can Music cure Mental Illness? Idk, but it can Certainly Cause it! Just look @ the lyrics in Western Music, apparently it's been Doctrined too by Wiccans & Satanists etc to corrupt people as well. The effectiveness or the legitimacy of the Latter? God knows. As for the Former, yes, promoting Values that lead people to Bad, un-well thought out decisions, & ultimately stressful, unhappy Lives, can cause Illnesses of many sort, including Mental.
     
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  5. Ishna

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    Some music is better than other music within each civilisation - be it Western or Punjabi. There is trash Punjabi music and there is trash Western music. There is also good Punjabi music and good Western music.

    Wiccans don't 'corrupt' people. They are not Satanists. I'm not sure Satanists corrupt people either, they just want to get their own way.
     
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  6. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    What is mental illness?

    Mental illnesses cover a huge variety of conditions. I am sorry to say that in this day and age, we seem quick to label anyone different from the norm as ill. If I were to take my wife down to the doctor, I have no doubt she would be diagnosed as mentally ill. The truth is she just sees things different to most people. I know many many people who are a bit different, they have traits and leanings that, again, would get them diagnosed as ill, but they are not, I call them Gods special people, because thats what they are, special.

    As a 'mentally ill' person, yes, I believe music helps hugely, in fact, any solitary pursuit helps, because 'mentally ill' people have trouble relating to the norm. 'Mentally ill' people have trouble making small talk about nothing with normal people, they find it hard to walk by situations that normal people just ignore, they are not interested in the latest car, the latest house, holidays, pension plans, they stand in trains so others can sit, they do not get concerned by the mundane, or the petty.

    Of course there are truly mentally ill people, those who have difficulty functioning, or have had difficult in learning, but on the whole the banner of 'mentally ill' seems to cover a huge area.

    Mental health is very much like physical health, sometimes we all get ill, but the question is are we mentally disabled, or suffering from a temporary mental issue. I believe that Gurbani is the best self help book available, I believe that Gurbani can make people believe that they are not mentally ill, that they are truly special, in a way that no medication can.

    For myself, I am proud to describe myself as a madman, the word mad means I am free. Although in my youth, I sought treatment, therapy, I learned to understand myself, and realise that the madness is simply a desire not to follow the herd. To understand myself, the SGGS played a huge part, as did Hukam, and as does this forum. Yes, Sikhism can treat mad people, it can validate all those mad thoughts, like helping people, speaking the truth, being honest, being brave, all mad thoughts in a sane world
     
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  7. gillgk

    gillgk Malaysia
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    If this wasn't true, it would be quite funny.



    I am bipolar. I suppose that is categorised as being mentally ill. Yet, I keep telling my psychatrists that this is a spiritual awakening.

    I refused to take my meds at first but someone mentioned dwa and dua both work hand in hand. Meanwhile music plays a HUGE part. Please don't listen to heavy metal that promotes darkness. It has its effect in a mental world. You may even go mental. Never underestimate what the world holds out there.
     
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  8. namjiwankaur

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    Which mental illnesses do you think are caused by music? I used to listen to a lot of depressing music and heavy metal. It definitely changed my mind (pun intended winkingmunda) when I started listening to spiritual music.

    Would you elaborate? Wiccans do not believe in Satan. Satan is from the Abrahamic religions. I doubt wiccans would use music in a harmful way since most wiccans believe in karma (what you give will come back thrice).

    Rule of Three

    peacesignkaur
     
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  9. Ishna

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    Caution, low flying Pagan music by Celtic-inspired folk band from Australia:

    Spiral Dance- Faerie Tale - YouTube

    Saw this live in 2001, got home and told my mum the flowers in my hair were from my initiation ceremony, hehehe (poor mum!)
     
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    #8 Ishna, Sep 10, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012
  10. namjiwankaur

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    I view autism, bipolar disorder, clinical depression, schizophrenia, dissociative disorders, agoraphobia, etc., as mental illness.

    I agree, but that is because there is the illusion of "the norm" or "normal". Everyone has a neurosis of some sort.

    I'm not sure someone who is haunted by demons because of schizophrenia would agree with you. I don't feel "special". I don't want to feel "special".

    Do you have a clinical diagnosis or are you referring to being a non-conformist?

    Again, some but not all. Mentally ill people run the entire continuum just like everyone else.

    Again, some but not all. Some of my peers who attend a mental health program with me are so disconnected from reality, they are unaware of their surrondings. This is especially true of ppl who are on a lot of anti-psychotic medications.

    I agree.

    It depends on the diagnosis. There are acute forms and chronic forms of mental illnesses.

    After reading the article posted above, I am seeing why Gurbani is so "addictive" for me.


    It sounds like you are blessed with non-conformity vs. a clinical diagnosis like autism or schizophrenia.

    I only recently decided not to "hide" my PTSD. I realized I have nothing to be ashamed of. It is sad that people can call out of work with a stomach bug without shame, but risk so much judgment if they call out because they on the psych. unit in a hospital.

    peacesign
     
  11. namjiwankaur

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    Many artists who are bipolar are very creative during the highs.

    My father wasn't one of them. My father would buy houses at the spur of the moment, take off his shirt to show off his muscles(which he didn't have) to strangers.

    What is "dwa" and "dua"?

    For me also. I escaped the madness of my home life with music all my teen years and into my twenties. It was God. I have no doubt about that.

    :sippingcoffee:
     
  12. namjiwankaur

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  13. Harry Haller

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    they should listen to you, it is my firm belief that we all get mentally ill at some stage in our life, it does not mean we are bonkers, just maybe a bit burnt out.

    There can also be other reasons, for instance, my wife's low thyroid has caused many problems, and it is quite upsetting for her to know that her own mother, who had the same condition, was fobbed off with valium.

    I know about madness, it has taken me a long time to get to know who I am, and I put the teachings of Bani right at the top with regard to achieving that. But the most gifted people of our times, also tend to be the most mental. Beethoven, Mozart, Van Gogh, all hugely gifted artists, all completely bonkers, all knew the darkness of depression, as well as the height of bliss. Steppenwolf, the very book that ruled my life for years, contains the line 'for madmen only', it is a badge of honour, the madness, if harnessed properly can be a very powerful and productive tool, and if abused, can bring you to self destruction, brothers and sisters with 'issues', read bani, know yourselves, know your hearts, (all of them, if there are more than one of you), embrace who you are, do not see it as an illness, I for one, would rather erupt like a volcano in never ending bliss, and suffer the same in depressive darkness than live a mundane and predictable life. If you are bipolar, or manic depressive, than you know the joys that the volcano eruption brings, well, then you know the bliss of being in Naam, you are luckier than some who have no idea about that bliss, you are lucky enough to have tasted it, all you need to do now is tame that depression, to fight it, to not let it rule you, and that can be done with Bani.

    I speak generally, for sure there are those that are genuinely mentally ill, and of course, they need to take treatment from specialists, but for a lot of us, all we need is therapy, and the SGGS is the best therapy book going.
     
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  14. Navdeep88

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    This was Spoken in Context. I do not live in Punjabi, I have to look @ what's in front of me, & what's in front of me, is every single song telling people to shake their booty etc. Or there's Dumb popular shows about teen pregnancy. Forget about Moral values, but the very Good, decent decisions that would lead people to have an Easier, healthier, more trouble-free life have gone out the door. Food, music, everything, it's all pleasure based, & pleasure is not always good, it distracts people, it is addicting. & that's how people get tricked, & all too easily these days. The beat sounds good, but behind it, the Lyrics?

    Why is it that those songs b/c Popular? B/c they're Promoted as such, the same people promotting ill prepared food that causes Cancers & other health problems, promotes Music that also causes it. Greedy, Money-hungry Blind people, that do not care for the wellbeing of others. & Sorry to say, but a lot of Satanic Imagery Does appears in popular music. What is it's Purpose? Im Not sure., do I even really believe it? Im not sure. But all I know, is it's not good music (based on the Lyrics).

    All in all, Yes Listening to the wrong kind of music, Can cause mental illness & all other sorts of illnesses, if you do not make well-thought out decisions & choose to get pregnant @ 15 or take drugs or w/e. It will rob you, reduce your life, & that is certainly not a healthy state to be in.

    HOWEVER, I think the Purpose of the Above Video was to initiate Discussion on the Subliminal or Subconscious effect of healing music. Which I do belive, but a Person has to be present, & have faith. For healing to be allowed. Likewise, I believe bad music can be corrupting on youth especially b/c at that Age, you're totally open & Naive & if you do not have strict guidance from the household, if you're not investing in Positive things, you can easily be led astray. So it's a combination of the Lyrics & the beats, acoustics etc.

    There was an article on here a while ago, about how Adele sings a pitch that hits a mental cord in our minds that inclines people to Cry. How is that not weird? If it can do that, then why can Music not be used to hit other emotional Cords, both positive & Negative? In terms of Sikhism itself, the focus is on the lyrics of a Shabad, not the harmony necessarily b/c it's w/ the belief that anyone can benefit from it, not neccessarily the Talented. So, the Values > nice sounding songs.
     
    #13 Navdeep88, Sep 10, 2012
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  15. Navdeep88

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    I don't think they're evil, Im just wildly supiscious of any belief that seems to be for Self-serving Individuals, rather than overtly promoting the Well being & having guidelines set out for helping humanity @ Large. For example, in Sikhism there are APPARENT, Overt Sakhis of Seva, & serving w/out distinction & fail, there's also tales of defense & Protection, I guess I just trust those a lot more b/c they're apparent, there's no Secrets, its Conduct based, & I love that, it's simple & easy, Things that seek to be about Mystery, imo are a little less trusting & can easily mislead people.

    Perhaps I need to do more Research. But as it Stands, I think a Faith is only worth it's values it if it is about BOTH Actively helping Others, & for one's own Spiritual Growth. One w/out the Other, will not do. (Not saying that is the case, I just need to do some resrch, will be back, Lol.
     
    #14 Navdeep88, Sep 10, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012
  16. gillgk

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    Dwa is medicine while Dua is prayer
     
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  17. Navdeep88

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    Wiccaism is described as a "mystery Religion" by Wikipedia, & there's also confusion about how many or what levels of Gods there are, but there Certainly is a Horned Diety. & despite the Fact, that it is based on Paganism, it is a Recent Religion, being founded literally in the 1950s. There's also very little about the Lifestyle of Witches, & Im sorry to say that it seems liek a very Loosey Goosey, go either way rather than Ground yourself in Goodness & Righteous conduct kind of Philosophy. *No offense intended, but I'd rather have the Brewed cup of Coffee, than a couple of raw coffee beans & lil bit of water.
     
  18. gillgk

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    Wow. You are very brave. I too, went through the same phase. I didn't want to "let go" of my bipolar and lead a "normal" life. Today, on the condition of anonimity by this site, I fervently belief I'm a modern day saint who troops to work like everyone else. :noticemunda: No offence to the "real" saints out there.

    My father was largely responsible for instilling the chardikala (how on earth do I explain chardikala?) in me when I was in a depressive state and encouraged me to go back to work. I didn't want to at first until I remembered that kirat karni (labour) was one of the facets of sikhism. After finding the right sites at the right time, I began taking care of my appearance. My boss was also a pillar of support, giving me little work at first until I got my equilibrium.

    I do dislike my job now that my boss has left and others have taken over, and have begun to take up writing on the side, but Gurbani helps me move on to the next day with minimal hitches. The meds means I don't get my highs anymore though its all too easy to slide back into wanting to just throw caution to the wind and give it all up, workwise.

    It can be a struggle. Meanwhile, some gems I got during my highs:

    (i) Singing kirtan sheds ego;
    (ii) The more we practise the virtues, the more the vices stay away from us.
    (iii) The secret to gathering virtue is through kirtan, sewa and simran.
    (iv) Virtue is a weapon against the dark age.
    (v) Reading bani out loud in gurmukhi fills your heart with love, so much so, that you radiate love when you cook, talk and sing.

    Perhaps I can add, in a more sober setting, that Gurbani "rocks"?
     
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  19. gillgk

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    LOL!:mundaviolin:
     
  20. namjiwankaur

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    Satnam

    I say to each his own. I think Sikhi teaches that also. There's room on earth for all of us.

    The Horned God is symbolic for the Sacred Masculine. It was the medieval church which demonized him.
     
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  21. namjiwankaur

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