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Old 06-08-2018, 03:08 AM   #1
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mental health in the bahai faith

Any prayers that will help me overcome my depression and anxiety?
I'm having anxiety about the future and where my degree will land me. I feel like I've made a massive mistake by not doing what I love and now there's no way to undo it.
 
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Old 06-08-2018, 03:32 AM   #2
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I think a lot of people make the mistake of getting a degree in something they will make lots of money in. Makes sense who doesn't like money but a lot find out it's not want they wanted and their not happy. Always do what you love the money part will follow. Don’t worry you have a degree you will go farther than a lot of people you wil be ok. Good luck.

Last edited by jupitermadcat; 06-08-2018 at 04:11 AM.
 
Old 06-08-2018, 04:32 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jupitermadcat View Post
I think a lot of people make the mistake of getting a degree in something they will make lots of money in. Makes sense who doesn't like money but a lot find out it's not want they wanted and their not happy. Always do what you love the money part will follow. Don’t worry you have a degree you will go farther than a lot of people you wil be ok. Good luck.

I'm worried I've chosen a degree thats going to be too difficult to go far with and one I don't enjoy.
I'm getting extremely anxious about my future and where I'm going to end up.
I really don't want to let my parents down because I've already let them down a lot this year.
 
Old 06-08-2018, 04:39 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walesbhai View Post
Any prayers that will help me overcome my depression and anxiety?...
Everyone gets depression and anxiety sometimes. There are good prayers ("Refresh and gladden my spirit" or "Renew a tranquil conscience within me") and they're good if you feel that way for a few hours. If you've got it for days or a week it's serious. Potentially life-threatening medical problems demand professional help.

Happens to all of us, good luck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by walesbhai View Post
I'm having anxiety about the future and where my degree will land me. I feel like I've made a massive mistake by not doing what I love and now there's no way to undo it.
All life's decisions are irrevocable, and yet after every decision we get an infinite number of new opportunities. I got a BS degree in Engineering, and now I'm happy as can be working in finance.
 
Old 06-08-2018, 04:58 AM   #5
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...I really don't want to let my parents down because I've already let them down a lot this year.
The commandment is to "honor" our parents "so that you may live long". My bet is (speaking as a father of six) that your parents want you to be happy. Happiness is mandatory in the Faith. In other dispensations it was optional but that's no longer the case. fwiw, if you allow yourself to be sad the sadness will impair your judgment. Happiness gives us wings.
 
Old 06-08-2018, 05:15 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Pete in Panama View Post
The commandment is to "honor" our parents "so that you may live long". My bet is (speaking as a father of six) that your parents want you to be happy. Happiness is mandatory in the Faith. In other dispensations it was optional but that's no longer the case. fwiw, if you allow yourself to be sad the sadness will impair your judgment. Happiness gives us wings.
Yeah but this year all I've done is let them down so I haven't honoured them.
I'm probably going to end up redoing a year of college because my anxiety and depression has ruined my exams entirely this year so I know theyre going to be so let down with me.
 
Old 06-08-2018, 06:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walesbhai View Post
Any prayers that will help me overcome my depression and anxiety?
I don't have any prayers, specifically, but I have a handful of verses I repeat like mantras when trying to ease stress:

"No defect canst thou see in the creation of the God of Mercy: Repeat the gaze: Seest thou a single flaw?" (Qur’án 67:3, Quoted by Baha'u'llah in the Seven Valleys, Valley of Knowledge)

"It is impossible for the realm of creation to be better than it already is." (saying attributed to the Greek philosopher/prophet Hermes Trismegastus, quoted by Baha'u'llah in an unpublished tablet)

"The world has never had nor does it now possess stability" (Baha'u'llah, same unpublished tablet as above)

Basically I try to use the above verses to remind myself that the world is as good as it possibly could be, that it is fine as is, and it will continue to be fine regardless of what happens in the future. (Granted, I have no idea if that method would work for everyone)

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Originally Posted by walesbhai View Post
I feel like I've made a massive mistake by not doing what I love and now there's no way to undo it.
Keep in mind, you can usually do what you love outside of a professional capacity, and (depending on what it is you love) you can usually learn to do it online these days. Generally doing the things we love to do as a hobby ends up being more fun than trying to do it as a career.

I have a passion for video game making, theology, and alchemy. But I would not want to do the first professionally (I much rather enjoy having full creative control over my projects), and the latter two would be either very hard or impossible to turn into a career. So I do all those things I like to do as hobbies.
 
Old 06-08-2018, 06:03 AM   #8
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Such stress you are under. My question is when is your life going to start? It’s right to honor your parents but to what end. Ok I’ll shut up now...
 
Old 06-08-2018, 07:00 AM   #9
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Such stress you are under. My question is when is your life going to start? It’s right to honor your parents but to what end. Ok I’ll shut up now...
Recently I did something terrible that goes against the teachings so now I feel like I have this added pressure to do well as a way to make up for it. I know it probably sounds so stupid.
Like I know my parents would be so ashamed of what I did so I feel like if I got good grades then they would be proud of me for something at least.
But now thats not going to happen because I have 4 exams this week none of which I'm prepared for so I've let them and myself down again.
What I did caused me to feel so much grief that I was depressed over it for 3 weeks and lost over 5 kilos and I let that affect my studies so much that now my grades are impacted by it.
Its all so complicated to explain.
I was just wondering if there are any other bahais that feel depression and anxiety like this and how they cope with it.
 
Old 06-08-2018, 08:42 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Pete in Panama View Post
The commandment is to "honor" our parents "so that you may live long". My bet is (speaking as a father of six) that your parents want you to be happy. Happiness is mandatory in the Faith. In other dispensations it was optional but that's no longer the case. fwiw, if you allow yourself to be sad the sadness will impair your judgment. Happiness gives us wings.
So very true, Pete. I hadn't thought of happiness as mandatory, highly encouraged, yes. But I believe you have something here, there is more to this being a happy, joyful being. There is much food for thought here! Thank you for this perspective.

Loving regards,
Becky
 
Old 06-08-2018, 09:32 AM   #11
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I hadn't thought of happiness as mandatory, highly encouraged, yes.
The Bab forbade doing anything that would cause yourself sorrow (though I'm not sure that rule still applies, since the Bab wrote that this law against sorrow was so Him Whom God Shall Make Manifest would be surrounded with happiness).

Although I'm not sure I'd use the phrase "happiness is mandatory", since that happens to be a slogan for a satirical dystopia setting.
 
Old 06-08-2018, 11:40 AM   #12
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Yeah but this year all I've done is let them down so I haven't honoured them...
Let's understand what "honor" means:
honor transitive verb. 1 a : to regard or treat (someone) with admiration and respect : to regard or treat with honor. b : to give special recognition to : to confer honor on.
Honor | Definition of Honor by Merriam-Webster
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/honor
iow you salute them, you say nice things about them, you thank them and congratulate them --and if you're doing that you can 'let them down' all day long and still qualify for the "live long" swap for "honor" deal.
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I'm probably going to end up redoing a year of college because my anxiety and depression has ruined my exams entirely this year so I know theyre going to be so let down with me.
huh. I got such bad grades for a while that the Univ. actually expelled me. So I went to a community college, made up the courses, got decent grades and got back in & did well. Sure my average was lack luster, but you know what they call an engineer who does a Univ. program w/ a "C" average? They call him a "graduate".

Ah, Albert Einstien got kicked out and got back in after a while too. Don't get me wrong here, it's very time consuming and a lot of work to do it the way me & Einstein did it, the way you're doing it (repeat the year w/o being kicked out) is better.

Remember the key is being happy. OK, so if you don't feel happy then what you do is act happy. With a little luck your feelings will follow, but at a minimum your acting happy will be much less of a burden on those around you and they'll thank you for it.
 
Old 06-08-2018, 11:58 AM   #13
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...Thank you for this perspective...
You are most welcome and please be aware that you've made my day

As I understand it, some folks are good w/ numbers, some can sing well, some are athletic, and some are naturally happy. I'm not. I have to work at it --but that's ok because if a person works at it he can do all that stuff, sing, do numbers, exercise, etc. Now, my wife she's naturally happy and so I'm lucky to have her around as a good example. It's rough to be around sad people, a real burden. That's why we have this moral imperative in this age to make ourselves happy and stay that way.

Two books I keep at my desk:
Happiness Jewels from the Words of 'Abdu'l-Baha
Happiness is a Serious Problem
 
Old 06-08-2018, 12:18 PM   #14
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The Bab forbade doing anything that would cause yourself sorrow (though I'm not sure that rule still applies, since the Bab wrote that this law against sorrow was so Him Whom God Shall Make Manifest would be surrounded with happiness).
Thanks so much, I never knew that; I'll pass that on to the family at prayers tonite.
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Although I'm not sure I'd use the phrase "happiness is mandatory", since that happens to be a slogan for a satirical dystopia setting.
This is the kind of thing I'm looking at:

It is the wish of our heavenly Father that every heart should rejoice and be filled with happiness, that we should live together in felicity and joy.
(Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 468)

Be happy and joyous because the bestowals of God are intended for you and the life of the Holy Spirit is breathing upon you.
(Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 214)

Joy gives us wings! In times of joy our strength is more vital, our intellect keener, and our understanding less clouded. We seem better able to cope with the world and to find our sphere of usefulness. But when sadness visits us we become weak, our strength leaves us, our comprehension is dim and our intelligence veiled.
(Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 109)

I want you to be happy in Green Acre, to laugh, smile and rejoice in order that others may be made happy by you.
(Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 218)

Be thou happy and well pleased and arise to offer thanks to God, in order that thanksgiving may conduce to the increase of bounty.
(Abdu'l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha v2, p. 483)
It goes on and on, but my thinking is that even if this isn't what we'd call 'truly mandatory', then imho it'll sure do just fine until that 'truly' thing comes along.
 
Old 06-08-2018, 01:26 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Pete in Panama View Post
Everyone gets depression and anxiety sometimes. There are good prayers ("Refresh and gladden my spirit" or "Renew a tranquil conscience within me") and they're good if you feel that way for a few hours. If you've got it for days or a week it's serious. Potentially life-threatening medical problems demand professional help.

Happens to all of us, good luck.

All life's decisions are irrevocable, and yet after every decision we get an infinite number of new opportunities. I got a BS degree in Engineering, and now I'm happy as can be working in finance.
I really hope my life gets better or I end up doing something unexpected like you have that makes me really happy.
I want to be successful in the future so my parents can be proud of me.
 
Old 06-08-2018, 01:42 PM   #16
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...doing something unexpected like you have that makes me really happy. I want to be successful...
pse share what career it is that you'd like to do and what career you feel you're being urged to follow. Somehow it seems that both 'like' and 'success' go hand in hand and folks do so much better in fields that they truly love. Then again, it really helps to serve the community in ways that others truly love too --that way you end up making others happy (which feels good) and it pays a lot better too.

so if you could share the program you're in.
 
Old 06-08-2018, 04:08 PM   #17
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pse share what career it is that you'd like to do and what career you feel you're being urged to follow. Somehow it seems that both 'like' and 'success' go hand in hand and folks do so much better in fields that they truly love. Then again, it really helps to serve the community in ways that others truly love too --that way you end up making others happy (which feels good) and it pays a lot better too.

so if you could share the program you're in.
I'm pursuing an average science degree that isn't specialised in anything. At the start of the year I wanted to do dentistry but missed the deadline to apply so rushed into choosing something else and gave up revising. Now my grades are going to be so bad this year than even if I wanted to be a dentist I cant because they don't accept retakes.
I made so many mistakes this year and wasted my time doing dumb stuff.
3 weeks ago I made like the biggest mistake of my life which caused me to have such much guilt that it depressed me more and stopped me from revising.

Its so ridiculous. Right now I'm depressed because I was depressed. Like if I wasn't depressed a month ago I would've studied so much harder and so thats depressing me now.
 
Old 06-08-2018, 04:14 PM   #18
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Listen just try to stay positive things will get better if you let it.
 
Old 06-08-2018, 04:50 PM   #19
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sending you a private message & we can continue there; your time zone is 5 hours later than mine so you may already be asleep but when you get up tomorrow it'll be 2 or 3 AM my time.

Pete
 
Old 06-16-2018, 10:53 AM   #20
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For me, mantra meditation broke the back of my anxiety and negative feelings.

There were no teachers of meditation techniques in my area so I had books and online research. Wendy Momen is a Bahá'í author who wrote a book summarising a lot of information on meditation and I found that helpful. I chose mantra meditation because the repetition of a mantra and control of my breathing calms and controls my chattering mind and seems to have had lasting benefits.

The first mantra I used was "The Wil" just because I felt so low and The Will of God was the strongest force I could envisage. I repeated it for a while until the whole room seemed to pulse with that phrase although I had stopped vocalising it.

Now I tend to use the Greatest name as we are required to repeat it daily.
 
Old 07-10-2018, 01:45 PM   #21
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Is it any solution to act happy when you are not happy? Trustworthiness is foremost among virtues, according to the Blessed Beauty.

And yet, in a certain tablet, the Blessed Beauty said, "great is the blessedness awaiting the poor who conceal their sufferings."

Additionally, He said in the Kitab-i-Aqdas, and I paraphrase:

Lament not in your hour of trial, neither rejoice, but rather hold to the middle way, which is remembrance of Me in your afflictions, and reflection over that which may befall you in the future.

---

It may profit one who is experiencing negative emotions meditate upon these things.

Drinking coffee or tea might help. Seeing a psychiatrist or counselor may help too.
 
Old 07-10-2018, 04:50 PM   #22
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...Lament not in your hour of trial, neither rejoice, but rather hold to the middle way, which is remembrance of Me in your afflictions, and reflection over that which may befall you in the future...
There's also "be thankful in adversity and generous in prosperity...". While having done both I can tell you I like "generous in prosperity" better, but just he same for me when times looked bad, in my heart of hearts I KNEW that I still had so much to be grateful for and the thought always gave me some perspective.

The Sacred texts (both in the Baha'i writings and past dispensations) are filled w/ admonitions to 'be joyful' and 'let not your heart be grieved'. Joyfulness is a virtue, in no small part because moping ends up being a burden to others. Sure, we all got to mourn our losses when they come along but we still have to evenually move on.

btw, we agree on the coffee thing.
 
Old 07-12-2018, 01:07 AM   #23
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Any prayers that will help me overcome my depression and anxiety?
I'm having anxiety about the future and where my degree will land me. I feel like I've made a massive mistake by not doing what I love and now there's no way to undo it.
Good morning blessed friend

I have read through the thread, but have chosen to reply to your initiating post. Just bear with me, what I write may even make sense by the end

And I make no apologies for the length

Two sides to the issue.

Some years ago now, I was being treated for a physical disease with, among other things, very high doses of steroidal drugs (prednisone). Now, at that time I was working with people in crisis. What is one of the side effects of steroids? Anger. Bad, heavy anger. Not good when dealing with people in crisis situations.

So, I made a determination. I was going to be cheerful. How often did I fall flat on my face? (thankfully, never to my clients, but I cam so very close many times). I cannot count the times, but the process of being cheerful (not pretending, actually being cheerful) slowly became a normal part of me. To the degree that one year, one of the people who travelled the same train as me every day to the City gave me a Christmas card; she did not know my name, and addressed it to Mr Cheerful.

The actual process, then, is one of filling an emptiness (negative) with a positive.

You are feeling anxiety, you say. What quality would you choose to fill that emptiness. And how prepared are you to go through the effort of becoming that quality? That, beloved spirit, is yours to decide.

Ok, that is side one. We become that on which we focus. Focus on your anxiety, and you will strengthen it till it may overtake you. Focus on the quality to fill that emptiness, and it will reduce and eventually fade away. Absolutely assured. And remember every time you fall flat on your face in the mud, that nothing that is worth having is achieved without effort.

Side two is the prayers. There are two I recommend:

1. Is there any remover of difficulties save God. Say: Praised be God. He is God. All are His servants, and all abide by His bidding.

2. Say: God sufficeth all things above all things, and nothing in the heavens or the earth but God sufficeth. verily, He is in Himself the knower, the Sustainer, the Omnipotent.

The attitude, however, that accompanies these is in learning to place one's whole trust, confidence and heart in resignation to the Will of God. How do you know what His Will is? If you pray with an open heart, purely for the sake of God and not for any personal reason, when He tells you, you will hear and listen. Have no doubt of that.

Now, there is an interesting fact about Prayer. It can best be expressed in a cliche I believe you will have heard many times - God helps those who help themselves. Shoghi Effendi gave 5 steps of prayer - I intensely recommend that you follow them.

There is a third and fourth aspects which I will sneak in:

Third aspect: Actually, this should rank as the first aspect. Sit with your parents and in that same sense of truthfulness, open your heart to them, and with that same open heart, listen to them. Do this in the purity of Consultation. Together, seek an answer that, even if neither party is entirely satisfied, is at least encouraged, supportive of each other and pleased by the outcome.

Fourth aspect: To often, if we examine deeply enough, we will find that our angst can be traced back to expectation. From my own reading of your request, I feel certain that expectation is the trigger for all of your circumstance.

Expectation is the breeder of disappointment, and disappointment is the breeder of emptiness - depression, anxiety, fear, every other form of emptiness even to the extreme of suicidal thoughts, or even that declaration of closure to all opportunity, suicide.

Abolish from yourself all forms of expectation - all expectation. Yes, have hope, have plans, have goals - these are all good and necessary things - but have no expectation. Zero. Zilch. None. Doing this take s time and practice. Thus I repeat - that nothing that is worth having is achieved without effort.

You have far greater strength and capacity than you are currently granting yourself. Do not deny yourself your ability, and the grandness of your spirit. We are (and this can be simply proven) spiritual beings, and merely have this animal body as a means of interacting with this material world. Take encouragement from the fact that you are more than you appear, and allow that "more", with the assistance and healing through God, to elevate you into fullness.
 
Old 07-13-2018, 05:40 AM   #24
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The BF encourages use of professional medical practitioners for all health issues, and after that, meditative prayer might help 'center' you.
Saying, Alláh-u-Abhá 95 times is an accepted practice.

~When you break an egg, make an omelet!

Consult with your parents, you may be unfairly assuming they believe something they actually don't, ask for their suggestions and support and express your love and respect for them in the Consultation.

~Michael



Quote:
Originally Posted by walesbhai View Post
Any prayers that will help me overcome my depression and anxiety?
I'm having anxiety about the future and where my degree will land me. I feel like I've made a massive mistake by not doing what I love and now there's no way to undo it.

Last edited by Mike4591; 07-13-2018 at 02:15 PM.
 
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