Am I Irrational?
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28-05-2014, 12:18 PM
Am I Irrational?
Quick point on my background: I was raised Mormon since birth, I've dealt with mental illness my whole life, admitted to my atheism 11/2013, left the church 1/2014.

So considering that, I'm going through a lot of stuff and I'm constantly trying to improve my mood.

I don't consider myself a new age philosopher or Buddhist or anything, but I like some of their practices.

For example:

1) Yoga. I love yoga. I find it very therapeutic. The stretching and strange contortions relieve a lot of my stress. I find no interest in the religious part of the practice. No gods, no chakra, no vibrations, but I will use a mantra or a affirmation like "I am strong," or "I am smart," or "I am calm and quiet."

2) Qi Gong. I love Qi Gong. Somethings about the music and slow motions make me feel so calm. Like a natural high, like the high I get after running. No gods, no magic, no holistic medicine, but it makes me happy.

3) Breathing practices and meditation. Sometimes I just have to take a 10 min break and concentrate on my breathing and address self loathing thoughts and fears.

But here it is, sometimes when I'm real depressed, I start searching out some of the religious doctrines accompanying these practices. I buy books, visit churches, or speak to someone knowledgeable on the subject but it all pisses me off. Religiously, none of these practices make sense, but for mental health it has helped me. But each time I look into the religious side of these practices all I can think is bullshit.

So am I illogical or irrational that I use these practices as the cherry on top of my therapy, medicine, and exercise?

Does anyone else know where I can find a good scientific paper on the real benefits on these things? Maybe it's just a placebo effect?

"A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be."- Albert Einstein.

"We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special." Steven Hawking
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28-05-2014, 12:23 PM
RE: Am I Irrational?
Hmmm. Stretching exercises, meditation and positive thinking without any woo? Consider

I think you're doing just fine. Thumbsup

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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28-05-2014, 12:41 PM
RE: Am I Irrational?
Not really sure about scientific papers though I'm sure you could google them. I'll tell you about my experience with mental health:

I suffered from a religious driven psychosis back in 2012 were I had to be taken away by cops forcefully to the local hospital for about 2 weeks. I also did an additional 2 weeks of day hospital after that. Among the things that were implemented that helped tremendously was breathing exercises, learning about psychology and a type of group therapy that involved using goals and emotions focusing on "I" sentences and not "you" or "people" sentences and statements. There were also talks about substance abuse and other stuff I cant remember as well.

I would strongly recommend therapy/counseling from a social worker, psychologist or psychotherapist if you are able to get one. The breathing and the stretching sometimes have religious baggage but if they didnt have any empirical value they wouldnt be used in secular hospitals and mental health facilities where many of the cases are religious in nature.

My 2 cents.

“The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is because vampires are allergic to bullshit.” ― Richard Pryor
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28-05-2014, 12:42 PM
RE: Am I Irrational?
(28-05-2014 12:23 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  Hmmm. Stretching exercises, meditation and positive thinking without any woo? Consider

I think you're doing just fine. Thumbsup

Thank you! haha

"A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be."- Albert Einstein.

"We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special." Steven Hawking
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28-05-2014, 12:45 PM
RE: Am I Irrational?
(28-05-2014 12:41 PM)djkamilo Wrote:  Not really sure about scientific papers though I'm sure you could google them. I'll tell you about my experience with mental health:

I suffered from a religious driven psychosis back in 2012 were I had to be taken away by cops forcefully to the local hospital for about 2 weeks. I also did an additional 2 weeks of day hospital after that. Among the things that were implemented that helped tremendously was breathing exercises, learning about psychology and a type of group therapy that involved using goals and emotions focusing on "I" sentences and not "you" or "people" sentences and statements. There were also talks about substance abuse and other stuff I cant remember as well.

I would strongly recommend therapy/counseling from a social worker, psychologist or psychotherapist if you are able to get one. The breathing and the stretching sometimes have religious baggage but if they didnt have any empirical value they wouldnt be used in secular hospitals and mental health facilities where many of the cases are religious in nature.

My 2 cents.

Oh sorry, I guess I wasn't clear enough.

I have a therapist, a psychiatrist, I sometimes do group therapy, and I've been doing this for almost two years since I too was admitted to a hospital for a week for suicidal reasons. And I guess you're right: google. haha.

But you're right, that's why I'm asking, I don't want to be the product of the placebo effect.

"A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be."- Albert Einstein.

"We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special." Steven Hawking
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28-05-2014, 12:53 PM
RE: Am I Irrational?
(28-05-2014 12:45 PM)elconquistador Wrote:  But you're right, that's why I'm asking, I don't want to be the product of the placebo effect.

Why not? I mean, if your body and mind gets better, you're not a danger to yourself or others and you dont buy into superstitious nonsense. The placebo effect is there to help you as I see it.

“The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is because vampires are allergic to bullshit.” ― Richard Pryor
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28-05-2014, 05:08 PM
RE: Am I Irrational?
(28-05-2014 12:18 PM)elconquistador Wrote:  But here it is, sometimes when I'm real depressed, I start searching out some of the religious doctrines accompanying these practices. I buy books, visit churches, or speak to someone knowledgeable on the subject but it all pisses me off. Religiously, none of these practices make sense, but for mental health it has helped me. But each time I look into the religious side of these practices all I can think is bullshit.

So am I illogical or irrational that I use these practices as the cherry on top of my therapy, medicine, and exercise?

I still read the Red Letters in the Red Letter Version of the New Testament going on some 40 years after I became an atheist. I just interpret them entirely different than most Christians do.

#sigh
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29-05-2014, 01:33 AM
RE: Am I Irrational?
(28-05-2014 12:53 PM)djkamilo Wrote:  
(28-05-2014 12:45 PM)elconquistador Wrote:  But you're right, that's why I'm asking, I don't want to be the product of the placebo effect.

Why not? I mean, if your body and mind gets better, you're not a danger to yourself or others and you dont buy into superstitious nonsense. The placebo effect is there to help you as I see it.

This

Oh, there is certainly nothing wrong with the placebo effect. In fact, psychologists / psychiatrists often depend on at least some placebo effect because, after all, it's all about what you think and how you feel.

The mind works very well under placebo. I am inclined to believe it's better than medication.

Also, I feel pretty sure your psychologist knows the benefits in practicing eastern meditations. All the things you listed are meditation exercises. They serve to calm your mind and center your thinking.

"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story." Orson Welles
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