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Buddhism and mental Health

Buddhism is not meant for mental health applications. There are simply not enough numbers throughout it’s history of over 2,555 years to warrant any claims that it does.

What gets focused on recently is that fact that benefits of Buddhist practice if one is totally embracing all that they can of Buddhist life and culture can be seen as benefiting those with mental health problems.

Buddhism is for well people.



I am a Bhikshuni ordained in Mahayana Chinese Buddhist tradition. I'm currently translating Vinaya sutras from the Chinese Mahayana Tripitaka.

4 thoughts on “Buddhism and mental Health

    1. There is not enough large date to support this. Only some data exists, all the studies so far look at the effects of some meditation not the methods, too many factors like the persons mental state at the time of meditation, diligence, and aptitude for the practice come into play. Not until there is enough evidence in the form of life studies with the same very large group of people have been done very carefully and with lots of monitoring would it be considered a valid conclusion. As of now, I have not seen enough date beyond “opinion” or “recomendationed” to be satisfactory.

      Buddhists with mental health issues cannot cure themselves with methods from Buddhism.

      All Buddhists should strive for only enlightenment, that’s what the methods are meant for.

      Buddhist practice has what some refer to as “effects producing improved mental health” but it’s only temporary, dependent on many factors; not for the majority and not in a stable way, there are no cures for mental health; just practice as you can.


      1. Mental illness seems impermanent when in fact for serious chronic disorders it cycles repeated. The fact is the cycles are not unbroken, they happen. They are always going to. Science has documented the facts of those with chemical imbalances with repeated and repeatable investigation and proven this. It is wrong to promote Buddhism as therapy, it just is not. There may be temporary relief but denial is the biggest part of the mentally unwell’s mindset already and denial is the biggest obstacle to stability for the mentally unwell. Buddhist methods are only meant for those well persons seeking enlightenment. Meditation is just a method that helps temporarily, if there is no outside effort in your daily life to support mental wellness then you cannot claim it works at all. The point in meditation or other Buddhist methods is to train your mind (a well mind) to remove obstacles. And for the chronic mental illness that obstacle just keeps coming. I’m not arguing the point, just face it, reality is just reality.


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