Friday, September 20, 2013

Aaron Alexis and the Dark Side of Meditation (LET'S IGNORE HE WAS ON ANTIDEPRESSANTS) by Maia Szalavitz, sensationalist excuse for a journalist

It's not a horrible article but it is a really stupid fucking retarded title, which should be obvious enough but will be illustrated by this post. Excerpt of the article:

How does someone who engages in meditation, which is supposed to focus the mind, and is often associated with efforts to diffuse violence, rather than instigate it, perform the acts that Alexis is accused of executing? Alexis had a record of violent crime and, his father told the Wall Street Journal that his son had anger issues related to post-traumatic stress from participating in rescue efforts during the 9/11 attacks. A former boss, who met Alexis at a Buddhist temple in the Fort Worth, Tex. area, said Alexis was also a heavy drinker who came to chanting and meditation sessions regularly.

At worst, most people see meditation as flaky, boring, self-involved or harmless.  But as research starts to document how it can help to fight stress, high blood pressure, addictions and many other mental and physical disorders, it’s also becoming clear that meditating isn’t always so benign — particularly if it’s used against a background of existing mental illness.

As TIME reported recently:
People with depression or past experiences of trauma, for example, may find themselves feeling increasingly anxious during  meditation, no matter how much they try to focus on the moment. Or they may be plagued by intrusive thoughts, feelings and images of the past during their mindfulness exercises.
That’s why [University of Washington researcher Sarah] Bowen suggests that people with depression or trauma issues who want to benefit from meditation should try it with expert guidance.  “If you get stuck in ruts like rumination, there are ways to work with that,” she says, “It’s important to have teachers who are very familiar with meditation to guide you as you are learning.”  Experts can let people know what to expect and offer emotional support to help them through rough patches.

"Honestly, this journalist is using this as a chance to get more page clicks on a story she wrote earlier in August. I work with some people who have done clinical work and clinical trials of mindfulness to treat mental illness, and what this journalist is saying is generally accurate.
From my understanding, some people can get really stuck in their own ruminative or distorted thoughts, and it takes really expert teachers to help them through that. If they have really serious mental illness/trauma or addiction, it could be a really bad idea to try meditation without guidance of an experienced teacher.
But what's irresponsible (beyond this article being mostly click-bait) is that the journalist is merely speculating more about "we don't know what this guy's practice was" or what his mental condition was or really anything else.
So, in fact, he could have been part of an MBSR group with an expert teacher, or been trying to do TM so he could levitate. Who knows. And that speculation is really inflammatory."


"It doesn't shock me to find He meditated. People who suffer are attracted to Buddhism (and meditation, and any spiritual path for that matter). Its never a surprise to me to find out someone with spiritual practices has suffered greatly.. In fact, its the opposite, I'm surprised to find people with a practice who haven't suffered. I feel bad for him that he wasn't able to get from his practice what he needed."

"Check out the title of the article man, i dont care if they specify some things deeper in the article. They dont even mention the use of antidepressive drugs he was taking."


"Mentally ill people are more likely to be on psychiatric drugs --> Mentally ill people are more likely to commit mass murder --> Mass murderers are more likely to be on psychiatric drugs."

Ok, but I haven't heard of much mass shootings were the killer was mentally ill but was NOT on antidepressive drugs. How come whenever something like this happens the killer is on antidepressants, how come this is either being kept silent or mentioned as a side note in the media (Money), how come this journalist has the nerve to use meditation in the title instead of antidepressants or mental illness (Sensationalism). Journalism is dead, sensationalism and the pharmaceutical companies are alive and well.

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