Author Topic: Is 'mindfulness' overrated?  (Read 1223 times)

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Offline Vermilion

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Is 'mindfulness' overrated?
« on: April 27, 2018, 11:34:46 AM »
Yes, 'mindfulness' has it's uses, it has on occasion stopped me having a full on breakdown but I also feel that it's seen as a sort of fix it all solution too. I've seen MH profs over the years and they all plug mindfulness as some sort of miracle that can solve everything. Personally though, I don't find it helpful during my severe mood swings; if I'm having a panic attack doing breathing exercises or 'zen colouring' or whatever doesn't really help. It feels dismissive, as though they're not taking my problems seriously enough and at times it's felt a little patronising; it's not unlike the feeling when you ring the crisis team and they tell you to have a bath or to drink hot chocolate. I just don't feel like this mindfulness malarkey is all it's cracked up to be, especially regarding severe longer term problems.

Thoughts? 
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Offline terrified heart

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Re: Is 'mindfulness' overrated?
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2018, 11:53:34 AM »
I donít personally find it helpful.

I (personally) think itís a fad thing that they can dish out on a wide scale cheaply. Iím sure it helps some people, but like you say itís not really practical for an acute MH crisis.
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Offline Vermilion

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Re: Is 'mindfulness' overrated?
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2018, 08:15:54 PM »
Thank you. I was honestly starting to think that I was doing it wrong or something. It can help the relatively minor things but not for the acute things. I also think it's the NHS trying to save money. I've always thought that it's crap.
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Offline Terri

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Re: Is 'mindfulness' overrated?
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2018, 10:00:41 PM »
I find it really, really good. I've done several courses on mindfulness run by the mental health team, local adult education centre and there's some stuff about it in the degree I'm doing (health sciences), and the scientific research that's going into it is really interesting, with creating new neural pathways and such, which can really benefit those with all kinds of mental health problems. I now do a yoga and mindfulness class once a week, which helps keep me on track with practicing, as sometimes I can get a bit complacent when well and then I find it harder to access a mindful state if I'm upset.


I use it a lot at work. I'm allowed to take extra breaks if I need them because of my mental health condition, and often I'll pop outside and stick a quick Headspace meditation on (hooray for being a uni student and getting free Headspace with Spotify!) for 5 minutes or so, just to ground myself and prevent myself from getting in a bit of a state. I find that it's really improved my performance at work, in that I'm able to concentrate better and I am a hysterical wreck less often (it doesn't work all of the time, and I still have the occasional breakdown, but they're much less frequent.)


I struggled with some mindfulness because of the silence that is suggested sometimes, because when Im unwell (and sometimes when I'm well - they just pipe up for the sake of it), I hear people that I cannot see.  If I feel myself starting to get distressed by them and I'm at home, I've got a guided meditation on my waterproof MP3 player, so I get in the shower and have a mindful shower with the guided stuff, so I've got something else to listen to, in the middle of my head (you know how when you listen to music through headphones and the music sounds like it's right in the middle of your brain - I find that really helpful when I'm being yelled at by invisible folk.) It doesn't always work, and I still end up getting in a state and calling crisis or my CC or duty sometimes (who are always lovely to me and very helpful - they have a crisis plan on RiO that they go through with me, and it does not mention telling me to make a cup of tea and have a bath!), but like with work, those instances have reduced significantly. 


I don't think it's appropriate to suggest using it as a one off in the middle of an acute mental health crisis, but I do think it's a really positive thing that, if practiced enough when someone is reasonably well with regards to their mental health, can help prevent a mental health condition reaching crisis point. In my experience (and I realise that it's not the same for everyone), if practiced regularly, it can really help with stopping mental health difficulties getting right up there on the distress scale.


Not saying it's going to help everyone. Just my thoughts and experience. :)
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Offline Vermilion

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Re: Is 'mindfulness' overrated?
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2018, 01:34:56 PM »
It's nice to hear that it works for some people, it does have it's uses when we're feeling OK. I do sometimes use those mindfulness sounds to block out invisible people too, though I prefer nature sounds because I don't like a lot of noise.  My main objection is for it to be relied upon during a crisis, like it can solve everything. Sounds like you have a better crisis team than mine! It just feels very dismissive, kinda like those articles that tell you to think your way out of depression ::). I also feel that it's overused and ignores the deeper issues that need addressing, like the NHS is fobbing us off because there's no real help available.
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