Five Buddhist precepts that can help ease symptoms of depression

The Buddha’s teachings are based on compassion, or the wish for all sentient beings to be free from suffering and its causes. Depression is one of the most terrible and devastating forms of suffering in today’s world. Most depression is a clinically diagnosed mental condition that affects our ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy previously enjoyable activities. The World Health Organization recognizes that mental illness is on the rise and forecasts that one in four people may develop one or more mental illnesses during their lifetime.

The Five Commandments of Buddhism instruct believers not to kill, steal, commit adultery, lie, or use psychoactive substances. A previous study demonstrated that adherence to the five precepts can improve general health and quality of life for the general public, including those who do not strictly adhere to them. Furthermore, it is unclear whether these five principles can help people at high risk of depression.

Wongpakaran and colleagues focused on known links to answer this question. Wongpakaran and colleagues focused on recognized relationships related to neurosis, stress, and depression to answer this question. Previous research has found that higher levels of neurosis are associated with a higher risk of depression, both directly and indirectly through the psychological stress people feel and think after stressful events. stressful life events.


From late 2019 to September 2022, researchers conducted an online questionnaire for 644 Thais. The survey included typical questions to assess each participant’s level of stress, neurosis, and depressive symptoms, in addition to their adherence to the five Buddhist precepts.

Statistical examination of survey results shows that adherence to the five precepts to a significant extent appears to reduce the impact of perceived stress on depression. These findings imply that individuals with high levels of neuroticism and anxiety may be less likely to experience depressive symptoms if they strictly adhere to the five precepts.

The researchers point out that, while their study implies that the five precepts may be beneficial in the setting of depression, it does not prove a cause-and-effect relationship. A significant number of participants were women and those living alone, and of unknown religion; however, 93.3% self-identified as Buddhist. More research is needed to understand whether these findings apply to the general Thai population and beyond, as well as non-Buddhists.

The authors continue: “Practicing the five precepts puts others at ease, because all of these behaviors are harmless, and it has the potential to provide the stressed practitioner with a barrier against depression.”

A growing research team has discovered a beneficial link between religious participation and negative mental health outcomes such as depressive symptoms and psychological distress. However, little academic attention has been paid to the relationship between Buddhism, a non-Western religious belief, and depressive symptoms.

The link between religious participation and depressive symptoms

One of the studies analyzed the relationship between religious participation and depressive symptoms among married women in Bangkok using randomized survey data collected from urban Thailand. Results from multiple linear regression models show: In mindfulness meditation, there is a tendency to examine mental content rather than simply witness it.

The convergence of Buddhist practice and psychotherapy has only grown stronger in recent years. Books documenting the connection between the two systems have grown rapidly, and mindfulness meditation in a therapeutic setting is now the norm. Indeed, spotless, unshakable mental health is sometimes considered the ultimate goal of all dharma study and practice (3 Trusted Source
Effects of mindfulness on psychological health: A review of empirical studies

Go to source).

We should also remember that these practices can help us prevent depression, but we should never be afraid to see a doctor and get professional help when we or our loved ones are going through a difficult time. depression state. To treat depression effectively, we must identify the specific causes and circumstances that may be contributing to each case. Otherwise, there is a risk that the underlying cause will reappear.

Presenter :

  1. Modulatory role of adherence to the five Buddhist precepts on neurosis, cognitive stress, and depressive symptoms – (
  2. Buddhism and depressive symptoms in urban Thai married women. (
  3. The effects of mindfulness on psychological health: A review of experimental studies – (

Source: Medindia


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