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TOPIC TITLE: OCD
Created On 1/3/05 12:13 PM
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hello
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1/3/05 12:13 PM
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Is there anyone else out there?
 
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motcha
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1/4/05 2:30 PM
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You are very not alone. OCD is the most common mental illness of the frum community. But I can't prove that. I never had OCD but I have mild obsesive symptoms which have improved. Are you getting help?.
 
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STAYSTRONG
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Dear hello,

there seems like there isnt to many people coming forth with this problem. Most people from the frum community dont even know that they have ocd. They are suffering silently. Are you a ocd sufferer?
I am. lets talk

Stay Strong
 
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STAYSTRONG
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1/4/05 2:35 PM
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Hi,

what kind of medications are you on?

 
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mzand
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1/10/05 9:43 PM
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Hi I have sufferred for OCD for many years (I remember some rituals going back to the fourth grade).
My OCD became very dangerous a few years ago as I was actually hurting my body in order to check things. For example, to check that my apartment door was really locked I would try to open it as many as ten times. This led to torn tendons for which I needed physical therapy. I also have hurt my feet and eyes. Once my thumbs started to hurt (from twisting sink faucets very tight to prevent a flood), I finally called a psychologist.
The psychologist helped me get over many of my OCD rituals using the standard treatment of exposure. It really worked for me. Due to a deep depression, I also saw a psychiatrist who prescribed prozac since that helps for depression and OCD. I have since stopped seeing the psychologist but I'm still on the prozac.
You cannot believe how happy I am to virtually free of OCD symptoms. I feel like a free man. I used to go through 10-50 rituals every day- making some days nightmarish. That is all gone now.
So my advice for the many OCD sufferers out there (I see OCD behavior in public all the time)-- you can be cured! Through a combination of behavior modification therapy and medications, you can start a new life.
The doctor I saw was Steven Brodsky. He is located in Manhattan and I highly recommend him.
 
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motcha
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1/10/05 9:54 PM
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How do you get your meds without going to a psychiatrist?
 
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helping hand
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1/11/05 3:24 PM
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while we encourage discussion we would really appreciate that drug treatments are not being discussed and medications should only be taken as prescribed by YOUR physician and NEVER take any medication without a prescription
 
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zev
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2/16/05 3:23 PM
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I have OCD, and have been seeing a frum psychologist for about 2 years now, though have seen many doctors in the last 10 years. I have often wondered how other people in the frum community dealt with this, and then I stumbled upon this website! My OCD is primarily obsessive, as you may know OCD varies in whether a person is more obsessive or compulsive. Being obsessive and learning about Judaism since I am a baal tshuvah has become very difficult for me at times. As a person with OCD I tend to be much harder on myself than "normal people," and have experienced many periods of depression due to not being able to function at the level I would like to be in order to do the mitzvot I feel I should be doing on a daily basis. I went to yeshiva for a few months in NY, and although I was doing pretty well for a while, I eventually ended up just staying in my room all the time feeling too depressed to go to shiurim. My doctor has tried to help me to understand that being a frum Jew isnt something that happens overnight, and growth is not always a straight path. Keeping this in my mind is something that takes alot of effort. I wonder if anyone else can relate? or if anyone else sees their OCD impacting on their religious observance and is bothered by it?


Edited: 2/16/05 at 3:24 PM by zev
 
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motcha
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2/17/05 1:40 PM
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Hey Zev!
OCD in frumkeit occures in both Baalay Tshuva and people raised frum. I am not a Baal Tshuva yet I too said krias shma over and over again as a kid. It is important to remember that you have an OCD issue not a mitzva issue. Did you have OCD before becoming frum? Recently I read of religious based OCD being called scrupolosity. There was a great article by a baalas tshuva in the Sunday NY Times about her scrupolosity as a teenager.
I am like you. I have the O from OCD. Thats why I am not strictly an OCDer. I might be depressive with obsesive traits. Baruch Hashem I am handling both of them and you will eventually too.
Becoming frum is a complicated process. Perhaps it can be compared to marriage. Marriage is a beuttifull thing that everyone should be zoche too. But for people with mental health concerns, marriage can bring stresses that need be dealt with. So too becoming frum. It is a beutifull thing and not becoming frum, like not getting married (or a new job or any other stresses) is not an option. But it also can be stressful. That is why it is so important that you see a therapist that will not interfere with your becoming frum. (I see a non frum therapist but in your case you need a person who has a greater understanding of frumkeit (I hope its not insensitive to say that))
By the way, there actually are tshuvos written on frum OCD.
You will overcome this. I wish you strength.
Motcha.
 
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zev
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2/17/05 5:20 PM
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Thanks Motcha.

I am seeing a frum psychologist who has been frum for many years and has adult children, so his guidance is especially helpful. I have heard of scrupolosity or however it is spelled, and although I exhibit some behaviors consistent with this, I had OCD long before I was frum, and even when I was an atheist. Though my father (non-jew) who is a professor at Drexel University in behavioral health, tried to suggest to me that my interest in Judaism was a result of this "scrupolosity," I do not believe that to be the case. I have already been through some very difficult times in growing in Judaism while struggling with OCD, and I believe that the worst is over, though I am sure I have many battles yet to fight. It is wonderful you have learned to handle your obsessive thinking, and I hope that my struggles become fewer and less severe in time.

I dont understand what you meant by "By the way, there actually are tshuvos written on frum OCD." Could you explain?
 
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motcha
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2/17/05 10:58 PM
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Hi,
There is a frum psychiatrist by the name of Greenwald from Monsey who wrote a sefer on pychiatry. Dr. Greenwald used to ask the Steipler (Rav Yaakov Knievsky zichrono livracha) how to hallachikly handle his patients hallachik OCD issues. I think its better not to mention the particular shaylos because they can serve as a trigger but an obvious question was about people who used to worry that hadn't davened correctly. The Steipler, in his capacity as a posek rulled for Dr. Greenwald that he should tell his patients that there was no hallachik basis for their OCD concerns.
Are you taking medication for your OCD? (Psychiatrists say I'm not OCD. I think in my case what looks like OCD is really anxiety. Occasionally, when I leave work, I have obsessively checked the door to make sure its locked. I think that was more about unresolved issues at work than OCD.)
Keep us posted about how you are doing. We care for eachother here.
Motcha
 
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zev
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2/18/05 11:54 AM
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I most definitely do have OCD, and am taking medication (lexapro). Having minor obsessions or minor compulsions is something every normal person deals with. But when your obsessions prevent you from having a normal functional lifestyle, that is when you can know that you have a disorder. I was unable to leave the house except to go to my doctor for about 6 months. I couldn't work or go to school. Now I am going to college, but only taking 1 course.

Checking the door repeatedly as you say you have done is not an obsession, it is a compulsion. All compulsions have obsessive thoughts which accompany them, but not all obsessions have compulsive actions which accompany them. I check my bedroom door repeatedly and the floor area surrounding the door. That is one of the few compulsions I have.

You say that you think that in your case what looks like OCD is just anxiety. OCD is classified as an anxiety disorder, so having anxiety could mean that you have OCD, but not necessarily. Indeed you should see a certified doctor to get an appropriate diagnosis.

BTW, my doctor is good friends with the rosh yeshiva of the Philadelphia Yeshiva, and has asked him questions concerning halachah in reference to his patients. In one such case, he did so while I was away at yeshiva in monsey actually, and having situations of especially high anxiety on shabbos.

Anyways, I do not think you or others should worry if you have an occasional obsession or compulsion. If you find yourself unable to work, go to school, or leave the house though, I'd suggest seeking professional help.
 
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motcha
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>Now I am going to college, but only taking 1 course.
thats smart of you. I do the same thing. When I first returned to college I only took 2 corses. Then I built it up to 3. Now I am back down to one because of a part time job and an internship. Knowing what we can handle is key to our success.
I am in therapy and see a psychiatrist. Over the years I'v been told I am bipolar or regular depression but not OCD despite some signs.
 
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chabadDude
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Dear Hello I have three words for you: "your not alone" many people in frum communities suffer from OCD. not everyone brings it up for reasons of being nervous of the fact that they have the disorder in the first place. However I envy everyone who brings it up. For working and recongnizing that there is a problem is very healthy move. I my self have had and still have OCD I brought it up on my own. I recently joined this support group just to share my knowledge and help any question ill be here I been through and continue to work with it good luck to you all.


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Joshua Schneider
 
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45
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hi i had ocd since i was a little girl, but i kept it to myself until about a year ago. i started seeing a psychiatrist right away, and between therapy and medication, i was doing okay.
however, i am pregnant and had to stop my medication. i keep pretending that im okay, but im not. its worse than ever and i cant handle it. i am also falling into depressions and i have times where i go crazy and cant control it and i end up taking it out on the people around me, and then i feel guilty and my depression starts again. its like a cycle. i know after i have the baby, ill go back on my medicine and be okay. but i just cant handle it until then. any suggestions?
 
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STAYSTRONG
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3/12/05 10:06 PM
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DEAR MEDIATOR,

WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, THIS IS THE MOST RIDICULOUS THING I HAVE EVER ENCOUNTERED. HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT WE SHOULDNT DISCUSS MEDICATION TREATMENTS. THAT IS CERTAINLY PART OF THE WHOLE SUPPORT SYSTEM THAT WE OCD SUFFERERS NEED. BY SHARING THE INFORMATION ABOUT MEDICATION AND WHAT HELPS. AND TO DISCUSS ALL THE SYMPTOMS AND SIDE EFFECTS. WHY SHOULDNT WE DISCUSS MEDICATION? ISNT THIS WEBSITE FOR SUPPORT?


Edited: 3/13/05 at 1:13 PM by FrumSupport Moderator
 
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motcha
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3/13/05 12:40 AM
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If you look through the posts you will see that I too agree with you and called for open discussion of medicine a long time ago. In defence of the moderators, they wrote that on january and haven't enforced it so as long as they continue to not enforce that idea we should not bash them. Whoever started this site did a great thing. By the way, I am in no way connected to the moderators.
 
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Admin
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3/13/05 1:16 PM
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Name calling on this website is absolutely prohibited especially to a moderator, this can lead to the banning of your posting rights. Also, please no shouting (writing in all caps)!

Admin



Edited: 3/13/05 at 1:18 PM by Admin
 
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helping hand
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3/14/05 5:55 PM
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Plaese read the message again before you become so excited. That message was a reply to a message that read the following "How do you get your meds without going to a psychiatrist?" I don't think that taking medication without a prescription is a part of OCD treatment. You could discuss medication and side affects as long as it is then reviewed with your doctor and no action is taken on your own based on what you discussed with someone on-line.


Edited: 3/14/05 at 6:10 PM by helping hand
 
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bitachonster
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3/31/05 3:49 PM
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i just discovered this website. it is amazing, and as i see, is already helping so many people! i'm really looking forward to connecting with ppl with similar problems as me, and to not feeling alone anymore.
a therapist said that i have OCD-its not so much the compulsive part, but rather the obsessive. i tend to obsess over thoughts, and think that i have an obligation to think about certain things and to worry about them. and when a major event actually does take place that i think i need to have real concern about, its even worse. i also do have a few compulsive tendencies, but usually when i'm assured that i'm not 'transgressing' by not performing those actions, the worry goes away. but my obsession over certain thoughts and events has gotten me really depressed, and at times anxious. i'm very hesitant to take medication.
any thoughts?


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stayingpositive
 
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lookinforhelp
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3/31/05 7:33 PM
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Why are you hesitant to go on meds?
 
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bitachonster
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I guess I'm hesitant because of having to reveal it with shidduchim. And I know this has been discussed before... I guess it just takes a lot of guts to agree to go on medicine.


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stayingpositive
 
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45
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4/4/05 4:03 PM
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i understand exactly how you feel. my therapist describes me the same way-obsessive, not compulsive. i also am obsessed with worrying, which can often lead to depression. i denied this problem for about 12 years. and when i finally accepted it, i was already at the point where i couldnt handle it anymore without meds. my situation is different though, because i keeping the ocd a secret became my biggest obsesssion, and so i got married without having to tell anyone. when i did tell my family, they supported me all the way. but i was so scared to tell them. and when i finally did, i felt better. i was also very hesitant to start on meds, but they did help a lot. they lowered my obsessions, but most of all, made me happier. the thing i was most depressed about was the fact that i needed meds to help me. then i got pregnant and i had to stop the medication. i was really nervous to, but i knew i had to for the baby. fortunately, my condition did not worsen, and im as happy as ever most of the time (my therapist is shocked by this!) and if i stay like this, i dont plan to go back on medication even after i have the baby. eventhough i still have some obsessions, they dont interfere with my life.
but i wouldnt have been able to get here without having been on the medication for that period of time.
i hope this helps you.
 
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bitachonster
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4/7/05 10:57 PM
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hi! thanks for replying to my post. it looks like we both joined this site at around the same time! b'shaah tovah on the wonderful news. it sounds like you handled those challenges that came your way very well. i hope that everything continues to go well, and that you are blessed with a clear mind to do the wonderful job of motherhood!


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stayingpositive
 
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Maskil
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4/14/05 12:52 PM
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I had severe OCD in yeshiva when I was 16-17 years old. I didn't feel like I could tell anyone, I felt it was my fault and that I was just doing it to myself. Once, on vacation, I mentioned it shamefully to my mother, but she didn't understand what I was saying and didn't offer any help. I didn't find out that it was an actual medical condition until I was 21, still in yeshiva. When I was 17, and it was at its peak, I finally taught myself to manage it to some degree, but it continued to recur in different forms which I was not even conscious of. Each time I thought I had beaten it I was yet to learn that it was still plaguing me in a different way. Right now I'm taking Zoloft for social anxiety (my hands perspire severely when I feel uncomfortable, and that is usually set off by social interactions). I don't think the illness has ever held me back though, due to the strictly structured environment I was in I had no choice but to function. But it made my life a living hell. And I think that the worst part about it was feeling so isolated and guilty. I was always taught that I have free choice and I am in control, so it was logical to conclude that I could control myself if I really wanted to.

After I went on the Zoloft things really changed, I wasn't taking it for OCD, but suddenly my more severe compulsions disappeared. At the same time though I came to think about how ingrained certain behaviors had become in my life due to my inability to restrain myself, and this has detrimentally changed my observance level. I came to terms with what I had been in denial about this whole time. There have been so many days when I did not daven because it would simply require too much effort. On many occasions I cleaned stains out of my shirt on Shabbos so that they would not set. I caved in to my need to use lip-balm on Shabbos, and many times when my hands were dry and I forgot beforehand I would put on lotion. However, I was still not ready to give these things up. If I splash wine on my shirt, I'm gonna clean it off again. If my hands are dry, I will use lotion. If I'm not ready to devote an hour to davening, I'll just put on tefillin and say shema. And I can't go 25 hours without lip-balm. So then I just didn't see much difference if I turned on the lights on Shabbos, and now it's been nearly a year since I've even worn tefillin. And every time I want to do something, to correct myself where I've regressed, I just think about the enormity of burdens that would accompany it. Burdens that I'm not ready to take upon myself.

It seems that I'm caught in a Catch-22 that I can't rehabilitate myself from, and I can't return to my former, observant life, which was in itself a sham. So here I am, and adult ultra-Orthodox Jew who is completely frei. I drive to shul on Shabbos in the winter on sidestreets, because of the cold. I only daven when I'm with a minyon. I never learn Torah. I want to be shomer torah u'mitzvos, but that's the very thing that's keeping me from doing it. I can't seek a frum shidduch 'cause I'm frei, but I don't fit in with frei Jews because I'm ultra-Orthodox.

Has anyone ever encountered a problem like this? And what is the cure? My illness is that I don't want to take my medicine, so what's the medicine for that? I have free will right, so I may as well place all the blame on myself, again.


Edited: 4/14/05 at 12:55 PM by Maskil
 
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45
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hi, im about the same age as you, (but im a girl, married with children) i cant say that ive gone through the exact same thing as you, but i definitely had those feelings. my biggest problem recently is the guilt. mostly guilt associated with my thoughts. i always feel guilty about all kinds of religious issues. and i also think that my life as a jew is a sham sometimes, but i know different people in all different walks of life, and i have finally come to realize that the way i live my life is the best way for me, and the way i want to bring up my children.
i also try to concentrate more on the general idea of being a good person, rather than the little things i may do wrong, like putting on chap stick on shabbos because i have chapped lips. there are certain things that i feel i must do, so i do them, rather than focus so hard on what im doing wrong, which leads to the guilt, which leads to anger, which then interferes with my life as a whole. i think its more important to be a happy person so you can get through the hard times , than focus on your tiny stupid mistakes. dont let the little things get in the way of the big picture. its your life and you were put here to live it, not to make it harder for yourself to live. (but this is all just my opinion)
just dont let anyone push you too hard, bec nobody else really understands unless they are going through the same thing.


Edited: 4/14/05 at 3:53 PM by 45
 
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Maskil
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But you don't understand. I'm quite knowledgeable. Chapstick on Shabbos is a capital crime, it means I'm not shomer shabbos. And if I can't fix that, then I can't keep myself from driving to the store when I want something, or just watching TV.

I wear a yarmulke and tzitzis, but I am not careful not to walk four cubits without them. I don't cut my beard (because I have no desire to). I stopped keeping cholov yisroel but I still keep pas yisroel. But then I ate a few nutrition bars that had no hashgocho, and I know there's no way they could be kosher (because of liquid ingredient storage in tanks for more than 24 hours, which is prevalent). I wash negel vasser in the morning, but I am not careful to be sure it is the first thing I do, and I do not stop every six cubits on the way to the sink. I say morning brochos and sometimes korbonos, but I do not daven. I make sure to say shema twice a day in the proper time, but I don't put on tefillin. I say birchos ha-nehenin, but I don't wash for bread or bentsch afterwards. I still wear white dress shirts and black dress pants as do the rest of my community members. But I'm not one of them, I'm not one of anything. There is no way I can avoid knowing every single transgression I am committing at any given time, from the disregard of a custom to capital crimes.

Yeah, sure, the medicine has helped me get beyond the guilt one some level. But I am a person with no identity. I would want my kids to be completely shomer torah u' mitzvos, not some artifcial halfbreed. But, like I said, I cannot look for a shidduch in any community, because there is no community that is Orthodox but not shomer torah u'mitzvos at the same time.

So you see, it is impossible to trivialize "simple things" when you are aware of their immense gravity. And then there ae no red lines, and then there is no identity. No identity, but no outlet. I'm still ultra-Orthodox, but I'm still frei.
 
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bitachonster
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4/14/05 11:33 PM
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Dear Maskil,
I'm so sorry to read about your difficult situation. We all feel your pain-when one Jewish person is in pain, the rest feel it too. It sounds like you have a wonderful grasp of who you are and what your positive and negative tendencies are. That is the first step toward 'recovery'! And remember, it is never too late to do teshuvah, no matter how many transgressions one has commited. And a frum therapist told me that there is no such thing as 'chet'-it is, rather, the yetzer hara; sin is not the real you. There is something covering the real you, and hopefully soon that barricade will be removed. Hashem wants you back very badly. He has given you challenges because He loves you, and knows that you are strong enough to handle them. Sometimes this strength needs to come from other sources though, like rabbonin and friends. I understand that there may be issues that are part of a medical condition that are preventing you from coming out of this trial. These issues can be dealt with by professionals, which I think you mentioned that you have consulted. Try to follow their advice as best as you could, and know that YOU ARE STRONG and that your road to improvement can be largely traveled by your own internal strength.
Have you read Gateway to Happiness, by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin? People who have read this have told me that it has changed their lives, so I recommend it to everyone! It has a chapter about repentence, which you might want to read for encouragement when you're ready.
I believe in you...you WILL get better.
Best of hatzlacha, and let us know how you are doing.
And remember, 'according to the pain is the reward'!


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stayingpositive
 
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Maskil
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4/15/05 1:31 AM
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Quote

Originally posted by: bitachonster

Dear Maskil,... He has given you challenges because He loves you, and knows that you are strong enough to handle them.
You see, according to Judean philosohpy it is all in my hands and I have the power to correct myself.

Living in denial of my compulsive transgressions, and believing that I was an observant Jew, I never would have had the concienseness to confront the problem and root it out. Now that I have come to terms with who I am though, I have accepted who I really am for the first time. This has only led me from a sham observancy to complete and concious abandonment of the life I want to lead. The answer? It is my fault, and there is nothing that can correct the corrosion other than my own free will. I am the only one to blame, and repentence stands before me for the taking - all I need to do is choose it. But it is that very knowledge that precludes me from taking that step, because I am not "willing" to take it, I am at peace with my violations while I condemn them. It's catch-22. All I have to do is fulfill the mitzvo that encounters me at any given moment, but I am not willing to do so. If I am not ready to live within a structure of red lines, I am not going to pursue it in-part. I accept the fact that I am prone to compulsions that prevent me from making the right choices.

The irony: Before, when I was trying, I was very observant, despite the transgressions of miso and koreis that I would compulsively indulge in. Now I am not trying, and I am not observant at all (aside from behaviors of habbit and culture that do not fetter me). Was I really trying before? Then it should have worked. If I was not trying before, then how am I any different now?

If it is in my power to overcome all my compulsions and be truly observant, then I accept the fate that awaits me in gehenem. In the meantime I am destined to live a life of disobediance, completely void of any society to which I may belong.
 
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bitachonster
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dear maskil,
I feel your deep pain, anguish and frustration. I feel the strong weight that is pulling you down and holding you back from moving forward, toward the direction where you, deep down, want to go. remember that there is such thing as 'baby steps', which seems to be an effective tactic for many people. you are not expected to drop all of your negative habits instantly, nor observe all of the positive mitzvos overnight. if you just take a few very small steps forward, you will be greeted by Hashem and taken by Him the rest of the way. i know that you are very special to Him, and that He wants more than anything for you to return to Him. Perhaps take a look into a book of tehillim; you may find a paragraph that describes your situation well.
i just looked in 'tehillim treasury' by Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Feuer, to try to find a tehillim that would be appropriate for you. there is a chapter in the book about teshuvah, where he describes different parts of tehillim that have themes of teshuvah. i chose one that i think would be good... its 25, or chuf-hey. the phrase described in the book is 'tov veyashar Hashem, al kein yoreh chata'im badarech"-"good and upright is Hashem, therefore He guides sinners on the way". and remember, the 'sinner' is not the real you, just an artificial layer created by the yetzer hara, dragging you down and convincing you that you can't improve. i will personally take it upon myself (bli neder) to say this paragraph of tehillim on your behalf when i can. try to say it too, and we'll see how we're doing perhaps in a few weeks. hopefully by reciting it, you will get to know yourself in a different and very special light.
good luck!
bitachonster


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ernie55B
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Dear Maskil,

It sounds to me like you are experiencing gehenom right here on earth, so maybe you should not worry so much about the next world's gehenom. The condition you describe is so obviously a mental illness, you don't have to be a psychiatrist to understand that. I believe therefore, that being that you WANT SO BADLY to be shomer mitzvos, but your illness gets in the way, you are considered an "ohnayss" (I hate writing Hebrew words in English by the way). You know very well that 'ohnayss rachmanah patray'. HKB"H will not hold you liable for putting on chap stick or even driving on Shabbos the same way He would not if someone held a gun to your head. You ARE responsible ,however, to try and get yourself better. If you are making an honest attempt to do that, then I think you will be ok.
In the meantime, you only discussed your kiyum hamitzvos bayn adom lamakom. Why don't you tell us a little about your mitzvos bayn adom lechavayro?
You KNOW HKB"H weighs them more heavily and can tip the scales in your favor.
Maybe for now concentrate on being the best baal chesed possible. The best at bikkur cholim. The best at tziddaka. Maybe your OCD won't interfere with these things. (This is basically what "45" said she does. Concentrates on being a good person).
I am 100% sure if you do these things, you will be zocheh to a refuah shelayma and find doing all the other mitzvos much more fulfilling.

Ernie
By the way- how does one define "ultra-orthodox"???
 
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Maskil
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Originally posted by: ernie55B
In the meantime, you only discussed your kiyum hamitzvos bayn adom lamakom. Why don't you tell us a little about your mitzvos bayn adom lechavayro?
Thank you for your encouraging thoughts. Bein odom la-chaveiro I would rate myself as doing quite well. I'm not sure why exactly, but I live by the mantra "What goes around comes around (but what comes around does not necessarily have to go around)."

Quote

By the way- how does one define "ultra-orthodox"???
There are many external factors that categorize the ultra-Orthodox community. Black hat, dress clothes all week long, no TV in the home, an uncut beard (for Chasidim), shmiras negi'a, a very strict standard of kashrus... Although none of these characteristics are necessarily all present by any particular ultra-Orthodox individual. The best definition I have ever seen, and I have used it ever since, is that according to the ultra-Orthodox, the rabbincal statement "kadeish atzmecho be-mutor loch" ("Sanctify yourslf in that which is permitted to you") is a biblical requirement (not just a serving suggestion).
 
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ernie55B
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Maskil-

You are very welcome. I am glad to be of some help.
The fact that you feel you are doing very well 'bayn adom le-chaveyro' I think is of utmost importance. "Amar Rabbe Akiva- Vi'Ahavta Lerayacha Komocha , Zeh klall gadol batorah"
What do you think R' Akiva meant by this? I would appreciate if YOU TELL ME, OK?

Also, HKB"H is michaper aveiros on Yom Kippur bayn adom Lamakom. But "Ain Yom Hakkipurim michaper ad sheyiratzeh es chaveiro". Why do you think that is?

I also think you should drop the label "ultra Orthodox". Labels are so meaningless and superficial. Most of what you described is merely 'cheetzoniyos' which I think HKB"H could care less about (i.e. black hat).
Try and be an "Ehrlicha Yid" AND THAT'S IT!!!!! Start from this point , and you will see everything else will follow.

One last thing- try to be in shul and answer 'Yehay Shmay Rabba' as much as you possibly can. You know the koach of doing so - "korin lo gzar dino". Even if C"V you were judged negatively, HKB"H will tear up the decree just by saying 'Yehay Shmay Rabba' with kavana!
It doesn't get much easier than that does it?

Let me know how it goes please , OK?

Thanks,
Ernie
 
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Maskil
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Originally posted by: ernie55B
Maskil-

You are very welcome. I am glad to be of some help.
The fact that you feel you are doing very well 'bayn adom le-chaveyro' I think is of utmost importance. "Amar Rabbe Akiva- Vi'Ahavta Lerayacha Komocha , Zeh klall gadol batorah"
What do you think R' Akiva meant by this? I would appreciate if YOU TELL ME, OK?
Look, I'm not into being melamed zechus on myself. Such behavior only leads to a state of mind from which one will never do teshuvo.

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Also, HKB"H is michaper aveiros on Yom Kippur bayn adom Lamakom.
Only if one does teshuvo, which, to my misfortune, is not my case. Teshuvo requires remorse on the past and the determination to disavow the infractious behavior. I have neither.

Quote

I also think you should drop the label "ultra Orthodox".
I'm not the one using the label. I consider myself chiloni. It is the rest of the Jewish world that views me as ultra-Orthodox, and yes, it is based only on chiyzoniyus.

Quote

Let me know how it goes please , OK?
I will post if there is any change. Right now, however, I do feel that I am caught in a trap from which I cannot escape. I am nisht ahin un nisht aher, you can't empathize because you cannot know what it is like.
 
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ernie55B
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Maskil-

You are right. I cannot empathize, I cannot imagine what it is like . But I can sympathize.
I hope HKB"H will give you the strength to overcome your inner struggles.

Kol Tuv,
Ernie


Edited: 5/17/05 at 8:41 PM by ernie55B
 
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Torsalicious613
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hi, it's really embarrassing, but i have a bit of ocd too. i actually touch things. like let's say if i didn't touch something the right way, i have to go back and do it over again. it doesn't happen all the time, just when i'm stressed out, or when i have a lot on my mind or when things aren't going right (um, that's like all the time. no i'm kidding it's not.) well, it's a subjective question. anyway, i don't tell many people about thios although my parents and my brothers know and my dad shoves me on when i start doing it around him, when i do it around my mom, she gets really stressed out and starts yelling, and my brothers? well, they just make fun of me. it's a power struggle. that's all it is. it's how i deal with and make sense and order out of-- stress, by not absorbing it and deflecting it, so i don't have to process it. any kind words from anyone? i would like some advice or input please-- also, i would say please don't tell anyone about this, but i guess everyone already knows. it's not like it's always so not obvious when i do it anyway.

atara


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Maskil
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Atara,

I began having this condition when I was about 15 or so. I hid it very well. I thought that it was my own chronic obsession and I was embarrassed to mention it to anybody. Finally, I tried to describe it to my mother, but she was completely unaware of what I was talking about and had no advice. She didn't even think I had a problem (she never really observed my compulsive behavior). This lasted for several years and caused considerable anguish. Besides for occasionally being late to school (which my mother wasn't there to see, since I studied out of town, and which was shielded by the fact that I was an excellent student) there was only one time that I was "forced" to tell someone about it in order to explain an unusual incident involving him. I simply told him I was nuts and proceeded to talk to him about something that was completely out of the ordinary. All the compulsions, like touching things repeatedly (and then if I felt that I hadn't touched it concretely enough, I would have to go back and touch it again), checking that a door was completely closed even when it didn't matter, and many other similar behaviors that thankfully I cannot remember, where goaded on by the fact that if I didn't cede to "my" demands to do these things until it was too late to correct I would obsess over it for days and days, not being able to concentrate on anything. Eventually, I had a list of four or five things that I would not forgive myself about and the torment was relentless. This only made me more obedient to the demands and the condition worsened. The tool I used to finally bread myself out of this was finally, when the list grew too big and I had forgotten some of the things I would torment myself for neglecting to repeat (and the like) I finally forgot one or two of them. This empowered me, and I was able to snicker back at myself and say "You thought you could torment me forever but now you can't remember the whole list. Over time this allowed me to defy the compulsions when they were too burdensome, knowing that the inner "me" could not keep track of all the transgressions. Finally, I stopped repeating, touching, and checking in a compulsive manner. Of course, my OCD did not go away but had other ways of manifesting itself, but the really embarrassing part was over. (Others would disagree, for they hadn't noticed my compulsions before and only then began to observe me as an eccentric.) I recommend that you make an effort to refrain from your compulsions, because the more rational side of you knows that you do not need to do these things. Your inner self will torment you initially, but as your defiance grows, your rational side will win over and you will feel liberated (and much less embarrassed). As far as your family is concerned, they need to recognize that although it seems like erratic behavior that is completely in your control, it is in fact a mental illness due to insufficient brain production of serotonin. (If only I had known this was a real medical condition when I was really suffering the worst!) You are not alone; it is a physical condition of the brain not a mental condition that is in your control. Go to see a doctor and be referred to a psychiatrist. The medications that generally treat depression address the same issue, the production of serotonin in the brain. This doesn't mean you have depression though, you are just suffering from the same deficiency as those who suffer from depression, but you have a different condition as a result. Even if you feel you can get your compulsions under control, going to the doctor and taking medication (there aren't really any side affects) will help your family to recognize that you are suffering from a physiological condition and not just acting weird (as though you could control yourself if you wanted to). The medicine really does help, but as I mentioned above, so does defiance. It sometimes feels good to take the easy route and just obey, but it is demoralizing and people not suffering from this condition, well, I don't think they can ever fully understand. So I recommend medical treatment as well as an effort of defiance from your rational self. Am I completely cured (even on the meds)? No, but I am a lot happier, and I have much more control. Good luck, and know that you are not alone, there are those of us that do understand, really understand, and can really sympathize with what you are going through.

(You see that: I had to reread my post and then edit it by adding a word that wasn't really of essential importance. And now I'm editing it again to tell you this!)


Edited: 12/12/05 at 10:18 PM by Maskil
 
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Torsalicious613
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hmm, you must have ocd. lol, well i do too, so who cares? see? that's the rational side of me showing through! thanks maskill, i wish you luck-- and i wish me luck too. us perfectionists-- so a lack of seratonin..hmm..i'll tell my doc what you think, get his input. i'll let you know what he says. (he's one of the top-- and most expensive, lol, bipolar docs in the country, so he should know if i ask him about it! hope he's worth his price! and it's a large one at that! and yes, i have bpd. --bipolar disorder-- sheesh, it's not like i don't have enough to deal with already, bpd, plus ocd. yikes!)

p.s. my doc says ocd is a common symptom in people getting better from ocd. who knew?

atara


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Torsalicious613
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i'm afraid i have the compulsive side of ocd.

atara


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ernie55B
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Hey Tors!

Guess what? My T thinks I am OCD as well. She says many (if not most) anorexics are. Like you said- who cares?

Ernie
 
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Torsalicious613
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EXACTLY! who bleepin cares!?

atara


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gad
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we care
 
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Torsalicious613
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lol, thank you

atara


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ernie55B
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Now that I know more about OCD I do care. My psychologist is convinced that my depression is actually a result of OCD and can be cured with high doses of an SSRI.
My psychiatrist is willing to give it a try.

The OCD manifests itself mostly in obsessive feelings of guilt, fear of germs, a need to be perfect, just to name a few.
She also is sure that the Anorexia is a part of it as well.

Unfortunately, I can already see some of these tendencies in my 9 yr. old daughter and will address it accordingly.
 
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Torsalicious613
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sorry i meant to say ocd can be a common syptom in getting better from bpd, not ocd. ha ha

ernie, it's a shame how some things can be inherited. but they can also, as i believe, be unlearned!

atara


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fightstrongly
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Hi,

i totally understand you because i was officially diagnosed with OCD when i was in my fith month of pregnancy; however, i did get medication zoloft to help me out. ask your doctor about it. i identiy with your symptoms because i also cried a lot, actually nonstop, but the trick i realized is not to obsess over your thoughts and cry about it, because it is like a trap, the more you cry and think about your situation, the thought is going to say, oh this is a good thought let me keep bothering her..if you go on and about your life, your life will change, i promise, i was in the same situation as you were, or even worse, i lost 10 pounds during pregnanc, i was eating myself up alive...but as soon as the thought comes in, a good idea is to shift to another activity and it will go away.......


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Torsalicious613
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it's amazing how much our thoughts can impact what we do and how we feel-- positively and negatively. however, i believe hashem created the world that a little bit of light can chase away a lot of darkness and that positive thoughts can produce more positive things than negativity can produce more negative things. there is a reason that positivity is easier to feel than negativity-- at least to most of us who are blessed to have it that way! more of us than you think! (in fact i believe we were all created that way, it's just more obvious to some than others.) bye, y'all, gotta get back to class!

chag kasher vesamayach

atara


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MaxSilverHammer
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To maskil (and anyone else that could benefit)

I had severe ocd since I was 15 in the form of ruminations and compulsions, the hell I went through can not be conveyed in words. I became a baal Teshuva roughly at that time and the ocd made religious life a nightmare as per Maskil. I went to over 50 doctors looking for relief in a 14 year period. I was on various ssris and "cocktails" At around 29/30 the ocd just burned out. I BH , now am 33 and basically oc d free.


I beleive alot of differant things contributed to this, and will write about them sometime in the future . One thing I really beleiv ehelped was switching to Anafranil . It took a very long while on it but I feel for ocd nothing compares to it . I say this for more reasons then just myown experiences, because that would be a silly nd meaningless conclusion. I know many people who only responded to Anafranil not anyof the ssris.

To Mskil, Hashem understands your struggle and the pain thatthe mitsvoth cause you. Therefore evry mitsvah you dois precious in His eyes. The yetzer hara whos job is notto make you sin but rather to destroy you would have you beleive that throwing it all away is the answer. Its not. Its just easier on many levels. Instead, while you are mechalel kritot and mitot , learn a mishnah a day, give tzdedakah or do something very small consistantly that you can do. Add little mitsvoth as time goes by that dont cause you anxiety.

Refrain from one issur medoryta every shabbos. Imagine the great merit and joy it will cause on high. It will ultimately be your door back to health and happiness. Dont throw away the baby with the bathwater.

When I have more time id like to explain why I feel its essential that you keep making n effort towards Hashem in a way that you can deal with and why it may be the key to a complete recovery. If you post an email address it would be easier for me to correspond, because I dont come to this site often.

May you all have a refuah shliema bemhaira.
 
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Maskil
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I'd rather just be anonymous. I will think about what you wrote, but I do not justify my transgressions.
 
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gad
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"The sun will come out tomorrow."

Eventually every Jew will (be able to) return.

In the meantime, may you have a healthy nervous condition.

Hope to hear good news from you.
 
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