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TOPIC TITLE: Where can I go?
Created On 3/18/12 8:36 PM
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Echo613
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3/18/12 8:36 PM
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Hi, I just found this site motzei shabbos after doing some googling. I'm a 31 yr old struggling chozer b'tshuva, still not married, and I'm suffering from depression/anxiety pretty bad. I've been trying to tell myself for a while now that I'm depressed because I haven't been living at the standard that I set for myself back when I was attending yeshiva (almost 10 yrs ago), but I'm starting to think that maybe I really do have a chemical imbalance. Even as I write that I am pestered with the thought "no, I'm just being a lazy -expletive- and if I'd only do what I'm supposed to I wouldn't feel miserable all the time".

So, I decided I should see a doctor, however, I have several issues. Mostly, they all center around how to pay for treatment. I am crippled (emotionally as well as physically) from a spinal injury, and so I'm not working. The good thing is that I am legally disabled and receive a small check that helps me survive without living in a cardboard box, as well as medical coverage. The bad thing is that when I filed for disability I was living in Pennsylvania, so that's where my coverage is.

I first came to NY to go to yeshiva, and after being asked to leave yeshiva because I had a hard time making it to shacharis, I decided to stay in NY because I thought to myself that it would be important to stay in a frum area, plus I wanted to stay close to my friends in yeshiva who were my only Jewish friends. Unfortunately, I wasn't thinking ahead about what would happen to me as they all left yeshiva, got married, and returned to their home states or countries.

Now, I find myself very much alone in a community that I never really fit into aside from being Jewish. Since I was asked to leave the yeshiva, and told that I wasn't even allowed to learn there since the menahel was worried about what effect my presence would have on the other bachurim (something I still don't understand), I am just a single lonely neshama without any friends or even a beis midrash or kehilla to call my own. I know that my neighbors are thinking "why does this guy even stick around?". But, living with a disability makes it really hard to pick up and move somewhere else, especially when I don't know where else to go.

Anyway, I would like to see a frum doctor/rabbi possibly, but I never reapplied for disability in NY, thinking it would be a huge pain, not to mention the length of time it takes, and I wouldn't have my doctor (the one who has handled my spinal injury care since I was recovering from my first fusion surgery) to come testify to the court about the validity of my injury, since he is in PA. I also didn't want to set my current address as my permanent address, and get a new license, and change over everything to that address, when I might not stay there for very long, and would only have to change it again. So, I kept my PA address (my parent's address they said I could continue to use it) and I make the hour and a half drive every time that I need to see my dr or refill prescriptions, etc.

As is probably apparent, I don't know of many frum jews, let alone a psychologist or psychiatrist in the Bucks County area that I could try to get a referral to go see. And, the idea of trying to explain my issues to a goy, or even a frie yid, is not something I feel capable of doing. I've asked my medicare insurance if they will let me go out of state, and they told me they won't, unless it's like an emergency visit to the ER.

I recently made an attempt (albeit a feeble one) to try to tell my primary care dr that I am really suffering, although he seemed to interpret what I said as either bad panic attacks or a cardiac problem, so his answer was to send me for an echocardiogram and some bloodwork, and as far as the panic attacks, to just overlook that part of it. I won't say it was completely his fault though in misunderstanding what I was trying to say. I have serious confidence issues, which have become worse when I realize that dressed as a religious jew, anybody with little experience with us is judging our entire people on my behavior. I know I need to look out for myself, but I'm just not able to reveal the full extent of my craziness to someone who will most likely come away from the experience with the impression that "them jews have issues!"

Anyway, Pesach is coming soon, and my parents who thankfully are also BTs, are going to Israel without me, and I'm supposed to somehow make my apt pesahdig this year, on my own, while my depression seems worse by the day, not to mention my physical disability. As I said before, I don't really know anyone (actually I have literally 1 friend, but he's sefardi, so I won't be able to eat any meals by him, plus I've noticed I get invited less and less since my depression has really been getting worse) and I keep picturing how lame my sedarim will be this year, me sitting by myself, that's if I even manage to pull it together.

My Mom's suggestion is to call a random yeshiva and hire some boys to come clean my place for me. She forgets how poor I am (Baruch Hashem my Mom is comfortable financially, but she thinks everyone else is too), and is basically clueless to how bad my depression and anxiety has become. It seems like she has decided that when I come visit and I lay in bed the entire time, that it's because I am in pain from my back, and honestly I don't want to illuminate her as to how bad my depression has become. As far as having lost 70 pounds in the last year from lack of motivation to eat (I know, pathetic), I think she explains that one by telling herself that it's because my back pain prevents me from getting to the kitchen. Either way, the idea of people I don't know cleaning up my neglected apartment and thinking "who lives like this?" the entire time, is just not something that I would ever willingly subject myself to.

Anyway, I know I've carried on quite a bit, but I wanted to make my situation as clear as possible (you're my last hope). I do understand that this is not exactly the usual way to start a thread, but I wasnt sure how to send this as a personal message, and I wanted to make sure a Dr. read this, who might know where I could go. Thanks for making this site available. Kol Tov.
 
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Messed up
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3/18/12 11:05 PM
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Have u tried calling Ohel?

((((hugs))))
 
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Echo613
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3/18/12 11:44 PM
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No.. what's that? Do they offer free psych services?
 
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Messed up
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3/19/12 7:33 PM
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Ohel offers a whole range of services - from special needs, to foster kids, to people suffering from abuse, to people with physical and/or mental health probblems.

I heard that you if you cant offord it, you can get services there for really cheap (like 5 to 10 dollars a sesstion). And you could get good frum therapists who can really relate.

They do great things, and I think it probably worth it for you to try them.

If you goggle Ohel, their site should come up right away and you can get all the info you need - like how to contact them and ect....

If you have any trouble with it, let me know and I'll be glad to help.
 
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Echo613
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3/19/12 11:55 PM
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Messed Up, Thank you very much. I did actually google after you mentioned it, and I've sent them an email (pretty much a copy/paste of what I wrote above). Hopefully, they will get back to me soon and will be able to help me.

I really don't know if I am going to make it through the holiday of Pesach, though. I am too scared of Hashem to actually hurt myself, but I constantly have suicidal thoughts, even when I know that I would never act on them. I realize it's pointless, and I try to not think that way, and to divert my thoughts, but I find myself again and again just frustrated with the whole situation, and those kind of thoughts rear their ugly little head.

It really makes no sense to me at all. If I know that I resolved a long time ago to never do that, and sucking it up for 120 yrs is preferable to having Hashem angry with me about throwing His gift of life back in His face (so to speak), then why do I even have those kinds of thoughts at all? It really makes me think more and more that I am dealing with some sort of chemical imbalance in my brain.

Last night after someone on here mentioned personality disorders, I wiki'd it and began reading. I was shocked to see the criteria for one disorder called 'Depressive personality disorder'. On wiki they listed 7 characteristics of the disorder, of which they said at least 5 must be present for more than 2 years for a diagnosis to be made. Unfortunately, to my surprise I fit all 7 to a T, and for way longer than 2 years.

They also said that people with this disorder are at much greater risk for developing 'dysthymic disorder', of which the symptoms are hypersomnia or fatigue, low self esteem, poor appetite, or difficulty making decisions, for over two years. They also said that patients with dysthymic disorder may experience social withdrawal, pessimism, and feelings of inadequacy.

That's me right there. I sleep way too much. Like regularly 12-14 hrs and have even gone up to 20 hours of just sleeping. If I'm not asleep, I'm fatigued. Low self-esteem, my whole life I think. Poor appetite, yup. I've lost more than 1/3 of my body weight in the last year or so. I'm not anorexic or anything, just too unmotivated to eat sometimes. Difficulty making decisions is something that's a bit more recent, like maybe the last 6-8 months, but these symptoms certainly sound spot on. As for the social withdrawal, pessimism, and feelings of inadequacy, those have been going on for years.

This scares me. Because from what I'm reading it seems like personality disorders are much harder to treat than just some regular depression/anxiety. Probably more expensive too. I'm trying not to get ahead of myself though.. I do realize that I'm not a doctor. I also have some trust issues with the psychology profession at large, since the people who make these diagnosis often benefit from the years of therapy they get to charge to patient's insurance companies, or the kickbacks from the pharmaceutical industry who get them to prescribe their drugs. It's all very shady imo, no offense Dr. Lynn.

I realize that there are probably some very trustworthy, good doctors, who only have their patient's benefits in mind, and other doctors who may have started that way, but doctors are human too, and thus just as capable of being manipulated by greedy Big Pharma and the constant barrage of propaganda in the form of ads, coffee mugs, pens, and free samples that are sent to those in the psych profession. Oh no! I'm starting to sound like I have a 'Paranoid personality disorder'! Oy vey! lol

Truthfully though, the only reason that I am seeking help now, is because all of my own efforts to overcome my depression,anxiety, low self-esteem, etc, have ended in failure. I realize that the longer these negative emotions and the thoughts and actions that stem from them go on, the more they can become like bad habits, becoming ingrained in my personality, and I really don't want to live this way my whole life.

Thanks again for the suggestion Messed Up. I pray they will be able to help me. Kol Tov
 
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Dr. Lynn, Psy.D.
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5/7/12 11:00 AM
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so what happened?
a lynn
 
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Echo613
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5/14/12 1:08 AM
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What happened? Nice of you to ask nearly 2 months later. Absolutely nothing.. I am still depressed. I checked out Ohel, and clicked on the 'contact us' option. Wrote an email to them asking for help, and I still haven't heard back. I'm now going to be moving back home with my parents in Philadelphia because they are tired of me asking for money to pay for things because my disability payments don't cover my cost of living. Obviously being 31 and moving back home, with no hope as to how my situation is going to change, has only added to my depression and hopelessness..

I find that I am irritable most of the time, u can probably tell. And while I am too scared to harm myself, I pray to Hashem pretty regularly to either help me or end this waste of a life and give my remaining years to someone who can and will use them. I've begun smoking cigarettes again after having 8 years of not smoking. I just felt way too stressed out before Pesach, and I caved and bought a pack. I'm not smoking as much as I used to. I used to smoke a pack and a half a day. I am only smoking a few a day. Some days I'm not smoking any. But it still feels like a major failure. Still feels good though when I light one up. Relaxes me a bit. I'm kind of angry that I exist in a world where all the things I enjoy are taboo, while the permitted things like alcohol, I have no interest in.

Anyway, I was gonna write more but I don't feel like it. You probably won't read this until June or July anyway, and who knows what will have changed, so what's the point. You really shouldn't have a misleading forum like this one, labelled 'ask dr.lynn', because people who write in it are really having trouble, and you give false hope when they think that they will get some kind of response, and they check back day by day, only to realize that nobody reads it anyway. You should rename it "post for dr lynn to read someday". I realize I'm taking my anger out on you, and I'm sure I will regret it later and apologize. I feel kind of sorry already, but not enough to erase it before I hit send.. Maybe you should see it... Idk.. I'm sure you are very busy. Especially when u have paying patients.
 
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toy123
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5/14/12 6:21 AM
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Echo613 I really sympathize and empathize with you about your situation. Sorry that I saw this thread earlier but didn't respond simply because I didn't know what to say... I agree with you about Dr Lynn. I'm sorry for saying this but echo is right how come you have a thread called ask Dr. Lyn when u come on only about every two months? It's really frustrating because if I write to you I don't wanna wait two months for an answer... Echo613 I hope everything works out fine. I too am now in a situation where I gotta leave my current residence and I don't want to end up by my parents... I also hope your getting help (psychological) for all your issues. You can pm anytime you need to and I'll try to support you. May you be zoiche to find your bashert VERY VERY VERY soon...


-------------------------
Sometimes you need to run away just to see who will follow you.

Sometimes when I say "I'm okay", I want someone to look me in the eyes, hug me tight and say "I know you are not".

Just because I'm smiling doesn't mean I'm happy.
 
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Messed up
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5/14/12 9:36 AM
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I really feel for you echo613. Things sound so so tough.

I also want to apoligize for not replying after the last post that you wrote in March. In all honesty, I really wanted to and was going to, but I wasnt sure what to say. So I decided I'd wait a few days to see what was written in reply to what you wrote and then add my comments. And then somthing really big came up in my life, and its been taking up all my time - both pysically and emotionally. Therefore I havnt hardly been on here the past few months, and even when I was, I just didnt feel up to posting. But I want you to know that I still thought of you and worried about what happened and I'm sorry for not posting and being there for you.

I really hope that things work out for you, echo613. I wish there was more I could do.
 
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mouse
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5/14/12 1:59 PM
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I'm sorry you're having such a hard time. I just noticed this post now....after all these months. I don't know what took so long for me to see it. I can relate to so many things on so many levels. I do not know what to wish you, other than a little less anger at your situation and others and perhaps an easier time even surviving....let alone living. (Surviving is staying alive....living, I see as being fulfilled or happy in some kind of way or another.)


-------------------------

All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again.
 
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Dr. Lynn, Psy.D.
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5/16/12 12:52 PM
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Echo and Toy,
I considered waiting until August to reply...
As far as I know, I never made any promises about how soon I would reply to any post. And, I suppose it matters not that I have volunteered on this site for 10 years and have responded to thousands of posts. But, so much for dan l"chaf schus.

That being said, I understand that people writing here are in pain, and often feeling disillusioned with "the system", shrinks, financial conflicts of interest, frustration with the frum community as it relates to mental health issues, etc, and I feel I have always validated those feelings when people have voiced them. In general, if you want to hear from me sooner, I recommend sending me a private message. There are many boards within the mental health folder and I do not check them all regularly. Guilty as charged. I do check my private messages more frequently. I have never intended to harm anyone here either overtly or by neglect, and I take this volunteer activity seriously.
kol tuv,
a lynn

 
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toy123
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5/16/12 1:07 PM
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Sorry if I offended you Dr. Lynn, I was only voicing my frustration because sometimes I have question for a therapist and not the psychiatrist and I feel like I have to wait ages for you to answer. Put yourself into my shoes I'm in pain and want to be heard....


-------------------------
Sometimes you need to run away just to see who will follow you.

Sometimes when I say "I'm okay", I want someone to look me in the eyes, hug me tight and say "I know you are not".

Just because I'm smiling doesn't mean I'm happy.
 
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Dr. Lynn, Psy.D.
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5/16/12 2:26 PM
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Toy,
If you have a time sensitive question, it is best to private message me. I understand that you and others have legitimate needs and questions, and I attend to them when I can. I will try to check the Ask Dr. Lynn board more frequently.
a lynn
 
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wishtobehappy
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5/16/12 8:13 PM
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Dr. Lynn. I think it's amazing that you volunteer to help us all out. I've been touched time and again by the care, concern and sympathy that you and Dr. Price display on the forum. It's so comforting to me when I see professionals with a busy practice willing to give of their precious time and resources to help us out. It makes me feel like the world is not such a bad place after all. Thanks so much.
 
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Dr. Lynn, Psy.D.
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5/17/12 9:56 AM
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Wish,
Thanks for your comments and appreciation. My reply above was not intended to elicit sympathy or fish for compliments- only to state that I am trying my best and take this seriously.
 
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wishtobehappy
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5/17/12 10:46 AM
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Dr. Lynn, My goal wasn't to compliment or try to be sympathetic. I just feel that as a whole, people usually voice the negative, like frustration and anger much more readily than the positive like recognition and appreciation, and felt a need to balance it out. I've felt very grateful for a long time and never bothered voicing it, but when I saw the unjustified outpouring of criticism I felt a need to put my two cents in.

Toy123 and echo, I'm not trying to minimize your pain at all. I know that when you're in pain your feelings take on a life of their own and tend to put all rational thoughts on hold. You just get so desperate for someone or something to rescue you from the misery. I've been there and have felt the hell of it. Try to believe that things can and do get better and even when you feel abandoned there are still people in the world that really care.


Edited: 5/17/12 at 10:47 AM by wishtobehappy
 
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Dr. Lynn, Psy.D.
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5/17/12 12:57 PM
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Thanks
 
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mouse
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5/17/12 4:51 PM
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Nice going, Wish....Couldn't figure out how to say it without hurting others, but YOU DID!!!!! Thanks.


-------------------------

All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again.
 
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wishtobehappy
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5/17/12 7:36 PM
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glad to see others feel the same way
 
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Dr. Lynn, Psy.D.
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5/21/12 12:48 PM
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Thanks, Munk
 
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mouse
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5/25/12 6:32 AM
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OOOOOOOO I GOTS A NICKNAME>>>>>>MUNK


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All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again.
 
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Dr. Lynn, Psy.D.
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5/25/12 8:54 AM
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congratulations! well deserved for all your years of service on this site!
a lynn
 
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Ineedspace
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5/25/12 10:58 AM
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Hi, I know I'm late but thought to share my two cents. 'Time' always feels different on the client's end. Realistically we understand and appreciate your time and dedication, Dr. Lynn. However, when one is in pain, one can not think with a rational mind. And when one reaches out expecting for a hand to reach back, every
hour is like day and every day's like a year. And this can leave someone to feel rejected, abandoned, neglected, and/or uncared for. But it's nice that you're giving the option of private messaging, it's amazing what you're doing. God should save us all for once.
 
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Dr. Lynn, Psy.D.
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6/4/12 9:25 AM
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I understand that time is relevant
a lynn
 
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