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TOPIC TITLE: Role of Yiddishkeit in recovery
Created On 2/17/13 10:40 PM
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star
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2/17/13 10:40 PM
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What role does Yiddishkeit play in the recovery process of one who is depressed?

(This is after being made resentful towards it due to learning :
not to be jealous, not to be angry[aseres hadibros i think] ,to greet everyone with a smile[perkei avos], serve Hashem with joy, sadness is the yetzer hara[tanya], keep working on yourself never stop, always advance in torah and mitzvos, "your sins separate you" from G-d, all you need is bitachon, depression is not a sin but leads to the worst of sins, etc.

So how does one find healing in the Torah/Yiddishkeit after all this?


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Dr. Price MD
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HaShem gives/allows the ailment. HaShem understands the plight as HaShem has made us. HaShem wants us to overcome our suffering. See this theme developed in Rabbi Arush's books, The Garden of Emunah/Gratitude.

Rabbi Price, M.D.
www.RabbiMD.com
 
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star
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Thanks so much for your answers. By questioning I don't mean to argue, I just want to understand it more fully:

HaShem gives/allows the ailment- So why does He sometimes withold the cure?

HaShem wants us to overcome our suffering- what if I have no more strength to overcome my suffering, am I then considered a failure by Hashem for not trying?

See this theme developed in Rabbi Arush's books, The Garden of Emunah/Gratitude- I thought he writes that depression is due to a lack of emunah so does that mean if I'm depressed, its a spiritual lack so I'm at fault?




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Dr. Price MD
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HaShem understands it all, more than we understand ourselves. Sometimes the cure is close or farther off. See Iyov. Just stay with HaShem no matter what, even when you have no strength left to do more than that. (I disagree with Arush on those points).

Thanks for questioning.

Rabbi Price, M.D.
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tikvah
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HaShem understands it all, more than we understand ourselves- thats really comforting.

(I disagree with Arush on those points).- thanks so much, thats really validating.(i guess my black and white thinking makes it hard for me to accept that he may be right about some things and right about others.)


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HopefulMommy
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Perhaps sometimes Hashem withholds the cure so that we can learn that we don't need to be perfect or emotionally healthy in order to deserve love. We can learn to love ourselves even at our most dysfunctional states.

The Ramchal says that sometimes Chazal make black and white statements, when in reality they only apply to some people some of the time. I think the same is true for all sefarim. Everything you learned, star, is true, when applied appropriately. And then there are situations when it doesn't apply. For example, there are situations where a person is able to get themselves out of sadness. And there are other situations when we can't.
 
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MoMo
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Just to add to what HopefulMommy said,

Not everything you were taught is true. For example although they teach you in nursery that its an Aveira to get angry, this is simply not true!!!

Also, you only have B'chira (free will) at a certain point. Meaning, that some struggles are too easy for you and you wont get much s'char for it and some struggles are beyond you and it wont be held against you. You have to focus on where you're at and on the struggles you can realistically overcome. The rest you wont be held accountable for.

I didn't make any of this up, I can provide M'koros for all of it..
 
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star
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hopefulmommy, that is so beautiful and comforting that you write that hashem wants us to love ourselves even with my emotional issues. I wish you could find a source for that, not that I don't believe you.
momo, I would love to see a source for getting angry not being an aveira. That makes me feel a lot better.


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HopefulMommy
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star
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\
But consider a child who was forcibly taken from its parents at birth, having never met its father or mother. Both the child and the parents possess a storehouse of love for each other but do not know how or where to direct it. An entire lifetime can go by this way, with their love unexpressed.

The Torah helps facilitate that expression.

Through connecting our will and behavior with G?d's Will, the intrinsic love which is our birthright comes to the fore.

In other words, there's being in love with G?d, and then there's telling Him that.

How appropriate that the mystics, in a fit of Divine romance, reinterpreted the word mitzvah, adding to the conventional meaning – "commandment" – the unconventional but deeper meaning – "connection."

that is life changing. thank you. id love to hear what you think of that sicha, dr price.


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Edited: 2/18/13 at 6:43 PM by star
 
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star
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ok so i got all inspired and went to look in a book of Rebbe letters about mental health and OUCH!

"mental health is dependent on spiritual health. "( i tried the spiritual stuff didnt work.)

"an attitude of despair and hopelessness is totally inappropriate and undesirable for oue torah commands us to never give up hope."
(if its my 'attitude' then its my fault im depressed. also so now im not only feeling bad but im doing somthing inappropriate too.)

Im really not bringing these sources to argue- I sincerely want to know how these phrases can be explained in a light that doesnt threaten me emotionally.
I really really want to feel that the Rebbe supports me emotionally in my process to healing, and validates me. Please show me how.


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MoMo
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Edited: 2/18/13 at 8:59 PM by MoMo
 
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TBear
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Edited: 2/20/13 at 4:49 PM by TBear
 
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MoMo
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Quote

Originally posted by: star

momo, I would love to see a source for getting angry not being an aveira. That makes me feel a lot better.


A source that it is NOT an Aveira to get angry:

The following is a paraphrase of Mhritz Chiyos on Shabbos 105b:
"That which is said that whoever gets angry its as though he is engaged in idol-worship, only applies to someone who breaks utensils due to his anger. It does not apply to someone who is just angry"



Edited: 2/18/13 at 11:00 PM by MoMo
 
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tikvah
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all you need is a leap of faith

Edited: 2/18/13 at 10:08 PM by tikvah
 
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star
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so theres the dif in getting angry and acting/speaking angry, i also speak angry. i have broken ice on the floor in anger when in great emotional pain. does that count??
or am i doing avoda zara?? help.


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HopefulMommy
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Quote

Originally posted by: star
ok so i got all inspired and went to look in a book of Rebbe letters about mental health and OUCH!

"mental health is dependent on spiritual health. "( i tried the spiritual stuff didnt work.)

"an attitude of despair and hopelessness is totally inappropriate and undesirable for oue torah commands us to never give up hope."
(if its my 'attitude' then its my fault im depressed. also so now im not only feeling bad but im doing somthing inappropriate too.)

Im really not bringing these sources to argue- I sincerely want to know how these phrases can be explained in a light that doesnt threaten me emotionally.
I really really want to feel that the Rebbe supports me emotionally in my process to healing, and validates me. Please show me how.


I don't know about the connection between mental and spiritual health, but maybe what it means is that the world as a whole is not spiritually healthy? And maybe that's the underlying cause of so much mental illness in the world, on some spiritual level? In other words, this might be true in some global way, but says nothing about you personally, and doesn't imply that it's your fault. After all, the world we live in is not perfect. Do we have control over our spiritual health? Not necessarily. It says we only control yiras shamayim, but that's not the only component of spiritual health. Or is it?

The second one, though, doesn't seem to have anything to do with depression. You can be depressed, but not in despair. I think it's talking about yeyush, where one gives up hope for geula. You can be depressed, but still know in your heart of hearts that Hashem did not give up on you, or on Jewish people as a whole, and that He will bring mashiach sometime soon.
 
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HopefulMommy
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Another nice book is Making Sense of Suffering by Rabbi Yitzchok Kirzner.
 
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toy123
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I just skimmed through this thread but star I'd like to tell you you're not alone. I'm as well a VERY angry person. I've broken things in anger, banged closets/cabinets in anger, cut in anger etc... You get the picture. I think I'm doing avoda zora hundreds of times a day. Star it's normal to get angry, in my case it's not normal to do all the things I do and I need to control myself but everyone gets angry and as well you mentioned in one of your other threads that you got angry because you felt like your mother wasn't giving you attention, I can totally relate. I'm also the youngest and always needed love and affection and didn't get it from my mother. My older brother always got the attention from my parents and although they deny it I believe they like him better than me... Don't know if what I wrote makes sense I just wanted to validate you star.


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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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star
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Momo, im really sorry if i implied that what you said is not valid, c"v. i really appreciate that you wrote it actually.
i hope you will continue to post here, i value what you say.


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star
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thanks hopefulmommy, but its not talking about geula. i did talk it over and got it explained to me that each letter is specified to each writer so i cant take it for myself. also maybe its talking about people who are able to get out of being depressed on their own thru bitachon etc, but i cant do it on my own.

thanks for validating, toy123. good to hear from you.


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star
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actually, i think im really not on the spiritual level to learn or understand anything that i thought i did on my spiritual "high" last night.
id rather quit pretending im on such a level and start accepting where i am.


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HopefulMommy
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You're not pretending, star, you're struggling, and moving up and down, and coming closer and retreating, and that's exactly what avodas Hashem is about. It doesn't matter where you are. It matters that you're involved in the process. Every tiny little effort on your part to reach our to Hashem, even if you look up a source and then disagree with it, is infinitely precious in Hashem's eyes. That in itself is a high level.
 
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star
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Thanks. Somehow that still makes me feel pressured though.
I hope Hashem just understands that im in no place to grow spiritually and anyways it says 'I am with him in his pain' so just by being depressed Hes connected to me. wow that sounds back words. not sure what im saying.


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HopefulMommy
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Actually, it makes sense. When you're in pain, Hashem is always with you, whether or not you do anything spiritual.
 
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star
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So which does G-d prefer, when Im depressed or happy?


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HopefulMommy
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Neither. He wants you to be connected to Him, no matter what, when depressed, when happy, and everything in between.

When is it easier for you to feel connected? When you're depressed or when you're happy?
 
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star
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i know im always connected to him, just the dif is when i feel connected.
when im depressed sometimes i feel totally disconnected like he cut me off, like he hates me.
but sometimes when i feel i have no one else and i hit rock bottom, sometimes ill just daven from the depths of me
and it will just feel like hes right there. so its confusing.


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HopefulMommy
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It is confusing, for me too. Maybe because we feel mixed emotions, and sometimes some of them are more intense.

It probably doesn't matter. Each moment, no matter how we feel, is unique in its spiritual potential, and we need to use it to the best of our ability.
 
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star
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and we need to use it to the best of our ability. -that kind of scares me. i guess the 'need' word.sounds like should.


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star
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when i daven i wonder what Hashem likes more: when im broken and need Him intensely or when I am feeling okay and even carefree and am 'serving him with joy?'or does He like when im happy but understand when im depressed?


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HopefulMommy
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The Nesivos Shalom tells the story about Rabbi Moshe of Kobrin who was asked, "What is the most important thing in avodas Hashem?" He replied, "To do whatever Hashem is asking you at the moment." To paraphrase, it's not whether you're happy or depressed, because you don't choose that. It's how you respond to whatever circumstances, including your emotional state, that you're facing at this particular moment. That's what matters.
 
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star
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so i thought of two pasukim, seemingly contradicting, but true on each level i think:
"I am with him in his pain" or "Hashem is close to the broken hearted"
and "Why Hashem do You stand from afar , hidden in a time of pain." (i think, tehillim perek yud)
i feel both, depending on how depressed i am.


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