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Sunday, 22 Elul, 5779
  |  September 22, 2019

The Rebbe on Psychiatric Help

A newly released letter from the Rebbe guides how to go about psychiatric help and dealing with "Ayin Hara" and depression. Full Story

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Thank you
Guest
Thank you

Thank you, I needed this message from the Rebbe now.

question
Guest
question

is the rebbe against taking meds for mental health?

Thank you
Guest
Thank you

Thank you Rabbi simpson we need more of this. Thank you COL for printing. Besutifull letter

therapy
Guest
therapy

Just want to understand, is the Rebbe ok with going for therapy?

yasher koach
Guest
yasher koach

we want and need more please don’t be מונע בר especially in the case when these messages are important for כלל ישראל and may serve a purpose for פיקוח נפש

To #2
Guest
To #2

Note the date. The meds we have now weren’t available back then, so the question is moot.

dave
Guest
dave

To 2. This is about emotional, not clinical depression. Dr Twerski discusses this at length in his books.

Letter
Guest
Letter

Ah!
So geshmak.

very nice but probably meant for this man and not as general advice
Guest
very nice but probably meant for this man and not as general advice

I don’t think people should take getting psychiatric help lightly if they have other psychiatric conditions such as (bi-polar or schizophrenia) or other psychiatric conditions, the Rebbe is talking here only about depression.

To #4
Guest
To #4

it sounds like the Rebbe is very much pro therapy, but makes important points:
1. Make sure the therapist is one who is familiar with background/community
2. You have to keep a positive outlook in life
3. You have to strengthen yourself spiritually

(correct me if I interpret this wrong)

Wish I had this letter earlier today
Guest
Wish I had this letter earlier today

Today, in my capacity of shliach I visited a modern orthodox young girl in the psych ward. She was suicidal and depressed. I told her that she should learn Torah and especially chassidus to elevate her spirits as Jews are spiritual creatures and when we are spiritually empty, there is trouble… She said maybe the Chabad guy can study with me and she went on to tell me there was a Lubavitcher in the hospital then as well (as a patient). Just then she pointed, oh! He is right there! And I see a Lubavitch Bochur (maybe 25 or so)… Read more »

Depression
Guest
Depression

The headlines to this letter should have been “no need to be depressed ” which 90 % of the letter. The therapist part comes at the end as an additional message. Beautifull and encouraging letter. Many people should wake up after seing this letter and be strengthened. Very practical letter. Thank u

the rebbe's letter
Guest
the rebbe's letter

It is written to a particular person about a particular situation and does not reflect AT ALL the rebbes opinion about psychiatry and psychology in general.

wow
Guest
wow

great letter

#10
Guest
#10

However, I would notand recommend that you undertake a lengthy psychiatric treatment, since you yourself could do considerably more for yourself than any psychiatrist can do for you.
Super clear using a psychiatrist is only on a temporary basis
Super clear therapy

promise that it will be good
Guest
promise that it will be good

many people suffer, and seemingly for no reason, look no further than the holocaust, or look further if you want. a promise it will be “be good” is only for those who are able to see good in everything, including the holocaust. we are not all on that level, so it seems sort of unfair to make such a promise, of tracht gu, v’sein gut, etc.

thank you rebbe
Guest
thank you rebbe

some of us lost love ones. before yom tov it gets harder.
you are here for us always.

To 2 and 4
Guest
To 2 and 4

It probably goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway). To ask these questions in an anonymous forum like this one should be only for the purpose of openly discussing these important issues but not for the sake of arriving at an understanding of the Rebbe’s positions. For that, please have private discussions with respected mashpi’im. Hatzlocha rabbah!

To No. 11
Guest
To No. 11

When you say that “his head was screwed on right,” it sounds like you’re doubting the necessity for him to receive psychiatric care just because you saw him learning the D’var Malchus. I find it interesting that the Rebbe’s advice for overcoming depression in the letter that’s printed here includes nothing about Torah, mitzvos, or davening. His advice focuses on logical thinking. It’s possible to learn Torah and still need psychiatric care, and none of us should be surprised about that. I recommend that you go back to the psych ward and modify your advice to the girl that you… Read more »

just on time!
Guest
just on time!

may everyone have refuas henefesh, and refias haguf! perfect timing for posting this! we should recive a new torah from moshiach right now!

To me it sounds like the Rebbe is saying...............
Guest
To me it sounds like the Rebbe is saying...............

To me it sounds like the Rebbe’s advice to this person is this. Focus more on what you need to do and don’t focus so much on who you are or what your capabilities are.

Thank you Thank you
Guest
Thank you Thank you

Rabbi Sholom Mendel Simpson, I was a bochur in 770 in the late 70 and early 80 – as you know Bochurim know everything 🙂 we all knew that you were in charge of the Rebbes letters and in adddition keeping them organized. we woud see you coming out of thr rebbes room with large shopping bags of files and you would file them. it is in your zechus that the 27-28 volumes of hebrew letters came out and we are waiting for the rest This letter your gave out and printed here on COL is Pikuach Nefesh, can help… Read more »

Its really scary
Guest
Its really scary

To see the number of commenter’s who interpret what the rebbe said here – to a specific person, addressing their specific case – as the rebbes general opinion regarding the masses. Its really frightening, who knows which other letters they’re reading, and basing massive decisions on, perhaps affecting others, perhaps their children…
One oofthe commenter’s said “its crystal clear what the rebbe held regarding therapy” and we could be talking about someones mental health! But “I read in a letter so its crystal clear.
Concerned.

First part of letter
Guest
First part of letter

Focus on the first and main part of the letter and you wont need to worry about the second part. you can not just read the last paragraph of the letter and come to a conclusion , read the entire letter. about gashmiyous, ruchniyos, working on your self, not feeling down, hashem runs the world etc.

to #19
Guest
to #19

I went back and gave her an edited copy of this letter (took out the second part of letter). Obviously there are lamdonim that require mental care. I made a spiritual assessment of what is lacking there after speaking to her for some time. Obviously I’m not a qualified psychiatrist so I leave her mental care to the team at the hospital. My job as a rabbi is to contribute from the spiritual realm based on my discretion and understanding. Just relax. I was proud of the bochur for having a koch in the right thing in the moment we… Read more »

To skeptics
Guest
To skeptics

This advice is personal to one person, as we see from the way the rebbe address the recepient. I would think it is very dangerous to take this as general advice.

to #26
Guest
to #26

There are a number of comments the Rebbe makes in this letter that are indeed universal. Among others, there is order in what often appears,,especially to one who is depressed, as total chaos. Pondering this in an objective manner helps lessen the fear of total lack of control that frequently leads to major anxiety and other mental/emotional problems, Dismissing all of the Rebbe’s views in this letter (and others) as addressee-specific may cause one to miss out on hora’os that the general public could benefit from. Why are some people afraid to accept that?

Facts of life
Guest
Facts of life

When it comes to someone’s psychological/psychiatric health there is great care that must be taken, as this affects all areas of someone’s life and being, including their physical and spiritual health. Just as someone who goes to a therapist for example, that if they do not want healing the treatment can be useless, so too even with chemical medications one’s approach can prevent healing. Furthermore, more often than not the origin of one’s issue stems from their approach to things commonly perceived as unrelated. On another note, going for therapy and/or treatment leaves most people feeling like there is something… Read more »

gorgeous letter and strong message!
Guest
gorgeous letter and strong message!

the rebbe is writing this letter to each and every one of us, because everybody always has problems in life and this is the perfect advice for it. I liked best the sentence “since you yourself could do considerably more for yourself than any psychiatrist can do for you”.. thank you col for posting this!

Positive psychology
Guest
Positive psychology

What is awesome is that positive psychology i very much into this line of thinking check it out it may change your life!

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