Health & Nutrition

Am I Emotionally Ill?

I'm depressed and suffering and feel there is no chance I can get out of it. But is that really true? Why does the evil inclination send us into the arms of depression and how do we fight back?

Hello Rabbanit. I feel like is no way for me to repair myself in this world. I am terrible I am not successful fixing my character traits I'm full of anger and all my good desires to move forward in life don't help me when it comes down to it. I am a nothing and perhaps I am emotionally ill. I'm not even sure why I'm writing these things because I don't really think there is something you could tell me or write me that will change the way I feel. I believe that I was simply born to suffer that's it there's nothing I do better than that.

My dear friend! I see the inner conflict that you are going through. On one side on one side you have a desire to help yourself and to move forward to happiness and good fortune. On the other side you fall painfully and the frustration is great. So before I say anything else I want to start by telling you that you do not understand the great strength that you have inside you; your G-dly soul. If you could channel that strength to the right place your feelings will change and your life will look different.

The Baal HaTanya says about the nation of Israel that when they go up they go up above the stars but when they fall it is very low and painful. You should remember that if you feel that you're in a very low place so- right from there, remember you can only go up from there. If you choose to begin again a new, after every fall, that is a way to reach a higher level than the angels.

My precious friend, I imagine that the difficulties you're going through and all the mishaps that you had over the years have shaken up your belief in yourself in man and even in God. Nobody could blame you; your feelings are totally natural and normal. But even so, you came to this world in order to reveal a treasure, the one only you can find. As it is well known, you don't find treasures on the street corner. They’re well hidden in quarries and caves you have to gather up the courage to go in and to start looking.

The motivation for a Jew to reveal those treasures that he was sent to the world to find is the knowledge of the mission and knowledge of the things that could hold him back and sway him from that mission. What is this comparable to? A person who is ill that doesn't understand that he's ill and therefore doesn't look for his medicines. But when a person yells out: “I am sick please help me” or like in your case: “I can't stand living with these difficult thoughts and feelings”, this is already half the way towards healing, towards revealing that treasure.

Your shouting reflects how much your insides are really healthy and intact. The pure truth that's inside you is your guiding light. You may not understand how much strength you have but if you choose to, you can grow from within the mishap. It's true that it is difficult and it's never simple, especially since for the duration of your life you heard harmful words and absorbed many harmful things. In the background you hear a lot of criticism from inside and from outside.  We were born and raised in a generation full of criticism.

In order to dispel the bad advice of the evil inclination I want to clarify that is no such thing as constructive criticism. Criticism is always destructive and deadly. The truth is that people try to fix up people all around them only because they have no strength to fix themselves.

Now I want you to understand that you are unique in this world there's no one exactly like you beforehand and there will never be anybody exactly like you after either. What you can accomplish and influence in all the worlds no one else can do. You are the daughter of the king; you come from the most refined and rare material. Specifically because your soul is so pure, the evil inclination is fighting against you, doing everything that he can that you won't see all your goodness. His profit comes from your despair.

The evil inclination isn't interested in our falling and all these tests are all from God. But when we give up on ourselves and the path of the life we chose, we free fall straight into the arms of sadness and depression and that's what the evil inclination wants. He wants us to forgo the great important gift that we received- life. The evil inclination wants us to forgo the honor and merit to fix up the things which we came to the world to fix. A depressed person feels he doesn't have any reason to live, that he's lost, he has no strength to raise himself up and he's alone, that nobody cares about him and thousands of other stories. These are all imaginary!

The biggest piece of advice that I could give you is to put the Torah and the Mitzvoth into your heart because there's no greater happiness and sweetness in this world. The Torah was given to us to find the path that we should go on, to organize our lives. This gift comes to assist us in establishing clear boundaries so we can live on the boat being tossed across the ocean, our world.

The snake whispers venomous words into your ears and you have to stop listening to him. If you choose to listen to your soul, she will tell you how loved and important you are. You are carved out from the source of goodness, God himself that created heavens and earth the oceans and the rivers. He created all; he loves you and believes in you.

A Jew is never alone, we are wanted children, we belong, we are precious and loved and we are enveloped every moment in endless love. G-d tells us in many places; “you are sons of God”  “I love you so says G-d”  “my first-born Israel”  “the child I enjoy”.  

My beloved friend, G-d is with you all along.  Just turn to Him, ask Him to help you clean your heart, to show you the way; that He should light up your life with the light of the holy Torah. Remember what your Loving Father told you in the Book of Deuteronomy (Chapter 8): “You should know if your heart that just as a father reprimands his son G-d reprimands you.” All this is just in order for you to cry out to Him ask for assistance, to be able to leave the mountains of darkness and finally come back home to His lap, to His arms which are waiting to hug you and console you.


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