Mental illnesses are caused by chemical imbalances in our brain which cause the emotions and thoughts to overreact and sometimes take control. This imbalance can be caused by 2 main factors; the surrounding environment or by genetic predisposition.
The environmental factor is when a person’s life experiences affect him and bring about depression, anxiety or other emotional states. The genetic factor is a chemical imbalance someone can be born with. Such people’s minds don’t work effectively not because of life’s impact on them but rather because the chemical imbalance in their brain causes emotional and cognitive disturbances.
Rabbi Edo Weber says there’s a spiritual remedy that helps against mental illness. “It is brought down in the holy books that before Shabbat one should rid his house of all spider webs in the corners and near his ceilings. When the house is clean of this it is a segulah, spiritual remedy against depression or other mental illnesses. This will help him heal.”
Rabbi Yitzchak Fanger says that eating hot foods after Shabbat also helps fight depression and sadness.
The 'mekubal', Kabbalah Authority Rabbi Yaakov Addes says in the name of the Rashash (Rabbi Shalom Sharabi) that “at times a person’s soul can go down to a very low situation and this causes depression. One thing that helps get someone out of this depression is praying with deep enthusiasm and a great inner fire.”
Rabbi Addes explains that the depression is caused by the soul falling low and that is caused by sins. Prayer from the depths of one’s heart with enthusiasm and happiness can bring light into the parts of his soul that weren’t harmed by his sins and through this repair the entire soul.
It is worth mentioning Rabbi Nachman of Breslov’s saying that no matter how low someone fell he has a part of his soul that remains noble and untouched. Through that holy and unsullied part of his soul he can reach out to G-d and come back.
May G-d grant all of Israel that we merit coming back to him and that people successfully shake off the emotional illnesses that plague them.