Other than through music are there any recommendations in Tanach, the gemarah or other commentators which discuss the best ways, meaning most likely to succeed, to treat depression?

  • אין שמחה אלא בבשר... ויין ;) That's from Pesachim 109.
    – intuit
    Commented Nov 25, 2014 at 18:29
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    Go to a trained medical professional. That's the Jewish advice.
    – Double AA
    Commented Nov 25, 2014 at 18:44
  • i'm certainly not asking this for any reason other than sheer (perhaps morbid) curiosity
    – user6641
    Commented Nov 25, 2014 at 21:11
  • vosizneias.com/50538/2010/03/03/… Commented Nov 25, 2014 at 21:25
  • 1
    @6641. Abraham Twerski has made a name for himself in the field of mental health. His "Life's Too Short" is a great read. Rabbi Zelig Pliskin provides excellent torah-based self help advice in "Gateways to Happiness." I think there is an underlying question in your question 6641. For many years mental illness was hidden within certain orthodox communities. Things have changed quite a bit and heavily orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn (for example) have many. Mental health agencies. If someone is depressed and needs help, there is no reason to hesitate onto ting an agency such as.........
    – JJLL
    Commented Nov 25, 2014 at 23:22

2 Answers 2


In general, Judaism is in favor of good health and common sense, so the Jewish response would be "go to a specialist," similar to the way Judaism treats diabetes. That being said, there are a few different sources in the broader Jewish canon that talk about depression and low moods. Most notably, Rabbi Nachman of Breslov wrote a book called Meshivas Nafesh that deals with this subject.

  • 1
    what does Rabbi Nachman recommend in meshivas nafesh?
    – ray
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 6:10
  • Don't own a copy and haven't read the whole thing, but among other things, he recommends keeping busy, saying lots of tehillim, and getting up before sunrise.
    – Yitzchak
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 19:41

rabbi akiva tatz says in his book Jewish Teenager's Guide, that depression comes when one is not growing spiritually. when the soul feels life passing by and it is not doing what it is supposed to here, depression comes.

that said, one can treat (non-medical) depression by fixing times for torah study/classes, doing acts of kindness, prayer, mitzvot etc. of things which advance a person spiritually.

the talmud (Ketuvoth 59b) also says that idleness leads to depression, so putting one's head deep into torah study,etc or work would help in this regard.

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