If someone is suffering from severe clinical & chronic depression & Is suffering so severely that he no longer has any capacity to experiences joy, how can he be expected to perform even simple mitzvos, much less Davening or Learning BiSimcha, or interacting with his community in a meaningful way? Does he have the status of a Choleh & is therefore exempt from certain “obligations” while in this mental state. If so, to what extent would he be exempt?

Thank You & Be Blessed!

  • 1
    Hopefully this isn't practically relevant to you. If it is make sure to forward practical concerns to a competent halakhic authority, and seek proper help
    – mevaqesh
    Nov 14, 2017 at 4:57
  • People have always been depressed but not anywhere near as prevalent as it is today
    – user15985
    Nov 14, 2017 at 6:05
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    I’ll have to track it down, but there’s a Gemara in Shabbos which says that the Bavlim has such joyous festivals because they were so depressed the rest of the year. Nevertheless, that’s precisely when the Gemara was composed. This might be at least the start of an answer.
    – DonielF
    Nov 15, 2017 at 0:26
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    See Arokh HaShulhan quoted here regarding the status of a depressed person vis-à-vis shoteh.
    – mevaqesh
    Nov 15, 2017 at 0:50
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    Interestingly, this site which form a group apparently under the aegis of R. Asher Weiss states that depending on the severity of depression it can be grounds to waive halakhot. It does not address it in depth. || In general, I think R. Asher Weiss might develop halakhic framework for mental illnesses in rigourous way that has not previously been done. I believe he has done so for OCD, for example.
    – mevaqesh
    Nov 15, 2017 at 3:11


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