Questions tagged [psych-mentalhealth]

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22
votes
3answers
782 views

Does Down Syndrome make one a Shoteh?

I had a very strange experience and I would like to know what halacha thinks. I was in shul on Shabbos, and an adult with Down Syndrome ripped by opening the box of tissues. I was not going to say ...
17
votes
3answers
3k views

How can you quit a habit of visiting inappropriate websites?

The Torah teaches that, if you're an unmarried man, watching pornography is harmful to your soul. See, for example, this article by Chabad rabbi Tzvi Freeman. (If you're married and need to watch ...
17
votes
3answers
1k views

Hypnosis in Halacha

Is there a proplem in the Halachic literature with hypnosis? What, if anything, is the issue involved in either hypnotising people or being the subject of such an hypnosis?
12
votes
1answer
331 views

Are you culpable for things done under hypnosis?

The other question regarding the halachos of hypnosis only discusses doing it/having it done to you. I would like to know if someone who is already hypnotized (either intentionally or not) is culpable ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Is an asexual person obligated in Pru Urvu?

Asexuality is a sexual orientation characterized by the lack of sexual attraction towards people in general. Asexuals may or may not be interested in romantic relationships, but are not physically ...
11
votes
2answers
975 views

Can a bully be forced to pay for psychologist visits?

When Reuven physically damages Shimon, he must pay for, among other things, the physical pain caused by his actions (tza’ar), the embarrassment caused by his actions (boshes), and reimbursement for ...
10
votes
7answers
435 views

How does one improve memory?

Does Judaism provide and tips, tricks or rituals for improving memory or preventing forgetfulness?
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Why did God create the mentally ill/ severely handicapped?

Why did God create people who are mentally ill or severely handicapped? They are not able to serve him in the same capacity and their lives seem to be full of difficulty and anguish. Why would God do ...
10
votes
2answers
196 views

Judaism and dementia

Are there any books/articles that discuss dementia from a Jewish perspective? I am looking for a perspective that include coping with, and relevant hashkafa. The intended audience being not the sick ...
9
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2answers
2k views

Who is a Shoteh?

In modern day language, what is a Halachic Shoteh? In other words, is someone who is schizophrenic, clinically depressed, OCD, etc. free from Mitzvos?
9
votes
4answers
720 views

Loshon hara to a therapist

Is saying things that would otherwise be considered loshon hara permitted in the context of mental health therapy? I am not familiar with the details of therapeutic schools, but I understand that ...
9
votes
1answer
382 views

Where does Ramban discuss OCD and the mikvah?

I was told that the Ramban writes regarding women who have awful problems using the mikvah because they keep worrying they're not clean enough -- in today's terms, we call that obsessive-compulsive ...
9
votes
1answer
183 views

Do sociopaths/psychopaths lack “דעת” of Good and Evil?

As YeZ points out in this answer, "daat" is the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Do sociopaths and/or psychopaths lack the דעת of the distinction between good and evil?
8
votes
1answer
424 views

Does Judaism adjudicate cases involving mental anguish?

If a non-physical act, such as exposure to viewing something which the current medical field would deem traumatizing, is intentionally perpetrated by one person on another, are there any legal ...
8
votes
5answers
335 views

Jewish alternative to a Christian self-help book

I had a bad psychological trauma some time ago and I felt the urgent need to review myself. I found that reading self-help books helped me. I tried to learn Mussar books (Mesillat yesharim, Chafetz ...
8
votes
2answers
263 views

Mental Telepathy

In Rabbi Immanuel Schochet's introduction to the fundamentals to proving religion. He mentions mental telepathy as a phenomenon that although uncommon does exist. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it permitted for a male to have a female therapist?

It is forbidden to be secluded with another woman (excluding a woman that it is permitted e.g. wife, mother, grandmother etc.). This is known as yichud. It is permitted though, provided the area is ...
7
votes
3answers
834 views

On Shabbat, if one can't sleep, may one consume valerian tea? Valerian root powder? Other non-prescription remedies?

Occasionally, on Shabbat, I've had trouble sleeping. The Doctors Book of Home Remedies (20th anniversary edition) (Rodale, 2010) includes a section about insomnia, which includes a long list of home ...
7
votes
1answer
106 views

Does tzar baalei chayim include mental anguish?

Does the prohibition on causing tzar baalei chayim (paining animals) preclude acts which only cause an animal mental anguish, such as scaring them, or it is limited to physical pain?
7
votes
6answers
326 views

Why the Brain (Moach) as the source for thought is not mentioned in Torah?

Wherever the Torah refers to thinking and feelings of Anger, compassion, etc. it always mentions the Heart as the controlling organ (also Kidney) but NEVER the Brain? (Even in the Gemara the Moach is ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

May we intervene with Religious OCD sufferers?

On what level may we (or may we not) intervene with OCD sufferers when they are not related to you in any way? I am referring to a sizable demographic of religious OCD sufferers, who don't ...
6
votes
2answers
330 views

Controlling a bad habit: picking fingernails on Shabbat

Does anyone have advice for someone who has a (nervous?) habit to rub/scrape their fingernails together - thereby tearing away parts of the nail and surrounding skin (which is a rabbinic prohibition ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Do JONAH and similar organizations successfully help those with same-gender attractions?

Wikipedia's article on homosexuality and Judaism talks about Jewish organizations which aim to help people change. The article mentions JONAH, an organization which works on "prevention, intervention,...
6
votes
0answers
111 views

What does Judaism have to say about ADHD?

I have been diagnosed with AD/HD. I have often struggled in school and social interations. Even relationships have often not been smooth for me. What sources does Judaism have about AD/HD or learning ...
5
votes
1answer
634 views

Rambam's responsum about treating depression with music

I remember reading a tashubho from the Rambam where he clearly states that music can treat depression and therefore it is ok to listen to if you are depressed. However, I can't seem to find it at the ...
5
votes
2answers
333 views

Demon Possession in Judaism

Some religions, particularly Christianity, have a concept in which demons or evil spirits can enter a person's body and take control of them. Does Judaism have a concept similar or like this? The ...
5
votes
1answer
563 views

May one consume peyote?

Peyote is a hallucinogenic plant that contains no harmful side effects or addictive properties and is legal for religious ceremonial use. May one consume it? related: Is one allowed to smoke ...
5
votes
1answer
164 views

Is someone who has clinical depression allowed to take an antidepressant on Shabbos?

It’s my understanding that there’s two main categories of non-life threatening illnesses: מיחוש בעלמא, “average pain,” and נפל למשכב, one who is so sick that he’s unable to get out of bed. The former ...
5
votes
0answers
101 views

At what point can you assume senility?

In my experience it is rare to see a Rosh Yeshiva or other prominent Rabbi declared to be senile and no longer working at full mental capacity. Recently such a proclamation was made about one Rosh ...
4
votes
4answers
487 views

Naming a baby boy before a deferred bris

The typical practice when a baby boy is born is to refrain from calling him by any name until he is given a name at his bris. In cases where the bris is deferred (e.g. for health reasons) for an ...
4
votes
3answers
233 views

Does Judaism endorse guilt?

I am not a Jew. In a few TV series, I saw/heard that Jews experience self-repression due to their belief. I heard that being Jewish means enduring a lot of guilt, or becoming aware of things to feel ...
4
votes
1answer
188 views

Is Some One With Alzheimer's Obligated in Mitzvoth?

My grandmother has pretty progressed Alzheimer's disease. I have seen throughout the Oral Tradition the concept of a person with certain medical conditions, such as a deaf mute, or a person who lacks ...
4
votes
2answers
276 views

What is a person's consciousness in the next world?

I have heard in the name of the baalei mussar that the same consciousness you have in this world carries through to the next. In other words the same "I" that you relate to in this world remains the ...
4
votes
1answer
135 views

Taking ADHD medicine on Shabbos (ex: Adderall/ Ritalin)

Following on the heels of recent questions "Why restrict medicine on Shabbos?" & "Is clinical depression medication allowed on Shabbos?" Is it permitted to take ADHD medicine such as Adderall/ ...
4
votes
1answer
705 views

Listening to music during year of aveilut

Is one allowed to listen to music during aveilut after the shloshim for therapeutic porpuses? Is there any difference between the way ashkenazim and sephardim hold?
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it considered Pikuach Nefesh if you break Shomer Negiah to give someone emotional comfort?

I've asked myself this before, but I'm not sure. Say that you see someone depressed, severely depressed and they just need a hug. If they're the same gender, that's all fine and dandy. However, if you'...
3
votes
1answer
93 views

May someone say the prayer for the ill for someone who is emotionally “ill”?

Lo Aleinu. Let's say someone's friend's teen-age daughter died from a terrible sickness. The parents have been distraught and "disabled" for year because of the emotional trauma. They isolate ...
3
votes
1answer
258 views

Mental Disability and Exemption from Mitzvot

To what extent are the mentally disabled exempt from mitzvot, and what mitzvot are they exempt from? At what level of mental disability does this exemption kick in if it exists, and is it gradual ...
3
votes
2answers
390 views

When one is home alone, does the Torah discourage the eating of bizarre food mixtures?

Note: If you're going to be eating a meal soon, you might not want to read this question, and you (especially) might not want to click through to the "Secretive food concocting" Wikipedia article. Why?...
3
votes
2answers
554 views

How does Judaism treat depression?

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?
3
votes
1answer
91 views

“The feelings reveal the soul.”(Pieseszner Rebbe). Is this idea accepted by contemporary Orthodox thought?

In “Experiencing the Divine: A Practical Jewish Guide,” by Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapira (the Pieseszner Rebbe), translated by Yaacov Dovid Shulman, the Rebbe says, (p 28): Every feeling that is ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Is Transcendental Meditation kosher?

Transcendental Meditation is a popular form of meditation that, many practitioners claim, relieves psychological stress. Although it was founded an Indian guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, it is not at all ...
3
votes
1answer
146 views

May a person with a nature of getting angry be a dayan?

I sit in a beis din with a dayan who gets angry very easily. He can't seem to control his anger, causing great anguish to the litigants, and a big chilul Hashem at times. I have been asked to approach ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

What are the requirements for divorcing a brain-damaged woman?

What are the requirements of the Beth din for a man to divorce a women who is brain damaged? If she has parents, can they go with her to the Beth Din to hear what is being said. Who represents the ...
2
votes
1answer
111 views

OCD and Netilat Yadayim

If a person has OCD and tends to ritually wash their hands a thousand times because they feel they didn't do it right and they accidentally touch something wet in the sink after or have the worry they ...
2
votes
1answer
130 views

Do insane people have free choice?

We know that Hashem gives everyone free choice. But when examining the traits of an insane person, it is clear that someone can be so mentally ill that it is impossible for them to control what they ...
2
votes
2answers
963 views

Treating obsessive compulsive scrupulosity without ignoring genuine conscience

I read a psychological paper that was linked to in a comment here, dealing with how obsessive-compulsive scrupulosity can be treated specifically for Orthodox Jews. The paper gives a helpful and ...
2
votes
1answer
92 views

Where does human consciousness derive from according to kabbalistic teachings?

In the kabbalah there is an extensive writing on how a human's soul derive from different worlds, Nefesh - Assiyah, Ruach - Yetzira etc. Then we also have the distinction between the G-dly soul and ...
2
votes
3answers
108 views

‫ is self esteem good or bad?

The penultimate Lubavitch rebbe writes in his principles of education (Chapter 10, starting here), that to feel down is not good but to feel secure and have a healthy self esteem is not good either. ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

“Gay” people in the Torah, Talmud, Kabbalah?

What do the Torah, Talmud, Kabbalah say about people that "are gay" or have the desire to live that way? I'm not asking if it's a sin. I'm wondering how they "became gay" and how they can change? (I'...