Question:

What does the Torah say about mental illness, like bipolar disorder? What does the Torah say about manic spirituality? Many, many people experience spiritual euphoria when they have symptoms of mental illness. Why?

I believe it is real and it is a tremendous gift, but I also believe that sometimes it is warped and what I sense and experience during those moments doesn’t translate very clearly when I try to put it into words. I have come to believe that when those windows open (into the spiritual realm), my job is to close them. It is comforting when it happens, it feels like Hashem is allowing me to touch base and feel a stronger connection and know that He’s there and that there are real things beyond this world that are pure and great and eternal, but then my job is to close the window (take the necessary medication) and continue with my life in this world. Otherwise the longer it goes on the more disengaged I am with this world, stop being able to relate to my everyday life because I’m so focused on the spiritual things most people don’t feel most of the time.

Mental illness has been around for a very long time. What does the Torah say about these things?

Answer:

 

The person to ask this question is R’ Avhorom Twersky shit”a, who is a world expert on these topics. There is however one thing that I can say though, although I am not a psychiatrist, but if the reason that you did some of these sins that you are so concerned with, was because you weren’t mentally well at that time, it could possibly be that you were considered a choleh then and you don’t have to worry about them!

Sources:

 

Tags: mental health

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