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Which topic interests you more?

Shall we discuss how the concept of having Emunah (faith in Gd) while suffering from anxiety or should we discuss the difference between mental illness and mental health (if there is one) and what the nuances between them are in regard to everyday life?

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  • Emunah and Anxiety
  • Mental Illness vs Mental Health

This topic contains 36 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by Profile Photo Mitchell 3 weeks ago.

  • Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 37 total)
  • Profile Photo
    Participant
    barianna

    Hi All!

    My name is Bari Mitzmann. I am a social media influencer (@barianna on Instagram) and I have a podcast called The WOV Life.

    I began my “career” on social media as a modest fashion blogger. As time went on, I began sharing little bits and pieces of myself with my community. I shared my struggle with Lyme disease and the effect that chronic illness can have on one’s psyche and self-image. When I was expecting my daughter, I struggled with what is called peripartum depression. Essentially its when postpartum depression comes before the baby is even born. Then I began sharing my experiences with anxiety and how I live with it as an observant Jew who concurrently believes that Hashem is in control.

    My inbox became flooded with messages from people thanking me for being open about my struggles. They thanked me for sharing that I go to therapy and that I have been on medication for anxiety on multiple occasions. They begged me to find or even start a community where people could share their concerns and struggles without being judged. I told them that if I heard of anything, I would let them know. Im so excited that OK Clarity is now here to fill that void!

    On Saturday night, I will be posting a poll on my Instagram stories. I will have viewers vote on one of two topics: Emunah and Anxiety or Mental Health vs Mental Illness. To partake in the vote, check out my instagram stories Saturday night by clicking here

    If you’d like to get a head start on the voting, feel free to vote on here to let me know which topic you’d like to discuss! This thread will be a place where people can ask their questions or jump in with some opinions!

    The discussion is set to begin Sunday, January 20th at 12pm EST and will wrap up Tuesday, January 22nd at 8pm EST.

    .

    Profile Photo
    Participant
    Banana

    So excited to join bezH!! Thank you @barianna

    Profile Photo
    Participant
    barianna
    Topic Author

    In response to Banana's post #6004:

    excited to be a part of this!

    Profile Photo
    Participant
    alwaysworried

    Looking forward to this convo!

    Profile Photo
    Admin
    Verified Pro
    Fay Brezel

    We’re stoked for this extended discussion!

    While all professionals are welcome to jump in at anytime, our dedicated professionals for this conversation are:

    Rivka Rochkind Janowski, LPC

    Therapist, LPC
    Lakewood Township, NJ

     

    Dr. Joshua Tal, PhD


    Joshua Tal


    Verified Pro

    Psychologist, PhD
    Manhattan, NY

     

     

    Profile Photo
    Participant
    Chavy

    Hi @barianna

    Welcome! I am a follower of your blog which I really enjoy. I really like your honesty and vulnerability.

    @fay and @barianna I’m a bit confused as to what’s taking place? Barianne’s going to be speaking with the mental health professionals?

    Profile Photo
    Admin
    Verified Pro
    Fay Brezel

    Happy you’re also a fan @chavy!  Bari will be spearheading this discussion. It’s open for everyone (people and professionals) to chime in. The dedicated professionals are outlined above. Hope that clarifies..

    Profile Photo
    Participant
    barianna
    Topic Author

    In response to alwaysworried's post #6009:

    me too!!! cant wait!

    Profile Photo
    Participant
    barianna
    Topic Author

    Hi all! It looks like emunah and anxiety has won on both the poll here and the poll on my Instagram stories! Hopefully we can do another thread soon and address topic 2 🙂

    So here we go .

    I’ve been taught that emunah, belief that GD divinely intervenes in our everyday life and that all that occurs is for our benefit, is a huge tenant in Judaism.

    I also know that I suffer from anxiety, which generally stems from my feeling of loss of control. I get tightness in my chest, I shake, I essentially cease to function normally for a period of time.

    Does having anxiety mean that I do not believe that GD is in control and is doing what is best for me? Should I be living with guilt of not being a “good Jew”? Is it possible to have complete emunah while struggling with anxiety?

    Profile Photo
    Participant
    Pink

    In response to barianna's post #6028:

    Hi Bari! I’m really looking forward to this discussion.

    Firstly, are any of us perfect? Are we supposed to be? So if there’s a chink in your emunah that would make you no different than the rest of us, and as long as you’re striving, would not make you not a good Jew.

    That being said, hm. Knowing that G-d runs that world would mean knowing that G-d gave you a challenge called anxiety, the same way He challenges each of us in our own way, it means believing that He’ll give you the strength to get you through it. I don’t see why anxiety would have to contradict emunah. Everyone has challenges, and emunah is holding on, knowing that G-d put me here, and He’ll get me out of here…

    Profile Photo
    Participant
    avacad0

    I too stuggle with anxiety which can overtake me at times. I feel tightness in my chest. I have a hard time breathing and I became disregulated. I also become extremely high strung and I feel out of control. I end up yelling alot at my children and all the chores that have to get done take me alot more time then it would under normal circumstances. I am currently taking meds which has definitely calmed down my entire nervous system, but I am still struggling with lots of old triggers which can send me into a whirlpool of disregulation. I do not think I am lacking emunah. I am a frum wife and mother who really tries to do hashems will as best as I can. I believe he’s the one running the world and that my current struggles are whats best for me in the long run.

    It is extremely painful and confusing for me at times as I struggle to navigate lifes challenges while still trying to maintain a positive view of it. I go through bouts of anxiety and sometimes feelings of depression. I think anxiety and depression are just symptoms of emotions that are too huge for us to process so we shut down and fall into old patterns. I learnt the hard way that emotions that are not dealt with have a tendency to crop up at the most inconvenient of times.

    Profile Photo
    Participant
    barianna
    Topic Author

    In response to Pink's post #6029:

    @pink that is such a great way to think about it. Faith is a challenge for everyone in their own way. I love your perspective. I do see that at times I can beat myself up about it, probably because there are many that do not truly understand what anxiety and an anxiety disorder really is. I think people view it as “stress” or “worry” when its something totally different!

    Profile Photo
    Participant
    barianna
    Topic Author

    In response to avacad0's post #6030:

    @avocad0 first of all, hugs. Second, your post definitely has me thinking. I can relate to some of your experiences based on what you shared. I’m wondering, aside for doing our due diligence inasmuch as seeking help and medication if necessary, is there something that we are supposed to do in the realm of faith that can help?

     

    Profile Photo
    Participant
    alwaysworried

    k, first off i love this discussion. Thank you Bari!

    @avacodo this is so perfectly stated – I agree

    I think anxiety and depression are just symptoms of emotions that are too huge for us to process so we shut down and fall into old patterns.

    I also never thought of anxiety as a lacking in emunah until a relative superimposed that thought as a way of trying to calm someone down, someone who struggled with anxiety. Good intentions, poor application. In my humble opinion.

    I think that they are not mutually interdependent if that makes any sense.

    I do not think that anxiety is as a result of a lack of emunah, but I do believe that strengthening oneself in emunah can be a tremendous anxiety reducer/healer in a psycho spiritual way.

    Recently increasing my emunah and creating habits around emunah has tremendously helped me reduce anxiety.

    Therapy, medication, spirituality all tackle the different parts that anxiety inflicts and therefore it makes sense that a combination of tools (used in tandem) would help best.

    I’m curious what tools / coping skills or otherwise (in addition to therapy and medication), have been helpful in your journeys most? I’m always looking for new inspiration.

    Profile Photo
    Participant
    barianna
    Topic Author

    Therapy, medication, spirituality all tackle the different parts that anxiety inflicts and therefore it makes sense that a combination of tools (used in tandem) would help best.

    @alwaysworried i think this really exemplifies the idea that faith is not enough to achieve a goal. One must be able to also put in the effort necessary to help overcome the struggle.

    I do believe that prayer has helped me when the anxiety isn’t so bad. In situations where its really bad, finding a way to distract myself is super important for me- its at those points that I don’t always feel like praying. I’ll say a quick “Gd please help me through this” and then I go about whatever it is i need to do, like take a nap, a shower, watch a show or whatever.

    None of these tactics have ever helped as much as therapy and medication have. My therapist is amazing and I do believe that medication can really benefit many people who are trying on their own.

    do you think part of the stigma with medication is because people see it as a character flaw or that Hashem is not enough for them? Not for the people on this forum, but for people who it seems simply don’t understand what anxiety really is?

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