Dealing with Depression
Some of the most common causes of the addiction to inappropriate stimulation and lust are depression, anxiety or resentment. People who feel an inner void or darkness because of these emotional issues, either genetically or because of external circumstances, are more prone to feel a need to seek self-soothing behaviors to "medicate" themselves and make themselves feel better.
Also, for those of us who are struggling to break free of these unhealthy behaviors, there are often withdrawal symptoms that can be accompanied by feelings of a deep "void" or depression. It is important to recognize that this is normal and that if we get passed this initial phase, it becomes much easier down the line.
Today I would like to share with you all a few helpful things on the subject of dealing with depression and similar emotional issues.
Elya K - our 12-Step phone conference moderator - wrote once to someone about depression & resentment:
I have suffered from depression for over 30 years. I am now on medication, which helps me tremendously. I relate to your struggle about disappointment and have been there for many years. When I compare myself to others, I am constantly disappointed at the outcome because it never meets my expectations. When I trust that what happens to me is supposed to be good for me, then I can accept it and move on.
Resentments and anger fuel your addiction and depression. Depression is often ANGER TURNED INWARD. I held a resentment for over 30 years. Finally someone helped me get rid of it by telling me the following: Write a list of all the good things you can think of around those circumstances of whatever / whoever is making you angry (resentful). Look at this list every day for 1 month. Pray that the person you are angry with is blessed with the blessings you want for yourself (health, wealth, serenity, etc.). Explore what is causing you to be resentful and where you had a part in it. Realize that there is good in everyone, even yourself. By staying angry, you are just letting others control your life by keeping you depressed and angry. Depression and anger are well treated with medicine and therapy.
Life is full of disappointments, but if we look at them as opportunities for growth and learn the lesson they are teaching us, we move on to bigger and better things. I was bankrupt at 27 with 3 children. Slowly I built a company up and after 20 years I sold it for 1/2 a million dollars because I worked hard and never gave up.
Get the book "The 4 Agreements" and read it. If it doesn't change your life, I'll buy it back from you. If you go to movies, rent the movie "A Peaceful Warrior". Learn to live in the present moment. Forget the past, there is nothing you can do to change it. Don't be arrogant enough to think you can carry the world on your shoulder and change the future - or anyone else - for that matter. Forget the future. Live in the present. That's the key to serenity.
(To contact Elya directly for more advice, write to email@example.com)
Rabbi Yisroel Reisman
Click here for a small audio clip (4.5 min), an excerpt from a Shiur by Rabbi Yisroel Reisman, with some insights from Gedolim and doctors on dealing with depression.
The Shiur itself deals with these "personal aveiros" and is a MUST to hear for anyone who struggles with this addiction. To hear the entire Shiur click here.
Click here for an interesting interview on "Depression in the Orthodox Community" with Rabbi Nesanel Helfgot.
Yehudah posted on the Forum:
Being that p-rn is often associated with depression I would strongly urge anyone who is - even if only occasionally and very mildly - depressed, to consider a natural product called '5htp'. It helps raise serotonin levels in the brain and in my experience it is hugely effective, studies have shown that this natural compound is more effective than proscribed anti depressants, (see 'optimum nutrition for the brain' by Patrick Holford).