Lighting up the darkness

The Torah holds human life as profoundly sacred. Many protections are set up to guard it and to sanctify it. Yet we come up short when we address mental “illness” – actually mental disorders. A great calamity occurred when the first DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders) was published and referred to mental disorders as mental illness. Seemingly harmless semantics, but it has shaped how we look at mental health issues for decades. It fundamentally formed our perception of mental “illness”.

We are urged and tasked to be a “light unto the nations”. Let us be a light unto our own nation and others. Treating everyone with a disorder with dignity and respect. Warmth and support, and actively helping people get help. It may be hard to ask for help for ourselves, but let’s try getting help for others…

I suffer from depression and it is so deeply hard to deal with and painful.

So many people do. We are so embarrassed and ashamed to talk about it because of what people will think.

Can we make it easier on them? Can we be there for them? Just taking some time to comfort them and get them the help they need. Be that help.

Many people (too many people/one is too many) commit suicide (the most painful and hard thing to talk about) because of the pain or because they can’t get help.

Make it ok to talk about and improve their lives. It’s a disorder (not someone’s fault), so let’s be there for them. We could really use the help and support.

If anyone needs to talk and figure out how to get help, please feel free to reach out to me. I want to help you and I know there are others who want to help too.

The wise Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry once said, “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

Especially during Chanukah, the Festival of Lights”, let’s do our part to turn on the light.

Great resources

Free counseling at 7 Cups
1-800-273-8255 : suicide prevention hotline
(971) 239-7255 : national warm line – someone to talk to 24/7

It’s ok to talk and it’s ok to ask for help.

We’re all in this together, fam.

About the Author
Originally from Pittsburgh. Living in NYC. Organizing a Hebrew speaking Cafe Ivrit twice a month. Working in the Jewish non-profit world and advocating for Israel whenever possible.