Jeff Montanari

Todays Culture of Chronic Delusional Disorder Problem

We truly are living in an age of anti-mental acuteness and serious truth struggles. Look at the media and politics, we work overtime to damage and distort for “the cause”. We see deliberate manipulation of stories and facts. Daily, we see bendable truths and total outright lies to ruin a reputation or change a narrative. Our mental problems are mass published in our culture, exposing our vulnerabilities on written paper. Human development has been hindered by the ability to mentally design reality factually. The ability to think a thought, or a partial thought, make it up, and develop that thought into reality, into a truth, or a fact has become a mental disorder that is apparent throughout our cultures. A chronic health issue. Creating a story as fact is a dangerous way to live. It is essentially creating a false reality and believing it is actually true. It is a deep health crisis across the board.

May Hashem help us.

My dissertation touched on PTSD and addictions in the military. The research I conducted, including interviews were extensive which opened up understandings in mental illnesses that often go untreated. Many of the interviews I have personally reviewed regarding this sickness of delusional disorder, resulted in many taking the serious action of divorce. No one should be proud of divorce, it can hurt to the core, but in many cases there is no alternative, it is required. Airman reported they witnessed years of creative reality that never existed. Such as how one thought can become an episode which became a series which became a movie. Children were raised to understand these stories and movies as family history ultimately giving children a ignorant taste of this illness as normal life.

Delusional disorder, previously called paranoid disorder, is a type of serious mental illness called a psychotic disorder. People who have it can’t tell what’s real from what is imagined. Delusions are the main symptom of delusional disorder. They’re unshakable beliefs in something that isn’t true or based on reality.

Delusional disorder is a type of mental health condition in which a person can’t tell what’s real from what’s imagined. There are many types, including persecutory, jealousy, inornate obsessions and grandiose types. A bipolar psychosis. It’s treatable with psychotherapy and medication over a very long period of time. Expect it to be a lifetime experience.

Children sometimes feel sad, not only because their parent is ill, but also because their friends don’t understand. When people learn more, their ideas often change. Sometimes children are ashamed that their parent have a mental illness. They may find the illness hard to talk about, and may not want to talk about it. They may not even understand themselves what is going on. Children have a limited understanding of the parent’s illness. While the parent and children experience the illness as part of ordinary life they are often ignorant on the need to focus on improvements. Incoherence both within the family structure and family culture and between the children and the parent about true facts of life are always evident. Parent–child relationships appeared to be nonhierarchical and to vary in terms of attunement and distance, which in turn seemed to be associated with the child’s well‐being. Children will defend and protect the parent because it is their safety net of life. It is their world, all they know and understand.

Reporting and research revealed that many times similar characteristics from other family members can advance alert one to what may be transpiring around you. A slow crawl can become huge steps later in the process. Often mental breakdowns develop over little issues which provides understandings of the mental illness and how it develops to much bigger identifiable characteristics in your relationships and family life. High stress, especially for military pilots I personally worked with on research demonstrated these mental illnesses at a higher rate than those who were not in such roles and positions.

Remember, each moment is special and precious with loved ones. Watching and being around sicknesses such as this is not easy. Leaving a marriage with children behind is not easy. Knowing children are manipulated by this illness is not easy. These life issues are hard and hurt to the core. This is one of the issues of our time.

Treating and addressing mental illness in the home was a hard issue for anyone. Being scared to break up the home or scared to cause further mentally instability can be a huge issue. Rocking the boat! Nearly all the time alcohol and violence from this disorder is present. Ignoring it enables more delusional disorder’s false reality conversations and thoughts to grow and root as truth. Remember that protecting yourself from adapting the habits and traits of delusional disorder around you is critical to your own mental health and wellbeing.

You cannot fight mental illness alone. We have all heard this before, but in fact, nearly all the officers I interviewed did not attempt to deal with their addictions, personal thoughts, mental problems and family issues. Being overly trusting and loyal, missing clues and signs of manipulation are traits we must be careful and aware of in order to not miss the seriousness of delusional disorder and making sure it is dealt with professionally.

Many times such illnesses result in family breakups. The position of husband and wife with regard to divorce is not an equal one.  According to the Torah, only the husband can initiate a divorce, and the wife cannot prevent him from divorcing her. There are caveats to this in Parashat Ki-Tetze (Gittin Chapter 2 – 17a), it is more complex but worth the study. The family, children and extended family, all suffer when one has delusional disorder and sometimes it takes a lifetime to recover from if not corrected.

Divorce should never be taken lightly and is not always the last step. It needs to be the right step at the right time, if required. If you see signs of mental sickness as noted above, get psychological help immediately. Waiting or ignoring such warning signs can destroy years of building life together, damaging children’s lives and development, bankrupt you financially and hurt your personal health as well for years. Our obligation to the Torah is being healthy and well, ensure those you care for around you are as well.

Dr. Jeff Montanari

Here are some rules of divorce according to the Torah that should be remembered:

  • A man may not divorce his wife concerning whom he has published an evil report (about her unchastity) before marriage.

“And they shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver, and give them to the father of the woman, because he has brought an evil name upon a virgin of Israel; and she shall be his wife; he may not divorce her all his days.” (Deuteronomy 22:19)

  • A divorce must be enacted by a formal written document.

“When a man takes a wife, and marries her, then it comes to pass that she does not find favor in his eyes, because he has found something unseemly in her, then he writes her a bill of divorce, and gives it in her hand, and sends her out of his house.” (Deuteronomy 24:1)

The topic of divorce provides a good example of how the Torah can’t simply be read literally. Deuteronomy 24:1 makes it seem as though only a husband can initiate a divorce. The fact is that the Oral Torah explains how both husband and wife have rights and responsibilities in a marriage, including the right to go to a Jewish court to request that the marriage be dissolved.

  • A man who divorced his wife shall not remarry her if she married another man after the divorce.

“Her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife. After that she is defiled, for that is an abomination before the Lord, and you shall not cause sin in the land which the Lord thy God gives you as an inheritance.” (Deuteronomy 24:4)

Here are some good references for further study on delusional disorder:

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About the Author
Dr. Jeff Montanari, author of "God Made You a Jew", a theological expose' on combatting missionaries. Dr. Montanari discusses issues between religious faiths in defense of Judaism. He is a graduate of Regent University and Yeshiva Pirchei Shoshanim. An endorsed military Orthodox Jewish chaplain with the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, Civil Air Patrol. He is also a blogger with The Times of Israel, The Jerusalem Post, Arutz Sheva 7 and is a lifetime member of the Jewish War Veterans, a member of the Conference of European Rabbis (CER). He holds membership as a Daedalian, the Naval Order of the United States and Military Order of the Loyal Legions of the United States. He is a former associate Rabbi at Congregation Pirchei Shoshanim, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Pacific Region District chaplain, and an Orange County Sheriff’s Department chaplain. Ari Ben Avraham A.A, B.A., M.A., M.Rav., D.MIN.
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