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Two days before Pesach, my daughter slammed her finger in our front door.

She’s a very stoic sort usually, so when she started squealing and saying ‘ow’ loudly I paid attention. Her finger started spurting some blood, she started freaking out, and I knew there was a trip to Terem on the cards, even though I HATE going near any Western medical doctors for any reason.

Before we left, I doused her finger with some helichrysum essential oil, because I know that takes down swelling and promotes bone healing, and I also spent another five minutes poking her uninjured hand with my Su Jok probe, to start stimulating the healing process in her injured finger ‘electrically’.

The last and most important thing I did was ask my husband to immediately make a sizeable donation to Rav Berland as a pidyon Nefesh payment for my daughter. (You can read more about how a pidyon Nefesh works, and why it’s so important, HERE.)

Let’s be clear that my daughter is used to my weird ways with her health issues, but still got a little impatient that I insisted on stabbing her with my Su Jok stick before we got to the ER.

“I’m doing this to give you the best possible chance of healing without the doctors going off on one,” I told her.

But she wasn’t impressed.

We got to Terem, and as I wrote a little while back, after an X-ray, a tetanus shot, and a big speech about why my daughter needed a whole bunch of antibiotics and an urgent visit to an orthopaedic surgeon two days later, we got discharged with the prognosis that she’d sustained an open (or compound) fracture.

I got home, googled ‘compound fracture’ and grimaced. It sounded pretty bad. It’s when the bone breaks, and then breaks through the skin in an open wound, which can be very susceptible to infections, and much harder to heal than a regular fracture. All the American sites warned me sternly that I’d need surgery to deal with a compound fracture (gulp).

The British NHS website was much more down to earth, and explained that surgery was sometimes necessary in complicated breaks, but very often not. (Phew).

I tried making the appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon, but in the meantime no-one was answering the phone, even after I hung on the line for ages. Pesach was approaching, so I decided to take a wait-and-see approach and try to make another appointment after Seder night had passed.

In the meantime, I prayed on my daughter’s health and finger –

That it would heal, that she wouldn’t get an infection, God forbid, that the antibiotics shouldn’t stuff up her health in other ways, God forbid; I used helichrysum essential oil instead of the antibiotic ointment, and I continued to stab her other hand with my Su Jok probe, to stimulate her body’s own healing response.

A few days later, her finger looked really, really good (relatively….). Hmm. She told me it wasn’t even hurting now. Hmm. I took a deep breath and called up the orthopaedic surgeon to make the appointment.

As I mentioned previously, I generally hate Western medical doctors, and the ones in Israel are often particularly arrogant, fear-mongering and generally horrible to deal with.

So with some trepidation I showed up to the appointment, prepared to defend using germ-killing essential oils instead of antibacterial creams, and prepared to argue that my daughter didn’t need urgent surgery on her finger…

The doctor we saw was a really cool, older guy who was not at all from the ‘fear-mongering-surgery-at-all-costs’ school. He took one look at my daughter’s finger, poked it a bit, asked her if it hurt, pulled up her x-ray, then told us something amazing: There was no fracture.

Not even a regular one, let alone a compound one.

She didn’t need any more bandages, treatment or even special precautions with her finger. And she probably also wouldn’t even lose her fingernail. I was astounded!

The pidyon Nefesh with Rav Berland had clearly kicked in, and God had done a miracle for us. Back in Terem, I’d argued about the antibiotics, which is when they went to town on me (and my daughter…) and told us she’d probably need surgery blah blah blah… and it was an open fracture blah blah blah… and they’d checked it all on the x-ray blah blah blah….

Was the miracle that they’d made a mistake in Terem, and told us it was fractured when it wasn’t? Maybe. Or maybe, it really was fractured back then, but now it wasn’t. Either way, I was thrilled.

There’s an idea that when God does a miracle for you, you should publicise it. I decided to write this up to encourage you, dear reader, to put God and pidyon Nefesh in the picture as much as possible with your own health issues.

The more we make space in our lives for the miracles to happen, the more we’ll see them.

A little while ago, I bumped into an old friend of mine from the motherland, who used to be one of the most creative, deep, spiritual and loving people I think I’d ever met.

Of course, being ‘deep’ like that doesn’t come easy, especially in today’s world, and this person had gone through a lot of depressive periods and other forms of emotional turmoil.

Depression sucks, and is a very hard situation to accept and deal with. BUT – and it is a big but, depression also comes for a reason, a very good reason, and the key to resolving it is to accept what’s actually triggering it off in the first place, and to take steps to properly deal with it.

Depression is triggered by a couple of things:

  • Being made to feel worthless, invisible and completely uncared for and seen, by people who are very close to us, especially our parents and spouses. (This is linked to emotional neglect, which is not overtly abusive, but which can still kill a person’s soul stone-dead really, really fast.)
  • Being criticised, psychologically abused, blamed, ripped apart, disapproved of and controlled by people who are very close to us, especially our parents and spouses (This is linked to emotional abuse, aka psychological abuse, which IS overtly abusive, but usually rationalised away by the people it’s happening to.)

There’s just one problem:

Accepting that your mum / dad / sister / husband etc is the one making you feel like you want to just disappear out of the world for good, or like you don’t exist in the world, and that no-one really loves your or cares about you, is not easy.

In fact it’s usually so difficult to accept that your ‘nearest and dearest’ are literally making you emotionally ill and even suicidal with their emotionally neglectful and / or abusive behaviour, that most people prefer flat-out denial and Prozac.

Thankfully, the pharmaceutical companies and corrupt psychiatry have an alternative theory for depression that is much easier for most people to swallow: it’s just a chemical imbalance, silly!

Take this little pill, continue to carry on hanging out with your abusive family members, and don’t worry about a thing!

There’s just one problem with this theory (OK, I’m lying. There’s actually loads of problems with this theory, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself…) –

It’s completely false.

There’s not a single shred of scientific evidence to back up any claim that any emotional difficulty, from the most severe issues like schizophrenia, all the way through to depression, anxiety and ADHD are caused by any ‘chemical imbalances’.

(There’s so much to say about this issue, and I’ve written about it in more detail elsewhere.)

I was shocked when I saw my old acquaintance, because all the light in her eyes had disappeared. Even in her worst times, her eyes had shone with pain and sadness, but also with feeling, humanity and spiritual depth. That light now was gone. What had happened?

The answer was: Prozac.

After years of fighting off all the ‘helpful’ advice from other people about how to handle her depressions, she’d finally caved in and gone the drug route of dealing with the problem. It was just that much easier than acknowledging how dysfunctional her family life and relationships actually were.

Of course, she didn’t say that. All she said is that the anti-depressants were working a treat, and she felt great, really good, the best ever, actually. But the light was gone from her eyes, and I just couldn’t catch hold of my old friend any more in anything more than the most superficial way. Because the first thing that disappears when you take drugs – even prescribed drugs – is your connection to God, and your soul.

But that’s not all:

Whatever we don’t fix in ourselves simply gets passed on down the line, and compounded, for our kids. When people go emotionally AWOL because of the happy pills, they are no longer ‘there’ emotionally, for their neglect their nearest and dearest. And they can also become emotionally abusive to others, simply because they’ve lost their normal human sensitivity to what is appropriate behaviour.

As well as the spiritual coldness, my old friend had also developed a mocking manner of speaking to others, too. After five minutes of trying to talk to her, I really just wanted to run away as fast as my legs could carry me, because she made me feel really, really uncomfortable.

Ahhh, what a mess our world is.

When God is out of the picture, so much suffering and destruction occurs in the void. My old friend feels ‘great’, but she’s now treating other people like dirt, and is completely oblivious to that fact, because the pills she’s taking have dulled her true feelings, including her empathy and compassion.

Anti-depressants are meant to change how the brain works. That’s the whole point. Changing how the brain works is also a classical description of brain damage, and there we have the problem in a nutshell: anti-depressants cause brain damage, and change people’s personalities.

Not for the first time in my life, I saw how Prozac doesn’t just ‘disappear’ the external signs of depression, it also ‘disappears’ the essence of the person themselves.

But when God is in the picture, it can always come back.

I just finished the book: Anatomy of an Epidemic, by Robert Whitaker,

and I was shocked at just how many lies are being told by modern psychiatrists to keep the ‘consumers’ coming to their doors for psychiatric medicines, many of which are addictive, all of which are expensive, and most of which give their users far more mental and physical health problems than they solve.

This week, I’ve written a series of detailed posts about what’s going on with big pharma and the psychiatrists over on the spiritualselfhelp.org website, and I highly recommend you take a read BEFORE you or your loved ones agree to pop any pills recommended by a psychiatrist, regardless of how ‘frum’ they may be.

The biggest lie – that to this day has still not been proven with any evidence – is that people only have mental and emotional illnesses because of chemical imbalances in their brain.

Psychiatrists started telling this lie 30 years ago because it seemed like a plausible hypothesis, and at the time their revenues were seriously dwindling because why spend a fortune on a psychiatrist when you can go to a therapist, coach or counsellor instead?

So psychiatry fought back by updating the Diagnostic and Statistician’s Manual in the 1980s, and creating literally hundreds of new mental illnesses that could be ‘cured’ by medications that only the psychiatrists could prescribe. Overnight,  they were back in business, raking in the dollars again from people eager to ‘cure’ their chemical imbalances, and able to buy that second home in Cape Cod.

There was just one problem: the chemical imbalance doesn’t exist.

For any mental illness.

So it’s all a crock of lies.

Which is why the drugs they prescribe often do far more harm than good – and as the bandwagon has gathered speed, and they’ve started inventing ‘disorders’ for children too, now, the evidence is stacking up at a terrifying rate that they are literally maiming hundreds of thousands of patients, worsening their mental health issues, cutting 20-25 years off their life expectancy, and getting them stuck in a ‘drug trap’ that’s incredibly difficult to escape.

In the non-frum world, maybe we wouldn’t expect any better. But how can it be that frum psychiatrists are pushing these drugs to their patients? How can it be that frum schools are demanding that kids be drugged-up with ineffective, dangerous Ritalin? How can it be that the frum poster people of psychiatry aren’t ashamed to tell us that depression is just like diabetes, and is caused by a chemical imbalance?

I’m by no means a medical expert, but if the information about the terrible damage psych drugs are doing to people is out there and readily available – and has been for at least a decade already – why do our frum psychiatrists not know about it?

Chazal teaches us that ‘a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise’ – and as always, they knew what they were talking about. Patients will eagerly queue up to be ‘cured’ of their chemical imbalance, but trying to get people to do the real work of examining the true causes and cures of their emotional difficulties is always a much harder sell.

Trouble is, God wants option 2. The drugs don’t work, they just make things worse. Why? Because God doesn’t want any easy options or quick fixes for that stuff, as that would kind of bypass the whole point of creation.

You can understand (maybe…) why secular psychiatrists prefer drug dealing to encouraging their patients to fulfill their spiritual potential and to put God more in the picture. But what excuse do frum psychiatrists have? (If you’re a frum psychiatrist and you’re reading this, please write in and tell me, I’d love to know your side of the story.)

And how can we, as a community, continue to sanction and even encourage the use of psychiatric drugs when they are literally destroying people, body, mind and soul?

Zyprexa makes that packet of cigarettes look positively tame, by comparison.

I know, many people are desperate for relief, and mental issues are amongst the most torturous to experience – believe me, I know! But drugs is not the answer. If they were, God would make the drugs work, and He isn’t (at least, not in the way that actually fixes the underlying problem.)

So what’s the answer? To put it very simply, we need to live the sort of lives God wants for us, deal with our emotional problems and relationship challenges honestly, and put God much more in the picture than He currently is.

Over on the spiritualselfhelp.org website, I hope to start fleshing out these ideas in much more practical depth over the next few weeks, and I’d love your feedback. We aren’t going to find the solution to mental illness in Pfizer’s laboratories; rather, we’re going to find it in personal prayer, and a courageous determination to stop living all the lies that characterize modern life, and to finally come clean about what’s really happening behind closed doors.