Recovering From a Nervous Breakdown

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  • A nervous breakdown occurs sometimes in normal heathy people that are faced with trauma which overwhelms them and they are no longer emotionally in control.
  • In the battle for survival which includes in it private survival of the individual or protecting his nation, people sometimes face an obstacle which causes them to breakdown.
  • A nervous breakdown or severe anxiety attack is like an earthquake. After the earthquake is over, begins the work to repair the damage and start all over.

People who suffer from depression and anxiety can still function through their own efforts and through help from psychiatrists and psychologists. There are two levels of mental disturbance which are neurosis and psychosis. The term neurosis is not used today. The term for neurosis was for mental health problems which are partially disabling. Today each one of these problems have different names and diagnosed and treated differently. Within the category of Neurosis is mild to moderate depression and anxiety caused by trauma. Psychosis needs immediate treatment or hospitalization and can lead to suicide. Suicide is the 10th largest cause of death in the world.

The problems called Neurosis in Jewish law were usually ignored since they did not cause disability and release Jews from their obligations of their religion. These problems including depression affect the joy and pleasure of Jewish life. Obsessive behavior was accepted and even praised in Jewish law when Jews became obsessive and extreme in their practice of their religion. When mental disease reaches the level of psychosis already the person is handicapped. He needs medicine and only through medicine can he function normally. Unless Psychotic behavior is the result of a chemical imbalance and comes through the natural course of life like any disease without reason, it usually comes through a nervous breakdown due to stress. A nervous breakdown sometimes occurs in normal healthy people that are faced with trauma which overwhelms them and they are no longer emotionally in control. It can come through a buildup of stress to the point where the person breaks down or it can come suddenly after a traumatic event in his life. When the person is out of control, there is also a danger of suicide. After being treated with medicine and his condition is stabilized, his diagnosis is post traumatic syndrome. His recovery is slow. In the beginning he needs medicine; but with the help of God he can have a complete healing. Soldiers after military service begin to feel the effects of trauma. Some need hospitalization and others suffer for years post traumatic syndrome.

In a nervous breakdown which comes due to trauma and stress buildup the conscious mind separates from the sub-conscious mind which is connected to the nervous system. The nervous system sends calming messages to the conscious mind. These messages are relayed through light and sound produced by the rhythm of the breath and the stimulation of the mind connected to the two eyes which produce radiation of calming light within the third eye. The third eye is the connection of the conscious mind with the subconscious and super conscious mind. Neurological messages comes up from the spine into the mind which can sometimes be translated as the words Trust in God. They are part of the natural Godly energy in man. People are not aware of the source of these messages from the nervous system which produce peaceful thoughts. Thought is on the conscious level. These messages are subconscious. The nervous system and respiratory systems work 24 hours a day. A person has times when he is awake and times that he is asleep when his conscious mind rests and he is dreaming. Sleep and dreaming refresh the mind. Dreaming comes from the energy of the nervous system which the conscious mind receives at the time of sleep. When a person has a nervous breakdown he finds difficulty sleeping. Sleep is important to refresh the mind like rest and food is important for the body. When a baby is in the womb of his mother, it should feel the warmth and security of her womb. When the baby comes into the world, it should still have the memory within it of the warmth and security in the mother’s womb.

When there is a nervous breakdown, there is a gap between the conscious and subconscious mind that is not healed through normal activity and sleep. Medicine will help the person sleep and function again. If the breakdown was caused by trauma it can be corrected through moderate activity and good sleep. Eventually can be pinpointed the source of this trauma and the sources of this trauma can be corrected through self-introspection and therapy. The mind needs to reach a new balance, a new revelation, a new beginning. A nervous breakdown or severe anxiety attack is like an earthquake. After the earthquake is over begins the work to repair the damage and start all over.

The strength of the mind is in its ego. Some people are born with stronger egos which helps them deal better with stress and they will almost never have a nervous breakdown. Everyone has a limit and can break down under torture. There are people that are suitable to be like combat soldiers in life. Other people who are less suitable for combat can find other positions in the Army of God. There is a purpose in life to build the kingship of God on earth, peace between man and God, peace between man and man. Each person has a role in this eternal purpose. People are usually trained and educated for combat in life by their parents and mentors but not everyone has the same capabilities to fight for personal and national survival and to do the work as artisans of peace. These are two struggles in life which conflict, to fight for survival and to fight for peace. The revelation of the name of God on earth which is Shalom includes then both.

In the battle for survival which includes in it private survival of the individual or protecting his nation, people sometimes face an obstacle which causes them to breakdown. As a result they are no longer suitable for combat and must take more a role as an artisan for peace a civilian role rather than to be a soldier, or warrior. It is an adjustment after having a nervous breakdown. Hopefully each person will find his place in life according to his talents.

There are two battlefields, one on the front line, and the other in the background. On the front line is the battle of religions to build a world according to the word of God with justice. After the revelation of God on Mount Sinai, God sent the Jewish people called the Army of God into the land of Israel to build the world in the way of Monotheism and to remove from the world injustice and immorality. The Nation of Israel had very strict laws against idolatry, and incest to protect the children of Israel from sin. For many Jews the law was too strict and they broke down under the pressure of being a Jew. There were personal pressures from the inside and from the outside the other nations of the world working to destroy them. The Babylonians conquered Judah, destroyed the holy temple and the people were exiled to Babylon. They didn’t give up hope and returned to Jerusalem to build the second temple which lasted for another four hundred years until it was conquered by the Romans. The Jewish people were dispersed throughout the world and today have returned to their land. The Orthodox Jewish combat soldiers have survived as Jews. Along the way many Jews have broken down under the pressures of Jewish life, assimilated into the world adopting liberal and reformed values.

Those Jews who were not able to receive the orders of their religious leaders for the sake of the purpose and survival of the Jewish Nation became disabled in battle. Others already born from parents who were assimilated took a place in the background where the danger was greater of assimilation. From generation to generation the battle continues for the survival of the Jewish nation.

In Judaism the survival of the nation which means Jewish lineage takes precedence over everything else. All of mankind has a purpose in life as artisans of peace building the kingship of God on earth. Judaism has an important part in the kingship of God revealing the name of God on earth. The ultimate redemption comes through belief in the resurrection of all the prophets Jesus, Mohammed and Moses which are united by Freedom. Those that believe in freedom and peace will never again breakdown. It is a different type of war not like the war of religion. Freedom appreciates the work of religion to fight for justice and morality but the representatives of freedom are not suitable to be Ultra-Orthodox religious and have taken a place of moderation in the war of God as artisans of peace.

The war is completed when the Messiah will be revealed on the two sides of truth, the side of religion and the side of faith like it says in Isaiah “the whole world will be filled with the knowledge of God like the waters cover the sea.” The knowledge of God combines both sides of truth and the two messiahs. God unites both freedom and justice. God is one the foundation of unity,

The victory of God is to achieve like it says in Zechariah, “In this day God will be king of the whole earth, in this day God will be and his name will be one.” The battle begins with establishing justice the law of God on earth. The war and victory is completed by the artisans of peace. The artisans of peace are prophets in the New Age. Like it says in Psalms 34:18, God is close to the brokenhearted, and saves those that are crushed in spirit.

The individual that has a nervous breakdown falls down to the depths of hell. Rabbi Nachman of Breslov taught that at the worst moment in the depths of hell sometimes is revealed the highest revelation of God. There is no such thing as hopelessness. As Rabbi Nachum Gam Zu would say, “also a nervous breakdown is for good.” Jonah was swallowed in the belly of the whale for three days until he was released onto dry land. The salvation of God is great and the reward for suffering is even greater.

(The picture above is of the gravesite of Rabbi Nachum Gam Zu who is known for his faith in God and acceptance of his suffering. His name Gam Zu refers to the phrase “also this is for good.” Even a nervous breakdown although it may be hell in the beginning when you will heal it will be revealed as a blessing of God.)

David Wexelman

Rabbi David Wexelman is the  author of five books on the topics of World Unity and Peace, and Progressive Jewish Spirituality.  He has two sites at: and
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