Spiritual Bipolar Disorder
The first step: Recognition
Most of us know the term Bipolar Disorder in the physical aspect as a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. A person can go from being extremely “up” and elated with energy to very sad “down” hopeless periods.
These feelings can change from hour to hour or even faster. A person can wake up in the morning feeling happy and energetic and by the time he brushed his teeth there was something that triggered an inner depression and sadness which quickly takes over his personality and behavior.
Spiritual Bipolar Disorder
The truth is that our holy books already tell us about this condition which will take place before the final redemption. The final stage of rectification is within our hearts and minds, the inner mental soul.
This condition which is thought to be physical is in fact completely spiritual and therefore there are spiritual pieces of advice that we can use to get through these troubling symptoms.
It is the third and final step in the rectification of the world which is called Nefesh – the mental-emotional world.
The Final Exile. The Exile of The Nefesh
The exile of the Nefesh is not a regular one. It isn’t one that comes from the outside like other exiles and tribulations that we have endured as a nation. It is the exile of the Inner Nefesh – soul.
Let’s use one common example that amplifies this condition within us. And we will get into different ways as well later in this series. With Hashem’s help.
We can go from watching a tv show or a movie to praying in shul and back to another tv episode. Then we feel like going to gravesites of tzaddikim to pray, after that we want to learn our daily gemara study or recite some Tehillim (Psalms). Then maybe play some candy crush on our phone for about 30 minutes and maybe smoke something to enhance our music and gaming experience.
Let’s not forget about YouTube or Facebook where we find ourselves flipping through hundreds of crazy videos which cook up our brain cells and corrupt the peaceful brain function even more.
By the middle of the day our brain is fried and we were 20 different people.
And when we realize this, it is extremely painful and can cause extremely high levels of confusion and anxiety.
The emotional effect
The main issue with being addicted and attached to tv shows and movies is not necessarily the immodest images and Pritzut. It is the emotions and ideas that infiltrate our brain function and leach on to our thought process.
This causes us to start feeling exactly what we watched and experienced in the film. i.e. if we watched a horror movie, then we will begin to develop fears and different phobias about random ideas. Or let’s take a tv show that has drama and sadness. We develop a dramatic approach to things that normally would not cause us any pain, now are extremely hard to deal with.
The more we become used to these habits, then slowly we start feeling those emotions in our hearts and worse than that we even start to act and make decisions based on those emotions.
This is just one of the ways that we can understand the spiritual bipolar disorder and how it connects to the physical condition that we may experience.
We go through this without even knowing what we are doing until we get to a point where no one can even talk to us and pull us out. We simply can’t hear.
What to do when no one can help us and pull us out?
When nor a friend or a Rabbi, a parent or a teacher can get us to listen to any advice. There is only one thing left to do.
Dancing and jumping up and down!
When Yosef Hatzadik was thrown in prison for twelve years. He entered this place of the Nefesh. Everyone abandoned him. He had all the reasons in the world to be sad and angry.
Every time he went to lay down and sleep, the evil inclination would come and tell him. Look what everyone did to you, be sad and get depressed.
At that moment Yosef would get up and begin to dance.
Our sages tell us that Yosef used to dance like a bear. Bears have a special dance which Yosef had learned to do. Every time Yosef was about to fall into a place of depression where no one would be able to help him, He would start dancing and clapping in the prison cell.
We find the same concept by King David. Our holy books tell us that throughout king David’s life He was being chased down and hunted. Prosecuted and disgraced and through all of this David would dance and flip upside down and by doing that he would fix that aspect of the Nefesh.
In practical practice to us, when we reach this place of not being able to hear anyone or do anything. When no one can speak to us and give us any advice.
Know that the only thing left to do Is to dance, jump up and down. And this is a known remedy. And from there we make our way to the next steps which will be discussed later on.
May we merit!