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Furthermore, life is not enjoyed in the same way that it once was. Individuals experiencing depression may feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic; they may even feel angry aggressive, and restless (these last three feelings are more common in men). This is vastly different than feeling sad at times. In fact, depression often leads to intense and unrelenting feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and worthlessness – with little, if any, relief.

While bouts of sadness can possibly be combated by music and exercise, a professional should be consulted immediately if actual depression sets in. This does not mean that talking to close friends, exercising, and/or listening to music should not be utilized; rather, one should not disparage feelings of depression and should seek help while attempting to continue his or her regimen of fighting feelings of sadness.

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I agree that the Torah is generally sensitive to all types of illness and the lecturing rabbi’s meaning was misinterpreted on some level by H.S., the original letter writer. But please remember that H.S. was particularly sensitive on this matter. Thank you again for your insights. Hatzlachah!

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Dr. Yael Respler is a psychotherapist in private practice who provides marital, dating and family counseling. Dr. Respler also deals with problems relating to marital intimacy. Letters may be emailed to deardryael@aol.com. To schedule an appointment, please call 917-751-4887. Dr. Orit Respler-Herman, a child psychologist, co-authors this column and is now in private practice providing complete pychological evaluations as well as child and adolescent therapy. She can be reached at 917-679-1612. Previous columns can be viewed at www.jewishpress.com and archives of Dr. Respler’s radio shows can be found at www.dryaelrespler.com.
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