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Monday, March 24, 2014

All Roads Lead To ----- MIXED DANCING!


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DSM-J (Diagnostic Statistical Manual-Jewish)

With its recent publication of the DSM-V, the American Psychiatric Association modified the “Bible” of psychological diagnosis to include the most recent research and understanding of the entire scope of psychopathologies currently known to science.  While the DSM has always placed an emphasis on cultural competency, sensitivity and understanding, many Orthodox Jewish clinicians felt the need to publish a more accurate and specific addendum to further address unique issues facing our community.  They hope this will help both the Jewish and non-Jewish psycho diagnostician formulate symptomatology into concise clear syndromes, and in turn create models for further research and treatments of these conditions.  Below are excerpts from this new pamphlet showing new diagnoses in several areas including anxiety disorders, addictions, personality disorders and thought disorders.     


ANXIETY DISORDERS


Employment Phobia:  Individual suffers from the irrational fear of any and all means of gainful employment which are defensively perceived as “Bittul Torah.”   The aversion to working occurs whether the individual is actually learning Torah all day or not. 


Non-heimishe Social Anxiety:    Intense fear of speaking to or associating with non-frum Jews or Non-Jews. Symptoms include avoiding public amusement parks except on Chol Hamoed, or social get-togethers.  Panic attacks can be triggered by exposure to people who are “not our type.”  Employment and opportunities for higher education are only pursued at “all frum” institutions.  To try to alleviate some symptoms, some may attend “Project Inspire” events that teach “how to speak to somebody who isn’t frum.”  

“Chamishi” Phobia:   The paranoid fear that an individual will get an Aliyah that does not reflect his self-perceived level of importance and status in the community, or even worse will not be given any kibbud at all.

Exposure Phobia (also called Pathological Sheltering):  The aversion to any books, newspapers, magazines, publications, libraries or anything associated with secular literature or knowledge.   Symptoms include banning of books including Jewish ones that show any respect for secular culture. Treatment for this phobia is made more difficult because “exposure therapy,” normally the treatment of choice for phobias is hard to do when the irrational fear is triggered by the very concept of exposure.   

 
SEXUAL DISORDERS

Culturally Accepted Pedophilia:  Individual engages in antisocial sadistic sexual behavior with minors up to and including rape.  This is accepted by parents of children who “do not want to make a shtink”, and condoned by Rabbis who do not want to see their friends and baal habatim go to jail. Starting up with children of goyim is not advised because there is a chance you will get caught and incarcerated.


Parental Finances Fetish Disorder:   Individual is only able to be sexually attracted to members of the opposite sex whose parents are financially able to support them and their children in the level to which they have been accustomed.


Female Marital Sexual Compliance:   Women who have sex with husbands who disgust them despite aversion or lack of desire, because their husband’s rabbi told them it is their duty. (Even though, in fact the only duty of this kind in the Torah is for the man to please his wife, not the other way as in some Non-Jewish cultures.)


Modesty Fetishism:   Obsessional concern with the sexuality of areas of the female body, feminine clothing, and pictures of females not usually considered erotic by most societies.  This condition is mostly found in men who “don’t get out much”, and are sexually frustrated because of being damaged by their all boys’ education, guilt over masturbation, traumatization by sexual abuse as children, or shame about homosexual experimentation.  As of late there has been an alarming increase in the prevalence within the adult female demographic experiencing similar symptoms.


People who suffer from this warped sense of sexuality often exhibit extreme agitation and anger upon being exposed to the elbows, ankles, knees or collarbones of females. They consider women who wear stockings that are “too thin”, or skirts that are “too long”, (yes NOT only too short) or whose top blouse button is left unbuttoned to be “whores” or “sluts”.  They boycott even the most religious publication if there are any pictures of females, whether an 80 year old Rebbetzin or a female infant in an ad for diapers.   Some cases are accompanied with visual hallucinations in which the sufferer can see the knees of a woman when she sits down, despite the presence of a thick skirt of a length that is several inches lower and almost is brushing the floor.  

THOUGHT DISORDERS

Koolaid Induced Thought Disorder:   Individuals who have been brainwashed into believing that every single thing they learned in Yeshiva was absolutely true, and that whatever the frum media wants you to know is all one needs to know about life.  Symptoms include a marked deficit in critical thinking skills, and a tendency to ask rabbis before any decision in life (from whom to marry to what kind of gefilte fish is best to be served on shabbos).  Koolaid drinkers often explain any bizarre, unethical or immoral behavior by saying “that’s what they oylam does.”


Gadol Hador Delusional Disorder (also: Daas Torah Syndrome):    Individuals suffering from this mental condition have belief systems not unlike those in the Bible in which people worshipped all manner of idols including human beings.  Similar to the Catholic Church’s espousal of the doctrine of Papal infallibility, Daas Torah seeks to imbue individual rabbis with the status of being omniscient and all knowing.  Thus, anyone with a long beard whose father owned a big Yeshiva and has managed to push himself onto the Aguda’s “Council of Torah Sages” is considered not only unarguably expert in matters of Torah and Halacha, but also in all other areas of life. 

Traditionally, leading rabbis were revered for humility and consulted regularly with doctors, army generals, scientists, government officials and other professionals of various expertise.  In the Daas Torah Syndrome, individuals believe that the rabbis with the best fundraising abilities for their yeshivas are able to make all decisions for all areas of life for all Jews.  That includes everything from which candidate to vote for, in a national election, to what is the best way to catch and stop violent criminals, to how to “cure” pedophiles”, etc.   For example, for decades a Yeshiva refused to fire a rebbe who was known to them to be sexually molesting children.   When adult survivors, were finally strong enough to stand up for themselves and all children and insist that the enabling Yeshiva be held accountable, the leader of a self-appointed committee of “Gedolim” publicly denounced the victims as “presumptuous,” and proclaimed that only the Gedolim can “divine” what the best thing would be for Klal Yisroel (which, of course meant letting the yeshiva off the hook.)

ADDICITION DISORDERS

Internet Addiction:    This diagnosis is not meant in any way to suggest or imply that the addict uses much more of the world wide web than is considered normal for healthy functioning people.  Rather what makes it pathological and appears to qualify it as addictive/compulsive behavior is the hypocritical public denial and disavowal of all things internet.   Individuals with this syndrome, organize regular mass demonstrations in which they decry everything from the danger to children of having any modern technology in the home (smart phones, video recorders, computers, gameboys, etc.), social media’s power to destroy otherwise healthy, happy, harmonious and loving marriages, and the catastrophic danger of allowing the allure of the “outside world” and “heretical anti-Daas Torah viewpoints” to seep into the consciousness of religious Jews. 

The denial and disconnect with reality is seen by the fact that the majority of Lakewood and virtually all of Flatbush has clandestine access to unfiltered Wifi in their homes.  The secrecy and the inability to comply with the self-professed moral values are the hallmark of pathological behaviors that are typical of an addiction. 

The particular uses of the internet vary from one frum individual to the next.  Many use it for news on current events, or to “get the raid” on what is really going in the frum community by reading Frum Follies or Failed Messiah.  These so called “blogs” are the only public sources of information on the Frum community that has not been censored by Pravda, the Yated, Hamodia or Yeshiva World News.  Many use it for pornography or to “shmooz mit viber,” while in some cases, individuals have been apprehended utilizing the web to troll for underage boys and girls for sex.  (They are usually helped to avoid jail time.  See Culturally Accepted Pedophilia, above, and Askanus Personality Disorder, below).

PERSONALITY DISORDERS

Lack of Personality Disorder:   Individual has no capacity to think for themselves, create an original idea, develop any personal interest or desire for anything outside of what they have been taught.  They present as if somebody has sucked out their true identity and replaced it with a robotic computer program designed to conform in all ways to the community. 

 LPD is a tough differential diagnosis from Kool Aid Induced Thought Disorder.  There is an overlap, but Kool Aid victims do not always lose all of their personality.  Sometimes an integrated personality capable of its own individual feelings and thoughts will choose to “buy into” the party line out of laziness or out of a sense that “I gotta get a shidduch for my kids.”  On the other hand, the LPD sufferer can no longer distinguish between where he or she ends and the “frum community” begins.

Frummer Than Thou Personality Disorder:    These individuals tend to find new chumras to take upon themselves and soon attempt to convince others that this is the core halacha and act surprised and disappointed that others are not doing things “according to the mesorah”.  Frequently, loud, in-your-face, shushing behavior is exhibited in shul during davening, causing more of a disturbance than the actual talking during davening that is the aim of the shusher.   

Askanus Personality Disorder:    In this condition, also known as “Askanitis”, individuals are preoccupied with saving Jews including molesters and other criminals from going to jail by “working behind the scenes” and knowing “the right people” to pull strings.  Askanim do help the community in other ways, like intervening with politicians for sensitivity for the religious community’s needs (mostly monetary).  These “fixers” should be differentiated from "machers" or "tutzuchs" who do a lot of good for the community as well but are motivated by more simple rewards like being able to show off their involvement in Hatzala, Shomrim or Chaveirim (Hatzala for cars).

OTHER CONDITIONS OF CLINICAL CONCERN

Mass Religious Hysteria:  Communal overreaction to social concerns incommensurate with the magnitude of the problem, and responded to in an emotional, and impulsive way. (Treif chickens being sold in Monsey causing entire houses to be torn down; Indian human hair sheitels being used for idol worship causing bonfires to eradicate them, etc.)

Mass Relgious Paranoia:   The communally held belief that non-frum Jews in Israel want to eradicate all vestiges of Judaism or Torah learning.  This irrational belief is based on the call for Charedim help out by risking their lives together with all of the other Jews, in order to protect their own and other Jewish children from the multiple enemy armies of the Arabs. 


Medical Condition Resulting from Religious Eating Disorder:   Obesity and malnutrition stemming from the aversion to eating many types of fruits and vegetables because of hallucinatory perceptions of bugs.  Another etymological factor is the belief that cholent, kishka and kugel are the staples of a good heart healthy nutritional diet, because if it worked in “the heim” why not here?