Presentation on theme: "ברוכים הבאים. Who are we discussing? A boy who was able to function at some point in his life and is no longer able to do."— Presentation transcript:
Who are we discussing? A boy who was able to function at some point in his life and is no longer able to do so, and we don’t seem to be able to put our finger on what change caused the deterioration.
מצוין syndrome This is clearly a plague of the elite The better the Yeshiva the higher the percentage – Not necessarily connected to the Yeshiva – it’s just that people who are more prone to it are the type to seek out advanced Yeshivos. – As we will explain – their abundant qualities play into a situation of pressure and mistaken beliefs that may burn them out if not channeled properly
Age of onset More common around twelfth grade and first year We are seeing it begin even earlier, as early as the end of ninth – although the structure usually doesn’t allow it to fully blow up till a bit older The reason for this will be evident as we explain
General description – not functioning Chronic procrastination Passive aggressive Not משועבד to the world’s clock Seeks isolation All therapy and assistance – just dragging without any real change All those who try to help get frustrated that he just isn’t doing his part at all
General description – not functioning When asked to describe the problem the response comes with varying explanations and can range from: – Psychosomatic – headaches, pains, can’t sleep, can’t concentrate…. – I just don’t have cheshek and I have no idea why – I think the system is just not for me. I never really liked it and now I just see things more clearly – I’m בעצם getting better just there are endless פונקט ' ס as to why it hasn’t been successful – I’m working on figuring it out.. And it’s shlepping but I’m almost there
Rule out the obvious Nothing traumatic occurred No molestation or abuse No severe psychiatric disorder No change in family status We are not focusing on a person with a clear diagnosis of any form This is what makes it so much more confusing – since he seems to be perfectly healthy in all other regards and for some reason just isn’t functioning
We see the outcome not the cause There are many causes that can cause similar end symptoms. What we are noticing is someone in pain – pain can be caused by many different sources We should not focus on the end result at first – it really is quite unimportant and this will not allow us to get to the root of the problem We need to focus on the before and the present and study it carefully
Fuel! Everything requires fuel to be able to function So too a person needs inner strength to be able to keep one’s self motivated to persevere and do work despite it being easier not to We all derive this fuel from the reservoir of hope, meaning and purpose When one was successful then his tank was full of fuel. Now if he ceased to function it means that his tank is empty.
In addition – loss and confusion! When the fuel dries up and there is no replacement - it is worse than never having fuel – There is loss – I’m used to it, I’m expecting it – I’m confused because I don’t understand what happened – why did it stop working – There’s disappointment with self and others – Hopelessness – if whatever tools I used worked and now stopped so I have nothing else to keep me going – I am doomed Even if I come up with an eitza who says the same thing won’t just happen again with that
Understand - Analyze What was the fuel? Why did it stop working? What changed? – Usually this is some change in circumstance either real or perceived which doesn't make that much of a difference – for immediate practical purposes perception is reality. – We need to figure that out in order to replace or repair the source of motivation
General Understanding Whatever was driving me was a mistake and never had adequate power to get me all the way to where I needed to go. It was good as long as it was here but is no longer available Some new challenge arose and the old fuel does not work for such terrain
Types of fuel and their shortfall Fuel = is the reason why it is worth investing time effort and sacrifice for something. 15 sources of fuel
1 – I want to make it big I want to reach my potential which I self measured to be very great I only value major accomplishment After all didn’t I come to this world to be as big as I could If I don’t aim high I will never become anything My motivation is my illustrious destination After all this is the right thing for everyone to do
1 – I want to make it big I should know how to learn and say my own chiddushim all day by the age of twenty Takes the shmuessen very literally – and they all apply to him – בפשוטם They feel that settling for anything less – is poshut wrong
1 – I want to make it big - shortfall The minute he realizes that the reality is a bit different and the destination that he had in mind may never come – – There is disappointment – Loss of cheshek – who likes to work hard for something that is only a safek – Half way to their destination feels like worthless in their eyes – it’s worse than not learning at all – Something is wrong with them that they won’t succeed
1 – I want to make it big - reaction Different people react in different ways – but all cease to function – Develop excuse why it’s not them Psychosomatic – pains, aches, can’t concentrate, שיטה this is not really for me Anger at those who convinced him to take this approach מיאוס from learning – since the גמרא – kind of let him down
1 – I want to make it big – natures Speak highly of their abilities – they have special kochos. Don’t get excited easily – cool Look down at others – not in a bad way – just that others don’t see the Emes with the same clarity that they do Driven to achieve Don’t have ability to settle for second best or see compromise as an option.
2 – bright - easy Never had to think much about being good, everything just came naturally Smart, smooth and flowed – no need to exert too much Never had any problem or issue to deal with Life was simple, predictable and easy
2 – bright – easy - shortfall They develop very soft skin and when faced with difficulty they have no experience in handling. He has an empty tool box – whatever he has used in the past no longer works
2 – bright – easy - reaction Act hopeless, overwhelmed and lost Only want to hear about quick and easy relief Something is wrong – life is supposed to be geshmak – he never agreed to this When asked to explain - gives kind of a blank look Could get angry and take wrath out on those who are closest to him – since he is used to being taken care of by them and now they are failing him (someone else has to carry the blame)
2 – bright – easy - nature Can’t handle petch Spoiled, meek and weak Cry easily – רך לבב Grew up in solid home where he was cared for exceptionally well, sometimes too well – and covered for him too well More prone to homesickness Hard time sleeping
3 – I want to be unique - fuel A drive to be the top of the group, special and be admired by all Believes he will make it to where everyone wishes but no one gets there Everyone should have asked him before planning their future, he has got the right derech He is plowing down the highway and nothing in the world is more important than his hatzlacha.
3 – I want to be unique - shortfall Realizes that other people don’t really care so much Others are making it better than he is Things aren’t working as fast as predicted He has become isolated and detached from his friends and feels lonely Doesn’t have the same renewed geshmak that he once had If he is נכשל in something that will ruin his plan or diminish his value He thought he was a מלאך and finds out that he is human
3 – I want to be unique - reaction Becomes angry! – Sometimes focused on parents, system, Torah or all of the above He feels subconsciously that he listened and invested so much and ended up falling short Someone has to be blamed in order that they don’t see themselves as failures Search some other area where than can maintain their uniqueness – usually not good Develop defenses to protect themselves Psychosomatic, שיטות just plain excuses that they convince themselves of even though its clearly nonsense to any one on the outside but they stick to it and get angry if you don’t accept it
3 – I want to be unique - nature Usually becomes overly intense - very driven Somewhat rigid busy doing everything just right Opinionated when it comes to שיטות וגדלות even though really איידעל in all other areas Hard to accept הדרכה since he sees the אמת so clearly – there is no question Not really interested in עולם הזה too much Jealousy kills
Differentiate between big and unique and admiration Unique is in reference to others but for self Big is in reference to self and not שיטה related – Both won’t admit to caring what others think – they say that they are not גורס what others think about them. This may actually be true. – Both will work hard even when no one is looking and work for themselves on growing When admiration is the fuel the above two are not there and everything is in reference to others
4 –admiration and adoration- fuel It feels good to receive attention especially when a boy grew up cute and adored and got used to it Especially true where this was his main source of value and attention Got used to be the top of the class, always good and being praised for it Becomes dependant and needy for admiration for basic living (luxury becomes necessity)
4 –admiration and adoration- shortfall What happens when he goes to Yeshiva of advanced level and finds that he is no longer at the top – his specialty and source of admiration has dried up Gets older and the charm and cuteness doesn’t impress as much Larger class makes him blend in more since less emphasis put on the יחיד Work load much harder so that he can’t maintain the same status
4 –admiration and adoration- reaction Tank is empty Feels a gaping hole of his once “source of life and energy” Lost – not equipped to deal with these situations Feels – lost his מדריגה, something is wrong with him, confused as to why things changed Gets very down and depressed
4 –admiration and adoration- nature Had a relatively easy life used to comfort Often comes from nice upper class family Likes to please More sensitive to people’s comments Soft nature, silk skin Self aware as to his status and thinks of himself in terms of status
5 – perfection - fuel Nature that craves perfection not for enjoyment but rather simply to avoid the catastrophe of a “mistake” Every 100% on the Bechina is just one less problem Learning and doing the correct thing is simply dodging bullets of a possible failure They are successful for a while since younger years are more predictable and perfection is attainable to some degree
5 – perfection - shortfall Perfection is not a realistic level of achievement Failure is inevitable at some points in life Criticism cuts like a knife and is going to reach him sooner or later
5 – perfection - reaction The underlying insecurity that fueled the perfection comes out with fierceness with no healthy way to calm the person down Crumbles like a nightmare come true Usually very black and white and can’t see anything getting any better No chaishek in life anymore Anger, blame, avoidance, cover with defenses
5 – perfection - nature Rigid a little flat (although some bubbly people can have it too) Not happy by nature Anxious Focus on specifics not the whole picture Very sensitive to criticism May have a difficult time seeking or even accepting help since the admitting that I have a problem is a major blemish in the perfection armor that has been a way of life and safety all these years
6 –controlled by others- fuel This can be in form of: – actual force or – feeling that I must produce or else: Parents System – Won’t accept me, so I’d better if I know what’s good for me
6 –controlled by others- shortfall Boy gets older and force is no longer an option Resentment may set in – as to why I allowed myself to be forced until now Feels like he has no identity of his own but rather I’ve been someone else’s pawn that had to produce so that the other person will have his satisfaction and now I want to be “ME” and no one will stop me
6 –controlled by others- reaction passive aggressive sometimes extreme Can become extremely chutzpadik at home sometimes without limit I will assert my own authority and show who’s boss (albeit very eidel) Anti anything that the other person stood for Can seek venues that are unique and not looked at as virtues in the culture that he was raised
6 –controlled by others- nature Proper child Solid home where structure and discipline is a given and can’t be questioned Missing תוכן or depth into what he does Has poor insight as to what is really bothering him Not very emotionally literate
7 – be part of עולם - fuel Social success – you gotta do it or you’ll be labeled as a לא יוצלח This can be especially true if he developed a special close “best friend” who is a learner. This has fueled boys who could never learn to become מצוינים temporarily.
7 – be part of עולם - shortfall Group splits up – they go to different Yeshivos Gets dumped by a friend or two (especially if it was a “best” friend) Friend rise above and he can’t keep up and begins to lag behind them
7 – be part of עולם - reaction Sad and lonely (especially if he himself has gone to a new unfamiliar surrounding where he needs the security so much more so) Out of gas No interest at all in learning Searching for new sense of attachment Anxiety can set in strongly Feels like he is empty without a sense of self and unique identity since his identity was always his being part of others and they are no longer here
7 – be part of עולם - nature Never developed much meaning to what he is actually learning or doing – it was merely the vehicle to count as a person Unable to learn during off times Doesn’t have any of his own sedarim or interest in learning Always comparing and cheshboning what other people are thinking of him Very makpid on the way he dresses, looks, and he associates with others with similar חיצוניות
8 – need to be in control - fuel In order to feel safe I need to know and feel that I will be able to succeed in any challenge that comes my way. This includes being able predict what will be needed as well as be equipped to conquer it fully. Therefore I work hard. I am always vigilant of possible dangers that may arise and move one step ahead to beat the challenge.
8 – need to be in control - shortfall Shiur is not concrete and can’t feel in control of its exactness to full קלארקייט Socially, I can’t force others to act to me in certain ways – nor can I predict… has very difficult time handling the suspense of not knowing the outcome The more he grows in Torah the more he sees it as endless and the more he sees himself forgetting and losing his controlling grip Gets a panic attack or the like – and realizes that he is out of control even for important things that are required for survival
8 – need to be in control - reaction First it’s work harder and be more intense and then it bounces back to panic and ייאוש when this fails to bring 100% certainty Hope that some magic will change things and fool oneself to believe it will get better by some discovery that will surely work - research – New דרך הלימוד – Some physical method – Vitamins, diet, hypnosis, relaxation, vacation, energy… – Blame it on physical
8 – need to be in control - nature Serious, disciplined, organized well planned Successful life for many years Can’t handle: uncertainty, ambiguity, or vulnerability Hard workers – not afraid of hard tasks, may even thrive over difficult situations Aggressive go getters
9 – Geshmak and feeling holy - fuel Even more common for boys who were not מצליח and then suddenly got a התעוררות and a רוח ממרום and saw a new light, then after time he is dropped where his enthusiasm dropped him. Also common for young בחור who begins to discover the גדלות התורה and sees himself connecting and being מצליח and enjoys the חשיבות his own growth
9 – Geshmak and feeling holy - shortfall That high level of חידוש and steady growth slows down. (second month doubles the first, the third is only 50% more than the second… after a year doing minimal amount more than the month before) כח החידוש is only a חידוש at the beginning, we get used to everything and it no longer supplies that high They try to join מצוינים too soon and are still not at their level They are מתאוה to those holy feelings that they felt when they entered תורה and felt so much קדושה וקורבה לתורה ועבודה
9 – Geshmak and feeling holy - reaction Something must be wrong, lost frustrated and confused Down depressed Look for מילי דאגדתא or the like to make quick instant feelings of holiness Fall into תאוות Connect to holy groups or people Give up, it’s not for me Hide behind excuses of searching for the right thing that will give me that real geshmak that I am longing for so badly
9 – Geshmak and feeling holy - nature Usually big בעלי רגש, soft hearted, מלא חן Attracted to quick fixes and things connected to למעלה מן הטבע..., a bit spooky, magical, רמזים – סגולות Busy with קדושה – being careful and sensitive to כשלונות which usually get them into more trouble and this גופא can sour their געשמאק Anything פשוט seems so tasteless and uninteresting that they can’t put effort into it Intense people who experience everything intensely and crave intensity – either intense high or at least intense low.
list – with quick synopsis Underlying emotional pain ADHD that one was able to compensate for when younger but has become more difficult with the new challenges of an adult קדושה issues that have arisen as he has matured Onset of anxiety/ocd Depression
Underlying emotional pain Intense learning may have been an escape and distraction from having to face some deep עגמת נפש Simple example: boy who grew up in difficult home and decided to prove that he is normal despite this and that nothing really bothers him.. Generally denial of personal feelings will come back to bite in some shape or form Boy who is socially anxious and used learning as a source of avoiding social contact that would trigger anxiety or shame.
ADHD Very bright children are able to succeed as youngsters by compensating through using – charm, charisma and good set of brains As they get older, consistency, התמדה,sustained attention become necessity and they fall short The gap between him and his friends widens This is especially true if the adhd has made them socially off a bit since they don’t כאפ social cues as well and people begin to get annoyed with them
קדושה issues This can cause burn out for many reasons – some have been mentioned earlier This can cause havoc – both from a רוחניותדיגער as well as a psychological standpoint – Feels like all the good that I have is fake – I am worse than others – since no one else does this – I have no control – All the good is wasted if I do so much bad – Hopelessness from repeated efforts to control and fail – Turns the attitude towards self as junk and no one wants to invest in junk
Onset of anxiety/ocd Both of these are extremely draining and can simply wear a person down to the point where he literally doesn’t have the physical strength to do what he was once able to. This is especially true if he hasn’t received help and looks at himself as crazy and hiding a dirty secret from others Even after recovering – it can be traumatic and getting back to oneself can be very hard This is especially true if there are any of the other fuel issues that we mentioned earlier
Depression Sometimes this is clearly biological and almost zero to do with בחירה – although I think this is not as common as it is made to be Usually the depressive symptoms are really related to thinking patterns and coping skills or the lack thereof that has caused the person to shut down. This really needs a lengthy explanation and needs to be ruled out before proceeding
Healthy sense of self is something learned from experience not from speech It is a feeling that is given over from caregiver to receiver When we treat someone in a way that shows that we value the true person for his being himself the belief in incorporating into his מציאות Look for opportunities to give the opposite messages of the standard low self esteem model
Examples Connect with them on a personal level Express how they are unique to you in some small way Express pleasure in seeing him not in what has done Show care and why you feel it’s worth so much of your time because he’s good stock Use facial expressions to show how you are really interested in him-not in his success Validate his feelings whatever they are right now Show interest in simple things going on in their lives
How does one repair his poor sense of self Understand the nature of poor self esteem Learn what triggers a shame attack on one’s self Admit to the feelings that one is experiencing and be aware of the true reality of one’s feelings Accept one’s self for who he is right now and not for what he will be one day - this includes understanding one’s virtues and shortcomings Actively live and act like someone with healthy self esteem and eventually it will rub in Develop a value in life and living Attach to healthy people – in a healthy way
Understand the nature of poor self esteem Education: – Why do we act in a certain way – Figure out –with him why his current situation really makes sense based on his nature and nurture – Your not crazy or damaged, you’ve simply been living with some mistakes – Understand that all your work was not a waste and what you gained. You just needs to modify things from here on – Notice which habits you have adopted as a result of the above and in order to survive the pain
Learn what triggers a shame attack on one’s self Notice how the triggers that get you annoyed or feeling empty or hopeless are directly connected with the old Nature and Nurture combination. You can also highlight how when situations are not connected to the weakness or flaw in Nature and/or Nurture the person will be able to function very naturally and easily
Admit and be aware of the true reality of the feelings that one is experiencing Denial Feeling suppression - subconscious Confused feelings Over exaggerated feelings Denial Feeling suppression - subconscious Confused feelings Over exaggerated feelings
Accept one’s self for who he is right now and not for what he will be one day - this includes understanding one’s virtues and shortcomings “Acceptance” the most important word in the whole process Low self esteem = I am ashamed of who I am Stop creating an imaginary self which is much more powerful than our real selves ! Accept yourself with your chisronos Write a list of your strong points and week areas and allow yourself to view yourself as not-perfect. This means that there will be areas where I will not excel and others will, and I am still o.k. with it
Actively live and act like someone with healthy self esteem and eventually it will rub in The nature of people suffering from these symptoms is that they refuse to work on it before they can be sure that it will work out with Geshmack and they would rather wait around and do nothing then the partial action It is important to break this mistaken belief at the very being We need to learn how to work on improving the temporary, and better - but not perfect life from right now! Learn and work even though it won’t give you major gains (not nogea for yeshiva, no kavod attached, no immediate growth)
Actively live and act like someone with healthy self esteem and eventually it will rub in Since this has been programmed through experience it must be reworked through experience Chitzon is me’orer the pnimi Once feelings have turned positive in one area it will be easier to extend it to another Take care of your physical needs Make decisions on your own and make them quickly
Develop a value in life and living We will discuss much more at length next time when we describe the area of meaning and intrinsic value in what I’m doing
Attach to healthy people – in a healthy way Relationship is the most powerful way to give a person a feeling of value! If you show that you truly love someone-you have just showed him that he has intrinsic value Love is not dependent on accomplishment - it is a connection that is felt and has to be shown in such manner – this is through healthy attachment It is a learning through experience which is much more powerful than words Stop – blaming, criticizing, controlling – be compassionate and forgiving to others and you will be able to do the same to yourself as well
Attach to healthy people – in a healthy way It is also a means of learning in a way where the defenses won’t stop it It is a strong way to model good and healthy skills in terms of how he should deal with situations. He will automatically learn by example to talk to himself the same way that you speak to him It is also a from of “security supply” -even though we are trying to make him independent he may need some level of security to put him on safe ground in order to start the next step of his recovery Allow yourself to ask for help and favors from others
This brings us to the question that so many grapple with Why “should” a person feel good about himself if he is a standard Yankele and even more so in the event that he knows that he has messed up and feels that he is to blame for his own lack of success ?
Basic response The true answer (I think) is that by nature one should not even have a thought about such a question. A person’s own life should have so much value that the קשיא should never dawn upon him. Did a father ever think why do I care about my children? If a father needs to be explained why he should be מרחם on his children he is sick-it’s defying the טבע of כרחם אב על בנים
Basic response Of course we can explain it through deep explanation as to why a person and life are worthwhile commodities but there should be an intrinsic feeling that should be much more powerful than all the explanations and as a matter of fact if we need explanations it almost won’t help.
Basic response If the question stumps someone, he is missing a very basic piece of inert nature The focus in repair should be on removing what went wrong that is holding this natural emotion from being felt and experienced This is usually a lack of feeling loved and special - regardless of performance, regardless of comparison to others. It’s about “you” not about how you reflect on me
Basic response The message wasn’t passed down in the environment that the child grew up in This doesn’t mean negative –the lack of reinforcing the beliefs can cause such outcomes (although this is not always the case)
Deeper response שליח מהקב " ה קרבת אלוקים הזדמנות לתקן ולקנות עולם הבא חיים בחירה
Identity-who am I what makes me-me סטייפלער חיי עולם חלק א ' פרק ה ' Who I am, not what I do nor what I have, since all of these apply to others too and therefore, doesn’t describe who I am A father to my children Making something more out of myself To accomplish the שליחות for which I was sent down to this world for, is some level of identity since no-one can take the place