Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

24 Elul 5765 - September 28, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Home and Family

Your Medical Questions Answered!
by Rosally Saltsman

Director, Emergency Services, Bikur Cholim Hospital

I received a letter from a Bat Yam reader about the role of psychiatrists and psychologists. The writer feels we should be going to rabbonim instead. My comment is that if your rov is comfortable with this, that is fine. However, many rabbonim do realize when one has gone beyond counselling, and it is necessary to use medication. So my belief is that a rov with access to a prescribing G-d-fearing psychiatrist is the best option, and I do know this option exists in Jerusalem and Bnei Brak. Another place for a frum psychiatrist is in giving medications to impaired adults who are disruptive due to senility.

Psychology is different. Many people — HaRav Avigdor Miller zt"l was at the forefront — believe that psychology is laced with secular ideas, and indeed, the first psychotherapists such as Freud and Jung were atheists. I believe that again if the rov is comfortable with this, he is the best option. Where we do need a good G-d-fearing psychologist is with the many boys and girls who are involved in extreme behaviors and are unwilling to accept rabbinical intervention. These are my personal beliefs. I will say that I have grown immensely from rabbonim who have grown to know me well and have counselled me.

I was asked to write about genetics and shidduchim. This topic is one that I have lectured on in the past, and my lecture is much more comprehensive than my column. In general, I make the point that all of us are carrying some genetic garbage of some sort, and so we should be understanding and realize that many cases are not as bad as they seem.

A media report said that French fries, known as "chips" in Israel, can increase breast cancer risk. Fatty foods are a known risk for this disease, as well as for colon cancer. This does not mean you must cut them out fully. Consumption should be cut down, and they should be eaten only as an occasional treat — say for yom tov or the like.

Another recent report said that Holocaust survivors have a high suicide rate. One should know that suicide rates are generally very high in the elderly who are lonely or were previously independent and no longer are. Write me in care of the Yated.

A message from GlaxoSmithKline, sponsor of this column. Avodart is the new medication for enlarged prostates, from Glaxo, that can relieve this problem in a manner that is safe and effective. Avodart can bring independence from a catheter.


All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.