Keeping Mental Illness A Secret In Shidduchim🤕 🤒🤐👰🤵

Home Coffeeroom Shidduchim Keeping Mental Illness A Secret In Shidduchim🤕 🤒🤐👰🤵

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  • #1439491

    David111
    Participant

    Why do many people in the community think that it’s right to marry off a child that has mental illness without revealing this before a Shidduch and have someone fall into a marriage and suffer from day one. This is something that is very hard for people to pick up on while doing information especially with a Personality Disorder. It should be the duty of parents to reveal this before ruining someone else’s life.

    #1439542

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Often it is also a secret from the patient and his family.

    #1439556

    Ferd
    Participant

    This is a major issue. I know a girl that married a guy only to find out two years in that he is on tons of meds. What a disaster.

    #1439558

    Joseph
    Participant

    In addition to RebYidd23’s excellent point, since mental illness is stigmatized many singles specifically will not seek diagnosis. Despite experiencing symptoms. Since once it is diagnosed, they’ll have to share it during shidduchim. And that might sink their chances in shidduchim.

    #1439563

    fred
    Participant

    “I know a girl that married a guy only to find out two years in that he is on tons of meds. What a disaster.”

    Did he go off the meds?

    #1439561

    The little I know
    Participant

    A word of caution here.

    It is easy to fall prey to making assumptions based on generalizations, which would be a horrible mistake. There are those with mental illness who cannot manage in marriage, and it is an aveiroh to allow them to marry. Poskim have spoken about this, so I am not out of line with this pronouncement. There are many who have a diagnosis and are in treatment and currently stable. I vote against keeping things secret. Yet, if the other side knew a diagnosis, they would run away, even if treatment resulted in a fully functioning individual whose marriage capability was no different from anyone else. So I vote against keeping it secret, but suggest that a decision be made on the evaluation of the individual and their condition, not a label.

    A simple piece of advice to the secret keepers would be, “If the shoe was on the other foot, would you be outraged from the other side keeping such information from you? If so, don’t keep it from them.”

    There are ways of presenting the information. The dishonest ones are recipes for disaster. I have observed a few such situations. There was an article in one of the frum magazines several years ago that described such a situation. It was awful. May we never know of such problems.

    #1439567

    DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    A simple piece of advice to the secret keepers would be, “If the shoe was on the other foot, would you be outraged from the other side keeping such information from you?

    That could go the other way as well. To the people whose child went out with a nebach mentally ill person, one could ask what would you do if r”l your child were mentally ill?

    #1439575

    David111
    Participant

    Mental Illness needs to be discussed much more openly in the community. People need to be more aware of illnesses like BPD.
    A girl of boy with BPD doesn’t stand a chance on being a normal spouse without intensive therapy. (Therapy usually doesn’t help..) It’s criminal to marry off such a child!

    #1439574

    Matan1
    Participant

    Ferd : “This is a major issue. I know a girl that married a guy only to find out two years in that he is on tons of meds. What a disaster”.
    What is so terrible about someone taking medication? I take several myself, for different mental illnesses. They enable me to be successful in my career and family life, and I have been on 4th or 5th dates where I mentioned that do take meds. B’H all the women on those dates were vey understandable and supportive.
    There is no need to hide the fact that so many of us in the Orthodox community take medication for mental illnesses.

    • This reply was modified 8 months, 3 weeks ago by  Y.W. Editor.
    • This reply was modified 8 months, 3 weeks ago by  Matan1.
    #1439581

    Ferd
    Participant

    @matan1 Hashem should send you a refuah shilayma.

    People have the right to make a choice if they want to marry someone who is bipolar, borderline-personality disorder, suffers from depression or other meental illness – just as they deserve to know if the shidduch suffers from chrons disease, or has another serious disease.

    This isn’t a game. It’s a marriage. None of these conditions can ever be held from someone else.

    #1439586

    Matan1
    Participant

    No they shouldn’t. Which is why I always tell my date about my conditions and the meds I take. I don’t need a shatchan to tell her that; I’m an adult, and mature enough to tel my date that.

    #1439587

    David111
    Participant

    Ferd. V We’ll written.
    Too many people choose to take a gamble and marry off kids with mental illness… and hope for the best…. There is not enough awareness. It’s criminal. Perhaps we need to make a database of people that have committed this crime so others can keep a distance and not take a chance with the next kid in line.

    #1439597

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    “People need to be more aware of illnesses like BPD.
    A girl of boy with BPD doesn’t stand a chance on being a normal spouse without intensive therapy. (Therapy usually doesn’t help..) It’s criminal to marry off such a child!”

    Sounds like you are the one who needs to be more aware of BPD because the rest of your statement is false and a horrible disservice to the people with bipolar disorder who are very stable and are excellent spouses and parents.

    #1439593

    David111
    Participant

    Matan1 I admire your approach!!

    #1439604

    JJ2020
    Participant

    Who thinks it’s right? People do bad things because they want their kids to get married. It’s obviously wrong.

    #1439627

    Yerushalmit
    Participant

    Halachicaly here is no questionh that these parent gamblers and their children are being Over HaLacha
    I know someone who is divorced – B”H _ – from someone whose parents were from the “gamblers on someone elses future” and all they said after 15 yrs of marriage and 7 children – Keneinahra – was “they thought it would be OK” refusing to give any explanation and nt only that – letting the poor wife deal with everything by herself as they were too old? to deal with it???

    #1439626

    Shopping613 🌠
    Participant

    Wow there’s like 7 people waiting moderation!

    I’m in shidduchim, and honestly although you say “It’s never going to be be me”, I don’t think it will be me. My Rabbi paskens that you must share information during the dating, whether it’s a 4th date or a 7th date. I’m only looking to marry someone who follows a Rabbi, who asks about everything and they definitely speak to about such matters. Given my hashkafa and the home I wish to build, and the community I want to live in, I am trying to find someone with those same values, again- one of the big ones is daas torah, serious daas torah, and not going rav shopping, etc.

    So most rabbanim I’ve heard in my circles say you must say things in the dating stage. I just don’t think I’m going to marry someone with a rabbi who would pasken otherwise. I may be wrong, but….yeah

    #1439620

    icemelter
    Participant

    would one consider “controlled” OCD/Tourettes, anger issues, hot head, ticks, argumentative, non clinical depression, general sadness etc.. mental disorders that should be disclosed? Or are those things obvious and should not need a “formal” introduction to scare the potential shidduch off?
    btw always consider how you would handle it if it were in reverse. Would you be able to deal with these issues? Many times people can accept and overlook certain issues without a problem if they are ok with the rest of “you”. Things do need to be disclosed beforehand if they might cause an issue. There should be ways of disclosing in more casual manner rather than scaring someone off especially if disclosed by a shadchan.

    #1439619

    balebos
    Participant

    What do you all feel about withholding information about a parent or grandparent who has a mental illness even where the prospective boy/girl doesn’t have any problem themselves.

    Often mental illness is hereditary and may not have manifested itself yet in the prospective boy/girl and comes out when all the stress of marriage and parenthood set in.

    Also it may well come out in one of the children that are born to them.

    Should there be an obligation to tell the other side that a grandfather takes meds, for example?

    #1439614

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    I’ve heard stories of people being surprised after the wedding with the fact that their spouse secretly had diabetes. That is also bad.

    #1439615

    frumnotyeshivish
    Participant

    bpd is likely referring to borderline personality disorder. David, the word criminal is harsh. bpd presents itself on dates relatively clearly.

    #1439613

    BPD stands for borderline personality disorder, not bipolar disorder.

    #1439617

    avreimi
    Participant

    Part of the issue is how we define “mental illness”. There are conditions which can be controlled with medication the same way as diabetes can be controlled with medication. However the minute the words “medication” or “mental illness” come out the boy or girl is doomed in most people’s minds. The same is not true of diabetes. Why does use of the word “medication” only seem to refer to mental health issues?

    #1439618

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    What I find difficult is how it is possible for a couple to hide such illnesses from one another after dating for a reasonable period of time? Personality disorders maybe….serious mental illness and someone on medications seems unlikely. We have laws in many states requiring a homeowner to disclose if their basement has water problems; we have the ability to find out the source of every bump and dent on a used car on Carfax but for someone with whom we plan on spending the rest of our lives, their is no disclosure obligation for the family members??

    #1439616

    Believing
    Participant

    I’m thrilled to see Mental illness being spoken about so openly when it’s so stigmatized and hardly spoken about. Though the stigma is still so strong, we have come a long way in terms of creating an awareness (like here) and in various different Jewish publications like the Ami, Yated and Mishpacha. Thank you!!

    As embarrassing as it may be, it’s imperative to be open about it in dating. I do also want to say that mental illness is usually manageable. Though it’s debilitating, therapy and medication can and do help. I understand that mental illness can be scary, especially to those who don’t know much about it. But please understand that mental illness is not dangerous. A lot of people are bH getting the right help – be it therapy and/or medication. Those suffering from it, didn’t choose it; it’s a Nisayon from Hashem. I read about others’ struggles (newspapers/magazines) and how hard it is to keep it from others from fear of being stigmatized.

    With Hashem’s help, I look forward to when mental illness will be spoken like any other difficulty. And those who are bravely fighting it, will be recognized for their efforts rather than shamed.

    #1439656

    Joseph
    Participant

    balebos, a single and their parents don’t even have to know whether or not their grandparents take meds.

    #1439657

    agutyar
    Participant

    The rebanim have given very clear guide lines in connection to this topic.
    1- the boy/girl is not obligated to tell the shadchan or the boy/girl in advance. Perhaps the shidduch will not work out anyway, and he/she does not have to compromise his privacy.
    2- After they have met a couple of times and it seems to be progressing, but before it gets so serious as to cause heartache, he /she is obligated to tell her.
    Also, please remember: The same pasuk that says “Al taleich rechil b’amesecha (don’t speak loshen hocccc

    c

    #1439658

    Joseph
    Participant

    After all is said and done, folks, will YOU be willing to date and marry — or encourage your child to date and marry — someone who has a mental illness that he or she is on medication for and has completely under control that he/she can have a normal life with medication?

    Honest answers, please.

    #1439669

    David111
    Participant

    I also think that singles also need more tools to pick this up in a in the dating process.

    In the chasidise would it’s IMPOSSIBLE to pick up if the other boy or girl is suffering from BDP. It’s a non starter. Maybe the system needs to be reformed!

    #1439668

    David111
    Participant

    The answer is NO.

    With Medical Illness people are usually more transparent. Matches are made accordingly.

    Mental illness needs to be treated the same. There should be Shatchunim specialising in this field to make matches.

    #1439667

    Shopping613 🌠
    Participant

    I have enough of my own issues, I would not be willing to marry someone like that right now. It would be too much.

    #1439674

    chabadgal
    Participant

    If there an issue with the girl/boy, or a genetic mental illness in the family, you need to tell. I think by the third date makes sense cuz thats when its kind of getting serious, but not serious enough.

    #1439679

    Joseph
    Participant

    With everyone saying YES to disclose but NO I would never marry such a person, or ever let my child marry such a person, EVEN if with medication he/she can live a fully normal life, is anyone still wondering why there’s no disclosure?? They probably decided not to even get diagnosed until after marriage. This way they “didn’t know.”

    Hopefully you’ll have it all figured out by the second child.

    #1439685

    The little I know
    Participant

    Joseph:

    No one was questioning why some are motivated to withhold the info about mental illness. The question is whether that is okay according to halacha or yashrus. I doubt that most commenters here believe it is proper to keep such secrets, and I still bet that anyone confronted with such a situation would want to keep it secret.

    For those who speak about bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder, please recognize they are two completely distinct conditions, and rarely co-exist. Bipolar disorder is a treatable illness, though its fluctuations make it difficult to effect a 100% remission. Borderline personality cannot be treated with medication, and its treatment through therapy is partially effective at best. Being married to a borderline (BPD) is one of the greatest nisyonos one can have. Hats off to anyone that can tolerate this life. Approximately 80% of all borderlines are females. There is a wealth of information online about BPD. It is majorly difficult to live with a borderline. It is not fun having the condition either. I have heard people say they wish one could detect BPD in blood tests, so that those with it could be excluded from shidduchim altogether. I know this does not sound nice at all, and perhaps discriminatory. But once you see how these marriages turn out, you will likely agree with that. BTW, there is no blood test for BPD.

    #1439694

    David111
    Participant

    Thanks “the little I know”

    I read your post a few times!!
    I have a friend that was in a Marriage with a woman that has BPD.
    It’s HELL.
    Getting out of these marriages is terribly hard!
    It’s a myth that these people can be treated..

    #1439700

    Joseph
    Participant

    TLIK: Do you require potential shidduchim for yourself and your family to undergo a physical to insure their good health?

    What do you say about singles who don’t seek any diagnosis or treatment for any suspected mental health issues so that there’s nothing they know or have to disclose?

    #1439818

    Eli51
    Participant

    perspective match was hospitalized in the past because one day the person could wake up & decide they no longer want to be married to me. Bi Polar is a mood swing disorder. The same posek said if someone was hospitalized because got depressed due to a divorce & the person is back to being stablle again could marry that person. The posek also said that you are not allowed to lie to a perspective match especially with age. R Moshe Feinstein ZTL held you have to tell anyone issue you have before you get engaged. Therefore don’t tell the Shadchan & wait at least until a third date before saying because a perspective match who may have said no had he/she been told right away would accept that because now he/she likes you.

    #1439823

    Shopping613 🌠
    Participant

    Joseph: I see not getting a diagnosis by then time you are a teen to be irresponsible, neglectful, and abusive. Hashem will send a shidduch, no one else. You have no right to avoid treating your child with any illness for ANY reason, that is abusive.

    #1439854

    Eli51
    Participant

    I left out the main point I wanted to say in the previous message I posted which is I was told by one of the biggest poskim in the US that I should not marry anyone that has mood swings because one day she could wake up & want out of the marriage. Mood swings is a major part of Bi Polar disorder.

    #1439843

    JJ2020
    Participant

    Shopping 613 -. Many mental illnesses aren’t diagnosable or don’t show up until mid twenties or later. But there are warning signs. Many people who have gone through had all the same assumptions you did. You must be very careful and there are no guarantees.

    #1439842

    JJ2020
    Participant

    Shopping613 – this happens to regular people like you who follow their Rabbis. Your Rabbi isn’t a Navi who could know everything about everyone. Even people who at “fum” do this. The best defense is to get information about the boy from people who are on your side. Who ate your family and friends. And you have to know how to ask the right questions to get them to be open with you. Bc many yes even frum people don’t want to be the bearer of bad news.

    #1439851

    hml
    Participant

    “After all is said and done, folks, will YOU be willing to date and marry — or encourage your child to date and marry — someone who has a mental illness that he or she is on medication for and has completely under control that he/she can have a normal life with medication?”

    Honestly: no. Not because I believe mental illness is a stigma ( it is an illness like any other) but it cannot always be controlled by meds. And I would be very worried that at any time, my child’s spouse could stop taking them (they worked, I’m cured) & that will spiral into a nightmare.

    BUT…. a shidduch came up with someone with insulin-dependant diabetes and the shadchan told me when she first told us about the person. To make sure we were fully knowledgeable I went to see my GP who said absolutely nothing to be concerned about. Years later & healthy as a horse B”H, they have a beautiful, healthy family. So to whoever said diabetes is just as bad… baloney. With everything medical, including mental illness – do your research. Speak to the person’s doctors.

    #1439874

    The little I know
    Participant

    Joseph:

    You wrote: “Do you require potential shidduchim for yourself and your family to undergo a physical to insure their good health?”

    I never mandated a physical. But I specifically asked about medical issues. I am less interested in diagnostic labels, and far more interested in symptoms. My questions are varied, but specific to common issues. I ask about anger. What does he/she do when they get angry? How do they get along with others? How do they handle situations that are new, strange, or challenging to them? These questions matter far more than their academic performance, whether they were in the school play or choir, or their yichus. If there are medical issue sin the family, such as diabetes, hypertension, etc., I want to know about that beforehand, so that I have the risk factors as an open issue, not a secret.

    It is very, very useful to inquire about the shalom bayis of the parents. Just needed to put that out, though it might be a completely different thread.

    #1439952

    David111
    Participant

    I was never a believer of using Graphology in shidduchim. But it’s the best way to pick up on illnesses like BPD.

    #1439939

    Shopping613 🌠
    Participant

    JJ2020: Obviously if it only happens after marriage, it’s a sign that Hashem wanted this to happen and for you to go through this. Yes I know mental illness can hit in the late twenties or thirties but it’s not the majority of cases.

    Back to the majority, other posters are saying people KNEW their child has a mental illness yet did not seek treatment or diagnosis. THAT IS ABUSIVE. There is nothing else to say. Those parents are sick people.

    A Rabbi is not a Navi, but I am looking for a boy with a close connection to a Rav, who would know about any issues. A proper and good Rav will pasken he must tell.

    #1439938

    Believing
    Participant

    “After all is said and done, folks, will YOU be willing to date and marry — or encourage your child to date and marry — someone who has a mental illness that he or she is on medication for and has completely under control that he/she can have a normal life with medication?”

    This is precisely why (but not excusable) others are so scared to “let loose” about their mental illness. They know how strong the stigma is and are rightfully so scared of getting a “no” yet again. I understand the fear of not knowing what could happen even if they’re stable and on meds. But, does anyone really have a guarantee for life? While some of you many say i’m being extreme, mental illness can happen to anyone! Just like no one is immune to getting into an accident c’v, no one is immune to getting a diagnosis.
    So, as careful as we can be (after doing appropriate Hishtadlus), no one is guaranteed anything! We can say “what if” to anything in life and not get anywhere…

    #1439908

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    The comparison of diabetes to mental illness is silly because mental illness is a broad category of illnesses. Mental illness ranges from mild to severe.

    #1440042

    Joseph
    Participant

    hml, so you’d be okay marrying, or marrying your child, to someone with diabetes but not to someone with mental illness. You’re like most people in this regard.

    Which is why people will tell you about their diabetes. But won’t tell you about their mental illness. Since, even though they can live normally with medication, they’ll have almost no marriage prospects.

    So you’ll find out by the second child.

    #1440077

    Joseph
    Participant

    TLIK:

    “I ask about anger. What does he/she do when they get angry?”

    How often have to gotten an honest answers, “Yes, he/she has an anger problem.” Who gave you such a negative answer?


    It is very, very useful to inquire about the shalom bayis of the parents.”

    How often have you heard someone tell you the parents have Shalom Bayis problems? As often as it is the case?

    #1440106

    Joseph
    Participant

    JJ2020, ” You must be very careful and there are no guarantees.”

    Is marrying someone who has a mental health issues something to be avoided, if possible?

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