Therapy – To Tell or Not to Tell?

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    what does the oilam think about going to therapy of some sort and tellling by shidduchim?

    1st timer

    what kind of therapy


    At the appropriate time, it should be disclosed.


    I’m with cantoresq. Make sure you have a rav guiding you along the way, through therapy and shidduchim, to tell you when that appropriate time is.


    If you need it, please get it. Dont NOT get therapy because you are afraid of shidduchim. It’ll only make your situation worse.


    Iw ould add that the same applies to medications. If someone had to take medications, they should ask a competent rov if and when they have to disclose such information. (Cases are different, there a numerous circumstances that are self evident and do not need to be numerated here) And pepole should not refrain from taking neccesary medications. VD”L.


    This is very complex. Each case is different & requires Daas Torah what/when/if to say.


    First, determine the need for therapy – was there a trama that one needs help in sorting out feelings? Or is the purpose to simply vent?

    There is no shame in seeking therapy if it is needed – only shame in NOT seeking it where there is a need.

    As far as disclosing information, I don’t think it needs to be done on the first date. One thing for certain, I would ask my Rav!


    If someone needs help, whether medication or therapy, get it and do not worry about shidduchim. Their well-being is important. Many kids have issues that are not dealt with and they have ramifications later on in life. On that note, it should be told to the family once the shidduch is deemed “viable”. Otherwise, it is tricking the family and leading them to believe something that is not true. The prospective future family needs to go into it knowing and making a knowledgeable decision. Many stories come out where the family themselves or people they asked about the girl/boy did not tell the prospective shidduch, they got married and divorced within a few years once the information came out. The girl/boy did have medical/psych issues that were meaningful and caused marital problems. Now there are two broken families and possibly kids caught in the mess.


    First and foremost, make sure your therapist thinks you are ready for shidduchim- if the issue is not mostly sorted out, it may be a good idea to wait a little longer before starting up with that; 6 months extra just to make sure you’re healthy enough to date and marry is a drop in the bucket compared to the disaster that can ensue if you go ahead before you’re ready.

    That being said, ask your Rav about if and when to bring it up. It seems like a no-need-before-the-first-date-but-sometime-before-you-get-engaged issue, but you still have to ask.

    Never be ashamed! the fact that you got help shows a deep level of maturity in oand of itself; also, people have to realize that it’s better to be involved with someone who worked things out, even if they needed help with it, than with someone who let their issues fester and never told anyone about it.


    Therapy is nothing to be ashamed of. Many people come out much stronger after therapy and more ready for marriage. Those who need therapy and do not get it are endangering their future marriages. Ask a Rav when to tell the other side but don’t be afraid to say it. People are more open-minded about it nowadays than they used to be.


    i’m talking about therapy for anxiety (something not so major) and the like


    TELL THE FAMILY BEFORE THE VORT!!!! Many divorces can be helped if it was said!


    This is a very tough question.

    Just to look at it from different perspectives:

    1) How would you feel about someone setting up a shidduch for you (or your child) without mentioning this issue?

    3) How would you feel the couple becoming engaged without being notified of this issue?

    4) How would you feel the couple getting married without being notified of this issue?

    5) Now, ask yourselves the same questions where the person with the issue is yourself (or your child).

    This is a question that needs to be discussed with a rov.

    Hatzlocha raba.


    It should still be told. What if the person still needs the help and doesnt get it once married? The marriage can be affected whether or not he/she continues the therapy. It doesnt mean an obvious no, just means more thought involved. Knowing what one is getting into, especially in such a major decision like marriage, is important.

    just me

    You have to think of a therapist as a doctor. You don’t have to tell a prospective shidduch about a strep throat or pnemonia, but you do in a case like cancer (even if it was long ago) or anything that may come up later or affect the marriage. The same is with a therapist. If a child had an accident and was having problems dealing with it, that is minor and I don’t think it’s nessasery to tell. If the child had to be put on medication (unless he/she was off for many years) I think that must be told. I think our community has to realize the worth of therapy.


    I agree with “just me.”


    I think the commentors prior to me have pretty much hit the nail on the head.

    This may be petty, but the original question is so poorly worded (in “Yeshivish”) that it took me like 5 reads to figure out what was being asked.

    If I might reformulate:

    ***DELETED*** if the commentators prior to you pretty much hit the nail on the head then I would say that your reformulation is not needed. Now, did it take you a number “like” 5 for the total number of times that you read it or exactly 5 times. btw, which number is “like” 5? YW Moderator-72

    There, much better!


    Somewhere between 4 and 6 to be precise. thanks, i was wondering because the clear reading of your statement would be, I had to read the original post 5 times. the “like” 5, is not proper grammar and for someone giving a lesson in how to formulate and present a question the “like” detracted from it. I simply offered a more readable suggestion; I’m surprised at the reaction to a simple attempt to enable others to communicate more effectively. see the previous inserted comment as well as your spelling error and I felt it was best not to include your lesson on proper sentence structure.

    But please correct me if this is indeed not a place for learning and improvement. It would be good to know…It is, however, it is not necessarily a place where everything has to like hit all the proper rules of grammar and words can be mispelled as long as we can all kinda sorta like figure out what is being said, you know, as long as they are understandable. I hope that you accept these comments in the spirit in which they are like offered. YW Moderator-72 (yes, i know i spelled misspelled wrong)


    Most people are saying to tell, but would you turn down a possible shidduch if he/she had/has anxiety or the like?


    Bgebentched-i would say your kinda anxious about this whole telling or not telling about this shiduch thing. Maybe you should just like…chill a little.


    That of course depends on what it was for. If it was when he/she was five and has not gone back since and doesnt need to, then it should be fine. If he/she is still going or is on psychiatric medication, then I would need to think twice about it. I guess it all depends on the person’s specific case. Anger issues are very relevant in marriage, and it all depends on the duration, intensity and reasons/background for why getting therapy.

    I think that all therapy received should be said before the engagement, especially if medication was involved (even if off of it), but at first only “important” therapies need to be told. It all must come out in the wash way before the lechaim.

    Dont stop going just for shidduchim. Go if you need it but just tell the other side when it is time. if you are up front about it, the family might not make such a big deal about it but if it is kept a secret and is only told about much later, then it might be a major factor.

    Bless You

    Dear Bgbentched,

    I see that you are bothered about this issue and you really want to tell this information. That itelf is a good sign and shows that you’re not scared to let down your guard. I understand your desire to get married to a normal girl but keep in mind that you may have to broaden your scope and look for a more mature girl (possibly older than you) that will appreciate your stengths and weaknesses. Anxiety is a serious issue (though not life threatening) and will probably remain with you (at least in some form) for the rest of your life. But you can use this test to grow with your future spouse and family and come closer to Hashem. Realize that Hashem loves you and would not test you if you could not overcome it. I hope that my words encourage you to continue to grow and become the caring person that you are.


    Admorim: i take it sensitivity isn’t one of your strong points! oh & welcome to the wonderful YWN CR!


    first of all, thank you Jax for sticking up! secondly, in response to Bless You, i really appreciate your kind words, however, i wanted to make known that anxiety is really a universal problem. some have it more than others, and i’m not so sure that its ‘serious’…plus, i think it would be a lot easier for a boy-since it is a boy’s market out there, but what about a girl?


    Bgebentched, I think that even though it is a boy’s market, whomever the person is with this “issue” (boy or girl) is not forced to be matched with someone with their own “issue”. They dont have to be placed in the “problem” category as some might automatically place them. They just have to be aware that the future spouse might not meet all their criteria (looks,age, background, yichus ect). They need someone who will understand their issue, help them conquer it to the best of their ability and work towards making the marriage successful and happy. They dont need the “top bochur” “top seminary girl” (what does that mean anyways?) to be able to have a happy marriage.

    Anxiety is pretty widespread, so yasher koach for getting the help you need. I hope other people follow in your steps to be able to have a healthier life. If the one with the anxiety problem has it quite seriously, I would advise them to wait for them to get a better grasp of their problem before seeking marriage. On the other hand, if it is a minor anxiety that strikes only during finals/midterm time but does not affect their day to day life, then they might be better keeping a more open mind about their future spouse. Maybe, as ‘bless you’ said, an older person who has the maturity needed.


    I recently dated a guy who let me know on the first date that he has been and is in therapy for abuse that occurred when he was a child. It didn’t work out between us, but not because of that; I admire his honesty for telling me as well as his strength in seeking help and coping. Therapy rebuilt his character, confidence, and maturity.

    Obviously, he didn’t have to tell me that soon. However, it would give me pause if I started to get serious with someone and he had never mentioned going for serious, long-term therapy. I would never reject someone just for being in therapy, but for something that’s such a big part of someone’s life, I would be very puzzled as to why he had never mentioned it. Sadly, those who are ashamed of going to therapy are probably the ones who need it most.


    Bgebenched- there may be some people who might freak out and reject you for it without even thinking it through, but then again, would you really want to marry someone who jumps to conclusions like that?

    I know that clinical anxiety (as opposed to the anxiety that anyone in a stressful situation would feel) is hard to deal with; and yes, if someone thought about it, and decided they couldn’t handle living with it forever, and decide not to date you that is fine; but if you emphasize that you have it mostly under control (with medication, continuing therapy etc) that will make people a lot calmer and more accepting about the situation. If you can show that you have the condition under control, most shidduchim should be ok with that.

    My husband has ADHD, and I was informed very early. Because he demonstrated that he has it under control through medication, and he does what he needs to do to keep his condition from interfering with his daily life, I felt perfectly comfortable going ahead.

    May Hashem allow your treatments to be successful, and may he help you to find a caring, sensitive spouse very soon!


    Let us be honest with ourselves. IF someone admits going to therapy, no matter how small an issue it was for or how far in the past it was, many many otherwise perfectly normal people WILL shun that person because of the fear of the unknown. That is a fact. The potential shidduch WILL be signifigantly reduced for such person.

    Considering the above, why is it any shock that people don’t mention this, however it is justified. (It is minor; its like a toothache/headache/strep/etc.) And it may well be justified. Does the fact that you saw a physical health doctor any more or less necessary to mention to a shidduch (before first date; before serious; before engagement; or whatever point) than the fact that you saw a mental health doctor? Both types of doctor visits can be for a minot issue and may legitimately be no big deal to mention.


    I dont agree with the thought that people shun others or immediately without realizing the true extent of the situation. People should realize that just because one person has a more concrete issue, it doesnt make them any less of a person. I think it is pretty ok to generalize that everyone has some sort of issue, many that are not definable or clear from the outset. On the other hand, I think there is a real reason why some people might automatically say no to the shidduch and that is because with psychological issues, it is a more fluid diagnosis and prognosis. When it comes to a physical ailment, there is a clearer understanding of the issue and the way it may affect the marriage. For example, most of the population knows that with diabetes comes an altered diet, exercise, and medication but it is controllable. With psychological problems, the definition can go to either extreme, from being minor and under control until the point where the person’s problem controls their life.


    havesome: I agree people don’t, in general, shun people who utilized a mental health proffessional. But for purposes of marrying that person other considerations are in play that are not regarding general friendships, and many many of those same people will shun such a potential shidduch, just by hearing that fact. It may or may not be right or wrong. But it is a fact.

    As a result, unfortunately, many people will not go to therapy in the first place. This way they “don’t know, don’t tell” about any potential mental health issues for shidduchim. This, however sad, is a fact. So if we insist everyone must always under all circumstances tell, however minor, any mental health doctor visits, the obvious result will be many people will not seek treatment for existing mental health issues so that they have nothing to tell about.

    The clear result will be that the same person will now marry someone untreated for their mental health issue UNTREATED, rather than seek treatment quietly and just not mention it (in which case s/he’ll would have gotten married with the same issue, but it at least being medically treated.) Which is the lesser of the two evils?


    We need to find out if people have serious mental issues in order to stop tragedies from happening in our community where couples find out too late and divorce is on the rise because of mental issues. Maybe a mental health evaluation, by a certified, unbiased board of mental health before people go out on a shidduch is necessary. We do Dor Yeshorim to test about physical genetics, what about mental? I am being serious here. We have a problem, a catch-22. We want our kids to get the best shidduch, so we dont let them seek appropriate health specialists. We want them to be healthy (mentally or physically) so they go to seek the care they need. We dont want our kids to marry someone with a problem but we dont want others to find out about our own. We are afraid that we wont get a shidduch because of mental issues but we dont want to marry someone with them. We are stuck in a rut…


    i totally agree with havesomeseichel! i’m getting kinda ‘anxious’ now just thinking about the shidduchim scene!


    I know of a few couples that did not reveal their mental issues and of course resulted in divorce. SO by not revealing the issue, I don’t see any portection. One needs to plan for the future when withholding such vital info.


    Phyllis- well said! I know of a few cases myself, one that was quite tragic and destroyed the family (of the mentally-stable child)…


    Rav Moshe said (medical) issues revealed on third date.


    cherrybim- does this include psychological? to what extent (i mean how serious of an illness)? i guess that depends on how many dates they plan to have before the lechaim. If its the type where if they go out for 3 and that means its serious, then shouldnt it be done sooner? we dont want either side to be put out on a limb, thinking they have met “the perfect one for them” and then find out they have a serious medical or psychological issue that would interfere with the marriage and if they knew earlier they wouldnt have agreed to go out on another date.


    I don’t believe there is any reason to differentiate between physical and mental ailments. If either is serious they should be mentioned, if not serious perhaps not.


    Helpful- I disagree with your statement. Any sort of mental ailment should be told to the prospective side. It just does not have to be on the first date (or before). If this is a concern of yours or someone you know, they should consult a competent Rav about when to tell the other side. Many tragedies occur when mental illnesses are kept hidden. Marital strains and problems, divorces ect. Dont be selfish and only think about the ill person. What about the future spouse, their family, and any future kids that may be born to the family? If it is genetic (many are), imagine finding out after an ill child is diagnosed! Imagine the children growing up in a house where one of the parents are mentally ill??? Living like this requires a special type of person, one who knows what they are getting themselves into when becoming engaged to an ill person.


    I heard of someone who has seizures is that genetic?


    Certain types of epilepsy run in families. So a person with epilepsy would be more likely to have a child with epilepsy, but the risk is still very small.


    certain medical issues arent genetic, like spina bifida. That one isnt at all, to scientists best knowledge.

    There are psychological issues that are: bipolar, schizophrenia

    anyone have any others?

    NY Mom

    One that is more common in the frum community is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. I think that one is “familial”.

    Also, keep in mind that all psychological issues have levels of severity. A girl/boy/man/woman should be judged on their merits as a person, not just dismissed out of hand if they have a problem which is not their fault. Especially if they are working on that problem. Who of us can claim that we have no problems? No one. And therefore we shouldn’t rush to judgment on others without looking into individual circumstances.


    NY Mom- No one should be judged based on disability but it still means that people need to say “it like it is”. If it is on the severe end, it should be told to the family as such. severity is hard to define so it can lead to problems. if they are working on their issues, like you say, then they should not be “on the shidduch market” until it is under control because it is unfair to the future family.

    NY Mom

    I agree with you. If a person has a severe problem which is not under control they should not yet be looking for a spouse. However, my point is that shidduchim is so crazy these days. People “pasul” a shidduch for all kinds of reasons, without looking at the individual or their specific circumstances.

    If the parents are divorced- no good. If they have a down syndrome sibling – not for us. If they go to a certain school – I don’t think so. The father is a ger – that’s not for our family. What happened to looking at each person individually? Do the people in the above circumstances not deserve to get married?

    In this case, if a person has a diagnosis, takes medication, goes to therapy, and their therapist agrees that they could take the step to date, doesn’t that person deserve a chance?

    I’m saying that the above facts which don’t sound so wonderful at face value, may not even be an issue when you know the person. This might an inconsequential fact about their life that doesn’t affect their ability to be a good spouse. Maybe it does. But I don’t think people should be summarily dismissed just because something like that comes to light.

    Hey, I have been involved in a potential shidduch where the guy was everything the girl wanted, but he had a beard and she didn’t want a guy with a beard, so she said “no” out of hand! We all need to get a grip and “have some seichel”!


    it’s not only the boy or girl who have to be more open- it’s the PARENTS TOO!!

    The frum community (across the board) has divorces, illness unfortunately but that’s a fact- BTW so do we all whether we are open about it or not… no one is completely ideal or perfect we all have our things. Think about it. Name me one family thats ideal in todays shidduch standards???? I can’t possibly think of anyone!

    Relatives, Neighbors or Friends who seemingly look ideal all have something it might not be as obvious and well known as an illness or divorce!

    A person should be judged based on their own qualities because middos wise they might even be better then the future mother in law ….who is nit picking on the sibling while her own relative had something wrong and just no one knew about it!


    NY Mom- I agree that all families need to havesomeseichel, but I am a little biased cuz I know cases where info wasnt told… But, as I said before, if the person has it under control, is taking their medication regularly and is seeing a doctor/therapist regularly and they think the person is stable enough- fine and date them. I would like nothing less than to see everyone finding their beshert. I just want everyone to tell the truth and the whole truth. The boy has OCD? The girl is ADHD? Even worse scenarios I am ok with but it should be dealt with on a case by case basis. Be truthful and tell before the engagement. It doesnt have to be the first thing out of the mouth but it should be told and to the extent that it pertains to others.


    shaidel- you are right that people are crazy about what they require in a future spouse. The joke goes that a shadchan asks a guy (can be reversed…just how I was told the joke): “what do you want in a wife?” The boy starts listing: “tall-about 5″4, no bigger than a size 4, from yichus and money but not haughty or self centered about it. Her brothers all went to YESHIVA ABCDE. hmm, I would like her to be from Seminary GHIJK or LMNOP and have been head of chessed in high school. Baalas Middos. Smart girl…..”

    Shadchan responds: “What is her name so I can introduce you to her? you seem to have her all picked out”

    We are so picky and want them to have no skeletons in the closet, but doesnt everyone have something? We all have A relative that doesnt meet our standards. Unfortunately we all have someone in the family, that had some illness, divorce or some other tzarra…

    Just because a family isnt perfect, doesnt mean that you should not go out with them. At least then you know what you are getting into and you know what to research. Other families hide it and then… WHAM! It hits you like a sack of potatoes! ok, a little melodramatic but you get the idea. No idea and it can be the one thing that you wouldnt have agreed to. Anything from genetics to past lives to……Its time we realize that people are human and just like we would want them to ignore or minimize our problems, we should look into the major ones but not weigh heavily non-major issues.

    NY Mom

    Shaindel – I completely agree with you.

    And Seichel – You are right that any major problem or issue should be disclosed before the engagement.

    Just one more point to think about: If someone has a problem like a sibling who is disabled or went through some type of misfortune and has made it through as a well- adjusted baal middos, it should be considered a tremendous plus! Not a negative. Think about it. Life is all about dealing with difficulties. If a person has never had to face adversity in their lives, you never know how they will handle it when problems come up (I say WHEN not if).

    If the girl or boy has dealt with problems, and has come through as a strong person who has emunah, learns Torah, helps others, is sensitive to another’s problems, etc., that should be considered a real find!


    NY MOM- well said re: siblings! A person who is able to manage living with a sibling who has problems (disabled, ill ect) is a true baal/as middos as they have been tested and found to be great, rather than just good (and never had a test)- they may be lucky that they werent tested but life is about tests, isnt it? Although it should still be told (if genetic components) early on, it should be with a certain level of respect that they have been able to get this far with all of life’s tests. They can be tested later on in life and you will have an inkling now how they will deal with it.

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