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How to be a good student?

This is a lecture I gave to my club’s members:


Hello friends,


First of all, I want to ask your forgiveness if I use notes:

- Firstly, I don't really have the experience of public speaking, which requires time to learn.

- Secondly, it was very important to me that my message be clear, unambiguous, with examples, well organized, and that I don't forget anything I wanted to tell you, all this so that you get the most out of this talk, and all of this I could never have gotten if I had had to improvise a speech instead of writing it down as I did after thinking about it a lot, and seriously.


What do I want to talk to you about today? About the thing that unites us all here and that is: the treatment of mental illnesses. By the way: for many people, humanity is divided in two: on the one hand, "normal" people, and on the other, the mentally ill. We used to be called “crazy people” but changing the term didn't change anything fundamentally, the stigma remained. Why was it important for me to point this out? Because the people who divide humanity in this way believe that mental illness, unlike physical illness, is incurable. The height of the paradox is that among these people there are also many therapists. The problem is that patients themselves also tend to see the world this way. We say to ourselves: "If everyone considers us abnormal, then... it must be true!" The result is that too often we don't take the bull by the horns and we don't really deal with the disease. To use a term from psychology, the stigmatization of society causes patients to stigmatize themselves. So, if we don't cope, then what do we do? Well, everyone finds their “solution”. The smart ones among us turn to alcohol, tobacco and drugs in the hope that they will end their suffering. There are those who consider themselves more "serious" who think (very naively in my opinion) that if they take this or that medicine morning and evening, then their anxiety, depression, difficulty concentrating and insomnia will stop. . And finally, all are victims of all sorts of myths that others have constructed for them and which, therefore, they have constructed for themselves.


A personal example: I have been told for years that I was complexed, ridiculous, unsociable, dreamy, distracted, moody, not masculine, absent-minded, haughty, weak-willed, angry, lazy, naive, depressed, shy and what else do I know?! One moment! I'm not saying there wasn't some truth in that. Of course, there was! But I could have solved each of these problems if only there had been people around me who understood me and loved me. And you want to know who, in my entourage, misunderstood and disliked me the most? Well, that's… me!!! When I finally acquired a positive thought, a positive view of the world and of myself, self-confidence, self-love, humility, self-compassion, most, if not all, of the problems that I listed have been resolved.


Some of you may say to me, “Come on, Yossi! You are not now going to be one of those who lecture us with empty clichés about positive thinking, self-confidence and self-love! only those things don't always work, for me, for example, they don't work at all!


So, for those of you who think so, I will answer. " That is true! My answers are incomplete. I would still need a few good hours of conversations with you for you to understand these concepts in depth. Conversations that will include some big examples from life and some small examples from everyday life. What I can tell you for now are my personal development successes, which include overcoming the issues I listed earlier. Your common sense should tell you that if it worked for Yossi, there's no reason it shouldn't work for you! And that, I will prove it to you! »


I am going to tell you my story: in 2005, when I was hospitalized for two months in a hospital for the mentally ill, on the orders of the district psychiatrist, after an act on my part which had required, in addition to calling a ambulance, also the call to the police, I was admitted to the hospital by a psychiatrist and at the end of this interview I was diagnosed as schizoaffective i.e. suffering from a mixture bipolar disorder (depression if you prefer) and schizophrenia. He prescribed forced treatment for the rest of my life, incapacity for work (until then I worked as a software engineer) and 80% disability. Between us, I am indignant that the doctor on duty is authorized to make so many decisions fateful for a person after questioning them for only five minutes. Apart from that, I did nothing and they did nothing to me, absolutely nothing in the two months that I spent in the hospital, except that they deprived me of my freedom. As you can see, I do not spare the medical world my criticisms.


But I don't have only criticisms! I also have a lot of praise for the healthcare system in Israel. I learned that I could benefit from the rehabilitation law which was enacted in 2000. And indeed, I received a rehabilitation basket which gave me the following advantages:

- A personal trainer.

- A psychologist with whom I have been speaking to once a week since 2005.

- Help from associations.

- and above all, above all a social club like ours.

Why “above all”?

- Because I realized that I was not the only one in the world to be in mental distress, as I thought and as my loved ones and as the whole society led me to think.

- Because meeting other patients, sometimes in a much more serious situation than mine, was a great help to me: I was sensitive to their story, they helped me, and I at the same time, discovered that I also had the ability to help people, whereas before I felt like a useless and undesirable element in our world, to the point that I had thought several times of ending my life.

- The meeting with the therapists also brought me a lot. Not necessarily psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers. There are good ones, of course, but there are also those who think that because they have this or that degree, they know everything about the human soul. I was helped by many conversations with volunteers and care coordinators who had no diploma, but who were human beings first.

In 2005, after the event I told you about, I spent my first years like this:

- Without friends

- Doing nothing during the day except spending many hours in front of the television without understanding what was said on it.

- Exhausted, despite my inactivity.

- Suffering from all the problems I mentioned before.

- Depressed to the last degree!


However, today:

- I have many friends.

- I am busy non-stop from six o'clock, the time I get up, until 10:30 p.m. when I go to bed.

- I see my therapists.

- I go to my club.

- I read books.

- I surf the Internet, especially on social networks.

- I take part in two different courses to improve my English.

- I am learning spoken Arabic.

- I play chess online and I am a member of a chess club. I was also offered to participate in tournaments but I had to decline the offer, because there are still no more than 24 hours a day.

- I am learning to play the piano

- I participate in family reunions.

- I love life madly!!!


If that's not proof, then what is proof?!


I would now like to hear your comments and answer your questions.

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