Dr Judith Guedalia

'I Am My Brother's Keeper'
This is not our first appointment - he has been here before. We are writing this together, Jeff (*not his real name) and I.  He was referred to me with a possible neuropsychological problem which keeps him from actualizing his full potential.  Some of what has been said about him: "He's a wonderful child"; "He can't get along with authority"; "He's well meaning with a heart of gold"; "He's chutzpadik to his parents and teachers"; "He's self destructive"; "Oppositional Defiant Disorder, but not exactly."
Being Too Frightened To Stop Running: Another Case From The Neuropsychologists Journal

Have you ever felt these signs when in acute stress?

  • Heart beating out-of-control
  • Flushing and/or paling of our face
  • Butterflies in our stomach
  • Sometimes, in dire situations release of our sphincters
  • Loss of hearing - "Everything became quiet'
  • Uncontrollably Shaking
Ever-Ready Battery
There is an advertisement for Eveready© batteries in which a group of battery-driven toy bunnies jump around until there is only one left standing - the one powered by Eveready© batteries.  Chaim K.'s life since he was run-over by a car, nine years ago (Yes, this past Ta'anit Esther it was nine years!), has been fraught with uphill battles that most armies could not, and would not have fought.  Fully paralyzed except for his face (he is a quadriplegic on a respirator), Chaim has sat in his motorized wheelchair and watched the world move on.  Painfully he relates that he has siblings who don't remember when he was an "upstanding" and fully functional teen and young adult.

       I would be lying if I said I was not excited/nervous/curious/anxious/happy/worried. I was all of these things from the moment I was told about our elementary school's 50th reunion.  These are pretty much universal emotions that come to play before annual family reunions or major get-togethers - like weddings and holidays - Pesach for example.  There is so much history, so many expectations and old habits or rituals and joyful or annoying memories.   And let's not forget, haunting family pathology! 

I've Got To Hand It To You": Pre-Operative Intervention from a Neuropsychologist's Journal
A recent article in the Journal of Medical Genetics brought Leah (not her real name) to mind.  Though it was almost eight years ago, I remember it as if it were yesterday. 
Nursing a Grudge
Nefesh International is now celebrating its bar mitzvah.  Begun, 13 years ago in someone's living room, its 13th annual conference will be held December 31st-January 3rd, 2010, at The Hyatt Regency Long Island, Hauppauge, N.Y*.  Thirteen years of bringing Orthodox Mental Health Professionals together to learn with each other and from one another. 
The Case of the Soldier Who Couldn't Whisper
They were afraid, afraid for him and afraid for themselves.  He, let's call him Lochesh (the Hebrew word for whisper) could not whisper.  When they are out on dangerous missions, their faces painted in camouflage colors, their uniforms and helmets "adorned" with branches, their life is dependent on counting on each other. Having among them a soldier-in-arms who couldn't whisper was life threatening. 
Setting Sail on the Sea of Life
Dr. Judith Guedalia and Chaim K.© 2009
Chaim K. rolls into the office with a very focused look this week.  After close to three and a half years of almost weekly sessions we "read" each other quite well!  
When Pigs Fly - Something Out of the Ordinary: Chaim K.'s Perspective on Days of Awe and the Swine Flu

By Dr. Judith Guedalia and Chaim K.

           The Days of Awe are upon us, a time of introspection and renewal. Time reviewed and time projected. When Chaim K. came into my office during the month of Elul, the same month that school reconvened, we began a new "semester" as well.  To Chaim though, every day, hour, minute, second and nanosecond are the same.  Since being hit by a car when he was 14-years-old, this now 23-year-old man, has been wheelchair bound, a quadriplegic on a respirator. 
Depression And Help From Our Friends Shaul, King David, Iyov and others...

By Dr. Judith Guedalia and Jenny S.



·         "I'm so depressed I gained five pounds over the last holiday!"

·         "The economic situation struck so hard, I'm down to cleaning help just once a week. I'm feeling really depressed."

·         "My so-called boyfriend has not called me in over a week, I'm really depressed."

·         "Recession is when your friend loses his job; Depression is when you lose yours."

·         "Did you see that woman shopping, it's not for me to say, but doesn't she look like she's in a depression?"

Tags: Braille | Depressed Depression | Jenny S. | Jewish Press | Patience has Limits | Talking Therapy | Vertigo

On Community Service: Kohanim And Cities Of Refuge
On a recent Shabbat my grandson commented on how quickly I walked "considering " - for the sake of his present and future birthday gifts from me, I felt sure he was referring to my height-challenged state; he being close to six feet tall and my standing at a mere 5 feet 2 inches (in shoes). 

Tags: Community Services | Jewish Press | Kohanim | Leviim

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