Mormons and Mental Illness: The Pain of Depression

Hannah submitted this guest post on her struggle with depression. It illustrates the pain and desperation that seems to accompany mental illness, and reminds us of the dark cloud of misery many people live under. A poem by Sarebear follows. Again, please: anyone suffering out there need not suffer alone.

I am a woman in my early twenties and have been diagnosed with both major depression and general anxiety disorder. I have been on and off of medication and in and out of counseling.

Sometimes I feel nothing; I do not feel sad or depressed, just a bleak nothing. If anyone has ever lived near a wildfire where the sky filled with ash clouds and rained ash, it is something like that. Everything turns sluggish and grey. I do not feel motivated to get out of bed and do not care what happens to me. I do not care about my work or my friends or my family. I do not want to do anything–nothing seems appealing. It is hard to eat. Sleep is a relief, so at times I will sleep all day. It can seem as though not existing is preferable to such a world of grey and ash.

God is hard to think about at all, as it seems that nothing glorious or great or good could exist at all. If I do think of Him, he seems so far away…as though a vast, bleak wasteland separated me from Him. It is (nearly always) impossible to feel the Spirit–the shafts of joy and peace and love do not pierce the clouds of grey ash.

Sometimes it feels like despair. It feels as if something heavy is dragging me down, I am sinking further and further and no matter how hard I fight, I am still drowning. It feels as though my life is doomed and that I am beyond the power of God’s love and Christ’s Atonement. I feel as though no matter how good I try to be, how hard I pray, no matter what good times I may have had, that the bad will always be there as my final destination. Times like this, the emotions are overwhelming and very present. I might cry for most hours in the day. I might cry so hard I throw up or my nose bleeds.

Sometimes there is a lot of self-hatred. I have tried to kill myself. It is hard to talk about this now, because I feel removed from the self I am when I get to that point, but there is this sense that nothing matters, certainly not an individual life, that I am not fit for the kingdom anyway, and that even a life in the Telestial Kingdom would be infinitely better than suffering on Earth. (I am noting with interest as I type this, how so many ideas I’ve had when depressed get expressed in religious ideas and language.)

Sometimes death seems as though it would be a relief and a release from suffering and that God would be forgiving. I have prayed for God to take away my life, to relieve me of the burden of being alive. I have prayed to God to forgive me for such sinful and weak thoughts. I have prayed for the strength, through Christ’s Atonement, to overcome weakness.

I do not remember when I first started feeling depressed, but I remember that when I was about 14, I felt as though it was a problem that had been with me for years. It is difficult to determine, because when I am in the throes of depression, it feels as though that is how I have always felt and how I will always feel. From a very early age, though, I felt very intense negative feelings. So much so that I wrote my first suicide notes at the age of seven.

I rarely talk about my experiences to members of the Church (except for friends I have who have also struggled with mental illness–somehow birds of a feather flock together) and have never spoken to a Bishop about them. This is because I am afraid that people would not understand. I am afraid people will assume that I have brought this upon myself through sin. I have heard so many people say things like, “If you are faithful, you will be happy,” or “If you pray, you can be healed,” and I am not doubting that this can be the case for some people, but it has not yet worked for me.

I do not believe it is because I have been unfaithful or that I have removed myself from the scope of God’s mercy and love through sin. It is hard enough to deal with this without feeling judgment and misunderstanding from other people. I read Elder Alexander Morrison’s book, “Valley of Sorrow: A Layman’s Guide to Mental Illness,” and was so grateful that finally someone in the Church had said something that made me feel as though it wasn’t my fault that I am the way I am. I recommend the book.

I used to feel so terrible, so worthless, because I couldn’t pray my depression away. I would pray and pray to God to please just let me be happy, to let me feel some of His love and His light [a dear friend of mine left the Church after struggling with depression for years because he never received answers to his prayers for mercy and peace]. When nothing would happen I would start to search through all my actions and thoughts to see where the sin was. Since I am imperfect, I would always be able to find something, so I blamed my depression on that. This led to a lot of self-hatred that I can only imagine furthered the problem. It took me a long time to realize that I was dealing with something beyond the negative effects of minor sins (I do not believe that months of misery are the natural consequences of fibbing to a parent or thinking mean thoughts about a classmate).

It was hard to believe that I had this part of who I was, the part that (to a large degree) determined what I thought and felt, that was so negative and so beyond my control. It is hard to reconcile my view of God’s plan for me (and for his children) with this struggle. It is hard to pray to feel God’s love, to pray for God to heal me, to pray for peace or release or mercy and to not feel anything as an answer. I am grateful that I have been able to feel answers at times (even if only rarely), because I doubt I would be strong enough to keep a testimony otherwise.

It was (and is) very shameful for me to know that I was struggling with a mental illness. Growing up as a part of a Church that asked for its members to strive for perfection, I felt deeply flawed. I felt as though I were a failure, and that being mentally ill made me a disappointment to my family and to my God. This has made it extremely difficult to turn to either my family or my God with this particular problem, because I feel so ashamed of myself for not being “normal” or “whole.” For not being able to meet the demands of life. I feel ungrateful and unworthy. I still see my depression (and some of its effects, such as attempted suicide) as sinful. I don’t know how to talk about something that feels so far from the Gospel with people who are a part of the Church. Furthermore, I feel like one way to describe depression is an inability to feel the Spirit (or to feel love or peace). Though I believe that the Spirit brings us joy and comfort, I think that depression (and other mental illnesses) act as a block against or minimization of the effects of the Spirit. It is very isolating and lonely to be cut off from this.

One last thing I wanted to add is that, though therapy and/or medication can be helpful, there are no cures for these diseases. Relapse rates are high, medications can become ineffective (and many have undesirable side-effects…that’s a whole other story there!), therapy can be ineffective. Some people are lucky and find the right treatment or combination of treatments and it works for them for life, some find something that works for a while and then ceases to, some never find anything that works. I hesitate to give advice, but I guess my suggestion would to be to keep shopping around until something works.

I believe that there is hope and room for improvement on how mental illnesses are addressed in society as a whole and particularly within the LDS community. As we reach out to people with more understanding, love, and compassion, I think that great strides can be made in treatment and facilitation for those with mental illness.

hear me (by Sarebear)
Do you hear my silent cries?
Are you listening for them?
Do you see the emptiness inside
where anger howls and batters away
inside me where pain is all
and frustration threatens to drown
all that I am and drain me away?
Do you see my dread to reveal too much
of who I am lest you recoil
from my ugliness that I fear
you will see inside me?
Please see some spark in me worth saving,
that I might have an anchor
in the midst of a churning,
storm-tossed sea, helpless
against the onslaught of fear
that looms and threatens to devour
my identity and my choices
of who I want to be.
As I try to withstand the
hurricane-force winds that shatter,
and scatter the shards of my
pain-wracked soul beyond my
trembling reach, please hear my
silent, desperate plea for succor
in my time of need and hopeless hoping
that perhaps someone may
nurture my anguished spirit and
hold my fragile heart in careful,
tender hands, with much Love and
Patience to endure me through
my trials and rejoice with me
as I discover precious eternal
Truths.

Comments

  1. Wow. You have expressed so much of my experience. Especially this week, as I have crashed HARD. And I do not want to exist. I wish that I did not. (I had a good talk on the phone yesterday with my psychologist, though).

    The poem is by me; I had forgotten to include in the email with it that Sara JPF = sarebear of http://www.piebolar.blogspot.com.

    I wrote the poem in 1993. It is a plea, that remains unanswered. And, rejected . . . .

    I have had some feedback in recent years that indicate it really helps others to see a glimpse of what it can be like, to exist this way.

    IT SUCKS. Pardon my language. Wait, don’t. Because it is truth.

    Hannah, if you ever need to talk, feel free to email me at the address listed in my profile on my blog I mention above.

    Ronan, thanks for including my poem with her post; hers is much better written than the thoughts I rambled on with beneath the poem.

    Here is a brief writing where I describe the greyness of depression: Blog post from 9/30/05:

    Very depressed. The grey blah-ness blankets everything like a chill fog, smothering any bits of brightness or interest in the landscape of my life.

    The lead-weight of lethargy has settled in with the fog, feeling as though I am Jacob Marley from the Christmas Carol; encumbered by chains wrapped around me that no one else can see, the weight of which saps every joy and motivation from my being. Any spark of enthusiasm or direction quickly gutters out within the chill of this damp, pervasive fog.

    The purposeless emptiness and listlessness of untethered emotional wandering within the bleakness of surrounding sameness saps the energy and vibrancy from my soul.

    Incalculable exhaustion of the heart precedes and follows most every person, thing and event which happens to enter by misfortune the scattered and shattered focus of my fog-bound existence.

    Thank you Hannah, for your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. You have helped me know that I am not alone, although in my heart I still feel so, right now. Pit of Doom level of Alone, as I call it sometimes.

    And thank you again, BCC, for this series. I’ll be sending some family this way to read this post in particular; Hannah so well-expressed, and vividly painted the experience of this; her post conveys so much that I believe can be helpful to help others understand.

    I don’t know if admin can add (sarebear) after the Sara JPF, since I am known by that around the ‘naccle, but Sara being my name and the rest my further initials.

  2. Anon for this thread says:

    Thanks again, BCC for this series. Thank you, too, Hannah and Sarebear for sharing your experiences. I had just started reading the poem when I got a call from my wife who is checking herself into a hospital that specializes in trauma to help her get through another bad bout of her illness. I had taken her there last weekend, but she had a medical emergency that took her from that hospital to a “normal” one. We have learned that she has a medical condition that will require constant monitoring and medication, just as her mental condition requires constant monitoring and medication.

    She was able to have a family friend give her a blessing shortly after she was admitted from the ER. Part of it told her that we would eventually understand the why for this period of our life. That gives some comfort.

    With the medical scare on top of the emotional one (her suicidal-level depression), it is starting to affect me too. She is hundreds of miles from “home” where we live, and I am even farther away from any of my friends or family. But I am lucky in that I know my current depression is situational, and that I will soon be out of its grip. I don’t yet see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I know it is there. I am proud of her, and those of you who cope with depression on a continuing basis. It feels so easy to quit, yet you find ways to go on.

  3. Thank-you Hannah, and God bless. Sarebear, that’s a lovely (if bleak) poem. I hope you have your answers one day.

  4. Prayers for you and your family too, anon.

  5. Anon, my prayers and thoughts are with you and your wife. I hope she gets the best of care, and everything she needs, and that you do, too.

    Thank you both for the kind words. My poem is true, although there are notes of hope. And I have learned some of those hard, eternal truths. It is more a poem pleading for kindness, understanding, compassion, and for a human soul to reach out to me and care, and listen, and be supportive and patient and accepting.

    Which, has, in part, been filled by the kindness of fellow ‘nacclers. But has, in large part, this plea, been unheard, and rejected even. But, that is my problem to deal with.

    It IS bleak, but it also has learning, and some good things at the end. Although one can always hope for connection with more people who are kind and patient and understanding. And willing to interact with me, on any level.

    Thank you.

  6. Anon for this thread says:

    Thanks for the kind words. My wife is getting excellent psychiatric care–the facility is one of the best in the country for her diagnosis, and the hospital that treated her medical condition is also one of the finest research hospitals in the country. I really believe that part of the reason for her being hospitalized for her depression now was so she could get the medical care she needed. This trip saved her life in more ways than one. That belief is part of why I know my depression will break soon.

    Again, this series has been a godsend. I have no local connections, so like Sarebear, the Bloggernacle has been my support community. I’m alone at the computer, but I know I am not alone in the world. You have my prayers, too.

  7. Hannah, that is a beautifully description of depression. Although I was thinking “am I sick to be thinking a description of depression is beautiful?” But you describe my moods to a “t” when I get like that. Been there.

    Anon, you’ve given me courage by your sharing, as well. I’m pretty open about what I’m experiencing, but lately I’ve been way up and down in my moods and the other day I thought about going to a hospital. It didn’t seem to have the same negative feel to me, almost a reasonable option.

    Sarebear, I think they need people like us in the church, because how will all those silent people like Hannah who are suffering alone get the strength to reach out? If we don’t risk looking foolish, no one will, and no one will get better.

  8. Anon for this thread says:

    annegb,

    Don’t be afraid of the hospital. My wife has had excellent care in every one she has been in. My only caution is to be sure they have a program that can help you. Part of why I pushed the insurance company so hard to get my wife to the hospital where she is now is that they specialize in her diagnosis. She was getting excellent care where she was before, but were out of their depth for her specific issues. Any longer there, and she would have just been warehoused. Kind, concerned, and caring, but warehoused just the same.

    It also made a world of difference that the bishop visited her twice. We haven’t had that kind of support from the church for years.

  9. I’m not afraid of the hospital, we have good hospitals here, I’m afraid, and this is pathetic, of the shame, the embarrassment of losing my marbles. You know? Honestly, here I was really on the brink and I was more scared of what people would think than of what I might do should I cross the line. God got me through that day, no lie. I had a deeply spiritual experience. But the very next day, I got in a small argument with my husband and I took my purse and a nightgown and I boogied.I didn’t even know where I was going. I almost went to the airport. I ended up staying at a motel all night and just going to bed early with a butterfinger for dinner. I’d left my husband a note saying I’d be back the next day (although I wasn’t sure I would) and he didn’t find it till one in the morning and he was worried sick. He’d had a bad day himself, then he came home and had no clue where I was (sobbing in the motel downtown, crunching butterfingers, and flipping channels while reading The National Enquirer).

    I feel just awful about the whole thing. I just tapped into a “flight” mode.

    The next day I called a friend who is a hero to me and I told her I thought I’d lost my mind and she said, “oh, we all do that. I went clear to Salt Lake once.” And then I remember how a lady in our ward whose husband was in the highway patrol had a meltdown at her kids one day and she took off in her car and the kids called the HP and they all went to look for her and found her speeding down (not speeding, you know, driving)the interstate and pulled her over. Can you imagine the embarrassment? She laughs about it, but I can relate to how she was feeling, honestly. I totally empathize with The Runaway Bride now. Hell, that could have been me. And I would be on CNN and you guys could say, “hey, I know that woman from the blog. She is a little nuts.

    One thing I do is mask my feelings with humor. Most people have no idea I have such deep feelings of anguish and despair–my close friends do, but basically, I will pop off an “I’m going to go slit my wrists now” or “hey, I could go postal on you any minute” and laugh and they are clueless.

    I’m thinking, I’ve been brave about the alcohol thing, I’m going to be more brave about feeling awful emotionally.

    My friends might be thinking, “you haven’t been letting it all hang out?” and moving :)

    Didn’t mean to bare my soul, but menopause is a bitch, I must say.

  10. Anon for this thread says:

    annegb,

    Take it from me, MPD is not all it’s cracked up to be. On our drive to the hospital last week, several of my wife’s alters came out and asked where we were going, and why. None of them knew that this Christmas, which is a hard time anyway, was even harder because their Dad died this spring (their Mom died the year before). I had that conversation four or five times, and it didn’t get any easier, no matter how many times I told it. It gets kind of confusing talking about my wife both as “she” and as “they.” It’s amazing the kind of things a person can get used to.

  11. Hannah, thanks for the careful description of how depression feels. I think one of the things that is hard for people who have never had depression to understand is that it isn’t really much like normal sadness at all. That’s the only thing they can relate it too, and they think it’s like being sad, only worse. But that ashiness and the heaviness is so different from being sad. I’ve occasionally described trying to function with depression as like walking through fog that’s so thick it pushes back, like water in a swimming pool. It is just so hard to do anything. Sometimes I lie in my bed and *work* at breathing–feels like there is some huge leaden weight on my chest that I have to push up every time I need air.

    I am (so far) one of the lucky ones for whom meds work pretty well. But it still stinks, and it’s infuriating to realize it’s a life sentence. The only way I can manage the theological questions is to think of it as a disease like any other that results from existing in a fallen world, and from laws of nature that God is bound to work within. If I hope for miraculous intervention, I just can’t deal with the disappointment.

    Anyway, I’m glad you wrote this. And Sarebear, I love your poem and also your comments here and elsewhere in the bloggernacle.

  12. This might be not so proper coming from me, but what can people DO to help with the pain and isolation of depression? Or is there going to be a future post in the series on that?

  13. Thanks Kristine, I appreciate that. I hope my poem conveys in some small way what it can be like, and how isolating and scary it can feel.

  14. The Shadow says:

    I sympathize with you to some degree, Anon. It’s not easy being married to someone with a mental illness. watching their moods change from hour to hour, day to day, week to week, etc. and knowing that there realy isn’t a lot you can do to help, or make things easier or better.

    when her mood changes, it effects me, even if I don’t always show it. when she falls into the pit of dispair, sometimes I fall right along with her, though not quite as far as she does.

    what’s realy difficult is not haveing someone to talk to about it. it’s not something you can share with the guys at work, for fear they will start makeing jokes about it, or worse. so far, I’ve just kept things bottled up inside.. keeping the pain and sadness caged up and out of the way. I’ve never been good at expressing my feelings, so I realy don’t know what else to do.

    thank you all so much for being supportive of people like hanna and sarebear (love you sare). they realy need it.

    The Shadow

  15. I was so pleased and surprised to see you here, Shadow (my husband).

    In many ways it is more difficult for you than for me . . . you do so much to take care of me. Because I eat little to nothing if he doesn’t take care of me, often. Just that alone is onerous, let alone all the laundry and dishes and stuff. And that’s not even all the emotional stuff. You do need someone to talk to about it. You tell me a little, but I know you worry about making me panic or mor depressed or stuff. You can tell me as much as you can, but I understand that you need someone else to talk to, especially guys.

    I wish I could take care of YOU. I wish so much, because you deserve so much.

    You are a Good Man, in capital letters.

    Post whatever you like, and don’t worry about me seeing it. You need to express what it is like for you.

    I love you.

  16. I submitted this a while ago and so was surprised to see it up here today! Thanks to all the responses. I think that the Church is making strides in reaching out to those who deal with mental illness. I think it’s part of a shifting of ideas in society as a whole–as more information about the brain is gathered, it is harder to write off those who suffer from depression or other mental illnesses.

  17. Anon for this thread says:

    Shadow,
    The best advice I was given was from a counselor for LDS Social Services about 15 years ago. He told me that I couldn’t help my wife unless I was in a better place than she was, and the best way to do that was to keep my life as normal as possible. Some people think that I am a little cold sometimes, but if I stop living when she does, it doesn’t do either one of us any good. Letting her moods control me can make things worse, too–she blames herself for my bad mood, while spirals her down even further.

  18. Sarebear, Hannah, anon wife, I think we are like butterflies flitting all over, bringing color into our husbands’ lives, along with the garbage. My husband is very solid, big and strong, and unwavering in his love for me. I am all over the planet.

    I’ve wondered why he doesn’t leave me for a more stable woman, but he says I interest and intrigue him. I think he would be bored with another woman. Honestly. He knows there are lines I would never cross.

    Although he jokes that the other night when I had my meltdown, he called the police and asked if there were any naked women wandering around Wal-Mart.

  19. Hannah, your post almost sounds like it could have been written by my wife. Especially this part: “. . . when I am in the throes of depression, it feels as though that is how I have always felt and how I will always feel.” It’s so hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel sometimes.

    One thing your post brought to mind was the fact that all of us have times when prayer doesn’t seem to work, when God seems silent, when we can’t seem to break out of a funk. I think this is an inevitable struggle that every person who seeks to live by the Spirit must deal with. The big difference with depression is that the funks are more than just funks. They can be devastating.

    You touch on another thing that I’ve thought about and that The Shadow mentined, which is the fear of stigmatization that often keeps us from seeking support. It’s true that most people that don’t have a lot of experience with mental illness simply don’t understand. I wonder if we could help change people’s perceptions if more of us were open about our experiences. It’s very hard, though, to go out on that limb. I haven’t directed any of my family to my previous post here at BCC about my experience as the husband of someone who struggles with depression and anxiety for fear that they won’t understand or that they’ll have a negative opinion of my wife knowing what she deals with. This is despite the fact that my family is really kind and supporting, that they already know that my wife has had mental health problems, and that it might be nice to be able to talk to them about it.

  20. Anon for this thread says:

    Tom,

    Thanks for your comment. You have made several that, if I didn’t know better, I would think that I had written. And, for reasons similar to yours, I don’t send people to BCC either. I don’t even give my name for fear of the stigma.

  21. I have to imagine that there are people who are reading this thread, as well as the rest of the series that BCC has done on mental illness, who have less personal experience with mental illness. These people are learning something. I am learning a lot too, even though I am coming from someone who personally has dealt with depression and anxiety (and who has countless friends who suffer from various mental illnesses). Hopefully we can all gain from the insight of others and help dispel a lot of the inaccurate information out there that bolsters the stigma of mental illness. It is a shame that so many people (myself included) are afraid of meeting with negative responses in a church that teaches us to bear one another’s burdens. I am grateful that BCC has allowed me the opportunity to open up and hear from so many supportive people.

  22. Yes. I’m a dork. I freely admit it. Ugh. Sorry.

    Thanks for that, Hannah. Me too.

  23. I updated the top of my post today. Please, enjoy it with Snickers, and $100 Grand on me. (I had to work chocolate in there somehow . . .) Thanks for puttin up with me.

  24. Steve McIntyre says:

    Wow, thank you for this post, Hannah.

    That is exactly what depression is like.

    The lights go dim, and all color fades from your life. Joy seems like this abstract emotion that you seem to recall experiencing before, but now seems totally remote.

    And the typical LDS perspective on happiness doesn’t exactly help things. As you touched upon, the black-and-white idea that righteousness = happiness and sin = despair is very prevalent. We’re a do-it-yourself people, so we sometimes have a difficult time comprehending the idea that one can’t help being depressed.

    Depression is so frequently associated with feelings of guilt, that even experienced Church leaders sometimes mistakenly conclude that God wouldn’t allow us to feel so guilty if we were in fact righteous (or “worthy”). When I spoke to my bishop about my unrelenting feelings of guilt and self-disgust, he took this stance. And while I recognize that he was trying to do his job, I can’t deny that the experience was absolutely devastating. Were it not for an understanding wife, it may have driven me from the Church. Not because I lost my faith, but because weekly Church meetings became a torturous experience. Every talk and every lesson seemed to underline my unworthiness, even when they were addressing sins and commandments I had never struggled with.

    Although I’ve never been totally suicidal, I’ve frequently looked at death as a welcome release from this mortal life, even if I was doomed to spend eternity in the Telestial Kingdom. I’ve even envied the dead.

    I still discuss my depression with relatively few people. Besides my wife, I don’t mention to anyone in my family. I tried talking about it with my parents, but they just didn’t understand. Their comments, while meant to help, underscored the thought that I was responsible for my depressed state.

    Anyway, I’ve got to run, but thanks for the post. It was honest and very insightful.

  25. The Shadow says:

    Thank you for your words of wisdom, Anon. I do try to keep things as normal as possible. It’s not easy at times, but it does help.

  26. Hannah, what a powerful and acurate articulation of what depression feels like. I have dealt with depression my entire adult life but am very new to the blogging world…I am encouraged to find people who want to share their very personal struggles in the hope of helping others. I especially agree with your comment that there is hope and room for improvement on how mental illnesses are addressed in society…and I believe it is going to have to come about through a grassroot effort so our collective voices can be heard. I too have decided to share my experiences in an effort to make that happen…please feel free to visit my blogsite at http://www.damnihatebeingdepressed.blogspot.com and any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Also, if anyone would like to make a guest post on my site I would love to hear your idea. Again thanks for sharing and God bless.

    -James

  27. She does describe it well, doesn’t she? So do you; I have read through all your blog posts thus far. I agree that being more open and braving the stigma that exists will hopefully help break down that stigma. I hope. As well as advocating for all sorts of mental illness issues, and for the ill themselves (ourselves?0.

  28. I remember once when my depression was at its lowest, someone in church handed out one of those “when you’re feeling the spirit” checklists. I was 100% on the “not feeling the spirit” side (depressed, negative outlook on life, etc.) I now realize that even though I did not think I could feel the spirit, I shudder to think how much more difficult those moments of utter aloneness and hopelessness would’ve been without the companionship of the Holy Ghost.

    Since that time I have been treated and have improved much. I now am not ashamed to speak freely about my depression and have even helped various missionaries in my ward who are struggling (fyi, my deepest moments of despair happened on my mission.) Being silent does no one any good. Thank you for speaking up, everyone. Now that I am on more solid ground, I am helping to pull my husband through depression. It can be a struggle, but you don’t give up on people you love, especially when you understand how they feel and have a glimpse of where they are coming from.

    (My depression analogy went like this: I always felt as though I was trapped in between two currents of water- one flowing in either direction. I was stagnant and could go nowhere. The water where I was stood still and I was powerless to break through into either of the swiftly moving currents.)

  29. I have had some struggles, at times, with minor depression. I eventually discovered you can’t pray it away because depression often prevents you from feeling the spirit. I think that is what I would want people at church to know.
    I still chuckle at going to the bishop at one point(with nothing to confess) and trying to confess anything, anything that might make the sick feeling inside go away.

  30. JKS,

    I understand that struggle. At times I’m struck, as with an epiphany, that there is no serious sin in my life.

  31. As a fellow sufferer and inactive mormon, I feel for your pain. I was lucky to find a combination of medications that works very well for me now (after 4 years of hell). I don’t know about you but much of my internal conflict comes from not being sure what to think is the truth as far as the LDS gospel is concerned. I have to settle on not knowing all things,especially the meaning of life. May god bless us both with peace of mind and a happy heart.
    Phil

Trackbacks

  1. [...] In Box 1, LDSLF is on a tear with a multi-part What Next series, posting the “faith versus doubt” struggles of several courageous bloggers.  Even deeper struggles appear in Box 2, where BCC’s “Mormons and Mental Illness” series includes two eye-opening guest posts, The Pain of Depression and Demonic Possession.  This is the real thing, folks: you won’t get material like this anywhere else in the Mormon publishing universe. [...]

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