Although mental illness has been addressed before, it was good to hear it again.
I have suffered from severe depression myself being clinically diagnosed with it
by numerous professionals, and still, I am stunned by some less than charitable
people (some who are members of the Church sadly) who still think that
depression is "something you can snap out of easily". Even my bishop
recently said to me, "well, we all get the blues sometimes" as he
trivialized clinical depression. (I am not trying to be critical -
misunderstandings require education. Elder Holland's talk will help
enormously.)Finally, I think I have some ammunition to counter these
false ideas. I am grateful that the "stigma" associated with depression
is not as thick as it was 20 years ago. We have made progress. Exercise, good hobbies, eating well, are all a part of my daily routine. But
truly the Atonement of the Savior carries my burden when I need it most. Of
that, I testify!Thank you Elder Holland!
This was a very good talk. I really enjoyed that Elder Holland admitted to
having dealt with depression. I thought it was even more helpful that he spoke
of President George Albert Smith having suffered severly from it.I
really enjoyed that Elder Holland pointed out that these are issues that need to
be dealt with through medical help as well as through faith. I thought it was
very good he discoraged shame and encouraged dealing with the issues directly.
This was a very good talk.
This was absolutely my favorite talk today. If you know anyone who is
struggling with the loss of a loved one through suicide, please refer them to
the book, When The Devil Visits. This woman lost 4 family members and is LDS.
Her book is one of the best to help people heal.
I liked the talk Elder Holland gave today but I wish that he would have
addressed it to the bishops and stake presidents so that they can learn about
how to deal with that type of illness because I have it too. I have learned to
live with it and I wish that the bishops and stake presidents would learn it
This was perhaps my least favorite talk of all time. There was no mention that
all those Elder Holland spoke of took care of their emotional problems without
turning to the arm of flesh for "help".The drugs given for
depression are little different than LSD or PCP. When we are encouraged as
members of the church to avoid mild substances such as coffee, tea, tobacco or
alcohol, why on earth would we ever condone the use of these extremely powerful
mind altering drugs with the strongest FDA warnings possible for increased
suicide and even homicide?! And when the hypothesis behind the drugs is
backwards they actually cause additional depression rather than curing it. (All
that is documented in medical research.)But the most important point
of all is that the Savior suffered worse depression than anyone ever has as He
accomplished the Atonement. Had He taken one of these drugs to blunt his
emotions do you really think He could have felt deeply enough to accomplish that
most important task of all? In stating this I would add that
withdrawal from antidepressants must be VERY gradual to be safe and successful.
Google me for more information and documentation.
I guess you'll just have to keep trying to educate the apostles, Ann Blake
Tracy, because the LDS Church says that depression medications do more good than
harm. See the October 2005 Ensign article, “Myths about Mental
Illness”: “During the past 40 years numerous medications have been
developed by the multinational pharmaceutical industry. These products have
proven of inestimable worth to millions.” Or the April 2002 New Era
article, “Rising above the Blues”: “Treatments for depression
often involve a combination of therapy and antidepressant medications. It is
important not to self-medicate. Turning to herbal or natural supplements before
going to a doctor is dangerous to your health.” Or the March 1990 Ensign
article, “Why Is My Wife (or Husband) Depressed?”: Several types of
antidepressant medications have proven helpful and can be obtained through
medical consultation. These forms of medication do not typically produce
dependencies and can be life-saving drugs to some people.”One
of the points of Elder Holland's talk is that depression should not be
approached any differently than hypertension or cancer. Telling people to avoid
appropriate treatment contradicts Church teachings and may endanger lives.
Ann Blake Tracy, I will have to kindly disagree with your statement. Although
antidepressants may not be for everyone, for some they are a tremendous
blessing. For many people, depression actually makes it harder to feel the
influence of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost works through our thoughts and
feelings, and those are the exact things that become distorted when dealing with
Major Depressive Disorder. For me, medication allowed me the ability to feel the
influence of the Holy Ghost once again. Antidepressants, also became a life
saver for me as they took away my suicidal thoughts.Ultimately, I
don't think Elder Holland was trying to tell every depression sufferer to
take antidepressants. I think he was simply trying to help people understand
that depression is not just a spiritual problem, or a problem for pessimistic
people, but instead it is a problem with the brain not functioning properly.
Just like hypertension sufferers and cancer sufferers seek treatment, depression
sufferers when needed, should seek out not only a priesthood blessing, but also
additional treatment to aid them in the healing process. I
personally am deeply grateful for Elder Hollands inspired words of wisdom!
Ann Blake Tracy said, "There was no mention that all those Elder Holland
spoke of took care of their emotional problems without turning to the arm of
flesh for 'help'." I can't speak for everyone in
Elder Holland's talk, but in her book, Heaven Is Here, Stephanie Nielson
writes that she took antidepressant medication while recovering from her
horrific accident. She also received a blessing from Elder Holland. Healing from
depression, like healing from physical illness or injury, requires spiritual,
emotional, and medical support.
Ann; I'm sorry you felt that this was your "least favorite talk".
For me, this talk was my MOST favorite. I have listened to it many times in my
gratitude, that finally an Apostle of the Lord addressed what to some is still a
taboo subject.Elder Holland NEVER mentioned DRUGS of ANY KIND in his talk,
NOR did he tell us to rely on the "arm of flesh" in trying to understand
and cope with this in our lives. As I read and listed over and over again; he
practically BEGGED us to hold on to the Savior's love, his Atonement and
the blessing of the Resurrection! And YES, we should seek medical help, with
the responsibility ultimately on US to: "Prayerfully and responsibly
consider the counsel they give and the solutions they prescribe".In
that light, my husband has been mentally challenged for many years, visiting
many doctors and using many medications. He is now well thanks to ECT, prayer
and fasting. Tomorrow we will have the opportunity to speak to our ward on this
talk and our journey through mental illness. I am most grateful for the
Resurrection; an unspeakable gift!!!