ALostSoul

Coping with Depression

Recommended Posts

I am an 18 year old member of the church who has struggled with depression for some time. Even though I have had small bouts and shown slight signs of depression in the past, may biggest issues started last year around October when stress from deciding what I would do after high school triggered something that brought major episodes of depression. Since then, it has been a roller coaster with trying to deal with what I am facing. I told my parents and eventually sought a therapist. I recently made an appointment with a psychiatrist and starting in late January, I will be on antidepressants. Throughout all of this, i am going to school and trying to live life as normally as I can. I originally planned to go on a mission, but I decided I would not be able to until I got this under control and now, I honestly don't even want to go on a mission anymore. This whole experience has left me seriously pessimistic and hopeless about the future. I know that the church is true and everything that I have been going through has been a trial I am meant to bare in order to test my faith, but I find the idea of going on like this immensely bleak. I honestly can find no reason for going on in my life and find nothing to bring me joy any more. I even try to date and find things that keep my mind off of my doubts, but nothing has worked. Dating is hard, especially since there are not a lot of Mormon girls in my area. I have run out of ideas and I find myself with so little will to live, I fear that eventually I will wish to take my own life. Up until this point, I have rejected all thoughts about taking my life because I know the pain I would bring my family, but I am afraid that eventually all thought and feeling will give way to the temptation so heavily put upon my head. If anyone can give a word of advice or help me in the direction to finding a purpose, I would be very grateful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ALostSoul, I'm so sorry you are struggling with this.  I don't know that I can offer you any advice, but you have my prayers on your behalf.  Please don't give up - we'll be happy to talk to you here all you want, and January isn't far.  I'm sure the right therapist and antidepressants can help.  Try to keep studying the scriptures and praying, so that the Spirit can help you.  Please know that you are loved - by God, Jesus, your family - even the family who have gone on before you, the spirits who knew you before this life, and by brothers and sisters in the Gospel who don't even know you yet.  All of us want the very best for you.

There are others here who are better qualified, and I'm sure they'll be along to make suggestions for you.

PS: You're not lost to God, nor to Christ - they are very aware of you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, zil said:

@ALostSoul, I'm so sorry you are struggling with this.  I don't know that I can offer you any advice, but you have my prayers on your behalf.  Please don't give up - we'll be happy to talk to you here all you want, and January isn't far.  I'm sure the right therapist and antidepressants can help.  Try to keep studying the scriptures and praying, so that the Spirit can help you.  Please know that you are loved - by God, Jesus, your family - even the family who have gone on before you, the spirits who knew you before this life, and by brothers and sisters in the Gospel who don't even know you yet.  All of us want the very best for you.

There are others here who are better qualified, and I'm sure they'll be along to make suggestions for you.

PS: You're not lost to God, nor to Christ - they are very aware of you.

@zilThank you for the encouraging words. I will try to keep all of this in mind. I know that my family and others love and care about me and I care about them. I just need to figure out how to find purpose and hope in this life to counteract the bad. Thank you also for your prayers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ALostSoul, I'm so sorry you are struggling with depression.  I have been suicidal, so I can relate to what you are experiencing.

First, do you have the number to the National Suicide Hotline?  It's 1-800-273-8255.  I've never called them personally, but I have friends (from my therapy group) who have and they found it very helpful.  You mentioned that you sought out a therapist, so are you in therapy now?  Therapy is really important.  It has helped me, and others I have talked to a lot.  You are right that your friends and family would be devastated to lose you.  Did you know that sometimes people get PTSD from a loved one committing suicide?  In essence, losing you could cause them to experience the same kind of pain you are feeling.  

My next thought is that you need to find a way to let the pain out, and share it.  My therapist says, "Pain needs a witness."  You need to get it out somehow whether that is talking to your therapist, some form of art (that you share--probably with your therapist), or writing (journaling or blogging).   I would caution you about talking to people other than your therapist, if you can find someone who is a good listener that might help, but by and large people think that they need to give advice to be helpful.  They mean well, but their well-intentioned advice can make you feel worse.  

People have different theories about what causes depression, whether they are all right, or only partially right, I can't say for sure.  I can tell you this though, 60% of people being treated for psychiatric disorders acknowledged some form of abuse in their past. (Morrill  2014) That tends to be my focus since that was the source of my depression, and of so many others I know.  Sometimes grief over losing a loved one can cause depression, and there are other causes as well.  For those causes it is important to allow yourself to feel the pain and work through it.  Trying to push the pain away, ignore it, avoid it, runaway from it, self-medicate it (with alcohol, drugs or porn) only makes it grow.   I have found if I allow myself to feel the pain (easier said than done, but so important), and release it by talking, making art, or writing, it passes much more quickly.

Mindfulness is a powerful principle.  Ask your therapist about it.  

Don't worry about the mission right now.  The Lord knows your heart and He is there for you (even though sometimes depression makes it very difficult to feel the Spirit).  For now, just take one day at a time, or one hour at a time as needed.  If you decide later that you want to serve a mission, there is plenty of time.  As I said, for now just take it one day at a time.  That is part of mindfulness, learning to be in the moment you are in.  It sounds so simple, but it is very powerful.

Finally, it gets better.  I have been suicidal, and I can tell you it gets better.  I know many people who have been suicidal, and they will tell you the same.  It will get better.  Depression lies.  When you are depressed, you feel that this is all there is, this emptiness, and pain will never end, but that is a lie.  Don't believe it.  Emotions are like waves, they come and go.  There are high tides and low tides.  Right now, you are experiencing something more like a tsunami, but it will pass.  Happiness will be a part of your life again.  I promise.  Just keep holding on, one day, one hour at a time.  And remember pain needs a witness so don't try to keep it all inside. 

 

 

 

References: 

Morrill, M. (February 2014). Sibling Sexual Abuse: An Exploratory Study of Long-term   Consequences for Self-esteem and Counseling Considerations. Journal of Family Violence, Vol. 29, p 205-213 Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10896-013-9571-4

Edited by LiterateParakeet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
14 hours ago, ALostSoul said:

I am an 18 year old member of the church who has struggled with depression for some time. Even though I have had small bouts and shown slight signs of depression in the past, may biggest issues started last year around October when stress from deciding what I would do after high school triggered something that brought major episodes of depression. Since then, it has been a roller coaster with trying to deal with what I am facing. I told my parents and eventually sought a therapist. I recently made an appointment with a psychiatrist and starting in late January, I will be on antidepressants. Throughout all of this, i am going to school and trying to live life as normally as I can. I originally planned to go on a mission, but I decided I would not be able to until I got this under control and now, I honestly don't even want to go on a mission anymore. This whole experience has left me seriously pessimistic and hopeless about the future. I know that the church is true and everything that I have been going through has been a trial I am meant to bare in order to test my faith, but I find the idea of going on like this immensely bleak. I honestly can find no reason for going on in my life and find nothing to bring me joy any more. I even try to date and find things that keep my mind off of my doubts, but nothing has worked. Dating is hard, especially since there are not a lot of Mormon girls in my area. I have run out of ideas and I find myself with so little will to live, I fear that eventually I will wish to take my own life. Up until this point, I have rejected all thoughts about taking my life because I know the pain I would bring my family, but I am afraid that eventually all thought and feeling will give way to the temptation so heavily put upon my head. If anyone can give a word of advice or help me in the direction to finding a purpose, I would be very grateful.

First, you have my sympathies.  Let me encourage you to do acts of service.  Don't just look around and see if someone needs help with something.  Seek out opportunities.

 https://www.justserve.org/

You're depressed because you have no purpose.  You say you don't know what you're going to do with the rest of your life.  The first thing to understand is that the purpose of our lives is about serving others.

The Savior spent his entire life in the service of others.  His entire purpose was the greatest act of service and love ever known.  The secret is that all of us have the same purpose.  We are here to prove ourselves worthy.  But how to best do that is as King Benjamin said,"When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God."  King Benjamin also said that he has spent all his might in the service of his subjects.  Fulfilling this purpose is what brings us joy.  

Remember that part of the nature of depression is that because you are depressed, you refuse to do somethings that will bring you joy.  You somehow don't feel worthy.  But the truth is that if you were to go on a mission with the attitude of service in mind, you would find it easier to be rid of your depression.  I'm not promising it will go away completely.  But it will be much better.

And service doesn't just mean volunteer activities.  As you choose a career path or "what you want to do with the rest of your life", you can look at is as a means of making money, or you can choose a career that you can use your God-given talents and abilities to better mankind.  Any career that provides a living is somehow serving others.  If you are a custodian, you're keeping things clean so that others can have a pleasant environment at work.  If you're a garbage collector, trust me, I fully appreciate someone taking the garbage away from my house so it doesn't build up.  Whatever you choose, do so with an understanding that God gave you certain talents and abilities to use in the service of others, and the way you're going to treat that career is not "only" about the money, but about how you can turn that career into serving others.

If you approach the rest of your life into a giant service project (some of which you get paid for) you will find your entire life take on more meaning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a wonderful Jeff Holland speech from GC a few years ago that talks about this. I've given it to my non-lds friends and they've gotten strength from it. 

You are loved bro. We are all praying for you. Stay strong. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/19/2016 at 6:06 PM, ALostSoul said:

I am an 18 year old member of the church who has struggled with depression for some time. Even though I have had small bouts and shown slight signs of depression in the past, may biggest issues started last year around October when stress from deciding what I would do after high school triggered something that brought major episodes of depression. Since then, it has been a roller coaster with trying to deal with what I am facing. I told my parents and eventually sought a therapist. I recently made an appointment with a psychiatrist and starting in late January, I will be on antidepressants. Throughout all of this, i am going to school and trying to live life as normally as I can. I originally planned to go on a mission, but I decided I would not be able to until I got this under control and now, I honestly don't even want to go on a mission anymore. This whole experience has left me seriously pessimistic and hopeless about the future. I know that the church is true and everything that I have been going through has been a trial I am meant to bare in order to test my faith, but I find the idea of going on like this immensely bleak. I honestly can find no reason for going on in my life and find nothing to bring me joy any more. I even try to date and find things that keep my mind off of my doubts, but nothing has worked. Dating is hard, especially since there are not a lot of Mormon girls in my area. I have run out of ideas and I find myself with so little will to live, I fear that eventually I will wish to take my own life. Up until this point, I have rejected all thoughts about taking my life because I know the pain I would bring my family, but I am afraid that eventually all thought and feeling will give way to the temptation so heavily put upon my head. If anyone can give a word of advice or help me in the direction to finding a purpose, I would be very grateful.

Hello ALostSoul, I have felt quite depressed at certain times in my life. I don't want to say that I know what you're going through, because I don't, but I would like to offer some words of encouragement. Regarding the mission, please don't feel lesser for choosing not to serve. I feel like you've chosen to do the right thing by seeking professional help instead of going on a mission. There have been times in my life that I've felt desperate to find "my purpose" or a reason to continue moving forward. It can feel overwhelming. Meditation has helped me recently (this is my latest read: https://www.amazon.com/Power-Now-Guide-Spiritual-Enlightenment/dp/1577314808), but in saying that, I don't want to imply that any form of depression can be handled through meditation alone. Professional guidance and medicine is often needed, so I'm happy you are going to get the necessary help.

I also wanted to say that dating outside the church isn't necessarily a bad thing. I would suggest you look for girls who share similar interests and core values. There are many lovely people out there who are overlooked because they simply didn't have the opportunity to be raised in the church as many of us did.

I'm rooting for you. Keep in mind the National Suicide Hotline phone number posted above, and remember you can always reach out here for additional advice or just someone to talk to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Oh yeah, I attempted a mission, but only lasted 1 week in the MTC before coming home with depression. So I know how you feel. It's not the end of the world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please see a doctor. What you're describing sounds like clinical depression, like what Holland discussed in Like a Broken Vessel. You may be amazed at how much you can be healed through a qualified professional and some medication. When Holland says, " Our Father in Heaven expects us to use all of the marvelous gifts He has provided in this glorious dispensation," he is talking about modern medicine and contemporary therapy methods. 

Seek qualified, professional help from a source you trust. (Try LDS therapies.) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/20/2016 at 3:46 AM, LiterateParakeet said:

ALostSoul, I'm so sorry you are struggling with depression.  I have been suicidal, so I can relate to what you are experiencing.

First, do you have the number to the National Suicide Hotline?  It's 1-800-273-8255.  I've never called them personally, but I have friends (from my therapy group) who have and they found it very helpful.  You mentioned that you sought out a therapist, so are you in therapy now?  Therapy is really important.  It has helped me, and others I have talked to a lot.  You are right that your friends and family would be devastated to lose you.  Did you know that sometimes people get PTSD from a loved one committing suicide?  In essence, losing you could cause them to experience the same kind of pain you are feeling.  

My next thought is that you need to find a way to let the pain out, and share it.  My therapist says, "Pain needs a witness."  You need to get it out somehow whether that is talking to your therapist, some form of art (that you share--probably with your therapist), or writing (journaling or blogging).   I would caution you about talking to people other than your therapist, if you can find someone who is a good listener that might help, but by and large people think that they need to give advice to be helpful.  They mean well, but their well-intentioned advice can make you feel worse.  

People have different theories about what causes depression, whether they are all right, or only partially right, I can't say for sure.  I can tell you this though, 60% of people being treated for psychiatric disorders acknowledged some form of abuse in their past. (Morrill  2014) That tends to be my focus since that was the source of my depression, and of so many others I know.  Sometimes grief over losing a loved one can cause depression, and there are other causes as well.  For those causes it is important to allow yourself to feel the pain and work through it.  Trying to push the pain away, ignore it, avoid it, runaway from it, self-medicate it (with alcohol, drugs or porn) only makes it grow.   I have found if I allow myself to feel the pain (easier said than done, but so important), and release it by talking, making art, or writing, it passes much more quickly.

Mindfulness is a powerful principle.  Ask your therapist about it.  

Don't worry about the mission right now.  The Lord knows your heart and He is there for you (even though sometimes depression makes it very difficult to feel the Spirit).  For now, just take one day at a time, or one hour at a time as needed.  If you decide later that you want to serve a mission, there is plenty of time.  As I said, for now just take it one day at a time.  That is part of mindfulness, learning to be in the moment you are in.  It sounds so simple, but it is very powerful.

Finally, it gets better.  I have been suicidal, and I can tell you it gets better.  I know many people who have been suicidal, and they will tell you the same.  It will get better.  Depression lies.  When you are depressed, you feel that this is all there is, this emptiness, and pain will never end, but that is a lie.  Don't believe it.  Emotions are like waves, they come and go.  There are high tides and low tides.  Right now, you are experiencing something more like a tsunami, but it will pass.  Happiness will be a part of your life again.  I promise.  Just keep holding on, one day, one hour at a time.  And remember pain needs a witness so don't try to keep it all inside. 

 

 

 

References: 

Morrill, M. (February 2014). Sibling Sexual Abuse: An Exploratory Study of Long-term   Consequences for Self-esteem and Counseling Considerations. Journal of Family Violence, Vol. 29, p 205-213 Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10896-013-9571-4

First, sorry it took so long to comment on this,as I've been preoccupied. I really loved some of the things mentioned here.

Thank you Literate, I am grateful for your support and empathy. To answer a few of your questions, the depression isn't from abuse but is clinical, mostly because it runs in my family. I have been talking with my therapist about different ways to outlet my feelings in a healthy way, like exercising, and I am trying that as well as a few other things. I heave been thinking of ways to keep my mind off my issues that are most prevalent, but as you're likely aware, my thoughts often get in my way. I believe the most important thing to do is to find something to base my mind around besides the gospel, at least in the day-to-day sense. I am glad that I am not alone in having these feelings and have even considered doing group therapy. Thank you again, I am grateful for your prayers and wish you peace as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did group therapy when I was married to an abusive person, he started selfish and gradually become violent. I found group therapy so helpful! It was wonderful to know that many others experience the same problems as yourself. Also, you begin to develop a sense of humour about your situation. A real gallows humour develops in these groups! I cannot tell you how helpful a sense of humour is to coping with what seems unbearable. Satan doesn't care if you fear him, but he can't stand being laughed at.

Edited by Sunday21

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/19/2016 at 6:06 PM, ALostSoul said:

This whole experience has left me seriously pessimistic and hopeless about the future. I know that the church is true and everything that I have been going through has been a trial I am meant to bare in order to test my faith, but I find the idea of going on like this immensely bleak. I honestly can find no reason for going on in my life and find nothing to bring me joy any more.

Hi ALS!  Just wanted to say that your experience is almost word-for-word what my wife says she went through in her teens.  The depression, the trying to pretend to act normal, the bleakness in trying to find something worthwhile, the anxiety about all of it.  

That was a couple of decades ago.  She now has two kids and several flocks of prizewinning turkeys and chickens.  She's been able to change lives for the better, because whenever some teenager starts laying out their woes and says something like 'you don't understand what it's like', she says 'bet me.'   She has given this advice to a lot of folks in your situation, and I'll pass it on to you here:  Yes, things suck right now.  It gets better.  Don't do anything stupid (like betray your morals or try to kill yourself or try to self medicate with drugs or alcohol), and just focus on making it through your crap.  It does get better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/20/2016 at 3:46 AM, LiterateParakeet said:

 

So, a little update and perhaps a few questions. I saw a psychiatrist and in the diagnosis I found I might have a small case of bipolar disorder. Ive been on bipolar meds now for a little over a week. I was a bit shocked to find out I might have it, but there's still a possibility I have other things. I'm hoping I will be able to function a bit better with this medicine especially now that school is in full swing. The biggest issue is the problem that I have faced for most of this hard time, which is finding a purpose and resolving the issues I dont believe will be gone just by seeking medical help. Trying to keep an open spiritual mind and be as in tune with the spirit as I can, but it's hard to find the hope and motivation to keep on a good path. Still trying to understand what to do during this time and what I should be focused on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keep on being strong! Remember the Lord will never, I mean even, give us something that we are not capable to endure and overcome. Although challenges may seem hard you obviously have a strong spirituality about you and will soon find ease in your trials. Remember to always look to the Lord when you feel like nothing else is working. ?

I am 18 as well, turning in my papers soon for a mission and I understand what you mean by worried about the future. If you have a patriarchal blessing I suggest you read that as soon as you can! It will give you hope and you will soon forget the bad, and start to ponder the good:) 

Edited by Futuremissionary54
Addition to post

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, ALostSoul said:

The biggest issue is the problem that I have faced for most of this hard time, which is finding a purpose and resolving the issues I dont believe will be gone just by seeking medical help. Trying to keep an open spiritual mind and be as in tune with the spirit as I can, but it's hard to find the hope and motivation to keep on a good path. Still trying to understand what to do during this time and what I should be focused on.

I'm so glad to hear you are seeking help.  Not only from medicine but spiritually, that is wonderful.  

I know it's hard.  It is, but hang in there.  I am convinced that as Lehi said, "There is opposition in all things."  What this means to me is that as hard as things are, there is a balance of equally wonderful blessings waiting for us.  Something that will make us say, "It was all worth it."  I haven't experience that yet, but I believe it is what Heavenly Father has in store for us.  Hang in there. Thanks for the update!  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your support both of you, but I guess it was a little foggy what I meant. I am trying to get along, but honestly I'm suffering majorly spiritually. It's hard to cling to anything at this time that brings any comfort, even spiritual connections. I find it hard even when I am living worthily and am doing the best I can to find hope or look forward to anything. I keep trying to think of something to do and ask my parents what to do, but generally just get a response to hang on and wait for things to get better, even though that just makes things worse. There's a lot I am trying to work through and make sense of when everything is so confusing, but I no longer have the hope or faith that things will be ok. Very little gives me comfort any more, and thinking about the things I have to go through in the future and the thought of living several decades longer is almost unbearable at times.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ALostSoul I understand what you are saying.  For a period of about three years I didn't go to the temple because I didn't feel worthy (because of childhood abuse), my leaders assured me I was worthy, but I didn't believe them.  Church on Sundays made me cry nearly every week, and I don't mean the way people cry when they bear their testimony--I mean sobbing in the bathroom.  I remember when the pain was so bad, and I couldn't find hope anywhere even in the gospel that I started contemplating suicide.  I spent a lot of time pondering it until I came up with a plan, and one day I remember standing in my bedroom and thinking, "I could do it today."  

I mention this just so you know I understand...or if not understand, you know where I am coming from.  I hate it when people who have never experienced these things try to give me advice.  I know they mean well, but you know . . .  

But things got better.  I haven't thought about suicide in a long time.  I have talked other people through this (in real life) and things got better for them too.  I truly believe things will get better for you.  I know it's hard for you to believe that right now, my heart hurts for you.  Somethings I did to cope during that awful time were:

Take life one day...one hour at a time if you have to.  There were times when I told myself I would just hold on for one more hour and then decide what to do.  

Art...I never thought of myself as an artist, but I often used art as a way to express the pain inside.  Pain needs a witness, it needs to be released.  I have about 10 art journals, and most of what is in them I would never show anyone but my therapist.  

Writing...again pain needs a witness.  You need to get it out of you somehow.  Writing is another great way to do this.  You could write a journal...I have a couple journals from my bad years.  I also wrote a blog, it's helped to know that someone else could read what I wrote.  

Meditation...this one is harder.  I couldn't meditate at first because I didn't want to quiet my mind and basically allow the pain to wash over me.  But when I got tired enough of fighting the pain, I did, and it helped immensely.  This is one of the biggest lessons that I learned...the pain eases or goes away if I allow myself to feel it, the pain lasts longer if I fight it.  Let me say that again because that helped me more than anything else...the pain eases or goes away if I allow myself to feel it, the pain lasts longer if I fight it.

Service...I know, I know this is what "happy people" love to tell us and where do you find the energy for service when you are depressed?  I found it by adjusting my thinking.  Service does not have to be huge.  Think of the widow's mite.  If a 'widow's mite' of service is all you have then give that.  For example, you could say , "Literateparakeet, I really enjoy your posts."  That would make my day and therefore it is a service.  You can do that even on your worst days, right?  

Scriptures...your mileage may vary, but I actually found that reading the Book of Mormon made me feel worse.  First Nephi seemed to be all about repentance and I was dealing with shame over things from my childhood that I really had no control over, but it didn't matter, I felt dirty and the verses about repentance made me feel worse.  However, I did find comfort in reading the New Testament and contemplating the love that the Savior showed to the people.  (I even wrote a book about that.) 

Prayer...I'm going to be honest throughout my life prayer has been my main comfort and solace, but during that time it wasn't.  I felt alienated from God, and so prayer didn't help me much at that time.  That started to change though when I was honest with God...honest meaning I had a long prayer where I told Him how angry I was with Him.  I expected to feel guilty afterwards, but I didn't.  I felt better.  It was as if God was smiling at me lovingly, and saying, "Daughter, you have just taken the first step towards me.  Wonderful."  

I'm not saying any of this will make you feel better instantly or long-term, I am saying it might help you hold on one more hour.  Then the next hour you find something more.  Just hold on for one more day, and eventually it gets better.  The reason why it gets better varies for different people, so I don't know what it will be for you, but I truly believe based on what I have experienced and what i have seen in others that it will get better.  

So, I've "talked" enough.  If we could meet in person, I would do a lot more listening and much less talking.  So your turn what keeps you holding on now?  Your family? Fear?  Something else? 

Edited by LiterateParakeet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, ALostSoul said:

Very little gives me comfort any more, and thinking about the things I have to go through in the future and the thought of living several decades longer is almost unbearable at times.

 

IMO, I think many types of behaviors-not all but many are learned behaviors. Is it possible that depression is genetically passed down?  Possibly,  but it's also very, very possible that at a very young age we learn depressive behaviors.  For example, if one has a parent that is constantly bemoaning the world, saying things like "I can't do this", "I don't feel good", etc. I can guarantee you that the child will begin to pick up those same habits-they will say and do things that mimic the parental behaviors. So in effect, we can train or not train our children to have these attitudes.  Does it work in all cases? Absolutely not, but children do mimic behaviors from their parents.

I also think we need to recognize where these feelings come from.  Certainly not from God; the scriptures tell us that "Adam fell that men might be and men are that they might have joy".  The purpose of this life is to gain a body, experience mortal life, have joy in the journey and then return to our Father. We also know that Satan desires that all men might be miserable like unto himself.  We have good, light, life, laughter, joy, all those good things come from God.  We have anger, malice, hatred, despondency, etc. those things come from the Devil.  In this life we are expected and must experience both, the sadness to understand better joy, anger to better understand peace, etc.

In addition, we are given free agency in this life to make the conscience choice on how to live our lives.  While we might be trained in a certain way, while we might be influenced in a certain way, while we might have horrible things happen to us-life is a conscience choice on how to live.  A huge part of being a fully formed adult is becoming responsible for oneself.  There is no person out there who is going to magically solve this problem for you. There are guides along the way who can help, but ultimately learning how to become responsible for oneself and choosing what path you want to go down is, learning to more fully rely upon the Atonement of Jesus Christ to help heal your soul that is what will help you the most.

And before someone spouts off, I don't know what I'm talking about-I do know what I'm talking about-I've lived it in my family and my family has conquered it too. I know what it is like to train a child to be depressed, and I know what it's like to train a child to have grit, determination, self-sufficiency, etc. I know what it's like to live in a depressed household and I know what it's like to slay that beast and how it gets slayed. The battle can be long and hard, but it can be won. And I guarantee you, the more accountable you are for your actions, the more responsible you become, the more you make a choice to choose the better part, the more you rely upon Christ to heal your soul, the more that this problem will fade away.  You are 18 years old, you literally have your whole life and whole world ahead of you; choose to embrace it, choose to have joy in the journey, choose to be the best person you can be, choose to do something that will help out your fellow man (helping out your fellow man by providing service through a job), choose to do something productive with your life. God gave you a body to be on this earth-yours is the power to do with it what you will.  Get up and do something more than worry about your own problems; a magical thing happens when you stop worrying so much about yourself-you end up being happier. Nobody, not the doctor, not your parents can make you happy, being happy and finding joy in life is a choice.

Invictus is one of my favorite poems and there is so much truth in it.

Out of the night that covers me, 
      Black as the pit from pole to pole, 
I thank whatever gods may be 
      For my unconquerable soul. 
 
In the fell clutch of circumstance 
      I have not winced nor cried aloud. 
Under the bludgeonings of chance 
      My head is bloody, but unbowed. 
 
Beyond this place of wrath and tears 
      Looms but the Horror of the shade, 
And yet the menace of the years 
      Finds and shall find me unafraid. 
 
It matters not how strait the gate, 
      How charged with punishments the scroll, 
I am the master of my fate, 
      I am the captain of my soul. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
Quote

today I am speaking of something more serious, of an affliction so severe that it significantly restricts a person’s ability to function fully, a crater in the mind so deep that no one can responsibly suggest it would surely go away if those victims would just square their shoulders and think more positively—though I am a vigorous advocate of square shoulders and positive thinking!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had severe depression and even attempted suicide twice in my life. I was able to curb this path that I was on by reading The Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford. She's not a member of the church and theres not much God in the book but it doesn't exclude a theist viewpoint. It deals mainly  with projections and our relationship with the shadow, the parts of ourselves that we have repressed. This book enabled me to not only recognize myself as the young child I once was when I was free and full of endless possibilities but also gave me the ammo needed to challenge the parts of me that kept up that mantra of "youre not good enough." "Compared to what?" I ask now. What part of me is so vile that I do not have the absolute right to exist? What justification is there that anyone could make for that? 

I learned a lot of empathy for myself in using that book and in turn gained a ton of empathy for others, other people lost and struggling in their private moments with darknesses that made them say "I am not good enough." Once you open your heart to love it doesnt stop, it floods into everything else. 

I'm reading Believing Christ by Stephen Robinson right now and it has also opened my heart to understanding the atonement. That one is written by a member and very doctrine centered. You're never alone and Christ can take these burdens from you if youre willing to lean on him. I would recommend reading Ford's book first if you choose to. I was not going to church at the time i read it and i think conceptualizing the saviors love for me would have been harder and maybe impossible if i had not first broken down my inner walls and looked for the things worth loving inside me. 

I remember how it felt to be lost to that depression and it truly can be crippling. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now