“No More Shame”: A Mormon Apostle Sheds Light on Mental Illness—And His Own Struggles

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depressionSome readers know that there is a history of mental illness in my family, as I’ve written about before. This includes but is not limited to my father, who died in 2010.

Without going into specifics, I would say that there is no getting around the pain that mental illness can bring into a family’s story. This pain is only deepened when well-intentioned persons want to sweep mental illness under the rug, or—even worse—smugly inform those who suffer from it that they can surely overcome it if they pray harder and have more faith.

In this context, Elder Jeffrey Holland’s talk at General Conference on Saturday—which would have been my father’s 74th birthday—was an unexpected blessing for me.

It wasn’t just that he matter-of-factly stated that mental illness, like cancer or heart disease, is biologically rooted and can strike anyone in any family.

It wasn’t just that he told those suffering from mental illness and emotional disorders that they have a responsibility to find the best medical care, as they would with a physical illness. Prayer alone is usually not enough; priesthood blessings are usually not enough. Mental illness is intractable and often very difficult to diagnose and to treat, requiring the long-term expertise of trained professionals.

It was that Elder Holland allowed himself to be transparent and vulnerable. My heart broke for him when he related his own struggles with depression. This personal story, even more than any of the wise advice Elder Holland provided in the talk, helped to demystify and destigmatize mental illness. I applaud his bravery. Often in General Conference, I feel so separated from the leaders speaking, who by custom rarely discuss personal failure or serious family problems. What stories general authorities do tell of their own frailty tend to be far in the past—childhood peccadilloes, or the clueless errors they made early in their marriages.

Those far-off personal struggles are non-threatening, or even related in order to make listeners chuckle. It is as though an unwritten code prevents Mormon leaders from exposing their authentic selves: a complex mix of inspiration and flawed humanity.

Elder Holland’s talk gloriously broke that mold. He risked a great deal to portray himself as a fellow sufferer, someone who has walked the often bewildering and always lonely path of depression. I found his reflections beautifully real, even incarnational.

When he spoke of the hoped-for day when we will see our loved ones who have been broken or damaged by mental illness as they truly are—heavenly creatures and perfect children of God—I cried tears of relief. The frustrations of caring for loved ones with mental illness can sometimes prevent us from seeing that larger, divine picture of who they are in God’s sight. I wept at the beauty of that image.

I suspect that Elder Holland’s talk will mark a turning point in Mormons’ understandings of mental illness. Those who are fortunate enough not to have personal or familial knowledge of mental illness may be more inclined to err on the side of compassion than judgment. Those who are suffering in silence may be more likely to seek treatment. As one commenter noted in the live blogging session on By Common Consent:

“My husband I suspect has an anxiety disorder, but refuses to get help. He basically wants to ‘pray it out.’ His family has a major bias against mental health issues and he was raised that way. My husband greatly respects the apostles. To have an apostle directly address these biases and direct people to get help was a miracle I never thought would happen.”

Amen to that. As Elder Holland noted, “Though we may feel we are like a broken vessel, we must remember that vessel is in the hands of the divine potter.”

 

 

If you or someone you love is suffering from depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or other mental illness, I highly recommend the services of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), which offers excellent free classes for family members and for the patients (“consumers”) themselves. Find your local NAMI chapter at nami.org. You are not alone.

  • Mike

    Jana,
    Are you aware that Utah leads the nation, per capita, for women on anti depressants like Prozac? As if that is not bad enough, we also lead the nation, per capita, with diagnoses of Bi-Polar diseases… One of the sad outcomes of polygamy, is that caused an explosion of Bi-Polar disease spread because of a few male members that had genetic bi-polar disorders….. That said, thanks to polygamy and the relative small nature of the Utah Mormon population, unless one does a genetic blood test before marrying, it is really difficult to not be marrying your 4 or 5th removed cousin!… 🙁 You would think the the enormous finds that Sorenson Genetics has made, that they and the LDS Church leaders would be encouraging these tests by ALL members in an effort to reduce the nation leading numbers of genetic disorders which sadly include Autism, for which Utah also leads the nation, per capita…

  • Jenny Wilson

    Have you heard of the micronutrient treatment for Bi-polar disorder called Empower Plus. I have done a lot of research and it is an extremely effective solution. Thousands of people with Bipolar live on this without any other meds. I have personally met a few and they say it’s life changing. It’s been in Canada for the last 15 years or so. Here is a website you can look at. qsciencesinfo.com.

  • TomW

    More than one person I have spoken to since last weekend has referred to Elder Holland’s talk as the most important he has ever given, and that’s saying something!

    With regard to past church leaders ever venturing into the topic of mental illness, I’m sure there have been periodic references along the way but nothing of this magnitude. Back in the last 1970’s (so I’m dating myself here), I remember attending an “Education Week” session for the Youth (back when there was actually a touring lecture series during the summer) where a speaker named David A. Christensen talked about the importance of getting a regular physical examination because a prophet (he was referring to Elder Ezra Taft Benson of the Twelve) had taught this. Part of the explanation was that our ability to deal with the rest of life was impacted by our mental state, and if there was a chemical imbalance or other matter which could be treated by competent medical professionals, it would help us in every other aspect of life.

    A quick check of lds.org led me to this link for an October 1974 conference address from Elder Benson: http://www.lds.org/general-conference/1974/10/do-not-despair?lang=eng

    Not close in content to Elder Holland’s remarks, but some interesting excerpts nonetheless:

    “We should work at taking care of the spiritual, mental, social, and physical needs of ourselves and those whom we are charged to help.”

    “The condition of the physical body can affect the spirit. That’s why the Lord gave us the Word of Wisdom. He also said that we should retire to our beds early and arise early (see D&C 88:124), that we should not run faster than we have strength (see D&C 10:4), and that we should use moderation in all good things. In general, the more food we eat in its natural state and the less it is refined without additives, the healthier it will be for us. Food can affect the mind, and deficiencies in certain elements in the body can promote mental depression. A good physical examination periodically is a safeguard and may spot problems that can be remedied. Rest and physical exercise are essential, and a walk in the fresh air can refresh the spirit. Wholesome recreation is part of our religion, and a change of pace is necessary, and even its anticipation can lift the spirit.”

    “The fellowship of true friends who can hear you out, share your joys, help carry your burdens, and correctly counsel you is priceless. For one who has been in the prison of depression, the words of the Prophet Joseph Smith have special meaning when he said, ‘How sweet the voice of a friend is; one token of friendship from any source whatever awakens and calls into action every sympathetic feeling.’ (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 134.)”

  • It is very simple.
    Many take pills …. of all kinds…
    Then MANY… say that is all they need…
    The fact is that Many Manic phases are worked through because the Manic is
    confronted with listening… rather than talking…
    Strong… humor… and in your face… discussion…TILL they wind down…
    NOT letting them leave… when they are moved to acknowledge how absurd they are being…
    OH they are ready to stay as long as they are carrying the show…
    But confront them… gentle… or otherwise… and they engage in the TACTICS… Abuse, of all kinds… escape… Indifference….
    THEY often think… I am all knowing…. how could I be wrong…
    And HOW far is that thinking from… this is the only true church?
    Notwithstanding… some things are true…
    We often have no clue as to what we are really saying…
    MY father… over decades… went through many manic highs…
    They were often nipped in the bud… with… a MENTAL yank… and solid, firm confrontation…
    “THESE thoughts are pure nonsense…. and You are a know it all arrogant fool”… with a little humor and laughter… and lo and behold… they become less possessed with the strutting know it all attitude…that often comes with a Manic high…
    The key is many different approaches… to various people… and various medications…

  • Susan

    Jana, In the closing to your article, where you list “If you or someone you love is suffering from depression, bipolar disorder, or other mental illness…” I wish you would also say the word. Schizophrenia.
    Schizophrenia Schizophrenia Schizophrenia.
    It is so stigmatized and taboo, but Elder Holland said it out loud, so can you. Please do.

  • Wayne Dequer

    Interest suppositions.

    I’m male and NOT from Utah. Nor do I have Mormon ancestors. Yet, I have suffered from depression and bi-polar mood disorder. There do seem to be some indicators of possible genetic predispositions in my family history. Thankfully, my mental challenges are well controlled by medication and cognitive therapy techniques. Prayer does help, but it wasn’t enough for me. I have remained active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since joining while attend UC Santa Barbara in 1966. I was released after serving 5 years as a bishop of a local ward about a year ago through a Stake President who we well aware of my challenges before I was called.

    I continue to recognize the tendency toward mood swings, negative moods, and dysfunctional thinking in my mind, but I found all my life experiences, including these challenges, were useful to me as I served as a bishop seeking to understand and counsel with other, and/or in other calling in the Church. (See Ether 12:26-28, D&C 122:7, D&C 98:3, etc.)

    We all face challenges. I would NOT wish mine on others, but neither are they an insurmountable hindrance to living a productive and fulfilling life in the 21st century if we humbly acknowledge and work with them.

  • Rachel Hamrick

    I cried. I wept.

  • JRSG

    The South U.S. is not far behind Utah in taking anti depressants. My parents were converts. Mental ilness and addiction illness runs on both sides of my family. I suffer from mental illness. My husband has a line of non LDS who suffered/suffer mental illness and addictions.
    I think educated people who have jobs with insurance will get treatment versus un insured and un educated. LDS as a whole are educated which probably why Utah leads in taking medications.
    I know of LDS who try to pray and study scripture to deal with anything and will not go to a doctor for anything. they self medicate with herbs and it does not always work. Yes polygamy has caused problems. but close cousins marrying close cousins happens in non LDS people/other cultures as well.
    I am glad to see the SLC leaders start to address problems. It is long over due.

  • Dan

    I think that what is always so evident is that these men of God, are not pretentious and they state often that they are not infallible. . . how many others would do the same?

  • Dave

    Utah is not even in the top 10 of most depressed states. If what you say is true, then UT has a drug problem.

    http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20483493,00.html

    http://www.stateoftheusa.org/content/states-people-with-highest-dep.php

  • Dave

    I think more GA’s should talk openly like this. When they pretend to be as perfect as Jesus, members freak when they see their faults. They feel they can never be good enough. They forget that our leaders are just men.

  • Mike

    Ah Dave,
    You might want to get your statistics from a source other than the State Health organization as the pieces of information I just gave you are from Federal registers….. You can understand the bias on State government, especially when the leadership of the LDS Church is still tip toeing around this HUGE problem in the state that is the home of the Mormon Church…. And, yes, it is well known nationally, that Utah has a HUGE psychiatric drug problem, especially amongst it’s females, most of whom have spent their whole lives doing nothing but keeping a home and raising children during an era reminiscent of the 1950’s rather than this current century…. Small wonder, aye?

  • I just added that to the list. Schizophrenia is likely what my father suffered from, so please know that I didn’t leave it out in order to stigmatize anyone. Thank you for your courage in coming forward, and God bless you as you continue your journey. Schizophrenia schizophrenia schizophrenia.

  • Well said, Wayne. I am grateful that you had the chance to serve as a bishop, and I’m sure that your own experience with depression and bipolar disorder made you a compassionate one.

  • steven

    food for the brain.org

  • Pingback: Chaplains Unbound? * Jewish Mothers * Caffeinated Mormons: Wednesday’s Religion News Roundup | Hartford Faith & Values()

  • TomW

    I’m wondering to what extent your comments are influenced by bias, Mike, especially considering how you put forth several alleged ‘facts’ without supporting data. Let’s take a quick look (or not so quick as the case may be).

    1. You claim that “Utah leads the nation, per capita, for women on anti depresants like Prozac.” I haven’t found an actual study more recent than 1994 which makes that claim, and nothing in the past decade from other types of data. What I DID find, however, were numerous links which discuss how the use of anti-depressant drugs has soared among American women overall, and some of the proposed explanations.

    From this link in 2011: http://theweek.com/article/index/221575/americas-startling-use-of-mental-illness-drugs-by-the-numbers

    20% – “Proportion of women over the age of 20 who are prescribed antidepressants, like Zoloft and Lexapro.”

    From another link in 2011: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/16/women-and-prescription-drug-use_n_1098023.html

    “one in four women is dispensed medication for a mental health condition.”

    And another in 2011: http://articles.latimes.com/2011/nov/16/news/la-heb-mental-health-20111116

    “[W]hat is not clear is if more people — especially women — are actually developing psychological disorders that require treatment, or if they are more willing to seek out help and clinicians are better at diagnosing these conditions than they once were.”

    In 2009, Forbes released a list of the Top Ten Most Medicated States: http://www.forbes.com/2009/08/17/most-medicated-states-lifestyle-health-prescription-drugs.html

    They are, in order, West Virginia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Iowa.

    Among the reasons suggested for an increase in the prescription of anti-depressants, the Forbes article lists, “the growing acceptance of discussing and treating depression and the use of antidepressants,” “heightened awareness” due to a spike in advertising, and the fact that “fewer patients are seeing psychotherapists to resolve their mental health problems.”

    From Harvard in 2011: http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/astounding-increase-in-antidepressant-use-by-americans-201110203624

    “23% of women in their 40s and 50s take antidepressants, a higher percentage than any other group (by age or sex)”

    Of course, Mormon Apologetics sites have also entered the fray of offering plausible explanations for the 1994 statistics (which may or may not even be relevant today). And while they obviously have their own biases, their views aren’t exactly irrational.

    From: http://www.fairlds.org/fair-conferences/2004-fair-conference/2004-the-place-of-mormon-women-perceptions-prozac-polygamy-priesthood-patriarchy-and-peace

    “the high percentage of Prozac use might reflect a greater awareness by leaders that encourages members to seek professional therapy and medication alternatives. Finally, Mormons’ abstinence from addictive substances might prompt depression sufferers to seek more legitimate forms of help.”

    “LDS women EXPERIENCE depression more acutely because they don’t go out and get drunk to mask their pain. Another example is they don’t drink coffee in the AM to minimize the fatigue that often accompanies depression.”

    And from: http://en.fairmormon.org/Utah/Statistical_claims/LDS_use_of_antidepressants

    “The results could indicate that Utahans are more enlightened about depression and mental illness and therefore don’t stigmatize these conditions. In such a social climate more people are willing to seek help and are prescribed drugs.”

    “The results could also indicate that Utah employers offer better mental health benefits than employers in other states, making access to mental health services and medications easier.”

    “Utah has a low rate of recreational alcohol use, especially among practicing Mormons who completely abstain from alcoholic beverages. Alcohol is commonly used by adults as an aid to stress relief, a ‘lubricant’ for social interactions, and to ‘treat’ (unwittingly or not) symptoms of anxiety, depression, and the like. Since many Mormons will not consider alcohol an ‘option,’ they could be more likely to seek help from a professional instead of turning to commercially available mood-altering substances.”

    2. I question the premise that 19th century polygamy would have led to an explosion of bipolar disorder in Utah. Not only was the practice of polygamy limited to a relatively small percentage of the LDS population, but the pioneer population itself likely had far greater diversity than your average American community considering the impact of convert immigration from Europe and elsewhere. (I don’t have ancestry to defend here; both of my parents are first-generation Latter-day Saint converts from Germany and comprise the only “pioneer heritage” in my family.) And while I could be wrong on this, I don’t believe there is much genetic risk (let alone stigma of any kind) from marrying a 4th or 5th removed cousin. This summary of “Cousin Marriage” at Wikipedia suggests very low risks even for 1st and 2nd cousin situations so long as it isn’t a multi-generational, narrow population issue.

    3. I have found no evidence that Utah leads the nation in Autism as you claim.

    From: http://www.statemaster.com/graph/hea_aut_num_of_chi_wit_aut_percap-autism-number-children-per-capita

    The weighted national average for Austism is 4.8 per 10,000 people. Utah ranks #28 at 4.774 per 10,000 people, ever so slightly below the national average.

    And from: http://vaxtruth.org/2012/04/when-1-in-88-is-really-1-in-29/

    This site focuses more on their concerns over vaccines being responsible for autism, but nonetheless provides charts showing the rates of autism among 8-year-olds in the nation’s public school systems as recently as 2009-2010. Again Utah finds itself in the lower category of the nation.

    Do you have data, Mike, which propels Utah to the top of the class?

  • TomW

    While I absolutely believe in the importance of prayer and priesthood blessings, the church has never taught that these should be used in lieu of competent medical care but rather in conjunction with it. Even going back to the New Testament, Christ said: “They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.” (Luke 5:31)

  • AAAhhhh….. the voice of reason… with studies and clear thinking…

    Verses… the off the wall statements… with no studies… and biased thinking…

    LIKE this one: We are the only species that drinks milk… after weaning…
    AS IF this is a good reason to avoid it.
    Really?
    We are the only species that Does lots of things. Some good and some bad.
    The question is… are we convinced of the Truth or Falsehood of various FACTS…. after careful and repeated study? Or do we hear one statement and leapfrog into a pot of boiling water… forever believing that IT Is and WAS true? We are better served… BY always having an open mind to the possibility that they and we have partly or totally got it wrong.

  • steven

    What am I trying to say with my postings? God’s pharmacy is superior to
    big pharma.

  • Dean Bender

    I am not a bit surprised that it was Elder Holland who made these statements. Several years ago in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in SLC he was the key note speaker and addressed over 150 psychotherapists at a convention of the Association of Mormon Counselors and Psychotherapists. He profusely thanked us for the “great work” we are doing to bless the people in our communities and the Saints. He also pronounced an apostolic blessing upon us. That was a fantastic meeting.

  • Dean Bender

    David D. Burns, M.D. wrote “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy” in 1980. Several clinical studies have shown (as published in the NYT and the preface to his later book) the cure rate for reading the book in 4 weeks is between 66% and 70%. That is CURE RATE. No psychotropic medication comes close! This has been my own antidotal experience also. The book is less than $10. (A dollar or $.50 at DI).
    Why isn’t this better known and talked about at every discussion of depression???

  • Raymond Takashi Swenson

    I hope the message will get through to a lot of LDS members who have false ideas about mental illness. Some 20 years ago, I knew of a BYU student who had to withdraw from school for a time because of an acute anxiety disorder that was newly diagnosed at that time. One of the student’s instructors refused to give a simple “withdrawn–incomplete” grade and insisted it be “withdrawn–failing”. The instructor explained that her father told her that people are culpable for their own mental health, and should not be cut any slack. The administration at BYU was aware of the Americans with Disabilities Act and got the instructor straightened out.

    Around the same time (again, two decades ago), an article in the Church News showed a complete misunderstanding of the nature of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, giving anonymous advice that assume it was something that could be self-cured through self-discipline.

    The fact that many mental illnesses can be ameliorated by medications, and that there are significant genetic components in their occurrence, has helped to teach many people that these are disorders based in the physical aspects of the brain, just like any other disease that impairs normal functions of the limbs and senses and organs. A lot of health insurance programs, however, have reflected the notion that treatment for such disorders is to be grudging and limited in extent, as not being a legitimate illness that could happen to anyone, with arbitrary limits on the number of mental health appointments during a year.

    I was gratified that Elder Holland also noted the fact that President George Albert Smith, whose sermons were the subject of church-wide study two and three years ago, suffered from serious depression during a period before he became president. Indeed, a special spiritual vision he experienced of his namesake grandfather, early apostle George A. Smith, and which has often been recounted, occurred in the context of a bout of debilitating depression.

    Those Latter-day Saints who have not seen depression and other mental illness in themselves and people close to them need to learn more compassion for the many people of all ages who suffer from those conditions, and who may come under their personal care as a home teacher or leader.

  • Wayne Dequer

    A possible question would be are anti-depressants being over-prescribed in Utah and/or under-prescribed elsewhere?

    The inner mountain west, which includes Utah, has long been known as the “suicide belt.” There is a strong correlation between depression and suicide. Here are two well referenced and self-admittedly pro-LDS articles on these topics as related to Mormons. As with all sources, I encourage checking the accuracy and context of references and looking at most everything with healthy skepticism for hidden biases. 😉

    http://en.fairmormon.org/Utah/Statistical_claims/Suicide_rate_among_Mormons

    http://en.fairmormon.org/Utah/Statistical_claims/LDS_use_of_antidepressants

  • Nancy

    Jana, your comments about typical GC stories and personal experiences being frequently simple and irrelevant resonated with me. I remember several years ago feeling like a talk by Elder Eyring on when God seems to be not there was really speaking to me…until he told the story of his daughter-in-law. She was happily married and had 3 children, but was pleading to God for another baby. Two weeks after feeling a peaceful assurance of God’s love, she found out she was pregnant. That example severally reduced the power of his message for me. What about when the prayers don’t seem answered, ever, and we have to learn to live with disappointment? I think this happens much more frequently that the happily-ever-after option. As a single woman in my early 30’s in the church, I often wonder if the disconnect between a woman’s ideal of nurturing wife and mother and reality of life can be a cause for depression. Feeling set up to fail in a world that has many more thorny paths than yellow brick roads has been a stumbling block for me. There are other contributing factors that led me to seek professional counseling last year after an extended period of darkness, but feeling like my life couldn’t measure up to my primary purpose in the gospel has been a significant influence. Elder Holland’s talk was a glimpse of light for me and to others I know who suffer similarly.

  • John Paladin

    As someone who has (and continues to) struggle with depression it is nice to see it recognised as something real and not simply ‘feeble-mindedness’.
    I heartily concur with Nancy’s comment.
    While I sometimes find it uplifting to hear the stories of those who have their prayers answered in remarkable ways I personally find it much more inspiring to hear of those whose faith goes on, undeterred, when their burdens are not lifted, not matter how often or fervently they pray for relief.

  • Wayne Dequer

    Dean: I certainly found “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy” by David Burns to be immensely helpful in the short and long term. Personally I needed a good kick in the pants, support and meds from a couple of wonderful psychiatrists to move forward in doing the writing Burns prescribes. For me, it wasn’t cognitive restructuring, cognitive therapy or meds, it was all 3 + different meds when the bipolar component was eventually identified.

    P.S. I still have 2 copies of “Feeling Good.” One to use and one to give away. 😉

  • Fern

    It is true that Schizophrenia can result from a Niacin deficiency, and it is true that Niacin in water soluble so it won’t build up in your system over time, but that doesn’t mean that you can take an awful lot at once with no ill effects.

    I was told by my doctor to take Niacin 250 mg and Fish oil to help with lowering my cholesterol, but after a while I got a funny tingling sensation and flushing, and determined it was the Niacin, because a similar thing had happened to my husband when he took an even lower dose.

  • Fern

    I am fortunate to have been spared major depression, myself, but I am deeply sympathetic to those who have suffered with it. I am glad you had a lot of good things to say about Elder Holland’s conference address, Jana, and that you’re doing your part to raise awareness of it.

    I would just like to say that I have lived in Utah most of my life, as has my husband. I don’t know if I can say anything that will clear up some of the misconceptions that some people have, but:

    1. There is a prevailing thought that living here, or being Mormon, causes depression.

    2. Because of the statistics, doctors are anxious to provide SSRI’s to patients who live here, so it isn’t surprising that more SSRI’s are prescribed to patients in Utah.

    3. My own long time family doctor, who was not LDS, was certainly tuned into the idea that SSRI’s are likely needed by people here, but he also said that it might be just as true throughout the country, but non-LDS people would be more likely to attempt to self-medicate with alcohol consumption.

    4. Since my old doctor retired, I was diagnosed with a thyroid problem. If I understand correctly, depression is a symptom of low functioning thyroid, and the major health organizations dealing with the thyroid (the ATA and the AACE) recommend that the thyroid should be tested before prescribing SSRI’s.

    5. While I hardly ever experience even mild depression in the sense of having a persistent sad mood, I have felt “depressed” as if a giant tongue depressor stick were holding me down, figuratively speaking.

  • Fern

    I was also going to say that my husband and I are not related genetically in spite of a long heritage of Utah pioneer ancestry, and some polygamous descent on his side of the family. My experience is that it isn’t very common to have a chance meeting with someone who shares a Utah immigrant ancestor, unless you stay in the same community your ancestors were in.

  • Dean Bender

    Wayne, I am happy you found the right combination for you. In my 12 years of part-time work, I have only pressed three clients to see a psychiatrist to be evaluated for meds. (many clients were already on meds) In all three cases, they were not doing any homework or trying to make any changes. Those meds can be a great kick in the pants along with a good Dr. Also, you are not the only one with bipolar that wasn’t found out until after the anti-depression meds kicked in and you went into a manic state (an assumption here). For the ones I know that manic state was greater than any other due to extra “high” the depression meds were providing.
    Thank the Lord for good doctors.
    God Bless –

  • Dean Bender

    Steve, you have 22 of the 51 replies so far. Did something hit a nerve? Or are you just selling stuff?

  • Steven

    Schizophrenia 5 – Fern, with all due respect, 1) google- Dr Hoffer schizophrenia
    17,000 mg of Niacin. Niacin is safe, non toxic, and curative in heroic dosages.
    2) Did you ask your Doctor if he has nutritional training ? Did you ask your
    Doctor about Dr Abram Hoffer ? Dr Hoffer didn’t have a single patient suffer
    ill effects from high dose Niacin. 3) The CDC, Center for Disease Control
    says 100,000 people die every year from pharmaceutical overdose. How many people die from vitamin overdose each year ? Zero. Phd nutritionist Andrew Saul at DoctorYourself.com loves repeating this fact. Read his interviews with Dr Hoffer at DoctorYourself.com

  • Steven

    Schizophrenia 6 – Fern, at DoctorYourself.com, simply type in the search
    box, Hoffer and you will see more than 5 articles and interviews with this great
    Doctor.

  • Steven

    Epilepsy 3 – Fern, I read a case on the internet about a 13 year old girl who had
    great success with Magnesium taming her Epilepsy. At her next appointment
    with her Doctor, she was shocked at his response. “Stop this nonsense and get back on your prescription”. Doctors are not happy for you when we find inexpensive nutritional cures on the internet. Phd nutritionist Andrew Saul
    has written how many times he has seen Doctors bully and bluff patients off
    nutrition and back on to drugs. His website – DoctorYourself.com

  • Steven

    Vitamin C Dosages – You can get the dosage info from 2 sources. 1) the 1971
    Klenner paper at DoctorYourself.com, or 2) the 2002 book by Dr Thomas Levy,
    Curing the Incurable: Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins

  • steven

    Maka – go to Orthomolecular.Org – put your mouse cursor on the History Tab –
    click on Hall of Fame. You will see the names of Phd’s and doctors who
    have dissented from the pharmaceutical monopoly and are finding real answers with nutritional science. Why would they refuse the big money of pharm. drugs?
    You are right pigs can’t fly but pigs will lie for money. Google this article –
    What You Need to Know About the Fraudulent Nature of the Pharmaceutical Investment Business With Disease . So, Mako, how many Nobel Prizes have been awarded for scientific breakthroughs in Vitamin research?

  • Steven

    Reply to Maka part 5 – Muscular Dystrophy is curable. It has been known since 1953 that Selenium is part of the natural protocol for MD. Agricultural scientists know this. You will have little trouble finding research studies on the role of selenium or vitamin E in preventing muscular dystrophies in chickens, cattle or calves, sheep or lambs. What works with calves should be applied to people. Google this Maka – Muscular Dystrophy – selenium – cattle. and Maka why don’t you read this article at DoctorYourself.com ? It’s titled, “Muscular Dystrophy and Nutrition Therapy”.
    Note- Synthetic Vitamin E won’t work; avoid inorganic Selenium, you want bioavailable, so selenomethionine is best. Finally, Liposomal Vitamin C is 7 or 8 times better absorbed than regular vitamin c. Buy Liposomal vitamin C at LivOnLabs.com or learn how to make it on YouTube.com

  • Steven

    Reply to Maka, part 9 – Vitamin C Mystery – Why can dog and cats eat their
    food off the floor and not get sick Maka? Animal livers produce Vitamin C. A
    160-pound goat will synthesize about 13,000 milligrams of vitamin C per day.

  • Steven

    part 11 – It was Dr Klenner and Dr Abram Hoffer who inspired Linus Pauling
    not to retire

  • Steven

    part 15 – lecithin is good for the Brain, Heart, liver –
    We use the Jewelry cleaner to make sonic wave to create nano- bubbles to
    envelope the Vitamin C, (liposomes). The lecithin transports the Vitamin C thru the intestinal wall into the body with an Absorption rate of about 70 – 80% .
    The brain is about 30% lipids and so lecithin is an essential nutrient for the
    brain.

  • Steven

    part 19 – Samento is made by nutramedix.ec/ns/ 800-730-3130
    You buy it at – Samento.org or nutramedix.ec/ns or iherb.com

  • We should all line up at your door….
    You apparently have a ton of things figured out that the rest of the world is oblivious to.
    Of course there could have been several reasons for her recovery that had nothing to do with what you gave her.
    And to label certain ingredients as the same as that which is used to eliminate pests… and by association … that makes them bad…

    Now that is really bad science.

    It is like the… “Humans are the only species to drink milk after being weaned”…….. and that is bad how? There are Numerous things we do that no other species does.

    Guilty by association is the weakest form of Science….

  • Steven

    Magnesium Miracles part 2
    The 4 Magnesium bullets I listed above are why some hospital emergency
    rooms use Magnesium drip to revive heart patients. So why are we all
    deficient. Two reasons. Mg is removed from 1) grain during the milling
    process and it is removed from 2) water during municipal water treatments

  • Steven

    Maka, How do you like the biased “research” studies that support the use of expensive drugs as detailed in the featured articles….. “the research gives the perception of science when really it is a heavily manipulated process designed to control and deceive. Case in point, here again we have an example of widely accepted, published research that turned out to be fabricated”.

  • Steven

    Fabricated Research is More Common Than You Might Think, Maka
    Peer-reviewed research published in medical journals gets the golden star of approval in the media, yet most, of the findings are incredibly misleading. One of the best exposé’s into this muddled system came from none other than Dr. Marcia Angell, who was the former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). In her book The Truth about Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It, she exposed many examples of why medical studies often cannot be trusted, and said flat out:
    “Trials can be rigged in a dozen ways, and it happens all the time.”
    Reference – New Discovery Shakes the Foundation of Cancer Research by
    Dr Mercola, October 15, 2011 –

  • Steven

    Dr Mercola’s Top 12 Tips for Cancer Prevention
    1 – Avoid Fructose and Sugar
    2 – Optimize Your Vitamin D Level
    4 – Get high quality animal-based omega-3 fats.
    11- Reduce use of cell phones & other wireless tech.

  • TomW

    I used to feel somewhat guilty for being a windbag at times…

  • Steven

    Cataracts can be dissolved inexpensively. google- Dissolve Cataracts
    earth clinic.com/CURES/cataracts
    2013: Yohanan from Israel: “Cataracts can now be easily removed without surgery using drops. These drops use a chelation process to remove cataracts, which are advanced glycation end products, from the lens.The drops contain N-Acetyl-L-Carnosine and colloidal silver and can be found on the internet. A crust will form outside the eye as the cataracts are removed.”

  • Steven

    You were a windbag because you didn’t give any use information

  • Steven

    useful information TomW. You didn’t give us any.

  • TomW

    Just say no.

  • Steven

    Cancer Cured by Intravenous Baking Soda

    over 30 years ago, Dr Tullio Simoncini cured his first cancer patient with intravenous baking soda. The boy was 8 years old and comatose. After the first treatment, the boy could talk to his sobbing mother. The size of the tumor determines the number of treatments. Why does baking Soda cure Cancer ? It’s simple high school chemistry. Cancer is acidic, baking soda is alkaline. See his book, Cancer Is a Fungus. Go to YouTube or to his
    website, CancerFungus.com and curenaturalicancro.com

  • Steven

    Cancer Survival Rates

    Before doing chemotherapy or radiation, always ask your Oncologist,
    “what is the survival rate”. The survival rate is low for most cancers…
    less than 5% for most cancers. So why Chemo? Money…. lots’s of Money

  • GUILTY.. windbag?

    I can’t imagine that you ever … felt any guilt…

    I am curious though…. Have you been set up?

    Because it appears you are near a GREAT FALL….
    and NO… everything you are SPOUTING…. isn’t wrong….
    But you have so little evidence…. to really be certain….

  • Guilty…. Windbag?

    Surely you have ever felt any guilt….

    And even though you have very little evidence… to MEET my standard for being certain….
    NOT all of your wind…. is wrong…. You are spot on… in many instances… BUT… the wind is blowing so strong…. all I can smell is arrogance….
    You would think …. If I didn’t know better… that Nearly all Dr’s are idiots…

    Oh by the way… I have’t taken a Dr. Prescribed Medication other than some antibiotics… 15 years ago…. in the last 60 years…
    Yes I have been lucky…

  • HOLY TOLEDO batman…. it is so simple… Even I can get excited…
    and why isn’t baking soda… being used by tons of desperate people today?

    Because IT doesn’t work….

  • TomW

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • Steven

    A certain man was feeling lousy so he went to a doctor who put him
    thru a battery of tests. After 2 hours, the Doctor told the man, “I sorry you
    have cancer”. The man said, “I want a second opinion”
    The Doctor said, “Ok, you’re ugly too”…..rim shot….but seriously folks.

    Is that joke brutal? Well yes and no. It is no more brutal than the medical
    mafia offering us treatment instead of cure. The joke is no more brutal
    than the Devils in white coats impoverishing the future of our children.

  • They electrified their audience …
    Literally…
    With nonsense data and nonsense results.

    Oh… wait maybe there is more to discover… rather than discount it … out of hand…

  • Smarter than me? Surely you jest….. I have yet to meet anyone who is smarter than me…. They may have a few facts … at their disposal that I don’t… BUT they are all missing something I have….
    INFINITE power…. soon…

    And Lest you get caught up in the SMART ZONE…there is an infinite amount of knowledge and YES I know …practically nothing….

  • God is smarter than Maka?

    No …. we are one…

    When you see us all ending up the same… and arriving at ONENESS …. Your half hearted….
    half witted….
    humor…. will be replaced with… Better reasoning…

  • Dear Steven,

    I have deleted most of your comments — about 80 of them — as spam because you are abusing this blog as a platform for advertising something over and over. This conversation is about Mormonism, General Conference, and mental illness. Your comments are entirely off-topic. I have not yet permanently blocked you as a user but please be advised that I will do so if you cannot avoid hijacking this forum for your own purposes. If you have something to add to the post or to the comments that are related to its topic, please do so. If you continue spamming and wasting people’s valuable time, you will no longer be welcome here. — JKR

  • Mike

    You might want to check the IHC site for the explosion of whooping cough in Utah thanks to the mistaken belief that autism comes from vaccines… If it was the vaccines, why is this not happening in the rest of the country? Sadly the “Pro Business” stance of the Mormon Church, make the powers that be, less likely to consider the huge amounts of Mercury and other toxins being showered over the Salt Lake Valley by our Huge refineries , Kennecott Cooper, the Magnesium plant in Grantsville and the dust from those huge above ground mines in Nevada, all of which are up wind from Salt Lake City… You might also want to ask yourself why the Salt Lake Valley is often covered with smog in the morning when there was none the evening before… Again, when a religion is so interconnected with the development of wealth and a leadership so steeped in making money than looking out for one’s flock, this tend to happen… You do the study to bear me out as wrong, or you could just believe that it could not happen here in “Zion” if, in fact, this is really “Zion”, aye?

  • Mike

    Tom,
    Also, before you quote certain sources, could I suggest that you ask yourself if there might be a bit of bias on the part of the organization that you are quoting…… The LDS church is a very wealthy organization and it’s wealth allows it great success at producing articles that agree with its position on many subjects… Try the U.S. government sites for more truthful quotes…..

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  • Lindsay Johnson

    I was very happy to hear Holland discussing mental disorders, but frustrated to hear the example he gave of a woman battling depression. Holland opens his talk with a discussion on psychoses and neurosis, chemical imbalances and inherited mental disorders like bipolar. But it seems abundantly clear that mental disorders are all the same to him- when he concludes giving a prolonged example of a mother battling depression because she faces the consequences of her decision to risk her life by taking a small plane ride. WHAT? I wont ride in a small plane because I’m not willing to take the risk. She was and now must deal with the unfortunate consequences. Boo Hoo. Bipolar isn’t a risk or a consequence someone has a choice of dealing with in their life. We are aware of a teenager in our stake whose family was unwilling to help him. In fact, they allowed themselves to be estranged from him. He was an only child. They allowed him to join the military, early entry. They didn’t like his symptoms- strong sex drive, explosive behavior etc. He tried to commit suicide while in HS living with his father in UT. He was explosive and depressive. He didn’t stay with them while visiting before his deployment. He killed himself with his own service revolver less than a week after reaching Afghanistan. And yet his so called parents pretend they’re parents of a war hero.. according to their facebook page etc. NO KNOWS the agony this poor fellow faced because his family didnt help him and the military wouldn’t accept him if they knew he was bipolar. He couldn’t get help there without revealing the inherited illness he suspected he had. The risk and danger to fellow soldiers is too great to allow bipolars in. It was a secret and it’s still a secret to- classmates, teachers, church leaders, the entire community. We are only aware because NCIS visited and told us so just 10 days later. It’s infuriating that his family members don’t shed any light on the taboo subject of mental illness. Rather than working to prevent it from happening to others, its a secret. I believe Holland gave lip service to the subject of mental illness, but did a disservice, with his lame example, to those who are dealing with REAL mental imbalances & inherited mental illness. They don’t have a choice deciding whether or not they want to take a risk. The mother depicted in the story took the risk. Bottomline- She must live with the consequences of her poor choice, a principle taught to EVERY primary child in the church.

  • charlie mivchasrl

    maybe depression in the western states- nevada, utah, parts of az, is caused by nuclear fallout and radiation (downwinders) that blew across the desert and into towns mostly east of Nevada. I am monitored every 3 years for damage and maladies caused by my own exposure.
    –=-=
    if not that, maybe exposure to mining debris/talus, or associated with genetics by those who worked in such industries in the past

  • charlie mivchasrl

    maybe depression in the western states- nevada, utah, parts of az, is caused by nuclear fallout and radiation (downwinders) that blew across the desert and into towns mostly east of Nevada. I am monitored every 3 years for damage and maladies caused by my own exposure.
    –=-=
    if not that, maybe exposure to mining debris/talus, or associated with genetics by those who worked in such industries in the past. for sure depression’s an epidemic not easily managed. However, someone had the key to helping the depressed by inventing a pill that god inspired to help those with these conditions to manage their suffering.
    suicide is probably not the answer because things tend to go wrong- guns won’t fire, body mangled but the crippled— too many variables; leaving the poor soul in a worse state than before

  • david zaitzeff

    Jana

    While I appreciate your blog, would it be bad of me to question the following suppositions you state as fact?

    “[M]ental illness, like cancer or heart disease, is biologically rooted.”

    “Mental illness is intractable and often very difficult to diagnose and to treat . . .”

    Without denying that genetics may play a role in some people having some dispositions, it takes less than an hour of searching on the Net to find that, at least in the case of “depression,” that the following modalities have been scientifically proven to have extremely strong effects in reducing or eliminating depression: TLC, listening to Mozart, hugging, art appreciation, taking an hour a week and someone praying for you with you, meditation and expressive writing.
    Moreover, caning and spanking have often been found anecdotally to be of value and are believed valuable by some clinicians . . . and studies such as by Klukow find that certain strains of religion are a strong risk factor for depression.

    There are 8 known modalities (7 of them absolutely proven) for treating depression and one hypothetical one of re-examining one’s religious beliefs.

    Apparently you would or some other religious persons would skip over the known and proven modalities, some of which are instructed in or suggested by the Bible, and jump to saying that depression is biologically rooted and/or may be intractable.

    Why you would do that, I do not know. Do you have some dislike for the known and proven modalities of ameliorating depression?

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