A) Personal Judgement & Decisions
NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) reports that 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness each year.
1 in 6 youth (6-17) experience a mental health disorder each year.
* https://www.nami.org/learn-more/mental- ... he-numbers
– “Our brains may suffer because of stress or staggering fatigue, which can sometimes be improved through adjustments in diet, sleep, and exercise. Other times, therapy or medication under the direction of trained professionals may also be needed.”
NOTE: There is no “silver bullet” or “one size fits all solution” for managing chronic problems. It is a series of trial-and-error that repeats over time as circumstances change.
• Anxiety-Relief Practices (Coloring, Journaling, other practices)
• Spiritual Practices
• Connecting to Others Discerningly
• Cutting down the “To-Do” list.
GROUP WORK: List of Options
- “Like any part of the body, the brain is subject to illnesses, trauma, and chemical imbalances. When our minds are suffering, it is appropriate to seek help from God, from those around us, and from medical and mental health professionals.”
NOTE: I have a practical “Everything is Awful” handout I can email anyone who is interested.
“If you had appendicitis, God would expect you to seek a priesthood blessing and get the best medical care available. So too with emotional disorders. Our Father in Heaven expects us to use all of the marvelous gifts He has provided in this glorious dispensation.” – President Jeffrey R. Holland, “Like a Broken Vessel”, October 2013
– “When we open up about our emotional challenges, admitting we are not perfect, we give others permission to share their struggles. Together we realize there is hope and we do not have to suffer alone.”
“Everyone has days when it is possible to carry the burden; there are other days when the burden seems to have a crushing weight. Some of you already know the enormous strength that comes from sharing your burdens with someone else who cares for you. Some of you are trying to carry these burdens alone or are struggling with the even heavier burden of denial and pretense that there is no burden.” – Sister Chieko Okazaki, A Living Network, October 1995
Partnerships – When was a time you found the courage to open up about something? When was a time when someone opened up to you?
– “This may include becoming informed about emotional illnesses, finding resources that can help address these struggles, and ultimately bringing ourselves and others to Christ, who is the Master Healer.”
GROUP QUESTION What are some ways that you personally have found helpful for being informed?
• Reliable Sites
• Thoughtfully listening to 1st Person Experiences and asking questions.
• Thinking about and living with the discomfort of pushing outside a standard perspective or comfort zone.
– “Even if we do not know how to relate to what others are going through, validating that their pain is real can be an important first step in finding understanding and healing.”
– “We can help them know and feel that they do indeed belong with us. It is important to recognize that depression is not the result of weakness, nor is it usually the result of sin. It “thrives in secrecy but shrinks in empathy.” Together, we can break through the clouds of isolation and stigma so the burden of shame is lifted, and miracles of healing can occur.”
– “Let us follow the Savior’s path and increase our compassion, diminish our tendency to judge, and stop being the inspectors of the spirituality of others. Listening with love is one of the greatest gifts we can offer, and we may be able to help carry or lift the heavy clouds that suffocate our loved ones and friends so that, through our love, they can once again feel the Holy Ghost and perceive the light that emanates from Jesus Christ.”
“We need friends who will say things to us like, “Come on over! We’ll make this work.” Or, “Can we come to your house? Will that be more comfortable for your family?” Or, “You can tell me what you’re struggling with, and I won’t judge you.”
Phrases like that are life-giving. I’ve been so grateful for the friends in my world who don’t flinch when I tell them about the struggles I’m having. We need friends who will not get disappointed with us, roll their eyes at us, or dismiss us abruptly when we come to them with the heaviness that sometimes weighs us down. If you’re the friend of a family who has found themselves dealing with special needs, lean in.”
– “Your struggles do not define you, but they can refine you. Because of a “thorn in the flesh,” you may have the ability to feel more compassion toward others. As guided by the Holy Ghost, share your story in order to “succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.”
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
Jesus answered, “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” John 9: 1-3
“We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Wilson, A Return to Love
Moment of Contemplation
– “Let us all remember that our Savior, Jesus Christ, “[has taken] upon him [our] infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know … how to succor [us] according to [our] infirmities.” He came “to bind up the brokenhearted, … to comfort all that mourn; … to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.”
NOTE: One of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves is faith in ourselves that our actions are making a difference. Anxiety, Depression, whatever description winds up fitting the best is not “cured” and not overnight. This is a long- haul endeavor.