Home

Loving a Person with NPD: Can You Hug a Porcupine?

By Karen Austin

Image by Teton via Creative Commons Over the last few weeks, I have opened Twitter to find trending content relating to trial featuring Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.  While I am not qualified to assess the mental disorders that these celebrities might be manifesting, their issues have given me cause to think about how I …

Read More

Elder Kopischke: Prayer Alone Cannot Address Many Mental Health Needs

By Karen Austin

When General Conference weekend is approaching, some members will make lighthearted speculations about announcement or subjects for talks.  For example, I say one woman share a Tweet she sent prior to conference with a far-fetched (so she thought) prediction that Rexburg, Idaho would get a second temple. Sometimes I make lighthearted predictions; sometimes I hope …

Read More

When Someone Is Drowning: Help, Hinder, or Walk by?

By Karen Austin

When I am having problems managing my emotions, I sometimes cause a bit of a scene. “* Helping Hand *” by pareeerica is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 I admire introverts for their ability to keep their conflicts well hidden. But then again, my introverted friends report this downside: stuffing emotions leads to a lot of trouble with the …

Read More

Don’t Call Me Crazy; Support Me and Accept My Gifts

By Karen Austin

  Over twenty years ago, I attended church in the DC Metro area. There was an older woman who didn’t quite fit in with the young professionals. It was the 1980s, and “yuppies” were the largest demographic of that ward. This sister also didn’t resemble the established older couples either.  Most mature people who attended …

Read More

Anxiety Requires Courage

By Megan Wilcox Goates

I teach university writing to a rotating group of amazing and funny undergraduate students, and every semester I see first-hand the reality of mental health issues that Millenials and Gen Zs currently face. Even if they weren’t vocal about these challenges (which they are—openly discussing on Twitter their therapy, hospitalizations, and medications), these issues are …

Read More

Breaking the Silence: Surviving Incest

I am a sexual abuse and incest survivor. My abuser was my best friend. She was my sister. A few years ago when the #metoo movement began, I thought, So many women I know have suffered sexual abuse: sister-in-laws, neighbors, friends. My brain kept insisting, Not me. But then it all came back. The dam …

Read More

Suicide: Let’s Talk About It

The author of today’s post has asked to remain anonymous. Family and suicide Why did they do it? Was it mental illness? The pain still echoes through the family. I want to sleuth it out, uncover old journals, crawl around the family tree. Now, in the past year, one of our children has had suicide …

Read More

Tempests

By Rena Lesue-Smithey

I sometimes lost my grip on gratitude, on optimism, when my husband’s debilitating depression dropped like an anchor in the center of the house. For hours, sometimes days, Rick would shut himself in the bedroom. The purple and red sheets I had jimmied into curtains would be drawn across the windows, a menstrual shroud over …

Read More

We’re All Mad Here

By Kellie Purcill

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum’s Reasons for Admissions, late 1800s

I found the above picture a fair while ago, snared by the bewildering reasons people were put into insane asylums. Asthma? Novel reading?  Really? I stopped counting after 20 possible reasons I could admit to, and I wasn’t even halfway through the list (there’s about 90).  Maybe “insane” meant different things back then, or the existence of asylums created different behaviours or needs? It seems human nature to put definitions on things, both sleek and clunky. There’s a quote that often makes the rounds on Facebook that I can’t stand. It says something along the lines of “depression/anxiety/crying isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign that you’ve been strong too long.” I think that’s a load of stupid piled onto a mountain of useless.  The first part I know and believe – depression (or the others) is not a sign of weakness. Far from it. But it certainly is not a sign that you’ve been strong too long.  We’re all mad here, we just may not know if we’ve gotten there yet.

Nearly two years ago, a tower was built way down the bottom of a mine shaft in my mind. Of course it doesn’t make sense – it was depression and that is one slippery, sly sucker punch of sneaky jerkitude that has the superpower of making the nonsense seem totally rational and acceptable.  I found myself spending longer and longer in the tower, noticing distantly that part of it was being walled off. Within months, there was a section totally blocked off from light, from peace, and while “I” would be going about my day hanging out laundry or baking a cake or attending classes or work or praying, I could hear the broken, constant sobbing of myself on the other side of the wall. Nonstop. All hours of the day and through my nights. A noise more constant and way louder than my own heartbeat, my conversations, my common sense. I couldn’t outrun it, drown it, ignore it, do anything about it… except accept it. Depression sure messes with your senses and ability to make sense of anything, let alone what you’re feeling.

Turns out, my ovaries has mutinied.

Read More

How Sharper Than a Serpent’s Tooth

By Mette Ivie Harrison

I found out while sitting in our general practitioner’s office at the side of my youngest daughter, Emily. It was an ordinary room: two padded, metal chairs together across from the doctor and the computer desk. We’d been there many times for immunizations, for strep throat, for a lingering cough that turned into asthma. I …

Read More