You may not have experienced mental illness, but there is a high chance that you know someone who has. It can sometimes seem to be surrounding us—an epidemic of depression, anxiety, and other invisible disorders. But people are now more open about their mental health struggles. Alongside this growing awareness of mental health, the gospel resources surrounding mental health have grown.
As a person with long term depression and ‘borderline personality disorder’, it is easy to be weighed down by despair. This fog of sadness can limit my ability to feel the Spirit and reach out to my Saviour. For a time, I was certain that this was a moral failing on my part; surely, I could just pray and fast, and I would be healed?
I was dismayed that throwing myself into the scriptures did not fully heal me. I still gained a lot from my studies. Doctrine and Covenants 122:7, particularly got me through some very tough moments; “… if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.”
It wasn’t until I started receiving weekly priesthood blessings that a ‘door’ opened. I was told that I should talk to doctors, and that these medical professionals would be inspired as they spoke to me. Heeding these words, I was given medication that has, at times, kept me alive.
Along the same lines, I sought help from mental-health professionals, all with the guidance of the Spirit. My mother and I would pray for inspiration in finding the right person to help me. I was able to begin ‘dialectical behaviour therapy’ with a psychologist, to whom I believe I was directed by the Spirit.
I realised that Heavenly Father was giving me the healing I so needed, and He was doing it through the hands of His children who had been given the skills to help me.
Whilst I still suffer, I now have a greater understanding of how the Lord can help me, and how He will answer my prayers, even in ways that at first do not seem obvious.