Monday, May 4, 2015

Our Bodies Are Temples: Dealing with Mental and Emotional Illnesses and Issues

I believe deeply in the concept of our bodies being temples and, thus, that we need to take care of them in every way possible.  I recognize that I have not followed this counsel well at certain times in my life, since I have been overweight for extended periods of time since graduating from college many years ago, but I do believe in it.

As evidenced by the number of posts I've written here about various mental and emotional issues, I believe just as deeply that treating our bodies as temples includes taking care of chemical imbalances, which means, in many cases, for people with depression and other similar issues, using proper medication - even as medication might not be needed for others or needed long-term.

Some people still attribute mental and emotional issues to evil spirits.  I can agree that there might be evil spirits at work in some cases and not have a problem with suggestions for prayer and Priesthood blessings - but only as long as the type of comprehensive, balanced approach being advocated by phrases like "taking care of your body" includes professional counseling, medication, diet, etc. in an attempt to pinpoint exactly what the issues are for each individual.

If any approach discourages trying counseling, medication, diet, etc. and focuses exclusively on "spiritual causes", I reject it without hesitation.

For that reason, I was ecstatic to hear Elder Holland speak in General Conference so directly and clearly about depression and the need to do more than just try harder or just exercise more faith.  God bless him for addressing such a common ailment in the way that he did. 


Kirsten said...

Great thought.

For you ladies out there of all ages, so much struggle can be related to hormone problems. If you're having a difficult time, and you know something is wrong and you're not getting help, keep searching! New therapies for women are now available and I can tell you from personal experience that hormonal imbalances related to childbirth, menopause, tubal legations, hysterectomies, and other feminine problems can destroy your hope, relationships, career goals, and even destroy your life. Don't give up, there are so many of us who understand.

One example in the Utah/Orem area is the Athena Women's Clinic. I traveled from West Virginia to go there and through hormone therapy, diet and vitamin and mineral supplements I'm finally findings way back to being myself.

Thanks, Ray, for thinking of those who suffer from invisible wounds.

Anonymous said...

One in four will suffer from depression, so chances are your family will need to deal with this. I don't think this is a modern disease or a disease of affluence-Bedlam was always full.It's time we learnt to honour our life experience and love our souls for their suffering humanity.