Please contact us at MormonMentalHealth@gmail.com.
Hello Natasha and John,
I love everything you do for the Mormon stories community! Thank you, Thank you! I initially discovered you after my husband experienced a faith crisis, 6 years ago. I’ve received so much support and growth from your podcasts and discussions.
I’m writing now to request podcast coverage of women’s body image issues, particularly binge eating disorders. I personally am recovering from a binge eating addiction. I’m a personal trainer and otherwise healthy woman–except that I’ve developed unhealthy way of dealing with stress and negative emotions (which was accentuated by my husband’s faith crisis). In my recovery process, I found it extremely liberating and healing to name my struggle as an addiction, a phenomenon that literally has a biochemical reaction in the brain. I feel validated by knowing that it’s not just weak willpower that prevents me from diving into the carton of ice cream–it’s an addictive response that scientists are coming to understand is as strong or stronger than drug addicts’ cravings. In my recovery from binge eating, I have found Mindfulness to be profoundly helpful. Regular meditation slows down strong cravings and impulsivity, providing a pause between the craving and the action where I can actually acknowledge that I’m having a craving to binge, then identify the emotions I’m feeling (that are likely triggering those cravings), and finally giving me space to deal with uncomfortable emotions in a more constructive way.
I tell you all of this to give you some background of where I am, and to ask you to address this in a podcast. I have several women friends/family/clients who struggle with binge eating. Many of them are overweight and ashamed to open up about the root of their weight problem. I’d love for them to understand that they’re not lazy or slothful, but that they suffer from a food addiction, which can be overcome with proper treatment. Another trend I see with binge eaters (including myself) is that they try to fix the symptoms (being overweight) rather than the root of the problem. Yo-yo diets are rampant, I believe, because too many people are actually feeding their food addiction by restricting themselves to lose weight, which sets themselves up for binges down the road. (Incidentally, my binge behavior began postpartum after my first child when I wanted desperately to lose the baby-weight and started “dieting” for the first time.) In my opinion, feeding the soul, healing emotional deficiencies, and being present in the moment (aka: intuitive eating) are the real solutions to many people’s challenges with weight.
Thank you so much for your consideration, and for everything you do for Mormon Stories!! Many people share in their testimonies “I don’t know where I’d be without the gospel”…well, I truly don’t know where I’d be without the Mormon Stories communities!!
Could you hook up my facebook account with the MMH group?
I put in a FB request but am not sure if it made it through…
All I can say is “yay!” I cannot wait for this podcast. I am going through a life transition (thank you for calling it that because I don’t feel as if it is a crisis, but I guess I initially did) with my religious beliefs, which has affected the way I parent and view the world in general. I have no idea how to navigate this new world, and my husband has no idea how to navigate this new me. I am in therapy but he will not participate. I am excited for some additional help!
Hi there! Im looking for an lds mental help professional i can talk to online. Any info you can provide would be so helpfull, thank you!
I just listened to the top 10 Mormon mental health podcast and really enjoyed the discussion. As a LCSW and therapist in private practice (in Mormon central -Utah County) I am hopeful that those listening will focus on a message stated more than once on the podcast that counseling is helpful with the right time commitment (my words). My experience has been the very often people don’t give counseling enough time. I appreciate the good works and words of Natasha and John in this podcast.
I just listened to yopur podcast concerning masturbation. I am a 76 year old male. I lost my wife of 50 years almost 5 years ago in an automobile accident.
I have struggled with the masturbation issue since I was a 14 year old who heard a General Authority state that I was going to hell if I did not repent. At the time I was probably already addicted to masturbation due to the actions of some older boys when I was 10 years old. They convinced me that this was the only way to become a man.
I have become very depressed because no matter how hard I try I still, at my age, cannot completely stop.
Thank you so much for letting me know that maybe I can still have my family forever.
If I need therapy can you recommend someone in the Salt Lake area?
Thank you for your comments. I would recommend the therapists at “The Healing Group” in Salt Lake City.
Larry…I know it has been a while since you posted but for you or anyone else struggling with masturbation please let it go. There is nothing wrong with you…masturbation is completely normal and does relief some stress. Quit beating yourself up about this natural act…IT IS NORMAL and to not to it is NOT normal! I am not as old as you Larry but I do it and my husband does too…quit letting the church tell you it is wrong. It is your body so enjoy it. I really hate that the Mormon church makes people think this is a bad thing…no wonder so many are on anti-depressants. Have a glass a wine and enjoy yourself for once in your life…we have one life to live and God gave you this natural instinct to enjoy your body!
Natasha, your podcast is completely in sync with what I have seen through experiences I have witnessed, please contact me so we can talk more.
I’d love to hear a podcast on the issues of mental health with Infertility and Secondary Infertility, We have been dealing with secondary infertility for 2 1/2 years here in Utah Valley and its very painful and a struggle for me in the church.
What an awesome website – just ran across it. I have a friend who is struggling with depression and an awful form of bipolar disorder but determined to turn her dark daily trial into a blessing by trying to reach out to others. I think she’d be an awesome person to interview – she’s always been outgoing and happy, Student Body Vice President in High School and has been diagnosed in the 4 or 5 years since but is still determined to be the awesome, friendly, service-minded person she’s always been! She recently started blogging about her situation and is doing a big project going across the country talking to people about what gets them out of bed each day – you can check it out at josiethompson.com. Let me know if you want more info about it – she speaks at firesides and stuff all the time and has a great message. Thank you!
Hi Natasha, I just finished listening to the “Top Ten” and “Suicide” podcasts that you participated in on Mormon Matters. I would really like to hear something from you regarding self injury and eating disorders, particularly as they involve teenagers. I have encountered these behaviors in the young women I serve and recently in my own teenage daughter. I am devouring all the information I can find but discussion of these things in a Mormon context seems to be pretty scarce. At church, my daughter feels very alone in her struggle. My goal is to better understand and support her and others. I appreciate all you do in bringing mental health issues to light.
Thank you Amy – I just finished one on eating disorders and will be posting it as soon as the production team is done with it. Thanks for the feedback!!
My name is Dustin Long and I am the CEO of Arcadia Recovery Center here in Utah County. I understand you may work with clients in our industry that may need more applicable services to treat chemical dependency. We also receive inquiries for services of less structured needs such as individual therapy sessions in a less intense environment. We would love to sit down and discuss the possibility of collaboratively working together to refer to one another when clients may need services from one professional to another that may better meet the very individual needs of our clients. We specialize in outpatient care and have a very unique model incorporating the Atonement of Savior with common treatment modality to treat addiction. We believe a model that matches the needs of each client while using an evidence based approach yields the most optimal outcomes. So please feel free to give us a call or shoot me and email, I would love to hear your thoughts.
Dustin J. Long, RAS
Arcadia Recovery Center
I agree with you podcast regarding the top 10 mental health issues Mormons face.
However, I am very much against the use of SSRI medication. I have known people who developed serious psychotic reactions or who have gone into a coma using that type of medication. The mass murderers at Columbine, Springfield, and Sandy Hook were on them. Please go to the website http://www.breggin.com or read the books Medication Madness, Talking Back to Prozac, or Toxic Psychiatry by Peter Breggin. Please do your clients, LDS or not, a favor by refraining from recommending antidepressants, antipsychotics, or ADHD medication. They do much more harm than good.
Glad to hear that you are listening to the podcasts. However I respectfully disagree with being against psychotropic medications. Yes, like with any medication and even many “natural” remedies there can be side effects. But risks need to be assessed on all ends of a spectrum. And staying untreated for many is the larger risk. Thank you for your comments.
Several years ago, I listened to a speech online given by Carrie Wrigley at BYU where she stated that a Relief Society president complained to her that 80% of the women in her ward were on Prozac. She also stated that those who took SSRI antidepressants accompanied by exercise had a higher rate of return to depression than those who did only exercise.
When I taught math at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, OR, a student told me that a friend who had lost a son in Iraq was put on Prozac. After taking the Prozac, he tried to kill himself.
A 74-year old friend of mine took Paxil and had problems. His daughter took Paxil and went into a coma.
A 20-year old member of my ward in Albuquerque was on Prozac and Zyprexa. After abruptly stopping the medication, he tried to hang himself.
A coworker at a uranium enrichment plant near Paducah, KY threatened to blow up the plant after taking Luvox.
An older woman in Augusta, GA was grieving the loss of her husband. She did not actually become depressed until after taking Zoloft.
Often, school teachers and administrators demand that children be put on Ritalin or Adderall for ADHD. Sometimes they even take children from parents if the parents do not comply. However, those drugs, being related to cocaine, can also cause heart failure and heart attacks.
A medical educator in Wales has also enumerated the problems with antidepressants: http://youtu.be/Sstoa406Oa0.
I agree with the need for treatment of mental illness. But I do not consider drugging people to be treatment; I consider it to be mistreatment.
Medication for mental illness saved my life, and I know of many others who have experienced the same benefit. It is the views that you have expressed here that continue the stigma out there for the treatment of mental illness. I am sad to hear of the experiences you shared. As with any medication there are risks. It’s so important to understand those risks and to be in contact with the prescribing doctor about any concerns. I understand medication is over prescribed and is not needed in every situation. Medication is not the only answer. Therapy and learning self care are extremely helpful as well. To say that medication for mental illness is mistreatment, is harmful and misguided. Every person and situation are different. When facing mental illness it’s important to seek help from trained professionals so that the best possible outcome can be achieved. For me that meant taking medication, and I don’t regret it. It gave me my life back.
Just want to suggest my website at http://ldsgender.com as a resource for transsexual/transgender issues.
I’m a Utah LDS member; and I value your thoughts and opinions on MMH topics.
Please consider a podcast that examines unintended consequences of Church policies. For example, does the Church unnecessarily or unintentionally conflate Pornography and Nudity as if they are equivalent? Some conservative churches “put a hedge around the law” to restrict its members from approaching a perceived spiritual cliff; yet that overly-conservative hedge creates it own set of problems. In evidence, Utah’s above-average internet pornography statistics may be a side effect of the Church’s views on nudity conflating with LDS members’ naivety and internet availability.
On that topic, I found a podcast, “Naturist Living Show” (NLS), and after listening to several episodes, I note that some non-LDS groups have a significantly different view of nudity than Utah Mormons; and they address (and largely resolve) pornography in a different way than Mormons. Is their method more healthy than ours? I’ve attached one 55-minute episode’s URL that addresses this point best. Please listen to it. If your time is short, listen to 5-minute segments beginning at time 3:30, and later, at time 19:00.
NLS began in 2008. The content of some episodes is more applicable to Mormon themes than other; so I will screen and suggest key portions of other past episodes if you request.
My name is Tyson Bradley, a fellow member of the LDS faith. I’m looking for other podcasters to connect with as a way to branch out, learn, and help each other.
Not sure if you would be willing to connect sometime, but I’d love to pick your brain and get your advice on how you go about preparing and managing your podcast.
You can check out my podcast (link below) and let me know what you think.
I know your podcast, which btw is amazing, is “suffering” money wise. And the work you do and the interviews you do are just… well heart wrenching but eye opening.
You offer such an amazing podcast and I know donating is difficult for most people but have you hear of smile.amazon.com? I’m not sure how you sign up as a charity but I do know once people shop through it and select your charity (may I suggest Mormon mental health) just by shopping they donate a bit automatically I’m sure it’s not tons at one time but you mentioned several thousand downloads and if that’s true I assume there are several thousand listeners and most of those listeners shop on amazon and if they use smile.amazon.com/ to shop they can donate to your charity (what you do is true charity, btw) once the select your charity just by shopping. I don’t know if it’d work better t it’s probably worth a look.
you do such amazing work and i am beginning to understand the shape of the issues that are so rampant within the Church. i offer you what ever help i can
This podcast is a one-of-a-kind resource in a community so in need of mental health education and support. I donated after the first episode I listened and I have listened to every episode since. Hearing that you are only a quarter of the way to your goal, I decided to go back and double my monthly pledge amount. Please, anyone who listens, lets support this podcast and keep it going!
Thank you so much! This is so meaningful to me that you would write these things and encourage others to donate. I so very much appreciate it! Natasha
When you discuss the rights and treatment of LGBT people, please also realize that, in some cases, governments do not protect the rights of private citizens to refuse to do business with LGBT on the basis of religious grounds. That is a violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution regarding religious freedom, and an implied violation of the 9th Amendment, which implies freedom of association. I was outraged when I learned that a business that refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple in Gresham, Oregon was fined $135000. Here is a link to that information:
You might consider addressing that issue at some time in the near future.
I have relatives who suffer from a number of mental illnesses from Bipolar, to Paranoid Personality disorder to Borderline Personality. A question that has bothered me from an LDS perspective is: What are the differences between behaviors that are a result of these various disorders and what are a result of exercising agency?
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