“I’ve always had anxiety,” Heidi said. “When I was 17, I noticed that most of my anxiety attacks occurred at church.
“I was always told that if I’d read the scriptures, say my prayers, and go to church, I’d be happy. Well, that wasn’t the case for me. I’d enjoy the first few minutes of church, and then a panic attack would begin.
“My bishop helped me realize that the spiritual expectations I had set for myself may be part of the cause. I thought I had to have the same miraculous spiritual experiences I heard about. It made sense to me that this pressure could cause my repeated attacks.
“One day someone asked me, ‘Why do you still go to church?’ I was taken aback. Why was I still going to church?”
You can read Heidi’s response here!
If you struggle with anxiety, depression, or anything like it, know that you are not alone. Heavenly Father loves you! Help and hope are available. Visit mentalhealth.ChurchofJesusChrist.org to explore more.
From Heidi L., “My Struggle with Anxiety at Church,” For the Strength of Youth, October 2022.