“Comment,” Ensign, Oct. 1998, 80
“Light in Darkness”
Thank you for publishing the article “Light in Darkness.” Mental health issues are too often ignored, buried, and denied.
My own experiences with treatment-resistant depression, coming after a disastrous divorce and subsequent disintegration of our children’s lives and family structure, have taught me that reaching out to others for help and assistance is the most valuable lesson. My route to overcoming the severe and pervasive negativity of clinical depression has been to gather a team of professionals, Church members, priesthood leaders, friends, and family and inform them of my condition and ask them for help. This may be a difficult process when one is confused and hurting, but it was my lifesaver and continues today to be my anchor.
Neither my psychologist nor my psychiatrist is LDS, yet we have incorporated Christian values and specific LDS treasures in my therapy. My wonderful former bishop and stake president met several times with my therapist to gain a better picture of how he as my priesthood leader could help me and my family. Family therapy and medication for depression have been side-by-side treatments that have been crucial to my healing process.
Church leaders need to realize that the darkness that comes with mental illness can be soul searing and very frightening and may take years to overcome. Spiritual awareness and peace in the gospel may come as a part of the process of healing at different times for different people. The spiritual dimensions of my life have been given rebirth and increased importance in my healing as I have gained inner strength and confidence.
Karen S. Freeman
Silver Spring, Maryland
Standing Up for Standards
I was pleased to read “‘Great … Except for That One Part’” by Anya Bateman in the June 1998 Ensign. As the general manager for a cable TV company, I can assure you that comments from customers carry a lot of weight and do have an effect on programming decisions. I have been saddened that good people stand by while pornography, excessive violence, and other mind pollution drift quietly through our communities.
I was also appreciative that Sister Bateman mentioned the importance of making positive comments. I have seen several cable systems and TV stations that have begun or continued broadcasting general conference and other LDS programming due to viewer requests.
If we fail to speak out for or against certain types of media, we are not fulfilling our responsibility to stand up for our standards.
G. Scott Flake