The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy, but for many, it can be a time of intense depression. Seth Adam Smith, author of Marriage Isn't for You and the new novel, Rip Van Winkle and the Pumpkin Lantern, shares some of the most helpful LDS resources he's found to help him manage his longtime battle with depression.
As a Mormon who struggles with chronic depression, I’ve spent a lot of time searching for LDS resources on depression and suicide prevention. Listed below are some of the most helpful talks and articles that I have found. Before you read or listen to them, I want you to know that I have used these resources in conjunction with proper medical and professional help. Please understand that there is absolutely no shame in seeking outside help.
Carrie M. Wrigley gave this powerful speech at the 2005 BYU Education Week. It remains one of my all-time favorite talks on depression.
A blog post on mormon.org containing links to several resources on depression.
A BYU-Idaho Devotional address by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland in September 2014. Although his remarks are not specifically about depression, Elder Holland does share some profound insight about the “pursuit of happiness.” I’ve found his advice to be very helpful.
A thoughtful article from the October 2014 Ensign.
This is (in my opinion) one of Elder Holland’s greatest talks. Many of the ideas, themes, and principles he teaches can be applied to feelings of depression.
A mormon.org blog post that shares the story of Jenny Hess, a mother who struggled with depression after the loss of her child.
An article for parents whose children are battling chronic depression.
A great article for those who are trying to understand their spouse’s struggle.
In this article, a young woman tells the story of her prolonged battle with depression. She then shares five insights that helped her deal with her darker days.
In this October 1974 Conference address, President Benson shares a dozen gospel-centered ideas for fighting depression and despair.
A powerful talk by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, wherein he speaks openly and directly about depression and offers his advice, counsel, and comfort.
LDS author Ganel-lyn Condie shares personal and hopeful insight after her sister’s suicide.
A thoughtful article written by Elder Ballard that summarizes Mormon doctrine concerning suicide.
An article in LDS Living that offers helpful suggestions for supporting someone who is struggling with depression.
A Mormon Message about suicide awareness and prevention.
In addition to the resources above, there are also several books about depression that are geared toward the LDS audience, such as:
Written from a uniquely LDS point of view, this informative and inspirational book offers important clinical information for dealing with depression, including an overview of the symptoms of depression and suggestions for choosing a therapist, considering the use of medication, and finding hope to move forward—one step at a time. In addition, it explores the spiritual healing that is essential to overcoming depression, showing how we can use the Atonement of our Savior to help us forgive, heal, and move forward.
This inspiring guide portrays the experience of the Vandagriff family, which struggled under depression for more than 25 years before relief came through the grace of Jesus Christ. G.G. Vandagriff and her son, Gregory, suffered the physical and emotional effects of depression while David Vandagriff endured the deep difficulty of trying to support his wife and son during the turbulent years of their illness. Yet in the midst of great strife, the family saw the hand of God revealed in the form of inspired physicians, effective medications, and, most importantly, the direct influence of the Spirit. Written in turns by mother, son, and father, this poignant and uplifting account shows how to rely on the Spirit during times of adversity and draw on the Savior's blessings of peace, hope, and healing.
In this book, Dr. Judith Stay Moore shows us a faith-based approach for getting back in touch with our true self, voice, and worth—and to enjoy our one life—even through all or our losses and messes.
From time to time, everyone experiences some form of depression, whether a touch of the blues or a feeling of utter despair. Dr. Richard King Mower offers concrete ideas on how to fight off depression and live a happier, more productive life. He explains how to cope with loneliness and grief, control anger and guilt, and develop the healthy self-esteem necessary to serve others.
Growing up, Misti thought she had a pretty normal childhood—right up until the sixth grade. That's when she began to notice things, like how she was constantly aware of every blink of her eyes. How any normal physical thing could become an enemy that her brain would replay over and over again. She tried talking to her parents about it, but family dysfunction and parental control issues wouldn't let them see her problem for what it was. So she did everything she could to hide it. It would take her many more years to attach a name to her tortuous condition—Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. But after many more years of struggling, praying, and counseling, Misti experienced the miracle she had been seeking—she was healed. So she's done hiding. This is her story of suffering through—and eventually being healed of—OCD, anxiety, and depression through the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. This is her story of how the Lord turned her deepest struggles into her greatest blessings.