Friday, April 2, 2010

I'm thinking I shouldn't have reproduced...

When I was in 8th grade, I was diagnosed with depression and started counseling. In 9th grade, I was hospitalized for attempted suicide and spent almost 2 weeks in the psych unit. I started medication and more therapy, and things started to get better. I still dealt with depression and struggled my way through the rest of highschool. I made a lot of poor choices and started down a path of self destruction that would last for several years.

When I moved to Utah, things were OK (despite my crappy choices) but when I was 20, I went to the ER because I knew that I had tail spun into a dark place and if I didn't get help right then, things might not look good for the future. I spent about a week in hospital starting therapy and medication again. After I was discharged, I was placed with an amazing psychologist who did wonders for retraining me how to think and view the world. I owe so much to that doctor who literally saved my life.

Fast forward to today- Scott just went to his first appointment last week with a psychologist (the same one I went to 10 yrs ago- not a coincidence) to start to get his life together. He has realized that he feels like he needs some extra help for things like anxiety and maybe ADD. He is excited to be getting the help he needs- he just just wishes that he would have done this 20 yrs ago.

Well, onto our children. Carrie was just diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. She has been struggling with fears and stresses that disrupt her daily living. I suspected that it was more than just everyday fears we normally would deal with, but this was extreme. We can't drive anywhere without her stressing about if we are going to run out of gas. If she sees a police officer, she thinks they are going to get her. Loud noises are too much for her. She is still in diapers because the fear of going potty overwhelms her. Poor little thing carries the weight of the world on her shoulders.

We are going to start medication to see if that helps. She will also start therapy to work through a lot of the fears and issues she has. We are getting her into an allergist and a GI specialist to see if they can help us more with her physical issues. When I asked the doctor why a 5 yr old would have anxiety this bad, she said that the majority of the time it is hereditary. When Scott heard this, he put his head down and quietly apologized to Carrie for "giving" it to her.

We are also set up to take Duncan in for an evaluation for ADHD. When we explained to the doctor his behavior, she said that it was out of the norm for a 3 yr old boy, and that it would be wise to get him in to be seen.

The last few days have been a whirlwind of emotion as I have come to realize that my children have some problems and I don't know how to fix them. When I read in the Ensign about life's trials, I came upon this statement: "...challenges come as a natural result of mortality and the world we live in. We are mortals with bodies that will age and may become ill or injured." I really hope that Carrie (and Scott and other kids) know that it is OK to have these challenges. We can get through them with the help of the Lord. He loves us and understands what we are going through. The atonement made it possible for Him to know how to succor us depending on our infirmities. We may feel alone sometimes, but if we keep an eternal perspective, we will know that the Lord will always be with us.

"No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God . . . and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire." -Orson F. Whitney

I pray that Carrie will understand that she is not flawed. Just a mortal who has the opportunity to learn and overcome this affliction. She is a child of God, and is loved by so many people. She will get through this. It may not be easy, and it might just suck sometimes. The Lord is mindful of her and her struggles and challenges. I hope that she will rely on Christ and know that one day she may be healed and made perfect.

I love this gospel and the understanding it brings in times of despair and sorrow. I only hope that I can be the best support to her as she faces this hand she has been dealt. I am glad that I had her, despite the challenges that we may have given her.


  1. Leanne, I truly admire you for posting this. I really think that the church can do a better job about talking about mental health issues.

    I work with suicidal teenagers everyday, and it's such a struggle for them. I also work in an adolescent counseling center. You are doing the right things for your kids, by getting them help early.

    I've also had my own struggles with anxiety, which I posted about on Mormon Mommy Blogs, here:

  2. Well, regardless of what you've done/been thru, I still love you a ton. And I will always love your kids, no matter what trials they face. Maybe Carrie can help me now get over my anxiety of public places filled with people!

  3. WOW! That was just a great reflection/ testimony of how things should be. I'm sure Carrie and Duncan will be able to get through these trials because they have such a great and loving mom with perspective. That is what's really important. Love you girl! hang in there and thanks for sharing :)

  4. I had no idea that you went through those kind of trials. I have had many days that I have sat and cried along with Addy with stresses of life and her sensory problems. Bryan was diagnosed with it a month after she was and so I am now learning how to deal with it and how to be a support with everything. Addy's sensory integration dysfunction is also hereditary. It is very hard at times and I feel guilty a lot because I feel like I didn't do what I should have done as a mommy. For pediatrician specializes in ADHD so if you need his name and number let me know. I have referred people to him and my friend found out a lot about her son and his ADHD with my pediatrician. Hang in there and rely on the Lord. Also I am here if you need to talk.

  5. Thanks for your comments! It was hard to put it out there for everyone to see. There is such a stigma with mental health issues, and until we breakdown the negative ideas associated with it, we may never move forward. Hopefully things get better from here!

  6. "There is such a stigma with mental health issues, and until we breakdown the negative ideas associated with it, we may never move forward."
    This is so true, Leanne.

    Hang in there. We love you. Our prayers are offered daily for the well-being of our children, their spouses, and our grandchildren

  7. I'm just glad you are all able to receive help for these problems. I'm so proud of you. I know how hard you try and I absolutely love your children. I used to never want my kids to go through some of the things I have had to, but a couple of weeks ago, i realized that the more they go through, the stronger they will be able to become. If I had a prefect and easy life, would I have the testimony I have today? Not to say that those who do have things easier can't have a strong testimony. But I now feel like it's okay now if my children have to face hard times or make not so great choices along the way, (as much as I will worry about them) as long as they have enough of a testimony or love for the Savior to rebound and become stronger in the end.