Friday, August 15, 2014

Self Esteem Advice Column: Depression



Question:

I have had depression for 3 years now and my parents don't know. I don't know how to tell them I feel like it has been so long and I am only in high school. I just got out of a bad relationship and I feel as alone as ever. I've built up such a big wall to stay away from everyone, but I am still scared of myself. I don't know how to protect myself. I feel lost and like I'm drowning. Sometimes I get so worried about my depression or other things that I feel like I can't breath and I don't know what to do to calm down. And then I start crying and I just don't know what to do. I am LDS and so I pray, but I feel unworthy and I feel so lost and forgotten. I have had a feeling to get a blessing. but I don't know who to get one from. I have a trust issues and I don't trust anyone anymore. I know my depression is genetic because my dad has depression. I am so scared that my parents will find out and will freak out. I have so many secrets that I have kept from my parents with this depression. It has just become worse and worse. I can't handle anymore. I just feel ugly and unwanted. Please, if you have any advice for me I need it.
Lilly


Answer:

Because you are LDS, I am going to answer you from an LDS perspective. I don't know you personally, but how I wish we could have a very deep heart-to-heart, one-on-one in person because you are so loved and so precious and I want you to know that and feel it deep within your heart.

My heart ached as I read your email. I hurt for you, as you are going through so much pain and such a hard time in your life. You are worth SO MUCH MORE than these thoughts that you have. The first advice I can offer you is to separate the negative thoughts that you have from the positive thoughts that you have. I can promise you with all my heart, might, mind and soul that every negative thought, every insecurity, doubt, fear, inadequacy, self pity, lack of motivation and all depression comes from Satan. He is the master of lies.


There are two reasons he wants you to feel these feelings.
1. He is miserable right now and wants you to feel that as well (2 Nephi 2:27)
2. He knows the influence you would have, the impact you would make and the lives you would change if you fully believed in yourself. So he wants to stop you. If he can convince you that you don't matter and your failed attempts are what define you, then he has done his job in keeping you from having the most incredible impact ever!!

You are absolutely incredible. Of course he is going to work on you, because he recognizes your worth. He knows that you have talents, words, power and abilities in your heart that can influence everyone in your circle when they shine through, so he is going to make you think you have nothing to offer.

On a note with your parents finding out, I always think it's best to tell parents what is on your heart because they are there for guidance and protection over your body & your spirit, however, I don't know your parents and maybe your situation is different. If you feel really uncomfortable talking to your parents, talk to your bishop instead! He will be able to offer you the guidance you need at this time in your life. Turn to him and trust him, he will not share anything that you don't want shared. 

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About three years ago, changes were happening in my life that I wasn't ready for. I let doubt and fear creep in and eventually it started to take over my mind. For a time period every thought I had was fear and feeling like I wanted to run away from the world. I felt I didn't have anything to offer. This lead me farther away from God, giving Satan more power to take over my thoughts.

Thankfully one day, something just clicked. I knew I wanted to connect to heavenly father, but how? I started using a prayer journal. I would write down questions I wanted to ask Heavenly Father. At this point in my life, my prayers were very simple. I would say "Heavenly Father, what is one thing I can change to draw closer to thee?" "Heavenly Father, how can I get rid of my doubts?" "Heavenly Father, I want to believe, but I don't fully right now Please help me to see the truth and what I have to offer."

I would then write down the thoughts that came to my mind after the prayers. I started noticing that all the thoughts to the questions were things I knew in my heart all along and Heavenly Father helped me to start seeing the light again.

My point with this story is the closer we draw to God, the more we can view our infinite worth that has been there all along. In fact, your spirit has known your worth all along. YOUR SPIRIT KNOWS THAT YOU ARE WORTH MORE THAN ANYTHING YOU CAN IMAGINE AT THIS MOMENT. The struggle is getting our mind to believe what our spirit already knows. 

Overcoming self-depreciation is a process, but absolutely one that is attainable! It will come through diligence in studying out your divine nature and the spiritual gifts that Heavenly Father has blessed you with. 

Please know that Heavenly Father loves you so much and if you are having a hard time feeling that, I believe in the power of priesthood blessings. I have had to receive a few in my life to be reminded of my own worth.

I pray that something I said struck you & inspired you to see a different perspective. 

Love always,
Ashley Marie

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