Barriers to Belief : Mental Distress and Disaffection from the Church
Interpreter : A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship
The Interpreter Foundation
People leave the Church for a variety of reasons. Of all the reasons why people leave, one that has attracted little or no attention is the influence of mental distress. People who experience anxiety or depression see things differently than those who do not. Recognizing that people with mental distress have a different experience with church than others may help us to make adjustments that can prevent some amount of disaffection from the Church. This article takes a first step in identifying ways that mental distress can affect church activity and in presenting some of the things that individuals, friends, family members and Church leaders can do to help make being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints a little easier for those who experience mental distress.
This paper was presented at the 2018 FairMormon Conference in Provo, Utah, August 2, 2018. To prepare it for publication, it has been source checked and copy edited; otherwise it appears here as first presented.