Mon, 8 August 2016
Today's interviewee was a graduate of Dartmouth University and a regular listener to Mormon Stories podcast when she decided to serve an LDS mission in 2012. Towards the latter half of her mission she began to experience depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation, due in part to a culture of perfectionism within Mormonism, along with doubts she began to experience as a missionary (primarily around LGBT and historical issues). When she informed her mission president of her depressive symptoms, he allowed her only three visits to a talk therapist.
Over time on her mission, she began to experience significant suicidal ideation, and on the final month of her mission was self-admitted to a psychiatric behavioral health unit/hospital. After her stay in the hospital, she decided that she no longer believed the church to be true, and terminated her mission service early (a few weeks shy of completion). While the LDS church attempted to make her parents pay her hospital bills while a missionary, her parents declined and threatened to sue the church if they continued with such insistences.
Eventually she decided to leave the LDS church, and has experienced significant improvement in her mental health, and elimination of her suicidality, as a result of this decision. At present, she is engaged to be married and works as a nurse at Planned Parenthood in California.