Sunday, February 10, 2013

Rodcast 119: Depression

We mostly skipped over Sunday school, but as a bonus we revealed our Lent givings up instead. What are you giving up for Lent.

We spoke a little of depression, which is hardly as difficult as it is to deal with. Nevertheless, it is quite difficult to speak of logically, especially when winging it.

Please check out this comic about depression. Does it hit home? Or is it just a silly way to look at things? Oh, and please be wary of the possibly offensive language.

Download here!

Next Rodcast: Great and spacious building activities!


  1. Another thought provoking Rodcast.

    I saw the tweets about the movie marathon. Congrats to Jon for a great accomplishment.

    I'm the same way at work sometimes. The best days are when I don't have to speak to anyone else. I'm more productive when I can listen to my iPod without being bothered.

    Pete's story about not going to class reminded of President Hinckley's talk about everyone needs a friend and a responsibility. It is easier to go to church when you have friends there. If you can play the piano, it's harder to "fly under the radar." Most times when I've moved to a new ward, I only make it a few weeks before someone finds out that I can play the piano and that forces me out of my shell, and helps me to integrate into the ward.

    It's interesting that the Church pays its organ players a salary to play the organ in the Tabernacle during the week. So they are getting paid to play the organ during the week, but they volunteer to play on Sundays for Music and the Spoken Word. (Various prominent people from KSL also volunteer as 'hosts' as well)

    My favorite G&S activity would be to make fun of the people holding to the Iron Rod.

  2. I met Peter Vidmar in Florida at a corporate speaking event when I was 16. Random story. And Jon's angina joke was amazing!

  3. Pork angina? As in bacon-induced angina? If so, well worth it. And the joke was stupid. Sorry, Rhett.

    I think Peter Vidmar was actually a stake president in southern California in recent years, by the way. Also, much ado was made last year when he resigned as the US Olympic Committee's chef de mission (or basically the head administrator for the whole contingent) for the London Olympics due to his anti-same-sex-marriage stance and actions during the Prop 8 thing in California in '08. So yes, Peter Vidmar.

    I really liked the 41st Ward when I first moved to UT. Lots of activities, lots of social-ness, a great bishopric (Pohlman, Tolman & Hackett) was awesome. I was fine with being a face in the crowd because there was such opportunity to carve out your niche and find a circle of friends within the much larger whole. Also, I already knew at least one person in the ward when I moved here, and that definitely helped as they were a kind of jumping-off point so far as getting introduced to other ward members and such.

    Oh God. The Martin Harris Pageant. In Richmond. Unbelievably boring. We left before it was over, and certainly weren't the only ones to do so. Not one I'd be interested in attending again. And I remember that movie that Peter was talking about with him bearing his testimony toward the end of his life. That was pretty good and more worth your time than the pageant.

    Easter is March 31st this year, by the way. Considerably early.

    Also, I'm giving up all junk food for Lent: candy, cookies, ice cream, cake, soda pop, chips, all of it. Wahoo!

    See Part II...

  4. Having been on medication for depression...having gone to counseling...all that interesting stuff...I can tell you that it is definitely a real thing in this Church. I can also tell you that a lot of the things that depressed me...and still do...have to do with not fitting the narrative...the expected life timeline and path and whatnot...of a female member of the Church in the Intermountain West. There is almost an expectation that you are going to compare yourself with other women, as they are your measuring sticks. Clothes, looks, jewelry, makeup, marital status, you name it. You find yourself wondering what you did wrong that they did right. You find yourself berating yourself for not being as thin or as well-dressed or as well-made-up as her. You find yourself doubting you'll ever been whatever enough to merit true happiness. You see your internal flaws...your lack of compassion, lack of absolute honesty, lack of this or that, and start thinking it will sink your chances at marriage and family in the future. It just goes on and on. When the standards are as high and the demands and expectations are as powerful as they are in this Church, this is what you're going to get. Faiths where there is less pressure, I would venture to say, don't have as much of a problem. It's strange that such a positive message about individual potential and as personal of a God as the one that is found in this Gospel could lead to such misery, but it does. The culture does it; the message does not. Members have a way of making it hard on each other...and on themselves.

    Laura Bush, George W.'s wife, also had diagnosed depression, by the way. It was interesting to hear her talk about it when she was First Lady.

    God can make weak things become strong. That's a fact. However, I wouldn't go so far as to call depression a blessing. At least not for a lot of people. It takes a lot of faith, courage, insight, etc. to work toward improvement through the depression. Mostly, just you want it to end. You want out from under the dark cloud. It would be nice if you could say you were better for the experience, but, at least for me, it's largely been about just feeling normal and sane and not constantly sad, afraid, etc.

    When I was thinking about going on depression meds, I was concerned about a fake, drug-induced happiness. I was afraid I would go back to my old self if I went off the meds. However, after going on them...and then, with a doctor's recommendation, going off of them...I can say they are a good...often a great...thing. You just feel more balanced. You are able to focus on your daily responsibilities, you are able to have a good social life, you are able to feel like you can pray and get just feel better. It takes a major weight off your heart and mind.

    I would say that depression is a condition of this world. I can't imagine living in the presence of God and not feeling 'good enough'. I really think depression is a consequence of being on this side of the veil and not knowing completely who we are and what amazing people we've always been. That and not applying the Atonement enough in your life.

    However, I don't know that it is a first-world problem only. The triggers are different for those in less-developed countries. For example, poverty can lead to such deep hopelessness that it's hard to describe. It can lead one to think there is no reason to go on because there's no way out of their circumstances.

    The GSB? When I worked at the Church Office Building, I heard people refer to that building as the Great & Spacious Building. And, honestly, I can't completely disagree with them. The way some people who work there look down on others who work there...and everyone who doesn't...I would say isn't too far off from the behavior Lehi had in mind. Ugh.


  5. Another second topic idea: How not to drink in bars.

  6. If I were getting a hunk of bone cut out of my leg, bring on the booze and a funnel.