I came across an old post I had written on my Facebook page while at a KSAMFT mental health conference back in the fall of 2015. I like writing and sharing insights with my followers that I receive while attending so many informationally wealthy events that I’m lucky to attend:
“The development of mental disorders are 40-60% attributed to genetics. Trauma, infection/injury, prenatal damage, substance use, neglect and stressors all play significant roles as well. (this is the part the speaker was addressing)“Notice that ‘willpower’ or ‘level of righteousness’ are not listed. Empathy and non-judgmental approaches to mental health are pivotal to the shifts that need to happen culturally as we help each other address these issues.”
Way too often in my office, people sit with the unnecessary tragedy of inappropriate self-blame, mythology around what I call “equational living” (if I do A… I’m guaranteed B… – common rhetoric in Mormon culture), and unrealistic expectations and misinformation around behavioral change. These types of cognitive distortions typically add to the issues in question, instead of helping them resolve them. We need radical shifts in our paradigms around mental health, in particular within the setting of religious language and doctrinal understanding.