Valley of Sorrow: A Layman's Guide to Understanding Mental Illness (Paperback)
Writing from the perspective of a father with a close family member who has for many years been afflicted with a chronic mental illness, Alexander B. Morrison writes:
“I assure you that Latter-day Saints are in no way exempt from the burden of mental illness, either as victim, caregiver, family member, or friend. In every ward and stake there are severely depressed men and women; elderly people with failing memories and reduced intellectual capacities; youth or adults struggling to escape the dark specter of suicide; persons of all ages, both sexes, and every walk of life, who exhibit aberrant, even bizarre behavior.”
Despite such problems, there is hope. In this helpful book, Elder Morrison uses laymen's terms to explain the causes, course, effects, and treatment of such debilitating diseases as anxiety disorders, depression, schizophrenia, and eating disorders. In doing so, he lifts the stigma and dispels the myths and misconceptions so often associated with mental illness.
Recommending a balanced approach to treatment, including prayer, priesthood blessings, professional counseling, and prescribed medication, Elder Morrison offers hope and welcome encouragement to those who suffer from these painful, widely misunderstood, and destructive afflictions.
- Published: March 2003
- Pages: 192
About the Author
Alexander B. Morrison was sustained to the First Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in April 1987 and was named emeritus General Authority in October 2000. With masters degrees from the University of Alberta and the University of Michigan, and a doctorate from Cornell University, he became an internationally recognized scientist and directed several committees in the World Health Organization. In 1984 he became the first recipient of the David M. Kennedy Service Award from the Kennedy International Center at Brigham Young University and in 2001 was named administrator of the year by the George W. Romney Institute of Public Management at Brigham Young University. He and his wife, Shirley Brooks Morrison, are the parents of eight children.
A must read for LDS members who struggle with depression!
by Kate - reviewed on February 20, 2004
What a blessing to have a book written about the reality of depression in the LDS Church. This book will bring comfort, peace and hope to all who read it. Whether you or a loved one struggle with chemical imbalance, this is a must read. Finally someone has said it's ok to have depression, it's ok to take medication for depression and that it's not a lack of faith or obedience to the Gospel that causes it. I have seen people's lives improve after reading this book. I have seen people's relationships with Heavenly Father be restored through this book.
Mostly very good
by Jonathan - reviewed on June 03, 2008
This book is very good at explaining some of the more common mental illnesses, myths believed by many people about mental illnesses, and the 'dark spectre' of suicide. The reason I gave it four stars instead of five is because he doesn't really talk about bipolar disorder, a major and extremely dangerous mental disorder that I have. He mentions bipolar depression, but says next to nothing about mania and mixed episodes. And he doesn't mention the fact that 20% of bipolar persons successfully commit suicide, and many more attempt suicide.
A Comfort to the Depressed
by Don - reviewed on November 28, 2007
I found a great deal of comfort in reading this book. It helps to understand the problem of depression in light of the gospel.
A good book
by Customer - reviewed on September 19, 2008
I'm glad that Elder Morrison wrote the book. People need to read it. It explains some mental illnesses but not all though. I wanted to know about other types.
not educational, inaccurate
by Customer - reviewed on October 11, 2010
Makes individuals struggling with clinical depression feel powerless, and like a victim. Fails to affirmatively echo a message of hope and healing to those who are seeking help and recovery.
Excellent and poignant.......
by Teri - reviewed on November 16, 2010
Not only does Elder Morrison share his own experience as well as others he also has rolled up his sleeves to help in the fight against stigma and ignorance in the church. I have worked with him side by side in this great work. A glimpse of my son, Rob and our family's struggle is shared in this book on page 52. it continues on with another hospitalization this past week-end.