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Posted by: Betsy93 ( )
Date: August 12, 2017 05:23PM

I've had pretty bad depression for a long time, but most days, I'm able to function. I just choose to keep busy and do/think about other things.

But, this week I was listening to an atheist podcast and they talked about death and it really triggered me. I spent all week obsessively ruminating over death and losing loved ones to the point where I've had a couple of panic attacks. I've felt sick to my stomach and shaky for days and I can't sleep or function very well at work.

I don't know how to put it into words...but I'm so sad and anxious about losing faith that I had serious thoughts of committing suicide just so I wouldn't have to worry any more. My de-conversion has been years of pain and I can't talk to anyone about it.

Do you have any advice? I'm generally able to bounce back from these severe episodes of anxiety/suicidal thoughts, but this one was the most severe episode I've had yet.

Thanks for your help.

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Posted by: caffiend ( )
Date: August 12, 2017 05:38PM

This is not exactly a faith-promoting forum. Lots of posters happily proclaim, "I'm free of my religious belief and feel very good (and proud!) about that. I know that when I die, I--and everybody I care about--simply cease to exist. What's the problem?" Here, religion is approved, on certain conditions, such as not proclaiming that there is genuine spiritual truth (it's all individual, you know), that it is valid to the extent it "brings you comfort," and you make no moral judgments.

I'm a never-mo ex-Christian Scientist, and went through my phases of agnosticism, religious indifference, and atheism, but finally came to the conclusion that there is a Creator, and we have souls which He deeply cares about. I get no shortage of grief for that! I am now a Christian in a conservative Baptist church.

LDS is a hoax, but that doesn't mean all religion and God is. An analogy: if you were investing in a fraudulent investment company, does that mean all investments are crooked? You have to write off your losses and start over, painful as that is. You're free to investigate other belief systems and choose your own--even atheism. But I suggest you find a good study Bible in a modern translation and start poking around the New Testament. I recommend the ESV study Bible.

For your immediate faith crisis, DO find a counselor, and associate with positive people outside LDS. That may mean disengaging your family, if they're deeply Mormon and manipulative. A good social worker, therapist, or counselor can point you to some possibilities you might not be aware of. And if you're thinking of harming yourself--Please, call 911!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/12/2017 05:42PM by caffiend.

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Posted by: can't remember my pasword ( )
Date: August 14, 2017 02:57PM


Since you have never been Mormon, I'm not sure what you're doing here. Especially since you have no idea what you're talking about.

Leave your family??? Whaaaaaaat???

My husband and kids are all Mormon as are my grandchildren.

Getting comfortable with your belief system is on you. And seriously, you've got no idea what the difference is between mainstream Christianity, being raised in the church and all that goes with that.

You sound like a plant from the Baptist Church (which obtw is also a hoax).

To the poster,

I hear your pain. I've been there, the feeling in the pit of my stomach when I couldn't justify some finding or realized there was an untruth was sheer terror. I thought I had the answers, I thought I was taken care of. I had a rock solid testimony, which I shared allllll the time.

I backed away slowly and when my husband started to back away with me I freaked out. One of us had to stay!

It was years before what I knew and what I felt actually meshed.

Give yourself time. Don't freak out, just read, think, come here and post. I'd recommend reading all of Steve Benson's posts, you can filter by them and he's really good.

Read both sides if you need to.

I ended up leaving because logically I knew it couldn't be true. Once I pulled in all the evidence it seemed like such a clear picture but I wasn't freaking out anymore.

You will either go back or you will leave, whichever choice you make be true to yourself. Otherwise, you'll just go nutso.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: August 12, 2017 05:40PM

I think most of us some time in our lives have felt as you do, so you're not alone. It seems like the feeling is permanent, but it isn't. I hope you can hang in there and feel better day by day.

You say you can't talk to anyone. I think it might help if you would start by talking to your doctor who might refer you to someone to talk to you. Perhaps medication would also help.

I never had those things, but I just kept going through life day by day and I did get better and better. Those bad times are long gone. If I and others can get better, you can too.

Posting here might be a good start for you. Good luck.

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Posted by: SusieQ#1 ( )
Date: August 12, 2017 05:40PM

I'm so sorry you are having this experience. There is help out there. You've made a major change in your life.

My advice would be to find a counselor of some sort that you can talk to. Do some research, find someone that handles your kind of concerns. They can help you find new ways to handle what is going on with you and give you tools that can work also.

You will find the tools that will work for you. It might take awhile, might need to see a doctor, also. Hang in there. There are ways to help you feel better.

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Posted by: praydude ( )
Date: August 12, 2017 05:42PM

Hi Betsy93. I do not suffer from panic attacks but several people in my family do. The panic attacks and depression may be related but I would urge you to seek out a therapist and possibly a psychiatrist.

I have gone to therapy several times in my life and it has really helped. However some people may have problems that require a little more help. I have seen modern medicine help out my family members who suffer from panic disorders and depression. Please ask for help from your doctor for some recommendations for a specialist who can help you.

Good luck!

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Posted by: Paintingnotloggedin ( )
Date: August 12, 2017 05:45PM

The think I understood you state, that this week, not last year, that you experienced suicidal thoughts after you watched a video from somewhere. Please phone the hotline it's listed at the top of the message board as well. I am not a professional and cannot give advice to help you with your thoughts or anxiety with suicidal thoughts or feelings. But what I can do, is, I can very much get you the phone number for immediate conversation support now that you mention you've felt this way this week, that's what the number is for, help & assistance

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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: August 12, 2017 05:54PM

Talk to your doctor about it. I was first diagnosed by a family doctor. What he said was later confirmed by a couple of psychiatrists. Therapy and medication helped with my panic attacks.

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Posted by: bradley ( )
Date: August 12, 2017 06:19PM

If it were just bad depression, I'd look up ketamine therapy.

Loss of faith isn't necessarily a bad thing. It only means that you have to think. Why is this world worse without faith? When was the last time an Atheist strapped on an explosive vest?

For me, loss of the Mormon faith only put me from a fish bowl into a big ocean. Faith has shifted to existence itself. Everything balances because it must. TSCC cheapens life to get your money and your indentured servitude. Don't fall for that shit. Life is so much more.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: August 12, 2017 06:22PM

I've felt more at peace about my eternal salvation and the afterlife since leaving Mormonism.

As a LDS there were times when the religion itself created a vaccuum in my soul - for something I could not identify but knew I was missing.

Finding a good and wise therapist can help you with the bouts of anxiety you're feeling.

Don't give up. See life as a journey, not a destination. The things you learn day to day needn't diminish you as a person of worth, or a soul of infinite worth.

I still need faith not as a crutch, but because it helps me nurture my spirituality - something that's as integral to me as breathing. Claiming your joy and inner peace is your birthright. Mormonism doesn't own the keys to eternal salvation. It never did.

Having been taught to believe in a cult to save us is hard to shake at first. But you can do it, and need to if you are to find your authentic self - in relation to the divine and your worth as a child of God.

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Posted by: badassadam ( )
Date: August 17, 2017 12:48PM

It is hard to shake but in order to become a real authentic person again you have to shake it you are right but it can be scary to have to think for yourself at all times when you arent used to it but it will be worth it.

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Posted by: badassadam ( )
Date: August 17, 2017 12:52PM

The thing that helped me the best were finding two different non religious counselors that have experience with lds trauma, some counselors are specifically trained for people that have religious trauma and they know what they are doing they are smart and professional.

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Posted by: cutekitty ( )
Date: August 12, 2017 06:30PM


Please, do not harm yourself. You are in a bad spot right now. Everyone here at RfM has been shocked, disappointed, angry, devastated,...and the list goes on, at how we felt and were treated as TBM's when we ALL found out the truth of the church.

Please find someone, out of the church, to talk to soon. Even a stranger can offer some words of advice or encouragement that maybe you haven't thought of. Words of encouragement will help you now. An objective viewpoint from someone, preferably a professional, because they are trained to help people, can be the best help. Hospitals have social workers to help, even if you don't have money.

Life is too precious to waste another minute being sad and depressed. Also, post here and solicit advice from those who have been where you ARE and are in recovery NOW!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/12/2017 07:07PM by cutekitty.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: August 12, 2017 06:34PM

To me, panic attacks are symptomatic of anxiety. Anxiety and depression often go hand-in-hand. I encourage you to seek professional help so that you are not overwhelmed by your anxiety. I know that dealing with anxiety can be very difficult, but there are professionals who understand what you are going through and who want to help you.

It is possible to lack a belief in god (atheism,) or to be unsure (agnosticism,) and still believe in an afterlife. Belief in an afterlife is probably as old as humanity. The ancient Romans believed it, the Egyptians believed it, and the Norse people believed it. There is some speculation that Neanderthals may have believed it as well (they buried their dead with flowers.)

If it comforts you to speculate or believe that you will see your loved ones again, feel free to do just that. After my mom died, the near-death literature kept me functioning. Consider this, that survival after death is at least a possibility.

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Posted by: Itzpapalotl ( )
Date: August 12, 2017 06:43PM

Definitely go see a doctor, therapist, and/or pyschiatrist. A panic attack is bad enough, to have one that spans over several days can be physically dangerous and especially if your are suicidal. There could be underlying disorders that are causing this kind of anxiety and depression, like Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Getting an accurate diagnosis, possibly medication and therapy, and stabilizing is the first set of steps, then you learn how to manage your symptoms. There is help for you! I know it's hard to ask for it, but you came here for it, so get some professional help, too!

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Posted by: presleynfactsrock ( )
Date: August 12, 2017 06:51PM

Please do get help if you are still thinking of harming yourself.
The moments and days can get better as so many on this board can attest to. We care about you and hope to get to know you better.

Think about this.....NO ONE knows for sure if life after death exists or is all speculation at this point.

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Posted by: BYU Boner ( )
Date: August 12, 2017 06:57PM

Hi Betsy, leaving Mormonism is a very difficult process that may take time to resolve.

Initially, I felt that I could be a hopeful agnostic and be comfortable with that. Eventually, I decided I could believe in more mainline Protestant Christianity. I eventually joined an inclusive congregation and discovered a faith I thought was dead. Even with this, I still have doubts about God. Its okay, in my current faith community my pastor tells me that is healthy and normal.

My advice is to do some quiet reflection over what you can or can't believe. Then, make peace with yourself. In time, you may or may not want some spirituality of faith in your life. Please remember that n Mormonism we said we know. In many faith communities it's okay to say I believe, or I have hope.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/12/2017 06:58PM by BYU Boner.

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Posted by: Breeze ( )
Date: August 12, 2017 07:54PM

I was horribly upset, at first, to discover that Mormonism is a hoax cult. My world was turned upside down. I couldn't even trust my own parents for the Truth, anymore. When we resigned, all my Mormon neighbor friends shunned me. I didn't have anyone on my side, and I had no one to talk to, either. I was living alone at the time, and felt totally abandoned.

Until--I prayed to God, in the name of Jesus Christ--and found that they were still there! God and Christ are within us. They are Love (that much I know). Outside of that, there are as many interpretations of God as there are people. I believe that Christ had no church building, no temple, no tithe collectors or accountants--in fact, he had distain for these. You can belong to any religion you want! I chose to belong to no religion. I feel I'm pretty well-schooled in The Bible, because my parents raised me on it, and I memorized a lot of it. I loved The Bible, and hated the BOM, from the first time I read them both.

The Mormon church does not own God! It is not "Christian." It is a hoax, man-made cult, that blasphemes Christ. Christ is not a polygamist, and neither is God. The tithing you donated was not "God's money," but was used to build more temples and malls, and buy more real estate and businesses. You were lied to. This is NOT God's fault. God is still in His Heaven, and all is right with the world.

You need to "recover," from Mormonism, just as most of us on this board have needed to. It takes some longer than others.

It does help to talk to someone! I talked to my dog, in those lonely, sleepless weeks. My anxiety attacks were so awful, that I went to a psychiatrist, who was also a never-Mormon neighbor, and he knew some of the same people who were harassing me, maligning me, and shunning me. You need someone on your side, to tell you that you are NOT crazy. The Mormons are the crazy ones.

I hope you call the suicide hotline. Please, promise that you will call!

Be patient. Find out about "the 5 stages of grief." I had to go through every one of them. Anger was the longest lasting, and even now, I get flares of anger, when the cult pulls a new scam on the people.

Sometimes the best way out is straight through the middle. Learn all you can. Read RFM, until your eyes glaze over. I stayed all night, for a week, trying to grasp the reality of the hoax. Yes, I believe that Mormonism is evil.

Mormonism is not of God, not even remotely. The Mormons have no "authority" from God. They have no authority over you. Mormon can not tell God what to do. They can not tell God to punish you, so they try to punish you, themselves.

The psychiatrist diagnosed me with PTSD. My circumstances in Mormonism were of unusual childhood abuse, and, in adulthood, beatings from my temple ex-husband.

The afterlife? I believe that God loves us, and we will all be together, through love, but I don't think anyone has any absolute facts about heaven.

The Mormon Heaven had me eternally temple-sealed in marriage to a horrible thug who beat me and almost killed me. I got divorced to save my life, and years later, married a good Mormon man, but the cult would not allow us to be married in the temple, because the thug ex-husband would not release me.

The Mormon Heaven had my children also sealed to an abuser that they had never met, as his property. This was my idea of Hell.

For me--anything would be better than the Mormon hereafter!!!

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Posted by: badassadam ( )
Date: August 14, 2017 01:21AM

I know how you feel i was triggered so badly today that i had to get on the forum to vent or i was going to explode. The pain of dealing with all the lies is like i have ptsd from a war.

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Posted by: bradley ( )
Date: August 14, 2017 01:37AM

You did go through a war. A war with yourself. Mormonism is very bad for the well armed.

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Posted by: azsteve ( )
Date: August 14, 2017 05:50AM

Betsy93, There are some reassuring things that can help to lift the depression. First of all, you're not alone. For the billions of people who have ever lived, you and I and all of us are in the same boat together. Our inevitable deaths were destined from before our births. That's not a religious belief, just a fact. That is how it is supposed to be, nothing to worry or fret over. It's how things are supposed to be. Unlike many others here, I believe that our existance doesn't end with death. There is no proof and no one can say "I know....." about any of this. After you shed the mormonism, you can still bring meaning to your life and even fulfill your destiny here. I do some non-religious charity work and that helps bring me up. Mingle with more people. Find out what is important to them. The church is like a drug. When you come off of it, there can be withdrawls and adjustments to make. Life is just as beautiful without the church, maybe more beautiful. You just need to learn how to engage with life without everything coming through the church.

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Posted by: mrsnotasiplanned ( )
Date: August 17, 2017 04:47AM

If you can't stop ruminating, you might have obsessuve compulsive disorder and should see a doctor if you haven't already. Taking an anti-depressant can help you put less importance on the issue. Also, getting outside, if even for a few minutes a day can help, as can exercise.
Remember you can post when you have no one to talk to. I can relate to your feelings. Take care.

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Posted by: that one ( )
Date: August 17, 2017 08:09AM

Take a deep breath, and take a step back. You don't have to know all the answers right now, and right here. Look at it from all angles, take your time, and make a choice. Remember that your choice isn't final. You can always go back, forth, sideways or whichever way you want, as long as you're a good human being. A good deity won't mind.

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Posted by: Survivalist ( )
Date: August 17, 2017 09:05AM

Hi Betsy93, The things that really, really hit home for me is that you've been de-converting, alone and in pain for years, and haven't been able to talk to anyone about it.

Most healthy humans have a finite capacity for stress, and I see your condition much like an over-inflated balloon ready to burst. Talking and sharing helps to relieve the pressure, so you've taken a very courageous step forward to relieve some of that pressure, and you should be very proud of your incredible strength that not only pulled you through years of pain, but also is now reaching out for help.

The denial was so strong about anything in me having been harmed, that not only did I never talk about the wrongs done to me, I couldn't even think about them. I was in a constant state of distraction for well over a decade, and I dismissed much of the numbness by telling myself that maybe all people were mostly numb. I appeared confident and strong to other people, but inside, I carried a deep sadness that never let loose, and thoughts of suicide were constant companions. The numbness let me turn those off and on like a faucet, so I thouht I'd just carry on like that as long as I lived.

Nope, my brain had other plans for me. Like you, eventually, mere (specific) words triggered the real fear and panic lurking within, and I began to feel - really feel - the depths of all I had suffered and lost. I couldn't stop the pain anymore, my facade was crumbling, and there were the additional terrors of being out of control and vulnerable, not knowing how or why it was happening, not knowing how to cope with the pain.

Healing was being born within me, but I didn't know that at the time. It felt more like the "me" who had gotten me through all of those long and lonely years was sick and dying, and I wanted her back.

I had to reach out for help, just as you have, and I initially sought help online. The anonymity helped me to bridge the yawning gap between other humans and myself. I had not realized how very, very afraid of them I had been, how I never let my guard down, how I had received zero training in recognizing the "dangerous" ones from the "safe" ones.

If any of this sounds familiar, you have taken a huge step forward, and I would encourage you to keep reaching out, keep trying to understand that you are on a healing journey, unique to your own pain, your own needs. None of us have the same "story," but there are strong similarities in the wounds and suffering, and in the paths to health. Eventually, you can reach out to other humans in face-to-face meetings, one-on-one and / or in groups.

For now, it is most important that when you become triggered as you described, that you find a place of safety. Whatever comforts you, no matter how childish it may seem, that's what you need to do, until the worst of the triggered state passes. Comforting yourself will help it to pass. I felt most safe in my darkened bedroom, door closed and locked, surrounded by my dogs.

The only "rule" in comforting yourself is that it involves no self-harm of any kind. Think of it as creating the safe space you would want for your child, but it is for you, your scared and lonely child within. Comfort her as you would comfort your beloved child, with all the tenderness and patience she deserves.

Ask, where do I feel most safe? Does hugging a pillow or stuffed animal help? A cup of herbal tea? Whatever it is, that's what you should do.

A word about triggers -

It's not like you asked for it, right? It's not your "fault," or a weakness of any kind. It is your brain's and body's way if saying, "Pay attention!" Ugh. Triggers are "a normal response to an abnormal amount of stress." They are an autonomic flood of hormones that result in a "fight, flight or freeze" survival response in humans. That's a "good" thing, except, ...

When there is no "actual" danger present, and your mind and body are responding to a "trigger" that your subconscious mind has associated with danger. In your case, something the atheist said triggered a very real terror for you. You are not "losing your mind," but coping with a very high flood of hormones, which are meant to make you fight, run or freeze (you don't get to "pick" which one of those you will feel - your body does it on its own).

Your rational, conscious mind looks around for the "danger," finds none, and the result is usually self-deprecation, judging yourself to be "crazy." It's simply not true. Your mind is telling you that something in the "trigger" has hurt you in the past, and to beware. That may or may not be a valid association, and that is for you to discover. That discovery work is a path of healing.

All of those "numb" years I had, unbeknownst to me, I also employed a little mental trick called "avoidance behavior." I subconsciously avoided any human contact (sight or sound) that "might" bring on a trigger. Little did I know that those triggers would turn out to be the best clues (and hard gifts) to uncovering, conquering and ridding myself of the fears wrongly planted within me by others.

Again, I applaud your courage in posting, and hope you can recognize how your strength has helped you to survive, and that you can continue to draw on your inner reserves, all of your survival skills, to now focus on healing. There are many good and kind "regular" people and many professionals with whom you can connect to offer the support you deserve. You are not alone.

My heart. and my best wishes, are flooding in your direction.

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Posted by: Pooped ( )
Date: August 17, 2017 11:12AM

Most of the advice already given is sound. I'll just add that the anxiety most people feel about death has more to do with facing the unknown. That's really the whole appeal for all religion. Religion gives a false sense of knowing what is unknowable.

I think I dodged this bullet because I'm not really afraid of the unknown. I realize that I have no memory of where I was, what I was, or what was going on before I was born and it hasn't hurt me and doesn't scare me. Therefore, I've concluded that what happens after I die is just a return to the state I was in before birth. It is unavoidable and has happened to all of mankind who came before us. If you believe death is a planned event by deity or not, it changes nothing. It will happen in due course. Embrace the fact that it is inevitable and it is a marvelous mystery that will only be understood when it happens. But until that day, you are here to learn. Learn all that is possible to learn while you have that precious commodity of time. The world is full of amazing and wonderful things to discover that are true. Learn what is knowable and accept that your fear is based upon teachings from men that are false. You will not be punished for not picking the right church or right god. Life is simply to be lived to the fullest. Enjoy the freedom you now have to investigate all aspects of life without fear of retribution. Our instinct for survival is ingrained in our biology. Did a god put it there or mother nature? It doesn't really matter. You are programmed to live, so do so to the fullest. Don't let fear take the wonder out of living.

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