Readers’ Forum March 13, 2018

Dallas Jensen
Dallas Jensen is a practicing psychologist in Provo, UT. Jensen says he sees his LDS patients experience their mental illnesses in unique ways because of Church culture. (Dallas Jensen)

Hope in healing mental illness

Twelve years ago while I was serving my mission, I developed anxiety and depression. I was sent home early to get help with these problems. I eventually developed more mental illnesses and had several hospitalizations. I was paralyzed by my mental illnesses. However, I had decided early on I was going to do everything in my power to get healed, and I would never give up trying.

Through countless prayers, priesthood blessings, fasts for me and doing my part in the equation by studying about my illnesses, seeing doctors frequently and always taking my medications, slowly things began to improve. However, I was still unstable.

So in 2016, I decided to devote the whole year to getting mentally healthy. Through a skilled counselor, I tried different treatments including CBT, EMDR, exposure therapy and hypnotherapy.

Finally, at the end of the year, I was healed! It was truly a miracle. I got accepted into BYU and have done very well. If I could say anything to people with mental illnesses, I would say never give up! Accept the Lord’s will and timing. It may take years or may not turn out as you desire, but there is still hope.

—Jeff Bates
Chicago, Illinois

Facilitating attendance

I understand and agree that, as adults, we are responsible for our own actions and must deal with unexpected complications. However, many students rely on the availability of parking in order to attend classes.

So here is the question: When the university removes a significant number of parking options for a campus event, do they bear any responsibility for informing the students and faculty who would rely on those parking spaces? Perhaps there already is a mailing list for this that I don’t know about, but I’m not the only person experiencing this frustration, so a solution would be appreciated.

—Eric McDonald
Boise, Idaho

BYU admissions process

Recently, my brother found out he was not accepted to BYU unlike I was years ago. The overbearing reason being that his high school transcript is not as “decorated” as mine.

I don’t know how applicants are evaluated other than the holistic review process claimed on BYU’s website. But it seems to me they focused more on my brother’s GPA and ACT score being no better than average than learning about his accomplishments.

I feel I was accepted only because of my statistics on paper. I did a little bit of service and participated in some academic extracurricular activities. However, in comparison with my brother, I would say I was a failure. He had a job, participated in extracurricular activities and even had his own business. His overall performance was stellar, but that doesn’t reflect within his GPA.

In a world where teachers grade differently and standardized testing finds only the “quick” brains, the real geniuses are not given the chance to succeed. BYU needs to take different steps during evaluation in order to find the “new” students, like my brother, who will flourish within its “new kind of education.”

—Nathan Paskett
Layton, Utah

Raising independence

Growing up, I was taught to work hard and make independent decisions. Since graduating from high school, I have been shocked at how unprepared some kids are to live on their own.

There’s no doubt parents should be concerned with their children’s decisions, especially with bad decisions people make today. With this being said, parents too often make decisions for their children, which can be detrimental for their long-term development. Parents should assist their children in making decisions while they are young but raise them to make educated decisions on their own. A difficult part of preparing a child to make independent decisions is letting them fail.

Dr. Peggy Drexler from Stanford University said, “Too often, either because it’s easier or because we hate to see them struggle, we rush in quickly to help our child figure something out … Letting your child try and try again — and eventually get it right on [their] own — teaches [them] more about [themselves], and about life, than rushing in to save the day. You can still be [their] hero, but let [them] be [their] own hero, too.” When parents make decisions for their children, they affect their child’s long-term development and independent decision-making skills. By making their own decisions, children will grow up with skills to build a successful future of independence, and confidence to face the realities of life.

—Payton Grover
Ammon, Idaho

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