Asperger’s-Related Trauma in the LDS Church

By contributor Tom Irvine Introduction LDS members with Asperger’s, or high functioning autism, may face difficult challenges particularly with respect to neurotypical, authoritarian priesthood leaders. In some cases, these challenges may be deeply traumatic for the Aspie. People with Down syndrome are easy to recognize from their neck and facial characteristics. Their behavior then confirms this. Autistic people are less recognizable by their appearance, but their condition is manifested by their behavior. Almost all church leaders will make allowances for Down syndrome people. Some leaders may misunderstand autistic people, but most make allowances for them, as well. On the other Read More

When Trauma Comes from Father Figures or Forced Termination

In my ADAM Conference presentation, I referred to an article on PTSD. Here is the excerpt from that article, which was actually my own writing.  The full article is attached below. When Trauma Is Inflicted by Father Figures. When trauma is intentional, it is a blow to the whole psychological system. Victims of unintentional trauma (natural disaster) show a much greater likelihood of experiencing a decrease in symptoms over time whereas those who are victims of intentional trauma (something inflicted on purpose) tend to show an increase in symptoms over time (Brew, 2017).  One of those great trauma-imposers seems to Read More

Mormonism Can Be Good; Mormonism Can Be Bad

Travis and Devin are both active in the LDS Church. They both perform their church duties, pay their tithing, read their scriptures, and pray daily.  However, their motivations for doing so are totally different.  Travis’s reasons for church attendance and personal commitments are due to intrinsic motivations—because of deep devotion to God; while Devin’s purposes are extrinsic motivations—because of the need to appear “good” and for social status. It sounds pretty simple to say that Travis is on a higher plain than Devin and that Travis will fare better than Devin in the long run.  We often hear this. (“I Read More

Are Happiness and Dissonance in Opposition?

Recently, I saw a meme on Facebook that said in essence, “The longer I live, the more I want to stay away from drama, conflict, or stress and just live a happy life, surrounded by friends, eating good food in my cozy house.” Doesn’t that sound appealing and even right?  It received lots of likes and affirmative comments. But I couldn’t help but ask myself, “What about those who do not feel that kind of life is available to them? What about those who feel thrown into a life that is filled with conflict and drama, a life they didn’t Read More

ADAM Conference

Learn about how you can overcome church trauma or how to help those who have been hurt.  The conference is an all-day event you don’t want to miss!  I will be speaking for 45 minutes on this subject.  Plus, there are many more great speakers!  For more information and to order tickets, click here: http://www.mentalillnessmatters.com/events/adam/speakers/ For a taste of the subject I’ll touch on, read this: The Deep and Unspoken Church Ache Read More