Meeting with a Mental Health Professional


CostOfMentalHealthBroken Things to Mend – Part two (another journal entry)

I met with the first of the five psychiatrists yesterday. If you’ve never met with a mental health professional, you might want to consider it. The experience was enjoyable. He was a little older than me – OK, maybe by about ten years, but fit my idea of what a psychiatrist should be like. He sat in his favorite chair. I sat on one of several couches. He made me feel right at home, let me set the rules. Said if you want to just start talking and tell your story, go right ahead, or I can ask questions. I knew why I wanted to see him and what I wanted to say so I jumped right in.

An immediate rapport established

It took about twenty minutes, he then took about twenty minutes to respond, with a few questions thrown in to clarify, but he obviously got most of it as I related it up front. He gave me a few handouts he had prepared, one he had published in a professional journal and others simply guidelines on how to think about what I had been through. By the end of the forty minutes, I felt I had quite a bit to consider and plenty of reading material so we were done. He was obviously a professional because he knew what I was relating, where it fit, and how to respond. Although it was new to me, it was not to him. I liked that. It gave me a great sense of confidence.

In which I get an education

Here’s the word that put everything into place for me: Hypnagogia – falling asleep, or sometimes called Hypnopomic – waking up. For those who have read my story – and I’ve sent it to several dozen now – I apparently experienced something quite normal. Hypnagogia is used nowadays to cover both states – falling asleep or the state of awakening. In my case, I was awakening when I saw what I believed to be spirits, first one, and then two at my side. The doctor was obviously not shocked that I was able to describe my hallucinations or that I felt I knew them and their history. His response was not abnormal or shocking in any way. Perhaps this is more common – seeing spirits – than I had thought – or he was pretty good at covering up since that’s his job.

Difficulty in Getting to Sleep

We also talked about the state of terror I experienced. It was obviously a shock to my system to see spirits standing by my side upon awakening. We both agreed I still haven’t recovered even seven months after the event first happened – remember it happened twice that first week. It’s always nice to hear someone sympathize that it must have been a traumatic experience, based on the fact that it still bothers me even this long after the original event. Although he was not too familiar, not being a psychologist, we talked about the drugs I had been prescribed to deal with the pain and noted I had been given two sleeping aids. Yes, I have found it difficult to get to sleep for obvious reasons – being scared to death I’ll see these spirits once again. No wonder.

Religion Was Not An Issue

Somehow the subject of religion came up. He confessed he was a “hopeful agnostic,” meaning he had no evidence for any belief in things supernatural but had hope for those who expressed faith and hope in their lives. I was clearly upfront with him, explaining my believe that there are some who do not get to either heaven or hell upon death, but that stick around here, addicted to the sensations of the bodies they once inhabited and looking for others who are willing to share their bodies even if just for a few moments. Again, he was not surprised. I like that. Apparently, he has heard it all before. He recognized not all Mormons believe the same about the afterlife. I’m one of them. I don’t believe in only paradise or spirit prison. I am convinced that some stick around, not ready to go in either direction, perhaps feeling lost or looking for those who allow their bodies to be used mainly through the use of drugs or alcohol. I believe it to be common.

The State of the Physical Body

The doctor asked about the state of my body at the time of the event, if I was over tired, worried, sick, or feeling in any way hyperactive from the day’s activities. I related my active concern for my son, whom I knew to be participating in consumption of hallucinogenic drugs, marijuana and alcohol in his room, even though I had asked him dozens of times not to do so. For more detail on how this could possibly be, I would be happy to send you the document that describes Mike’s mental illness and manipulative behavior through threats of suicide: tmalonemcse @ gmail.com. The doctor nodded his head as I described my concern for my son and his ingestion of drugs in his room right next door, along with his friend. He pointed out I was obviously concerned about the well-being of my son at this time in his life since he was involved in drugs and alcohol.

Enduring pain a daily Event Now

By the way, I had thought deeply over the last seven months about the twenty minutes I took to tell my story up front. I wanted him to know some things about what I believed and about some of the things that were happening in my son’s life at that time. I told him how the experience affected me, all the doctors I have seen, all the tests I have taken, and all the pain I experience. He was surprised when I told him my pain level was a seven, but that’s been pretty normal since that day. He asked how the pain exhibited itself – migraine, headache and anxiety, obviously. I thought I had made that clear up front but apparently not. In any event, by his reaction, I could tell he felt that was a rather high level of pain to be suffering consistently day in and day out. My response: “Obviously something wants my attention. Perhaps it’s still trapped within me.” By his response or lack thereof, I could tell he didn’t get it. I was referring to the idea of trapped spirits.

Not Much Can be Done in 45 Minutes

He has pleased when I reported my son had moved on, obtained gainful employment, moved out and seemed to be happy with his life. He wondered out loud why my pain remained since the original occurrence seemed to be when Mike was engaged in the consumption of drugs and alcohol in our home, something to which I obviously objected. He asked a few questions about my relationship with my son at the time (annoyed) my relationship now (pleased) and if I had let go of those annoyed feelings from that night I experienced the hypnagogic hallucinations. I told him I had made every effort to do so. The bottom line however was, as I expected, “Well, I can’t think of anything I can do for your migraines right now -why don’t you come back after you’ve read the material and we’ll talk some more?” Isn’t that the way it always seems to go with these kinds of doctors? It’s going to take a lot of your time. We’re got to study this out, get all the history and then eventually we’ll make some progress on managing the pain you’re experiencing.

Mental Illness – My Personal Story

Maybe it’s time to share a little about my own mental illness or at least my perception of it, since as far as I know I have never been diagnosed with such. Elder Holland, or was it Elder Morrison, taught us that mental illness is not a sin. I can happen to anyone. It’s just a part of mortality. Just like I was born with the unwanted state of weak lungs which manifest themselves in asthma, three are those who are born with difficulties in their minds / brains. There are all kinds of malformations but some mental illness cannot be traced to anything physical at all. It seems to be more chemical in nature. I suspect I am one of those who has a chemical abnormality that subjects me to serious mood swings – always has. I would go so far as to say it is manic / depressive – just a mild case.

Success in School Related to Work

Being a smart child, or so I’m told, I was placed ahead a grade in school, since I already knew how to read and was wasting my time with all the other first graders. I’ve always felt this was a big mistake as far as social development, but that’s a different story. In any event, school was easy for me – in fact it was so easy I decided I didn’t have to do the hard work of studying. I did great until about fifth grade, or about age eight and then things fell apart. Maybe it was hormones kicking in or maybe it was just the influence of the local bad boys club – everyone has one – but from then on, I did poorly in school. In fact I got kicked out of high school a few years later because I thought it was a joke. The only thing I liked was that I was introduced to my future career in computers.

High School – a Terrible Experience for Some

I don’t know what it was but I just didn’t get the connection between work and grades, but that’s not unusual. In my case, I thought I deserved them without the work. I knew I could do it, but was never really willing to prove it. Well, the system just doesn’t work like that, does it? I was in and out of counseling offices, as well as the local police department throughout my school years because the concept of work and good grades just didn’t seem to come together for me. What’s worse is that about age 16, when I could start driving, I began to hang with some of the even tougher kids in high school – those who got kicked out into continuation school like I did. These are the kids known for smoking, drugs, rebellion, alcohol, partying and general bad stuff.

The wild years of Teenage Rebellion

Yep, you guessed it, I tried all that. Thank God it only lasted about six months. Never broke the law of chastity, but was tempted. January 1974 was one of the worst years of my life. My folks went on a cruise to the South Pacific and somehow, being the youngest, I was left alone. I told a friend, he told his friends, they told their friends and before I knew it, hundreds of people I had never met were having a wild party in my house. And where was I? I was out in the backyard, trying to leave this world through hallucinogenic drugs. Oh, I didn’t intend to go anywhere physically, just in my mind or spirit, about which I knew very little at the time. It was not a good experience. I’ve written about it previously. I characterize it as a religious experience and here’s why: when it was over, I knew there was a devil and a God.

My Conversation with the Devils

Before this encounter with evil spirits, I never gave it any thought. Seminary teachers tried to warn me. Sunday school teachers tried to warn me. Even prophets tried to warn me, but did I listen? No. What is it with kids who think they know better or will only learn by experience? These demons and devils came at me with malicious intent. I knew they wanted to destroy me. Why? I thought to myself. What had I done to them? The answer I got back was simply this: We hate you for what you represent. You have the priesthood. You have the Holy Ghost. You’re been to the temple (baptisms for the dead). You have all the things God says will protect you. We’re going to show God we can destroy even his most choice spirits and you’re one of them.

I Gained a Testimony of Reality of Evil

I was scared. I jumped up and high-tailed it out of there. I took off and drove for the desert. I was thinking the whole way: This can’t be real. This can’t be happening. I didn’t just see and hear evil spirits. They don’t exist. There’s just a figment of the imagination. All my friends told me so. They have no power because they’re only in our minds if we believe in them and I don’t. No matter how hard I tried to convince myself of the non-existence of these evil spirits – and there were dozens of them – I could not shake what had happened to me. I could not deny it. I knew. The scriptures promise we can know from the Holy Ghost. Well, I promise you can know things from evil spirits just as real. It happened to me and because it did I knew that God was also real. I got my testimony that night. It was a testimony that evil spirits exist and want to destroy us.

A Form of Mental Illness

Some in the world would call this a psychosis or neurosis. There is no evidence for spirits, good or evil. Therefore, anyone who believes in them is experiencing a form of mental illness. What I can’t understand is why so few recognize that evil spirits hang around places where alcohol, drugs, certain kinds of music and wild parties are going on. Maybe they do, but chose to ignore them. I mean, it’s more fun to let the evil spirits use your bodies for a few moments to a few hours, isn’t it? There are so very few who believe that such a thing happens, but I know from experience it does. But the American Psychiatric Association’s List of Mental Disorders lists a belief in evil spirits – or any kind of spirits- as a form of mental illness from days long past.

Jesus Came to Cast Out Evil Spirits

I’ll end this long journal entry with a simple statement. I believe one of the primary purposes of the Lord in coming to the earth was to cast out evil spirits. They are real. They can do more damage than we can imagine. They cause sickness, including mental illness. Many of these spirits specialize in mental ailments or disorders among us. If you want to know more about how to conquer spiritual illness among us, read Doug Mendenhall’s book. I have read and reviewed it, studied about it, written about it and came to the conclusion that Doug knew what he was writing about. Get the book. It contains the truth. Don’t be fooled into thinking spirits aren’t real.

Finding the Lord in Your Daily Work


JetCharterPersonal Journal Entry

I sat down about a half hour ago, waiting for the guys to finish putting the carpet down and put the new desks in. I’m at work today, but I have nothing pressing to do. It’s a Saturday. I came in about 1pm to help put the fifteen computers back together in our charter offices. We’re getting new carpet so they had to take everything apart. My associate / assistant / trainee offered to do that so I could stay at the temple for our chapel session last night, which I did. I am extremely grateful.

Being a Good Example to Others

I am greatly blessed. I have a trainee who is anxious, willing, able and excited about learning how to be a computer guy. He is the son of the president and has been working for me for about seven years. He’s still not up to speed on supporting servers but he’s the best help-desk technician you could ask for. He seems to love his work. His happiness is infectious. I reply on him a lot and have never been disappointed. Of course, I praise him every chance I get.

We can Influence Others for Good

He goes out of his way to make sure people are happy and satisfied with his work. I teach him every opportunity I get by delegating tasks and giving him direction. He takes it and goes with it. Great guy – can’t say it enough. I could not do my job without him, especially the part where I get to train on the latest technology – which will never be the latest – things always change. I just wish he would take more initiative in learning how to manage and maintain the servers.

A Few Thoughts From an Old Guy

I’ve spent about thirty, no, make that forty years in the computer industry. I started with punched cards on the IBM System 3 and the IBM System 360. Yep, I’m an old guy. It’s a Saturday afternoon, so nobody is demanding my time. Only the weekend charter crew is here. I’m waiting for the desks to be done so I can put the computers back together for the rest of the charter folks can get right to work on Monday morning. I’ve got a few minutes to think and write.

Count Your many Blessings

I turned off the lights, closed the door, put in my earplugs (I work at the Burbank Airport) and kicked back to relax. But I couldn’t stop thinking about how blessed I am. Don’t get me wrong. I still suffer. The migraines have not gone away. Seven months is a long time to suffer, but I guess the drugs make it easier. What would I do without drugs? What if we couldn’t get the drugs we need to prolong life or make it easier? I shudder to think.

The Blog Goes On

I wanted to write about what’s been happening. Last week I decided I’d had enough. I wrote what I thought was going to be my last post. I said adieu and signed off. I was overwhelmed at the response. I still haven’t had time to read or respond to the comments from people who said they enjoyed my blog and hoped I would reconsider. I had dozens of private emails saying the same and offering private help. I have Facebook notes from people offering individualized help.

Generosity From My Readers

One user sent me a book, free of charge, from Amazon and recommended I read it. I had already read it but just the thought and the idea of taking the trouble not to mention the expense to send it to me overwhelmed me. My uncle passed away last week, the last of six brothers. I cried and cried as I realized the reunion going on in heaven. I am the last and only active male Mormon in my family. I suddenly felt very old. I am old. I’m going to be 57 next February. Is there something I am supposed to accomplish before my days are completed? I’ll be lucky to get another 20 to 25 years. For some reason I feel like Jacob and Moroni – strangers in a strange land, all alone.

Blogs Can Be An Influence for Good

My point is I am overwhelmed at the number of people who said my writing over the last six years has made a difference in their lives. I have expressed my testimony as I have shared my struggles. I have written about finding new books. I have reviewed dozens of books. I have tried to always write about the belief I continue to hold that the Lord has something special in mind he wants me to do. But then, I feel the same way about you too – we live in the last days. Surely the saying is true – he reserved his most valiant servants for the very last days.

I’ve Met a Few Evil Spirits

I’ve shared before but just to review, I met some spirits held captive in spirit prison a few months ago. I went looking for the blog post thinking it was in February of this years but was unable to find it. For those who are seriously interested and want to know how I know I met spirits in spirit prison, I’m happy to send the document. Just send me a private email to tmalonemcse @ gmail.com. I would not have believed it if it had not happened to me. I still find it hard to believe.

Suffering is a Part of This Life

The encounter did not leave me unscathed. The migraines and the anxiety – trust me it is very real and not imagined – have caused me untold sleepless nights and prayers filled with tears and pleadings for relief. But after seven months I am beginning to come to a realization. Suffering, and for me, this is real suffering like I have never suffered before, is simply part of why we came to this earth life. I had one kind individual write to tell me the Lord did not intend for me to suffer, and tried to teach me how to overcome through faith. I didn’t get it or don’t have enough faith. The migraines continue.

Seeing a Professional Mental Health Counselor

My insurance company insists I see a psychiatrist or psychologist as part or the treatment. I am more than willing to do so. In fact, I look forward to the opportunity to talk about my travail if there is any way it can be with a trained priesthood holder. Yet I worry about some of the things I have read that the things I want to talk about are not acceptable in the profession. From what I gather, I could be considered delusional or psychotic. A religious person today who believes in the influence of evil spirits? Why, that’s simply unheard of!

Migraines – Physical Only or Can Be Spiritual

No, I’m sure the pain can be attributed to fungus in whole wheat of some other food allergy. There are a thousand and one things that have been suggested to me as the reason for migraines. But I have yet to find a legitimate explanation for the very real and very powerful experience which I describe in my paper on my encounter with the evil spirits back in February. That’s why I wish I could find someone who believes as I do – that such things exist – and that they do and can have an influence upon us. Read Doug Mendenhall’s or Edith Fiore’s books if you would like to understand a little more about the reality of the spirit world and evil / unclean spirits.

Scrupulosity – Too Much Religious Guilt

This is simply a journal entry as I wait for the time to go put the computers back together. My religion is a big part of my life, perhaps too big, meaning some could accuse me of the very real symptom of scrupulosity- the psychological disorder characterized by pathological guilt about moral or religious issues. I’m not saying I suffer from too much guilt. I mean, what have I got to feel guilty about? I suppose that’s one for the psychologist to discover when I meet with them. But will they rely on their professional training ONLY or are there some who are legitimate and effective who also practice alternative medicine techniques?

The Lord Helps Us Through Life

I know the atonement is real. I know repentance is real. I am grateful for the scriptures. Carol and I read them every night just before our family prayer. I enjoy my service in the church. I know the Lord loves me. He helps me all the time, if not personally, then through his angels, perhaps family members he sends who know my situation best. Maybe these migraines are just a part of the normal suffering of life. I know I’m not the only one who has migraines, but a constant migraine for more than seven months now? And why did they start in February? Is there something the Lord is trying to teach me? Is there something deep in my subconscious that is trying to get my attention and wants to be resolved?

Cast Out Evil Spirits

What good is a religion if those who practice it do not believe or do not have real evidence of healing that can and does take place? Why do we hear more about healings in the early days of the church than we do today? Why do we not hear ANYTHING about the idea if casting out the influence of evil spirits in our modern church? Why is it embarrassing for high priests to talk about such things? Why are they not found in our curriculum, taught, practiced and emphasized?

Beliefs in This Church Have Changed

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know I’ve asked these questions before. Why are there not men who have real power in the priesthood that the devils recognize and flee at when such men exercise that power? And why are men embarrassed to talk about it, how they learned about it, how they practiced casting them out, and how they taught this technique to others? Is it possibly because we no longer believe in such things? Migraines can’t possibly be caused by evil spirits, can they?

How to Fight Against Witchcraft

Who do so few of the apostles and prophets, if any, teach us these things? Do they not know? Have we lost this knowledge? Was it much more common knowledge years ago, but then became something that we no longer believe? When was the last time you had a priesthood lesson where the instructor went over the proper procedure to remove the influence of an evil spirit from a home that has been infected by the presence of those who practiced witchcraft?

LDS Professionals in Mental Health Field

What psychologist is going to want to talk to me about these things that I take seriously? I can just see their notes now – “this patient is highly delusional and psychotic about the reality of a spirit world around him. He believes in the reality of evil spirits trying to influence him and keep him from doing some sort of work he imagines he has been foreordained to do – whatever that means.” Look, I’m not looking for a miracle here, just a believing Latter-day Saint professional who knows there is more than what he has learned in graduate school about how to help people.

Patriarchal Blessings – So Very Unique to LDS

Why do we get patriarchal blessings if we do not believe they are meant to come to pass? Why are we promised gifts of healing, prophecy, revelation and other sacred endowments from God if they are not meant to be developed? What about the poor saint like me who believes in the promises of the Lord, has believed all his life and simply wants to do whatever the Lord requires to bring these blessings into a condition of reality, where we can and do see into the spirit world?

Gift of Prophecy and Revelation

Perhaps this is too sacred to share – so we are taught – but my patriarchal blessing states that I will have the gift of prophecy and revelation. What does that mean? It also says I will preside in many high and holy callings. I suppose I can consider serving in bishoprics, on the high council and in the stake presidency as a high and holy calling, but it certainly is not presiding. Can we lose our right to preside? Absolutely – besides, I do not want or seek such callings. I am very happy to serve as a stake clerk, although who would have ever seen me as a financial clerk?

A personal Blog Entry about Work

I know this is a very personal post but I have marked it as a journal entry. I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything. I’m just trying to understand a few of the things I am going through. I love this Church and think it should have answers for me. Better yet, the Holy Ghost should have those answers for me. Why do we (I) not talk to my associates here a work about things that are “Churchy?” I hear stories from General Authorities all the time in Conference how it just came up in natural conversation. You try to talk about anything religious here in California and somebody will complain to HR. You can’t put a book of Mormon on your desk or a religious picture in your office. Thank you, California for taking God out of the workplace.

Life Goes On – We Influence Others

Well, hopefully by now it’s getting close to time to go put fifteen computers back together in the Jet Charter offices. Sure hope the carpet layers didn’t mess up any network wiring with their knives. This is not really all that spiritual. I’m just a regular Mormon guy. I try to live my religion. I try to be nice to people. I try to be honest. I try to serve with a good attitude, although my boss told me the other day I could do better. He didn’t bother to ask if there was anything wrong but that’s OK. He pays me well and his wife is a Mormon. I’m trying to be a good influence on him. Thank you good people for wading through my personal thoughts – God bless.