I finally had time to go over a link in a post by Matt (BCC) about George Albert Smith’s alleged mental illness to Mary Woodger’s paper, went back to put in my (further) two cents worth, only to find comments closed. Why do you guys do that?!–so rude. It’s like hanging up the phone on someone.

So, here’s what I think, after reading Mary Woodger’s paper. First, DR.!Mary Jane Woodger is a history professor at BYU who’s written extensively on David O. McKay (direct quote from Wikipedia)—here’s further info, copied and pasted: Born and raised in American Fork and Salt Lake City, Utah, Dr. Woodger has always had a great love for teaching. After obtaining a B.S. in Home Economics Education, Dr. Woodger taught Home Economics and American History in Salt Lake City where she received the Vocational Teacher of the Year Award from Jordan School District. In 1992, she completed her M.Ed. at Utah State University. In 1997, she received from Brigham Young University an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, with a minor in Church History and Doctrine.

Somehow how I got the erroneous impression that she was a psychologist when I read ldsphilosopher’s post at M* “George Albert Smith: Depression and the Pathology of Compassion” (sorry having trouble putting up the link, hope this works: ) but realized my error as I began to read the 27 pages I’d run off (I read it in Relief Society during the boring parts). I was only four pages in when I read this . . .”and by mid-November, he obtained relief from an upset stomach only by vomiting and purging. In December he experienced severe bowel pain.” Guys, these are classic symptoms of diverticulitis and/or gall bladder disease. I know because I’ve had both. If he had untreated gall bladder problems and diverticuli infections, he was pretty darn sick. He probably had at least a low grade infection all his life. It’s a flat out miracle he survived.

Later, Dr. Woodger writes about fatigue, insomnia, weakness, possible Herpes in his eye and I realized he had all the classic symptoms of fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue. Later, based on blood samples, a doctor diagnosed him as having lupus. Ask any person who has chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia and they can speak to the Herpes (Epstein-Barr) link to lupus. Many suffer for years with the chronic fatigue diagnosis (and subsequent rude treatment by non-believers who think one is A. lazy and/or B. crazy) are later diagnosed with Lupus. Or MS. Or cancer. ALL suffer from depression; some descend into a pretty dark place. I did.

I’m so over doctors telling me I’m sick because I’m depressed. I say, loudly!, “no, I am depressed because I am sick! You would be, too!”

I submit that Dr. Woodger went LOOKING to prove George Albert Smith’s mental illness (although she makes good points about the physical frailties that run in the family) and totally OVER-LOOKED possible physical diagnoses. Until you’ve had that terrible gall bladder pain and spent a night hugging a toilet, you have no clue. I’m a high school graduate; an older lady with early arthrosclerosis; I’m not a Phd. But Dr. Woodger, you left out A LOT! You did the prophet a disservice by making your conclusion and writing your paper around it rather than fully researching his physical symptoms. You list mental health diagnoses and number the ways President Smith matches. You should do the same thing with the illnesses I’ve listed here.

Because I sure as hell could have used a rest cure in Ocean Park after being sick as a dog for years.