Comments about ‘UVU professor's study puts focus on LDS women and depression’

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Published: Thursday, Jan. 31 2013 9:45 p.m. MST

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Salt Lake City, UT

Not very original. Several studies like this have been done. One of the first was "Depression and Mormon Women" done over 30 years ago. Not much has changed.

Rexburg, ID

I don't doubt there is a relationship between perfectionism and depression. But a study involving 20 people? How can that be taken seriously?

Ricardo Carvalho
Provo, UT

The research may not be particularly original but the fact that not much has changed over 30 years and the efforts of BYU professors to "debunk" that original study suggest that the research has value. today.

For our Rexburg colleague, there is a difference between qualitative research and quantitative research. Small sample sizes and in-depth interviewing in qualitative research yield richer data over a smaller group of respondents while larger samples with less rich data characterize quantitative research. Both have value.

Fern RL

I'm sure glad I'm not a perfectionist! I wouldn't change my religion, though. It is better to get proper medication than to self-medicate with alcohol.

What researchers should really do is study the risk of depression due to hypothyroidism in Utah, which was the leading state for goiter before the introduction of iodized salt. They should include the effect of recommendations that we eat less salt, even avoiding the salt shaker entirely, while condoning the sodium in processed foods, which have no supplemental iodine.

Mom of ten

Once, when I was leaving church with several small children, a woman behind me, also with small children, sighed and said,"there goes my example of perfect motherhood." I looked around to see who she was talking about. When I saw it was me, I told her very firmly,"don't do that to yourself and don't do that to me. It is not fair to either of us. You see what I want you to see. You do not see my unmade beds. You do not see me at home when I yell at me kids. You do not see me get impatient, or my messy closets. You see what I want you to see and what you see is not the complete truth." We don't have to be perfect. We need to strive to make each day just a bit better than before, while realizing that we will have our really bad days too. It's okay to be you and it is okay to be me and we do no need to be false in who we are. Having that attitude has really helped me deal with all my stresses in life.

aunt lucy
Looneyville, UT

MOM of Ten i wish your comment could be read from every podium in every sacrament meeting. Great comment.

Eagle Mountain, UT

Christoph...really??? We need all the education we can get. I do agree that video games, TV, and lack of sleep can be contributing factors, but I take exception with everything else you said. As a former perfectionist, I can say that I am much happier now that I have given myself room to grow without having to be perfect. I also have found that regular exercise has made a huge difference in my well-being. To my depressed sisters...just keep trying! Do what you need to for yourself without guilt!

Home Town USA, UT

While there may be some truth to the findings there are no conclusions for answers as this study was done on such a small sample. Accepting oneself is individual as well as the remedy.

We are all here to learn and overcome whatever trials we are faced with. What one woman has in her life is different than another. I am an LDS woman and know what many of these women experienced with similar struggles.

I found my happiness came from the inside out, not the other way around. Who we are is Internal and no amount of external is going to fill that "empty cup." Things don't make us happy. Relationships do, communication and knowing oneself begins with ME.

The spiritual side of who we are needs nurturing like our physical bodies. I found that to cope better each day I rely on nurturing my spirit through prayer and studying the scriptures. We get so busy and forget our spirits need to be fed often and regularly.

I found out more about who I am through that bond I have with God and Jesus Christ. It is what gave meaning to who I am. It takes work.

Allen, TX

I have found that the "Molly Mormon" phenomena exists less outside of the Utah culture.

The desire to put on a perfect front for others is a driving factor. And I believe the source of this is pride.

We need to teach more that the Lord loves us despite and perhaps because of our shortcomings. We need to teach that doing our best is all that is expected, not becoming perfect in this life.
Men in the Church need to pull their wives aside and express appreciation for all they do, but ask them to let some of the unessential go. Every child does not need a 200 page baby book. Every flat surface in the house does not need a hand-made doily. Every square inch of wall space does not need a cutesy phrase, framed and decorated in RS. All your bread does not have to be home made.
And then women need to transmit these truths to their daughters and sons.

Allen, TX


I know. I'm a heretic. But MY wife's depression is because of SAD, not chronic perfectionism, and even the SAD is under control since we moved to Texas.

I tell you, living with a depressed wife is no picnic. Men, you have a responsibility to try to end this cycle in Mormon Culture, too!!!

Incite Full
Layton, UT

My wife gets depressed if I ignore her.


My wife said she feels depressed and asked me how to stop feeling guilty. I said "Simple, just do something worse than whatever you feel guilty about."

Herriman, UT

I'm glad to see another study address this sad issue. And yes it's true, Mormon women are depressed. I am not originally from Utah and have lived in a number of states, and I can tell you that I have never seen people be so mean to themselves as here in Utah. I call it the "Stain Glass Window Effect". I see the ladies here as frustrated by their own guilt over not being "good enough". I know how it feels because I was once a perfectionist, but it nearly destroyed my health, and yes, I did the anti-depressant thing too. Now I defend my right to be imperfect. In fact, I don't think Jesus ever taught that we were meant to be perfect here. He taught love and acceptance, and that's why people followed him around in droves. He filled their hearts with something that was missing. We need to get back to what he really taught, which was simple, just LOVE. How can we Love God and our Neighbors if we hate ourselves for never being good enough?

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

"They think they can't make a mistake and so they become hyper-competitive and anxious. If you think you can make no mistake, you're setting yourself up for failure."


My take --
Mormons outside of Utah don't suffer this - so then, "why"....

She said it, but missed it -- hyper-competitive.
Utah is hyper hyper-competitive.
Kids have it beat into their heads from time they are born.

From sports to dance.
Football to Cheerleader.
Gynmastics to soccor,
music to drama...

"My kid's #1, the BEST!" - observe parents from the sidelines.

And kids don't want to let their parents down.
They learn to only feel love when they are good, and rejection when bad.
They don't want to let people down.
People will talk.

It will never be enough,
and they will never be perfect.

So the real driver is parent's hyper-competitiveness --

and, those kids grow up, and the cycle grows.

They have not learned the Gospel of "Repentance, Forgiveness, and Acceptance".

They fall prey to - if you're not #1, not perfect, then you are a looser, you let everyobody down, and you are not Celestial.

Get over it, people.

SLC gal
Salt Lake City, UT

On the inside, I am screaming "Yes! Yes! I'm not the only one!". This article is sooo spot on! I am dealing with this exact scenario. It actually lifts the fog a little bit helping me to realize I'm not alone!!!


Recognizing our weaknesses brings needed humility when worshiping God.

Examples from the Book of Mormon are the brother of Jared who goes before the Lord and starts his prayer by saying that he knows that God is holy but because of the fall of Adam that he recognizes that his thoughts are evil continually nevertheless God has commanded him to pray and ask for what is needed.
His prayer was more than answered when the Lord brought him back into his presence to teach and edify him.
Meekness and lowliness of heart, after a remission of sins, are also taught in the Book of Mormon as a prerequisite to having a visitation of the Holy Ghost which comforter fills your heart with hope and PERFECT love.... Maybe that is the perfection we are looking for?

Los Angeles, CA

Lynette's comment, "I put pressure on myself to be that perfect Mormon" is a perfect example of how many Mormon women (and Utah women we well as some women everywhere) put even more pressure on themselves for something that is at least in part the fault of the culture. It's a theme that runs through my first novel. This is not unique to Utah by any means. It can be influenced by families and may be a matter of degree. Many women in many cultures and many religions tend to do the same thing, as do some men.

A Scientist
Provo, UT

Haven't I said, religion poisons everything? Apparently, even the minds and emotions of women in Utah.

Who knew?

Oh, that's right, a lot of people have known that Utah leads the country in abuse of prescription medications and consumption of anti-depressants.

The false claims of "revealed" religions, especially when introduced at an early age, cause much mental anguish and pain to individuals and negative effect on society. For instance, Andrea Yates murdered her five little children because she thought Satan had possessed her and was soon going to possess her children. She figured if she murdered her children before "the age of accountability" they would all go to heaven.

Deanna Laney murdered two of her little boys by stoning them to death, then severely handicapped her third little boy, because she thought God wanted her to do it to "prove her complete and unconditional faith in Him" like Abraham who was commanded to execute his son.

"Belief in a cruel god makes for cruel men." -- Thomas Payne

Belief in the irrational makes for irrational people.


It's a great time for members of the LDS Church to realize that the gospel, the Church, and Mormon culture are three separate things. Culture is a byproduct of living and working in close proximity and has sadly not everything in common with the gospel of Jesus Christ which is eternal truth and love. It is most pronounced in areas with high LDS populations (I've lived among many different kinds of LDS populations). The Church tries to teach the gospel, changing policies at times to best meet that objective and should not be blamed for the culture either.

Provo, UT

I've been in the Church all my life and suffer from mild depression. It's nonsense that Church teachings on perfection lead to depression. It's the misinterpretation of Church teachings that might contribute to depression. I have never felt the need to be perfect. I'm assuming that these 20 active LDS women don't know Church doctrine. If they would study the scriptures it would give them some spiritual therapy and help lessen their depression.

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