Utah leads the nation in rates of depression

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  • David H.
    Feb. 7, 2010 1:58 a.m.

    I was on an LDS mission in California when some hater threw this at me. That's why I looked this article up (several years after the mission).

    Having had a psych degree, one of my favorite lessons I learned in stats is that "correlation does not imply causation." Getting to the point, just b/c Mormons happen to live Utah and Utah is correlated with the highest depression rating, does NOT mean Mormons caused Depression. Example after example after example could be given to outline this principle.

    Notice how the study (which I read 1st hand) and authors of the study fail to mention anything about religion. The Mormon faith should not be targeted just b/c of a correlation - the faith is just an easy scapegoat for anti's.

  • rob
    Nov. 12, 2008 8:58 a.m.

    mormons appease women, they do not suppress them.

    mormon women are the largest group of blessed people to have such levels of ingratitude.

    they run around yelling about not getting flowers or romance.

    mormon divorce is at 50%, 75% of those are by the women. is it any wonder as america slides into values of hell that bad men don't want to marry and good men are betrayed by their wives?

    women in mormon church have more autonomy than their mothers, grandmother, etc. men in mormon church do more housework than their fathers.

    mormon culture bashes men and puts wives on pedestals. its beat into their heads, men are inconsiderate bafoons, and their wives are wise, have better judgment, and embodiment of every virtue.

    you can't preach this stuff and not get 50% divorce initiated by wife 75% of time with 'the most righteous generation in history of world saved for the latter days'.

    what irks me is that this change in public image makes gospel more palletable to feminists, but my wife divorces me and is remarried within 2 months. the thrust of her dissatisfaction, not feeling adored. the problem was that BOTH of us focused on improving me.

  • Rich
    Aug. 13, 2008 12:03 a.m.

    Can anyone say the cause of the Depression: Mind you the highest in the Nation and most of this entire country, is the LDS Church... I've grown up LDS my entire life and have been, nothing but abused verbally by it, my entire life among many other friends, and "why" do many classify it as a "CULT" and not me... OTHERS HAVE... Also, I'm judged everyday, have been in treatment several times, I never, "NEVER" had a problem with "DEPRESSION" until my selfish FATHER who's parent's mind you were not active at all moved back here during my mid junior year in high school... The most unfriendly and unkind state and schools, and people I've ever known (judgemental, gossipers, hateful people live here regardless of the weather as I moved from Oregon and look up their weather or the state of Washington's as my best friend lives there)... This STATE of UTAH is the BANE of DEPRESSION and the RELIGION is the cause of it... I bet you'll erase this comment for "WHAT" (TRUTH and that your SCARED I'm RIGHT as well as MILLIONS HERE) and we have a right to these comments...

  • Interesting
    May 13, 2008 6:15 p.m.

    I am a practicing member of the LDS faith. And I agree that there definitely needs to be something done about the culture here. There is a certain pressure to live a certain way and to make sure that everyone else is doing it. I couldn't believe a neighbor of mine telling me who I should or shouldn't play with when I was a kid. It's like everyone is so worried that they are missing out on enjoying the moment that they want to make sure everyone is in their same boat. Sometimes people need to go through experiences to learn from them. I moved to California for 5 years to get away from it all. I loved California... but California had it's problems too. Wherever there is a positive trait in a person or a society it will be backed by an equally negative one. Utah has a high moral code... and because of that some people simply will not be able to cope with it. Does that mean we change the moral code of Utah? NO!!! Just because Hollywood has a problem with narcissism does that mean we should stop everyone from becoming an actor?

  • Jamie
    April 19, 2008 4:24 p.m.

    The non-members or inactive people in Utah are those who are most ostracized and perhaps the ones who are willing to admit that they need help. In the LDS church, your encouraged not to seek medical help for depression but that it all can be healed through the "lord." Persons who are active are likely to hide that they need help for fear that others will look down upon them. Why? Because if you need help for being depressed and you should be able to get help from the lord, then you must be doing something wrong (sinning). The culture is the LDS church and the culture puts incredibly high expectations on each other. Its bizarre. Try living here and you will understand. If you talk to a active mormon, they will tell you what is "socially desirable"/AKA that everything is fine!

  • Adam
    March 8, 2008 9:20 a.m.

    A study already concluded that active mormons are at no greater risk of depression and suicide than residents of other states. It is non-mormons and inactive mormons who are at the greatest risk of depression and suicide. American Journal of Epidemiology 2002;155:413-419.

    Perhaps there are environmental, chemical, pollution, genetic or other factors that should be studied. If being a church attending mormon offers a protective effect against suicide and depression than society and religion are not the primary cause unless failure to be a church attending mormon in a majority mormon state is in fact the problem itself.

    Dec. 4, 2007 11:19 a.m.

    Pharmaceutical drugs are not the answer for depressed people. It is only away of hiding the real problem. Why should people donate money to this quackery! Drugs are a cover-up! A way to make the medical world wealthy. Its all controlled. Are you guys blind or what? Why take a pill that will damage and destroy your liver or cause other health risks. You guys better do some research and do some reading and find out for yourselves. I could go on, but will leave you this thought to research.

  • unity
    Dec. 4, 2007 7:14 a.m.

    It is a good thing this is being brought to light. Many people are suffering and struggling...people need help and resources available to help them.

    If PUBLIC COUNCELING RESOURCES were made available, it would not only cut down on the number of depressed people, it would also reduce the number of people in prision, domestic abuse, divorces, and so many other social challenges.

    I do not accept the notion that 'resources are not available'. RESOURCES ARE AVAIABLE..WE AND OUR GOVERNMENT JUST NEED TO GET PRIORITIES STRAIGHT.


    So much of our hard earned money is going towards war efforts...and instead took care of taking care of our people here.. we would be much better off.

    A little love goes a long way.

  • How to take off the edge
    Dec. 3, 2007 11:24 p.m.

    Hello Folks, It is called nice glass of wine with dinner; nothing in excess and far less dangerous than perscription drugs and I here it may be benifitial for the heart as well.

    I know this is kind of a new thing in these parts but rumor has it this remedy has this has been in place for years. Give it a try you may just enjoy and kick that nasty old prescription drug habit.

  • Hey you!
    Dec. 3, 2007 10:50 p.m.

    to-Problem is not the LDS church. I suppose you aren't being judgmental with your comment. You got to be kidding me about California, with it being one of the highest places in the world for crime and murders. May I ask you, Is that honest? You must be related to Robert Redford. How depressing can that be.

    I think I may need an antidepressant pill after a comment like that.

  • Problem is not the LDS church
    Dec. 3, 2007 9:16 p.m.

    The problem is the people in Utah. Having lived in Utah my entire life and then moving to several states over the last several years I can honestly say that people in UTAH are too judgmental and are never honest with one another. Moving to CAL first I was blown away by how honest people were and truly sincere. Not just in church but with the population..... People in Utah need to wake up or move out.

  • Shorten Meetings
    Dec. 3, 2007 7:05 p.m.

    Yes Yes Yes! 3 Hours is too much meetings!

  • less is more
    Dec. 3, 2007 6:25 p.m.

    The very conservative 2,000+ year old Catholic Church used to overdo just about everything also.
    Then they realized they can accomplish The Order of The Mass (the mainstay of Sunday ritual) in about 45 minutes.

    Perhaps 3 hours every Sunday is way too long.
    (Forgive me, but it would depress me!
    I mean, how many teary-eyed testimonies can you possibly have to experience in a lifetime?

  • Change is needed
    Dec. 3, 2007 5:43 p.m.

    It's true! Too much church work can almost ruin a marriage as well. I had little time with my husband even thought the kids were all raised. It sometimes made me feel suicidal and no where to turn, certainly, I could not turn to the church for help, for then I would be considered living unrighteously. I finely almost went inactive in the church over it. However giving up my donated time and hours to the church has been rewarding to my marriage. Things are 100% better and it worked for me... It was however a very close call. My husbands callings are more than enough for us. We still need time just for US!

  • Do Something Good
    Dec. 3, 2007 5:37 p.m.

    To those going nuts with reactionary defensiveness-

    There is a problem with depression in Utah and many of those that are depressed are LDS. That is an irrefutable fact. Getting all DEFENSIVE and attacking the study does no good.

    Love thy neighbor. Think of something good to do about this problem and do it.

    Venting your bile in defensiveness is a waste of energy.

    I'm going to stop for pedestrians, say Hi to someone at the grocery store and go to a movie with my kids even though I don't enjoy kids movies.

  • which comes first?
    Dec. 3, 2007 5:03 p.m.

    My mom taught me to always be a bit suspicious of any organization that puts the organization before the individual.

    When that happens, how can you NOT have people who are depressed?

    Dec. 3, 2007 4:15 p.m.

    I helped clean out a basement of a Bishop and accidentally ran across the rambling writings of his teenage son. The son was writing bitter tears of how he would like to have a relationship with his dad(the Bishop) but his dad was just too busy and didn't have a clue.

    Dec. 3, 2007 3:56 p.m.

    Hey guys! I was quite depressed with too much church work at one time and I didn't have time for my kids. It also shows on the kids when parents aren't there for them. I don't take church callings anymore, and may be shunned a bit for it , but I'm MUCH MUCH happier for say NO and so are my kids. I actually felt better saying NO for a change to church callings. None of us need to be martyrs in the church.
    Why become depressed over something you cannot do. God knows whats in all our hearts and how much stress we can each deal with. So people, this is all that really matters....BE HAPPY!

  • now I'm depressed
    Dec. 3, 2007 3:10 p.m.

    Thinking of all these depressed Mormon men and women makes ME feel depressed.

    I want to do something to help them but I think this is problem that has to work itself through from the inside-out.

  • unhealthy competition
    Dec. 3, 2007 2:52 p.m.

    Yes, there does seem to be varying degrees of unhealthy competition in existence within the Mormon community today.

    I wonder why that is?

  • Affluenza
    Dec. 3, 2007 1:33 p.m.

    Certainly there are Mormon women who are not depressed. Depression is also a problem for Mormon men. The materialism applies to both. Many are trying to keep up with the Jensens. There are plenty of men that think they are hot driving a convertible with a baseball cap to cover their bald head, or a Mercedes Coupe.

  • Patriarchy uber alles
    Dec. 3, 2007 12:58 p.m.

    Are we to believe there are Mormon women who are NOT depressed?

  • What's the Beef?
    Dec. 3, 2007 12:15 p.m.

    "Evidently you see a depressed person as a thirty-something housewife with too much money who sits around all day watching Oprah and thinking of ways to out-do the other thirty-something women in their Mormon ward, all with three point six kids, yacking away on cell phones as they drive their huge SUVs, and plenty of money for plenty of trips to the mall."

    Don't forget the tailgating of everyone that gets in their way. How do you know so much about my neighbors?

    The last time I checked my religion, the injunction to help these people, to mourn with those that mourn, and comfort those who stand in need of comfort, had not been changed to "criticize those who mourn, and criticize those who stand in need of comfort."!
    Totally Agree! Little confused why you are upset. This is what many here are saying.

  • Farmers and yuppies
    Dec. 3, 2007 12:01 p.m.

    Everybody is getting warmer on this topic.
    The farmer type of Mormon I know personally is much more of a salt-of-the-earth type than the rigid, yuppie-type of Salt Lake City.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 3, 2007 11:59 a.m.

    To:"To Farmer"

    Thank You! You nailed it...I think? Your logic is very disjointed but you brought up some good points.

  • To Matt
    Dec. 3, 2007 11:39 a.m.

    My mom is from Utah farm country but I grew up in California. My "farmer relatives" seemed to be generally much more down to earth than many Mormons I experience now in Utah Valley. My farmer relatives were not materialistic and very humble.

  • Night and Day differences
    Dec. 3, 2007 11:23 a.m.

    "Matt" is right.
    The differences between the average Mormon in California and that of Mecca (Salt Lake City) are the differences between night and day.

  • I have lived in both like you
    Dec. 3, 2007 7:56 a.m.

    Matt. I would have to agree with you to a certain extent. But I think that possibly when larger groups of this type of thinking gets together it causes some of these problems. A person doesn't have it in just a small portion of their lives, but all around them. They do not have as much of an "out".

  • To Farmer
    Dec. 3, 2007 6:54 a.m.

    Cute but beside the point. Evidently to you and many other commentators, depression is something that shows up due to being busy, thinking sad thoughts, being greedy, dressing nicely, and trying to get something done in the world.

    Evidently you see a depressed person as a thirty-something housewife with too much money who sits around all day watching Oprah and thinking of ways to out-do the other thirty-something women in their Mormon ward, all with three point six kids, yacking away on cell phones as they drive their huge SUVs, and plenty of money for plenty of trips to the mall.

    What a negative short-sighted, judgmental, counter-productive prejudice.

    The depressed are likely to be...

    * the elderly
    * the rural poor
    * new mothers
    * teenagers whose hormonal systems don't do puberty quite right
    * people who are genetically predisposed to winter changes in light

    The last time I checked my religion, the injunction to help these people, to mourn with those that mourn, and comfort those who stand in need of comfort, had not been changed to "criticize those who mourn, and criticize those who stand in need of comfort."

  • Matt
    Dec. 2, 2007 11:48 p.m.

    Being an active Mormon in sunny Southern California where also church culture is much different than Utah, I wonder if there should be a depression study on Mormons throughout the U.S. to see if the depression is truly a "Mormon" thing or it's really "Utah" specifc thing.

    Having lived in Utah for school, it's definitely Utah culture and not actual church teachings is the cause in my view.

  • Farmer
    Dec. 2, 2007 12:37 p.m.

    Change is good,
    Best Changes to mormon "culture"? -
    1.Less scurrying to meetings - More time with family
    2.Emphasize the positive not the negative
    3.More humility - Less pride and greed
    4.More focused on the heart - Less on appearances
    5.More acceptance - Less judgementalism for minor things
    6.Less seeking for the praise of the world
    7.More exercising - Less watching
    8.Bigger gardens - Smaller houses

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 1, 2007 9:45 p.m.

    I love it! An alleged "family physician" saying "the LDS religion is not to blame, but may be a factor."

    Just remove the "b" word (blame) and you still have "may be a factor."

    Denial is not a river in Egypt.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 1, 2007 8:02 p.m.

    As a family physician I deal with depressed patients on a daily basis. Why is it so high in Utah. I suspect it is due to multiple factors, including religious influences. No, the LDS religion is not to blame, but it may be a factor. High demands are placed on peoples time. And that may be a cause. Other likely causes include the social system we have here. As an LDS person myself, I have noted greater community support in other areas of the country. Because so many people have nearby family connections, they tend to socialize little with neighbors, and LDS members can ostracize members of other faiths(intentionally and unintentionally). Genetic factors also play a role. As do the low use of alcohol, a popular way to self medicate for many.
    Two last thoughts. Depression is a serious disease. It infiltrates every aspect of a person's life. And lastly, don't ever think you can know what it is like for someone else. Your level of depression may be different than theirs. Leave judgement to someone far wiser than you.

  • heart-breaking
    Dec. 1, 2007 6:35 p.m.

    All I can say is that I thank God for giving me caring, loving, liberal parents.
    Some of these postings break my heart to hear how these people have never been given the opportunity to find things out for themselves and inspite of the "free agency" rhetoric, they have been completely controlled all of their lives.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 1, 2007 5:16 p.m.

    Clark Roger,
    (You sound a lot like "Roger")

    Said- "simply lay the blame completely on the LDS Church is pretty ignorant of the big picture."

    WHY are you so defensive? The LDS church has to be a FACTOR in this whether it's a liitle bad, a little good or all good. You are practicing what's known as "all or nothing thinking".

    "We should ALL look for ways to help others rather than condemn others. Imagine how much lower depression rates would be then."

    Wow! You made a very a good point about helping and not condemning others.
    Everyone go love someone today without trying to convert them or looking askance at them because they are smoking or have long hair. Can we agree on that C.R.?
    And drive courteously!

  • David
    Dec. 1, 2007 4:26 p.m.


    Yes, studies of non-lds Utahns have been done. The rate of depression among that population is significantly higher than those non-lds in any part of the country, disproportionately so. It's likely because we aren't nice to non-members once they affirm they aren't interested in converting.

  • JulieC
    Dec. 1, 2007 4:15 p.m.

    When there is ever blocked personal growth there will be depression. Now, who would a society that views the 50's family and woman as ideal do with fostering personal growth of a woman? not well I am afraid. It did not work in the 1950's and does not work now. Women are killing themselves over it here.

  • Clark Roger
    Dec. 1, 2007 3:37 p.m.

    Okay everybody, let's get off our soapboxes and take a reality check. Fact is, everyone has problems, gets depressed and no one (REPEAT NO ONE) in this world gets enough love.

    There are no simple answers to questions related to depression. I understand that Utah has a high rate of depression, but to simply lay the blame completely on the LDS Church is pretty ignorant of the big picture. After all, fewer and fewer Utah residents are LDS.

    No information is bad, but wrong information is worse. Those of you who have attempted to paint the scariest picture you can of Utah and the Latter-day Saints, I'm sorry but you're only making yourselves look ignorant.

    True, many Utahns, BOTH LDS AND THOSE OF OTHER BELIEFS, use anti-depressants. Please tell me why this is wrong? What is so evil about people looking to improve their lives? If Utahns are so "self-righteous" why would they admit to having problems with depression and using anti-depressants to help make themselves better? Would you prefer they use alcohol, cocaine or heroine instead?

    We should ALL look for ways to help others rather than condemn others. Imagine how much lower depression rates would be then.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 1, 2007 2:38 p.m.

    My goodness Roger,

    You don't seem very happy. I for one can analyze and comment and at the same time be very content. I lost 2 LDS church friends to suicide. One had been Primary President and the other had recently been Ward Mission leader. It would be easy for some to blame just them personally and others would like to blame just the church. Obviously, it's more complicated than that and neither of these extreme views is valid. They were not residents of Utah though. This happened in California.

  • change is good
    Dec. 1, 2007 2:25 p.m.

    There seems to be some major dissension within the LDS culture.
    Perhaps changes are in the wind.

  • Roger
    Dec. 1, 2007 1:16 p.m.

    I would be very curious to find out if anyone has done a study of non-LDS Utahns, to find out what their rate of depression is.

    Whenever people point the finger at others, blaming them for the problems in a community, and then ramble on and on and on and on about it, sounds to me like they're the ones who are the truly depressed ones.

    Blame the LDS Church all you want. Blame everything on the LDS Church, but in the end, you will not be a happier person, you will not fill more fulfilled and you certainly haven't made others around any better either.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 1, 2007 1:16 p.m.

    In a culture where appearances are everything you are going to find a lot of depression.

  • Yes, "I Wonder"
    Nov. 30, 2007 7:55 p.m.

    It does. Been there, done that. It is hard to find out that some people "holding temple recommends" do so by lying. (This would also be true of anyone claiming a status which was not valid....for those who take offense)
    This religion puts so much stress on these things that some people lie so that they won't have to go through the embarrasment of not having that status.
    This can and is a source of depression in this religious group. It is sad.

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 30, 2007 4:42 p.m.

    Since desnews will not post my well thought out comments, I'd just like to say that the Deseret News is fantastic and the best and most open minded paper in the world. Will you post this?
    Supression doesn't end at church in the state of Utah.

  • These comments sadden me
    Nov. 30, 2007 4:38 p.m.

    Pretending to believe | 1:52 p.m. Nov. 30, 2007
    Re: "These comments sadden me"

    Nobody is saying "Mormonism causes schizophrenia" as you suggest.
    When a person in their heart of hearts does not fully believe or has some serious doubts about something and they go along and pretend that they do anyway - this behavior is a form of schizophrenia and leads to intense depression

    This was a hypothetical statement pertaining to attributing religion to mental disorders.

  • Cheryl
    Nov. 30, 2007 4:26 p.m.

    AMEN to the last entry. Been there as well. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, physicians in practice do not take the time to keep up on research, and thusly are 19 years behind. And they typically DO only spend 3 minutes per patient and their "ongoing training" is by pharmaceutical reps. Anyone see a problem here???? Kinda makes one wonder. All it did was make me more determined to find GOOD care. I was successful after 7 years. We MUST take our health care into our own hands.

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 30, 2007 4:20 p.m.

    I wonder said,
    "I've often wondered if those who are not deemed "Temple-worthy" in the Mormon organization ever suffer from low self-esteem because of this?"

    If a person believes that they are less valuable because of that label they may feel bad. Ironically, it is possible to be a pretty despicable person in many areas of your life and still be "worthy" of a temple recommend. If you internalize a religion's world view, that wiil affect how you view yourself. Some people feel bad if they eat pork or if they don't wear a certain head covering while others are not bothered at all.
    I would be happy if the temple recommend holders and non recommend holders would just start driving with a little courtesy and avoid the fraudulent business practices that are so common in Utah. I'd prefer neighbors that worshiped Gummy Bears if they would just follow the golden rule.

  • Rx
    Nov. 30, 2007 4:01 p.m.

    I don't think it's the doctor's fault that so many Utahns are clinically depressed, "Sick not depressed."
    But as a former pharmaceutical rep. I know that they love to prescribe anti-depressants.
    Hey, it's a non-alcoholic quick-fix here in Utah.
    Sort of a cheap grace sort of fix.

  • Hierachal stuff
    Nov. 30, 2007 3:48 p.m.

    Those low on the Mormon totem pole:

    Those who do not have a temple recommend
    Those who are not Eagle Scouts.
    Those who have never been on a mission.
    Those who do not have a recognizable Mormon name.
    Those who have been born female. (ever heard of a matriarchal blessing?)

  • Sick not depressed
    Nov. 30, 2007 2:43 p.m.

    I went to four different doctors because I thought I was bleeding too much and that my clots were too large. I suffered for years and was given anti-depressants for my "depression." I went to a fifth doctor that actually spent more than 3 minutes with me and ran some blood tests. It seems I was physically sick, severely and dangerously anemic, and needed surgery. After the surgery, I was taken off the anti-depressants. I had to be weaned off them because of withdrawal (yes, they can be that bad.) I wasn't depressed, though I was poorly diagnosed as such. I was sick, very sick and needed surgery. I now regularly exercise and am medication free.
    Anti-depressants seem to be the treatment for everything from anemia to thyroid disease. Perhaps if doctors spent more than 3 minutes with their patients, they might be surprised that not every stay-at-home mom is depressed.

  • I wonder
    Nov. 30, 2007 2:12 p.m.

    I've often wondered if those who are not deemed "Temple-worthy" in the Mormon organization ever suffer from low self-esteem because of this?

  • Pretending to believe
    Nov. 30, 2007 1:52 p.m.

    Re: "These comments sadden me"

    Nobody is saying "Mormonism causes schizophrenia" as you suggest.
    When a person in their heart of hearts does not fully believe or has some serious doubts about something and they go along and pretend that they do anyway - this behavior is a form of schizophrenia and leads to intense depression

  • They may sadden you....
    Nov. 30, 2007 1:46 p.m.

    But they are true. Like it or not depression is a combination of genetics and environment. Religion should be a source to turn to in hard times and no doubt, it sometimes is. But I have found out from personal experience that the expectations that religions put on people cause depression too. Someone said that we wouldn't have to be talking about this so much if there wasn't something to it. It may be blown out of proportion sometimes, but it is valid.

  • These comments sadden me
    Nov. 30, 2007 11:49 a.m.

    These comments are very saddening to me considering we are talking about a mental disorder here that most scientists agree that it is more often caused by neurological, medical conditions, genetics, and environemental factors. These other causes such as sociopsychological (childhood experiences, religion, social status, etc.) factors only contribute to the disease... not cause it. Basically the people trying to justify the high depression rates due to a religion is as unjustified as claiming Mormonism (or any other religion)causes schizophrenia. Myself, being Mormon, would propose that people suffering from depression may tend to turn to religion for comfort, thus explaining a high rate of depression in a missionary associated church that reaches out to people who in turn find comfort in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Remember, Christ did not come into the world to heal the whole, but to heal the sick and afflicted.

  • Miss Synthia Forsyth
    Nov. 30, 2007 10:50 a.m.

    The Deseret Morning News, IS NOT a publication for the saints.

    You know what, forget I ever said anything refering to who reads this stuff.

    Whoever feels like reading this stuff, go ahead and read it for all I care.

  • Miss Synthia Forsyth
    Nov. 30, 2007 10:39 a.m.

    Former Utahn: I call myself Miss Synthia Forsyth because as a rule, I don't give out my real name on the internet. (it's not safe, if you didn't know)
    Second, I've tried living my life, but failed. TO tell you the truth, all I want to do is move back to washington and become a writer/artist.

    I still don't see why anyone should care about their past. (places where they've lived)

  • To: Why they are depressed
    Nov. 30, 2007 10:37 a.m.

    My personal power is stripped from me? I couldn't agree less.
    I am an active LDS woman and I have never felt oppressed or downtrodden.

    The so-called personal freedom that so many people in this country (and world) claim to enjoy is not the free-spirited source of joy that the hype promises.

    Rules, laws, commandments...they are often sources of safety and personal peace.

    I have a brain--I think about my choices and I'm aware of my options. Sure, there are LDS people who are sheep, but you find sheep everywhere, in and out of religion.

    I try to respect the lives and opinions of my non-LDS friends, neighbors and fellow humans. I would appreciate the same courtesy.

    Why can't we be kind and considerate towards each other, even in the anonymous world of the internet? The name-calling and finger-pointing is only bringing us all down.

  • daveescaped
    Nov. 30, 2007 10:32 a.m.

    Anyone who wants to blame the weather in Utah has obviously never lived outside Utah. Utah is statistically a very sunny state. I am from Michigan (a very grey sky state like most of the midwest) and found Utah's weather to be uplifting. Also I don't think one can blame the bleakness of rural life since the majority of people in Utah (and hence the survey) live along the non-rural Wasatch Front.

    I think the suggestion that the rest of the world self-medicates via alchohol is interesting. there may be some truth to that. But obviously to provide andy conclusive link to faith (esp. the LDS) you would have to control for thsi factor. And since the est seems to predominate this study I am not yet willing to blame a faith for depression.

    I think the fact that too many families are uninsured could be a HUGE factor. As an active LDS I was often surprised at peers who ignored and even flaunted the need for health insurance. I also think race would be interesting to look at as a factor seeing as this is the whitest part of teh country.

  • Parley P Phatt
    Nov. 30, 2007 10:32 a.m.

    Utahns are fat. Utahns are depressed because they eat way too much and don't exercise enough. Get some of that wonderful clean air in your blood stream and decrease your booty!

  • Why they are depressed
    Nov. 30, 2007 10:00 a.m.

    Inspite of the "free-agency" rhetoric mormons are raised with, they are told to dress, talk, and think like everyone in the clan.
    When a person's personal power is stripped so entirely from them - depression is sure to follow.

  • Stats
    Nov. 30, 2007 9:53 a.m.

    Don't be in denial that these stats are TRUE and probably UNDERestimating the real problems. Low income + young parents + several children + Church callings + Church standards = STRESS which can lead to depression. No time for RELAXING means that your chances of depression only increase. Men are depressed too. Why are the statistics for LDS men addicted to internet porn skyrocketing??? We have problems that need to be dealt with. Until people pull their head out and have the courage to face it, things won't change. I volunteered at a women's shelter and was shocked to see more and more women married in the Temple with 2 young babies who escaped to the shelter because of physical and/or emotional abuse. It's on the increase and more help needs to be provided. (Hold that - more GOOD/PROFESSIONAL help needs to be provided).

  • If it makes your HAPPY!!
    Nov. 30, 2007 8:57 a.m.

    Then why are you so SAD?

  • I'm no statistician, but . . .
    Nov. 30, 2007 8:31 a.m.

    This is a simple case of lying with statistics. The rate of depression was calculated using lack of access to mental health services; lack of coverage for mental health services on most employer-provided insurance plans; percent of residents who say they can't afford health care; prevalence of serious depression; and suicide rates.

    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that lack of access and affordability shouldn't be used to calculate the rate of depression.

    If people in Utah lack access to mental health services because they live farther from mental health facilities than people in Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey . . . well, duh. Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Nevada are much bigger than those states, and therefore many residents will automatically live farther away.

    Finally, more Utahns may not be able to afford the cost of health care because they have lower incomes and more children per capita than the rest of the nation.

    It's a stupid formula and a meaningless statistic.

  • susan
    Nov. 30, 2007 8:30 a.m.

    I am not from Utah, but from what I have experienced, it seems these "children", yes "children" are expected to marry at an extremely ridiculously young age and begin to procreate immediately. I have never seen so many women under the age of 25 with three, four and even five children. That is depressing! How are these young girls expected to become mothers when they themselves are children. Let them grow and mature, establish jobs they are proud of and then decide upon the CHOICE of motherhood!

  • Greg
    Nov. 30, 2007 8:25 a.m.

    I am an active Mormon, who has been less-then-active at times I have lived inside and outside of Utah. My mother is Baptist, my father LDS. Here is my opinion, based on my own actual experiences and not on my prejudices:

    - Depression is very complicated and very personal. Many, many factors are involved including your own chemistry, diet, your upbringing, your culture, etc., etc. I have discovered for myself that junk food and sugar is the main factor. Ice cream is the devil.

    - If you want to be happy, be moderate in all things *. Don't overeat, over-medicate, or over-sex yourself. Don't over-obsess on your religion, on what you are doing wrong or right, on what others are doing or not doing that doesn't effect you. Don't worry about what others think of you, if it doesn't effect them.

    - Love people more (especially your family), be more charitable, be more forgiving, and have more faith that things will be better, that you can make things better, when you are having a bad day.

  • non-lds in utah county
    Nov. 30, 2007 7:41 a.m.

    I'm a non-LDS living in utah county. For at least one year, my neighbors were like "we'll die for you" friends to us. During the last Christmas one neighbor invited us for the "Christmas" party, and when we've got home, and when we've opened the gift box, there was a Book Of Mormon and a two page story of how their family is living in heaven as a family. Since we did not become Mormons, now my family is completely isolated from the rest of the neighbors. We were not invited for at least a neighborhood gathering from that time onwards. If there is so much pressure is coming to non-lds living in this state, under how much pressure the Mormons are living to convert each and everyone in the utah to their religion. This is truely a depressed state. The LDS Church has manipulated their sheep, and there comes all kinds of depression to the Mormons, and they transfer that to the rest of the people who are living in this state.

  • GWB
    Nov. 30, 2007 7:34 a.m.

    Anonymous | 4:07 a.m. Nov. 29, 2007 says the research was underwritten by Wyeth so it is no surprise that it came to the conclusion that we need more mental health coverage.

    Following that logic, it isn't surprising that when Exxon funds (through a think tank) research on global warming, the conclusion is that it is not man mad and that hydorcarbon consumption has nothing to do with it.

    Depression is very real in Utah, but ask your great grandparents who lived in the early 1900's in SLC how bad the inversions got and how black that haze was. I have, and it wasn't black and as depressing before the automobile use became so prevalent and before industrial giants like Geneva were pumping tons of light blocking particulates into the air.

    Take care of the environment in the valley and you will see mental health improve, either that or use my cure, a good day of skiing where you get both endorphins and a clean dose of sun without the haze.

  • Is it safe?
    Nov. 30, 2007 7:09 a.m.

    To be packing, with kidnappers, tazers, fighting over a kid's game, polygamy gone wild, and now this.

  • Former Utahn
    Nov. 30, 2007 6:54 a.m.

    I lived in Utah twice and would be depressed too if all my education came from there. I am still stuck on Utah ranking 51st out of 50.

    LDS in Utah and elsewhere have the same demands on time, family, perfection etc. The church is not the cause of so much depression. I was in Florida and depressed but it had nothing to do with the church.

    Miss Synthia Forsyth; you are probably depressed because you apparently insist on calling yourself Miss Synthia Forsyth. Life is great, live a little. You can follow the gospel principals and still have an enjoyable life. Also, people from outside Utah read the Deseret News because they have ties to the community and want to know whats going on there.

  • tooting of the horn
    Nov. 30, 2007 6:23 a.m.

    rz -
    It's not so much about high and unattainable standards set by some Mormons,
    it's the constant sanctimonious, tooting their own horn about achieving these.
    The rest of us go about these things in a quiet, private manner not interested in setting ourselves apart but working together.

  • Bob G
    Nov. 30, 2007 5:34 a.m.

    And many of these mentally disabled are running our government. Ever wonder why Utah government is a mess? The people are so mentally depressed they can't think for themselves or how to vote on issues. It also shows in the driving habits and accident rates in Utah, they don't have the ability to make mental decisions when behind the wheel. Mind altering drugs and driving don't mix and it's against the law but a DUI for drug abuse is non exixtent in Utah. No wonder so many get in accidents with drinkers and drugged drivers, neither can control their vehicles but the person that had a beer gets all the blame. And the education system in Utah perpetrates the problem putting the children on these mind drugs so the teachers can cope with the oversized classes they are forced with. Closing schools does not help the problem of keeping smaller class sizes. Like Utah's muliti-million dollar slogan says, 'Life Elevated' and many live up to it. Maybe that's why it was chosen.

  • A "pill popper"
    Nov. 30, 2007 2:49 a.m.

    The great depression debate again!

    I am a practicing LDS woman in my 30's, mother of 2 and a user of anti-depressant drugs for much of my adult life. I have had successful periods without them as well. A few thoughts:

    1)Anti-depressants saved my life. I was suicidal as a teen and counseling wasn't enough. The drugs helped because they addressed a BIOLOGICAL, CHEMICAL problem in my brain. Why are those who take anti-depressants fair game for ridicule? The brain is an organ just like the heart, liver, kidneys or lungs and sometimes needs medical treatment. Sure, they might be prescribed too often, but often they help when nothing else will.

    2)The LDS church has done a great deal to help me with my mental health issues. I even received wonderful PPD counseling (from an independent, licensed professional)with the help of Church funds.

    3)It's simple-minded to blame OR completely discount an LDS-depression connection. Think, don't spew nonsense!

    4)I have many out-of-state, non-LDS friends, and their rates of depression seem high. Some medicate with alcohol (which is a depressant!)

    5)Natural cures may help, but many are largely untested and even they can have serious side-effects! Natural doesn't automatically equal safe.


  • Depressed
    Nov. 30, 2007 1:53 a.m.

    I'm depressed because football season is almost over!! I have found that arena football helps during the "bad" times, but nothing beats the months of Sep through Jan!! booo hoooo

  • Hey, Synthia
    Nov. 30, 2007 1:40 a.m.

    I have news for you. All the saints do not live in the valley, or even in Utah. The Deseret News is a publication for the saints. Some who previously lived in Utah may enjoy reading about their former home. Others throughout the US may simply want to know what is happening near Church headquarters.

    I am sorry about your depression. Honestly, you do not need to worry about who is reading the DN.

  • jon
    Nov. 30, 2007 12:11 a.m.

    I've lived in CA and FL and now reside in WI. The winter can get bleak at times and even bleaker when one parks their can on a sofa watching despondent programming. Maybe Hollywood's greatest achievement is to make us depressed simply by watching shows which feature amoral morons we would never invite into our homes.

    Get off your rear and exercise. You'll feel better and you have the added benefit of using a healthy body instead of a toxic one.

    We were created to be active, helpful, and doing good instead of reflecting on the good we haven't accomplished.

  • Beauty School Dropout
    Nov. 29, 2007 11:43 p.m.

    Seriously hilarious how people are citing their credentials as they comment.

  • rz
    Nov. 29, 2007 11:43 p.m.

    "Lastly, is it such a bad thing that the bar is set so high in the Mormon church? I don't think so. I think the world could use some higher standards, especially our country."

    It's not so much about high standards as it is about unattainable standards, i.e., perfection. And the constant pressure to attain the unattainable.

  • Hmmm...
    Nov. 29, 2007 11:23 p.m.

    This "study" just may suggest that Utah is the HEALTHIEST state in the Union. Indeed, maybe it's one of the few places where tough love is used instead of just telling everyone "it's ok" and "everyone is special." Sometimes people need to hear they're doing something wrong. How they react to it is up to them.

  • Just a thought
    Nov. 29, 2007 11:15 p.m.

    Maybe it is better communication within families that is needed than more pills. So many families are falling apart for one reason or another and leaves folks with a bunch of issues to deal with. If you get upset or angry for any amount of time then some folks think pills are the answer rather than allowing a person to vent and blow steam and in the end still know that someone cares about them. Do whatever is needed to strengthen families and I think less pills will be needed.

  • Why would people "Bash"
    Nov. 29, 2007 10:40 p.m.

    If they didn't have any complaint? Sure there are those that just like to get the attention, but most of us have lives with plenty of things in them. We would not "bash" unless we had something to say. It's interesting how people can believe that everyone that have had negative experiences in a religion are somehow to blame. Time to face reality; if something keeps coming up over and over again there is probably something to it!

  • anonymous
    Nov. 29, 2007 9:29 p.m.

    come on utah just wait untill all the best snow on earth falls who could be depressed in that white fluffy stuff!!!

  • TSP
    Nov. 29, 2007 8:46 p.m.

    Weather is completely irrelevant; check out where Alaska landed on the list.

    I'm not so sure about the questions either; anyone who has recently ended a serious relationship would likely qualify as "clinically depressed" based on the questions of the survey as I read them. This includes me. And I'm never depressed; I am, however, very down about a breakup a month back and so I'd likely be another negative statistic in this survey.

  • Gretzky
    Nov. 29, 2007 6:40 p.m.

    nothing like a good hockey game to cure the blues...so let's end this conversation. facts are facts. time for the mental health profession to do more than prescribe pills. i believe utahns are depressed because they have been priced out of skiing in the mountains, the developers have taken away all the biking trails in the utah foothills, Geneva steel polluted Utah Lake, and there are not enough ice skating and hockey rinks in Utah....

  • katamb
    Nov. 29, 2007 5:38 p.m.

    We're just taking medication for a health problem and not self-medicating with alcohol and drugs - that's all. New Jersey the healthiest state?! Give me a break! I come from there and the bars are full at 7:00 a.m.!!!!!

  • bls
    Nov. 29, 2007 5:31 p.m.

    I find it interesting, that a left leaning organiztion. Whose goals are get as much government funding for their clinics and such. Would put the most religious and most republican state at the very bottom of their research.To find the answer to all these so called studies and research groups, just as always, follow the money.In this age of political correctness and anti-anything religious a study like this would come out. Surprizing......

  • Raymond is Wrong
    Nov. 29, 2007 4:59 p.m.

    The fact that the results come from a composite score of four different surveys actually STRENGTHENS the results. And let me remind you that a sample size of 1000 is plenty big for any population (recall the central limit theorem and the law of large numbers).

    The statistics in this study are not wrong. What IS wrong is the way most of the people on this thread interpret them.

  • Nice comments
    Nov. 29, 2007 4:56 p.m.

    These comments just prove my theory that Utah is the most bigoted state in the country. This article didn't once reference the cause being religion, yet thats exactly what has been attacked. Is this how all the non-LDS community feels? It's starting to make sense why LDS families are careful who their children play with. It seems the "Self Righteous" community isn't the Mormon community.

  • My 2 cents on this issue
    Nov. 29, 2007 4:51 p.m.

    The so called "Health Care professionals" in the U.S. are trained to prescribe drugs NOT to cure the problems.
    It's part of the current health care system (Hospitals, drug companies) who profit with the people's health.
    Enough is Enough, we need a UNIVERSAL Health Care System. I don't care if I have to pay more taxes if that will give me access to preventive and corrective health care and I can live with peace of mind NOT depressed and filing for bankcrupcy like many people is doing because they CAN NOT pay they medical bills. Called Socialist Medicine or whatever, but I call it a solution to live with dignity as an U. S. citizen.

  • Observer
    Nov. 29, 2007 4:51 p.m.

    There is a problem here - face it. Thousands of Utah women are addicted to prescription drugs and have been for years. Yet, those same people (and their spouses) would look down on someone who had a beer or wine with their dinner. (by the way - that doesn't mean you are an alcoholic).
    In the end - is God going to worry about the beverage you had or how much time you spent judging your neighbors?? Is God going to measure the number of children you have or be pleased with you being a good parent of 2 or 3 healthy and happy kids??
    I am sorry for those of you who were born and raised here and may never understand what the rest of us find so obvious. Enjoy your life - put quality in it and stop filling it up with misguided aspirations for perfection. On earth we are only human - so worry about today and just be kind to yourself and those around you. That's good enough!

  • Which one?
    Nov. 29, 2007 4:50 p.m.

    Well, jk, which gospel are you referring to?
    The standard one that Mitt Romney said was "God's word" 5 times in a matter of seconds?
    Or the "restored" version, that is the "truest book ever wrote?"
    I am starting to see more and more just why it is there is so much depression in this culture.
    These are some massively confused puppies in a incredibly convoluted setting.

  • Correlations... Maybe or Not
    Nov. 29, 2007 4:24 p.m.

    Might there be any correlation between Utah's ranking in depression and the ranking on porn searches? Utah is feeling to darn guilty about all the web based shenanigans. (that was supposed to be a joke)

    Seriously, such a ranking is not necessarily a bad thing if it equates to more people getting the appropriate medical care they need to treat their illness. Perhaps, it may imply more accurate reporting than many other states.

    Or again, maybe Utah is just doom and gloom. I for one like it here and only get depressed on an occasional basis.

  • Health Researcher
    Nov. 29, 2007 4:23 p.m.

    I think it's hilarious when people talk about all the pressures on LDS folks (especially women) to be perfect--as if these pressures are any different on evangelical women in Texas or atheist women in Connecticut. There are all kinds of social pressures on people all over the place. Utah isn't in the least bit unique on this count.

    Do a quick search of Mormon & depression on Google Scholar and you'll find that it's pretty clear that there is no clear effect of being LDS on one's mental health. This relationship is only apparent to religious bigots.

  • Dr. Nothing
    Nov. 29, 2007 3:57 p.m.

    Look at all these opinions. They're all baseless. They're like, hey! I live in Utah, I obviously know the answers depsite not studying or doing any research.

    Maybe do some research instead of "I knew it was the mormons!" or "This weather is the culprit!"

  • my dad
    Nov. 29, 2007 3:55 p.m.

    My dad was in every state institution in Arizona. Tried to commit suicide 4 times. He comes from a family of mental illness and depression. He was homeless. He has taken every drug known to man, been diagnosed with every mental illness described.
    Then he was baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in 1995 and the miracle began. My dad today is a different human being. He knows first had the difference between being in the church and out of the church. He knows first hand what the world has to offer and the church. The proof is in the pudding for this happy son who has an amazing father.... no one could convince me otherwise. I think depression is individual. I've seen the rich, the blest, the powerful, the famous with it. I've seen the heathen, the "believer", and the philosopher with it. For all the pressure on the mormons, I think the pressure for them is to get out of debt, live within their means, put first things first, get organized, devote themselves to their families, repent, serve, love, and have holsum fun....sounds like a cure for depression not the cause!

  • David
    Nov. 29, 2007 3:51 p.m.

    Recent studies show that some forms of depression are just as readily remedied by regular exercise. Americans in general, are becoming more obese and less exercise oriented. Couple that with the amount of time spent on church activities instead of personal well-being and it becomes no surprise.

  • jk
    Nov. 29, 2007 3:49 p.m.

    i think were so depressed in this LDS state because we are mourning for so many of our brethren who are without the gospel in this country, and the world for that matter. j/k

    I thought it was funny that people were blaiming the high demands of the LDS church. What do they recommend, that we "lower the bar", or be more content with mediocrity? In everything we do, work, school, sports, we set high standards and push ourselves to hit them, thats how progress is made. I dont know about you but depression hits me when I'm sitting around being lazy, not when im working my butt off to meet my high standards.

  • a peculiar people
    Nov. 29, 2007 3:47 p.m.

    The LDS culture is indeed filled with "peculiar people" (Gordon B. Hickley's own words).
    They tell their flock to exercise their free agency then turn around and tell them exactly what they are supposed to do.

    Believe me, I know.

    It's no wonder Utah leads the nation in depressed souls.
    People are liberal by nature, and they are told to resist these natural, wonderful tendencies.

  • Unbelievable
    Nov. 29, 2007 3:39 p.m.

    Though born and raised in UT and loved my experience there, I have lived outside the Wasatch Front since graduating from high school. Currently a resident of the Midwest, I find that - by in large - my friends, neighbors and community respect me for my beliefs, religion and lifestyle. I, in return, offer the same respect to them.

    That being said, I am constantly amazed when I read the Deseret News "comment" section, how prevelant anti-mormon sentiments are in Utah. Get over it, folks! See people for the goodness that they possess, not a mere title or religion they esteem. None of us are perfect and few people profess to be. How grateful I am to live in a community that supports and respects me for what I believe and doesn't blame every mishap of society upon my belief system. Unbelievable, indeed.

  • Former Bishop
    Nov. 29, 2007 3:24 p.m.

    I just finished serving as a Bishop.
    1. Bishops & SP's are now far more familiar than they were with clinical depression that in the past - still needs work!
    2. Depression is more than just "feeling the blues" stressed - it is a medical condition that in my limited observation seems to be mostly inherited but can be treated. My wife has a member of her family that committed suicide because of depression. He wasn't a member, but that's not the point.
    3. Those in the Church suffering from depression may have once been encouraged to avoid medical help by well meaning members - this is wrong. The Word of Wisdom can solve many things, but we cannot let that belief (or hobby horse for some), cause members to avoid treatment.
    4. LDS wanting to self-medicate likely turn to prescription drugs, since after all they are "prescribed". The fact these people all get into computerized medical systems increases the numbers that get reported.
    5. Bishops were told explicitly several years ago to NOT counsel members on FAMILY SIZE and WHEN to get married. I never ever told a returned missionary it was "time" to get married.

  • Father and Son
    Nov. 29, 2007 3:13 p.m.

    "... from the moment I could talk, I was ordered to listen, Now there's a way and I know that I have to go away.
    I know I have to go." ("Father and Son")

    If this song upsets you Rich, maybe you are feeling trapped. I understand that is a common dilemma within an ultra-conservative setting.

  • Change is Good
    Nov. 29, 2007 3:05 p.m.

    With songs like "Peace Train," "Morning has Broken,"
    "Wild World," "Moon Shadow," "Father and Son,"Oh Very Young," and countless others that are still wildly popular today, I'd say what has happened is that Cat Stevens has left a volume of meaningful, provocative and culture-changing music.

    Now tell me about Orrin Hatch's greatest hits, Rich.

  • Great!
    Nov. 29, 2007 2:57 p.m.

    Great! Another feel-bad story about Utah that will obviously be used by outsiders and those with a chip on their sholder as a indictment of Mormons and how they ruin Utah.

    I haven't even read any of the comments here but I bet I know what they are going to say. You know the same old stuff you see in these forums almost every day.

  • That is why!
    Nov. 29, 2007 2:56 p.m.

    The bizzare happens here, kidnapping, tazing, trolley square episode, polygamy gone wild, people wearing weapons openly, and now the Byu, Utah outcome..can't go on, can't go on!

  • willie
    Nov. 29, 2007 2:51 p.m.

    So...? think happy thoughts, like Heather said and you will be Happy Happy Happy. You cannot control depression by thinking Happy thoughts. It is a chemical imbalance a great deal of the time. The rest of the time it is a situational catalyst, like listening to Heather and her Happy Heavenly Father blather. When was the last time she was allowed to have a thought that wasn't prescribed to her by the "teachings of the lord?" Break free Heather, it's not too late!!!

  • Utah Observer
    Nov. 29, 2007 2:47 p.m.

    OK, if Utah has a depression problem, could it be because peoples general dislike for each other?

    Reading the comments on Utah's depression story seems to prove my point.

    I spent a fair amount of my life in other states and overseas. It amazes me that Utah is the most culturally and religiously divisive place I have ever lived in.

    People of other religions where lived were never as exclusive as "LDS faithful" are to non-LDS people in this state. With the large missionary effort of the LDS church, I wrongly imagined Utah to be the friendliest state ever. And as every turn deserves a good turn, most non-LDS people I know have nothing good to say about their LDS faithful neighbors. Open religious intolerance towards the LDS church is widely accepted in public print and in open discourse.

    So, until the unlikely event that LDS and non-LDS can accept and tolerate each other, I predict Utah will always be divisive state. Unless Utahs citizens can find happiness in the convictions that cause this mutual dislike, it will always be unhappy place.

  • Happy
    Nov. 29, 2007 2:39 p.m.

    "Utah leads the nation in rates of depression"
    So there you have it.
    Living proof of the negative effect conservatism plays on people.
    So many rules. So much competition. So many unmet expectations.
    I'm glad I'm a happy-go-lucky free-wheelin' liberal!

  • Mark in AZ
    Nov. 29, 2007 2:36 p.m.

    Wyeth, Wyeth, Wyeth ... the drug company that caused me a year's horrible withdrawal from a psychotropic drug. "Pyscho" = "spirit" in Greek and "tropic" = "to turn." Do we want to "turn our spirits" to a drug company that considers casualties like me merely unfortunate statistics? Just say NO to psychotropic drugs!!! Say no to all this greed disguised as scientific research!

  • Grandma Sandy
    Nov. 29, 2007 2:34 p.m.

    Think Insurance Company profits and remember the magic work is "CO-PAY". This should fix EVERYTHING!

  • Rich
    Nov. 29, 2007 2:20 p.m.

    Anonymous said: "From the moment I could talk, I was ordered to listen."

    This is from a Cat Stevens song. Look what happened to him.

  • Aldea
    Nov. 29, 2007 2:18 p.m.

    Depression is not caused by the LDS Church. It's a chemical depleation in the brain, however I have lived with it since the first Gulf War. Exposure to High Stress and from an abusive childhood caused me to one day want to kill myself. Depression meds do help, it's a Medical Condition which I just live with. If I did not have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, I believe I would have been dead already. You have to fight depression daily. It's a disease that has nothing to do with the LDS Church in my view,! Regardless of what the anti and Jack Mormons say!

  • Orem Native
    Nov. 29, 2007 2:12 p.m.

    After watching the Utah - BYU game anybody who cheers for the utes should be depressed after what the refs did to them.

  • Raymond Takashi Swenson
    Nov. 29, 2007 1:49 p.m.

    I looked at the report. The ranking is based on a weighted average of four different surveys. Since national surveys typically use only 1,000 people, how many were sampled in each state? The percentage difference between the highest and the lowest states in any one of the four categories is only 3 or 4 percent, which is close to the usual margin of error. If they repeated the surveys next week, they could get completely different numbers.

    Utah is actually above the national average in the "number of days" of depression reported. The maps that show the distribution of the states in each category show that the clusters are different for each one. In two of the categories, the West is dark red, but in others the states around Kentucky are worst. The lack of correlation among these different surveys, supposed to measure the same thing, shows how uncertain all of them are.

    The people who did this report are just lobbying for more Federal money for mental health professionals and anti-depression drugs, and for Federal law requiring parity between payments for mental health care and medical care. I sympathize, but the survey is meaningless.

  • Interesting
    Nov. 29, 2007 1:35 p.m.

    I believe a good balanced diet (along with normal physical and mental activities) will result in good mental and physical health. Can anyone prove me wrong?

    This article suggests to me that too many people in Utah eat too much junk food!

  • Alan Rorq
    Nov. 29, 2007 1:27 p.m.

    My best friend, Jerry - a military retiree I have written about before - came here to Utah after he retired. He has major depression, and he has had it for many years. He works out almost every day strenuously, eats the right stuff, has a network of friends who understand his depression, and takes his prescribed meds. Yet, daily he needs to work through suicidal ideation - he can't stop thinking about how to end it all at about 5 pm. He has developed great ways to get through those low times, as every successful depressive person must.

    Here's the point, though. Jerry seems like a regular guy to most. He is extremely intelligent, well educated, and friendly. He came here because there are so many people like him in Utah - not just due to a religious lifestyle. If not for his federal benefits, Jerry could not afford his meds and periodic counseling checkups. He would be on the streets, he tells me. And I believe him.

    If Utah has a strong Christian value system, it should walk the talk - it should find an effective way to help outstanding people like Jerry. No bull!

    Alan Rorq

  • hiker
    Nov. 29, 2007 1:25 p.m.

    It could be the air pollution and it could that lot of people are stressed out because they dont live their lives more simply. This is particularly true in for Mormons. Non Mormons sometimes get depressed from playing the game of getting more consumer goods but it is worse for Mormons because there is a lot of pressure to have more children too. People turn to the Bishop for help with depression and he never tells them to quit having children and he never warns the ward that having a squadron of little tikes could drive you nuts and he rarely tells people to give up the dream of living like the Marriots.

  • CapaChica
    Nov. 29, 2007 1:19 p.m.

    I hate to say this but I'm LDS and yes ALOT of pressure is put on women. Try being LDS, 34 years old and still single. There has to be something wrong with me right?

  • heather
    Nov. 29, 2007 1:17 p.m.

    A am a Mormon and I believe that throught the teachings of the lords church that is why I am happy happy happy.

  • offered meds
    Nov. 29, 2007 1:15 p.m.

    During very trying times of my life (not due to my religion) I was offered meds by my Doctor a GP. I was not depressed! I refused, but was told he was required to offer them to any patient going through a crisis. I was sad due to real life experiences; temporary situations beyond my control. If you are depressed nothing is really wrong! You just don't ever feel joy. No peace is there for you when you need it. Depression is genetic not due to socially learned ideals. If some of those who post would stop focusing on what they hate about themselves and/or others and try to do something good... we would all see a happier group. My non-LDS or inactive women friends are much more prone to "depression" caused by social pressure or abuse than the "active" LDS ones... figure that one into your LDS bashing thoughts. You have nothing better to do with your time... right?

  • metamoracoug
    Nov. 29, 2007 1:13 p.m.

    The statistics here are very misleading. Utah is not the most depressed state in the union and anyone who has been in New Jersey longer than a weekend knows that fact. Utah probably has the smallest percentage of people who are self-medicating -- i.e. alcohol, and illicit drugs, which is how the rest of the world deals with depression.

  • So....?
    Nov. 29, 2007 1:10 p.m.

    Depression comes to you because you allow it to. Depression is a mind boggling disease that you YOURSELF can control.

    I often expereince depression here and there. But you must learn t FIGHT IT! Look on the bright side and positive side of life!

  • Great families!
    Nov. 29, 2007 1:03 p.m.

    With wonderful families head up by the likes of Lemuel and Julia Redd, how could we possibly have a problem with depression? More control and dogmatism is the answer to solving depression!

  • Oscar
    Nov. 29, 2007 12:56 p.m.

    The LDS religion was not part of the study.
    To be objective one must put aside feelings for or against LDS doctrine. Their is a large number of non-mormons or mormons who do not practice mormonism in Utah. Whether someone seeks mental health care or whether they have access to such care strongly effects the number of people who are in a depressed state. Taking away the stigma of mental illness is vital. Seeing yourself and others as human beings with weaknesses, no matter what religion or beleif
    is important in eliminating the stigma and helping people to be more willing to seek care.

  • Sensible
    Nov. 29, 2007 12:46 p.m.

    Religion has nothing to do with the depression survey results--it's income and urban-versus-rural. The states with the lowest rankings also are among the lowest per capita incomes. Lower paying jobs provide the fewest mental health benefits, a major factor in their rankings along with rural isolation.

  • Running Fish
    Nov. 29, 2007 12:45 p.m.

    So many variables at work here. I don't live in Utah currently, but I may move back at some point. My two cents: LDS doctrine is unbelievably inspiring and encouraging. LDS culture is sometimes horribly cruel. The two are not the same. We need to do a better job of reconciling the culture with the faith. Harmful aspects of LDS culture can be found anywhere, but Utah is most affected. We all need to be mature enough to know when we are given counsel or direction by friends, teachers, and even leaders that does not square with the docrine.

    The next time you feel pressured to attend a weekday church meeting instead of going to your child's concert or swimming meet don't be afraid to say that you have other priorities, like your family. If more of us would be mature enough to take a stand I predict that what can be an emotionally abusive culture would begin a course correction.

  • East Coast
    Nov. 29, 2007 12:43 p.m.

    Who are the new mothers in your circle? Have you asked them how they are doing and how you can help them? Only one in eight women will develop postpartum depression, so seven of them will be fine if rather sleep deprived, but that other new mother is living in hell.

    * Women and their families need to be prepared before having a baby for the possibility of postpartum depression.

    * Doctors need to screen for postpartum conditions at the six week check up. This should not consist of, "How are you doing?" That question is counter-productive. Almost everyone says, "Fine." There are short lists of questions that can be used to identify the problem.

    * People do not choose mental illness. They get it anyway.

    * Three things may happen after the baby is born. Very simply: postpartum depression is feeling weepy for days or weeks on end. Get help. Postpartum OCD is continual thoughts of harming the baby. You won't, but get help. Postpartum psychosis is rare, but women become frantic or paranoid. Women with this condition (usually with history of bipolar illness) can and do hurt themselves and their children. Get help immediately.

  • Cheryl
    Nov. 29, 2007 12:39 p.m.

    Again, it has been amazing to meet so many women who had been given antidepressants when they have thyroid and other endocrine system issues. When given natural thyroid or other natural hormones their bodies are low on, they feel wonderful. No more Prozac. GPs need to be willing to administer what is needed, rather than what is easy and alien to the human body, and makes money for pharmaceutical companies. After all, most docs are trained, post medical school, by pharmaceutical salesmen. Does anyone see the connection????

  • agree with JG
    Nov. 29, 2007 12:34 p.m.

    I have to agree with JG, the study didnt involve the LDS and the non-LDS factor. We shouldnt just say its because of the Mormons becuase that is the majority (60%). Well, we can also say that mormons are to blame for the high bankruptcy, wait WRONG, there was a study on this last year that compared LDS and non LDS in Utah and the non LDS were actually were a bit higher than the LDS. So yes it could be related to the LDS religion but just maybe its not. show me a study that includes the religous factor so I can know and stop putting the blame on others.

  • Dear Girl
    Nov. 29, 2007 12:31 p.m.

    Sometimes the craziest, most depressed people are the most interesting people you'll ever meet. They actually have some personality. From that perspective, Utahns are a bunch of characters.

  • DL
    Nov. 29, 2007 12:31 p.m.

    I hesitate in saying anything, but can't help myself. I just want to know what all these people with a chip on their shoulder concerning the LDS faith are doing reading the Deseret News? I suspect by the number of articles that turn into a Mormon vs Non-Mormon/former Mormon clash, what is happening. These people are reading the paper, scanning for just such an opprotunity to vent their displeasure...even if many times it is a real stretch to connect the content of the article with their anti-mormon agenda. It provides some fun entertainment sometimes. Keep it coming.

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 29, 2007 12:25 p.m.

    "From the moment I could talk - I was ordered to listen."
    Isn't this enough to depress anybody?

  • Hula Girl
    Nov. 29, 2007 12:23 p.m.

    Thanks, commenters, for the laugh. I especially enjoyed the Republican/Democrat and football game causes. No wonder we Hawaiians are least depressed. We remember to laugh daily, especially at ourselves. Try it, Utah.

  • Tiffiny
    Nov. 29, 2007 12:21 p.m.

    You know...I don't want to point fingers at the church, but the expectation of getting married really made me feel like an outsider when I lived there. Everyone was dating or had gotten married. I kind of felt like an odd duck.

    That being said, WITHOUT looking at the church, I just want to say that the states at the bottom of the list are all kind of in isolated parts of the country. Nothing's going on there...nothing exciting. I bet people are just too bored that they get depressed.

  • Dutch
    Nov. 29, 2007 12:21 p.m.

    Man, all you guys and gals talking about this is really making me depressed, thanks alot.

  • East Coast
    Nov. 29, 2007 12:12 p.m.

    I don't live in New Jersey, but I follow the news there. A couple of years ago NJ governor McGreevey resigned and the head of the legislature became acting governor. I hold him in very high regard for several reasons, one of which was what he emphasized during his time in office. His wife had suffered from postpartum depression, and with the media exposure that came with being governor, the Codeys decided to bring this into the spotlight. Not only did they talk about it, they also did something about it. Dick Codey led New Jersey to pass laws to improve the diagnosis and treatment of postpartum depression.

    "Have I done any good in the world today?"

    Mrs Codey was very brave to step up in public to speak about her experience. Mental health issues are stigmatized everywhere, not just Utah. This causes much unnecessary suffering. Many times women who develop this don't realize what is going on. Medical people, even now, will either pat a woman's hand or prescribe strong medication, when perhaps what the woman needs is education, support, counseling, and then medication if things don't improve. Not a pat on the hand and not social stigma.

  • gender specific
    Nov. 29, 2007 12:09 p.m.

    Notice how the female LDS are speaking out on this issue and how the male LDS think life is just hunky-dory?

  • RMW
    Nov. 29, 2007 12:07 p.m.

    There was a BYU article earlier this year which stated that LDS members had a LOW depression rate. This study indicates Utahns had a HIGH depression rate.

    Something is amiss, unless we infer that it is only the non-Mormons that are depressed. I seriously doubt that, however.

  • daisy
    Nov. 29, 2007 12:07 p.m.

    Weather got you depressed? What ever you do, DO NOT move to Seattle! All I want for Christmas is umlimited "Super High" tans at the local Desert Sun! I will use them September 1 through July 1. Sun comes out every year on July 5th!
    Happy living!

  • KK
    Nov. 29, 2007 11:57 a.m.

    Definitely the LDS church.

  • Miss Synthia Forsyth
    Nov. 29, 2007 11:55 a.m.

    ...I am mormon, and I blame it for at least part of my depression...

  • nothing is perfect
    Nov. 29, 2007 11:50 a.m.

    As much as the LDS people would like to believe they are creating a perfect society, it will always have its flaws.
    Depression rate included.

  • East Coast
    Nov. 29, 2007 11:49 a.m.

    To Pete 11:16 a.m. You said: "I grew up in Utah, and have come to realize that wether you are depressed or not, it is YOUR choice, not a church, not a community, YOURS."

    If you can make a statement like this you know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about mental illness. I suppose people also choose their congenital heart defects. They choose to be autistic. They choose to develop Alzheimers.

    Boy, I hope that statement is not representative of people in Utah. I sure wouldn't want to live in Utah if that were the case, and I most certainly wouldn't want to develop a psychiatric illness there.
    Statements like that can be a huge burden on people who are suffering from an illness they did not choose, would not choose, and would not wish on an enemy.

    Please educate yourself.

    It is my understanding that the LDS church provides mental health benefits in the health insurance they provide to employees.

  • Come On Now...
    Nov. 29, 2007 11:48 a.m.

    Even though the study may have some statistical skews that make the state look more depressed, it is also silly for LDS members to jump the other direction and say "nothing is wrong here..."

    I think a good thing to discuss statewide is how depression is diagnosed, by whom and what is being done to help. Real depression needs real diagnosis and treatment by well trained MDs.

    I believe that prescriptions have been a great thing for those that struggle with this. It is too bad that most people still make those that use them feel stigmatized. You wouldn't make fun of a guy with heart disease taking his meds.

    It would be great to see "real" research - not Wikipedia garbage and press release studies - so that the real issues (LDS & Non-LDS) could be addressed.

  • Zoneseek
    Nov. 29, 2007 11:46 a.m.

    Thank-you for saying what you did! I am not subserviant to my husband either. He is the kindest man I have ever met. I also have a degree - and I have taught with that degree in the Alpine School District. I now feel that it is important for me to be home with my children. Please people, don't assume we are uneducated and depressed because we are LDS. If you really have a relationship with Heavenly Father - you will feel such a love and respect from him. He simply expects us to keep trying the best we know how. He is so much more merciful than we think. The real pressures to "be perfect" all the time come from comparing the best in everyone else to the worst in ourselves.

  • ok!
    Nov. 29, 2007 11:43 a.m.

    what ever happened to I' ok , your ok...oh, polygamy was done away with, everybody has to be prosperous and show it or they end up arguing over god after a football game which is only a moment in time.

  • Don Crawford- Chicago, IL
    Nov. 29, 2007 11:43 a.m.

    Just a couple of thoughts-

    1. Members of the LDS Church should realize that they can leave Utah to improve their economic situations. They have LDS chapels all over the place! Think of it as a reverse pioneer trek (minus the hand carts).

    2. Maybe all of the folks with objections to the LDS faith / culture should go somewhere they don't have to be around so many icky people with expectations and values different from their own.

    3. People should get a life and quit wasting time looking for ways to bash their neighbors.

    4. The LDS Church has had professional Mental Health counseling through LDS family services for some time, But sounds like they should step up the Bishopric Training.

    5. The whole population should admit that Depression is a REAL condition, that sometimes requires meds.

    6. On the other side of the coin, maybe when the kids are a little hyperactive you go for a bike ride to release the extra energy instead of running to the Doctor for some chemical baby sitting.

    7. Take what a pharmaceutical company says with a grain of salt- they are selling pills!

  • LDS lower suicide
    Nov. 29, 2007 11:37 a.m.

    forgot to add that this was the only demographic studied, so I'm not simply picking the most pleasant stats.

  • LDS lower suicide rate
    Nov. 29, 2007 11:31 a.m.

    at least among males aged 15-34, suicide rates among mormons is much lower than among inactive or nonmormons of the same age and gender.

    American Journal of Epidemiology 2002; 155:413-419.

    For example, the suicide rate among less active LDS church members aged 25 to 29 was SEVEN times higher than among their active church peers.

    And, yes, the study was done by BYU professors, but the Journal of Epidemiology is a peer-reviewed journal that has exacting standards required for publication.

  • Cheryl
    Nov. 29, 2007 11:30 a.m.

    I would like to see this done on a gender basis. Research on hormone imbalance is showing that women who give birth have greater thyroid and other endocrine system hormone balance problems that poorly trained physicians don't address. Most docs simply pass out the Prozac. Very sad. One needs to do the research to find this out since most practitioners are about 19 years behind the research.

  • robert J Petersen
    Nov. 29, 2007 11:25 a.m.

    It is true that suicide is higher in Utah. It is however much less common in active LDS men and far higher in inactive LDS men. in fact seven times higher.

  • Screen Age Wasteland
    Nov. 29, 2007 11:22 a.m.

    The percentage of Mormons in Utah has never been lower ... the percentage of Utahans with depression has never been higher ... coincidence?!!!

    Yes, I was kidding by the way, but it IS time to dig into these numbers.

    It would be tough to do, but wouldn't it be useful to find out what the depression rates are for active LDS verses non-active, or non-LDS Utahans?

    Then we can quit these nonsensical discussions based on conjecture and supposition and actually have an intelligent conversation.

  • Come On Now...
    Nov. 29, 2007 11:21 a.m.

    I am depressed that so many posters actually give the report such respect. The Des News writer obviously picked up a press release right from the Pharma group that paid for this "study." Some mention of the methodology was made, but skimped on any real details. Actual study factors, weighting, and other factors would help make this a real article worth discussion.

    Reminds me of the statisticians that did a survey of death row inmates and found the vast majority drank milk when they were children - must mean milk drinkers are more violent. It was a mock effort to prove how stats can me misread - but could have been funded as "real findings" by the Soy Milk or Soda industries.

    BTW - funny how every subject where there are posts we find a plethora of willing religious bashers that were just waiting for their chance for jabs. I wonder if they would be comfortable bashing the Amish, Muslims, Jews, Catholics, etc. with the same language and fervor in a regional paper where these religions are prominent... hmmmm. Outside this valley it's called being a religious bigot and is actually not well respected.

  • IgnorantantiLDShick
    Nov. 29, 2007 11:16 a.m.

    It is comical to read the comments of the experts. How LDS members go to church each week and are told that they need to be perfect, that they are not measuring up, or are not good enough. How that is the cause of depression because it can't be achieved. Two things. 1. Obviously you have never attended an LDS worship service, 2. Before you proclaim these uneducated claims and reveal your ignorance about the church try attending once. What you describe is not the tenor of the services. The theme of all meetings is of course worshipping Christ, but also encouraging members to associate with and serve the "neighbors and community. That includes the proudly ignorant less active members or non members who blame every problem they experience in life on the "Church". Yeah, you have it all figured out. No morals, No Responsibility, No Discipline. Yes I can see you now. You live in Spanish Fark or American Fark. You have a mullet. You drive a pick up. You speak a barely recognizable form of english. You hate BYU. Yeah you have it all figured out. Everybody is depressed because of the church.

  • Pete
    Nov. 29, 2007 11:16 a.m.

    Hellooooo! People, do you not realize that there are other people in Utah besides Mormons. You absolutely cannot put the two together. I laugh at the ones that aren't Mormon and state that the LDS church is the reason for depression. Give me a break. And the ones that are and fault leaders, WOW, you need to reinspect your life. The ones that used to be LDS and currently aren't for some lame reason, quit blaming somehting that you can't stick out. I am far from perfect, but blaming is ridiculous. I grew up in Utah, and have come to realize that wether you are depressed or not, it is YOUR choice, not a church, not a community, YOURS.

  • A in LA
    Nov. 29, 2007 11:14 a.m.

    Reading all these comments MADE ME DEPRESSED! One finds what what looks for. You people need to start looking for positive things instead of dwelling on the dark side! Times are tough and getting tougher. People are depressed EVERYWHERE. All of you talk like you actually know the answers to this tough problem - which you don't. Stop pontificating and go do something nice for someone to make them happy or lighten their load. That would help much more than all this gibberish! Why is it that no matter what the article in the paper, everyone points out the negative? Are you all that DEPRESSED that all you can do is see the negative or try and place blame?

  • To Now Is The Time 951am
    Nov. 29, 2007 11:12 a.m.

    You said, "This is not only interpersonal, it is institutionalized. The LDS Church does not adequately train their lay clergy to be competent in handling mental health or family issues in other words, Bishops and Stake Presidents are HORRIBLE at counseling with people suffering from these problems!"

    I say, "Why would anyone take mental health issues to their lay clergy..someone who may be a lawyer, doctor, carpet layer, cattle rancher. Maybe approach them and ask for referrals to social services. Or go to the doctor and ask for a combination of therapy and medication. Don't expect them to diagnose and treat psychiatric problems. Why should people expect the church to be everything to everyone? I thought the purposes of the church were to provide an opportunity to receive gospel ordinances and provide for the widows and the orphans. Why are bishops expected to counsel people? They are judges in Israel, not psychiatrists in Israel."

  • Miss Synthia Forsyth
    Nov. 29, 2007 11:11 a.m.

    ...I really don't understand why non-utahns (or whatever we're called) are reading the utah news... I mean, I guess you can... but I don't see why...

  • Skeptic
    Nov. 29, 2007 11:08 a.m.

    If you people believe all these studies, you all need to have your heads examined.

    The article even states that it weighted the results based on how many quacks we had available. I know we have plenty because they are paid lower here than anywhere else in the country, because of competition. We have too many!

    By the way the "Mormons" don't teach we are all going to burn in hell for eternity like all those other "Christian" religions, if we don't "BELIEVE!". That would make me feel depressed knowing 99% of the worlds past population who weren't "BELIEVERS" are going to sizzle for all time and God is ok with that. According to most "REAL CHRISTIANS", I am going to burn as well. Talk about scare tactics every Sunday.

    All decent religions have a set of standards that people are trying to observe. The Mormon church isn't any different than any other church in this regard. We just don't teach that non believers and the weak are going to burn for ever for their knowing or unknowing mistakes.

    I regress, this shouldn't be about religion, its about false and misleading data to make someone more money.

  • Meet a Frown
    Nov. 29, 2007 11:07 a.m.

    1- 265K for a home in Herriman ? 330k in Cottonwood Heights?
    2- we need a General Conference talk on doctrine vs. cultural mores, especially as the LDS Church becomes more global.
    3- Long Live Diet Coke !

  • Memememe
    Nov. 29, 2007 11:05 a.m.

    Hubby was depressed and on antipressants before moving here - even before I met him.It's genetic- his mom is also. I suffered mild panic disorder before moving here and now it is worse. The reason - too many bad things happening in my neighborhood.

    We are happy when we do what we are the most happy doing and that is attending the temple and fulfilling our callings.

    We are from New England and did see a lot of people who self-medicated using illegal drugs, cigarettes and alcohol. I had a friend who is bipolar and she can't understand how my husband is able to function without lighting a cigarette. Lots of mental health clinicians find it hard to believe that someone who is bipolar isn't reaching for a cigarette or alcohol.

    Don't blame the church - they have nothing to do iwth it. People are their own worse enemy and we do have a tendency to put ourselves under too powerful a microscope.

  • annoyed
    Nov. 29, 2007 11:04 a.m.

    When is snows it IS good skiing in Utah.

    Now if they can only do something about their holier-than-thou hypocritical culture.

    The outside world is becoming increasingly annoyed.

  • Average Mormon
    Nov. 29, 2007 11:01 a.m.

    I would assume that many of the factors listed here are all to blame

    Religious Pressure
    Financial Debt high bankruptcy rate and fraud scams
    Pecuniary emulation keeping up with the Jones
    Conspicuous consumption buying things to be see and praised
    Winter Weather

    There are too many variables to put the blame on one sole event or outcome. Doing so, is a simpletons uneducated means to an end. In many cases it is to belittle those of a particular faith in this case. Im not saying that religious pressure doesnt play a role because personally I feel it does, but rather its only a factor in a large equation.

  • Happy Valley?
    Nov. 29, 2007 11:00 a.m.

    Does this mean there is no more Happy Valley??

  • Sacto
    Nov. 29, 2007 10:57 a.m.

    I live in Northern California, which has a relatively mild climate. When I was in the Army, I spent a winter at a remote Field Artillery site in Western Turkey now that is depressing. Northern Utah is ski heaven.

  • Thomas
    Nov. 29, 2007 10:55 a.m.

    Re: the Scandinavian factor, I thought of that, too -- but then I saw that the Dakotas and Minnesota, which are chockablock with Scandinavians, are at or near the top of the happy-skippy-joy list.

    The weather's worse there, too, so that can't be it.

    It's impossible to rule out the influence of the LDS Church. I'd guess this elevates the depression rate in multiple ways:

    1. The Church is a wonderful church, as churches go, but it claims to be something more than that -- the literal Kingdom of God, with the visions and blessings of old, etc. Rightly or wrongly, many people expect more of the Church than they get, and the dissonance disturbs them mentally.

    2. The Church is a wonderful society to those who fit in, but it's also a closed society. There are bright lines drawn between the in-group and the outsiders. This can't be particularly good for the outsiders' mental health, even if they are inherently wicked and weak and deserve whatever they get.

    3. The Church really does demand a lot of people. The sacrifices develop a powerful ability to endure, but also require people to endure more.

  • Stating the Obvious
    Nov. 29, 2007 10:53 a.m.

    This study is completely bogus. Considering access to health insurance and mental health facilities as factors of depression makes no since. Did it never occur to them that Utah has less mental health facilities because it is less depressed, not more?

    It is always fun to watch the LDS church get lambasted for the results of bogus studies like this. Don't forget that BYU, an LDS institution, is considered by Princeton Review as one of the Happiest student bodies on earth. So if the LDS church makes you depressed, why is everyone at BYU so happy?

  • Miss Synthia Forsyth
    Nov. 29, 2007 10:51 a.m.

    I've known at least two people that were LDS and did suicide because of it. They couldn't take the pressure of our religion. Face it, the LDS religion is at least a small part of why people are depressed.

  • byron
    Nov. 29, 2007 10:50 a.m.

    This study has nothing to do with weather or the lds church; it's about selling more perscription drugs. Or is it just a huge coincidence that a study funded by a major drug company lists the states with the least amount of funding for depression as the most depressed. More funding = more money for the drug company.

  • Nothing ever wrong?
    Nov. 29, 2007 10:49 a.m.

    Dear N/A:
    I believe giving credit where credit is due.
    Rather than getting defensive and whining the usual persecution complex story, why not stop and take the time to see what is really happening within the organization to see if something needs fixing?

  • gabriel
    Nov. 29, 2007 10:47 a.m.

    Suicide to some is LIFE ELEVATED

  • I Am Not depressed!
    Nov. 29, 2007 10:44 a.m.

    I am a LDS woman, homemaker, mother of 7 very young children. I gave up a career to be a wife and mom. I was there, clawing up the ladder until I met my sweet husband and eternity hit me in the face. I do sometimes wake up a little down that I have to face 4 loads of laundry a day, keeping my home clean, planning FHE lessons, Sunday School lessons, driving kids here and there for activities or lessons. I get more than irritated when I hear that I'm depressed because I'm LDS. I'm NOT. My 'lifestyle' is a chosen one. I have the fancy degrees, had the really cool job and now my life has shifted to what is really important: Raising up the next generation. I'm not depressed, I'm not subservant to my husband, I'm not a mommy slave. I have the choice of who I am, who I will be and how I will live and enjoy or hate my lot in life.

  • N/A
    Nov. 29, 2007 10:39 a.m.

    Do your research. If you split the demographic, and look and the active LDS population as a whole, the suicide rate is below the national average. The LDS culture is not the cause, it is the fringe culture. If you live the Gospel, you will be happy. Been there, done that.

  • Depressing
    Nov. 29, 2007 10:38 a.m.

    This article and all your comments just reminded me to take my prozac.

  • Miss Synthia Forsyth
    Nov. 29, 2007 10:37 a.m.

    First off, I have to ask... Why is someone from Wisconsin reading the Utah news? Second, I personally suffer from Major Depression, and I know that their a lot of things that caused it. Things like these:

    -church (yes, I am mormon, but now I'm inactive or whatever)
    -homesickness (our family moved here to utah, from washington, and I miss Washington, cause I loved the rain and everything else there)
    -family issues
    -heart break
    -And the feeling, that every day, I'm doing the same thing... over... and over... and over...

  • Depressed about winter
    Nov. 29, 2007 10:35 a.m.

    Scandinavians are the most depressed people in the world. There are a lot of Scandinavians in Utah. Has that been examined?

  • as per usual
    Nov. 29, 2007 10:32 a.m.

    Re: JOE SChmoe

    Spoken by your typical LDS patriarch.

  • Arm of Orion
    Nov. 29, 2007 10:22 a.m.

    Perhaps the reason why Utah is so depressed is because we the people keep bickering back and forth about whose worse than whom or about how Jesus loves me and not you. Guys the best way to be happy is to put others above yourself and to always love your neighbor no matter they may do.

  • JOE SChmoe
    Nov. 29, 2007 10:20 a.m.

    I love it how the blame for Utah's depression falls on the LDS Church. "too many pressures on mormon women", you say.

    While I admit that there is growing pressure on parents to raise children with brains, talents, and abilities that will help them be productive adults, I don't attribute that pressure to the LDS church. I attribute it to the fact that it's harder for EVERYONE (not just LDS) to raise good kids these days. Most mothers (mormon or otherwise) would admit that they feel the demands of their children don't allow for much personal time. Most fathers (assuming the father is the one earninig a living) would admit that work demands more of their time, energy, and devotion and that they find it hard to spend quality time with their kids. These factors are not specific to families in the mormon church, but probably contribute to the depression referred to in the study.

    It's an american culture issue, not mormon.

  • Read the article
    Nov. 29, 2007 10:18 a.m.

    The main reason Utah has been declared the most depressed is because of the lack of health care coverage. This study being done by a major drug company (a bit fishy). Sounds like someone wants more money.

    In addition, who is the most depressed in Utah? Mormons or Non-mormons? Does the article mention any studies done to find out? Until then, the LDS church is not to blame. And what unreal expectations are you folks talking about?

    The article is flawed. How can a state be most depressed because it has a lack of coverage in an area where money is to be gained? The drug company doesn't want people to find out the cheap and easy way to overcome depression. Get out and get some exercise. It can cause you to be happy.

  • JG
    Nov. 29, 2007 10:06 a.m.

    This is not the first time this kind of article has been written about Utah. All other articles that I have read in the last 20 years on this topics also never took into account all of the people across the US who self-medicate with illegal drugs and alcohol.

    As for blaming the Mormon church, the only way to get an accurate look at that is to compare Mormons from areas all over the world with other religions all over the world. Though even then you'd have to also take into account people's self-medication. What pharmaceutical company is going to want to do that? It's much too easy to make inferences and let everyone fly off the handle and say, "It's ALL because of (fill in the blank)".

  • troll
    Nov. 29, 2007 10:03 a.m.

    I used to have severe bouts with depression. Then, after joining the LDS church, and improving my life-style, depression is no longer an issue for me.
    Now I live in Seattle WA. (renoun for it's abundance of sunshine). I'd be a basket case without the LDS church in my life. Or, at best, an alcoholic.

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 29, 2007 10:03 a.m.

    In my experience as a counselor, I have found that many practitioners of the "dominant culture" in Utah might struggle because they do not differentiate between family expectations, cultural traditions, and general opinion as opposed to actual church doctrine. I've met many ideas about the church held by its own members that were simply not true. Yes, there are high standards expected, but they are also counseled by their leaders to pace themselves, to plan, to adjust as circumstances warrant, to take time to enjoy and develop their talents and interests as well, to say 'no' to overtaxing demands, to not spread themselves too thin. As with all things, it is a work in progress, and the mixed results reflect the lives of people at different stages of development.

    Actually, it is of greater interest to me to note that depression rates in Utah have gone up as the non-LDS population has increased. Make what you will of that. The study said nothing at all about the religious persuasion of its respondents. You make a big stretch in assuming that even the majority of them are LDS.

  • A Nony Mouse
    Nov. 29, 2007 10:02 a.m.

    Every time a study like this appears there is the same predictable response: the LDS debate. Isn't it about time some study, loaded like this one or legitimate, include religion as a data point? If depression is higher among the LDS population, so be it. If it's the same as or lower than the non-LDS population, so be it. At least it would prevent this same weary flame-war.

  • Researcher
    Nov. 29, 2007 10:00 a.m.

    The article says the least depressed state is South Dakota. That alone makes the data suspect.

  • Pity the women
    Nov. 29, 2007 9:59 a.m.

    Why does this NOT surprise me?

    With the monstrous practice of patriarchy, if I were a woman from this culture, I'd find ways to stay perpetually stoned.

  • Is it just me,
    Nov. 29, 2007 9:56 a.m.

    or does the study seem a bit too generalized. Nowhere does the article reference what facts or data the organization gathered to make their conclusions. They simply stated that "...one of the biggest factors in Utah's ranking is lack of access to mental health services, due in large part to a lack of or minimal coverage for mental health services on most employer-provided insurance plans."

    I don't know about you, but this sounds to me like our state has been ranked #1 in depression rates simply because we have the poorest access to mental health services in the country. That may be true, but does one cause the other?

    Keep in mind that I do realize Utah's high rate of depression is a big problem, but in order to tackle the problem we need to know the actual cause. In my opinion, there is too much speculation in this study and (sad to say) in this forum.

  • geography
    Nov. 29, 2007 9:56 a.m.

    Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming are at the top. I wonder if perhaps it has more to do with geography and the things that come with it than the LDS church.
    I love the kneejerk reaction that having high standards and "always being told what to do" is a major cause of depression, but take a rational look at it.
    I also looked at the suicide rates and 8 of the top 10 (Alaska being number 1) are from the same geographic location. And before you say it's because there are also a lot of mormons from those states, of those states in the same geographic location, Utah was last, behind Nevada, New Mexico, Wyoming, Colorado, and Idaho in that order. I'm sure the church is a cause of depression in a small % of mormons but it appears geography plays a much bigger part. Look at facts rather than prejudice.

    P.S. I also agree with others that access to healthcare is a pretty weak statistical link to actual rates of depression.

  • Heather in Wisconsin
    Nov. 29, 2007 9:56 a.m.

    1. Grey weather and lack of sunlight can affect people. Seasonal Affective Disorder. I know, I live in Wisconsin.

    2. Most non-LDS people do self-medicate with alcohol and other drugs. I know, I live in Wisconsin.

    3. Depression has a very strong genetic componant. Could it be that many of the early Utah settlers had a genetic predisposition for depression and we are all the beneficiaries of that?

    4. Some people want to blame the high expectations of the LDS church on depression. That may be the case for some people who misunderstand the doctrine. They know Christ's commandment to "Be thou Perfect" (Matthew 5:48) and feel hopeless with their inability to reach that. In those cases they just don't get the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The Atonement is central to LDS doctrine. "Come unto Christ, and be perfected in him...then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ" (Moroni 10:32). True understanding of LDS doctrine brings hope, not depression.

  • abb
    Nov. 29, 2007 9:51 a.m.

    Pharmaceutical rep - it is because we don't drink alcohol. the anit-depressants have replaced the alcohol.

  • Now is the Time
    Nov. 29, 2007 9:51 a.m.

    I am LDS and have a great deal of experience with mental illness in my own family as well as my profession. The LDS Church and its members are rife with an attitude that "mental illness" is really just SIN. Consequently, people and families who suffer from depression or other mental illnesses in Utah are subtly as well as explicitly judged and condemned as being sinners.

    This is not only interpersonal, it is institutionalized. The LDS Church does not adequately train their lay clergy to be competent in handling mental health or family issues in other words, Bishops and Stake Presidents are HORRIBLE at counseling with people suffering from these problems! I could tell you some shocking war stories in this regard. And although others will not doubt comment that THEY had a bishop who saved their marriage and was wonderful, the numbers show that such stories are the rare exception.

    In my opinion, the LDS Church is failing miserably in its moral obligation to help those afflicted with mental illness! Repentance is way overdue!

  • Are We Stupid
    Nov. 29, 2007 9:47 a.m.

    As a University researcher I always laugh at these studies. Wow! big news, a group that is funded by drugists and gains thier whole validity on the findings of thier own, study has disovered that the states with the fewest clinics have the highest rate of depression!
    Give me a break, Are people seriously buying this study.
    If so I guess I better do a study and determine that the University of Utah is the greatest Univeristy in the Universe. So what if they pay my salary its still 100% objective and unbiased.
    Kudos to the western states for being the least drugged up states in the union.

  • Pills
    Nov. 29, 2007 9:45 a.m.

    To me something needs to be done without having to have medical treatment for depression. Isn't there something we can do before someone has to have medical treatment. When my wife and I moved here to Utah, I was very surprised to see how many people are taking medication for depression. When my wife started to feel down, the first thing her mom told her to do was to go see the doctor and get some depression medication. My family was totally fine and never had an issue with depression until moving to Utah. I personally think the mindset of trying to keep up with the Jones is a major factor. I do also think the smog makes you feel crummy and not want to do anything. This valley has some of the worst pollution I have ever lived in (California, Washington, Louisville, Missouri, Oregon).

  • Set it straight
    Nov. 29, 2007 9:44 a.m.

    For all the Mormon bashers let's set it straight.

    RE: "No Surprise Here". Who says that returned missionaries are "expected" to marry within two years? Do you see that anywhere in scripture or any modern church leaders' talks? No. I've been home almost 4 years, still single, still happy. And I've never had a church leader call me to repentance or tell me they are worried about me. That expectation of marriage is self imposed by members, not the church.

    If one truly understands the principles of the LDS faith, they won't be depressed. I'll be honest. I have dealt with depression in my own life. It's a genetic thing (if you don't believe me, ask any doctor). But once I realized that I can't be everywhere and do everything, and I've learned to accept that being imperfect is life, I'm alright with it. I still live by my beliefs the best I can, but I don't let it drive me to depression.

    Lastly, is it such a bad thing that the bar is set so high in the Mormon church? I don't think so. I think the world could use some higher standards, especially our country.

  • abb
    Nov. 29, 2007 9:42 a.m.

    Anonymous may be correct, we can't just swallow the study findings hook, line and sinker. However, I do think we have a major depression problem and maybe we do need to rethink our thinking.

    The implication here is of course that the LDS church is a major causal factor. It would be interesting to do a study of practicing mormons and see if they have a depression problem different from national and state averages.

    Some of the comments above suggest that trying to live up to high LDS standards is a depressing impossible challange. I think it is likley that living around people with high standards that you are not able or willing to keep up with could also be depressing.

  • Facts and figures
    Nov. 29, 2007 9:40 a.m.

    According to a study based on prescription claims from one mail-order pharmaceutical provider,(Prescription Drug Atlas) Utah ranked first in antidepressant and narcotic painkiller use.
    (source: Wikipedia)

    I feel so sorry for the people of Utah (especially the women) who are so helplessly depressed and drug dependant.

  • Solved our problem
    Nov. 29, 2007 9:37 a.m.

    Our son was diagnosed with a serious depression problem by a prominent psychiatrist, who informed us that his condition was inherited, and therefore could not be cured but only controlled and managed through prescription drugs and counseling.
    My son improved somewhat, but not enough to live a normal life.
    We stopped seeing a health care "professional", and took my son to an accupuncturist, and changed his diet to include whole grains, LOTS of fresh vegetables and fruits, and HERBS.
    Within two weeks, my son, who had been depressed, violent and angry, turned into a calm, happy kid. His social life returned to normal, and he resumed school.
    Now he is a returned missionary, married, holds down a good job, a college graduate, talented musician, with natural leadership ability to keep up with demanding church callings.
    I really hope this post helps some other mother out there!!! As I am soooo glad we got our son AWAY from so called "Health Care Professionals"

  • Anonymous2
    Nov. 29, 2007 9:36 a.m.

    I do not believe that the LDS Church itself is THE root cause of so many people that are "depressed" or are indeed self-medicating here in Utah.
    I've noticed since moving here two years ago, that the majority of people here in MY neighborhood, are under the influence of some time of prescribed medication. Most have the innate ability and CAPABILITY to persevere, but mistakenly beleive that they are living in "Zion" ergo, nothing bad should happen to them. Sheer fallacy.(and doctrinally incorrect as well) Too many people her want to give the ILLUSION that they are perfect, reality reached out and graphically lets them know of their human frailties. Too bad that so many Utahns are so naive(and lazy) enough to believe that THEY are (or should be) protected from life's challenges. Buck up People! Get a grip on reality. DEAL with life, don't hide from it. Sheesh.Life can be fantastic, even when you're NOT the perfect Molly Mommy. (Pssst-you don't HAVE to be you know!)

  • grundle
    Nov. 29, 2007 9:35 a.m.

    I actually agree with some of the comments posted here. I think that there are elements of the LDS culture that contribute to the depression problem here.

    There seems to be an undercurrent of competition for who can be the most righteous, faithful, wealthy, and perfect. So much so that we feel the need to appear perfect all the while professing our imperfections. I have counseled people to find happiness in their journey and not worry about the judgements others place on them but it seems that most find that difficult.

    Don't know if this really contributes to the problems we collectively have with depression??

    A humerous side note...I ran into a member of my ward in the grocery store and I was holding a bottle of diet pepsi to purchase. As soon as he noticed the caffienated beverage in my hand the tenor of our meeting changed. That person has not spoken to me since. I guess I didn't live up to his standards.

    I still enjoyed the drink!

  • Reality
    Nov. 29, 2007 9:35 a.m.

    Societies like the Mormon culture that live for the promise of pie in the sky rather than for the love of life on earth today are unusually effected in ways of depression, overweight and anxiety.

  • intermountain west
    Nov. 29, 2007 9:33 a.m.

    Umm...didn't the article mention that it's not just Utah but several of the surrounding states as well that have this problem? Utah is the only one of these states that has such a dominant Mormon population, so I don't think that religion is the root cause here. It could be the weather, although this is less convincing to me because there are states with worse weather (like Wyoming...it's terrible). I think the health care system certainly seems a feasible explanation.

  • Miss Synthia Forsyth
    Nov. 29, 2007 9:20 a.m.

    I have to agree with the mass majority of these comments, in saying that it is the LDS churches fault. Because, they set such high standards, they expect perfection from their children. And when their kids figure out that they aren't capable of such perfection, they take it out on themselves.


  • Matthew
    Nov. 29, 2007 9:19 a.m.

    I just went to the website. The report doesn't seem to actually be available there. The four actual measures they used were:
    1) the percentage of the adult population experiencing at least one major depressive episode in the past year
    2) the percentage of the adolescent population experiencing at least one major depressive episode in the past year
    3) the percentage of adults experiencing serious psychological distress
    4) the average number of days in the last 30 days in which the population reported that their mental health was not good.

    But it doesn't say how these numbers were obtained. The range of "depression" was 7% to 10%. I'll bet that the uncertainty error bars for the measurements is +/- 5% and so I'd say that all the states are the same. Until I find the actual report I'm dismissing this as junk science in pursuit of a political agenda.

  • Pharmaceutical rep.
    Nov. 29, 2007 9:15 a.m.

    You can find out how many anti-depressants are prescribed in any state by contacting the drug wholesalers, (McKesson, etc._ of your area.

    Pharmacy Times also has this information.

    I've already checked this out, and Utah does in fact lead the nation for anti-depressant prescriptions.

    Why do you suppose this is?

  • anoyomous
    Nov. 29, 2007 9:15 a.m.

    The predominant religion has a huge factor on depression. Women in the LDS faith continue to take anti-depressants and tell the other sisters in the ward how remarkable they are. So it is a domino effect. People in religion will do what they are told and what their peers think is right. Problem. Too many pressures on mormon women, to be the perfect wife, mother, neighbor, community service person, have a calling etc. And if their kids are not perfect that is a whole other spiraling effect. Not worth it.

  • Henry Drummond
    Nov. 29, 2007 9:10 a.m.

    I did go to the web site and tried to find this report. All that shows up is a press release that refers you back to the same sight for the "full report". I've explored every link but it just isn't there.

    I'm sure this will cause a lot of talk in the state about this, but before we take action or draw conclusions it would be nice if we could actually get the report. I would enjoy hearing from someone in the Mental Health Community who has read this thing before I am willing to draw the conclusion that we are "the most depressed state in the union".

    From the press release this does not seem to be based on facts such as suicide rates but on their perception of the accessibility of mental health services. I really think its unfortunate that all the news starts making statements that may not be supported by the facts and then this goes into the lore about Utah.

  • Matthew
    Nov. 29, 2007 9:08 a.m.

    Well suicide rate seems straight forward. But how are they measuring the incidence of depression? The availability of mental health treatment is no measure at all, even if it is a good thing. Likewise concerns about cost aren't connected. Sounds more like a meaningless number-crunching publicity stunt to me.
    At least in Utah people seem to be treating depression with anti-depressant prescriptions monitored by a doctor instead of self-medicating with alcohol like most of the world. Try substituting alcohol consumption for one of those meaningless metrics and see where Utah comes out.
    The rate or anti-depressant prescriptions should have an inverse relationship to how depressed a state is rather than the opposite that previous "studies" have used.

  • No Way
    Nov. 29, 2007 9:02 a.m.

    So, Guy, did the therapy work or are you just given in to extreem hyperbole? I used to live in Southern California and ambient air temperature wasn't enough to keep me there. Couldn't get an appointment with any of the celebrity therapists and the dirty air blocked seeing the mountains. The 90 minute commute was driving me crazy. So I decided that I would rather be depressed in Idaho than mingle with the wingnuts in California during my everyday drive to work. Something's wrong though, I'm not depressed despite the lack of mental health "professionals." Maybe being around normal people halps prevent depression -- works for me.

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 29, 2007 9:00 a.m.

    I would be depressed also with all the people moving into the state wanting to turn it into the cesspool that they left.

  • Helen
    Nov. 29, 2007 8:54 a.m.

    Hey there Guy Smiley...I was born and raised in California. I'm a Cali-girl and love the beach, spent many years there.
    However, I now reside in Nauvoo, IL lots of cold gray-gray days. Your statements about weather just doesn't account for Utah's condition with respect to all Northern States from coast to coast that experience the same weather.
    It's Mormonism not the weather!

  • Kevin
    Nov. 29, 2007 8:53 a.m.


    Add to that going to church all the time and get told week after week all the things you are not doing right. Another thing to add is all the people that are told that they are bad because of who they are to a point that the people of utah even wrote it into their state constitution no wonder we are so depressed

  • I'm happy
    Nov. 29, 2007 8:51 a.m.

    Cause I go to Church everyweek.

  • Me Myself and I
    Nov. 29, 2007 8:40 a.m.

    I want to be the first one to officially blame it on the Mormons!!! I can't think of a reason why...but if anything bad ever happens in Utah it's always the Mormons fault right??? I can't wait to hear all the comments that place the blame on the LDS church. Buckle up people, it's studies like this that add fuel to the fire.

  • Advocate
    Nov. 29, 2007 8:39 a.m.

    I very much agree that the issue of access to mental health services as it relates to health coverage is a major issue. Every year for the last 3-5 years in Utah, the numbers of uninsured people have increased. I have no douubt that if there is not an intervention by someone with respect to helping folks in Utah get the health care they need
    --statistics listing Utah leading in health related problems will increase more frequently.

  • anonymous
    Nov. 29, 2007 8:38 a.m.

    I grew up in Utah and was very depressed. I moved away, and got some real help in the 12 step programs, and quit comparing myself to others, and really developed a connection with God, and learned to not carry the world on my shoulders, and to do His Will, and not try and be perfect all the time. Yes, I am LDS and am faithful. But I also love Al-Anon, S-Anon(for co-addicts to sexaholics) and Overeaters Anonymous. Sexual addiction is very prevalent in Utah. The Church is great, but the 12 steps are a great adjunct to the church. I almost died also, because I thought I had to carry everyone else's burdens. I do not, and everyone else has their free agency. I do not have a perfect house, perfect waist size, and perfect children. But I am so happy!

  • Grimalkin
    Nov. 29, 2007 8:38 a.m.

    All of this depression in Utah data is basically flawed, I believe. Because of religious or personal beliefs many Utahns commonly go to doctors for legitimate drug therapies. People outside Utah more often use (and abuse) their coffee, alcoholic drinks, tea, and sometimes things like marijuana and cocaine. They don't need doctors or their pills. The reason these types of statistics keep resurfacing is because so many Utahns are not self medicating like so much of the rest of the nation does!

  • Re: Guy Smiley
    Nov. 29, 2007 8:38 a.m.

    Yeah, It's almost impossible to get depressed in Southern California. You're too busy fighting traffic to have time to get depressed.

  • usu depression
    Nov. 29, 2007 8:32 a.m.


  • willie
    Nov. 29, 2007 8:32 a.m.

    There is a local leading organization that prohibits it's members from any sort of wild and crazy behavior. Could it be that they put so much pressure on their members that they just can't live up to the expectations imposed by this local organization? 4 of those top 10 states have a high population that are members of this local organization. hmmm coincidence? I don't think so. The floggins will continue until moral (or morality) improves.

  • Theo Schlbotnick
    Nov. 29, 2007 8:27 a.m.

    I find it depressing that this article and the "kidnapped bride" article were number one and two!
    So many people in Utah are "depressed", why? Perhaps, it's because they take drugs to deal with "problems" instead of realizing that "problems" come to all families, relationships, employment, etc.
    Why are so many people "feeling" they have to be perfect? We aren't "perfect" and are never going to be as long aas we don't realize we are human after all. Now, who would like some more Prozac?(my doctor prescribed the drugs for me, so it's not like I'm abusing them, right?) Gotta love rationalization!

  • No Longer Depressed
    Nov. 29, 2007 8:26 a.m.

    As a former resident I believe this article is a fair assessment of the situation. I know that I am no longer depressed since I moved from Utah. How's that inversion coming along?

  • R McCune
    Nov. 29, 2007 8:22 a.m.

    This article is a perfect example why I quit taking the Deseret News years ago. Why any reporter would find the article of such value that it would be printed again is beyond me. Why any PHD and or associates would put his or her name on this article, that is based on four flawed factors, is amazing. I wonder if the news people even understand the premises behind the article. Is this good journalism?

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 29, 2007 8:13 a.m.

    Did anyone notice that the depressed states are republican states and emotionally healthy states are all blue states? Infact, the most republican state of all is the most depressed. I find this ironic.

    Nov. 29, 2007 8:03 a.m.


  • No surprise here
    Nov. 29, 2007 7:58 a.m.

    No surprise here. The expectations in our LDS dominated culture to marry early and swallow the tremendous financial and emotional burdens that imposes are part of the problem. Young men returning from missions are "expected" to be married within 2 years max and the young women are expected to start their families while trying to put their husbands through school. Nearly impossible expectations that are getting harder with the cost of living costs sky rocketing. Also, these insane interest only home loans and other varible rate loans have trapped many a young Utah family over the past decade. No one wants to wait to have a nice home and the banks are more than willing to help. So, the end result of all this is DEPRESSION.

  • Really...
    Nov. 29, 2007 7:53 a.m.

    I'm surprised that the article does not take into account that Utah also has the lowest rate of self medication through alcohol. The only difference between Utah and the rest of America is the number who take PRESCRIBED medication.

  • Thinker
    Nov. 29, 2007 7:45 a.m.

    It seems I have also read that Utah is close to the top in divorce, bankruptcy also. Doesn't depression come from a feeling of hopelessness, Never measuring up, not being good enough. Maybe it is because of focusing on all the things we are not doing well, rather than the good in each one of us. Sometimes, it seems we have so many rules and standards or unrealistic expectations, it would be impossible to feel good about ones self. Maybe we should re-think our thinking.

  • WhoMe
    Nov. 29, 2007 7:44 a.m.

    GEE, I never get depressed as long as I'm living the way my family, friends, neighbors, and fellow church members think I ought to live. It's much more important that I live and believe in their standards than follow my heart and feel the peace and joy in doing so!

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 29, 2007 7:34 a.m.

    There is a problem with depression here in Utah. In my old neighborhood, 15 of the women within close proximity were on anti-depressants. One spent a couple of years in bed, two committed suicide.

    I remain skeptical about anti-depressants as a solution, though, because these women were taking them, and they didn't ultimately solve the problem. While this medication helps some, does it give a message that a pill will solve everything?

    I'm curious about the studies and how they were conducted. What was the criteria, who was questioned, what was included. How can Utah rank 51st when there are only 50 states?

  • Herr Altekrieger
    Nov. 29, 2007 7:33 a.m.

    Add the fact that many early LDS church converts who immigrated to Utah were from northern European and Scandanavian countries. Depression rates are higher in these regions than in other regions of Europe.

  • Experienced
    Nov. 29, 2007 7:25 a.m.

    No one on Utah wants to admit it but the LDS influence and the high expectations its members are burdened with has to be a big factor in this. I have personal experience gained in 50 years of living in and around this influence and can attest that what I say is true.

  • Dave
    Nov. 29, 2007 7:22 a.m.

    So a special interest group pays for a study that says they should receive more funding. What a supprize.

  • Curtis Blanco
    Nov. 29, 2007 7:18 a.m.

    Since a good portion of Utah'ns live what they consider to be the "Way of Happiness", the question arises, why is Utah the highest when it comes to depression?

  • Joe
    Nov. 29, 2007 7:10 a.m.

    1. Lack of access to mental health services
    2. State's % of residents who say they can afford health care
    3. Prevalence of serious depression
    4. Suicide rate

    This study was published to "highlight the country's major need for mental heath resources."

    Utah apparently leads the nation in not having insurance to cover mental health related issues. Not sure how this translates to the conclusion that Utah leads the nation in rates of depression as the headline states. The statement may or may not be true, but is not supported by the this report.

  • Reality
    Nov. 29, 2007 7:08 a.m.

    Give me a break- this ahas nothing to do with healthcare. Utah is overly-populated with healthcare. All practical people know why this is the case. There are too many people disappointed that they don't turn out to be the wealthy princess or physician their parents told the they would be. Reality from the closed world sends many Utahans in a downward spiral when they are surviving on $40k a year with 5 kids and no free time between church and kid's activities. No time to relax. Weather is not as big of a factor. If that were the case, people in AZ would be among the happiest the world. Social factors are the highest. ALso, male teenage suicide rates are highest in UT. Why do you think that is?

  • To Anonymous
    Nov. 29, 2007 7:08 a.m.

    Your comment made me smile:)

  • a_little_taller
    Nov. 29, 2007 6:55 a.m.

    Hmmm.. maybe the study was done after the BYU-Utah game last weekend in Salt Lake County! :)

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 29, 2007 6:48 a.m.

    Zion's a lovely place, isn't it? If I hear another statement that Mormons are the happiest people b/c they have the gosepel I'm going to puke. I suggest two possible causes for the depression rate in Utah:

    1. High cost of living and low, low wages.
    2. Unreal expectations put on Mormons by their church.

    Will govt and religious leaders address these problems? Please?

  • AK2UT
    Nov. 29, 2007 6:36 a.m.

    GUY SMILEY - As someone who recently moved my family from the state with the highest rate of suicide, Alaska, to the state with the highest rate of depression, Utah, I can assure you this states problem is not its climate.

    Access to health care might well be the major factor here. Wages are much lower in this state, and benefits can be too, so people may not be as inclined to spend the money to get help when it is needed.

    I wonder though, if our culture contributes a bit as well. For some things to bother you, you have to have a conscience. If you don't think some things are wrong, then doing them isn't going to bum you out, is it?

    At any rate, depression is serious; I hope leaders take it that way and take action to turn it around.

  • RE: Guy Smiley
    Nov. 29, 2007 6:32 a.m.

    Two words: Global Warming. That's why I'm doing all I can to speed up global warming. I live in northern Utah and can't wait to have palm trees in my yard!!!

  • Ain't The Way
    Nov. 29, 2007 6:22 a.m.

    Psychologists will tell you that when a person thinks they believe in something that deep down they know is a lie, that is a form of schizophrenia.

    I feel for the dominant culture in Utah.

    "When you believe in things that you don't understand (or believe) then you suffer -
    Superstition ain't The Way. - Stevie Wonder

  • RE Guy Smiley
    Nov. 29, 2007 6:15 a.m.

    I agree with what you are saying, but have you ever wisped down a mountain in 3 feet of powder? Have you ever taken the family up to Park City? Have you ever hit to most excellent groomed trails at Deer Valley? My friend Utah is awesome in January.

  • Question...
    Nov. 29, 2007 5:54 a.m.

    Ever spent a winter in Detroit?? That's depressing...

  • MikeW
    Nov. 29, 2007 5:45 a.m.

    Okay, I'll say it. You have to suspect a link between the high rate of depression in Utah and its higher than average percentage of LDS residents. I'm only speculating, of course.

  • r
    Nov. 29, 2007 5:44 a.m.

    Look at the suicide rate in Alaska. Twice that of Utah and near the bottom.

    It looks like for depression the northwest and inter mountain areas of the US are more depressed.

    I wonder why there are such major discrepancies.

  • USC
    Nov. 29, 2007 5:42 a.m.

    It's the inversion. Driving from Salt Lake City to Alta on an inversion day is like waking up from a bad dream. I'm sure I'd be popping anti-depressants if I had to live in that smog bowl. Also, early Mormons and non-Mormons had a glass of wine to unwind. Today's Mormons cope by popping pills. Guess it's better than going postal.

  • waiting
    Nov. 29, 2007 5:37 a.m.

    I'm surprised someone hasn't blamed Mormons for this yet.

  • Nonsense
    Nov. 29, 2007 5:20 a.m.

    I deal with depression on a daily basis, triggered by prescription meds five years ago.
    But Wyeth can fund all the 'studies' they want, I'm not looking to more pills for my 'care'.
    Guy Smiley's funny description of January in Utah is one of the ways I get through depression -- humor, friends, keeping busy.

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 29, 2007 5:05 a.m.

    It makes me wonder why. Are we really so isolated or so busy making everything look like we are perfect that we forget the most imortant thing in life is our relationshiops.

    Lets truly give thanks for our blessings and spend time listening to our children. That may help this state.

  • Jim Platt
    Nov. 29, 2007 4:43 a.m.

    Suppression = Depression

  • Duff
    Nov. 29, 2007 4:33 a.m.

    I'm sure the depression rate in Utah has nothing to do with the weather. I rather suspect it has much more to do with the relentless, "eternal" religious pressures. There is no way out for a young mother with five or six children and communal expectations staring her down day after day after day. It even makes me depressed to think about it.

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 29, 2007 4:07 a.m.

    "Research was underwritten by a grant from Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, one of the largest drug manufacturing companies in the world." And surprisingly, the "research" showed that we need more mental health coverage!

  • phd
    Nov. 29, 2007 4:06 a.m.

    The article says that one problem might be that Utah has inadequate medical health services, yet Utah has the highest rate of antidepressant uses. Where are these people getting these mind altering drugs from if it isn't from medical health services?

    As for weather being a factor, I doubt it since one of the bleakest of states South Dakota is the least depressed. It appears to have more to do with the depression gene and lack of education.

  • Keith R. Wood
    Nov. 29, 2007 2:53 a.m.

    The numbers are skewed, and can't be trusted.

    In general American culture, most of the depressed self-medicate with alcohol or other drugs. Here in Utah, most of us don't use booze, so if we need anything, we get a prescription instead of getting drunk.

    But that doesn't matter -- they whole "study" was just done to prove that the people who did it need more Federal money.

  • state of depression
    Nov. 29, 2007 2:16 a.m.

    [Have you ever been to northern Utah?] GS,
    Have you ever been to Seattle Washington? In 1968,
    I came home for a 2 months leave from Vietnam. After 45 days of continual rain I told my dad I had to go back or I was going to hurt myself-talk about your Grey skies.... Then I went back, and it rained for another 4 months....
    Can you say ZOMBIE?...... That is what I looked and felt like... I do believe that rain, weather, can cause depression.. I also know that our LDS religion can cause problems for some people. I sometimes feel that I am not living up to my full potential.... But then I get on my knees and thank the Lord for saving my life so many times, and get over/on with it...

  • Social Worker
    Nov. 29, 2007 2:14 a.m.

    Guy Smiley, I' hear what you're saying, but check out the report from the link provided in the article. The whole point they want to make is that better policies at a state level regarding access to treatment will improve depression rates. It may well be that prolonged nasty weather contributes to depression, and in fact, some research shows this, but that isn't the point of the study in question. This study is all about health insurance, public health/mental health policies, and access to treatment.

  • Social Worker
    Nov. 29, 2007 2:06 a.m.

    Ok, now here's where everybody throws in their 2 cents about how the LDS church is responsible for all of this.

    Let me guess; Members of the church, especially women, are depressed because of the demands that LDS life places on them, and non-LDS are depressed becaue they are ostracized from Utah society.

    There, I've already thrown it out there, so if anybody felt the need to say it they don't need to worry now.

    Maybe we can start looking at the methodologically sound approaches to pinpointing the causes of depression.

  • Curtis Blanco
    Nov. 29, 2007 1:40 a.m.

    How can this be since the majority of the people of Utah claim to live what is the "way of happiness". Obviously living a creed which sets up unreasonably high standards in areas where it out not get involved, isn't the way of happiness after all.

  • Guy Smiley
    Nov. 29, 2007 12:45 a.m.

    Those four factors are nonsense. Have you ever been to northern Utah in January? It's like one very very long gray month. Christmas has just ended. School is back in session (with very few breaks during the winter semesters). There are no leaves, no sun, no happiness. It's all just very depressing; like a stagant muddy pond that appears to be frozen over. But then you step on it and your whole leg falls in and you get hypothermia to the bone. Your boot gets stuck in the mud and you have to walk home in frozen jeans and one bare foot that gets all cut up on the asphalt road.

    That's why I moved to southern California! It was 75 degrees today.

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 29, 2007 12:44 a.m.

    Well that's a depressing article!!