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.
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.
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...
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?
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
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.
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.
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.How about putting AMERICANS FIRST instead of
spending BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN WAR EFFORTS IN OTHER COUNTRIES AND INTERFERING
WHERE WE DON'T BELONG.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.
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.
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.
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
Yes Yes Yes! 3 Hours is too much meetings!
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?
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!
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
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?
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.
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!
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.
Yes, there does seem to be varying degrees of unhealthy competition in existence
within the Mormon community today.I wonder why that is?
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.
Are we to believe there are Mormon women who are NOT depressed?
"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.
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.
To:"To Farmer"Thank You! You nailed it...I think? Your logic is very
disjointed but you brought up some good points.Farmer
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
"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.
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".
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."
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.
Change is good, Best Changes to mormon "culture"? -1.Less scurrying
to meetings - More time with family2.Emphasize the positive not the
negative3.More humility - Less pride and greed4.More focused on the
heart - Less on appearances5.More acceptance - Less judgementalism for
minor things6.Less seeking for the praise of the world 7.More
exercising - Less watching8.Bigger gardens - Smaller houses
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.
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.
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.
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!
Roger,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.
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.
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.
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.
There seems to be some major dissension within the LDS culture.Perhaps
changes are in the wind.
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.
In a culture where appearances are everything you are going to find a lot of
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Those low on the Mormon totem pole:Those who do not have a temple
recommendThose 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?)
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've often wondered if those who are not deemed "Temple-worthy" in the Mormon
organization ever suffer from low self-esteem because of this?
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
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 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.
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
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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).
Then why are you so SAD?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
To be packing, with kidnappers, tazers, fighting over a kid's game, polygamy
gone wild, and now this.
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.
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.
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.
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.Peace!
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
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.
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.
Seriously hilarious how people are citing their credentials as they comment.
"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.
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.
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
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!
come on utah just wait untill all the best snow on earth falls who could be
depressed in that white fluffy stuff!!!
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.
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....
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.!!!!!
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......
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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 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!
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.
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/kI 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.
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.
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.
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.
"... 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.
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! 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.
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!
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
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
"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!
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!
Think Insurance Company profits and remember the magic work is "CO-PAY". This
should fix EVERYTHING!
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.
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
After watching the Utah - BYU game anybody who cheers for the utes should be
depressed after what the refs did to them.
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
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!
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
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.
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
A am a Mormon and I believe that throught the teachings of the lords church that
is why I am happy happy happy.
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...
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.
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!
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!
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 beleifis important in
eliminating the stigma and helping people to be more willing to seek care.
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.
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.
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
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????
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
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.
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.
"From the moment I could talk - I was ordered to listen." Isn't this
enough to depress anybody?
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.
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.
Man, all you guys and gals talking about this is really making me depressed,
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
Notice how the female LDS are speaking out on this issue and how the male LDS
think life is just hunky-dory?
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.
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!
Definitely the LDS church.
...I am mormon, and I blame it for at least part of my depression...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
forgot to add that this was the only demographic studied, so I'm not simply
picking the most pleasant stats.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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?
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
...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...
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.
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 !
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
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.
I would assume that many of the factors listed here are all to blameReligious PressureFinancial Debt high bankruptcy rate and fraud
scamsPecuniary emulation keeping up with the JonesConspicuous
consumption buying things to be see and praised Winter WeatherEtc.
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.
Does this mean there is no more Happy Valley??
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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?
Suicide to some is LIFE ELEVATED
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.
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.
This article and all your comments just reminded me to take my prozac.
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:-school-gossip-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...
Scandinavians are the most depressed people in the world. There are a lot of
Scandinavians in Utah. Has that been examined?
Re: JOE SChmoeSpoken by your typical LDS patriarch.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
The article says the least depressed state is South Dakota. That alone makes
the data suspect.
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
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.
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
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
Pharmaceutical rep - it is because we don't drink alcohol. the anit-depressants
have replaced the alcohol.
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!
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.
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"
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!)
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!
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.
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
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. NOBODY'S
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
year2) the percentage of the adolescent population experiencing at least
one major depressive episode in the past year3) the percentage of adults
experiencing serious psychological distress4) 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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
I would be depressed also with all the people moving into the state wanting to
turn it into the cesspool that they left.
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!
GuyAdd 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
Cause I go to Church everyweek.
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.
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.
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!
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!
Yeah, It's almost impossible to get depressed in Southern California. You're too
busy fighting traffic to have time to get depressed.
IF YOU WITNESSED ANY OF THE FOOTBALL GAMES IN 07' AT USU THAT COULD BE A MAJOR
FACTOR FOR DEPRESSION
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.
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!
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?
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
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.
I AM NOT SURPRISED THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE ANY REAL FUN.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.
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.
So a special interest group pays for a study that says they should receive more
funding. What a supprize.
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
1. Lack of access to mental health services2. State's % of residents who
say they can afford health care3. Prevalence of serious depression4.
Suicide rateThis 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.
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?
Your comment made me smile:)
Hmmm.. maybe the study was done after the BYU-Utah game last weekend in Salt
Lake County! :)
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?
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.
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
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
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
Ever spent a winter in Detroit?? That's depressing...
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.
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
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
I'm surprised someone hasn't blamed Mormons for this yet.
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
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.
Suppression = Depression
Guy, 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.
"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!
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.
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
[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
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.
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
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.
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.
Well that's a depressing article!!