Mormon: Utah now leads the nation in depression. 
It is not just bankruptcies anymore. (See also: 356 Utah Leads the Nation in Bankruptcies)

Subject: Utah least healthy state in regard to depression. Report on new study (link)
Date: Nov 28, 2007
Author: robertb

Apparently UTAH is the least healthy state in regard to depression as measured by rates of depression and suicide. The biggest contributor is lack of access to health care, including mental health services.

Subject: Are church leaders reducing or contributing to staggering rates of depression in Utah?!
Date: Dec 04, 2007
Author: Deconstructor

According to yet another study, Utah ranks number one in depressions nationwide:

"In Utah, 14 percent of adults and adolescents reported experiencing severe psychological distress, and 10 percent said they’d had a major depressive episode in the past year. Bad mental health days come three times a month for those living in Utah."

You'd think with the numbers so high, that the LDS Church would notice and respond to this.

But instead Church leaders give members this divine instruction:

(Excepts from last Mormon General Conference [Oct. 2007])

"Mothers who know desire to bear children. ... Prophets, seers, and revelators who were sustained at this conference have declared that "God's commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force." President Ezra Taft Benson taught that young couples should not postpone having children and that "in the eternal perspective, children—not possessions, not position, not prestige—are our greatest jewels.""

"Mothers who know honor sacred ordinances and covenants. ... They bring daughters in clean and ironed dresses with hair brushed to perfection; their sons wear white shirts and ties and have missionary haircuts. ... These mothers have made and honor temple covenants. They know that if they are not pointing their children to the temple, they are not pointing them toward desired eternal goals. These mothers have influence and power."

"Mothers who know are nurturers. ... Another word for nurturing is homemaking. Homemaking includes cooking, washing clothes and dishes, and keeping an orderly home. Home is where women have the most power and influence; therefore, Latter-day Saint women should be the best homemakers in the world. Nurturing mothers are knowledgeable, but all the education women attain will avail them nothing if they do not have the skill to make a home that creates a climate for spiritual growth. Growth happens best in a "house of order," and women should pattern their homes after the Lord's house."

"Mothers who know build children into future leaders and are the primary examples of what leaders look like."

"Mothers who know are always teachers. Since they are not babysitters, they are never off duty. A well-taught friend told me that he did not learn anything at church that he had not already learned at home. His parents used family scripture study, prayer, family home evening, mealtimes, and other gatherings to teach. Think of the power of our future missionary force if mothers considered their homes as a pre–missionary training center. ... That is influence; that is power."

"Mothers who know do less [of worldly things]. ... These mothers choose carefully and do not try to choose it all. Their goal is to prepare a rising generation of children who will take the gospel of Jesus Christ into the entire world. Their goal is to prepare future fathers and mothers who will be builders of the Lord's kingdom for the next 50 years. That is influence; that is power."

"Who will prepare this righteous generation of sons and daughters? Latter-day Saint women will do this—women who know and love the Lord and bear testimony of Him, women who are strong and immovable and who do not give up during difficult and discouraging times. We are led by an inspired prophet of God who has called upon the women of the Church to "stand strong and immovable for that which is correct and proper under the plan of the Lord." He has asked us to "begin in [our] own homes" to teach children the ways of truth. Latter-day Saint women should be the very best in the world at upholding, nurturing, and protecting families."

What a guilt trip.

Why is such a long list of expectations placed on women in the church?

Doesn't this give believing Mormon women a list of faults they can feel bad about if they aren't meeting 100%?

Doesn't this give believing Mormon husbands more ammunition to list where their wives aren't "living up" to church standards?

What woman comes away from a talk like that feeling good about herself?

Am I missing something here?


Subject: Re: Are church leaders reducing or contributing to staggering rates of depression in Utah?!
Date: Dec 04 23:34
Author: Hap E. Heretic

You're right on target, believe me.

All the guilt-inducing sermons nearly drove me out of my mind, in a very literal sense.

I was diagnosed with major depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder at 17.

I came to hate and dread all the "follow the prophet" sermons and attitudes. General Conference always gave me the creeps, and a ton of anxiety.

Since I've left the church, I still have bad days, but the guilt, anxiety and overall dread has lifted considerably.

The LDS church sets even well adjusted people up for despair, and drives the emotionally vulnerable right into the rubber room, IMHO.

Unfortunately, I speak from experience.


Subject: I believe they're contributing with huge attempts...........
Date: Dec 04 23:40
Author: StationaryTraveler

to make the sheep depressed. Would it be safe to assume that the mentally ill are much easier to control? These bastards know what they're doing.

My heart goes out to all the victims.


Subject: I have seen an alarming number of bright young Mormons
Date: Dec 05 00:17
Author: imaworkinonit

with severe psychological issues in the last few years. Many of these are directly related to perfectionism and overacheivement (hospitalization for depression/anxiety, and eating disorders). I work with some great kids and it has shocked me how many have had to quit to take care of issues.

And yes, I ask myself every time if I put too much pressure on them. But I'm really not a high-pressure kind of teacher. I think they just overload themselves with AP classes, sports, part-time jobs, music, plays, school choir, church, and thinking they have to be perfect at all of it. And some of them do pretty damn good at that until they crack or stop eating or become insomniacs.

So my question: Is that a Mormon trend of anxiety and eating disorders? Or have I just seen a non-representative sample of the population? I've been teaching for over 20 years and I've never seen anything like it.


Subject: Yours is an accurate picture, imaworkinonit.
Date: Dec 05 03:52
Author: Formerly Depressed Mother Who Knows

My daughter nearly reached perfection. She was a lovely daughter, intelligent, beautiful, talented, popular, but she became bulimic from age 17 to 23, and had therapy for several years. When she got sick, I immediately stopped encouraging her to go to church, or perform, or do anything stressful, I was so afraid of contributing to her problems.

Out of five nieces on the other side of the family, three of them had eating disorders. One of my daughter's friends committed suicide. The daughter of our former bishop is in a mental institution. Our present bishop's wife is on heavy psychotropic drugs. My neighbor was hospitalized for depression, and she left the church, and is now well again.

At a Relief Society retreat, my friend asked how many women are on Prozac or Zoloft, or the like, and 1/3 of the ladies raised their hand--those who would admit it. Most of my personal friends, who confide in me, are on Prozac or Paxil. A lot are hooked on caffiene, to boost them through their day. (I have heard that Utah women are getting onto MethAnphetamines, but I don't know any.) My SIL was addicted to Vicodin for years.

These are all TBM women, that I've known for years, and would seem to be normal mothers, and also have responsible church leadership callings. I used to worry about them driving my daughters on YW outings!

I have taken Lorazepam, for an occasional midnight anxiety attack, but now I'm out of the church, I've taken only three pills in two years. I did go to a psychiatrist, but he diagnosed me as not clinically depressed, but just in an unhappy life situation. I dealt with my abusive family, left the church, and stayed in therapy. My brother on antidepressants. His good friend committed suicide after returning from his mission. I see male missionaries in my Psychiatrist's office all the time. Men are not immune.

Really, these are normal, functioning, everyday people, and I think they make a good cross-section of the Utah Mormon population.

Not only is the church making this worse, I think the church is CAUSING this problem in the first place.


Subject: My non-Mo cousin used to be an occupational therapist. . .
Date: Dec 05 12:55
Author: JoAnn

who interned in Idaho. This was in a psych hospital.

She told me that the majority of the patients she saw (and this was in the late 1980's) were Mormon women who suffered from horrific depression because they had done everything the church told them they should, but they just weren't feeling GOOD about it as they had been promised.

They batted out numerous kids, held their FHE's, were thrifty, attended all their meetings and callings - but golly gee, somehow they still felt spiritually empty!

My cousin called it "the dark side" of the Mormon picture.


Subject: And this caries right own down to the local leaders.
Date: Dec 05 00:37
Author: bad boy

Not only does the target audience here what they should be like from the GA's, more importantly, the Bishops and SP's and other leaders with intimate contact with members hear how other people need to be to be happy, and the sterotypes are more strongly enforced. Parents are guilty of this too.

Rather than trying to use human qualities to understand those who seek their counsel, many mormons try to counsel using the advice of the GAs. Thus, the key to happiness in any particular situation is the cookie cutter recommendation of the GAs:

If you aren't happy--well get married and have children.

What's that--you have a bad back and are worried you'll be able to physically handle having kids. Nonsense, God want's everyone to have children, so it should be the right thing for you too.


Subject: And with each additional child comes another day of repressed depression.
Date: Dec 05 07:22
Author: brian-the-christ

Or "denial depression".

My daughter has four children now. When she got pregnant with the last one she promised herself that four was enough.

The last one will be a year old shortly and when I spoke with her over the weekend she said that she's just not sure now that they're done yet. She suffers from depression, has an anti-depressant prescription but won't take it because she feels it's a cop-out.

It breaks my heart for her.


Subject: I can SOOO identify, BtC. . .
Date: Dec 05 17:02
Author: JoAnn

I can remember thinking "I really DON'T like motherhood!" because I was exhausted all the time and my husband would never lift a finger to help but he had plenty of energy to criticize me for things that did not get done around the house.

But of course, it was NOT OK to say "I don't like motherhood" to anybody, because that was not an acceptable point of view.

Don't get me wrong; I adored my son, but I was absolutely wrung-out by all the work and upset that I didn't feel free to say what I was actually feeling.

That, on top of post-partum depression, did NOT make for a happy home.


Subject: Ahh! So, now it is the "mother's" responsibility to make of
Date: Dec 05 08:32
Author: I get it

their boy children "leaders"!

A mother, being mostly a dish-washing slave in the home is now responsible for their failure, if her sons don't turn out to be strong "Leaders", in the future!

A mother doesn't know the first thing about being a leader, in the Mormon Cult (except to the extent she may have been Primary or R.S. Prez.) Why burden her with the "job" of teaching them leadership skills?

So, heap on the guilt and burden even more, you spineless General Authority toad who made that "speech".

If a mother has to follow a perfect checklist--as the perfect advice from a perfect GA, who represents a perfectly-brushed and manicured sanitized "church"--then it is time to consider your own mental health, you mothers, and get the frick out of that stupid cult: before you have to be on the blue, purple, or red pills for the rest of your life!


Subject: Imaworkinonit is right on the nose, and, for other teachers.....
Date: Dec 05 08:42
Author: Jackie Owen (formerly Nolongerin)

...put the requirements of NCLB on top of Mormonism's perfection goals and you've really got a hotbed for promoting perfectionism, anxiety, and depression.

If you live in California and you teach in a district in Program Improvement or a SAIT school, you can quadruple your stress, and that of your students.

Today's kids have enough environmental and educational stresses without the added stresses of following the man-made tenets of the Mormon church.

Subject: Re: Are church leaders reducing or contributing to staggering rates of depression in Utah?!
Date: Dec 05 09:01
Author: blindguy

Actually, even though the depression rates are higher than the rest of the country, the figure, according to the article, is still only 14%--meaning that LDS leaders can confidently say that 86% of their followers have no depression problems. In fact, they would probably claim higher, since the statistics are not broken down by religion.

One of the things I've learned while researching the LDS church through this board and other on-line sources is how deceptive the organization really is. As many of the previous posters have pointed out, the church's own requirements and guilt trips (they make the Catholic guilt trips look like a picnic by comparison) have left many depressed. Like many other churches, TSCC is using a "one size fits all" model, and it really doesn't work. Sadly, like our current political leader, TSCC is unwilling to admit its failures and make changes to its program that could assist the afflicted.


Subject: The expectation of Godhood + Denial of Reality + Judgmental Society = DEPRESSION!
Date: Dec 05 17:29
Author: Re-Do

What more unrealistic and impossible expectation could church leaders make for members than that of attaining Godhood itself? This expectation cannot possibly be more extreme. It’s far more than becoming a Major League star. It’s far more than becoming the world’s richest billionaire. It’s far more than becoming the most powerful leader in the planet’s history. Ultimately, the GA's Mormon celestial/ exaltation message is this: “You must someday rule a Universe, or you will be a failure”. In reality however, this incredible expectation of Godhood can only be a guaranteed failure even for the best humans among us – let alone the rest of us who are having trouble just paying our bills at the end of the month. Remember, Utah often leads the nation in bankruptcies.

Furthermore, we Mormons can’t just “believe” in the LDS church, we have to “know it’s true”. All this thanks to some mysterious “testimony revelation” that Mormons are expected to receive directly from God. And when this revelation of certainty never happens, we must pretend that it DID or we will look “unworthy” to all our friends, neighbors and family. In addition, we are encouraged to engage in this pretense/lie by such people as Boyd K. Packer who confidently says that, “The gaining of a testimony is in the bearing of it”. Yet, this is just another way of saying “Keep lying until it feels real inside.”

So, regardless of out inner knowledge, we are socially required to gather and constantly lie to each other (at least monthly) just as if we actually were seeing the fabled “Emperors new clothes”.

Through this process we become alienated from the factual world around us, and from our companions, and from our own selves within. We don’t know what reality truly is until it bites us hard: Consider DNA, BoA, BoM, JoD, MMM – it just goes on and on. The demands of church leaders and the social – judgmental – pressures for us to conform quite often push us into places where we simply, sometimes literally, can’t live any longer. We must agree to believe ridiculous stories about obviously non-existent people. We must believe that we will become wealthier by giving large amounts of our money away. We must believe that we will be closer to our families by spending more time away from them. We must believe that an ugly past full of blood-lust, lechery and dictatorial power was really a beautiful story.

Through all of this we are encouraged to be as judgmental as possible. We are often set on each other through endless interviews and social imperatives at the level of our neighborhoods, and inside our very own homes. How extreme does this get? A spouse, for instance, is actually required to confess their partner’s church-defined sexual deviations to an ordinary neighbor who happens to have been approved as their bishop.

Little wonder that (by these recent studies) Utah suffers from the following measurable outcomes: Bankruptcy, Depression, and finally – Suicide.


Subject: Try this on for depression: Sexual sin is next to murder in seriousness. ...
Date: Dec 05 18:46
Author: Mad Memories

...but who ISN'T Sexual by nature? And exactly what constitutes "sexual sin". Kids who are just discovering their sexuality have little guidance, and masturbation is nearly inevitable for them.

Given these circumstances, shame, guilt, and depression are are nearly inevitable for everyone.

Sex? God hates you for what God gave you.


Subject: I can imagine the apologists' answers.
Date: Nov 28 14:32
Author: heresy

It's because the non believers see how well active members live and are too jealous.

They have real actual studies that show that all the unhappiness is with the inactive members and that active members are far happier than most people. Or so they say.

If everyone would get with the program, Utah would be like the celestial kingdom on earth. Or so they say.


Subject: Re: I can imagine the apologists' answers.
Date: Nov 28 14:54
Author: robertb

I have read one of those studies. Inactives in Utah actually have a *higher* suicide rate than the average population in the U.S. So do nonmembers. It leads me to believe if Mormonism works for you, you are better off than average, but if it doesn't you are worse. I am tempted to say that living with Mormons in Utah makes even non-members want to kill themselves . . . . Maybe the Dawkins-Benson meme virus theory as some application here :) I would be curious about LDS suicide rates in other states where Mormons aren't in the majority.

Look at Table 2 especially.


Subject: Re: I can imagine the apologists' answers.
Date: Nov 28 15:04
Author: Punky's Dilemma

Thanks, robertb.

The results make sense, from a social psychology perspective. When a homogenous, cohesive and culturally dominant group exists, the "outsiders" experience real psychological harm.

If this is what accounts for the results in this study, then you'd find similar differences in other regions with a collectivistic, homogenous, cohesive mainstream and a marginalized "outsider" population.



Subject: Surprised CNN showed this.
Date: Nov 28 14:36
Author: Bad Religion

Towards the end, Dr. Gupta compared New Jersey spending per person ($133) vs. Utah ($73). Since the study was performed by a pharmaceutical company, the obvious conclusion is that Utah is depressed because they spend less on mental healthcare per person. This is completely counter-intuitive! Of course the drug companies want you to spend more!

Despite the flaws in the study, being a member of a mind-controlling cult causes depression for a lot of people.


Subject: Except that Utah ALREADY spends the most on anti-depressants,
Date: Nov 28 15:20
Author: LongGone2

and access to professional help does NOT necessarily mean drugs. Mere counselors cannot prescribe drugs can they? And what facilities for treating addiction do they have in Utah? Any equivalent to Betty Ford or Father Martin's Ashley?

And just looking at the prima facia evidence, I think one could reach a fairly accurate conclusion (guestimate) about Utah's mental health: too many kids, too young and no money; too little time for work, home and church responsibilities; too much demand for absolute conformance; too much guilt; literal persecution if you're gay; rape and incest and child abuse victims treated like it's THEIR fault; the state is fatter than any other (obesity can be directly related to depression)---I could go on, but this is enough related evidence to indicate the distinct possibility that the study cited is exactly right.


Subject: Excellent point about the anti-depressants.
Date: Nov 28 15:38
Author: Punky's Dilemma

I'd be interested in seeing data on members vs. non-members for 1)level and rate of pathology/distress; 2)Med use; 3)therapy use; 4)religious "counseling" use...

I could probably keep going...but I'd really enjoy a clearer, data-driven picture...we do a lot of speculating about what might be going on, but we don't know for sure.

Having a unique social climate in Utah could give us interesting data about how society contributes to depression. :)


Subject: Re: Except that Utah ALREADY spends the most on anti-depressants,
Date: Nov 28 23:58
Author: FatBoy

Agree with everything on anti-depressant use, etc., but Utah isn't anywhere close to the fattest state in the nation - it's actually one of the least fat per capita along with the other western states. See the data at


Subject: There are no mental health issues in UT, only lack of faith and obedience issues....n/t


Subject: I was half-tempted to email Dr. Sanjay Gupta
Date: Nov 28 15:38
Author: Fascinated in the Midwest

and tell him just what LDS-ism is all about!

When he hears of the myriad of problems (women who marry too young, bear too many children, live with too little income, and can NEVER be good enough and serve enough roles in the ward, and take their eternal salvation far too seriously), maybe then he will understand why Utah leads is at the top of this league.


Subject: more links on suicide and depression
Date: Nov 28 15:58
Author: nomoworms

When i was a young boy my Sunday School teacher hung himself and that concerned me. Later i knew a missionary that came home from his mission, was engaged to be married but decided to put a bullet in his head.

When i was striving for perfection i was on many different antidepressants. Now that i have found the truth and can use this board for therapy, i am drug free and happy to be imperfect.,1249,635201873,00.html


Subject: "i am drug free and happy to be imperfect" love that. It would make a good t-shirt, too :-) n/t


Subject: It's all those nonmembers who have moved into Utah!
Date: Nov 28 16:09
Author: Southern Man

Being from the South, I learned at an early age that Utahns are smarter, prettier, richer, etc., than us poor, illiterate, inbred hillbillies. Then when I actually met people from Utah, I learned that they feel this way, too, even if they have no actual reason to do so. Apparently, being the best at everything is depressing.

I brought up Utah's high rate of anti-depressant use in priesthood not long ago. The ward apologist immediately knew the answer: it's all those nonmembers who have moved to Utah! THEY have driven up the statistics. Hell, they're probably the ones who've put Utah at the top of the bankruptcy statistics, too. Apparently only depressed bankrupt nonmembers move to, or live in, Zion. Maybe they're depressed because they're bankrupt, or maybe they're bankrupt because they spend all their money on anti-depressants.

Either way, anybody knows that it can't be active church members who are depressed, because church membership brings only joy. In fact, that's the ONLY way to know true joy. McConkie said so in "Mormon Doctrine", and he was an apostle, so he couldn't have been wrong!

And here in the Deep South, we struggle on, speaking in that funny accent, marrying our close relatives, eating strange foods, and harboring secret desires to speak in tongues in F & T meeting. Only NASCAR and Lynyrd Skynyrd make our otherwise miserable lives bearable. If only we could be like those deliriously happy Utahns!


Subject: The Apologists HAVE spoken and they aren't looking so good... (link and quotes)
Date: Nov 28 16:44
Author: brainfrees

In one of the few attempts to seriously rebut the Utah-is-depressing-because-of-mormonism theory (apart from the inane 'outsiders and sinners are driving up the stats' drivel) were these choice intellecshule comments...

From Daniel K. Judd who earned a doctoral degree in counseling psychology at BYU, where he is a professor of ancient scripture (and who has focused for a decade on the mental health of the membership of the LDS Church).

"The LDS Church shouldn't be blamed for Utah's reputation as the runaway leader in antidepressant use, says a Brigham Young University professor. And membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints clearly has a positive influence on mental health, according to Daniel K. Judd's review of 540 studies on religion and mental health. His explanation? 'Perhaps one of the reasons the residents of Utah lead the nation in the use of antidepressants is that since they are generally more educated and aware of the symptoms and treatments of depression, they are more likely than the residents of other states to seek medical treatment.' In fact, he said, a closer look at the pharmacy study showed Utahns did appear more likely to seek medical help. The state also ranked first in the use of narcotic painkillers and was in the top three in prescriptions for thyroid medications, anticonvulsants and anti-rheumatics.
Overall, Utah ranked seventh in total prescriptions."

It doesn't seem to me that Judd agrees with Gupta's observation that Utahns just don't have enough doctors or spend as much as the New Jersians.

Not to be outdone, "[t]he president of the Utah Psychiatric Association thinks Judd could be right. Dr. Michael Kalm said Utahns, for example, are aware of world-class research conducted at the University of Utah's medical center.
'We may be more willing to seek cutting-edge, scientifically based treatment for these disorders, including antidepressants,' Kalm said. Utah's LDS population also might more readily turn to the medical profession for help because the church advises members not to use alcohol and tobacco. Research indicates Latter-day Saints in Utah and elsewhere are less likely to self-medicate, Judd said, with those drugs or illegal drugs."

The usual conclusion I come to after the apologists stop spinning? You can't have it both ways... so much antidepressant usage because of soooo many doctors and informed members; or so much depression because of too few doctors and too little appreciation of mental health issues. Another corner surrounded by wet paint.,1249,640196840,00.html


Subject: Fascinating. And the apologists, once again, miss the mark.
Date: Nov 28 16:50
Author: Punky's Dilemma

Well...robertb's study pointed out that even *with* higher anti-depressant use, the state's populations leads the nation with depressive symptoms. That means more pills and yet STILL more depression.

So, out goes the "proactive mental health seekers" spin.

And I find it interesting to see the kinds of meds Utah leads the nation in consuming...

Anybody else see a potential pattern of somatocism of mental distress? It fits the overall picture.


Subject: Then there is prescription drug abuse, which is high. The LDS culture also
Date: Nov 29 03:24
Author: robertb

discourages "self psychology" and favors behavioral approaches aimed at getting people to "adjust." I have read statements from the church saying people should not have therapy for "personal growth," when that is what is needed to feel better. Many depressed people need to "grow out of" Mormonism.


Subject: Utahns are the doctor-botheringest people I know.
Date: Nov 28 17:15
Author: winter

There is no way Utahns have less access to health care than West Virginians. In fact, I expect their access is not much lower than New Jerseyans. NJ is an expensive state, so I expect psychiatrists charge more per hour, which accounts for a fair part of the $/resident figures spent on mental health.

Besides, South Dakota also has pretty slim pickins medically, and they had the lowest suicide rate. I'm from North Dakota, and just driving through much of South Dakota, with its tacky petting zoos in the Black Hills and 8 gazillion "Visit Wall Drug" billboards, is enough to make me suicidal.

Having to twist your brain into a pretzel to avoid seeing that Mormonism is a con game is apparently depressing. Are we surprised? Living around people suffering from chronic pretzel-brain is also depressing, especially if they are family members who think you are evil incarnate because you don't suffer from pretzel-brain.

Iowa, land of blizzards and crop chemicals and the Endless Political Caucus, and they are on the lists for best physical and mental health. Go figure.

Mormonism is crazy-making. But we all knew that.



Subject: Unhappy In Utah?
Date: Nov 28 18:41
Author: bitterroot

Seems, back in 2002, anti-depressants were scooped out with green jello.
What happened?
Melaleuca's Aussie Elixir is not working well?


Subject: There are three possibilities here:
Date: Nov 28 23:35
Author: Yikes

One: It's highly depressing to live around Mormons.

Two: It's highly depressing to be a Mormon.

There: All of the above.

Any of these choices stink to hell.


Subject: Re: Utah least healthy state in regard to depression. Report on new study (link) [edit]
Date: Nov 29 02:54
Author: William Nash

Just an observation on mental depression and Utah

I stumbled across this forum today out of curiosity. A friend who still lives in Salt Lake City sent me a link to From there I followed a trail to YouTube that linked me to some very odd, yet familiar, laments recorded to video. One of them led me to a web site on how to resign from the mormons which I read just to see if there was anything I should have done differently when I wrote a letter years ago to formally resign from and cut off all affiliations with mormonism. It seems I did it right.

But back to depression and Utah. After graduating from the University of Utah (the reward of a painful five years of general frustration) I moved on to graduate school in Texas where I thrived. I obtained my doctorate degree and went on to enjoy a reasonably successful career. Then in the early 1990's I returned to Utah, living in Salt Lake City, just to be geographically close enough to my parents who lived in Utah County (Happy Valley) to watch keep an eye on and be available to help them.

After the first year back in Utah I had gained 23 lbs. My blood pressure was elevated. I felt "low" almost 24/7 all year. My doc recommended Prozac and then the rest of the seritonin re-uptake inhibitor family. None of them worked. Eight weeks of Wellbutrin was the last insult to my body and mind that I agreed to. The weight gain continued despite regular workouts at a gym. The low-grade depression also continued.

Imagine my surprise to discover that depression can be "situational"; that is to say, it can be the result of simply where one lives. After 9 years I moved out of Utah and began to feel better. Then I permanently moved out of the United States and discovered I felt absolutely great! Still do (both live outside of the USA and feel great).

My intention is not to knock the USA, but getting out of Utah and away from the constant "church chat" that permeates the culture and local media was the cure. Turning on the local news and not having to hear about General Conference madness, the opening of a "new" temple, and stuff that really isn't news was a big part of my recovery from depression. "Oh my heck!" as they are prone to say in West Valley City, imagine the relief of not having to suffer the glib sweetness of previous Miss BYU serving as a news meat puppet.

Looking back I'm amazed at how many coworkers, associates, colleagues, and good old-fashioned friends living in Utah showed me their reloaded prescription for or confided about their antidepressant medication. Can a local culture, especially a high-context group such as mormons, engender so much depression? I suspect the truth is "Yes. You bet. No doubt. Yeah, fer sure."

Enough of this memory lane crap. It appears I still harbor a soupçon of frustration from having lived in such "a pretty, great State."


Subject: What happened to the shiny happy people? Utah most depressed state
Date: Nov 28 13:55
Author: KolobSlurm


Subject: That's just the tip of the iceberg
Date: Nov 28 16:40
Author: Leah

what it shows is only the people who actually sought help.

There are tons of TBMs who would never even think of going to anyone other than their bishop or SP for help.

Some even feel guilty for taking medication, wondering if cutting their suffering down is interfering with God's plans for them.


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107 Fast and Testimony Meeting

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110 Lost without the Gospel

122  Why do they keep holding on?

123 Mormon Leaders define emotions

125 California Mormons 

129 Negative Impact on Children

131 Mormons don't Wear Crosses

133 The Sacred Flow Chart 

134 Sabbath - A day of Rest for Women?

136 Tithing - 10% of Gross?

137 Seminary  Have a Large Family 

143 Feeling Guilty Visiting Here ( 

147 Mormon Church and Free Speech

161  Sunday's Youth Message

156 Girls Camp "Faith Promoting" Activity 

167  Funny Testimony Meetings

174   Silly or Annoying Church Callings

201  Cut Back on Leisure Time!

202  Mormon Grandparents

204  Satan Stories

207  Obsession with Numbers

210  Where are the Michelangelo's? 

218  Life in Polygamy - 2003

219  Loss of Passion

220  Mormon Ignorance of Judaism

223  Confessing to the Bishop

225  Ridiculed at Sacrament Meeting

226  A Bishop's Blessing

228  Fanatical Things We Did

229  Embarrassing Testimonies

231  Mormon Myths on the Fly

235  Fear of Losing a Testimony

236  Manipulative Mormon Women

237 .General Authority Visit to the Stake. 

247  Mormons - Guilt and Shame

249  Mormon Funerals

254  Sacrament Prayer Repeated 

260  Father-in-law:  Me in 20 Years?

270 Forever Family® versus Reality

271  Never Happy as a Mormon

273 Was Sunday a Day of Rest?

277  Life Inside General Conference 

278  High School Seminary    

280  Remember Evils of Card Playing?

281  Drinking Coca-Cola is a Sin?

283  'Court of Love' - Experiences 

284 Amazing Letter in The Ensign

286 What is Mormon Culture?

290 Life is Better in Zion

296 A Mormon Spouse Writes

300 Ward Boundaries

307 Mormons Feel Superior to Others

311 Limiting Family Size

313 Tithing Never Brought My Family Blessings

316 Breaking the Will of Members

318 Stories of former Church Custodians

319 A Mormon Writes: "My Wife Wants to Leave the Church"

324 Selling Our One Year Supply of Food

326 Bishops Asking Sexual Questions

332 March 2004 Ensign on Tithing

334 A Mormon Father's, who is a Bishop, Cruelty

338  A Personal Look at Polygamy

347 Central Control and Ward Budgets

349 No Testimony?  What is Wrong with You?

350 Types of Mormon Testimonies

357 Changing History to Bolster Faith

356 Utah Leads the Nation in Bankruptcies

355 Mormons' Lives are Micro-Managed

367 Breaking Down Personal Boundaries

369 Mormon Bishops are Untrained

383 Never Turn Down a Church Calling

403 Jesus Needs $1 Billion for a Shopping Mall (now $2.0 billion)

422 Rape in Utah above National Average - Mormonism connection

439 Mormon Belief Interferes with Rational Decision Making

443 The Grape Juice Myth

456 Mormons Unaware Joseph Smith Used a Stone in a Hat

464 Mormonism is an All or Nothing Religion

461 How Stake Presidents and Bishops are Called

493.  Mormon Mother Wishes Her Son had Died Instead of Leaving the Church 486.  Women who Know - Relief Society President Speaks at General Conference
485.  Mormon Church Keeps its Members in Isolation 484.  Is Relief Society Relevant? Women Role Models?

 500.  Be Ye Therefore perfect -- and Mentally Ill

Recovery from Mormonism - The Mormon Church

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