Skip to comments.UVU professor's study puts focus on LDS women and depression
Posted on 02/06/2013 1:03:42 PM PST by Colofornian
...LDS women in Utah are at risk for depression due to "toxic perfectionism" and a host of other cultural factors, according to a recent study presented at Utah Valley University...
UVU professor Kris Doty..conducted a "qualitative exploratory study" by repeatedly interviewing 20 women over a one-year period. The women were diagnosed as depressed, signed up for the study and identified themselves as active members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In her findings, Doty identified five major factors that she said led to depression among the study's participants genetics, history of abuse, family relationships, feeling judged by others and toxic perfectionism.
Doty said the church's teachings on striving for perfection led to misinterpretations and contributed to feelings of inadequacy.
"In the (Mormon and Utah) culture, people have just taken it too far," she said during the 2013 Mental Health Symposium at UVU's Sorensen Student Center. "They think they can't make a mistake and so they become hyper-competitive and anxious. If you think you can make no mistake, you're setting yourself up for failure."
Doty...said LDS women are frequently confronted by the perfect storm of unrealistic expectations, personal guilt and suppressed feelings.
"I put pressure on myself to be that perfect Mormon," said Lynette, an LDS woman interviewed for the study who declined to be identified by her full name...
"There's such a huge population of LDS people here. They practically live on top of each other," she said. "People get a sense that they're always on display, so that their neighbors will see the best of them rather than who they really are."
The average age of the women who participated in the study was 33. Seven of the women used multiple medications, 19 were on at least one pill and 10 sought therapy.
(Excerpt) Read more at deseretnews.com ...
Depression is never anything easy to fight through: Dealing with past "issues" that have been stuffed. Frustration, often relationally-based. Emptiness. Loss of hope. Feeling overwhelmed without the needed energy. And then the repetitive thought cycles and feelings of isolation, and for so many Mormon women -- just the opposite -- always "on display" in the "worthiness" comparison "game."
There is help.
Christian counselors are out there. And the true Christian Gospel is one of hope, empowerment, and is anti-legalistic.
About three years, ago, a Truth in Love campaign included billboards in their outreach toward Lds women, particularly overstressed and depressed Lds women. (See RELIGION: Group targets LDS women)
Per this linked article from the Rexburg Standard Journal (Rexburg, Idaho is "base" for BYU-Idaho): Cares preaches that God's forgiveness and blessings are available to everyone for free if they simply accept the "good news of God," that "we are already perfect and worthy in God's sight." So the question is, are Mormon women actually plagued with guilt and stress because of their religion...? The Speaking the Truth in Love campaign is different from many anti-Mormon groups in that most typically seek to argue or dispute facts regarding Mormon history or doctrine...the Truth in Love campaign seeks to fellowship and love Mormons into accepting their views that Mormonism will lead to "eternal death" rather than "eternal life." One reason for the change in tactic may be because of recent scientific studies by Mental Health America and Express Scripts, a national drug distribution company. The report ranks Utah as the most depressed state in the country and shows that Utah residents are prescribed antidepressant drugs at twice the national average. Researchers have drawn conclusions that the large LDS population was partially to blame for the high levels of depression in the state.
I provided links to first two headlines below...plus several others [wherever you see "source headline"]:
* Two Studies Find Depression Widespread in Utah
* Utah leads the nation in rates of depression
* And referenced where Utah has the most anti-depressant use, especially in women: Study Finds Utah Leads Nation in Antidepressant Use. Some point to the pressures of Mormonism, especially for women, to explain the surprising findings. [Source urls: http://www.usu.edu/psycho101/lectures/chp2methods/study.html http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/06/03/eveningnews/main510918.shtml ]
Other related depression and suicide Utah anecdotes:
* Utah, which a 2007 report said had the country's highest rate of nonmedical painkiller abuse. Source headline: Utah has new prescription for painkiller problem [Original link...click on first link above for linkage to actual article]
And depression is not only a female issue in Utah:
* Utah leads the nation in suicides among men aged 15 to 24: As of 5 years ago: Utah leads the nation in suicides among men aged 15 to 24...Utah also has the 11th highest suicide rate 14.3 deaths per 100,000 people in the nation over all age groups, according to the most recent data from the American Association of Suicidology. Source headline: Deadly taboo: Youth suicide an epidemic that many in Utah prefer to ignore [Original link -- click on first link above for linkage to actual article]
* Utah has the country's highest suicide rate for males between the ages of 14 and 25. That grim statistic is given a name and a troubled family in Carol Lynn Pearson's impassioned Facing East, now at the International City Theatre in Long Beach. Source url: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2285528/posts
* For more than 10 years, 15- to 34-year-old males in Utah have had suicide rates markedly higher than those seen nationally. In fact, in the early to mid-1990s, suicide was the number one cause of death among 25- to 44-year-old men in the state and the second-leading cause of death among men aged 15 to 24. Source url: http://www.adherents.com/largecom/lds_LowSuicideRate.html
Now, this article actually says being active Lds "helps" in comparing rates. But this and another study I saw actually says when you compare the suicide rates for active Lds, inactive or less-active Lds, and non-Lds, the middle category is by far the highest: I
n addition, per this article the risk of suicide among males aged 15 to 19 was three times higher among the less active church members than among their active peers, but the rate among the active youth was comparable to the national suicide rate.
So...this article not only says suicide risk is 3x higher among less active Lds than active Lds (among 15-19 yo), but that the suicide rate for active Lds 15-19 yo is no different than the national suicide rate!!!
One point that can be drawn from the above is that Mormonism is no barrier to the suicide rate for teens, and in fact, jeopardizes more teens (the less active ones)!
This article is from an lds owned newspaper.
Man made teachings/doctrines are from the pit, so depression shouldn't be a surprise.
Hopefully, some Mormons will start to realize this and begin to put their life in GOD'S HANDS alone and not in the hands of man and 'their opinion' that is meant to deceive them and does. May they reach for TRUTH/God as there is only ONE vs. opinions/man which are many.
But he’s not depressed.
Because this article is from an lds owned newspaper and about the depression of lds women suffer as a result of mormonism, do you have a comment?
Or are you more concerned that this article is posted over that these women are suffering?
I'm commenting on post #8 and already three have been deleted??!!
Well, that certainly is odd.
Wonder what was posted.
#4 and #8 both refer to #3.
#6 and #7 shall remain unknown, unless someone read them and would like to comment...