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)!