Beliefs Culture Jana Riess: Flunking Sainthood Opinion

Mormon women and depression, revisited

It has long been conventional wisdom that Mormon women are more prone to depression than American women are generally. So in the Next Mormons Survey, I wanted to find out if that was really true – and if so, why.

After fielding and analyzing the survey, my answer to that question is still that I’m not entirely sure, as I explain in the long footnote below.* But we did learn a lot about the characteristics of Mormon women who take such medication.

Overall, about a fifth of currently-identified Mormons say they have taken or are currently taking medication for depression—21%.

The numbers are definitely higher for Mormon women than for men. 27% of women say yes, almost twice the number of Mormon men who do (14.5%).

What is going on here? Are Mormon women really that much more depressed than Mormon men?

And if so, is it because the culture places unrealistic expectations on their shoulders to be perfect moms with flawless bodies and unwavering testimonies? Is it because more Mormons are stay-at-home moms than American women more generally, and are therefore cut off from the social networks and self-esteem that can come from paid employment? Both of these have been put forward as possible explanations.

Maybe. I am withholding judgment for a couple of reasons. First, the rate of Mormon women suffering from depression may actually be lower than the national average for women. The data on this is inconsistent, though; Timothy Heaton’s research has indeed found that “LDS women are significantly higher in depression than non-LDS women.” So there is no consensus here.

Second, there’s a known “gender gap” between men and women in the United States where mental health is concerned—and not just in Mormonism.

According to a publication of the Harvard Medical School, women “are about twice as likely as men to develop major depression,” based on a combination of genetic, hormonal, and emotional factors (and also the fact that even if men do develop depression, they are idiots about it they are less likely than women to seek the help they need). The World Health Organization has also found that depression is twice as common in women.

Bottom line, then: Mormon women appear to struggle more than Mormon men do with depression, or at least are getting treated for it nearly twice as often. This is not, however, an unusual or Mormon-specific gender dynamic.

Let’s dive in some more. In my research, I wanted to find out what correlative factors might help us understand the population of Mormon women who do get treatment. Are they SAHMs with large families? Working moms? Republicans? The elderly? Here are some key findings from the Next Mormons Survey:

  • Age matters little, though younger women are a tiny bit more likely than older ones to take medication. It was interesting that in a survey that showed so much generational variation on other questions, this issue was similar across all four generations of LDS adults.
  • Employment matters a little but not very much. The rates for women who were unemployed and not looking for work were five points higher than those who worked full-time and just one point higher than those who worked part-time. So it’s possible that there’s a correlation between being a stay-at-home mother and being more likely to be depressed, but the difference is small. And correlation is not necessarily causation in any case.
  • Democrats are about nine points more likely to take medication than women who lean or vote Republican.
  • We see more significant difference related to church activity. Women who consider themselves “very active” Mormons are less likely to report taking medication for depression (22.5%) than women who are “not at all active” in the Church (35%).
  • Along those lines, about a quarter of women who believe “all or most Mormon teachings” have taken medication, compared to more than a third who doubt or find some Mormon teachings hard to believe.
  • Women who have no children at all are a little more likely to take medication for depression than women who have one, two, or three children. In families of four or more children, women are also a bit more likely take medication. Overall, the women who were least likely to take medication for depression were those with one, two, or three children.
  • There does seem to be a correlation with divorce. Women who were divorced were almost twice as likely as married women to have taken medication for depression (41% vs. 23%). Never-married women fall in the middle at 34%.

I hope these findings can put to rest some of the glib conclusions people have come to in the past. The reality is nuanced and complex.


OTHER FINDINGS FROM THE NEXT MORMONS SURVEY:


* The Fine Print

It’s difficult to get an answer to the “Mormon women vs. other women” question because the studies are all measuring slightly different things.

For example, the NMS had people agree or disagree with the statement, “I have taken or am currently taking medication for depression or another mental health issue.” This can tell us a lot, but it won’t tell us everything we want to know.

First, there’s the issue of non-specific mental health diagnoses. Depression is included here, yes, but so are many other possibilities, from ADHD to zoophobia and everything in between. So it’s hardly an apples-to-apples comparison.

Second, there’s the problem of timing: the question was worded to include anyone who has taken medication for mental health at any point in life, not just right now. So if you took it after your first child was born and you had postpartum depression, you’d still answer “yes” to the question even if you haven’t taken it for years.

And third, those who are taking or have taken medication aren’t the same as the wider population of those who might have – or ought to have – a mental health diagnosis.

It’s important to be responsible about what this question does and does not measure, but it’s also revealing to examine who in the Mormon world answered yes.

About the author

Jana Riess

Senior columnist Jana Riess is the author of many books, including "The Prayer Wheel" (Random House/Convergent, 2018) and "The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church" (Oxford University Press, 2019). She has a PhD in American religious history from Columbia University.

70 Comments

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  • A quick and unscientific googling revealed that roughly 25% of American women are prescribed antidepressants and is about double the rate for men. This is close enough to the author’s estimates for Mormons to make it unremarkable.

  • I have heard that there is research that correlates living at a higher altitude with poorer mental health. I have even heard of a biological mechanism involving the effect oxygen availability in the brain has on neurotransmitter concentrations. If true, this is another confounding factor in a study of depression in (US) Mormons since such a large percentage of them live in the mountain west.

  • Thanks for another excellent fact-based article, I’m looking forward to the final release of the study and book.

  • The best “cure” for the “Mormon blues” is to simply stop attending church. Three hours a week of doom and gloom, along with a whole lot of misplaced guilt can make the most naturally happy person depressed. Breaking the Mormon church attendance addiction will make it better.

  • and also the fact that even if men do develop depression, they are idiots about it they are less likely than women to seek the help they need

    Made me laugh out loud here at my laptop. 🙂

  • Sincere question: did you even read the article?

    “Women who consider themselves “very active” Mormons are less likely to report taking medication for depression (22.5%) than women who are “not at all active” in the Church (35%)”

  • Yep, and the fact that all findings are “inconclusive,” since not all “experts” agree: “The data on this is inconsistent, though; Timothy Heaton’s research has indeed found that “LDS women are significantly higher in depression than non-LDS women.” So there is no consensus here.”

    I guess that detail escaped you.

  • No, that detail didn’t escape me. But you go ahead as though the evidence conclusively shows that Mormon women have higher rates of depression, and that such a correlation is due to attending church, when in fact the evidence presented here (you know, the topic of this discussion forum) is DIRECTLY CONTRARY to that assertion. An admission that such evidence is inconclusive is not an admission that the opposite conclusion is true.

    You clearly have some kind of bee under your bonnet. My advice: get over it.

  • Same back at you. The “bee under my bonnet” would be having a mom who had to ween herself off of anti-depressants that a Mormon bishop strongly urged her to start taking. My mom suffered from an undiagnosed spectrum disorder and the antidepressants made her mood swings worse, not better. I spent my childhood being more responsible for her than she was for me until she decided on her own to get off the anti-depressants. I never blamed her for her disability and did my best as a young person to be a good Mormon, but eventually, after she passed and my own kids were grown, I found myself strongly resenting all the garbage I went through as a kid because LDS church leaders got it all wrong with regards to my mom and what her condition did to our family. I was the only child to ever marry or have my own family because of all of that. I was also the only child in our family to stay active after age 18. So, there is the “bee in my bonnet,” thank you.

  • I’m very sorry about your mother, but I believe your anger is misplaced. Last time I checked, Mormon bishops can’t prescribe medication (unless they happen to also be doctors).

  • Last time I checked, I know the circumstances of my life better than you do. Obviously, the Bishop did not prescribe the medications, but the family doctor who was in the same ward did. We are talking 1969 in a small town in California where everyone actively Mormon knew everyone else actively Mormon and when what a Mormon bishop “suggested” was taken like orders from God himself. So, take your effort to be politely patronizing and misplace it somewhere else. By the time my own kids were all grown, I was sick and tired of the Church making my life harder instead of better. The last 7 years without Church involvement have been some of the best of my life.

  • Bully for you. But why come onto a forum that is discussing findings from a survey suggesting that there is a negative correlation between church activity and depression, completely ignore those findings, and suggest that people engaging in their sincerely held religious beliefs are unhappy because they go to church? What’s your end game here?

  • Thanks for failing to see the connection. BTW, who made you forum monitor? The article asserts that Church activity makes it better, when my experience runs opposite to that. So, feel free to go moralize with someone else. Your insistent nosiness and follow up with more self-righteous judgment perfectly exemplifies why Mormonism does not live up to promises made to make things better. Instead ignoring my remarks, you felt a need to push and pull at them. It’s what all the “helpful” hypocrites within the Church do. Feel free to bug someone else. I think we are done.

  • Your experience is your experience. It does not speak for others or even give any indication of the typical experience. Jana’s study, on the other hand, at least makes an attempt to look at trends. Had you said something like, “I recognize that these data come from a randomized sample, and that they are therefore more likely to exemplify typical experiences, but let me add another contrary data point,” I likely would have rolled my eyes and ignored you. But that’s not what you did. You came here acting smug and refusing to actually engage with the content of the article because YOU have seen the light and are free from the bonds of religion that have tied you down your whole life. Great, whatever. But don’t act all surprised that someone is calling you out on it.

    Take some time to appreciate the irony of you accusing me of self-righteous judgment, when you began this discussion with self-righteous judgment of your own. Do you really not realize that you are acting like the “helpful hypocrites” you aim your venom at?

  • Someone speculated years ago that Mormon women might be more liberated and better educated, and, therefore, more likely than others to seek out and use anti-depressants to improve their situation. I don’t know if this kind of factor was included in the study, but it could have a big influence on the results. Clearly, these kinds of studies can be far more complex than meets the eye.

  • You just have to to keep digging the hole you started, don’t you? It brings us back to my first question. Who made you hall monitor here? It is not my problem that my response to the article did not fit your Mormon apologist/watchdog needs. Again, you just keep making my case against the Church for being unduly intrusive without offering real solutions to a whole lot of people who do not fit the nice, neat “Molly Mormon” mold. That’s the real reason why the Church has such a credibility gap in the age of information. There are a lot of people, like me, whose lives only got better when they stopped attending the Church because the Church only had empty promises for us and bad advice to give.

  • Back the train up, buddy. Who’s being intrusive here? You’re the one who trolls articles about Mormonism when you clearly have no academic interest in the topic, and your only personal interest is that you used to be associated and now feel better about it. Why troll these forums then? Remember, I’m responding to your childish comment that you gave unprompted. No one asked for your opinion, but since you volunteered it, don’t be surprised that someone is calling you out on it.

    If your life is better since you left the church, why do you troll these forums making childish remarks?

  • Good article, I appreciate you being as technical about the results as you were. I have a question. How many women in the study were divorced and a democrat and inactive and less believing? How many of those are on antidepressants? It sounds like that number is significant.

  • In some 45 years as an active Mormon, I still have yet to hear anything that fits the description of “three hours of doom and gloom.” Meanwhile, if you want to see “misplaced” (or unexplained) guilt, try the nearest Fundamentalist Protestant church.

  • Thanks for the unsolicited “rebuttal” and invitation to attend elsewhere. We are all entitled to our own impressions, but funny how you don’t get to define mine for me.

  • You know, you are getting annoying enough to consider blocking you. I thought the Sandra and Gerald Tanner crowd could be obnoxious until you showed up unsolicited. I don’t need to justify any of my feelings or opinions to you. Bye.

  • Of course you don’t need to justify your feelings to me. But once again, if you’re going to make childish comments to an article, and you ignore the data presented in said article, don’t be surprised when you get called out on it.

  • The only “childish comments” here are yours. Your need to circle the wagons around the church just point out how little room for criticism there is within Mormonism. Mormonism demands that only “happy talk” be said about the church or it’s straight to “apostasy.” Thanks for making that clear to everyone, except yourself.

  • Wow, this sounds an awful lot like the reflexive defense you seem to deride Mormons for. You’re demanding only “happy talk” or it’s straight to “judgmental intrusion” for your critic.

  • I certainly never accused you of apostasy, only being a curmudgeon who cares little for facts. And I don’t think one person criticizing your flippant, apropos of nothing comment really qualifies as “circling the wagons.”

    “The only ‘childish comments’ here are yours.” Your only slightly updated version of “I know you are but what am I” is working wonders…

  • And what is there in your original comment to tolerate? If I came in saying your belief system is stupid and you should walk away from it, what door does that open to constructive conversation?

  • Cool. Thanks for becoming my own personal stalker. Do you do that for everyone who disagrees with you or did my personal story of surviving church-sanctioned child abuse while my mom was on the meds cut too close to your own mania?

  • So, let’s recap the facts:

    I disagreed with the rosy picture of the article, which included understated data that there are conflicting reports on whether or not Mormon women enjoy better or worse than average mental health.

    You first challenged whether or not I read the article.

    I quoted the article on where it stated that conclusions differed widely.

    You asked why I took it personally. I shared my personal history.

    You told me to get over myself because the church has all the answers.

    I told you that your advice was not wanted.

    You ranted at me about being childish.

    I told you to take a hike.

    You ranted at me even more.

    Then, you started stalking all my remarks. But you are obviously not the one with a problem.

  • “I disagreed with the rosy picture of the article, which included understated data that there are conflicting reports on whether or not Mormon women enjoy better or worse than average mental health.”

    No, you made a snarky comment that completely ignored the facts presented.

    “You first challenged whether or not I read the article.”

    Logical thought since you made a comment that assumed the opposite of the data presented in the article without actually challenging said data.

    “You told me to get over myself because the church has all the answers.”

    I certainly never said the church has all the answers. I told you to get over yourself because your childish comments benefit no one, including yourself.

    “You ranted at me about being childish.”

    If the shoe fits…

    “Then, you started stalking all my remarks.”

    I replied to a comment that appeared literally right below the comment I was replying to on the same thread. In what world is that stalking?

  • Well, I’m not stalking you, but yes, I call out childish and ill-thought-out comments on many forums (fora?) in which I participate, personal stories notwithstanding.

  • Zampona…I agree with everything you said. Sometimes we’re dealing with hateful, unhappy people and there’s no getting through to them. ☹️ All we can do is pray for them.

  • At best, mormon women and men suffer from depression at the same rate as the national average. Probably they are at higher risk.To take the contrarian position, If this is the gospel of happiness why are the rates not well below the average? There is no good answer from a faithful perspective, but I am sure there will be someone here who will try with all their apologetic might.The other question to consider- Why don’t prophets have any good answers in this area? They seem to be just as lost as the rest of us and must rely on science for answers. Oh yes, science-that dreaded beast that throughout the ages has pushed error in religious belief to the corner and which the Church still does battle today in a losing war. In the end, science will prevail.

  • I’ve raised six children, two of whom were diagnosed with bipolar disorder and who had very difficult adolescence. We tried the medical route with them and it was a horrible experience Would it have been better without the medication? I have no idea, you only get to try once. At this moment, one is in her thirties and the other in his twenties and they seem to be handling life ok with no medication. Will they continue to do so through their adult life? or will some of life’s hurdles hit them harder than those without mental illness? I don’t know. I don’t consider myself an expert in mental illness, but what I have learned over the last decade and a half of dealing with it is this: nobody in the medical/mental health field really seems to know as much as they’d like you to think. I’m certain that in your childhood/teen years, when your mom was having so much trouble, they knew even less. But that didn’t keep them from trying to convince us that they had all the answers. The 50’s and 60’s were a time of great medical breakthroughs, and we’re still seeing lots of them. You can’t blame people for believing that Doctors had the answers they claimed to have. You can’t even blame the Bishop for that. I’m sorry it was so rough for you. I can only imagine, having seen the struggles in my family, the struggles you experienced as a child in your home. Being angry at the church for it will not solve anything for you If one of your parents had been fighting cancer for ten or fifteen years while you were growing up, you would also have had some miserable (but different ) times. Life hands us some tough things. In my experience, living the gospel makes things better.

  • My decision to stop attending was based on the fact that life never got better for me due to what church leaders advised. I have always been a very responsible person. People seem to feel they have the right to boss me around in place of actually having human empathy for difficulties that I face and deal with on my own. I have dealt with a lot of tough stuff in my life and never gave up on it, but what I have no patience for is being used as someone else’s scapegoat, including within the church. I suppose that comes from having been my mom’s “favorite” punching back when her mood swung the wrong way. I never hit back. I never cursed her. I never treated her with disrespect. But when other people use me for their punching bag, I stop the abuse and walk away. That is essentially how and why I stopped attending. Someone else was being long-winded in high priests’ group meeting one Sunday, but I was the person told to keep it short after that old man took 15 minutes to say nothing. I nodded, said nothing, got up and left. I have not returned since. It was not the first time that happened but it was going to be the last. Sundays have all been like one extended staycation ever since.

  • I guess your problems are with people and not God. Start building a healthy relationship with Him and church attendance will follow.

  • Sorry to hear about your experience. I have also had a parental unit that had mental issues. It’s too bad she wasn’t under more direct care from her doctor. That kind of stuff, hopefully, doesn’t happen as much any more as we as a society are becoming more aware of mental issues.

  • I guess everyone has different experiences. Yours is truly respected. For me, I grew up in the church and after my parents divorced, I became inactive. I was inactive for 20 years! Those were definitely the easiest times in my life. Then my father died, he committed suicide, and my husband divorced me. Those were hard times. That is when I came back to the church and that has brought me the most joy I have ever had. That is just my experience though! Everyone is seriously on their own path in life and there is no right or wrong to it in my view. I respect your journey.

  • There was another family in my ward with a dysfunctional mom. She escaped East Germany as a teen, saw family members gunned down in front of her, the surviving members of her family having to leave their dead where they lay to escape death themselves. The four kids in the family were all about my age, and all of them had trouble dealing with all the fake “love” at church and the fact that none of it helped their mom, who we can now supposed lived with PTSD for most of the rest of her life. For me, it was being active for most of my life and never feeling really accepted or appreciated that eventually made just being at church torture. I served a mission, got married in the temple, held callings, raised 3 kids to adulthood, and eventually got sick and tired of giving without ever getting anything back to make my life better. I still give back and still help out because it’s in my nature to do so, but I stay as far away from church services as I can, having suffered all the humiliation anyone should ever deal with at church.

  • I stayed active until my kids were all grown, and two out of three were married. But when church attendance became personally humiliating weekly torture and my kids were all adults, I found myself fed up. Surviving child abuse was about learning to be the adult in the room when my mom was not able to, even when I was all of 7-years-old. Church is supposed to help relieve the stressors in life, but I always found it another source of emotional stress, considering the adult pressuring me to be more responsible than my mom at age 7 was my bishop. Church still feels that way to me. Personal solitude on Sunday works so much better for me. I serve where I see a need and I avoid people who feel the need to judge.

  • Funny how often in 62 years I have heard that same empty homily from Mormons with all the answers. It just feels like I’m being judged for letting you know how hurtful feeling judged can be. My experience is that Mormons expect you to declare “All is well,” especially when it is not. And that’s basically what you just did, once again. Thanks so much.

  • You’re probably on the right track. The same things that keep neurotypical people healthy are the things that keep neuroatypical people healthy. Eating right, getting enough sleep, avoiding alcohol and drugs and monitoring your stressors. Good for you for getting onto it early. Hang in there!

  • Mike, Where are the prophets on this? They have already spoken and it is published: The Ensign article, “Do Not Despair” by President Ezra Taft Benson is a great place to start. That article contains the healing agents that, with medication when needed, should bring more out of clinical depression than either CBT, ACT, DBT or medication by themselves. Also, I would like to see the study counting all ways that people escape that are generally considered harmful to them. e.g. drugs, alcohol, anger, etc. Taking antidepressants to deal with reality is the next best thing to taking antidepressants and getting psychotherapy. Both ways are considered a more healthy route than getting stoned regularly. I don’t know of anyone or any organization that could appropriately conduct that study! If that study was magically accomplished, my bet is on the LDS smelling sweet.

  • I am so sorry to hear what you went through. I work in the psychology field, and have seen that any person or professional might give poor advice. It is unfortunate that the science is only slowly progressing where better diagnostics, including cheek swabs, help us match medication with specific depression type and differences between body type.
    Overall, research indicates any church attendance as supportive to emotional well-being, but that does not remove the biological aspect. I hope you will be able to forgive the person that led your mother wrong.. Hoping for your good future

  • I was wondering when someone would pull the Ezra card. What a horrible talk to bring up as an example.Problems with his talk are numerous. I will point out a few
    1. Satan causes depression-Not true. Science tells us otherwise.
    2.He suggests those who repent will have less depression. Really? Repent from what? What study supports repentance based on Mormon Theology leads to less depression? This conversation says at best, members are the same as everyone else.I suspect members have more depression. Ezra got that one wrong.
    3. Prayer overcomes depression- People pray to different Gods all over the world. Is it only the Mormon God who alleviates prayer? I guess those cursed athiests are left out again.
    4. He has nothing to say about medication and psychotherapy in the talk. It is an anti science talk based on a religious framework that does not offer any real solutions to this problem. He should have never brought mental health into the talk because it offered no real solutions. If he had wanted to address mental health in a meaningful way, he should have stuck with research from the medical field. Once again, disappointed by the words of prophets.

  • Forgiving and forgetting are entirely separate. Remembering does not preclude forgiving. Part of surviving child abuse and going forward to have your own productive life includes forgiving, but to be able to move forward, you also have to remember what you are moving forward from. Being admonished to forgive for simply remembering is just another Mormon method of mental control. Similarly, telling an abused person to forget the abuse is to tell them to forget a significant part of their own life story and is therefore just more abuse.

    It’s better to remember both the good and the bad, to keep perspective on both. My mom did a lot of good, sometimes on the same day she also terrified me with her abuse. Forgetting the abuse would mean forgetting the woman who taught me to read, to love art and reading, and swimming. Trying to cut away the intermingled pleasant and painful memories would do more damage than good when what an abused person really needs is perspective not oblivion. Forgiveness comes form having perspective and being able to balance the good against the harm done, not forgetting.

    When my childhood bishop literally cornered me as a kid to put the mental health of my mom on me, he became the duped, willing agent and extension of her abuse.And later, long after being my bishop, he was my high school guidance counselor, and still gave poor counsel, at least in my case. I stayed active in the church as long as I did out of sheer force of will. But that’s problem with that sort of stubbornness, because now I feel more relieved to stay away from church, and I will stubbornly pursue happiness that way. I later came to realize that Mormonism is particularly vulnerable to child abuse by proxy when the abusive parent is the mother. Mormonism puts motherhood on a very high pedestal.

    My mom often gave us warning that her mood had swung the wrong way when she started talking as if she had fallen from her perch on the Mormon motherhood pedestal and would never get back up. She spent hours talking trash about her family to bishop after bishop. And she would run all of the various grievances together that justified her abuses, which meant that I spent a lifetime sorting out the timeline of abuse for each new bishop in our lives, almost to the day she died. Ironically, the only three bishops in my entire church experience who were the least bit helpful to me as a person were men who had difficult relationships with their own moms because of the Mormon Mom-on-a-pedestal myth.

    So, the Mormon mantra of “forgive and forget” comes across to me as “I’ve heard too much of this; let’s move on,” because my tale is never a good one for the Church. The Church has its least measure of success for abused children when mom is the abuser and can never figure out why as they go back to polishing the pedestal that allows them to exclude women from real leadership in the Church. That pedestal comes with a price that people like me have to pay in full.

  • I did not say forgive and FORGET, and I have not observed that to be a mantra in any specific Church. The psychology of forgiveness is quite well known. It is not that the offender deserves your forgiveness, it is the relief it gives to YOU. I have never forgotten the harm people have done to me, but the goal is to no longer give power to the use of the memory in a way that re-damages me. It is a peace I experience when I think back of past harm and it no longer triggers the same physical emotional response.
    IMO you may be placing all people/leaders in the Church to blame, similar to a the way a Latino beaten up by Whites or Asians during childhood, might blame the whole group.
    Nonetheless, you have a right to your own opinion and response.
    I feel a bit of anger at those that set this tragedy in motion for you. And that energy pushes me to be more loving. So I will not hate those that were not involved, or that we could wrongfully assume felt this tragedy was ok. Now in the secular world, people ask me how can I be so forgiving and accepting yet I want certain criminals jailed or I would want your Bishop removed,etc. Because Love and forgiveness does not mean that a consequence will not follow, Sometimes that consequence to encourage learning is love.
    I think the scary thought is that wrong doing can occur ANYWHERE in any setting on this earth. Yet your healing and growing wisdom might be the healing balm for others just by you being kind to others that hurt for a multitude of reasons.

    Best to you on your journey!

  • Thank you. My apologies. However, forgiving others quickly and taking quick responsibility for my own actions is part of my long-term strategy for recovery from the abuse I suffered as a kid. Best wishes to you as well.

    Footnote: for something that is not actual Church doctrine, the wrongheaded advise to “forget” about abuse by people who never suffered it is pretty common in the Church. And it feels abusive to hear it every time you do. “Forgive and forget” are often linked and it’s not helpful to anyone who has ever suffered abuse, when balance and perspective are what abuse survivors really need so as to feel in control of their own lives and futures.

  • Mike, you complain when others use logical fallacies (I read
    30 of your posts) yet you are doing exactly the same thing: Logical fallacies
    for everyone. You say in one of your posts that you are a member of the LDS Church.
    If so, I will respond in a way that accepts basic LDS doctrine, e.g. Satan is
    real.

    1. The article did not say Satan causes depression –
    it says “Satan’s designs”. Just as Satan is the Father of Contention does not
    mean Satan causes contention. It could mean “Satan’s design’s” cause
    contention. What exactly does science tell us? I have seen quotes from science
    and medicine that say depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the
    brain. Others say that is rarely the case, instead it is caused by thinking: the
    beliefs we have about what is happening in our own personal world. The
    science/medicine is not at all settled on this.

    2. Having treated people with depression for 16
    years has shown me several examples of people in a depressed state because of
    sin or because they got caught sinning. Jana’s data nor her article does not
    say members are the same as everyone else. It says they have about the same
    rate of taking certain medications as non-members. I suspect more non-members
    than members get drunk or stoned to treat their depression which would put members
    at a less depressed rate. If so, President Benson got that one right.

    3. Children who do not ask their kind and loving
    earthly parents for special things are sometimes going to be left out compared
    to those who do ask. Why would that be any different with our heavenly parents?

    4. The original article was published in 1986. That
    was just a few years after David D. Burns, M.D. quit a 5 year contract studying
    psychotropic medications because they didn’t work (he turned to CBT). The meds
    we have today are majorly different than 31 years ago. Also, in 1986 the APA
    was not listing therapies that had clinical support for their effectiveness.
    Not enough science had been completed yet. Therefore it is not unusual for psychotherapy
    and medications not to be mentioned in the article. In the March 2017 Ensign is
    a mental health article (not by an Apostle but approved the publishing arm of
    the Church) that favorably discusses psychotherapy and medications. Real
    solutions: Service, work, good nutrition, sleep, exercise, friends, priesthood
    blessings, reading the Book of Mormon, music and goals are examples of REAL
    solutions. Purpose in life and goals are two of six key points of Acceptance
    and Commitment Therapy.

    In truth, this is a very good article and those who do those
    12 things will live happier lives that those who do not.

  • I was unaware of 30 posts but even if that is true, it has nothing to do with this discussion. Lets go over your points.
    1. “Satan is increasingly striving to overcome the Saints with despair, discouragement, despondency, and depression.” This is the exact quote. He is mixing Satan with mental illness. There is no science behind this idea. In fact, that quote has the potential to cause damage when people are trying to overcome Satan instead of seeking out the nest medical hep available. It is a medical condition and needs medical intervention. Show me ONE scientific study that involves Satan with depression.
    2. Utah which has a high population of members consistently ranks high among adults with mental illness. If Ezra’s advice was correct, heavily mormon populations should be among the lowest. He got that one wrong.
    3. Show me a scientific study from a mainstream journal that says you can pray depression away. Again, this is dangerous advice unless Ezra had said “Please seek the best medical advice and also pray.” That is not what he said. He never mentioned seeking medical help. Shame on him.
    4. I am surprised by this one. Medical knowledge has advanced so the apostle was correct to tell people not to seek medical help. I won’t even take the time to go into that one any further.
    Lastly, mental illness affects people who follow his steps. Being a member does not bring happiness anymore than not being a member brings happiness. There are many factors involved. His talk was shameful and probably harmful to many who listened. It offered no real solutions to suicide or mental illness. He should have left those out of the talk.

  • Mike,

    Ok, you take very precise statements and generalize them
    into half-truth statements that you mock. Nice tactic.

    Here is your link to your many posts. I only read about 30.
    https://disqus.com/by/disqus_6YmhRatJkI/?utm_source=reply&utm_medium=email&utm_content=comment_other

    Where is the research? In chapter 9 of the APA book, “A
    Spiritual Strategy For Counseling and Psychotherapy, 2nd edition” by P. Scott Richards and Allen E. Bergin are 30 research references in the first couple of pages and dozens more throughout that chapter. That chapter explains religious and spiritual practices as therapeutic interventions. Yes, even certain types of prayer can have a healing effect. Even Albert Ellis, the atheist, admits that the Bible “has been the single most significant self-help book in human history.”

    I realize how difficult / impossible it is to prove a negative put at least you could have done the least bit of searching on the general subject. Just pronouncing something as awful with only your personal views and prejudices, even with some general prejudices thrown in, helps no one.

  • Albert Ellis does not make a scientific consensus. That argument would fall under the category of logical fallacy. Even your rejoinder to my comment is a logical fallacy. You did not address the point. I have no problem with prayer, but that is hardly an intervention for depression, just as it is not an intervention for someone who has cancer. These are serious medical conditions and this talk by Ezra sends the wrong message. You are the best case in point on that one. You have taken it to heart and put those interventions right there with actual, researched interventions. It seems Ezra was speaking as a man in that talk and not as a prophet, therefore we can reject the talk as pure opinion.
    I have family members who experience depression. Thank God, they have competent doctors who don’t pull this nonsense talk out and say “Hey, follow this advice and you will get better, duh.”

  • There’s not enough information for this article to claim that Mormon women are more or less prone to depression than other American women. To make such a claim you need to supply the figures for American women as a whole. These figures are not supplied, so the claim that Mormon women are more prone to depression than others simply falls down.

  • The condition that prompted me to take these pills was simply unbearable. Constant internal tension, it seemed sometimes, that just about and I will explode, I can not control myself. It’s like nerves are stretched strings, and they are about to break. Began to take Wellbutrin SR https://7daypharmacy.net/wellbutrin-sr-without-a-prescription.html with quarters, it turns out with 75 mg. the day in the morning … Then gradually began to increase the dose to 150 mg. in a day. This dose was enough for me. First I let it go, as if I do not have any emotions, but within a week I felt vitality and lightness in the emotional plan

  • Any book or scripture or action done repeatedly makes people feel invested and feel like they have to Believe in something. Anyone can write a convincing book or story, and anyone who isn’t paying attention can be fooled. If a religious leader actually believed in what he taught by way of this “investment” he may be willing to die for his religion/ misunderstandings (If not he made it up.) Good for you. I made the same decision. If you are searching for something real don’t search outward search inward. Because nobody knows you better than yourself, and nobody seems to know what the hell they are talking about. If Mormonism taught me anything growing up it taught me to never trust a story book as the basis and ground of you life. (The “Book of Mormon” is literary chloroform -Mark Twain.) All I’m saying is that in the grand scheme of life nobody has any idea what actually happens afterwards. So why waste all your life trying to believe something that is irrelevant until after death. Just be the best person you can be and the afterlife will treat you well.

  • Why is it that someone who has the opportunity to hear “the gospel” be entitled to a better life. Not everyone gets that chance. So much for “all loving” and “free agency”

  • Avoiding certain so called Drugs has nothing to do with being “healthy.” Psychedelics in particular Psilocybic mushrooms and L.S.D. (derived from ergot fungus) are currently being studied in aiding the neuro-reconstruction of brains in people with bi-polar disorder and P.T.S.D. Also Imagine you classify cannabis as a drug, the medicinal list for that is a very expansive list at the top of which includes inducing the remission of cancer cells (Yes ladies and gentlemen Cannabis may be a cure for cancer.) and this was recently published in an article by the American Cancer Association if you wanna fact check me. (which if you care you will.)

  • Last time I checked the L.D.S. church had over 1 billion dollars invested in pharmaceutical companies. Yes. 1 billion dollars. Feel free to fact check me. (can only assume they would advise any of their leaders to promote pharmaceuticals to all of their members.)

  • That theory only works if bishops were somehow made aware of which pharmaceutical companies church finances are invested in. They aren’t. Investments in pharmaceutical companies are part of a diversified portfolio.

  • People who hear the gospel are not entitled to a better life. They just get a little more instruction to help them make better decisions that can help them live a happier life. In general, people who make better decisions live happier lives. But they have to choose to do the things that bring happiness. I have known others who were not LDS who also make the kinds of choices that bring happiness and LDS members who don’t .

  • Huh? In addition to the atrocious grammar, the substance of this comment is incoherent. Come back again with something comprehensible.

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