Major Depression Diagnosis by State

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græy
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Major Depression Diagnosis by State

Post by græy » Wed Jun 22, 2022 11:35 am

Saw this floating around r/mapporn.

Image

I have been a bishop for slightly over a year now. In all that time I have had 1, one, single, solitary man ask to meet with me because he needed someone to talk to. It actually turned out to be a very brief, but good, conversation and he has since been doing very well.

In contrast to that, I have had somewhere around 12 women reach out to me to talk. Every time, those women confessed feelings of depression and despair in relation to church callings, whether their kids were living up to expectations, personal ability to receive revelation, personal worthiness, etc. I am not including my own wife in that count, but only because she has never sought out a conversation with "Bishop" græy. In fact she would fit very well on this same list.

Given my knowledge and understanding of the families and situations these women are coming from (largely successful, competent, and "happy" families), I would not be surprised if nearly every woman in the church is secretly suffering major cognitive dissonance and depression when they view their own personal or family performance through the lens of church expectations. If there are any who are truly happy, they are the severe minority.

The happy faces we see at church or friendly get-togethers are a facade. No one knows its only a facade because no one is willing to let anyone else see through the mask.

To be clear, I don't believe the men have it any better. They're just pre-programmed to shoulder it and keep pushing on without asking for help.

No wonder we average 70-80% inactive members! How has this church not burned itself out yet?
I'm better than dirt... well most dirt. Not that fancy store bought stuff, I can't compete with that... full of nutrients and everything. -Moe Sizlack

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nibbler
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Re: Major Depression Diagnosis by State

Post by nibbler » Wed Jun 22, 2022 2:20 pm

I'll often hear people express that they don't feel good enough for the calling they received or they don't feel as though they're performing their calling in a way that pleases the Lord.

It's more subtle communication of the same thing you mention but said more often in public because it feels more like being humble than being vulnerable.

When I hear someone say that in a talk, testimony, or comment during a lesson I feel for the person. I know what they're feeling, I felt it too. Scrupulosity and the yoke of perfectionism that the culture actively creates for itself. I'd like to reach out, have a chat, and free them from some of that burden but it's not as simple as that.

Ours is a culture devoid of grace. A culture that believes we have to be worthy to gain access to Jesus' sacrifice. A culture where we are saved after all we can do and that there's always more that we could be doing, thus never attaining that saving grace.

Fruits of the church's fixation on obedience and faith in the prosperity gospel.
We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.
– Anais Nin

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RubinHighlander
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Re: Major Depression Diagnosis by State

Post by RubinHighlander » Wed Jun 22, 2022 3:58 pm

I read a study a few years ago linking the higher rates of depression in Utah to the high elevation. But the map above show CO as AOK, so why the difference? Legalized recreational jazz cabbage perhaps?

I can personally attest from my experience and DWs experience of our 40+ yrs in TSCC that it did play a big factor in added stress and depression.
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzmYP3PbfXE

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2bizE
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Re: Major Depression Diagnosis by State

Post by 2bizE » Wed Jun 22, 2022 6:45 pm

What do people in Maine have that is so depressing? Perhaps the Nova Scotia accent? Long winters, few people, open spaces and mountains? Few Mormons?
~2bizE

Wonderment
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Re: Major Depression Diagnosis by State

Post by Wonderment » Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:34 pm

Many thanks to Graey for bringing up this important topic. It reminds me of a joke sign that used to hang in my supervisor's office at work: "Beatings will continue until morale improves at this company."

In my opinion, high demand churches tend to use a carrot and stick approach towards increasing membership or increasing attendance. It's a lot of stick and very little carrot. It's like saying, "You're not quite good enough this week, and you really don't measure up. But if you pay more tithing & come back again next week, you might be good enough then." They need to offer just a little bit of hope; otherwise, people will give up altogether.

For awhile, I went around "shopping" for churches, trying to find a good fit, where the theology would be positive and rewarding. I found it slow going.
At one church, the pastor opened the morning prayer like this: "Lord, we know we are not worthy of you, and we never will be.We are shameful and not deserving." ( I couldn't get out of there fast enough).

At a Catholic church where I visited, I thought the priest gave a very good homily. But after the service, he was standing at the door, and I went over and told him that I liked his homily. Instead of saying the usual nicety like "thank you", or "glad you found meaning in it", he frowned and me and almost hissing, said, "And how long has it been since I've seen YOU here? How long have you been missing Mass ?" I was taken aback, but replied that I didn't attend church there -- I was just visiting. He ignored me, and turned to the next parishoners in line. ( I never went back to any Catholic church. Too much severity and guilt-tripping).

I started to think to myself : "Am I expecting too much to be able to wish for a kind word, or any sense of spiritual uplifting or spiritual nourishment? Maybe it's too much entitlement on my part. I talked to a friend who was a religious studies major. My friend said, "You know, the Gospel is not an easy message to hear. Basically, Jesus martyred himself for us, so that we could avoid being punished by God. From the moment we're born, basically the Gospel tells us that it is very difficult for us to repay God for not sending us to hell."

The organized church, it follows, works like a protection racket. ( I know this sounds radical). If we donate hours of time, work, and money to the church, which represents God's organization on earth, then maybe God will spare us from hell or outer darkness. But we are not spared guilt and shame, we apparently we deserve to feel.
This message probably belongs in the "Doctrine" folder. But when Graey says that members are coming to him and talking about feeling inadequate, I think this is what they are saying. I think that making people feel inadequate ( but encouraging people to keep attending and trying a little harder, paying a little more) -- is a feature, not a bug. I don't mean in Graey's ward, as he is obviously doing excellent work and helping people.

Every so often, we get lucky in "leadership roulette" and get a really good leader like Graey. But otherwise, attending a high demand church can be tough sledding. JMO -- Wndr.

Cnsl1
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Re: Major Depression Diagnosis by State

Post by Cnsl1 » Wed Jun 22, 2022 11:40 pm

Thanks for sharing, BishG. Very interesting.

I think that long winters and seasonal affective disorder might help explain the higher levels of reported depression in Maine and Minnesota, as well as the somewhat higher depression in the more northern states. Perhaps the inversion issues in Utah also are a contributing factor, with elevated pollution levels in the winter.

Still, it sure seems likely that the disproportionately high number of Mormons in Utah is also probably a factor.
High demand religion with a good deal of guilt inducing instruction, prosperity expectations, and worry about "making it back to God" likely leads to more depression. Relatives in the MorCor have told me how frequently Utah families "move up" or buy bigger/nicer homes in better neighborhoods, seemingly in a quest to keep up with one another. They've told me they've had neighbors inquiring when they're going to move... the implication being "move to a better place". If they're righteous the Lord will bless them and everyone will know how righteous they are when they move up. Everyone is happy happy. If you're not happy, something is wrong with you because the gospel makes us happy don't you know.

So yeah.. maybe Mormonism is a factor.

Colorado is similar latitude as Utah, but looks good, which is awesome to see. I love Colorado. Relatives there have told me that Colorado is frequently named the "fittest state" and that people spend a lot of time outdoors and walking in Colorado. Fewer Mormons mucking up the average, easier access to THC, clearer skies?

Alao, looks like the Bible belt areas are more depressed than the rust belt, in general.

BishG, sounds like it might be a good time to pass a 5th Sunday discussion on mental health.

Cnsl1
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Re: Major Depression Diagnosis by State

Post by Cnsl1 » Wed Jun 22, 2022 11:44 pm

Hawaii looks pretty happy out there all alone in the middle of the pacific.

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Hagoth
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Re: Major Depression Diagnosis by State

Post by Hagoth » Thu Jun 23, 2022 8:22 am

2bizE wrote:
Wed Jun 22, 2022 6:45 pm
What do people in Maine have that is so depressing? Perhaps the Nova Scotia accent? Long winters, few people, open spaces and mountains? Few Mormons?
My first response to the map was, "Wow, the missionaries must be having a lot of success in Minnesota and Maine!"
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Hagoth
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Re: Major Depression Diagnosis by State

Post by Hagoth » Thu Jun 23, 2022 8:30 am

Wonderment wrote:
Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:34 pm
The organized church, it follows, works like a protection racket.
And it's always been that way:
Acts 5:
1 Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.

3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”

5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6 Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.

7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”

“Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”

9 Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”

10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

NOTE: I have a feeling later scribes left out the mention of a baseball bat right before "he fell down," and "she fell down."
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Hagoth
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Re: Major Depression Diagnosis by State

Post by Hagoth » Thu Jun 23, 2022 8:33 am

Mrs. Hagoth still listens to church via Zoom and was a bit miffed this week about a talk on this topic. She was expecting (hoping) for some advice about self care, but then it took a 90 degree turn and became about how you're feeling that way because you're not doing enough. You need to step it up!
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

Wonderment
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Re: Major Depression Diagnosis by State

Post by Wonderment » Fri Jun 24, 2022 12:36 am

Hagoth wrote:
Thu Jun 23, 2022 8:33 am
Mrs. Hagoth still listens to church via Zoom and was a bit miffed this week about a talk on this topic. She was expecting (hoping) for some advice about self care, but then it took a 90 degree turn and became about how you're feeling that way because you're not doing enough. You need to step it up!
In your quotation of the Book of Acts, I agree w/ you, that they left out the part about the baseball bat. :lol:

But the Zoom meeting contains a psychological baseball bat: It's ALWAYS the fault of the members. If they are battling depression and hopelessness, then it's their guilty conscience speaking to them, saying that they are not doing or paying enough. It's always going to be twisted around so that the abuse can continue. :roll:

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Hagoth
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Re: Major Depression Diagnosis by State

Post by Hagoth » Fri Jun 24, 2022 5:42 am

Wonderment wrote:
Fri Jun 24, 2022 12:36 am
But the Zoom meeting contains a psychological baseball bat: It's ALWAYS the fault of the members. If they are battling depression and hopelessness, then it's their guilty conscience speaking to them, saying that they are not doing or paying enough. It's always going to be twisted around so that the abuse can continue. :roll:
Kimball's hidden wedges talk highlighted another avenue of control and manipulation. If you aren't fully in line with the church's agenda it must be because there is some sin that you have been keeping to yourself that will keep festering until it eventually destroys you. You must confess every intimate detail of your life to a person of proper authority (e.g. the accountant down the street).
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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