The rankings are out – Utah is number one in usage of anti-depressants for 2006 – 18.4% of persons in the state filled a prescription for an anti-depressant according to ExpressScripts. Wow – what is going on? Nearly 1 in 5 people in Utah are depressed? I have heard people mention this anecdotally before (and know a lot has come out on various blogs – thanks for the reminder JohnF), but this is the first recent data I have seen.

Just to note the states with the lowest rates were NJ and NY at less than 10%. I would have expected the Northeast to have high rates of depression since people work too long and the winters are so long and dark.

Is it a problem with the people or is it a problem with the doctors writing too many prescriptions? How much of the problem is related to the Church? I can’t help but wonder if Church membership plays a role – are we expected to do too much so we get depressed when we cannot accomplish everything? My take is that too many people are putting too much pressure on themselves to excel which is sad since the role of the Gospel is to bring happiness. Perhaps this is why we had the “good, better, best” talk in the last General Conference. Has anyone seen any research on causes of depression in Utah rather than anecdotal evidences?