Saturday, March 8, 2008

Those Utah Smiles Are Fake!!Those Utah Smiles Are Fake!!

So people always talk about Utah having the highest rate of prescribed antidepressants. As a former social scientist, I always looked at this statistic askance, but I just heard on NPR that according to the National Association of Mental Health, Utah does indeed have the highest rate of depression in the U.S.: 14.4%!!

So that wonderful chipper exterior that abounds in Utah, is indeed likely a veneer. It's actually kind of sad, if you think about it. It would be nice to think that the people here are happy. Unquestionably, they are pretty nice.

And as a former social scientist, I have to say that although this statistic is alarming (while 1.5 in every 10 people is clinically depressed in Utah, as opposed to 8% of Hawaii's population), we do have to consider extraneous factors: maybe Utahns are less in denial or maybe lacking the crutches of alcohol and tobacco, they are more keenly aware of their depressive feelings.

Or maybe the strain of projecting perfection in Happy Valley will make anyone crack!

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