Instead of monopolizing the comment wall, I thought I would start a new discussion on this most interesting topic. My source for antidepressant prescription rates is this report
from Express Scripts. I also found this study
by Mental Health America that places Utah #51 (or #1, depending on your point of view) for rates of depression and psychological stress.
Ann, regarding your comment on handing out Prozac like candy: When patients have legitimate Major Depressive Disorder (per DSM-IV TR), their symptoms improve about 60% of the time with standard SSRI and other modern antidepressant treatments. However, their symptoms improve about 50% of the time with a sugar-pill placebo. This tells us that depression is real, that the placebo effect is HUGE!, and that antidepressants can help out about 10% more people. Not all people fall neatly within DSM criteria, however, as I'm sure we have all experienced in our lives. Some people are not functional, or not optimally functional, for whatever reason, and they are treated with antidepressants and/or other psychoactive drugs because we don't have anything better to offer them. From my perspective, I only prescribe antidepressants, stimulants, etc. when patients meet strict criteria and only continue them if I see real, objectively verified improvement. Otherwise, I refer to behavioral or mental health specialists.
Moscar, I am not familiar with the rates of depression and antidepressant prescription in the Scandinavian countries. I think that a lot of us in the Secular Humanist-Atheist-Liberal world hold up Northern Europe as a "city on a hill," so to speak, of what can happen when people progress beyond supernatural delusions, petty selfishness, and obsessive materialist greed in social matters. I'd love to see what their rates are.
Krystal, I agree that many people in Utah are probably "depressed" or unhappy because they don't fit well into the one-size-fits-all mold that the church prescribes in regard to belief and behavior. I certainly was, and my wife is currently dealing with this issue. But without controlling for all confounding variables and following large numbers of people prospectively, we cannot make any claims of causation that lead from TSCC to high rates of depression.