Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Religion, mental health, and LDS folks

Daniel Judd's talk on religion, mental health, and Latter-day Saints managed to strike a few chords for me on my way to work this morning.

His talk is partly about the correlation between mental health, including depression, and the connection to religious observance, especially in LDS people. Remember the statistic that Utah prescribes more anti-depressant medicine per-capita than any other state? We all inferred that the LDS religion must be really depressing -- but it turns out that Utah also prescribes more anti-biotics and anti-inflammatory medications per capita too. Huh? Bro. Judd studied the issue and determined that it's much more likely that it's because of the facts that the average LDS Utahn has better education, access to healthcare, and understanding of symptoms, and is also less likely to self-medicate with alcohol or other drugs.

That was all interesting, but then he goes on to talk about a couple of psychological tactics that Satan uses to trick people -- e.g. if he can't get you to be lax in your religious observance, he may try to get you to be overzealous and "look beyond the mark".

Not sure why I liked it so much, maybe it was just the right set of tidbits at the right time for me.

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