Friday, November 30, 2007

I'm in a Sad State

Once again Utah is top in the nation in depression. We’re 51st even… Did we finally liberate the great state of Canada? North Montana now? ;-)

Utah, why you so down, baby? You’ve got great mountains, beautiful national parks, and a huge lake. Sure, it’s one part stagnant salt water and two parts rotting brine shrimp, but it’s huge and attractive, from orbit. According to Bart Simpson, you’re the home of America’s most powerful weirdoes, and we even just convicted one. What more could you want? Is it because our state song is so, um… I very much regret ‘gay’ is the most descriptive word for it (see for yourself: I dare you to disagree. The old one was much better)? Is it that your state bird is the California Gull? We can change all that, dear. Chin up.

Okay, depression isn’t funny, but I don’t really know what to do when I see it and light-heartedness is my fallback position.

So what is wrong with us? Something in the water? The culture? That radiating, mind-altering meteorite buried deep below Provo? Sure, we have a low number of psychiatrists, but why aren’t our depressed folks pumping up the demand for more? Nevertheless, we already spend near the national average per person on mental health here. So why are there so many depressed in Utah in the first place?

It’s personally confusing. I know Utah can make me tense and anxious at certain times, and I know there are days I want to leave for friendlier politics. But this is a response to times when our legislature and local culture aim at my family and gay rights (something most Utahns don’t face, else I’d have Rob on my health insurance already). Sure, that puts me on edge, and makes us have to work harder here than we would elsewhere, but, even under those circumstances, never depressed. Heck, we moved back here because we love it here and we stay because we’re happy here. Utah really is "a pretty great state", really (If only I could afford to relocate all our family, friends, and national parks… ;-)). Apparently, though, I walk our streets with a bunch of sad folks.

It also seems we’re 45th in the nation in suicides per person. No state wants to be high on that ranking, and I hope, Utah, we feel a bit of motivating embarrassment to change our ways and help these people. I'll throw in a bit of time, attention, and/or money; just get us organized.

8 comments:

Paul said...

Don't be sad. You've got some of the best ski resorts in the country. Plus, I've changed planes in Salt Lake City probably a hundred times ... and I've always found it a great airport (and, no, I haven't been stall cruising there).

Scot, you're posting too fast. I'm still trying to respond to your thoughts on Moral Orientation. I'm sad I just can't keep up.

Abelard Enigma said...

IMOHO, West Texas is more scenic than southern Utah - and West Texas is butt ugly!

And, apparently, you have some odd laws still on the books. For instance, it is illegal to enter a Kaysville convenience store after dark without identification; women may not swear in Logan; throwing a snowball in Provo will incur a $50 fine; and in Salt Lake City, it is illegal to walk down the street carrying a violin concealed in a paper bag.

Is it really any wonder why everyone is so depressed in Utah? I'd be depressed too if I had to live there :)

playasinmar said...

You know, a radiating, mind-altering meteorite buried deep below Provo would explain why everyone around here likes Cafe Rio so much.

[blech]

Abelard Enigma said...

OK, I may regret asking this; but for the benefit of those of us who don't live in the Wasatch front, what is Cafe Rio?

BTW, a radiating, mind-altering meteorite buried deep below Provo could explain a lot of things :)

J G-W said...

You know, I read the words to your lovely state song, and I think it could work sung to the tune of "YMCA."

Scot said...

See Utah, Paul likes your Delta Hub. There’s a lot to like.

And no problem, Paul, I’ll take a break.

Abelard:"IMOHO, West Texas is more scenic than southern Utah - and West Texas is butt ugly!"

IMNSHO, Whatever. :-p

And I don’t know about Kaysville, but if you’d ever met a woman from Logan, or been assaulted by one of our many roving gang of violists in downtown Salt Lake, you’d not dismiss such law so casually.

what is Cafe Rio?

It’s this

People are crazy about it up in SLC too. Ipso facto, the allure of Café Rio is not a product of the Provo meteorite.

J: You know, I read the words to your lovely state song, and I think it could work sung to the tune of "YMCA."

I was thinking more along these line: these lines (only the first 40 seconds :-))
But I see what you’re saying…

This Is the Place!
This Is The Pla-ace!

Java said...

WTF is up with that new state song? Ugh! I like the old one much better. Don't know if the YMCA tune would help it or not.

I know depression all too well. Never having been to Utah, though, I have no clue about the prevalence of depression in the state. I like the idea, though, of seriously addressing the problem. Maybe that's the problem there, not enough emphasis on treating depression. I dunno.

Scot said...

Oh Java, I just found that it’s worse than I had imagined.

http://www.classroomclassics.com/filecabinet/Utah.mp3

It’s bad enough that this:

With wealth and peace in store, To fame and glory soar,
Godguarded evermore, Utah, we love thee!


Has been replaced with this:

New technology's here...
Growing faster each year.
This is the place!


But that cheesy, yet bland instrumentation puts it over the top; I remember the old tune fondly from elementary school.

If only the solution to Utah’s depression were as clear this 2003 legislative mistake.