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Study: 'Toxic perfectionism' major part of LDS women's depression

By | Posted - Feb 1st, 2013 @ 12:23pm

OREM — Striving for perfection may be driving some female members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to depression, one researcher says.

Utah Valley University professor Kris Doty looked at depression among LDS women, finding that "toxic perfectionism" was one major factor of depression reported by the group.

The other four factors, Doty found, were genetics, history of abuse, family relationships and feeling judged by others.

Deseret News:

Over a one-year period, Doty and her colleagues looked at clinically diagnosed depressed women who identified as LDS. Seven of the women were using multiple medications to treat their depression, 19 were on only one medication and 10 had participated in therapy.

Women in the study said the church's teachings about perfection led to painful misinterpretations wherein many women believed they could not make mistakes. This belief, Doty said, caused them to "become hyper-competitive and anxious."

At a symposium on the topic Thursday, study participants said church leaders were reminding women — especially mothers — that they are not required to be perfect.

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