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Kim Johnson ReportingDon't mess with Texas; apparently three of that state's cities have the happiest residents in the entire country. At least that's what a popular men's magazine claims. The magazine also claims Salt Lake City has some of the most depressed residents in the country.
In an article titled "Is your town down?" Salt Lake City got a D-minus for making the list of America's most depressed cities. Out of 100 American cities, Salt Lake came in 90th. The happiest city was Laredo Texas, followed by El Paso Texas, Jersey City New Jersey, and Corpus Christie, Texas.
The magazine's findings are based on three things: sales of antidepressants, suicide rates, and surveys. It's a well-known fact Utahns consume more antidepressant medications that their national counterparts. But experts say that's not necessarily an indication that Utahns are more depressed than other Americans, because antidepressants are often prescribed for other health problems.
Janina Chilton, State Div. of Mental Health: “That’s just a huge leap for them to make that kind of a judgment, because no one has done a really good study.”
Utah's suicide rate is also higher than the national average, especially among younger men. Chilton says that's partly because Utah has a higher population of young people than other states, and partly because of western culture.
Janina Chilton, State Div. of Mental Health: “The west has a higher suicide rate and it’s the completion of the suicide, and that’s because of the availability of guns."
Chilton says the reasons behind Utah's suicide rate, and use of antidepressants have never been adequately studied.
Janina Chilton: "We just look at the mental illness rates in general and we don’t see higher prevalence rate in our state than the national average.”
And that's reason not to be too depressed.
Other notable cities that made the "most depressed list" include New York City, Atlanta, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Portland, and Tampa, just to name a few. The most depressed of all? Philadelphia.