My Witness sister is going insane and falling into depression

by free2beme 17 Replies latest jw friends

  • free2beme

    As I grew up, my sister was always a pretty strong person. When she was 21 she got baptized after she married a worldly man, and they have been married 17 years. He never went into the religion, and never even attended one meeting and has told me that he never will. They are a happy couple though, and despite all those bad stories of people not being happy when in a mixed relationship, they are. The thing is, since my exit from the religion (My spouse and I both left it), and our son being born three years ago. My sister seems to be on a downward path of weird illnesses and depression. I have asked her if she looked into depression issues, but instead she thinks she has lime disease. It does not end there, she also things she has chronic fatigue syndrome, fiber myalgia (sp) and gout. Doctors can not figure it out, and until a recent episode when she tried to take on a foster child and steal it from the mother. I thought she was actually going to be okay. In that episode the state took the child away when they realized she was taking the foster child as something more serious then a temporary mother should, and felt it was to the best interest for them both to separate. Now she is even worse with all her illnesses. She has been to specialist up and down the west coast and taking all sorts of medications. She has even had operations to fix things doctors said would help. Trust me, doctors love people like this who will take advice and act on it, as they make money. Still nothing! She is worse and worse and still will not admit any depression. She has repeatedly showed that she is shocked that I am doing so wonderful post-Witness and seems to be waiting for something terrible to happen to me to come back to the religion. Not that I feel my life is all of it, but I think it adds to her confusion and depression. I wonder if others know relatives like this, left in the religion.

  • lonelysheep

    At one point of struggling to be a jw, I thought I was experiencing chronic fatigue syndrome on top of depression. It was a struggle to go to meetings and be the jw woman I was supposed to be. Life outside of being at the KH wasn't conformed to the WTS's rules, as my husband was just like hers, that he wasn't going to be a dub ever.

    Do you think she could be having her doubts about the org?

  • anewme

    It is my view that depression affects the body physically as well as emotionally.

    If her visits to the doctor are not including a mild anti depressant such as Zoloft or Lexapro or something else than I would see another doctor.

    Since her marriage and life in general are good it would seriously be a shame to allow her condition to worsen when it could be medicated initially by the antidepressants and then the underlying cause can heal itself through time. She definitely is looking for some joy in her life. She may need some encouragement to do acts of kindness for others. This will bring her joy.

  • free2beme

    I have mentioned to her the depression issue so much and she laughs it off saying she is not depressed. I don't know if I have the medical training to say she is, and I know a lot of people in the world like to label that on people often, even though they do not have the training either. It just seems like she is actually falling apart or something and signs do point to depression. Her doctors keep treating other items.

  • truth about the last days
    truth about the last days

    Hi. My name is Keith, and seeing that I do also suffer from depression, I may be able to help. I, too, was on tablets years ago, but seeing that they are man made, they made me worse. Since then two things happened. Firstly, the need for having a family with children was one cause for my situation getting worse, after my wife threw me out. It could be that she has an inner feeling that she wants to have a child of her own. And being at the meetings seeing the children may not make it easier for her seeing them every week. I have not been at the meetings for a long while, only occaisionally. Secondly, I have restristed my diet over the years. Any stimulent like tea or coffee are bad for those with depression. Other items are items with flavouring such as crisps (salt and vineger are the worst),I have only water to drink now, defenetly no alcahol (beer wines ect), no tinned foods or frozen foods, no sugar (only fruit sugar), no artifical anything. Since my diet, i have been a more healther life, and for four years I have not had a cold or flu. Also spending too much time in frount of a T.V does not help.Also fizzy drinks, some of the carbon dioxide in them somehow reaches the brain and causes an unbalance with the oxyegen in the brain. Coca cola is the worse. Eating more FRESH fruit and veg does help a lot, and yogerts are a large help. I have a "ski" nearly once a day. Now, i dont seem to have that need for a family, and i can take each day as it comes. I hope this helps in some small way. From a loving and caring person, Keith

  • calico

    Sounds like she needs a different doctor. My previous doctor would have never given me anti-depressants--he was very non-medication. I am not sure if depression is my problem but the meds take away my anxiety and help tremendously with female issues. Could she be having pre-menopause problems? There are some good books on the subject.

    It is hard to get help for someone who does not see that they have a problem--there is a lot of that in my family. My sister needs help too but we can't seem to talk her into it. I think she sees getting help as some kind of failure.

  • serendipity

    Hi Free,

    If your sister isn't already doing so, please advise her to follow a very healthy diet with lots of veggies, lean meat, low fat dairy - if she can tolerate it, little to no sugar, whole grains and unprocessed foods and little salt. Also, no diet drinks but plenty of water instead. That could really help her.

    The other thing that makes women feel bad is artificial sweeteners, especially aspartame. It can mess up hormones and for me it caused depression.

  • bigmouth

    Depression has very specific symptoms and even a very average GP can diagnose it fairly accurately.BUT,the problem with Jehovahs Happy People is that depression is not an option.So the GP will be given answers to questions that minimize the symptoms and of course,letting a worldly person make any connection with your religion and your mental health is just too much.So..the doctor may be thrown a series of red herrings and never actually get to the meat of the problem.

    I have tried barrowloads of various anti-depressants from tri-cyclics,MAOI's,lithium and SSRI's and none of them have worked BY THEMSELVES.I put in hours and hours of work at the hospital with talk therapy groups and psych. counselling.And I now post here.The relief that others understand can be very healing.

    I have observed,over many years, that some people just have to have a 'breakdown' before anything life-changing happens.If that happens you just have to be there for the ride.

    Take care of your sister,I know you will.Pete

  • wednesday

    Your sister problaby is depressed but she may also have a physical illness (frequently when people are ill and can not find proper treatment, they become depressed). Just b/c a doctor has not found it does not mean it does not exist. The illness you listed are not fake illness, they are real, and many people suffer with them that are not depressed, they are sick. However, your sister sounds a tad more than depressed. She sounds as if she is a little out of reality (the foster child incident). Seeing a psychiatrist would be good to rule out psychosis or depression. Also, you could tell her that many of the people who suffer with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, lime disease, etc, have been getting benefit from one of the new antidepressants, Cymbalta(sp). Google it and maybe print out a few articles showing how it helps people wth those illness. If she has depression , then it will perhaps help her think more clearly. Also, what is her age?Hormone and thyroid inblances start affecting women in their 30-40's.

    you sound like a very loving and caring brother.


  • cheezy

    Here's the info from Googling 'cognitive dissonance' and connecting to a psychology website: Cognitive dissonance is a psychological phenomenon which refers to the discomfort felt at a discrepancy between what you already know or believe, and new information or interpretation. It therefore occurs when there is a need to accommodate new ideas, and it may be necessary for it to develop so that we become "open" to them. Beyond this benign if uncomfortable aspect, however, dissonance can go "over the top", leading to two interesting side-effects for learning: * if someone is called upon to learn something which contradicts what they already think they know — particularly if they are committed to that prior knowledge — they are likely to resist the new learning. Even Carl Rogers recognised this. Accommodation is more difficult than Assimilation, in Piaget's terms. * and—counter-intuitively, perhaps—if learning something has been difficult, uncomfortable, or even humiliating enough, people are less likely to concede that the content of what has been learned is useless, pointless or valueless. To do so would be to admit that one has been "had", or "conned". Cognitive dissonance was first investigated by Leon Festinger and associates, arising out of a participant observation study of a cult which believed that the earth was going to be destroyed by a flood, and what happened to its members — particularly the really committed ones who had given up their homes and jobs to work for the cult — when the flood did not happen. While fringe members were more inclined to recognise that they had made fools of themselves and to "put it down to experience", committed members were more likely to re-interpret the evidence to show that they were right all along (the earth was not destroyed because of the faithfulness of the cult members). INTERESTING, NO?

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