How depressed/ill are JW`s?

by jambon1 20 Replies latest jw friends

  • jambon1

    Having spent a couple of months in the world after a decade of devotion to the WT I have began to realise how hardly any of my friends have problems with illness.

    It dawned on me a while ago that many, many witnesses have problems with health in one way or another. How many times did you go to the hall and ask someone how they were doing to be told, 'oh, just struggling on', or 'I have`nt been too great' or 'I`m feeling a bit low just now'. Tiredness was another major complaint. Many, of course, never gave much away about themselves but you got the impression that people generally had a negative outlook.

    In the world people will acknowledge that life at times is not easy but it`s not the focus of conversation. People just tend to get on with it.

    I know that in my case I was very worn out with kids/meeting/talk preperation/ministry, etc, etc. Also, the mental pressure of trying to live up to the unattainable. It just all gets too much. In the end, thats one reason why I went. I could`nt take it all. Major burnout!

    The JW lifestyle puts major pressure on you, no doubt.

  • Nina

    I was always told that it was the pressure of Satan and his world trying to drag Jehovah's people down.

    Could it have been a combination of cognitive dissonance and overwork?


  • Dismembered

    I've yet to run into a larger group of on prozac.


  • troubled mind
    troubled mind

    My non-JW dad always comments ," don't you know any normal people that arn't sick" , he said he's never heard of any other group of people with more diseases and sicknesses than the group of JW's my sister and mom associate with. I really do believe it is because of the internalized stress witnesses unconsciously do to themselves striving to be perfect examples.

  • anewme

    I believe that a surprising percentage of witnesses are on depression medications.

    And no wonder! Poor things are bombarded with the depressing message that the world is going to end any day and how bad everything is all the time!

    On top of that they are beaten by words from their own platform that they are not doing enough for Jehovah!

    All that and throw in that after working all week at low paying labor jobs they have to give up their weekends to Saturday field service and a two hour meeting on Sunday.

    And their teenage children are giving them trouble and complaining about the religion.

    Their elderly parents are needing help and they can barely take care of themselves.

    And their good friends are leaving the org in increasing numbers.

    Amazing how many get off all the meds when they get out of the org!

  • blondie

    Think about it. What is one of the most common "dodges" suggested to fading JWs to get the elders and their family not to ask about "why" they no longer attend...tell them you are depressed.

    Being depressed is an easier out at the hall from "responsibilities." Illness too. Sometimes it is the only way to get "noticed" at the KH, by a few anyway.

    This is not to say that there are not people with real mental illnesses and it wouldn't matter whether they were JWs or not.

    I can tell you too that most non-JWs are not ready to reveal they are bipolar of dealing with anxiety disorder even if you are a "close" friend.

    The only way that many JWs see as an out from the mind-numbing route of the WTS, is to be ill, physically or mentally.

    But don't think that leaving the WTS cures all mental illness, anymore than it would cure diabetes or heart disease.


  • valkyrie

    If this ( is representative of the life of an 'average JW', it's no wonder that persistant, unadressed depression is a notable complaint. Personally, I could only dream of the beauty of life before I finally decided to throw off that unconscionable burden of a lifestyle!


  • MissBehave

    There was an almost epidemic like diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and/or Fibromyalgia in the circuit when I was younger amongst the women.

  • Brigid

    I remember one of the first things being amazed at upon beginning my new life out of the organization is that depression, eating disorders, morbid obesity, CFS and like syndromes were not the norm.

    I noticed that especially "sisters" had strange maladies. We were like the canaries sent into the mines. We intuited something was not quite right about the "air".



  • anewme

    Anytime there is boredom, monotony, poverty, hopelessness, condemnation, rigidness, structured life, and repeated messages to the effect that you are a sinner and stained and not good enough and might not make it gonna have some messed up people!

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