How depressed/ill are JW`s?

by jambon1 20 Replies latest jw friends

  • luna2

    There were some JWs who I thought faked illness but I think the vast majority who were depressed or sick in some way, really were. All the stuff you are supposed to do, all the meetings and studying, the pressure to have bible studies and magazine routes, to constantly strive for some ever-shifting vision of WTS perfection...ugh. Makes me depressed just thinking about it.

  • Reefton Jack
    Reefton Jack

    I can recall it being stated that within our circuit, 5% of the publishers were suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (that was in 1990).

    Significantly, since breaking with the dubs 12 years ago, I have never encountered a single person who has this complaint.


    I don't think so!

  • Honesty

    Jesus had a few words to say about depression.

    “ I assure you : I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it in abundance. John 10:7-10

  • jw

    When is the last time you were in an Emergency room?

    They are normal people there. And ill to boot.

  • merfi
    When is the last time you were in an Emergency room?

    They are normal people there. And ill to boot.

    I like Skittles. The red ones. ~merfi

  • Stephanus

    When is the last time you were in an Emergency room?

    They are normal people there. And ill to boot.

    A rather interesting, if stupid, comparison. A better comparison would be between Kingdom Halls and churches. My church has plenty of healthy, well-balanced people; I'm probably the biggest health basket-case, both physically and mentally, there. I must admit that at times, being surrounded by all those well people can really be a downer!

  • jw

    Hey steffi

    Are you stalking me posts????

  • MidwichCuckoo

    When is the last time you were in an Emergency room?

    They are normal people there. And ill to boot.

    Lol - LAST time I was in an emergency room, I was accompanying someone (a NON-dub) with a broken shoulder. People with broken bones are not necessarily mentally ill. What point are you TRYING to make?

    Although your statement would receive gasps from a dub-audience, you're out of your depth here.

  • Mysterious

    I noticed that a lot of those tired and just struggling at the meetings were the ones who were bubbly and enjoying their family gatherings the other nights..

  • Arthur

    I think that depression is very prevelent in the organization. It is much more prevelent than many people realize. Not only did I know several members who battled with it; I myself have suffered from it for most of my life. I came very close to commiting suicide in 2005. This is when I hit "rock bottom" emotionally and went inactive. When I became inactive, my emotions became much more stable. Through therapy, support groups, and tons of reading, I have discovered many of the factors that caused my depression. I think that many of the same factors may be afflicing other Witnesses as well. Here are just a few of my observations:

    (1) This is a religion that obsessed with outward works. The whole salvation of the person is dependent upon them continuing to perform works for the organization. The organization has a bizarre obsession with statistics; almost as if we were playing in the NBA. In fact, a congregation or circuit's spirituality is evaluated not upon it's character, but upon the stats that it produces. Witnesses can begin to feel like they are merely "circus animals" that must continuously "jump through hoops", and perform "tricks" in order to gain Jehovah's favor, and ultimately; our very survival.

    (2) A major paradigm of the religion is the perpetrator vs. victim model. Everything negative that happens in life is considered as persecution from Satan. Even when a householder was rude to us in field service, we would view it as Satan trying to discourage us. (we never considered the fact that maybe the person was rude because they were just being a human being) It's interesting to see many people of other spiritual orientations see many life challenges as things that are making them grow spiritually, making them stronger, or valuable lessons that will make them better people. These people have gone through very painful trials and have come out of them stronger. These people tend to be much happier even though they have just as many problems as the JW does. When a person believes that every life challenge is persecution instead of a possible oportunity to grow or learn something valuable, it takes an enormous emotional toll.

    (3) The JW mindset that this is a "wicked, dying old system" grossly skews their perceptions. I'm not saying we should see things through "rose-colored glasses" all of the time, but when one sees all people and institutions outside the organization as "worldly", or wicked, it fills you with a very morbid cynicism that takes an emotional toll. It causes the JW to filter most of the information they have in a way that sees only that which is ugly and wicked. All they see is how "rotten" people are, how terrible the world is. You tend to only notice the rude people on the highway, or at the super market. You tend to only notice the worst news stories, and you tend to only notice the worst in human nature. It causes you to filter out many beautiful things and many wonderful people who are very loving,compassionate, and who are doing the best they can.

    All of this coupled with the fact that Jehovah has been painted and portrayed as a giant Judaizer who is going to kill 99% of the human race began to take an enormous emotional toll on me. Since going inactive, I have been able to give up all psychiatric medications. I still suffer from depression from time to time, but not nearly as horrible as it was when I was trying to jump through hoops for the organziation. I have learned very valuable spiritual tools for living life that has brought great joy and gratitude in the midst of trials.

Share this