Nice to meet you. I was raised in a terrible house of violence, rape, etc, which just happened to be Irish Catholic. As one might suspect, depression, amongst other things, was/is a byproduct of this upbringing.
When 18, I met a "fallen away" jw, we dated, I started studying. I believed in hellfire - was assured I was going there - so therefore I really listened when the pioneer I studied with showed me from the Bible that there is no burning hell.
When I came into the organization, I brought my childhood experiences with me - I just didn't remember them. I still reacted to them in life, however. Years, off & on, of anti-depressants, my jw ministerial husband using and selling drugs, my child being raped by a ministerial servant who was raping his own daughter.......
Sounds pretty obscene, doesn't it? Yet that is the life of many persons whether jw's or not.
I agree with you fully - I personally don't think the WTBTS is responsible for all mental health problems among the jw's. This is as odd to say as a jw saying all bad things that happen to them are brought on by Satan. Swinging wide to the Left or to the Right. The truth of the matter probably swings much more to the center.
I do strongly believe that the teachings of the WTBTS are tailor-made for someone like me - new parents, new home, not remembering the bad things that have happened in the past......perfect paradise. And I'd lose those pesky extra pounds, btw.
Did the WTBTS cause my mental/emotional problems? No. Did they help? In some ways - I found security and lost the fear of hellfire. The people, in general, were much more ok than my parents. Well, until my daughter was raped, anyway. An "isolated raping"? Perhaps, but no more isolated than my father. My father used my mother as a cover to be an average family - the neighbors thought we were an ok family. After writing the WTBTS, they sent our CO with PO to visit me to encourage me to remain quiet (I had already reported raping to the police) within the congregation. Wouldn't be upbuilding for the brothers, my neighbors. Nothing happened to the rapist, btw, even though my daughter (through me) and his own daughter (in writing) were witness against him. so, my father and the jw rapist found acceptable people to cover for them - so they could continue raping with an acceptable reputation.
But I agree with you, the WTBTS does not cause all mental problems. However, the WTBTS does aggravate emotions and mentalities with their negativity, fear, etc. Thus, persons who are prone to these problems, tend to develop these problems more readily.
I used the same wording as you, "be gentle" the first time I posted on H20. They were.