Why is the WTBTS so against mental health professional treatment?

by Gill 58 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • lesterd

    Is'nt it obvious. the two in the same sentence is contradictiory

  • Bammer
    Good idea Bammer, and welcome to the board! As for the girl you knew, is she still a JW? If so, would the same therapist adivse her to leave today?

    Thanks :-)
    I don't know if she's still a member, but I would assume she is. I don't know what advice she would receive today, but I can imagine it would be the same. I don't have much knowledge of how therapists work (I've just known some JWs who've received treatment), but it seems to me that they focus entirely on how the individual can learn to cope with their problems. Whether a religion is good or bad for the patient is not something they try to assess - at least that's how it appears to work.
    I can't help notice that of the JWs I've known over the years, and the very few I know now, it seems that a great deal have serious personal problems - often mental problems. And I think this is embarrasing to them. I've heard JWs state that being a JW is the ultimate joy and bliss, only to break down in tears afterwards because they came to think of something painful to them. By acknowledging the fact that many JWs need professional help, they have to admit that their God, the community and their faith isn't enough to help them overcome all problems... but they're probably just not praying hard enough!

  • Gill

    Bammer - praying to an imaginary friend never really helped anyone, so it's hardly going to help the JW with mental problems.

  • LouisaWas

    I worked in the cardiac rehab section of a large hospital. One of the things we did with our patients was a brief "personality profile"....and we had a number of Witness patients that came in. While religion was not noted on these test I knew they were Witnesses because I had been a Witness...one of the peculiar things I noted was that each of these patients were off the scale on the perfectionistic area. I am thinking that people who became interested in the field and joined....something was screwy with them in the first place. People that were born into the organization...well, you might have been born normal but you were going to have your head messed with and screwed over many times. I went into therapy and pretty much I was told I had no idea who I was..that I had conformed into what I was expected to be and I needed to firgure out what I liked, what I enjoyed and get to know myself...I sort of enjoyed this. I was told not to make judgments about myself and to try to turn the "tapes" off in my head about what was good and what was bad. When I first went into therapy and started talking my therapist listened to me talk for about four weeks. The fifth session he told me that at first he thought some of the stuff I had told him was invented...that I had to have been lying...but as the more I talked the more things came together. He told me in all of his years of talking to anyone he had never talked to anyone with a conscience as sensitive as mine and I was absurdly honest. ( I still have a problem with being honest to the point that I will cause myself great loss...and I feel compelled to answer a question if asked...I don't know why!) It was fun figuring out who I am...how I like to dress...the color that I is MY favorite...how I like to decorate MY home...etc. I didn't worry what others would think...its a good starting point. Of course, I was born into the organization....my Grandparents and great grandparents were witnesses and I had expectations from day one as how I was to act and behave and I always feared I would not be loved if I was different from what they wanted.. Isn't it sad that we can love our family so much that we will be what they want us to be...but they don't seem to be able to love us enough that they can allow us to be the person we were simply born to be. I never wanted to be a bad person...I just wanted to be myself. I am thankful for the good morals, I am appreciative that I am not a racist...I am thankful for learning about God..I wish I had been allowed to have been myself sooner and I wish my parents could have known me...they died before I was born.

  • Gill

    ((((((( Louisa Was )))))))

    Absolutely fantastic answer, Louise!

    I think that says and covers the whole problem with Watchtower land and its poor followers!

  • Good Girl or Bad Girl?
    Good Girl or Bad Girl?
    Following on from Sandy's thread on her brother's PT, I wondered exactly WHY does the WTBTS take such an opposing stand to professional mental health treatment?

    I didn't read any of the other posts but I just wanted to say in my personal experience it was all about that "dangerous independent thinking". When I started seeing a therapist, she pointed out all of these things that were not normal thinking... all due to my JW upbringing of course. Elders continually said to me that it wasn't a good idea to go to therapy for my depression, and I know I've said it before, but I shut them up by showing them in the 2004 January Awake about Mood Disorders where the WTS says therapy is a good thing to help some with their mental health disorders... (P.S. It turns out the depression was induced by WTS and its ridiculously repressive standards. How ironic.) I think mental health treatment and education fall into a similar category of: learning to think for oneself, which is dangerous and then it's harder/impossible to keep us brainwashed and controlled appropriately.

  • LouisaWas

    I suspect the Society has to also do a little CYA in "allowing" (note the quotations-I believe though it is published that it is allowed it is still frowned upon) members to seek help for mental/emotional problems. If there is a suicide or death due to a mental illness and they have forbidden help their would be the possibility the Society would be sued...or at the very least there would be a scandle published in newspapers. So don't mistake those articles for any caring on the part of the Governing Body...they are just trying to stay out of trouble.

  • Gordy

    *** Awake! 1960 March 8 p.27 ***

    As a rule, for a Christian to go to a worldly psychiatrist is an admission of defeat, it amounts to 'going down to Egypt for help.' —Isaiah 31:1.

    Often when a Witness of Jehovah goes to a psychiatrist, the psychiatrist will try to persuade him that his troubles are caused by his religion, entirely overlooking the fact that the Christian witnesses of Jehovah are the best-oriented, happiest and most contented group of people on the face of the earth. They have the least need for psychiatrists. Also, more and more psychiatrists are resorting to hypnosis, which is a demonic form of worldly wisdom.

    I nearly fell off my chair laughing on reading the above.

    In May 1996 I was admitted to a psychiatric hospital, after attempted suicide. The psychiatrist on learning I was a JW said "Not another one" You're the fifth one I've seen this month here. What do they do to you people?"

    Because of quotes like the above from the Awake. Any JW who feels depressed etc, thinks its their fault not the WT organisations. "JW's are happy, so whats wrong with me?" Then some Elder tells you its because you are not serving Jehovah right, no matter the previous 25 years service you did. Their answer, more field service and attend meetings.

    DANSK said

    When I was searching for alternative therapies to treat my illness I tried homeopathy. I tried two different homeopaths and the first consultation consists of at least an hour to an hour and a half. In that time the homeopath wants to know as much of one's background as possible as he/she believes this is essential to finding the root cause of one's illness.

    I was very open about my life and mentioned my time as a JW. Both homeopaths told me that they had many JWs on their books suffering from mental problems, such as anxiety, stress, etc. Perhaps, in order to side-step the professional psychologists, JWs are using homeopathy as a "lesser evil".

    I knew many JW's who used homeopathy and other "alternative" treatments. I know of an Elder who with his wife are trained Naturopaths, using homeopathy, aromatherapy and "complimentary medicine" who had many JW's come to them for treatment.

    A guy I knew whose family, except him, were all JW's. Told me last year how he discovered his JW sister (Elders wife) was popping the Valium back lack anything. He often had wondered why she always seemed in a dream. She had been taking them for at least a cuple of years. When he visited his JW mother aabout a month later. He asked if his sister was still on Valium. He said his mother hit the roof saying his sister had NEVER been on Valium or anything like it. The stupid thing it was his mother who first told him his sister was on Valium. Which he had to point out and also tell her his sister had told him herself. To which his mother replied "Well she only takes it when she needs it"

    Yeah, one for every meeting , one for field service and one for being an Elder wife.

  • LongHairGal


    Good post. I was an adult in mid-20s when I joined. I was never big on f.s. because I worked full time and refused to do housecleaning like certain others there in order to "pioneer" [rolls eyeballs] I hate that word pioneer! I definitely have perfectionist or negative tendencies and agree that the JW experience makes this worse and I am trying to overcome this. I guess you can say I was "screwy" when I came in but I was looking for "truth" and it all sounded so good.


    Interesting about the doctor who said "not another one". This is definitely not a coincidence and not the first time I have heard this. There has to be a connection. I think it is a combination of the perfectionism combined with the constant guilt plus the lack of love and compassion and maybe even the images of destruction that can send certain individuals with mental health problems over the edge.


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