A Ministry of Misery - Mental Illness Amoung JW's - Part 1

by BrendaCloutier 19 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Quandry

    Were wire rimmed glasses really frowned upon? I have never heard that. During what years? How absurd!!!

  • hamsterbait

    Is it that crazy cults attract those more likely to go crazy, or do they make ornary people go crazy?

    Depression is a widespread problem. Are Atheists depressed because they are atheists? Has this pschiatrist asked whether Roman Catholics suffering from it have been made depressed by their religion or by a mental disease process?

    After all, when the WT suggested that the disproportionately high number of Catholics in the jails proved something about that religion, certain people on this board were up in arms at the unfairness of it.

    Out of 1000 random-sampled non witlesses, how many have mental health problems?

    Out of 1000 random - sampled witlesses, how many?

    Witlesses without depression or cognitive dissonance will not pay for psychiatric treatment. This guy is talking specifically about his patients, not JWs as a group. Most people are not ill specifically because of their faith.

    Look at the disproportionately high numbers of afro carribeans with schizophrenia. What causes that? Their religion? If so which one - traditional African or western christian ones? No doubt some will cavil at this question too, but it needs to be asked in a fair debate on these kinds of one-sided argument.

    Freud specialized in a particular type of neurosis, which he said, in most of the cases he actually TREATED, had a sexual aetiology. His work is now criticized because many mental illnesses are not caused by specifically sexual problems. He was talking about a narrow sample of mental cases who paid him to treat them, not of a well conducted survey of the information available. Just as the present specialist is.

    Scnee_belly - the table is useful. However, out of over 7 000, only 50 witlesses were admitted for all problems. How many Catholics, how many presbytarians, how many wiccans? Compared to only 50 Dubs that means the vast majority of that 7 000 are of other religions or atheists and agnostics.

    It would be far more informative to say how many per 1 000 Dubs were admitted , how many per 1000 Catholics, etc.

    It is a similar bias in the sampling that has led to such widespread debunking of Kinsey's pioneering work into american sexuality.


  • BrendaCloutier

    The report may or may not be accurate, nor scientific, but it is certainly interesting and brings up more questions than it answers.

  • 144001

    It is indeed interesting, Brenda. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Dr. Jerry Bergman's book, "Jehovahs Witnesses and the Problem of Mental Illness" (1992) does an excellent job of analyzing the studies on this subject that have been conducted utilizing Jehovah's Witnesses as subjects. Of course, such studies are limited, as psychology is frowned upon by Watchtower brass.

  • BrendaCloutier

    I was curious where this came from and who has it posted, so I did an inet search

    Here are the most interesting...


    The header on this page reads:

    [email protected] (Prominent Bethelite) report this post 1/31/2006 7:13:34 AM


    This one is very interesting http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/ripoff4660.htm

  • hamsterbait

    Bren -

    Your last comment is spot on . I have had to think hard, because I realize now that the Cult reinforces my personality issues.

    I took some advice, went to the Hell, and noted down trigger phrases, manipulative arguments, and emotional propaganda.

    It was the first time that I got home and did not dive for the nearest bottle of gin!!

    But the first eight years of my life were non-dub. Only after a terrible divorce and blah blah, did we become Dubs. I asked for a study first at nine years. ( I had read the Armageddy Chapter in "Paradise lost to Paradise regained" and was petrified) I wanted to live, not rot on my feet like the others!

    Now I realize that my low self esteem due to physical verbal and sexual abuse made me crave approval, if not love (albeit ersatz) from a human source. ( I come from a very non-demonstrative family.)

    By getting the approval of an angry god people might love me without knowing how I made the baby sitter do things to me.

    So in my case, I think a crazy family was drawn into a religion that enabled them to imagine the craziness was being kept outside - much like chaos theory says that stable systems survive because they export instability.

    I look forward to seeing the next bit. Tomorrow you will be allowed further posts.(you only get so many in 24 hours)


  • Fangorn

    Bergman has absolutely no credentials related to mental health, or health of any kind. He is a Witness opponent, which is fine, but using his mental health book as a reliable source for determining the state of mental health among Witnesses lends no credibility to the discussion.

  • greendawn

    The claim that most JWs are depressed may be a regional or country situation, most of the JWs I knew or know are not depressed individuals though on the other hand they weren't particularly happy.

    What you describe may not apply to all countries and perhaps regions within a country and probably has to do with the cultural background of the place. Of course living under a rigid dictatorship (the FDS) doesn't help.

  • BizzyBee

    At first glance, his writing is very unscholarly - unsupported, prejudicial claims, primarily anecdotal and without substantiation. (And most of it is probably true.)

    However, surprisingly, he does have impressive credentials in biology and psychology: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Bergman

    Personally, I would be very cautious about using his stuff broadly to undermine the WTS. It just doesn't present very well.

  • sspo
    Then ask the question - do JW's cause the mental disorder or do they attract those with a mental disorder?

    Thru the years i've seen many individuals come in the org. already with mental sickness,

    Just think........many of them i've noticed could not hold jobs because of mental sickness and they are sitting at home and here 2 witnesses show up at your door talking about a paradise earth and a time when there would be no sickness. You dignify them and treat them with love, bring them to the KH where more love is shown at first and you trap them into beleiving that the JW truly have the truth because of their love.

    Once they get baptized they are on their own, the JW do not have the patient and love and time anymore to deal with a mental case, they will be too busy to get their own preaching done and get another bible study.

    Their suggestions will be to be to pray more, be at the meetings and spend more time in service and if you have serious mental problem they will label you as demonized.

    Once they start missing meetings and get involved in some wrongdoing the elders will quickly DF the individual because of not wanting to cope with a mental case anymore and that's how they get rid of the problem.

    I've seen it happening many times.

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