Overcoming deep depression....success stories??

by oompa 58 Replies latest jw friends

  • mosol

    Dear Oompa,

    Yes, my whole family has overcome anxiety and depression. We all went to a psychologist's and took group therapy to overcome borderline personality disorder. The cult causes this disorder with its black and white thinking. Pick up some books on the disorder and study them. It should take from one to two years to overcome the distorted way of thinking. We are all happy and healthy mentally now. The trick is to find something to throw yourself into like you did with the religion. It must require intense study, exposure to people and be charitable and important. This is what we are used to. It took me years, I tried several things, but have finally found my niche, to be a dog behavioural trainer, the learning is indepth, I get to advise and guide people like we did in the ministry, and it's righteous because dogs lives are being saved. Doing puppy classes I can apply my Ministerial Training skills in speaking to an audience. My son runs support groups for people that have left their religion, and has written a book about the bible that would stump any witness, and it's hilarious. There are so many needs in this world, there's something out there for you Oompa, keep looking until you find it. When you do, delve into with the same enthusiasm you had with the jw's. Correct the black and white thinking, look at what you learned as a witness as a plus and put it into something else. You've got 15 to 20 years, maybe more to accomplish something great. My prayers are with you, my friend. Mosol

  • mosol

    As well Oompa, I too found it extremely overwelming that those I loved and cared for have shunned me for correcting falsehoods in my thinking. I spent time in the hospital and group over this. Six million people shunning me and thinking I'm an apostate. worst label ever. But as time went on I realized that by not validating my existense they were the ones who were abusive and were refusing to be helped. I on the other hand looked openly at the information, realized the thinking to be sick and dangerous and gave it up, so I am one step ahead of them and able to get on and do something that is not harmful to others, where they just continue on abusing others. I realized with all the people in the world they are a small minority just like the wife beaters, child molesters and serial killers. A psychiatrist once told me that their thinking was Mofia like. He said that it feels right but that it leads to death. Their Mofia like thinking is sick. They threaten to kill or df those that do not agree with them just like the mofia and to hurt their families by cutting off communication. They admitted this on my son's documentary where he recorded his dfing. Six elders, 3 from bethel admitted that dfing is the same as being put to death. Think about it, why would you want anything to do with people that if they had the legal right would put you to death for pointing out their abuse.

  • mosol

    Sorry, my batterie went out. Plugged it back in. Want to finish. By shunning you they are not validating you which causes mental illness. You need to find a place where you can recieve the validation that you need and deserve. Validation is to be heard and not judged. I never go back to the kingdom hall because I know that it would be detramental to my progress in mental health. The judging, the shunning and the black and white thinking, by going there you are being a codependent to the abuse. So know that you've done the right thing and go somewhere else to get healthy again. We are now off all meds and feeling great. Find out what your triggers are and be very careful about being around them.. I was triggered by a weight watcher meeting last night, there were 3 elders wives there. Not being validated by them was traumatic, brought on nightmares and anxiety, so I recognize their not saying anything to me as abuse and will stay away from that situation in the future. We can handle more and more as we get healthier, but some things may just always be triggers, having them there and the meeting similar to a cong meeting was a trigger to me. Quiet and healing environments are what I need right now without too much stimulation, and I don't apologize or feel guilty about it. Bike ride through the state park trails have been calming and therapuetic. Being around animals is great because they don't judge us or guilt us. That's why they have therapy dogs. All the best.

  • Alligator Wisdom
    Alligator Wisdom

    1) Go natural in your diet and eliminate any toxic junk being sold cheaply that you may be consuming. That manufactured stuff doesn't help at all no matter how a person may argue otherwise about it. Sure it tastes great. Great enough to make people addicted to it. Yes, fast food and junk snacks are big business and will hook people. They sure aren't thinking of your health, mental or otherwise. Only your cash. Supply your body with serotonin as it helps with your mood. And lay off the alcohol. Try it!

    2) Some exercise. Try walking, a leisure bicycle ride in the neighborhood or simple stretching. Try to release the natural endorphines your brain produces. You will be amazed on how the body will adapt to physical resistance in this form and will make you feel great physically, mentally and emotionally. The human body was made/created/or evolved to MOVE. Sooner or later you will find yourself needing to exercise and that your stamina will increase. When I was down and depressed, I could only swim 100 meters in a pool without stopping. Now, I can swim 2,000 meters without stopping. Some physical activity lifts our mood. Try it!

    3) Therapy in the form of professional counseling. Let them help you help yourself. You need to be informed. That is why you even came to this board and posted a thread about your dilemma.

    4) Music you love.

    5) Comedy you need.

    6) People (family or friends) to listen and support and to love you. Hey, it sounds like many here on JWD!! Ah, that's why you're here. Great!

    7) Books on depression gives some insight, but don't overwhelm yourself with them. Books on cognitive therapy are helpful. Self affirmation works too.

    8) Meds if needed, but don't depend on them forever. They are there to use so you can try to stabilze. I tried Paxil for a year. I didn't like the side effects. Each person's body chemistry will react differently than what the doctor thinks or prescribes. Try to give yourself a reasonable limit, both in the amount of medication and the length of time you will be taking them. You don't want to be a walking zombie-like chemistry lab.

    9) You are what you think. Thoughts are actions rehearsed.

    Oompa, get better. We appreciate who you are and you contribute so much to the JWD community. Power to you!

    Alligator Wisdom (aka Brother NOT Exerting Vigorously)

  • alamb

    Hi Oompa,

    I was on medications for years as a JW. Zoloft, Prozac, too many to name. The side effects weren't worth it and it felt like I was lost.

    After leaving the cult, things kind of cleared up. I replaced toxic people with incredible people. I learned integrity in all things; and had to face being true to myself in all things. I was very fearful that this would force people I loved away, but they respect me now more and are in my life on my terms. The people who can't deal with that are toxic to me. Life isn't worth that hatred and poison.

    I just took bad things out and replaced them with good things. I read (positive things, Eckhart Tolle, etc.), meet people, just get out even when I had to force myself. I was raised in the Lie so had to discover, versus rediscover, who I am. What I like. Where I want to be.

    This board has been an immense help. I also took a weekend course in getting rid of your baggage once and for all and made some very serious, liberating phone calls to those I've hurt and those who have hurt me. Sort of drawing my lines in the sand. Now no one can hurt me unless I let them. And I am more tolerant. Judging less makes me freer to love.

    You can't see what we see in you right now...but it's there. You are loved and needed.

  • momzcrazy

    Therapy, therapy, therapy. I didn't want to at first. But I am so very glad I did it. My therapist is wonderful. And it is 45 minutes for just me, once a week. I still don't understand why sitting in a room and conversing with a stranger helps, but it does! I always feel like crap afterwards. It's normal she says. But the next day I feel much better. It is hard to dig deep into your soul and examine all the horrible things I have there. But they need to be dug up and examined, then ultimately thrown away for me to heal.


  • ataloa

    Oompa, I'm so sorry for your pain. There are so many good thoughts already here. I would like to reiterate what others have said about the physical exercise. Don't dismiss it because it is a simple thing. I am a success story and this is what saved my life when all the pills couldn't help. I had read that if you could make yourself hit it hard for two weeks, something would change in your brain.

    Looking back, I would say there were three things that gave me a new start in life.

    Get a goal (for me, there was one thing that was important for me to do before I died)

    Build yourself up to be able to realize the goal ( exercise)(Took me about six months to get there)

    Find someone who truly cares for you.

    We who have been there are all pulling for you.

  • marmot

    Had suicidal ideation since I was thirteen, a few attempts and hospitalizations between then and now, been through a litany of different medications and therapies and it's only since I left the witnesses that things have really started to improve.

    My situation's a little different in that it turns out I have a form of bipolar disorder, so I'll often "recover" spectacularly from a long and ruthless depressive phase and be fine for several months only to slide back into another living hell all over again.

    I find the constantly negative witness mindset of living a deferred life ("this system is passing away" blah blah blah) plus the constant guilt (always needing to "reach out", God hates masturbation, you can't get married until you're "spiritually mature") completely f*cked with my head. Now that I no longer have those constraints I'm learning to shape my thinking patterns positively. The medication plays a large role right now but I'm finding that there are skills that I can put to use that will save me from going into a tailspin when I notice the black thoughts creeping in.

  • Quirky1

    Oompa - I've only been away from the KH for about 3 months now. At first I was depressed because of the lack of anyone to talk to(social depression) and probably a little cabin fever from the winter. But, for the last 3 years I was more depressed from going to the KH. It made me feel somewhat suicidal at times, even though I wouldn't attempt it I just thought that would be the easy way out. All the guilt trips they dish out from the platform. The stupid acts some of the witlesses put on is just sickening. Too melodramatic for me.

    Since I no longer attend the meetings I have focused my energy into what I once loved to do before becoming a Witless, I work constantly. I am always doing soemthing with a hammer & nail, chain saw, rake etc...Except drywall! I hate that sh#t! I sometimes don't eat any supper and don't get in until 9:30-10PM. Take a shower and hit the hay. Up at 7AM can't wait to get to work and socialize with a bunch of nonJW's.

    I Drink beer and cuss with my brothers (nonJW's). If I had more $$ I would buy a scooter (Harley or Triumph and I just sold one earlier this year because my son ran the tits off it!) and I would take some me time and cruise. Whether it's for a couple of minutes, hours or days. Anything but focus on the KH/WTBTS. The only time they come to mind is when I am here on JWD but the thinking is focused differently.

    I am no doctor here and no two people are tha same but my advice is to get out and enjoy and just hope you can get the rest of your family out. I feel for you man and I hope the best for you!

    PM me anytime.


  • oompa

    Thanks all. I am no longer in therapy. I have tried two therapists and one of my psychiatrists was essentially my favorite therapist to boot. All three expressed strong doubt my marriage would make it, and basically encouraged me to seperate.....two of them met with my wife and me.......and while they like her, they know she is under total JW control, and they all think it is a cult. I asked for marital counseling at one session with my wife but of course she will only rely on the bruddas for that. I think the docs cant see me moving on much while so closely linked to this cult by my wife, and it is a constant reminder.

    I have read a book about postive affirmations and positve thinking, but have not been able to make myself exercise as hard as I need to.......I really need to push myself there. I must have tried 10 different meds the past three years, and can tell very little effect with them....not everbody responds to them I was told. I was takin up to five things at one time, so am glad to be down to just one thing. I may be too afraid to make decisions I don't really want to face........and I think that is what is really paralyzing me.........oompa

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