Are JWs discouraged from seeking mental help?

by Kristina1972 38 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Kristina1972

    My husband was raised in this religion, but was never baptized and does not go to meetings, although my MIL is heavily involved. Although my husband doesn't practice his religion, he believes it is the truth and I hate asking him questions, because he is very defensive of the religion. He and his mother, many years ago before I knew either of them, were treated for severe depression and hospitalized (at different times as a result of them going through divorces.)

    My husband made a comment about the JW family memebers refusing to visit them when they were being treated for mental illness. Does anyone know why that would be? Do they believe mental illness is evil?

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  • brainwashed-from-birth

    Yes unless they are seeking it from the elders or the organization publications. I guess they are allowed to take self help drugs though

  • trueblue

    I was at a meeting one time when they announced that so and so was at a mental hospital and other members where incouraged to visit or help the member.

    JWs are not discouraged however they are in selfdeniel. (have mental problems and not aware of them) That is very serious

  • MadGiant
  • WTWizard

    They have softened up on this, now that drug therapy has replaced talk therapy. Of course, you are still supposed to pray more to Jehovah, do more field circus, study the Washtowel littera-trash, and make sure you are at all the boasting sessions.

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    The WTS is in the Dark Ages when it comes to mental illness. They see it as a failure; failure to rely on Jehovah, failure to pray enough, failure to not preach enough and failure to not make it to all meetings.

    At the end of my time as a JW the elders finally conceded to let me go for therapy. But there was a very strict condition. I was to avoid any mention of the JWs.

    See if you are a strong enough JW you don't need therapy. Plus don't forget that Jehovah's people are a happy people. There is no reason to be depressed or have otehr mental health issues. I think the only reason they agreed to it was because the supposed cause for my problems stemmed from my life as a young child before I was involved with them - hence it had nothing to do with them. Just leave them out of it.

    It didn't take too long before I realized that my life as a JW and as an elder's wife who also was abusive to me was a huge contributor to my problems. I eventually told my counselor but never told anyone about telling

  • HappyGuy


    The Watchtower literature has many many times said that JWs should not go to psychologists, psychiatrists, or other worldly "counselors" because those people only have the counsel and ideas of the world and could give the JW ideas that would lead them away from "The Truth".

    The Watchtower literature is full of such statements.

    JWs are very superstitious and most of them believe that mental illness is a sign of demon influence, evil deeds committed by the mentally ill person, or spiritual weakness / apostasy. The literature of the Watchtower Society has done nothing to debate such thinking but encourages it.

    So, the refusal to visit a person who is suffering from mental issues comes from two beliefs. One, that psychiatry/psychology is "worldly" and is a bad influence, and two, that the person is doing something wrong/evil or is involved with demons.

  • OnTheWayOut

    I have heard them say from the platform at conventions that many have gone to "worldly" professionals for help in the troubled times and psychiatrists cannot agree on their advice, some have recommended affairs to the married ones, some have told the members to ease up on involvement in the religion. Then they show how Peter recommended that Jesus avoid his death in the near future because he completely misunderstood. They go on to say that members need to do MORE MORE MORE in the service of Watchtower and that the professionals just don't understand.

    It is not so directly stated in their literature anymore, but they suggest that people with SEVERE depression and suicidal thoughts seek help for that problem and suggest that mental health help is only for SEVERE cases. If members can cope, they want them to go to the elders with their problems.

  • iknowall558

    " We cannot afford to submit ourselves to the psychologists and philosophers of this world." (Let God Be True (1952), pg 307)

    "So we must shun the ....babbling psychologists, wordy psychiatrists.....all of which have built up such tremendous reputations as colossal failures." (WT 1-15-52,pg 53)

    "But, as a rule, for a Christian to go to a worldly psychiatrist is an admission of defeat."... (Awake 3-8-60, pg 27)

    "Being a Christian involves everything one does in life.....Even when deep emotional problems arise, he does not turn for counsel to men who may be highly educated in worldly psychology....." (WT 2-15-63, pg 124)

    "The failure of psychiatrists generally to know how properly to apply the best medicine for mental ills - the divine quality of love - is likely to render their treatment ineffectual. (Awake 4-22-75, pg 18)

    "Then there was the psychiatrist who.....prescribed sexual relations with himself as therapy and then charged for the 'treatments'." (Awake, 4-22-75, pg 18)

    "But is the turning of people from the clergy to the psychiatrists a healthy phenomenon? No, for it really is a case of jumping from the frying pan into the fire. They are worse off than they were before........ (Awake 8-22-75, pg 25)

    "Psychiatrists and psychologists.....are not the ones to go to for help when one is depressed and beset with all manner of problems.....The blind egotistical folly of many of these professional men.....". (Awake 8-22-75, pg 26)

    "Can psychology be taken seriously as science....? It is......contradictory and high-minded pseudo-knowledge... (WT 8-1-82, pg 23)

    (WT 4-15-75, pg 255) WTS decided in this year it was left up to each individual to personally decide for himself whether to see a therapist or not.

    But even after this decision was made, the organization continued to cast a very negative light on psychologists and psychiatrists. From time to time the org. warned of the risks involved in seeking their help. They painted these professionals as being without moral principles, and warned that they may encourage their clients to act in a way that is contrary to Bible principles. They also focussed on the danger that the therapist may try to persuade the Witness that his troubles are caused by his religion, and also that many therapists are atheists. (Awake 3-8-60, pg 27) (WT 4-15-75, pg 255).

    The magazines have at times contained anecdotes of suicidal and mentally unbalanced persons being restored to health by studying the Bible with JWs, despite the fact that JWs receive absolutely no training in dealing with people with emotional or mental problems.

  • HappyGuy

    And as always there are the talks, comments, innuendos, and aspersions from the platform at every assembly and special talk that reinforce these idiotic ideas that are not in print. That way the WTBTS can claim "we never SAID don't go to psychiatrists".

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