Are JWs discouraged from seeking mental help?
Outlaw - "JW's couldn't remember what they preached for ten years...."
This was true Outlaw. It was diagnosed as "mass hypnotic blindness induced by GB lies"
Yes, as an Elder we were discouraged from advising ones to seek help, unless it was a very serious case.
I new of many an Elders wife who were taking anti-depressant medication.
As to why they were not visited at the hospital? Maybe denial on the JW's part? And also the possible fear among the JW's of demon involvement.
Going to the hospital to visit someone recovering from surgery is different than visiting a mental hospital. It can be stressful for the visitor and maybe some JW's didn't want to deal with that stress.
Don't forget, there are limits to a JW's love for their bretheren. They will only go so far to assist there own, and a mental hospital may be a bit much for them.
I'd have to say "Yes". The best mental help that a JW can receive is to be shown from the bible how their doctrines are wrong.
However, if you are not careful, you'll be classified variously as:
1. Part of the "evil slave class"
2. An apostate
3. An "Opposer"
4. Fostering "extreme spiritual endangerment"
If you take the secular approach, you're just an ignorant "worldly person".
It is the worship of the WT Corporation itself that drives much of their mental problems. Their identity is tied up with it...they don't know who they are.
JWs have a rich spiritual heritage of discouraging seeking out professional help for mental problems.
However, the "new light" that is currently in writing is fairly balanced and wouldn't be seen by the general public as wacko, IMO.
Here's a couple excerpts from this link at Watchtower.org:
In recent decades, however, great strides have been made in understanding clinical depression and bipolar disorder. Now it is well-known that these conditions are treatable.
Nevertheless, for those who suffer from major depression, medical attention is crucial.
Furthermore, suppose the depressive moods are preventing you from functioning normally, either at work, at school, or in social situations. In such a case, it might be wise to consult a professional who is qualified to diagnose and treat depressive disorders.
Posts that are inaccurate are ammunition for lurkers wanting an excuse to stay in the fog, IMO.
Slightly off topic.
I remember back around 1991 the pastor of the church was talking about alcoholism and drug abuse. He said that he would never recommend any kind of therapy that was not Bible based. A friend of mine who had been to such secular therapy told me after the sermon that he disagreed with the pastor on that because he got good results himself.
I was also a telephone worker of the local crisis line at the time and one of the Christians from that same church asked me how I handled the calls. Even though the crisis line was Christian based it was best to leave religion out of it out of respect for other's beliefs. When I told him this he said something along the lines of, "I cannot see myself working there and counseling someone without quoting some scripture." The scripture could indeed be helpful if the caller is a believer and clearly shows interest in such things but is typically strongly recommended against.
I just thought I'd add this as it seems like diehard fundamentalist religions typically feel the same way though not to the extremes that the WTS demonstrates.
A big reason for the WTS to discourage the rank and file from talking to professionals is because those professionals have been educated in psychology and sociology and know how dangerous high control groups are. Any professional worth his/her salt is going to try and get a dub out of the borg.
Mad Sweeny -
When I first started to get involved with the JW's (1972) my mom was worried I was getting involved with a 'brain-washing-cult' (lol) and wanted me to get pro help.
I did my research from the WT and concluded the WT was very against getting this kind of help. I mentioned this to an Elder who said, that's true, but if you are living at home, you are under your parents control and you would have to give in to their demands (arg!)
So off I went.......
The good doctor was concerned that the JW's were making decisions for me and I needed to exercise my own free will, think for myself. He must of thought me for some kind of a fool as I was quoting bible verses to counteract his reasoning. haha
He tried to get me to see the abrupt changes in my life and why that was disconcerting. Quitng sports in HS, giving up on college, conforming to a new JW enforced dress code. (I actually wore a suit and tie to the visit)
What saved me from further sessions? Is that he refused to see me unless I wanted to come, not my parents making me, so that was it. My mom was very disappionted, as was my school counselor, who put her up to it.
After I was baptized, I gave my experience on the platform, highlighting how silly this doctor was to the JW's listening. What a maroon I was for falling for this JW junk!
dissed you made an interesting point in your second to last post and it made me think of something
If a JW is in the hospital for mental health concerns, AND they are not supposed to let anyone know they are a JW THEN having a bunch of JWs parade in dressed as if they are going door to door would blow the cover off the big secret.
There is no way a group of JWs could parade in to visit a hospitalized JW without everyone finding out. AND then the squeaky clean reputation of JWs would be a tad tarnished.
It's always about protecting the reputation - always. The concerns of the individual is always placed last
Open Mind - interesting quote; quite balanced.
When I was thinking of leaving I went through PTSD and considered going to a psychologist. My mother persuaded me against it, as I assume she was scared the psychologist would tell me to leave the religion. She said I should get drugs instead. I went to the GP doctor who tried to talk me out of drugs, but gave in and prescribed them anyway. I soon went off the drugs as realised they were not addressing the source of the problem. I went to Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, which had a great affect in getting my thinking back on track in a more positive outlook.
Open....yeah I know they are saying this stuff, but the underlying "understanding" is that these worldly professionals cant be trusted and so the friends remain untrusting and dont go to see them after YEARS and DECADES of being told they were all hacks looking to separate the faithful from Jehovah.
And so...many JWs go untreated. Its like the blood ban changing and changing and changing and becoming so convoluted that the JWs cant possibly understand it any more and dont KNOW they can practically take whole blood these days and have some life saving alternative blood salvaging and recirculating processes to choose from. So because they are so baffled...they just throw the baby out with the bath water and dont take blood at ALL in part or parcel. Same with shrinks....all or NONE Einstein.
My estranged husband is bi-polar, his exjw mother is bi-polar and his dad is ADD and all of his siblings have clinical depression or ADD or combinations there of. But he flatly refuses to go to the doctor and is, like most JWs i have known since 1984...self medicating with whatever he finds on the internet or whatever the other JWs...who are also self medicating...recommend. Seek a professional who might actually HELP him? Hell no.