About 12 years ago when I was a active witness and going through a deep depression because of a very abusive marriage,I would go to the meetings with my 2 small children and could hardly sit through some of the talks without crying,severals times I just got up and walked out,,it was no help at all!!!! and I really tried! what did help was going to some therapy and taking prescribed antidepressants,,then I was able to get enough strength to leave my husband and get back into the work force,,now that I have moved on with my life and am remarried to a wonderful man(not a JW) and have faded I haven't visited that dark place again,,,going to meetings and out in service just made my depression worse,at least for me
more abuse in today's watchtower study
Heres the study article the OP refers to. I skimmed it and don't see what Solomon is specifically getting at. I hate the WTBTS as much as anyone else. Can you point out anything specific?
WE LIVE in a time of adversities. The earth
has been inundated with disasters.
Earthquakes, tsunamis, fires, floods, volcanoes,
tornadoes, typhoons, and hurricanes have
wreaked havoc on humankind. In addition, family
problems and personal dilemmas have brought fear
and sorrow. It is so true that “time and unforeseen
occurrence” befall us all.—Eccl. 9:11.
2 God’s servants as a whole have coped well with
such distressing circumstances. Even so, we would
like to be ready to deal with any difficulties that may
confront us in the future as this systemnears its end.
How can we cope with these challenges and not be
overwhelmed? What will help us meet today’s adversities
LEARN FROM THOSE WHO
FACED LIFE WITH COURAGE
3 Although difficult circumstances affect more
people than ever before, distressing problems are
not new to mankind. Let us see what we can learn
from some of God’s servants who in the past successfully
faced life with courage.—Rom. 15:4.
4 Consider David. Among other things, he had
to put up with the wrath of a king, enemy attacks,
the abduction of his wives, treachery in his own
ranks, and emotional distress. (1 Sam. 18:8, 9; 30:
1-5; 2 Sam. 17:1-3; 24:15, 17; Ps. 38:4-8) The Bible
accounts of David’s life clearly reveal the pain
these adversities caused him. However, they did not
1, 2. What adversities have many experienced, but what is
the desire of God’s servants?
3. As shown at Romans 15:4, how might we be comforted
when facing depressing circumstances?
4. What adversities did David endure, and what helped him?
“God is for us a
refuge and strength,
a help that is readily
to be found during
CAN YOU ANSWER?
How can we avoid being
overwhelmed by distressing
What reasons do we have
for displaying courage?
What provisions has
Jehovah made to help us
destroy him spiritually. Full of faith, he
said: “Jehovah is the stronghold of my
life. Of whom shall I be in dread?”—Ps.
27:1; read Psalm 27:5, 10.
5 Abraham and Sarah spent most of
their life living in tents as aliens in
strange lands. Life was not always easy
for them. Yet, they resolutely copedwith
things like a famine and dangers from
surrounding nations. (Gen. 12:10; 14:14-
16)Howwere they able to do this?God’s
Word tells us that Abraham “was awaiting
the city having real foundations,
the builder and maker of which city is
God.” (Heb. 11:8-10) Abraham and Sarah
stayed focused on the things ahead,
not getting dragged down by the world
6 Job experienced extreme pressures.
Imagine how he felt when everything in
his life seemed to go wrong. (Job 3:3, 11)
Making matters worse, he did not fully
understand why all those things happened
to him. Still, he never gave up. He
maintained his integrity and his faith in
God. (Read Job 27:5.) What a fine example
for us to imitate!
7 Consider, too, the apostle Paul’s example.
He experienced ‘dangers in the
city, in the wilderness, and at sea.’ He
speaks of ‘hunger and thirst, cold and
nakedness.’ Paul also mentions spending
‘a night and a day in the deep,’ likely
because of one of the shipwrecks that
he went through. (2 Cor. 11:23-27) Despite
all of that, note the attitude he
expressed after he had faced death for
serving God: “This was that we might
have our trust, not in ourselves, but in
5. What helped Abraham and Sarah to cope
with a hard life?
6. How can we imitate Job?
7. What did Paul experience as he served God,
but what realization gave him the courage to
the God who raises up the dead. From
such a great thing as death he did rescue
us and will rescue us.” (2 Cor. 1:8-
10) Not many people have had as many
bad experiences as Paul did. Nevertheless,
many of us can relate to his feelings
and can take comfort from his courageous
AVOID BEING OVERWHELMED
BY NEGATIVE EVENTS
8 In today’s world so full of disasters,
challenges, and pressures, many feel
overwhelmed. Even some Christians
have felt thatway. Lani, whowas enjoying
the full-time service with her husband
in Australia, says that when she
was diagnosed with breast cancer, it
was devastating and struck like a bolt
of lightning. She says, “The treatments
made me very ill, and I was left with no
self-esteem.” On top of everything else,
she had to care for her husband, who
had undergone spinal surgery. If we find
ourselves in such a situation, what can
9 We do well to remember that Satan
wants to use the tribulations we suffer
to undermine our faith. However, we
must not allow him to sap our joy in
this way. Proverbs 24:10 says: “Have you
shown yourself discouraged in the day
of distress? Your power will be scanty.”
Meditating on Biblical examples, such
as those discussed earlier, will help us to
muster up courage in the face of adversities.
10 It is also good to keep in mind that
Some names have been changed.
8. Howmight today’s problems affect us? Illustrate.
9, 10. (a) What must we not allow Satan to
do? (b) How can we cope with the reality mentioned
at Acts 14:22?
we cannot remove all problems. In fact,
we can expect to experience them.
(2 Tim. 3:12) Acts 14:22 tells us: “We
must enter into the kingdom of God
throughmany tribulations.” Rather than
becoming dejected, why not view them
as opportunities to manifest courage
based on your faith in God’s ability to
11 We need to focus on positive
things. God’s Word tells us: “A joyful
heart has a good effect on the countenance,
but because of the pain of the
heart there is a stricken spirit.” (Prov. 15:
13) Medical researchers have long
recognized the curative value of positive
thinking. Many patients given sugar
pills (placebos) have experienced relief
of symptoms simply because they
thought they were getting help. The opposite,
called the nocebo effect, has also
been demonstrated. Patients’ health deteriorated
simply because theywere told
that a drug would have negative effects.
Constantly dwelling on situations we
cannot change may only tear us down.
On the positive side, Jehovah does
not give us “sugar pills.” Rather, even
in times of disaster, he gives real help
through the encouragement found in his
Word, our supportive brotherhood, and
the strength provided by holy spirit. Focusing
on these things will lift us up. Instead
of dwelling on negative events, do
what is practical to cope with each problem
and focus on the positive aspects of
your life.—Prov. 17:22.
12 In recent times, some countries
11. How can we avoid being overwhelmed by
12, 13. (a) What has helped God’s servants
to endure the effects of disasters? Illustrate.
(b) During times of disaster, how does it become
evident what is most important in one’s
have suffered severe disasters. Notably,
many brothers in these lands have
shown remarkable resilience. This does
notmean that it was easy. In early 2010,
a massive earthquake and tsunami in
Chile destroyed many of our brothers’
homes and possessions, and in some
cases, their livelihood. Despite this, the
brothers just kept on going spiritually.
Samuel, whose home was completely
destroyed, said: “Even during these
extreme circumstances, my wife and I
never stopped attending meetings and
preaching. I believe that these habits
helped us not to become desperate.”
Along with many others, they put the
disaster behind them and moved on in
13 In September 2009, over 80 percent
of Manila, Philippines, was flooded
by torrential rains. A wealthy man who
lost much said, “The flood was a great
equalizer, bringing difficulties and sufferings
to both the rich and the poor.”
This reminds us of Jesus’ prudent advice:
“Store up for yourselves treasures
in heaven, where neither moth nor rust
consumes, and where thieves do not
break in and steal.” (Matt. 6:20) Building
one’s life around material things, which
can so quickly disappear, often brings
disappointment. How much wiser it is
to center our life on our relationship
with Jehovah, which can remain intact
no matter what happens around us!
—Read Hebrews 13:5, 6.
14 Jesus acknowledged that there
would be problems during the time
14. What reasons do we have for displaying
OCTOBER 15, 2012 9
of his presence, but he said: “Do not
be terrified.” (Luke 21:9) With him as
our King and with the Creator of the
universe backing us up, we have every
reason for confidence. Paul encouraged
Timothy by saying: “God gave us not a
spirit of cowardice, but that of power
and of love and of soundness of mind.”
—2 Tim. 1:7.
15 Note some expressions of the
strong conviction ofGod’s servants. David
said: “Jehovah is my strength and
my shield. In him my heart has trusted,
and I have been helped, so that my
heart exults.” (Ps. 28:7) Paul expressed
his unwavering confidence, saying: “In
all these things we are coming off completely
victorious through him that
loved us.” (Rom. 8:37) Likewise, as danger
loomed, Jesus left no doubt in his listeners’
minds that he had a strong relationship
with God, saying: “I am not
alone, because the Father is with me.”
(John 16:32) What is evident in these expressions?
Each reveals unwavering
trust in Jehovah. Our developing similar
confidence in God can give us the
courage to face any of today’s adversities.—
Read Psalm 46:1-3.
15. Give examples of the conviction of God’s
servants, and explain how we can have similar
BENEFIT FROM PROVISIONS
TO MAINTAIN COURAGE
16 Christian courage is not selfreliance.
Rather, it is a result of our getting
to know God and relying on him.
We can do this by studying his written
Word, the Bible. A sister suffering from
depression explains what helps her,
“I read especially comforting passages
over and over again.” Have we applied
the direction to have a regular time
for family worship? Doing these things
will help us to have the attitude of the
psalmist who said: “How I do love your
law! All day long it is my concern.”—Ps.
17 Second, we have Bible-based publications
containing information that
strengthens our confidence in Jehovah.
Many brothers have found life stories in
our magazines particularly helpful. One
sister in Asia who suffers from bipolar
mood disorder was delighted when she
read the life story of a former missionary
brother who successfully dealt with
the same disorder. She wrote, “It helped
me to understand my own problem and
gave me hope.”
16. Why is the study of God’s Word important
17. (a) What provision may help us maintain
a courageous outlook? (b) Give an example of
how a published life story has helped you.
When you face adversity,
take advantage of the
help Jehovah has provided
18 A third provision is prayer. This
can help in all kinds of situations. The
apostle Paul drew attention to the value
of this provision, saying: “Do not
be anxious over anything, but in everything
by prayer and supplication along
with thanksgiving let your petitions be
made known to God; and the peace of
God that excels all thought will guard
your hearts and your mental powers by
means of Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6, 7) Do
we take full advantage of this avenue of
help to gain strength in the midst of adversities?
Alex, a brother in Britain who
has long suffered from depression, said:
“Talking to Jehovah in prayer and listening
to him by reading hisWord has been
a lifeline for me.”
19 Association at meetings is a fourth
vital provision to help us. A psalmist
wrote: “My soul has yearned and also
pined away for the courtyards of Jehovah.”
(Ps. 84:2) Do we feel the same?
Lani, mentioned earlier, explains her
view of Christian association: “Attending
meetings was not optional. I knew
that I had to be there if I expected Jehovah
to help me cope.”
18. Why should we utilize the provision of
19. What should be our view of attending
20 A fifth help is to keep active in the
Kingdom-preaching work. (1 Tim. 4:
16) A sister in Australia who has experienced
a multitude of problems says:
“Preaching was the last thing I wanted
to do, but an elder invited me to go
with him. I went. Jehovah must have
been helping; each time I shared in the
ministry, I felt so happy.” (Prov. 16:20)
Many have found that by helping others
to build faith in Jehovah, they strengthen
their own faith. In so doing, they
keep their mind off their own problems
and keep focused on the more important
things.—Phil. 1:10, 11.
21 Jehovah has provided abundant
help to meet today’s adversities with
courage. By taking advantage of all
these provisions and by meditating on
and imitating fine examples of courageous
servants of God, we have the assurance
that we can face difficulties
successfully. Although many negative
things may yet happen as this system
nears its end, we can feel as did Paul,
who said: “We are thrown down, but
not destroyed. . . .We do not give up.”
(2 Cor. 4:9, 16) With Jehovah’s help, we
can meet today’s adversities with courage.—
Read 2 Corinthians 4:17, 18.
20. How will sharing in the preaching work
21. What assurance do we have regarding the
difficulties we face?
Steve2: Despite years of exposure to the Watchtower's teachings, remain balanced and un-mentally disturbed individuals, in or out of the organization.
My question is:
How the hell do they do it(remain balanced and un-mentally disturbed)?
Solomon---The cure for mental illness according to today's Watchtower. Pray more, don't miss meetings, and go in service more. This will cure your disease.
Where does it say "Cure your disease"? It mentions helping you cope. Dont make a mountain out of a mole hill
love it outlaw!
yea i have to say i dont see it myself... perhaps around para 8 they talk about someone dealing with cancer and then her husband also had a major operation. the advise was pray etc etc... but thats not depression, that going through major problems. I think all christian religions would advocate prayer under those circumstances.
Paragraphs 11 and 16 thru 20 focused heavily on the value of positive thinking, problems associated with depression, bipolar and individuals with little or no self-esteem. Paragraph 4 even says that David suffered from bouts of emotional distress. Then there is the pictures on page 10 and 11 showing how WT prescribes studying JW publications, going to meetings and field service to cope. My guess is that the ‘sister’ in the pictures is suffering from some sort of depression associated with low self-esteem.
So yes, I think Solomon hit it spot on. JWs are screwed-up in the head. Of the 155 publishers in our congregation, I would say that a high percentage could relate to this study article.
Bottom line….associating with the WT causes mental discease!
It seems to be saying the answer to adversity is to face it with courage. Actually, COURAGE!
Still, I don't see mention of mental disease etc. it does speak of a sister suffering depression who is comforted by Bible passages. That wouldn't be likely to comfort clinical depression, which can be a most debilitating illness and completely unrelated to courage.
I think there is the implicit assumption and message to the sheep that if you're depressed you're not courageous...in other words, you're a coward, and not trusting in Jehovah enough, and that really is unacceptable. An illness is not the sufferer's fault. It's an illness.
WT has in the past recommended seeking professional help for depresion
*** g 7/09 pp. 4-6 Depression—How to Treat It ***
Depression—How to Treat It
“MY HUSBAND and I have sought out medical treatment, made lifestyle changes, and worked hard to develop a routine that I can cope with,” says Ruth, who has suffered with depression for many years. “We seem to have found an effective medication, and I am doing better. But during the time when nothing else seemed to work, the constant love of my husband and friends helped me not to give up.”
As Ruth’s experience indicates, patients who suffer from clinical depression need all the support they can get, including whatever medical approach might be advisable. It can be risky to ignore depression because in some cases when left untreated it can be life-threatening. About two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ acknowledged that those with medical experience could provide needed help, when he said that ‘those who are ill need a physician.’ (Mark 2:17) The fact is that physicians can do much to alleviate the suffering of many depressed patients.
Some Helpful Options
There are a number of treatments for depression, varying according to the symptoms and the severity of the illness. (See the box on page 5, “What Kind of Depression?”) Many people may be helped by their family physician, but some need more specialized treatment. The doctor might prescribe antidepressant medication or recommend some other form of assistance. Some people have experienced good results with herbal medications, dietary adjustments, or a controlled exercise program.
1. Well-meaning friends with little or no medical training might try to tell you which method of treatment to accept and which to reject. They might also have strong opinions about whether you should take herbal medicine, prescribed medication, or nothing at all.
Consider: Make sure that any advice you accept comes from a reliable source. In the end, you are the one who must make an informed choice.
2. Discouragement may make patients discontinue their choice of treatment because they do not seem to be getting better or because of unpleasant side effects.
Consider: “There is a frustrating of plans where there is no confidential talk, but in the multitude of counselors there is accomplishment.” (Proverbs 15:22) A program of medical therapy is more likely to succeed if there is good communication between doctor and patient. Frankly explain your concerns or describe your symptoms to your doctor, and ask whether you need to adjust the treatment or simply to persevere before you will begin to experience benefits.
3. Overconfidence can make patients stop their medical remedy abruptly after a few weeks because they feel better. They may forget how debilitating their symptoms were before they started their medication.
Consider: Suddenly terminating medical treatment without consulting a doctor can have serious and even life-threatening consequences.
Though the Bible is not a medical textbook, its Author, Jehovah God, is our Creator. The next article will examine the comfort and guidance God’s Word provides both for those who suffer from depression and for their caregivers.
I have my comments up now...I did comment on that. I remember a sister who used to think that prayers and meetings were all it took, after all she had never been depressed. She would severely counsel other jws on their depression. Then she was struck with severe depression that kept her housebound for months until the doctors found the right medication cocktail for her...I give her credit for going and apologizing to all the jws she had chastised.