Anxiety Attacks At Meetings

by EmptyInside 28 Replies latest jw friends

  • EmptyInside

    I believe I posted on this before. But,I was recently thinking back when I was still regularly going to meetings. And how sometimes,just the thought of having to start to get ready to go,sent me in a panic. I would get nervous and shaky,start crying.

    Sometimes,when I made it to the meetings,I would just want to cry and not know the reason. I would go back to the ladies room,and I wouldn't be the only one in there crying.

    Since,I no longer go,this no longer happens. Sure,there are things that come up that upset me,but no more anxiety attacks.

    I'm wondering if my physical symptoms was my mind,trying to tell me something? It only happened at the meetings or sometimes out in service. It could be stressful just trying to go.

    It was hard happening as a teen especially,because my mother didn't understand and got upset with me,which made it worse. It is such a relief not having to deal with this anymore. All those years wasted.

  • jgnat

    "I'm wondering if my physical symptoms was my mind,trying to tell me something?" - EmptyInside

    Yes. You found the cure.

    I wonder sometimes at the number of Witnesses with autoimmune disorders like fibromyalgia, was their stress, without release, turned inward?

    I bet book study, meeting attendance, and prayer didn't help, did it?

  • NewChapter

    EmptyInside! You're telling my story. I was always experiencing high anxiety or panic attacks at the meetings. Even the thought of going would make me shaky at times. I sat in the back and spent most of my time in the library, foyer, kitchenette, even the library. The repetition used to make me physical ill. The boredom caused a visceral reaction in me. On top of that, I was never doing enough, and so I would have anxiety, even panic, over that.

    Since I walked away---I don't get panic attacks anymore, and my anxiety has dropped many notches. I can't say it is completely gone, because that is not how I'm made up, but it is manageable and feels like a relaxing bath compared to how I used to be revved up all the time. Oh, and I'm rarely bored. I can't remember the last time I was bored.

  • Amelia Ashton
    Amelia Ashton

    It used to happen to me too. Every meeting guaranteed for no reason, sometimes during the first song I would just get so emotional and then spend the rest of the meeting crying off and on. I put up with it for over a year taking more and more pills for depression.

    In Spain I used to have a beer before each meeting and that really helped, but then after a while I needed 2 and I stopped going for a while. Depression again.

    As they upped the pills and I started to feel better I started to go to meetings again but after a while I needed the beer as well as the pills.

    Events outside of my control then took over and I found myself back in UK. I made the effort to get to the Memorial a few weeks later and didn't have a beer and didn't cry either and although it was nice to see some old faces and catch up I felt no part of it and it all felt alien and I didn't want to be there and I realised even though I hadn't seen these people for quite a few years I hadn't actually missed any of them and had no desire to rekindle old friendships, so I never went again.

    If some-one had bothered to call round, phone, text or e-mail me I may not even be out now but after a year of nothing and then not even being invited to the memorial the following year I started looking at apostate sites and the rest as they say, is history!

    Edited to add: I was a depressed single Mum when I was recruited and still suffer from depression now but the JW lifestyle made it intolerable and much worse.

  • Lozhasleft

    I can identify with this. In the end I couldn't go without feeling really ill. It was really bizarre.

    Loz x

  • Open mind
    Open mind

    I'll never forget attending a meeting shortly after my wife awakened a few years ago. Due to JW guilt programming she felt compelled to at least "answer up" (as the Brits & Aussies say) at least once. The easy way out is to read a scripture. She raised her hand to read Romans 2:15 about non-Jews still being influenced by their conscience.

    "They are the very ones who demonstrate the matter of the law to be written in their hearts, while their conscience is bearing witness with them and, between their own thoughts, they are being accused or even excused."

    My wife must have felt like Saphira and that Jehovah's Holy Spirit was peering into her wicked heart the whole time. Her voice started tightening up half-way through the verse and quite a few people wondered what was wrong with Ms. OM.

    That's the last public comment my wife ever gave at a KH.


  • EmptyInside

    It's good to know I wasn't the only one. Plus,I wasn't the only one in the bathroom hiding out.

    A couple years ago,the elders put it in the local needs not to be out in the foyer or in the back during the meetings. This was the only way I could make it through the meetings. So,I figured,fine,I just won't go. It helped speed up my fade. I'm surprised the elders don't make us all use a hall pass for the bathroom,lol.

  • PaintedToeNail

    Add me to this list. Incredible isn't it, that so many of us had this physical symptoms? Too bad none of us recognized them for what they were-a cry to 'Get Out Now'! I have a family member on the West Coast who is currently undergoing this problem, but he keeps dashing himself into the proverbial wall, not realising it is the religion itself that is causing him so much distress.

  • EntirelyPossible

    Ah, I remember the last comment I ever gavem right before I got reproved and they took away the "priviledge" of answering. Two years later, when they finally got around to re-instating the priviledge....I just never started back answering. When they asked about it, I just said "I don't really have anything to say in addition to what everyone else is already saying".

  • NewChapter
    If some-one had bothered to call round, phone, text or e-mail me I may not even be out now but after a year of nothing and then not even being invited to the memorial the following year I started looking at apostate sites and the rest as they say, is history!

    This happened to me! I got very sick, and couldn't go to the meetings, or work, or anything. Out of sight, out of mind. Anyway, immediately my assoication was reduced to a very few loyal friends, but even they started to ease off. I wasn't being indoctrinated, so some of the things I said disturbed them. One very close friend threw me out like a piece of garbage and told another that she was tired of defending Jehovah around me. Which was weird, because I wasn't even close to being an 'apostate' at the time, and you would have considered me spiritually weak and beaten down by illness and circumstance. But I made the Memorial. Then, while I was still mentally 'in', the next Memorial came around, and nobody called to see if I was going, or needed a ride (was sick) or anything. That had really hurt my feelings, and I didn't go. But they must have felt guilty, because the next year they wouldn't quit stopping by and trying to invite me, but by then I was 'out' and had no interest---so that came back to bite me.

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