JW's and depression

by FeelingFree 35 Replies latest jw friends

  • FeelingFree

    I was wondering how many of you suffered badly with depression when you were in "THE TRUTH" and if you feel your depression was related to being part of the organisation? Are you better now you have left or still have issue's? Whatever your experience's I would be very intrested to know (if you feel you can talk about it.)

    The reason I ask is that myself and pretty much all my family members on my mothers side have suffered badly with bouts of depression. Mine started in my late teens which was also the time I deceided to "make the truth my own" and consequently got baptised aged 20. Now im wondering if this is just coincidence or indeed related.

    Curently I am having councelling for the first time ever after having resisted for years. I have to say it's been so helpful to me and my councellor has been brilliant. It's really helped sort my head out regarding JW matters and been significant in helping me break away. I asked my councellor about depression running in families and she feels this is unfounded and it usually relates to circumstances and learned behavior. All the family members have now left and so I wonder if we all could have saved ourselves some grief by leaving the org earlier?!

    Be interesting to read your oppinions :)

  • FeelingFree

    Or even your opinions haha my spelling is terrible!

  • a watcher
    a watcher

    I was severely depressed BEFORE I became one of JW's. Being a JW has mitigated my depression. I now have a hope for the future that I never had before.

  • hoser

    I think there is some merit to your statements. It is hard on the mental health if it is repeatedly implied that you are not good enough. It is also unhealthy to be in a religious system where leadership never has to answer for their abusive behaviour.

  • FeelingFree

    a watcher - Im really pleased for you, living with depression is horrible and I'm glad you have managed to break that cycle. I guess it can swing both ways can't it and I understand how being a witness can help that. I wish you all the best :)

    Sometimes though I think it's different for born in's than one who has actively decided to study and they learning all about it for the first time. I can't speak for all born in's but I think the sense of wonder that a new study/baptised person has is not there for someone who has known about it their whole life.

  • Apognophos

    I was not legitimately depressed in a clinical sense, but I was under a functional depression for maybe 10 years where I felt like life had pretty much no point and I did nothing to plan for my future because I thought I was going to be destroyed at Armageddon.

  • FeelingFree

    I do think the whole doom and gloom dieing at armageddon, not ever being able to do enough and what you are doing isn't good enough blah blah is extremely negative and can't be good for anyones mental well being!

  • Oubliette

    FF: All the family members have now left and so I wonder if we all could have saved ourselves some grief but leaving the org earlier?!


    I'm glad you're getting professional help. It can really help a person manage depression. I wish my ex-wife would have done that. If she had, we might even still be together, who knows. But she would never go because, even though she suffered from severely debilitating depression for over 20 years, she refused to seek the help of a mental health professional because such a course of action had been so thoroughly demonized all of her life by the writings of the WTBTS which were reinforced verbally by uninformed, ignorant and uneducated people in her congregation, particularly the elders.


    Hi FF

    I snapped completely in 2010 while still and elder and TMS Servant and DC speaker etc etc. However it would appear that i was well into the path of depression for some years prior to that [this came to the fore during therapies]

    The constant stress of being on a body of very incompetent men involved in constant bickering and powerplays coupled with my kids leaving home [empty nest syndrome] and relocation to another city delivered a knock-out "for me.

    The dissonance and dichotomy of the "Trfuth" was also a strong contributing factor.

    I remained in a very dark dangerous space for 30 months and attempted suicide.

    The support of my wife and kids was unmatched.

    I was placed under Psychiatric care and put on Venlafaxine 225mg to start with - now on 75 mg.

    I am in 'remission" or am I ?? As I am still on meds.

    So to your question: it is a lifetime of living a contorted unnatural life that with unnatural view of the world that has definitely been the main contributor.

    Current status quo: totally faded and my spouse [a former pioneer ] is with me [she worked out her own path without consulting / viewing any websites etc - just matched WTS teaching against the Bible.] My kids concluded this was not the way about 3 years back for themselves -

    My sister [also a former pioneer ] is also out.

    There is just no more angst! its a wonderful feeling.

    PS since becoming inactive NOT ONE elder has contacted us in any form to "shepherd' or assist / we dont get invited to any social activity etc We were obviously just expendable Cult fodder pawns in their game. Fact that I was baptised for 40 years and wife for 46 years is of no consequence to them. Free at Last man !!

  • singlebaby

    Afrikanman, yeah, baptized 40 years and your 46 and poof, just like that, no one even cares anymore now because you don't hail the governing body anymore. It is so true brother, so true.

Share this