Problems after JWism

by chrisauld 9 Replies latest jw friends

  • chrisauld

    Hi everyone, I'd just lke to see if anyone has experienced any of the problems I have as a result of leaving J-Dubs.
    I know that it is quite common for people to have anxiety or 'panic' attacks. These are when a person feels uncomfortable in a certain situation that can result in them feeling as if they are about to die.
    I have noticed that since leaving, I have had quite a few of these attacks. I don't know if it is coinsidence or attributed to...
    I tend to get them in social situations, whether it be on a bus, just generally talking to people, walking down the street, eating at tables with people.
    I have had to go to the doctor because I have had heart palpitations(fast heart beating). He (or should I say, I) decided it was to do with stress. I think I have these attacks because I am lacking social skills. Also because I feel I am mixing with people who I once considered 'worse' or even the 'opposition', I now have to respect them. I no longer have that 'I'm gonna live forever and you're gonna die' attitude which, like it or not, gives you a certain confidence about yourself. I haven't said all I wanted to say,so as to not bore you............yet! haha
    Please let me know if anyone can relate to my 'problems'


  • jezebel influence
    jezebel influence arent alone here,
    I suffer from panic and anxiety like this,it can be called social phobia or is similar to agriphobia.I wonder if its from being raised in the cult,critical parents ,certain personalities etc.
    Never feeling excepted in the places you should feel most safe .
    Counciling can help -they mostly get you to think more positively-realisticly.Also alot of it is breathing-you may hold your breath or over breath and this can cause the dissyness etc

    I hope this is of help as im not concentraring very well tonight! Nice to meet you anyway!

  • gotcha

    hey chris..hmm technically i'm still active but i never was and would never be an "efficient" kind of jw. well my problem before when i was still trying to be a good jw was my conscience...the jw teachings has programmed my conscience to not do this and that (referring particulary to bdays) i mean i'm just a teen who wants to go to my friend's party but there's this battling between my mind and my conscience i mind's telling my conscience that hello there's nothing wrong with it...(i mean even if i'm jw i still go to bdays) ...but of course when i'm at bdays...i feel guilty so i don't fully enjoy it as i should...and i hate that feeling...but well as time went by i guess it's slowly being deprogrammed as i am being categorized more as a lousy jw..hmm my mom also feels guilty whenever she allows because she knows that she cannot not allow me....hmm i'm also a sociable person like in school i was never the quiet type who followed every rule..actually i could even pass as the notorious type but not really the bad as in BAD student.. actually i was not really like a "normal" jw because i didnt allow anyone to stop me from being who i really am...but of course my conscience bothered me and i hated the made me feel lousy, evil, unworthy....hmmm.

  • Englishman


    Someone once described panic attacks as a sort of "internal car crash" that was incomprehensible to anyone who had not experienced them. It goes something like this:

    Bob is going about his normal business, when suddenly he is aware of a feeling of dread creeping over his body. His mouth dries, his heart starts to bang, his stomach contracts violently. Bob does the worse thing possible and tries to argue with himself to control the sensations. Adrenaline is then pumped into his bloodstream and Bob thinks he is going to die.

    Eventually it subsides and a much-rattled Bob breathes a sigh of relief, some sort of abberation maybe.

    A few days later it happens again. The bloody thing is here to stay! Now, Bob thinks he's going mad, what if this happens at work, at the shops, in the cinema? Gotta control it!

    Bob doesn't realise that the panics are caused by an overloaded and sensitised nervous system, he has been tricked into believing that he has a serious problem. He hasn't, panic attacks are two a penny.

    The trick is to accept them and work around them, eventually they will become less important and fade to an acceptable level. If they happen when others are present make an excuse and visit the loo!


  • joelbear

    Hi all,

    I suffer from panic attacks and also have throughout my witness and post witness years.

    I will have to respectfully but strongly disagree with Englishman here. Continued symptoms of panic will not just lessen or disappear without attention and treatment. I would separate this from panic caused by an extremely stressful situation such as the death of a loved one or a job relocation etc.

    Systematic panic attacks are not associated with specific events although events might heighten their intensity. I have had panic attacks come on in the course of an otherwise uneventful business day.

    I keep xanax with me to ward off the worst effects of the panic attacks. I know it runs in my family as my father, brother and now my nieces also suffer from them.

    Not trying to be argumentative Englishmen, but I also don't want someone suffering from this disorder to think it will just go away.



  • mgm

    Chris and the others
    I do have the same symptons too in the last weeks, since I left the witness. I also have bad dreams, mostly about my family, since they are still witness.
    Would it be good to get professional treatment? What would they do?

    I also feel sometimes alone and left, but somehow hesitate to make new friends. Do you have that Problem too?

  • JT

    mgm says

    Chris and the others
    I do have the same symptons too in the last weeks, since I left the witness. I also have bad dreams, mostly about my family, since they are still witness.
    Would it be good to get professional treatment? What would they do?
    I also feel sometimes alone and left, but somehow hesitate to make new friends. Do you have that Problem too?


    one of the nice things about the net is that it allows the mordern day HITECH jw to quickly learn that they are not alone as so many other dear bros and sisters felt back in the 70's many thought they were crazy from seeming like they were all by themselves
    but today with the net you have seen and read i'm sure so many exp that mirror your own exp in wt

    and that is a good thing to see that what you felt, saw and heard --

    as to getting professional help that is up to you

    but many have found the comfort of being here on the public forum and private email has proven to be the best

    unless you can get a former jw professional or one who has dealt with person involved in HIGHCONTROL GROUPS in my exp you will get little help

    many because few professional are up to speed on what it means to live ones life with death always over your head for not reading your latest WT

    but i suggest email some of the poster here and call them on the phone and it will help you make more progress than you can imagine


    "I'd rather have questions I can't answer than questions I can't ask (or answers I can't question)."

  • Englishman

    Joel Bear,

    I guess what we are talking about is the causative factor. Let me illustrate, look at the post on elders and confession. Someone who is guilt ridden for a long period of time can actually damage their nervous system with worry so that the nervous system is over-sensitised, which can lead to panic attacks.

    Other causes are rooted in the subconscious and may take a long time to surface. My point is that you can not fight panic at the time of the attack, you can only learn a coping technique, if it doesn't fade with time then psychotherapy may help.



  • Jackson

    I agree with Joelbear that the problem is mostly inherited. My family has a history with this kind of stuff and I have suffered for 35 years. What a DRAG! My attacks were so severe I was afraid to eat in a restaurant or go to a show. Medicine has helped a great deal and relaxation techniques are showing promise for me. One thing you must understand, is to not let the attacks scare you anymore. I especially want the attacks to come when I'm at home. Then I can practice deep breathing techniques to get over them. The more you see the attacks will pass, with no harm, the easier it will be for you. Good Luck. Jackson.

  • mommy

    Hey Chris
    I spoke to you in chat the other day and we had a good time, welcome to the board. I know I experienced a host of problems after leaving the org. But panic attacks wasn't one of them. I did have them a few years ago, and also last year, when going through some stressful times. It can be very upsetting and the dread of not knowing when they will show up is a scary thought.

    I also had a hard time in social situations, but the first "wordly" people I became friends with were really good people. This helped me to step over the bridge and get to know them. Since that time I have met alot of people with many different personalities, you soon will be able to decide who really have a goods heart. I feel because in Jwdom we are taught to preach, to control a convo so that we can make a point. Alot of us have a hard time just talking about nothing. I remember this was something I had to get over when I left. Now I don't have that problem, and can effectivly talk your ear off about absolutly nothing at all

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