by BourneIdentity 11 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Sigfrid Mallozzi
    Sigfrid Mallozzi

    I'll be blunt. Many brothers and sisters have to drink a Jubilee year size portion of alcohol to dull their senses just to be able to continue as one of JW's. The relationship of alcohol to anxiety is similar to gasoline to a fire.

  • RogueRavenclaw

    Anxiety is one of the many things that began to trigger the opening of my mind and the critical analysis of the Witness life. I was raised a Witness and my father is an elder (and former PO) and my mother is the daughter of a CO. I was fed a steady diet growing up of being overly concerned with what other people think of me. What I wear, what I say, what I do. I didnt even realize how anxious I actually was until a doctor temporarily put me on Xanax. And really, on Xanax, I was the perfect Witness child. When my PC Doc took me off Xanax my mother visibly was upset and asked the doctor if I really needed to quit taking it because I was so much easier to live with. (Not to mention compliant, cheerful, and happy to do anything asked of me without questions)

    Outside of living a Witness life my anxiety is extremely manageable and I do not feel I require medication. In fact when I last was giving being a Witness a fresh try, I found myself wishing I could return to taking anxiety meds and this also gave me pause.

    One of my closest friends who is still very much a Witness, and stays in touch mostly via social media, is Bi-Polar. Their anxiety and that of one of their teenage child is extremely bad. This family is a constant target of their congregation elders for "counseling" on the activities the family does for recreation. Going as far as to counsel them about what they are spending on hobbies and recreation, even though they have no real idea of the families finances.

    I have tried to encourage them moving away, not specifically to leave the religion, but to find a congregation that has kinder, more ethical elders. I think because they live in a small town the elders are bored and need someone to "shepherd". The teen child, without realizing they do it, self harms by picking their skin open due to constant stress, they are covered in sores (and yes this child receives mental health services and treatment). I asked my friend if they have spoken to their mental health doctor about how their elders treat them, because this is a trigger, and they said no because they don't want the doctor to think they are in a cult!

    It breaks my heart to see how the mental health of this entire family is effected, how they are targeted and, just call it what it is, persecuted. The are such good people, and even, truly good Witnesses. Their relationship with their elders is like that of a person who has an abusive spouse they won't leave.

    And this is only one friend. I have known so many I know who struggle with anxiety and mental health and I feel as though I am the only one who sees what the actual root cause is, its it the perpetual culture of repeatedly telling a person they arent trying hard enough and that they need to do more, put in more effort, and never feeling like they are good enough, or do enough to be pleasing to people, and to the God, they hold in such high regard.

    (Sorry this was so long, it is my first post)

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