The physical effects of Cognitive Dissonance

by stuckinarut2 21 Replies latest jw experiences

  • stuckinarut2

    Hi all!

    Most of us here have gone through, or are going through the various stages "cognitive dissonance".

    This is a term used to describe a situation where our minds, and hearts just KNOW that something is "not quite right", and therefore we find ourselves in a muddle trying to reconcile the things we KNOW with the things we are hearing or being told...

    So just wondering, how many of you found yourselves (or still find yourselves) becoming PHYISCALLY ill in some way during the time of fading?

    I know that when I look back, for several years even before I was awake to the many issues and facts about the society, I would feel ill at assemblies or conventions. Often serious migraines would occur. I would put it down to the stresses of the day or getting ready or travelling there etc...BUT....

    Now too, when I observe witnesses, I see that SO MANY of them are not happy...or seem so VERY STRESSED out in their daily lives. Like life is such a chore or burden - not a joy. Is that cognitive dissonance at play?

    Thoughts? Experiences?

  • Still Totally ADD
    Still Totally ADD

    When I woke up I went through a lot of depression and anxiety. I was the PO at the time and I was worried about how to fad from the Borg. It took several years to totally leave and a lot of research and reading this forum. After many years now out of the Borg I still have nightmares from time to time. But I am able to reason my fears away. I was told on this forum many years ago the time I spent in the cult will always be part of me and I will have to deal with it when it comes up. This is who I am and will be until I die. That is OK with me. For it has made me stronger and wiser. I can smell a cult a mile away now. LOL. I am happier now and more in control of my life. Trust me it will always a battle but is will worth it. I hope this will help. Still Totally ADDl

  • sparrowdown

    How could the amount of intellectual and emotional denial required to be a JW not cause stress related psychosomatic symptoms?

    I used to get back pain and muscle stiffness at conventions and blamed it on the seating and high heels, and while I'm sure the seating arrangement was crap and the high heels didn't help I never get same aches and pains now when I go to seminars or concerts where I am sitting for long periods of time.

    The differences are the subject matter or performance is something that I chose and find interesting/entertaining. I'm not concerned that the people around me are judging me. I can dress however I want, leave whenever I want, and I don't have to like it. Or, if I do like it I can un-self-consciously whoop it up with the rest of the audience at the end and go and have drinks guilt free afterward.

  • DesirousOfChange

    When I woke up I went through a lot of depression and anxiety.

    Same here. I simply could not believe that everything I had been "taught from infancy" and believed whole-souled could ALL BE WRONG! I floundered in disbelief for months trying to convince myself it was a bad dream and to find the solution. I prayed and prayed for direction for a miracle to solve it all.

    However, it was my struggling that moved my wife to look into it deeper and she too then saw TTATT. (So at least that part of it was a good thing!)

    Forget about the money and sacrifices. We realize now that we were robbed of many of the best years of our lives. . . . Doc

  • DesirousOfChange

    I never get same aches and pains now when I go to seminars or concerts where I am sitting for long periods of time.

    But are ya wearing those high heels?

  • Spiral

    I was soooooo happy to quit going to meetings I felt great! BUT - funny you should ask...... for quite awhile before waking up I was having problems (stress, headaches, etc.) at the assemblies - I just couldn't stand the "crowd". (I hear this particular complaint a lot from my JW friends still in.) I didn't make the connection until I totally quit going, it was just so wonderful not to have to sit all day and listen to that SH*&^!!

    AND - since I am in a position to see lately, I know a couple of people who are showing the classic physical signs of CD (physical stress, depression, migraines). You just WANT to say something, but I know I don't dare. Just looking forward to welcoming them on the other side, once they finally quit.

  • skin

    Another stage of "cognitive dissonance" can be found in this weeks (24th Oct 2016) Congregational book study. Near the end of this weeks study is this:


    Consider some historical events from the decades leading up to 1914. Can you see how these developments helped God’s people to be prepared for the birth of the Messianic Kingdom?"

    Notice anything wrong with this? or misleading? Most JW's would have no idea what Russell was really teaching before 1914, (and up until the 1930's). Just the modern days WT reversion of its History. For those that don't see what is misleading with this title. Both Rutherford & Russell preached and published both before and after 1914, was the the birth of this Messianic Kingdom happened in 1874, and Christ was given rulership of that Kingdom in 1878. So how could Gods people be preparing for this birth, when at the time, it had already happened!.

  • LongHairGal

    I think the cognitive dissonance and feelings of discomfort came in waves. Even though I felt something was wrong, I didn't initially attribute it to the religion...not initially anyway.

    As time went on and I saw things were wrong, I felt I could work around it. Then came the fateful day in 1995 when they had their changed teaching on Generation. I felt like I got sucker-punched and I knew it was really OVER.....from that point forward it was in my mind that I somehow had to make my exit from the Witness religion. Once I started planning, I don't believe I ever felt sick to my stomach after that.

  • sowhatnow

    its emotionally damaging to us and our health to know something that needs corrected,

    and that we feel we cant do anything about it.

    its like being paralyzed in a wheel chair and watching people burn in a house fire

    because the only thing you can do is yell and they wont listen.

    its horrible.

  • schnell

    I can't tell you how many times I had to explain cognitive dissonance to various elders and JWs because they had no clue.

    Yes, I've felt it. Strongly.

    I was baptized at 14. A recent Watchtower about "youths" getting baptized (and boy is it always nice when they're called "youths") while they're still young made me ill, and I left at the half. A bunch of kids were commenting at that study, and I think they're all baptized now. They're kids. They have no idea about the world around them or about the veracity of what they're being taught. They have no idea what being baptized for the rest of your life really entails.

    I actually quit the school recently after being assigned the demonstration to say that we suffer because of Adam and Eve. No. No, I am not teaching that. That is not why we suffer today, and no credible Bible scholar would agree with the WT on this. No, I've decided to put my intellectual honesty before my religious affiliation, for my own health and sanity.

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