The following video by critical thinking pretty much sum's up why many JW's end up with depression. In many cases, people simply burn out. The lady you mentioned Jambon, hits the nail on the head imo
You know it's time to give up the JW religion when your route call tells you to
I remember a lot of student's made valid points contrary to what the BibleTeach taught. I always dismissed them with invalid arguments and kept going. Wish I would have paid a little more attention, but ,honestly, I just wanted to be done with the study and go home. That was my study policy - go get it done. I always loved it when they would cancel on me. It made my day!
Lol exactly. And while I myself was keeping up with all my teachings I was never allowed to progress and consistently told how bad I was doing by all the JWs. So I burned out because doing the same thing over and over again (like the Jdubs say to do) and expecting a different result is insanity!
Not only that, but this was one of the first things I posted about on this website and I was screwtenized for blaming the religion. Pretty ironic since there are plenty Apostates on here.
Nonetheless good for you man figuring it out. Know you aren't alone and we just gotta keep peace in our mind as our focus, not constant worries.
I knew I had to walk away from the JW religion when I knew that I could no longer, in good conscience, go telling the public it was "truth". I couldn't stand another word of it.
I was dragging my rear-end ever since the 1995 changed Generation teaching. This was the last straw and there was no getting away from it....So, I knew it was time to finally and gracefully make my exit. I did so in the earlier part of 2001.
I also relate to your not wanting people in the congregation "forced" on you. I felt the same way. Can you imagine it now, with all the disturbed individuals they brought in?? At least when I left there were responsible and sane people there.
I'd run from them all now!
Jambon -- that was one great call.
steve2 - "...it was the JW environment itself that sustained my depressed outlook."
Back in the 90s, there was a short period where the WT publications touched on depression.
It was as if they were initially willing to look into the alleged problem of high levels of it amongst the rank-and-file...
...and then, all of a sudden, it stopped, and the Org's official position was "JWs are the happiest people on Earth (period)".
Some here have deduced that WT reps did, in fact, determin that the JW religion itself was indeed the primary cause of said high levels of depression, freaked out and refused to investigate any further, and made their blanket statement to serves as their "final word" on the matter.
Know what else that reminds me of?
"We abhor child abuse (period)."
I spent most of my adult life struggling with bouts of depression - over and over I would be told pray more, go out in service more (was a pioneer), more personal study, etc etc etc. Those were the nice comments. Then there were the ones that were less nice like "oh you must be doing something or have done something to block Jehovah's spirit". Guilt guilt guilt.
When I left there was some rough times as I transitioned after 30+ years as a born in to a "worldly person". However, slowly the overwhelming depression lifted to a very manageable content life. I graduated college, became a mom, settled into the cliche PTO middle age career mom thingy. Not perfect but I'm relatively happy.
A few years ago I ran into a close relative who is also an elder. He actually talked to me for quite awhile. Because he is a relative he had heard through the grapevine how well my life was going and he told me everyone (The congregation/friends) were actually kind of angry/perplexed because I was doing so well - so much better. I outright told him when all the needless constant guilt and unreal expectations went away do did my depression. As a witness I had been born to fail. He had no reply. He didn't get angry. He just got this look in his eye like "yeah, I get it". I found out shortly after that through the grapevine that he had been dealing with his own issues with internal elder politics.
Shortly, after that I ran into another elder, one who had actually been on my judicial committee. He was always a very sweet older brother and said that I looked like I was doing really well. I said yes I was. He said he and his wife missed me, but obviously things were going well for me and left it at that.
Deep down I think a lot of those in really really know it is not a healthy environment.
jesscd - "...Deep down I think a lot of those in really know it is not a healthy environment."
And more often than not, they end up here.
If you deny yourself for so long, you are in for a psychological crack, a nervous breakdown.
If you love science, how long can you sit there while a brother at the hall comments that evolution is a false teaching? That he doesn't know where all those dinosaur bones came from?
If you love art and beauty and expression, how long can you sit there without expressing yourself? You think nudes and violence and bad language are wrong? At least they're honest.
If you love someone you're told you can't love, what can you do about it?
If you're told to put off everything and keep your head in the future, how can you ever be present here and now?
If your psyche is a piece of embroidery, and everything you deny is on the underside (your Shadow in Jungian psychology), I'd really hate to see the chaotic mess that lies beneath that of a long time Witness.
Now, to be fair, we do have to deny ourselves. We live in a world of consequences and we have to act appropriately. But a religion that demands you sacrifice so much of yourself is not at all necessary.
I know I am late to this party but.... here is an extremely sympathetic, emotional FUCK YEAH!!!!
I cant describe what these types of posts do for my soul other then a swelling of happiefiedness!!! Welcome to the REAL world! You have taken a monumental step forward for your child/ren!