Jehovah's Witness / ex-JW Suicide Rate?
"It's similar IMO to the deaths due to lack of blood transfusion - many often make the news but many times we all know of the same, what appear to thankfully be rather isolated, incidents which make me question whether there are really the many hundreds of thousands that some claim there are."
me too. if some of the numbers ive seen quoted were true--it would be a massive scandal.
"I heard of about four suicides in the decades I was in, but two were probably not simply because they were JW's, one poor girl had lost the love of her life, and one guy was heavily in debt."
here in the UK it's relatively easy in many cases to walk away from serious debts. if anyone is in that situation--Citizens Advice is your first call.
I've got to get my head around the O.P. I had never thought about it like that.
i remember a guy that came to meetings, he was a smoker, a drinker, and yet he kicked the habits and got baptized. When he went back to smoking he was disfellowshipped. I was at best only 13 at the time. Now more mature I can say any organisation that treats members like that and says basically they are a waste of space and disfellowships them will have a high suicide rate.
slimboyfat - "It's commonly assumed that JWs have high mental illness and suicide rates, but I am not aware of any strong evidence to support it."
Yeah, it's more like one of those "Jeezus-how-could-they-not?" things...
Personally, I suspect that there are generally more suicidals amongst still-ins, because exiting - more often than not - seems to mitigate the stresses that exacerbate it.
Phizzy, that's more or less the point: among JWs there will be suicides for reasons just like in the general population, but also due to DF or other policies. Those reasons combined would make the JW rate higher than average.
My gut feeling is that the rate is unusually high. From a blood relative struggling with depression, to a poor lady in Phoenix who jumped off a high-rise and took her child with her, to a couple unfortunate souls here on JWN, its all been very, very sad.
I don't know of any formal studies to substantiate this gut feeling though.
But then there are factors that would mitigate it - emphasis on not being materialistic / getting into debt, reduced access to firearms, sense of community, reduced levels of substance abuse etc...
It's quite possible that some factors raise the rate while others lower it - the question is, which factors have the biggest impact?
Simon - "... the question is, which factors have the biggest impact?"
The one where they discourage professional counseling?