What is the current suicide and mental illness rate among JWs and previous members

by 060702015 28 Replies latest jw friends

  • SAHS

    As another example, I knew of a Jehovah's Witnesses who began hearing voices, a sign of schizophrenia. He was disfellowshipped, as they assumed he was demonized.

    When I read that, my right fist started to tensely curl up. It really makes me mad when self-righteous religious cults so arrogantly dismiss things like, oh, medicine, and the general sciences. Last I checked, we were supposed to have graduated from the old dark ages. (Although, unfortunately, those types of folks so inclined do keep popping up even in our so-called “enlightened” age.)

  • 060702015

    Are the mental illnesses preexisiting? or develops within or after leaving the organization ?

  • ToesUp

    I think they are all in our family! Lol

  • fiddler

    I was born into the JW religion and experienced my own mental health decline due to constantly having to deal with the cognitive dissonance. Before I left I really just wanted to die. The 'new system' was not a happy prospect for me to contemplate knowing that many family members, good neighbors, good people were going to be destroyed by my so called 'loving God'. That part of their theology in itself is a recipe for mental health disorders and don't tell me they don't teach the destruction of billions today. We only have to listen to the JW broadcast and governing body members to hear that mass genocide of the human population us still being shoved into the brains of the 'sheep'. ...human hotdogs anybody???

    I also observed many depressed individuals from sisters to elders. I've wondered if the mentally unwell are drawn to this religion in fact. They would call them 'the sighing and crying ones..'.

    I would call them depressed. These are people who can't cope with life. They are people often living with the consequences of their own bad choices. To hear that 'God will fix it all AND bring back their dead loved ones AND you that they can live forever and pet lions AND panda bears, SIMULTANEOUSLY just appeals to their every desire! Sure, there are also a few educated people that fall for that bait as well but by and large, it is the less educated and depressed.

    The rest are born in. My grandmother started our family in the religion straight out of the Great Depression! I think many 3rd and 4th generation witnesses came from that background. And there you have it!

  • LisaRose
    Are the mental illnesses preexisiting? or develops within or after leaving the organization ?

    I think a little of both. I think the religion attracts people that are struggling, but I also think their teachings cause some people to suffer to a certain extent. I think if you are talking about more serious issues, like schizophrenia or bipolar, then there has to be some kind of predisposition, it's unlikely that the religion could cause it, although it might make it worse. But if you are talking depression, then it's possible they could cause it, it's a religion of guilt. I think in most cases it's a combination of both, nature and nurture.

    With my daughter I have to say I can't blame her issues entirely on the religion, she was always going to be different. But when you have a child who worries about everything, having her exposed to the concept of Armageddon on a regular basis was probably not a healthy thing. She was about seven or eight when the Yearbook about the JWs in the concentration camp came out. She obsessed about being put in a concentration camp for a year. But did that cause her issues? Who knows? Most children were obviously not affected in that way. Maybe she was the canary in the coal mine, maybe she would have turned out the same anyway. She also obsessed about growing up and having to pay taxes, she actually cried on her birthday because she had to get older and pay taxes. She's fine now btw.

  • 060702015

    LisaRose --

    much peace and love to your daughter

  • Wayward

    I can't give you statistics, but I can give you a few examples from my old hall. One elder's wife suffered a nervous breakdown. Another elder's daughter attempted suicide and was hospitalized for several days. There was a middle-aged 'sister' with mental illness, not sure which. My former best friend was diagnosed as bipolar. My mother suffered bouts of depression when I was growing up. I began having suicidal thoughts and depression beginning when I 13. There were probably others but these are just the ones I know of. That's six people out of a congregation of just over a hundred.

  • wannaexit

    I am not going to give too much credence to one study, especially by Rolf Foruli. But I will say what I see around . There is plenty of mental illness among Jehovah's witnesses. In a congregation of 90 there are the following:

    3 known to have bi-polar

    1 schizophrenia

    10 + suffering with some depressive mood disorder

    I'll create my own study and say that there is just as much mental illness among the jdubs as anywhere else maybe more.

    A number of years ago , I worked in service with a circuit overseer's wife who was advocating taking anti -depressants. I think she was taking them too. She freely shared that there were many sisters in the circuit who got along with medication.

  • Vidiot

    I've long suspected that there are more JWs who medicate (or self-medicate) than there are who don't.

    Honestly, when you have an authoritarian structure and ideology like the WTS's, how could there not be?

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