why jw's commit suicide?
I expressed that I was really troubled with suicidal thoughts and had written goodbye letters to my kids.
What? You mean you didn't repeat the magic mantra of "I am an integrity keeper." and then bake some cookies?
( Reference to a mind-numbing video)
The organization requires a lot, but gives back so little, in support, encouragement and understanding, it's an all or nothing mind set, not a healthy way to live. The practice of shunning individuals who transgress is especially problematic, it can be devastating to lose all your family and friends. They don't especially approve of mental health care, and look down on those who slow down on meeting attendance and field service for whatever reason. They hide and cover up child sex abuse and elders have little education or training in counseling or mental health.
I do know of many suicides over the 30 years I was associated, but it sometimes surprises me that there weren't more, it's a religion that shoots their wounded.
I think Steve and JWfacts nailed it. We don't really "all know that suicide rate among JW's is high". We suspect it might be compared to the general population of the individual countries they are active in. But we don't really know. It might be the same as the normal population (which is what I suspect), but because of the small community word travels fast.
Also, I don't believe they actively or subliminally encourage suicide. That would be folly when you are already hemorrhaging members to the tune of 60-80K a year.
But feeling like you are not good enough, that the entire world will be destroyed.......these things can't help.
If you have mental health issues then it is best to stay away from witnesses. Studies indicate that most people do even if they begin to associate with them they do not stay very long even if they get baptized. Suicide is very preventable but the thing to do is to seek help and definitely don't turn to alcohol or drugs as these worsen the feelings and mood.
Apart from the above the fact is that Jehovah's witnesses are a high cost, high commitment, high participation-requiring religion and those who are suffering to such an extent that they cannot participate fully or as expected of them are usually sidelined (exactly as the experiences here suggest) and such ones leave as they feel unpopular and unwanted. Here is a study that makes such points and the inference from this is that there is less depression and less suicide among Jehovah's witnesses than in the general population for the reasons that I have already mentioned above. but this is not to recommend them but to indicate that individuals seeking any kind of psychological support will not receive it at the KH. Better to seek help that works.
I shall argue that strict demands "strengthen" a church in three ways: they raise overall levels of commitment, they increase average rates of participation, and they enhance the net benefits of membership. These strengths arise because strictness mitigates free-rider problems that otherwise lead to low levels of member commitment and participation. Free riders threaten most collective activities, and religious activities are no exception. Church members may attend services, call upon the pastor for counsel, enjoy the fellowship of their peers, and so forth, without ever putting a dollar in the plate or bringing a dish to the potluck. Direct monitoring (of attendance, contributions, and other overt behaviors) fails to solve the problem because it tends to undermine critical group attributes such as commitment, enthusiasm, and solidarity. But seemingly unproductive costs provide an indirect solution. These costs screen out people whose participation would otherwise be low, while at the same time they increase participation among those who do join
I just last Sunday visited with one of my peer group who commented that they feel NOTHING is ever good enough in the congregation
The organization requires a lot, but gives back so little, in support, encouragement and understanding, it's an all or nothing mind set, not a healthy way to liveThese two statements sum it up perfectly as to why some Dubs kill themselves, ESPECIALLY the first one.
thats not true Shirely as suicide is complex. the people you describe choose to leave rather than commit suicide. It takes a lot more than that for a person to kill themselves if there is no alcohol or drugs or both involved. Jehovahs witnesses are nothing more than a small high commitment group!!! there is a whole world out there waiting to be discovered
Who the hell are you Ruby to speak to what is enough to create a suicide in an INDIVIDUAL that is not you? You can't know what an individual may or may not be able to take, what they have the tools to overcome, etc. True, one thing doesn't often a suicide make, but it could be any one thing that pushes someone over the edge.
I also don't know how you can say that mentally ill people don't join. It happens all the time. People with trauma or mental illness are attracted to them.
I believe that the cult not only attracts but also creates mental illness. Leaving relieved me of so much, and I left so many mentally ill people behind. You are asserting things as though you know absolutes. Your minimization above of them being nothing more than a high commitment group is what is crazy. They're much more than that.
Additionally, asserting that suicide is easily preventable, just go get help and don't escape into detrimental things shows a profound lack of understanding as to how people with things like depression act. They often don't care about themselves enough to get good help or don't have the energy to do so.
dubstepped - and how can you assert what you are asserting. you do not even appear to be able to read straight such is your righteous indignation - where have I said suicide is easily preventable. all I am doing is avoiding the drama and sensationalism you appear to enjoy indulging in.
@ruby - way to address nothing and pick on my use of one point in your downplaying of it all. All you are doing is minimizing what others have gone through, or maybe didn't quite make it through.
Dubstepped I have already replied to the other points you rasie in this thread. But I agree that suicide shouldn't be minimised and this is what I was aiming for by sharing what I have shared. to kill oneself is serious but it is highly preventable. i know that individuals who contemplate suicide are reluctant to seek help but this means that we need to keep on reminding them that suicide is very very preventable or at least this is what the samaritans tell us on their webpages - that it is preventable by means of treatment.
edit: the Samaritans also warn about copycat suicide so this is another thing to consider when talking about it. there is also such a thing as contagion ... they warn