why jw's commit suicide?
thanks for apologising as in order to discredit my views you represented them as naive and idyllic. that is pretty insulting coming from a psychologist. The research I shared does mention Jehovahs witnesses - did you actually read the article? Iannaccone's reasearch (not just the piece I shared) is often cited by other scholars when discussing mental health and JWs. he is an expert in this area of social science. However none of this denies any of the points you or others are making regarding the emotional difficulties experienced within Jehovah's witnesses. What it does do is suggest that people come, look around and go rather than remain in such a high pressure atmosphere.
regarding your practice I would simply like reassurance that if you ever treated a jw who had suicidal thoughts you would refer them for psychiatric help in case they needed medication as I know that psychologists do not prescribe medication. I feel justified in questioning you in this way because you often give general psychological advice or offer your opinion based on your credentials telling us you are in the mental health profession and therefore justifying that you are qualified to speak.
I started this post at a time when the old thoughts had returned. I find it interesting when I finally had the courage to come back to this page to find that there were many thoughtful answers, but some were so quick to start picking others apart that they didn't stop to think why someone was writing this. I have been talking with my counselor.I am getting help. In a moment of desperation I just thought maybe it was not just me. Maybe all those twisted things I was raised on could by adding to this. I would ask please, is the topic is mental health think before you write. There is a reason people bring up these subjects.
notalone - there is huge awareness now regarding what you are suffering and you are not alone. Even the royal family are coming out about such experiences here in the UK. Jehovah's witnesses are very demanding and competitive and their rewards are for those who can fulfill those obligations. Such an atmosphere can only make you feel worse. Glad that you are receiving help and there is medication too that can be taken. hugs to you.
I think that JW children have an underlying sense/fear that they can never live up to (or don't want to live up to) the standards they've been taught that God requires for them to be spared the impending destruction that is always looming over their heads.
Telling children that the world is going to end in destruction is a form of child abuse, because they are black and white thinkers and don't have the psychological coping skills to cope with the idea of world destruction. Some children may conclude that the only way for them to avoid the future doom, is to die now. Over time, this underlying conclusion may become a habitual and automatic thought that runs through their subconscious minds during times of high stress.
There are therapies designed to help individuals retrain or gain control over their subconscious thoughts and identify them as they happen. These thoughts may eventually go away entirely but sometimes they come back during stressful times in ones life. Having the ability to identify them as they occur and replace them with positive thoughts, is key.
They often don't care about themselves enough to get good help or don't have the energy to do so.
Absolutely Dubstepped people with mental illness often " fall through the cracks" if they don't have anyone who is willing to seek help for them. Either because they don't approve of the help offered, like JWs, are being shunned or they just don't pick up on the cues.
Remember most depressed people don't see a lot of people and withdraw into themselves. This alone puts JWs at risk since if you fail to get involved in JW life you will be pre-emptively shunned too, making them even more alone.
Telling children that the world is going to end in destruction is a form of child abuse, because they are black and white thinkers and don't have the psychological coping skills to cope with the idea of world destruction. Some children may conclude that the only way for them to avoid the future doom, is to die now.
This was me Pete Zahut
MOrpheus If you only knew one suicide in however many years in a big city I would say you were very lucky. Check out the exjw reddit sub - we get postings grieving the death of friends ( accompanied with newspaper articles often) every few weeks. They tend to be young, tragically, and stuck in (Pimo) or DF and shunned.
Perhaps you are right, some of these people would have suffered depression anyway, JW or not .Perhaps the statistics for jw's are the same as for the General population. But I would say two things to you.
1) control has increased over the years
2) shunning has increased, too
This has made things worse since your day
Thanks Ruby - yes I did call your take on the research naïve and idyllic - and upon reflection that was not helpful to the discussion. So I apologize.
In my service. it is a standard requirement that all clients have an assigned psychiatrist, whether or not they are seeing a psychologist.
When relevant, I have briefly disclosed my background so that clients do not belatedly discover I was raised a JW and then feel trapped - I am so aware of the power differential. I have yet to have any JW decline to see me under those conditions. It is a strictly professional relationship and they have the right to withdraw their consent to be seen at any time - as do all clients who see registered clinical psychologists.
I also see ex-JWs or those who in some way have been adversely impacted by JW organization policies. But I have to say - lest I create the wrong impression - that I see a diverse range of clients who have in common severe mental health difficulties.
thank you so much steve2 for your apology and explanation. You come across as sensitive, kind and trustworthy.
The reason I am so eager to get to the bottom of whether or not suicide is higher or lower among JWs is because I need to know so that I can gauge how bad it is for those of my family who are inside. for me the figures do not add up even when we consider how many are disfellowshipped each year. But I won't delve into this again.
the social science sources I dug out to reread are cited by Scott Atran in his well researched book In Gods we Trust: the evolutionary Landscape of Religion. In the past such research helped me come to terms with worries that I had regarding those who remain JWs and this freed me to pursue my own education. The other things I shared regarding mental health and suicide came from The Samaritans website and I was aware of their warning regarding copycat self harm in case a very troubled teenager was reading here.
jw are drawn out of the 'world'. they are offered a wonderful life 'in' and after the big A. Having done their damnest to be perfect (as required) they succumb to the petty little tyrants who criticise a shirt, shoes an odd word ie "luck" and generally follow a knock 'em down modus operandi.
Like the sister mentioned above who did the lot and finally threw herself off a building their human needs were not only not met but denied. Think too of the ones who have been abused, or gossiped about until they can take no more. The wt denies the value of the mental health profession and people who have been 'locked' into the wt for years have no where to go as far as they see so they take their own lives.