A few years back I knew a couple of active JWs who committed suicide, and it was a real shock when the news made it way around. The first was in a small town called Gas, Kansas, I don't recall the exact year but it was before I was married, so the very early 1990s. I had briefly met an elder from that congregation when I went to help build their kingdom hall, at the time I was a member of the Kansas Electrical Crew. I don't remember his name anymore. He seemed like a good fellow, good-natured, but then again I really didn't know him other than those four days I was there. Then a short time later, while he was at work, four men broke into his home and beat his wife to death (I had heard it was baseball bats.) By the time he returned home his wife was dead, and the criminals were gone. There were quite a few rumors floating around, including that he was behind her murder. He was eventually cleared of all charges and released. I don't know if he had made it to her funeral or not, but I was told he wasn't able to make it to her funeral. The first opportunity he was able he went out to her grave and by using a gun killed himself.
The second was someone that my husband knew very well, in Joplin Missouri. He was married and had two young school-age children. He waited till his wife and children left then hung himself in their home. It was his wife who discovered his body. My husband said that he was dealing with depression. My husband also told me that this person's father had also killed himself years before. I got the impression that his father was a JW as well because my husband said that family was something like the fourth generation witnesses.
When I was 16, I nearly took my own life, because of dealing with years of abuse, it just took me a while to work up the nerve to try it. I didn't like the idea of hurting myself or screwing up and permanently maiming myself so I decided to go the route of overdosing on pills. It was my baby sister who found me, and she alerted our parents. I was rushed to the ER and had my stomach pumped. Afterward, they did a complete workup on my blood to see if there was anything else going on, and there was. To make a long story short, attempting and failing at suicide actually saved my life. They had found that I was totally depleted potassium, and it was a matter of days before that would have killed me.
I took all this as a learning lesson, and with my knowledge, I actually prevented two suicides because I had recognized from my own pain and the signs they had given off. The first was a friend in school, she was not a JW, but was going through her own issues. And the second was my husband, and that was a very trying time because he wanted to wait until I left to do something before ending his life. There was a couple of times I had to take care of a few errands, but I didn't leave him alone. I had to have someone watch over him, and he was trying his best to get the other person to leave. My husband's issues at the time were temporary, and he sees that now, and he is very grateful that I cared enough and knew what to look out for. A good portion of his problem at the time was his parents, and siblings - all JWs who made him feel like he was a worthless piece of [email protected], and that was before we left the Watchtower. I am fairly sure that if we had stayed in that cult, he would have eventually found a way to end his life. I honestly feel that leaving the JWs saved my husband life, and made him want to enjoy the things that life has to offers, such as his children and me.