The Awake! 8 October 2004 has devoted a full two pages to its normal column "From Our Readers" exclusively for responses to the article Understanding Mood Disorders. The heading states:
Note: The series "Understanding Mood Disorders" which appeared in our issue of January 8, 2004, drew an unusually large reader response. The following letters are just a sampling of the many we received.
What is really of note is how many of the responses reflect the attitude as indoctrinated by the "old-school" view of mental illness. To quote excerpts from a few (and respond with JW articles):
My sister suffers from major depression. When I read these articles, I cried because I realized that I have spoken with such ignorance concerning her plight.
*** yp chap. 13 p. 112 Why Do I Get So Depressed? ***
Also beneficial is engaging in activities that bring you pleasure. Try shopping for some personal treat, playing games, cooking your favorite recipe, browsing through a bookstore, dining out, reading, even working at a puzzle, such as those that appear in Awake! magazine.
I always considered depression to be selfish, something to snap out of. After reading these articles, however, I realized that by not being considerate of others' feelings, I was actually the one being selfish.
*** w88 2/15 p. 14 "Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled" ***
Various forms of depressed moods are common during these "critical times hard to deal with." (2 Timothy 3:1) People become discouraged and dejected for a variety of reasons. This may happen to Christians too, and it can be a most unpleasant experience. Many have found, though, that preaching the good news has helped them to snap out of a temporary bout with the blues
I have been criticized by my own family to the point of wanting to commit suicide.
*** w83 8/1 p. 6 Why So Many Suicides? ***
Nothing, however, is more injurious than suicide. Hence, there is also a way out for those tempted by this. Jehovah has provided help both through his Word, the Bible, and through the Christian congregation.
My friend's daughter has mental problems, and I told her that if she simply studied more and prayed more she would feel better. The information on page 10 of the series showed me that I was wrong.
***w77 5/1 p. 261 You Can Deal with Depression ***
In addition to prayer, get the good, balancing wisdom and comfort from God?s Word by reading and meditating upon it daily. If you do not feel like reading, get someone to read to you. Discussion of what is being read will help greatly to lift up your spirits.
Many times I cried when someone told me that if we are Christains, we don't get depressed.
***g76 12/22 p. 11 What Can You Do About Being Depressed? ***
Even now, before complete fulfillment of these sure promises, the Bible can help to uproot deep-seated depression. How so? Because persons who live according to Bible principles can offer one of the most important elements in treating any mental disturbance.
Yep, thats right, basically a bunch of quotes from old publications if you ask me.
So to the writers of Awake!:
When exactly did you wake up to the fact that you were completely ignorant, and how dare you congradulate yourself with this masterbatorial edifiation? Your readers have been slitting their wrists on your advice for years! And now you come about-face and accept their gratitude? Shame on you, two pages of apology is what required to the millions of JWs who suffer under your yoke.