High rates of depression in Org.

by chuckyy 72 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • chuckyy

    I noticed after being a JW for a while that many members of my congregation were having to take antedepressants

    (I counted at least 30 out of 100)

    After a few years I too began to have bouts of depression and problems with anxiety. Was there a similar pattern in your old congs???? Did you suffer with depression when a JW???? What do you feel the causes of this may be???

  • Gill

    Hi there,

    Yes I can remember many having problems with depression but also autoimmune disorders, stress related illnesses,and ME and other illnesses related to mental problems, such as anorexia.

    I think some of it may be due to the real lack of hope. As in you may or you may not survive Armageddon. It depends on....meetings, hours in field service etc...

    Repression of normal desires, sex, to have children, a career with a fair paying job.

    Endless boring hours of meetings.

    Endless boring hours of field service.

    Endless boring hours of study.

    Being criticised and 'counselled' if not up to 'the mark'.

    A very miserable life indeed always having to put the rules of the WTBTS ahead of your own human needs.

  • under74

    YES. I've mentioned on other threads that there was an overwhelming amount of people that had breakdowns. When I was real young it was always explained that "such and such sister was in the hospital" or a member of the KH would just be gone for a couple months and then I'd find out that they had a nervous breakdown...it seemed to happen all the time.

  • franklin J
    franklin J

    yes, this was also my experience.

    When I broke away form the "truth" I experienced severe depression. Fortunate for me I had an excellent therapist who treated me with masses doses of vitamins; austere diet region and physical excercise No drugs.

    What was also invaluble for the emergence from depression was the making of new non JW friends and new positive experiences in my life.

  • doodle-v

    Yep. Jehoobers Organization is truely the happiest place to be.

    I also noticed that a large number in our cong had (mostly women, including my mom) had chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia or both, along with sensitivity to strong smells and such. In fact it was the norm to see several sisters all sitting in the back of the hall wearing masks.


  • franklin J
    franklin J

    doodle....wearing masks? HAH ! ROFLMAO ! MASKS!

    ....was the back row reserved for the sisters wearing masks?

  • Valis

    I have an entire side of my family that has suffered with depression. One went so crazy he blew his head off with a hunting rifle in a showdown w/the SWAT team. Not to mention the pickle jar size bottle of lithium that was always on my aun't kitchen counter.

  • Erich

    I have learned how to remain as a JW in "good stand" without having depressions.

    Usually it`s nearly impossible.

    Only under the prerequisite, that you DO NOT take all seriously what happens in the congregations, and only if you draw a SHARP CUT between THAT organization the bible has described as HIS organization, and THIS organisation called "Jehovahs Organization" in its presently realized performance - you can stand without getting depressions. Take it easy, and stay as a JW. Nevertheless.


  • steve2

    Yes, in my congregation there was a palpable depressive air about the place. I've read elsewhere that JWs were reported to have higher proportions of mental illness compared to the general population, but I've never seen any scientific or professionally refereed journal articles on this. I personally do not believe that the Watchtower causes mental illness, although a far more helpful question may be whether it increases people's susceptibility to these illnesses.

    I offer three alternative hypotheses for why mental illness could be more prevalent among JWs:

    1.The JW message attracts people who are already struggling with mental illness issues (i.e., these people probably struggled with emotional and psychological problems before becoming JWs). The sad realisation for these people is that the Watchtower does not help them to more constructively manage their mental health difficulties.

    2. The JWs isolated and estranged status compared with other religions gives them fewer options for helpful problem solving. Also, in many countries, including Western ones until recently, JWs are treated like outsiders and the stress associated with being "off-side" with the world may contribute to their susceptibility to mental illness.

    3. The JW message states that it is no use trying to improve conditions in the world because it is under Satan's influence. THey are rather more better trained to critique their social and political environment than to improve it. Hence, the JWs have a rather cynical, resigned attitude to real-life problems in their respective localities. Social psychology research shows that people who feel they have limited control over their environment are more prone to "learned helplessness" than others. Learned helplessness is one of the key factors that leades to depression.

    There are no doubt other hypotheses about why mental illness seems so prevalent in the Watchtower Society. None, to my knowledge, have ever been verified or replicated in research. Also, in my clinical work, I've observed that members of no religion are immune from mental illness (i.e, sadly, the JWs are not unique).

    steve2, PhD

    Clinical Psychologist

  • Erich

    Only if somebody is ready to fight against this corrupt and DESTRUCTIVE world system by all means, he can exist without depressions. If somebody tries to make compromises, as all religions (even the JW-Org) do, then he doesn't can. Therefore, one must NOT fight with physical arms. There are many other possibilities. Look at Paul in Acts.

    But only going from house to house, becoming sneered all the time, and getting mobbed by the OWN "brothers" - that is too few.


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