On a side note I read a book I think called Secret Sisters about the high rates of depression and hospitalizations in the Mormon Organization. It was a very interesting read. Has anyone written anything like this about JW's?
Good post Why Georgia. I like your balanced approach. I haven't read any books that have specifically focused on rates of mental illness among JWs, although some, such as The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses have discussed in more general mental health problems in the organization (the authors' names elude me at present). I'm inclined to think that rates of depression in the general population are either more visible than they once were (because it's more acceptable nowadays to talk about this topic) or people's compressed competitive lifestyles contribute to an increased incidence.
As I've stated on other posts, I personally don't think any religious group is exempt from mental illness. In fact, a few years ago, whilst browsing at books in a Christian bookstore I cam across a book entitled Why Christians Crack Up. I wished I'd bought it. Has anyone else heard of this book?
I agree that there are significant mental health problems among the Witnesses. But, what sometimes gets to me are ex-JWs who claim that rates of mental illness are higher among the JWs than in the general population. To my knowledge, there is a complete absence of scientific and validated research to back up such comparative assertions.