Why So Many JWs Are Sick ( and What to Do About it)

by metatron 41 Replies latest jw friends

  • logansrun


    Regarding JW illnesses, it does seem that they are plagued with mystery diseases fairly often.

    And your evidence for this is...? It just doesn't add up, folks. The JWs spend GOBS of time together. You are BOUND to find out all sorts of "mystery diseases" among them simply by virtue of the inordinate amount of contact they have together. HOURS and HOURS of time spent in a cargroup or after the book study is all you need to find out about JW health problems. The reason you think JWs "are so sick" is not because they are any sicker than the average person, but because you simply talk to them more. B.

  • damselfly
    Regarding JW illnesses, it does seem that they are plagued with mystery diseases fairly often. BTW, wasn't there a book written or essay by a "doctor" saying this was true?

    I don't know if there was a book, I would be interested if there was.

    It's been experience that if people are in denial about their depression that pyscho-somatic disorders tend to occur at a higher rate. I don't believe this is inclusive to JW's. There is still a stigma to some about depression.Or they feel guilty about it because to outsiders their lives appear perfect. Some may feel that they would be a failure to admit and seek help for the depressive stae they are in. The body reacts by starting to "act up".

    That's my 2 cents anyway, I'm off to work!


  • Finally-Free
    Regarding JW illnesses, it does seem that they are plagued with mystery diseases fairly often.

    I had my share of mystery illnesses. If I didn't feel like going to the meeting and didn't feel like explaining the real reason to my wife I'd invent some imaginary pain in some imaginary organ or muscle group. Many advantages to doing this.

    1. I'd miss the meeting.
    2. I'd get to play on the computer.
    3. I'd get to order in pizza while wifey was at the meeting.
    4. I'd get all kinds of extra attention from wifey, something along the lines of "pooooor baaaaby!!!" And a pat on the head.


  • minimus

    Logan, "the reason you think JWs are so sick........" And YOUR proof is??

  • logansrun


    Good point. It would have been better if I had said that it is quite possible that the reason you feel the JWs are so sick is...

    In the absence of hard evidence all you have is anecdotes and personal generalizations. To me it makes sense that meta and co. would jump to the conclusion that the JWs are sicker than the general population by virtue of 1) the afore-mentioned amount of time spent with the JWs and 2) personal bias and vindictiveness against the JWs.


  • minimus

    Look, Bradley, I know a hell of a lot of "worldly" people and I talk to them quite a bit and no one suffers from mystery illnesses that are peculiar to JWs. In one Hall, nearly half of the congregation had a special illness. I was in there for a while. As the years went by, a number of other ailers came to this Hall because the elders were known to be quite sympathetic to these ones.

  • buffalosrfree

    I mentioned this fact about sickness to my wife awhile back and she had to agree, she knew several sisters, one a p.o.'s wife who were on antidepression drugs. She was really surprised, and she told me the wtbts mantra about how to cure depression was to pray more. She thought they really had the answer. I asked her don't these people that you know pray? She replied I believe they do almost incessantly. Then why aren't they cured if that is really the cure? She of course had no answer for that, but it still bothered her to see so many with depression, hives, allergies, etc. etc. etc.

    I personally believe those that don't have a chemical malfunction type of depression could improve their condition enourmously if they just cut out the b.s. from the society and did what they damn well wanted to instead of going out and wasting their time in the field service etc. Make the decisions folks you will feel better about it, believe me.

  • blondie

    I can remember one elder said that there were so many depressed JWs that they should set up a pail in the KH lobby with antidepressants.

    Depression, real or feigned, is sometimes the only acceptable way that many JWs can opt out of their "responsibilities."

    Better to be depressed than to say you have doubts.


  • trevor

    There is no such thing as an acceptable level of service within the organization. There is always pressure to do more. Members are told that they cannot stop moving forward, because however much they do it will not be enough to earn their salvation, if there is any chance they could be doing more. There is an overriding feeling of guilt and fear that permeates the whole movement, and a feeling of isolation from the real world around, which is going to be destroyed at any time.

    This is bound to affect the mental balance of some members. A study of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Western Australia showed that they are more likely to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital than non members; three times more likely to suffer from schizophrenia; four times more likely to suffer from paranoid schizophrenia. The study carried out by John Spencer concluded that:

    “The study does not shed light on the question of symptom or defence mechanism, but suggests that either the Jehovah’s Witnesses sect tends to attract an excess of pre-psychotic individuals who may then break down, or else being a Jehovah's Witness is in itself a stress which may precipitate a psychosis. Possibly both of these factors may operate together.”

    In my own experience some members have a tendency to develop illness, as this is the only acceptable reason for missing meetings or door-to-door activity. After many years of offering illness as an excuse, some come to believe they really are unwell.

    Living in anticipation of such a frightening event as the Witnesses vision of Armageddon and longing for a better world - just around the corner - is a recipe for mental strain and frustration. Coupled with this is the totally negative view a Witness develops towards the present world, believing it all to be a giant failure, too bad to be evolved into a better world. Rather the people of the world are beyond hope and the best thing that can be done with them is to destroy them all and start over again!

    A proverb in the Witnesses own Bible explains:

    “Expectation postponed is making the heart sick, but the thing that is desired is the tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12 – NWT)

    Trevor Willis

  • willyloman

    While met was a little over the top (most unusual for him) as regards the solutions, his point is valid -- with or without a scientific study.

    I was an elder for more than 20 years and I can't count the number of "friends" I visited who were plagued with every sort of mysterious illness. First it was hypoglycemia. At one point, it seemed as if half the women in the congregation had some sort of thyroid disorder and exhibited hypoglycemic symptoms, many of which were clearly -- even to this untrained layman -- psychosomatic. [Not being a scientist, I am using 'psychosomatic' as a synonym for 'convenient.']

    About the time "she has hypoglycemia" became the punchline to a standing joke, EI (environmental illness) came along to save the day. Then there was Barr's Syndrome (I think that's the name), which was quickly replaced with CFS (chronic fatigue) which is today's malady du jour.

    I know these are real diseases/conditions/syndromes and they are not all psychosomatic. But they attract people who have a psychological/emotional need which, in my opinion, when it occurs within dubdom, is almost always related to cognitive dissonance issues. In other words, they don't want to play anymore but the peer pressure is too great to just stop. Illness then becomes the emergency exit. As one poster said, being chronically ill excuses meeting attendance and creates special attention for the sufferer.

    So I think met's point, not that he needs me to translate for him, is that dubs suffer from these hard-to-prove illnesses in numbers that are out of proportion in relation to the rest of society. And when I look around at the people I work with (the equivalent of about six congregations of JWs), I don't see nearly as many of these illnesses. While my "survey" may be random and unscientific, I think it's not without some merit.

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