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by E. F.

Depression - and the changing views of the Watchtower Society

End of 1991, in Switzerland was performed as part of a Kingdom service school, organized by local Branch Office of the Watchtower Society on behalf of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses and for elders held in the meetings, by the head of the former branch committee including a lecture about depression and the kind of treatment by the elders. (In Germany were at that time in the appropriate training other topics).

While previously always has been norm a certain skepticism, if not distrust, against psychotherapists, suddenly one heard new sounds. It was admitted that among Jehovah's Witnesses were many people suffering from depression; it was known that in psychosomatic clinics patients are located permanently who commit themselves to Jehovah's Witnesses. They gave the reason that the religion of the witnesses attracts especially people who already suffer from depression.

This may be; but it is only a part of reality. Because you should assume that love and security at the beginning and above all the alleged spiritual paradise, at least don't state any worsening of depressive. However, this is the case; when the love and security are replaced after the baptism by the demands of religion or at least pushed aside, the depression increases again, and there are also many depressed people who were never before. In that regard, this spiritual paradise is a very serious matter - if it is only not seen as a placebo, as a consolation for in their expectations disappointed minds.

The Training Event

It was told the elders that they, if a depression would last longer than 5 days in someone, should suggest strongly that person to go to a doctor or therapist. Elders as they themselves were no professionals, had no expertise, and should therefore refrain entirely from medical or other treatment advices. This - reasonable - council was justified very elaborately and was - as usual in all lectures, even if the opposite would have been said - acclaimed with applause. In writing, I have not seen this lecture in any publication. It was an instruction to elders.

17 Years later

In the meantime 17 years have passed and we have long moved away from the objective and reasoned view of 1991. When I spoke last week with an elder about the issue, he told me , that the new instructions because of bad experiences (leaving the organization) would appear quite differently. In any case, you should not encourage or invite to visit doctors and therapists, even if their use is not prohibited.

The reasons: They found that those men would very frequently refer to the religion as a cause for the depression. When I objected that there would be also believing doctors and therapists who counsel their patients on a Christian foundation, this possibility was rejected on the reason that they also were seeing in the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses the reason for the increased depressions. In fact, also cases are known, where people lost their depression after separation from the Jehovah's Witnesses or were cured.

I asked, what should be done now by the elders in the case of depression, because their incompetence was indeed still existing. The answer was that they were directed (or it was recommended), to point the patients to issues about depression in the magazine "Awake", where would be given good advice. But as the writers of these articles can not be experts, but receive their articles from other side or assemble them from other sources, this is a peculiar method of treatment.

A kind of self-therapy, a kind of self-treatment by sick people. The results - or non-results - one can imagine. But this shows again that the Governing Body regards as more important its authority over persons than the proper treatment for their recovery, and that it is not ready to search the causal sources for depressions in their own organization and in its on people imposed burdens.

The recipe "more studies, more meeting visit, more preaching" - in reality the increasing of the burden - is also here recommended as a panacea. But, as known, a recipe that will be good for everything, heals usually nothing, it only worsens. No wonder, that a county supervisor said on the occasion of his visit, but the witnesses had to be the happiest man; instead, they all had gray, joyless faces. Yes, there are very many depressed people, many who do not even want to admit that they suffer from depression, because of the new attitude of the organization. (How elegant you can put all this into the term vegetative dystonia). But the reality is: a lot more whining than pleasure, many morose, sorrowful, plaintive, murmurers, thankless, joyless, no spiritual Christians, but norm Christians, laws Christians, who observe and criticize each other. But that does not disturb the great minds in Brooklyn. If the facts do not conform to their theories, so much the worse for the facts!


those who fight againts d truth wl always speak like their father satan d devil. If nt 4 dis organisation my people wl hv been fighting wth sm member of my villa people whom d spirit medium told them dt re d course of my illness. It ws whn i read d feb 8 2004 awake dt hv d topic 'moody disorder'. dt i cm 2 kn dt it ws a sickness nt any spiritaul attack lik they hv my family believe. so they shld STOP d PROPAGANDA n aspect d ONLY true organisation of God people.

henry t. s. [2010-05-28]
I don't understand anything. [RH]
Hello Henry;

I am sorry to hear that you are sick. I am even more sorry you trust the Jehova Society - they might have a nice word for you, but they can not help you.


Their Jesus was only human, or an angel. But Jesus is not God for them.

If you would believe in Jesus ... you could find your healing.

Isaiah 53:5 (KJV) But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Please do 3 things:
  • look for a christian church wich prays for your sickness
  • try to get medical help
  • ask Jesus to be your saviour - ask him for healing.
Pray: Jesus! be my God! Heal me! You died on the cross for my sins and my sickness! Take control over my life!

Jesus has the power over demons, sickness, guilt. He is the only way.

Jesus loves you so much that hie died on the cross for you! Believe ...

Teetrinker [2010-05-31]
those brothers in the kingdom halls are fake friends there not real friends but some of the elders act like there your friend

i just cant except that ..

daniel [2010-10-05]
I have a friend who is JW and an elder of a church. He is suffering from depression. He refused to listen or read articles based on Jehovah Witnesses and depression and simple called them discontent detractors. I don't understand how being an elder, suffering depression for almost 2 decades yet can't see the truth. He blames his marriage, childhood trauma. How to help him

jane [2011-06-18]
Hi Jane, your friend is refusing even to publicly available information, he will be helped scarcely. Even the Bible reporting that Jesus sets free, did not help him because he is belonging to a God who turns the Word of God into its direct opposite. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a Jehovaist to find Jesus.

Ruediger [2011-06-18]




rune [2011-12-01]
I know this girl for over 6 yrs. She has being in the Jehovah witness for over 16 yrs. I really did not know anything much about this religion. I was over her home doing some thing she ask me to do, a elder from her k hall stop by. He saw me their at her home doing the work that she wanted me to do for her. this guy didn't even say hello to me but i brush it off and continue working. when he left she said to me, he will be telling other people at the kingston hall, So said he did. From that day she change so much if i am the devil this is not the person i love. She say they told her to come before a commite they told her to start avoiding me.

So started doing some back ground check on the jw..sstarting from the orgin my eyes was open. the bible say beware of false profit. in any angle you can see this org. is of the devil. the sad part i still love this girl and i know that she is not in the right regilion. Dispite ot all this i know that she really want to be a good christian for my God the one how died for all of us. Brainwash is very powerfull. i dont know how to tell her it. she obey these people if they are god who has her life.

all [2012-07-22]
I believe JW are good people. There beliefs seem to spawn depression as they are awaiting to live in paradise and the end of the world is near. This is very depressing and many of the speeches they give are very out of tune and depressive also. If you expose yourself to these beliefs I assume it will channel you into depression. The problem is a parent may be depressed and the religion seems right and exposed their kids to the same depressive beliefs. Imagine a small child exposed to the beliefs. He is not depressed but hears the world is going to end soon. I believe we live in paradise and if you look at nature you will see paradise. If you live in paradise you feel good and you don't worry about anything. I would like to hear from psychologist regarding this topic.

G. Sorz [2013-05-24]
It does not help to be a good person if you have a false religion. There are also good people in Nazis, communists and capitalists. [RH]
Depression is a way of life for any followers of the "God" of Abraham. It is a punishment to serve that evil known as "Jehovah". Get it out of your life ASAP, or it WILL destroy your sanity & your family along with it...

Loveunderlaw [2013-10-29]
Jehovah is not the God of Abraham. Jehovah is the God of the Masons. His true identity is what the Freemasons worship. Search on the Internet! Mental health comes from God, from Jesus and from the connection with him. It's easy to take contact with him. Direct contact with Jesus in prayer. Anyone can try it.

Ruediger [2013-10-29]
Not sure where some get the idea that Jehovah witnesses don't believe in Christ but this is simply not true..I also suffered depression and anxiety most of my life til I started studying with the Jehovah witnesses..It is written some would leave the truth and speak lies abt the congregations

oneida jenkins [2015-11-02]
Jehovah's Witnesses believe in Jesus just as others believe in the existence of newsprint. That's not what it is about. The point is that Jesus must be your Lord. And if he is Lord, You're allowed to talk to him. You even have to talk to him. That is for Jehovah's Witnesses prohibited. [RH]

First and foremost Jehovah Witnesses accept medical advice and treatment. The reason why JWs are vilified is because of there refusal of blood transfusions. Blood transfusion can be risky because the possibility of an anaphylactic reactions. There are many other religions that have more venomous restrictions. Secondly depression is a serious disease that can both organic and psychological. If you non believers who are frankly hateful towards this groups there are plenty of articles on regarding mental illness. No elder or member never denied or prohibited medical or psychological counseling. I know this because my mother suffered from anxiety and depression. In fact she got help and thank Jehovah God she recovered from it. Please stop posting this false propaganda and extensive research in fact go for a bible study or just talk to one of them. By the way l am not a witness.

Lovelybones [2017-07-09]

Dear Jehovah's Witness, what do you mean, why the Watchtower religion has cannibalism laws? Does one of you drink human blood? No! So the Watchtower cannibalism law can only be made to let people bleed to death. There is no law of cannibalism in the Bible! [RH]


I was a JW. most of my life, I left after the Elders did not want me to marry a sister that they thought should be with someone else.

I was told to not talk or call this sister or ever be with her in private or I would be removed or be keep on watch.

We got married and left, as they want to control you and when the Elders or Governing Body speaks its not be questioned.

I and my wife have seen so many unhappy people who live in fear of the Elders and Governing Body.

We have joined a new Church which is growing and very supportive to all the community. Let God judge these people, we are Very Happy we left and are with True Christians.

MARK JENKS [2017-10-02]

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© R. Hentschel ♦ Released: 2008-08-02 ♦ Print versionLinks to other web sites