From childhood, Jehovah’s Witnesses are subjected to graphic imagery of humans dying at Armageddon. This terrifying image of death is presented as about to occur at any moment.
Image courtesy of Watchtower publication Enjoy life on Earth Forever p.28
These images become the source of nightmares for children and adults alike.
It is common for those that become inactive, or who have been disfellowshipped, to struggle with a fear of Armageddon. Some resign themselves to the belief that they will soon die when Armageddon arrives, others suffer panic attacks or nightmares. Without being addressed, this can continue for decades.
The first step is to research if Watchtower teaches the truth. A particularly relevant topic is whether the Gentile Times ended in 1914, and if these are the Last Days with world conditions the worst they have ever been.
Armageddon is from the book of Revelation. Revelation was the last book to be accepted into the Bible canon after great debate, and not all versions of the Bible include it. Watchtower’s interpretation of Revelation has little credibility, having released 5 different books over the last century to try to explain it, each vastly different from the ones before.
The word Armageddon is mentioned only once in the Bible, in Revelation 16:16. Here it discusses an assembling of Kings for battle at a literal place called Armageddon. It is a stretch for Watchtower to interpret this as a global war where Jehovah kills billions of people that did not join one particular sect.
Proving logically that Watchtower’s version of Armageddon is never going to occur is the best way to overcome a fear of it. Thousands of former Jehovah’s Witnesses testify that the fear dissipated the more they researched. Particularly helpful is looking into the history of religion and beliefs, finding that many faiths use threats of destruction or torture as a means of holding onto membership.
Sadly, research is not enough for everyone. Watchtower concentrates so much time on this teaching that it is deeply buried in the subconscious of everyone raised as a Jehovah’s Witness.
It may be necessary to also seek professional advice from a therapist on how to deal with panic attacks and nightmares if they continue even after accepting that this Watchtower teaching has no basis.