Do you need a prescription for anxiety? Part 6

Treating Christians for anxietyTreating anxiety in Christians

Anx-i-et-y. Is it a sin, a medical disorder or a character flaw? How should Christians treat anxiety? All I know is anxiety is an unwelcome tormentor of epic and epidemic proportions and believers are not immune. If you are a Christian, somebody, somewhere, who doesn’t have a clue, told you to go to church, pray and read your Bible then Jesus will wave a magic wand and your anxiety will go poof into thin air.

Oh sweet friend I wish it were that simple.

Are Christians immune to anxiety?

Have a seat in exam room 1, the doctor will be with you shortly. Did you get your vaccination against anxiety and depression when you became a Christian? Huh? First of all, Christians aren’t immune to anything. Second, whoever says life gets easier when you follow Christ ought to read their Bible because that’s not what Jesus said.

The doctor is in

Treating anxiety is like sitting on a three-legged stool; remove a leg and you’re splattered on the floor. The first leg is the spiritual aspect, the second is emotional and the third is the physical component

SPIRITUAL

We’ve already covered this leg in the IntroPart 1Part 2Part 3Part 4 and Part 5. If you would rather listen, there is also the podcast.

Philippians 4:6, “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.” MSG

EMOTIONAL

I saw a counselor. Okay there, I said it. If you’re older than me, you’re probably worried I’m having serious mental issues. Those of you my age may believe it’s fine if that’s what I think need to do, but I shouldn’t tell it. Yeah, I don’t disagree. If you are younger than me, you think it’s about time.

Each session she asks my goals for counseling. Honestly, I just want a safe place to vent my feelings, assess my coping skills and keep my emotions in check. Weaning off steroids combined with menopause, a life-altering diagnosis and the fallout of living on this broken planet made me think it was a good idea to get a little feedback.

She tucks her legs underneath her and keeps a lap blanket handy. I’m overly conscious about my eyes because she studies them while she sucks from the red straw protruding from her Sonic cup. I guess she thinks I’m coping because she never schedules a follow-up appointment, but I go back anyway. I like her; we could be friends. Her voice is soothing and relaxed and she nonchalantly told me, “I think you are a reactor.”

Ya think?    Like nuclear.    On steroids.    Literally.

She taught me I don’t have to say everything I’m thinking. Seriously, I had no idea words could stay put in my head because I thought every emotion had to escape in the form of words. Now, I walk around smiling at all the stuff I didn’t say.

Proverbs 17:28, “Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; when he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.” NKJV

Considered perceptive?

Maybe, maybe not, but talking helps me process my feelings. Writing is better because I can harness the emotion and edit the expression, though sometimes I have to wrestle my words to the ground. When I say what I believe out loud, the words out of my head come back to my ears as good advice. So  how much do I owe you? You’re cheap therapy for me.

I believe, therefore I speak #NotAnxious Click To Tweet

If you have past or present circumstances and need help sorting through issues, then see a counselor. Don’t hesitate to talk to someone you trust: a friend, a pastor, a doctor or a psychologist.

Proverbs 19:20, “Listen to counsel and receive instruction so that you may be wise later in life.” HCSB

PHYSICAL

Our brains are literally electricity and chemistry in delicate balance. Neurotransmitter deficiencies result in anxiety and depression. The cause may be situational, genetic or unexplainable. It’s science, not theology. Depression and anxiety plague Christians whose spiritual walks are on target even when life is smooth as a pond on a still day. Since joy is a fruit of the spirit, these symptoms often cause guilt. The good news is that a pure chemical imbalance usually responds quickly to non-addictive medications. By contrast, a life in shambles cannot be cured with any medication. Remember the stool needs three legs to stand.

The Bible gives us a clear example of using medication for healing, which applies to hypertension, diabetes, anxiety or any illness. Read the whole chapter for the back story, but the fig poultice was medicinal and cured Hezekiah’s deadly diagnosis.

2 Kings 20:7, “Then Isaiah said, ‘Prepare a poultice of figs.’ They did so and applied it to the boil and he recovered.” NIV

Could you please pass the fig poultice?

The cure for anxiety is not a single dose. The deeper the rut, the longer it takes to get out. We literally have to reprogram our brains, the sooner the better.

Anxiety is new to me, but then again my life unraveled. Upside down I could handle, but shredded is more of a challenge. I know the same God who saw me through my physical weakness will see me through my present darkness.

Overcoming #anxiety Click To Tweet

Thanks for following this series on anxiety. I’d like to end by recommending a book, you know, I’m an advice pusher. Here’s a description from the author of Fear Fighters by Kelly Balarie,

I morphed from a fanatical ball of anxiety to a furious fighter of fear

Order Fear Fighting here

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 thoughts on “Do you need a prescription for anxiety? Part 6

  1. Absolutely brilliant!
    I can relate to times in my life when I have felt guilty for not having joy. I would beat myself up and worry over my sorry emotional and mental state.
    Thankfully help is available.

  2. Love this Vickie! I have struggled with anxiety for a long time thinking medication made me weak. As a Christian my faith should get me through. What I’ve realized is I was spending so much time trying to help myself and my emotions it didn’t leave a lot for God. It’s dumb to think I shouldn’t use medication if it would help manage my symptoms and it could be a short term relief. Just because I need it now doesn’t mean I need it later.
    I feel now I can manage my symptoms and do what God wants me to do too:)

  3. You helped me understand that I was not weak Spiritually just because I struggled emotionally. I always felt safe talking to you. My struggle isn’t over, but I know that in everything God has a purpose, and He will use my struggles and my victories if I am listening to Him. I am praying for you and believing for your victory!

  4. Anxiety is such a bully, isn’t it?! Love your thoughts on affirming our beliefs out-loud. I think it’s a good kick in the pants to satan, too. 🙂 Hope you have a lovely Christmas, Vickie. 🙂

  5. Vicki, your wisdom here is wonderful. You are right, there is no quick way to treat anxiety. It takes much retraining the brain with truth…and seeing a counselor. One of the best decisions I made for me and for my marriage. I plan on spending some time going back through the previous parts of your series. So happy to have you sharing this on Fresh Market Friday! Welcome Welcome!!

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