This may be a more controversial topic than any I have addressed thus far in the podcast. Many people have various opinions about whether or not a Christian should take medication for anxiety.
I will begin by saying that I am not a medical doctor or even a licensed counselor so these are merely my views and should not be taken as medical advice.
Since I have had anxiety from the time I was a small child my parents were the ones to originally decide whether or not I should be taking medication. They chose not to medicate me as a child with anxiety. Instead, they took me to a psychologist and I was taught coping mechanisms.
However, after I became an adult and was dealing with constant anxiety during my late twenties after having my first child I decided to explore the option to take medication for my anxiety. I had avoided it up until this point basically because my parents had discouraged it.
However, it was during this time that I struggled the most with my anxiety as an adult.
Also, it should be addressed that many people have anxiety due to an imbalance in the body.
According to Women’s Health Network.com, Anxiety is a common sign of an imbalance in the body. Possible causes of anxiety are an adrenal imbalance or a hormonal imbalance. This is important to note when considering whether or not to take medication for anxiety.
According to this website, different symptoms are experienced based on which of these imbalances might be causing the symptoms.
For example, the symptoms of anxiety related to an adrenal imbalance include:
- Heart palpitations
- Shallow breathing
- A nervous stomach
- And feeling scattered and distracted.
Symptoms of anxiety related to hormonal imbalance include:
- Night sweats
- Hot flashes
- Low-grade worries that seem manageable during the day may bloom out of control at night, causing insomnia.
I was aware of the fact that I struggled with anxiety, but it was when I was having a hard time controlling the anxiety that I sought medical care for it.
Of course, back in those days, I was unaware of ways that I could use my faith to help me to overcome the anxiety, this was a foreign concept to me and one I had not yet considered. Therefore I found myself with a trusted friend in the doctor’s office. She had listened to my worries and accompanied me to the doctor’s appointment when I was too afraid to go alone.
I vividly remember walking into the doctor’s office, sitting down, and immediately finding a pamphlet in the waiting room about anxiety medication. Reading through this pamphlet helped me to become more confident in asking for medication for my anxiety.
Inside the pamphlet, there were questions to ask yourself to sort of “self diagnose” your need for the medication. Having known for years that I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and panic attacks, this was not a question for me, but I wanted to be ready to tell the doctor.
Actually going in and speaking with the doctor was much easier once I read through this pamphlet and was able to point out some of my symptoms from the pamphlet itself. I also explained to her how I had been diagnosed as a child.
I started on a very low dosage and over the years moved up based on my weight. I even at one time got on a second medication when I felt the first one wasn’t working during a highly stressful season of life.
Now, however, I am back to a more low dosage on just the one medication.
I believe this is a personal decision. I believe that God gives us the ability to seek wisdom from others when we are in need. Scripture says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5 NIV
Seek wisdom, seek God and decide for yourself. There is no one size fits all answer to overcoming anxiety.
The purpose of my sharing is to help you in some way. I do not believe that it is wrong to take medication for anxiety. I believe it is necessary in some cases. Even with my medication there are have been times when I needed extra help. I have learned how to seek that help from the Lord and for that I am grateful.
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