Anxiety From A Christians Point Of View
I stumbled upon an article about anxiety from a christian perspective. It isn't one I particularly agree with and here I include my opinions and offer suggestions for dealing with anxiety.
Since my husband suffers from this and from time to time I do too although the heart medication I take helps with it, I decided to read further.
According to the author all we need to help cure our anxiety is to trust in Jesus. I'm not saying following God/Jesus is a bad thing but I don't believe that all we need to do to cure unending anxiety is to simply trust in Jesus and we will no longer suffer from it. That's ridiculous in my opinion.
The National Institute of Mental Health recommends a combination of medicine and cognitive behavioral therapy to deal with anxiety.
According to the author all we need to do is grab our bibles and read the scriptures that will free us from anxiety.
I wholeheartedly and in every shape, way and form disagree with the author not because I have a dislike and disdain for christianity in general and yes I have a disdain for modern religion and the kind of christianity that is being pounded and screamed from modern pulpits. Yes I have a dislike for those. In fact, I could go so far as to say I despise it.
I don't like it because every one who pounds the pulpit has the same thing to say, "just read the bible and trust in Jesus and all of your ills will disappear." This simply is not the case. There's nothing wrong with reading the bible and trusting in Jesus but failing to realize that a person may need medications and therapy is short sighted.
In my opinion, you don't tell people that all they need is scriptures and Jesus to overcome a physical/mental illness. Not that I particularly consider anxiety a mental issue but it is a problem.
I know from experience suffering from it myself in a milder form and my husband suffering from it in a more severe form. When anxiety is not dealt with in a realistic, medicinal way it can lead to other problems such as drinking to help control it not to mention the relationship problems it can cause. But of course I forgot, a christian would never fall into the evil traps of the world and instead reach for their bibles when a particularly bad case of anxiety hit. Again, this is about as unrealistic as trying not to deal with it at all.
I have nothing against christians and they are as free as I am to express an opinion whether I or anyone else agrees with it or not. But they should first think before they go blathering their opinions without regard to who may be reading what they say and how much stock someone will put into what they say. Someone else could read the authors words and just assume if reading the bible and trusting Jesus hasn't ridden her of the anxiety then there is something terribly wrong with her. This of course will only lead to a vicious cycle of her doing more reading and more praying, etc., etc. And still she will not be free of the anxiety. Trusting in some authors words who thinks she is an expert on christianity and all things christian and Godly when the truth is she knows about as much as I do is again short sighted and neglectful. I claim to be no expert in any field and offer my opinions as just that, an opinion.
I want to reiterate that there is absolutely nothing wrong with reading the bible and praying as a means of anxiety relief but if these things do not help then it is time to seek medical help. Seeking that help does not mean you aren't a good christian or you haven't trusted enough, it means you need help from a medical practitioner and it will be the best decision you've ever made.
I'm not saying medicines aren't without problems, concerns and side effects and I've always been a big promoter of doing things naturally if you can. It's only when you can't that I recommend seeing a doctor and going from there. I can't recommend seeing a therapist enough. That truly can do wonders for what may be the underlying cause of your anxiety. Exercise is also very beneficial. My husband tried Sam-e at the urging of our doctor and it really helped him. Of course that is something you would need to discuss with a doctor especially if you take other medications to make sure you can take the two together.
If you suffer from anxiety you need to see a doctor. The first medications I tried caused terrible side effects and I couldn't take any of the medicines my Dr prescribed. Eventually, when I had to get on heart medication(a beta blocker which blocks adrenaline to the heart) my anxiety lifted alot. In fact, I don't have a problem with it all that much anymore. If I become stressed or overly anxious about problems then I will suffer from it and will become obsessive which for me was a side effect of anxiety. Exercise helps tremendously and I've read that magnesium helps. Just don't take too much of it. It can cause diarrhea at high doses. And again ask your Dr but if he/she says no ask why. Is it because it might interfere with a certain medicine you're taking? Or is it because your Dr doesn't believe in a holistic approach? If that is the answer then you must be your own judge as to whether to take it or not.
Also having a hobby you regularly engage in can be a great stress/anxiety reliever. My hobby is photography and it relaxes me to take pictures.
Last but not least, if reading your bible and/or prayer helps calm you down then by all means do it. But don't let anyone in the christian community tell you that you are not trusting in Jesus enough if you have to take pharmaceuticals. This will only cause more stress and anxiety if you allow yourself to believe what someone who doesn't have a medical license tells you. Be your own judge, you decide what's best for you not someone else.