Archive for the ‘Anxiety & Depression’ Category

antidepressants_1673710cI have written in the past on the topic of anxiety and depression and have touched on the use of medication. However, I want to discuss the issue a little further, giving my thoughts on what I believe is a proper Christian perspective of the use of anti-depressants. I hope to answer such questions as: Is anti-depressant use sinful? Does sound science support the “low-serotonin” hypothesis? What causes depression? When is medication ok? What are the spiritual dangers of medication? (more…)

prozac-depression-medication-200Today I was blessed to be able to lead a class at my church discussing the topic of anxiety and depression from a Christian worldview. If you have read my previous blog posts on these topics (found here: anxiety part 1, anxiety part 2, depression), then you will have a good idea of the nature of our discussion. Below you will find a link to the audio of the class.

I want to make a couple of comments regarding the content of the class. First, I mentioned that medication could be used to relieve some of the painful physical symptoms of anxiety and depression. However, I want to point out that pain and suffering is not always bad and our goal should not always be to get rid of pain. Pain is often a sign that something is wrong and fixing the root cause should be the primary goal – not relieving the symptoms. Additionally, we often grown in character through trails and suffering; however, our culture is very pain-averse. But character is forged in the fires suffering, so don’t always begrudge its place in your life.

Second, I want to reemphasize a comment made in the class. It was mentioned that the root of anxiety is misplaced identity. As Christians, we do not truly believe who we are in Christ and what our true purpose is in life. This can lead to anxiety about our perceived understanding of our circumstances – a perception that is false. Complete trust in God’s promises provide a sure foundation for maximal mental health in this life, despite the frailties of our brain.

Jordan

528483-Depression-1364630455-842-640x480Depression is a crushing problem for many, plunging them into a despair and hurt few can understand. Robert Burton spoke of depression rightly when he said: “They are in great pain and horror of mind, distraction of soul, restlessness, full of continual fears, cares, torment, anxieties, they can neither drink, eat, nor sleep…”[1] Abraham Lincoln spoke of his depression similarly. “I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on earth. Whether I shall ever be better, I cannot tell; I awfully forebode I shall not. To remain as I am is impossible. I must die or be better, it appears to me.”[2] So how in the world are you to help a person in this condition? What if you find yourself dealing with depression? What course of action should you take? Is there a Christian perspective on the topic? (more…)

SuicideHere are the opening lines of a recent article at CNN.

“Funny, happy people do not kill themselves. It doesn’t make sense.”

That’s usually what people say. “They were such a bright light … the life of the party.” I know, because I used to say these things about my brother, Evan.

Now I know better.

Four years ago, just a few weeks shy of his 21st birthday, Evan ended his life with the intention of forever ending his pain. And I am left with blood on my hands. My misconceptions about suicide have made me an accomplice.

The story seems to go something like this: a teenage boy who had everything going for him – great personality, funny, athletic – began to battle depression of some sort. This turned into anger, internal darkness, confusion, and the eventual taking of his life. For the full story of Evan, you can read the original article here. (more…)

pentecostal-church-service-smallWe live in a sensation driven culture. We are fascinated and driven by the experiences of our senses. Moral values and religious principles often take a back seat to what feels good or what I enjoy. Due to Enlightenment thinking, we have relegated non-physical claims, especially religious ones, to the realm of personal opinion. The only real facts are those that we can experience with our five senses. Such thinking has not been absent from the church, as Christian are likewise very “sense-driven.”

When Christians speak of God, their understanding of him, his interaction in the world, and their relationship to him, they usually speak in emotive language. “I felt God prompting me.” “I felt God in church this morning.” “I just felt a peace about it.” Additionally, Christians often judge other Christians by their emotions, such as their enthusiasm, tears, or other response to Christian activity. So the question must be asked: what role do emotions and feelings play in the life of the Christian. Is the Christian life best described by how we feel and our emotional state? Do we examine the status of our relationship with God based upon how we feel? (more…)

anxiety1In “Anxiety – Part 1” we discussed the distinction between soul and brain and the biology of anxiety disorder. In this post, we will examine the causes, both physical and spiritual, of anxiety disorder and the treatment options.

Causes of Anxiety

Although anxiety has physical and neurological aspects to it, it is my conviction that the ultimate cause of anxiety disorder is sin. Please understand I am not saying psychiatric treatment is unnecessary, for it can be very helpful as we will see below, but the underlying issue runs much deeper than our brains. In order to properly understand how sin is the root cause of anxiety disorder, three aspects of sin – three parts of the whole – must be explained. (more…)

AnxietyOne of the fastest growing forms of medical treatment in the 21st century is psychiatry. Treatment for diagnoses such as ADHD, anxiety disorder, and depression have seen a dramatic increase in recent years. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, over 26% of the adult population suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder.[1] However, not only are we being diagnosed with these disorders, but many are taking medications for them. Antidepressant use has increased by 400% in the last decade, making it the third most common prescription taken among adults.[2] (more…)