Almost everyone I know that struggles with depression, anxiety, PTSD, or some other similar problem has the same question…Is it a lack of faith to take medicines that help my problem? I struggled with that for several years too and it is a common question.
I need to be clear here…I am not a doctor, nor a psychologist and I will not attempt to be in this blog. I am a Christian who has battled with depression. However, since so many are asking me about medicines and faith, I will attempt to tell you some of my views and some tidbits I learned.
Here it goes…………
As I mentioned above; I “battled” with depression. If you have ever lived with it hanging over you, you know what a battle it can be. Comments from others about how a stronger faith could get me out of that battle never encouraged me, if anything those comments made the depression deepen. I finally realized that exercising faith was the only thing holding me up and pointing me onward. When I added prescribed medicines to my life it made my thought processes clearer and my everyday job of being a Mother or working in my career easier; however my faith was still what made be go forward. When Paul told Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach, he did not turn around and say,” Hey, you know if you had more faith your stomach would not be giving you problems.” No, Timothy was on a faith walk and still needed help for his physical problems. Faith kept him walking with God and a little wine kept him walking without an upset stomach!
To close, remember these things…..
1. Be careful about any study, online comment area, or any “surfed answer.” Know WHERE you are getting your information and WHO it is coming from. Any “study” or report can be biased. Do not spend hours online looking for answers. That in and of itself can cause you to become mentally fatigued. The web can not become your trusted doctor.
2. Finding the right doctor or counselor is a large part of the battle. It will cost you money at first to try different doctors and even counselors until you find one with which you are comfortable. However, IT SAVES YOU MONEY IN THE LONG RUN.
3. If you are a woman, some of your symptoms may be hormonal, stress related, or even age related. A good doctor can help you sort it out. Be careful at trying to sort it all out at the same time. Add medicines gradually so you can know “what fixed what.”
4. If you are one who wants to try supplements, be just as wise on their use as you are on the uses of medications. Just because they are natural it does not mean they can’t be dangerous. Overdoses can occur with supplements. Kidney damage can occur with them too…careful!
5. When dealing with side effects your doctor and your own head will have to help you work that out. It takes time to find the right medicine and dosage for you. Allow yourself that time and walk through the frustrations as best you can.
6. Find a Christian Counselor if possible – one that walks in the “whole counsel of God.” Again, it takes time to find one. Some pastors, counseling centers, even some churches offer this kind of help.
I know it’s time to end this blog and I am wordless on how to end it since I am remembering my own struggle with this topic. I wish there was more I could say, but the best I can say is “May you go forward with God and find the mountains more numerous than the valleys.”