Depression and Anxiety

There are some very good posts out there that explain what dealing with anxiety and depression is like. I think it’s important for people who don’t suffer from these chronic conditions to read to try to better understand (at some level) what it’s like and what is and isn’t helpful.

Many Christians have been deeply hurt by fellow Christians by trying to help, say exactly the wrong things, which may or may not be general truths, at the wrong time. Sometimes they are Scriptural and sometimes it’s just obvious advice, as though these things make them feel like others think they’re dumb. In fact, there is a whole book of the Bible called Job which deals in part with this very issue.

I’ve dealt with these things on a chronic basis for most of my life. As I’ve gotten worse the last few years, God has strengthened me spiritually which I highly value. When at my worst, it’s hard to say if that’s comforting or not. But it’s storing up treasure in heaven which is our hope.

Right now the ‘physical anxiety’, for lack of a better term, is worse than it’s been in a few years and it’s very debilitating, just as the people in the posts explain. I would appreciate prayer.

Edit: I should also say that I have been blessed to have a Bible study group and blogging friends who have treated me very well and I have avoided most of the pain that others have had from well meaning people.

From Understanding the Workings of Depression and Anxiety:

Depression vs. Unbelief vs. Anxiety vs. Worry
In order to serve the anxious and depressed, I think it’s helpful to distinguish the difference between anxiety, worry, depression, and unbelief. Worry is a sin involving the thought life. I worry about my finances and the health of my children and that mysterious pain in my foot. My thoughts are always involved in worry.

Sometimes when I worry, I also feel anxious, which is a physical manifestation of the worry taking place within me. Under normal circumstances, I will repent of my worry, change my patterns of thinking to reflect my trust in God, and the symptoms of anxiety will go away.

This isn’t always the case however. Those who are familiar with anxiety know that it can take many different shapes and shades. There are times when changing my patterns of thinking does not relieve the anxiety that I am experiencing. I can be trusting God with my mind and yet still experiencing the symptoms of anxiety, such as a rapid heart beat and high levels of adrenaline.

This is really important to understand. The feeling of anxiety doesn’t necessarily mean that I am sinning.

Or, there are times when I experience anxiety without any associated thoughts of worry or fear. I will simply wake up feeling anxious, like there is a large animal sitting on my chest and squeezing the breath out of me. On these days, it’s obvious that my body is just out of whack for the day.

I don’t experience clinical depression, but from what I have been told by those close to me, depression can work in a similar manner. There are times when depression is obviously the result of some form of sadness, discouragement, or unbelief. But this isn’t the case for everyone. Many times a person can be thinking God-honoring thoughts and yet still feel very down. Other times people simply wake up feeling awful. Our bodies and minds have been affected by sin and don’t work as they should.

2 Responses to “Depression and Anxiety”


  1. 1 John

    Thanks for sharing. I will be praying for you.

  2. 2 Scripture Zealot

    Thanks John.

    Also please see the Edit I put in the post.

    Jeff

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