Suffering Christians Encouragement for those who are hurting

4Oct/09Off

Anti-Depressants Can Be Gift From God

With all the talk of how much anti-depressants are over-prescribed, I would imagine that a lot of Christians who are taking them may feel some guilt. Read what John Piper has to say:
What's Your Take on Christians Using Antidepressants?

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  1. There often is a guilt factor in taking meds. As for me, I know that my medicine helps me immensely. Some days I can go without it (almost never willingly done) but I am emotionally fragile and my good mood can be destroyed by the slightest of things.It just feels so strange to have a disorder of the mind. Somewhere deep within me I feel almost violated that of all the weaknesses to have, it's one on the inside that affects my choices and thoughts, the most inner and precious things I claim ownership of.The bottom line is, though, humans have inherent dignity and no medical condition, be it depression, leprosy, or Alzheimer's, can change the level of care and respect we deserve, for we are in God's image.Life sometimes is pretty raw and messy, but those of us who have depression/bipolar can't simply look away and ignore that facet of life.Step one is for us to realize that our infirmities don't take God's image away from us. Step two is for others to acknowledge it.

  2. Hi,Thank you for the comment. This stuff is so difficult and I can understand everything you said. That's a good thought that it doesn't take away God's image in us. We are united with Christ and made more like Him everyday, sometimes moreso than if I were healthy.

  3. mmm. It’s especially hard if you you have such an eye for beauty, that your mind tends to despise things which seem ugly. It’s a constant struggle to remember to view circumstances and people as God does. And when you talk about your good mood being shattered by the tiniest thing, that so reminds me of myself, lol. And then it’s like your brain just tells you that the whole day is gone, and you can’t get it back, you just have to get out of there, and away from people ASAP before it gets worse. That’s what happens to me anyway, and I wanna wrap myself in work and accomplishments to make myself feel better… haha, geez I’m so selfish sometimes. But I understand that it’s probably a direct attack from the devil, as the mind is really his only battlefield, and we’re his only enemy – so all you can do is acknowledge it before God and ask for intervention. Getting up in the morning feeling REALLY thinly spread over so many rocks can often offer a daunting prospect for going about normal business in daily life – and dealing with other people. But asking for God’s grace to flood over and fill me in order that I might operate in love and not call myself to shame before his name works wonders for me pretty-much every time :D I just praise Jesus that he is the sanctifier of body and spirit and that he can heal a broken mind and give dignity and strength to the hurting.

  4. Oops I totally lost the topic of the discussion there for a minute.

    I myself am not on anti-d meds (although I have come to acknowledge from relating to what others say that I certainly do struggle with depression) [eg getting out of bed being the hardest thing I do in my life other than dealing with people when I don’t feel ‘ready’ or ‘up to it’ even though it seems stupid and I dont wanna be like that, lol.] but I have had a recent diagnosis of Hashimoto’s disorder, a hypo-thryoid condition, which causes a distinct (but sporadic) lack in chemicals, endorphines, hormones, etc in the body – resulting in depression, severe anxiety, mood swings, severe lathargy/fatigue, sluggishness, forgetfulness/short term memory loss, difficulty concentrating and prioritising, severe joint pain, inflammation and cramping, and the list goes on.

    But anyway, the diagnosis was in some ways a big relief for me, rather than thinking my whole life that I was the problem, or just whinging or weak, now there seems to be some sort of solace in having something else to blame, as stupid as that sounds, lol. But I’ve come to identify that thought process as perhaps being wrongful in itself – as in flaggelation or pleasure in pain or comfort in ilness + death. I shouldn’t WANT to be sick, as if it justifies my self pity or laziness. (Even they are some symptoms of the illness – like a bit of a catch 22.) Though it seems that for some reason a part of my psyche grabbed onto that sickness as if to own it, or make it a part of my identity for comfort – which seems very wrong to me, because my identity is only in Christ and his will for me. But I am reminded of the appostle Paul’s ‘thorn in his side’ (although there is some conjecture about the topic of his musings, metaphor or otherwise.) It is still an encouragement to me that sometimes suffering is ok. Sometimes it’s in God’s will to help perfect us. But most probably in the way that we don’t look at it but look to him. It’s almost like the devil, that it should be something we ignore and trust in God to deal with. Of course, we have to look and listen for his will, because he could very have sent a doctor to help us deal with a problem through medication – but maybe it’s not for us, that’s up to God.

    For example, with my Hashimoto’s disorder, I had mixed feelings on whether to Praise God for revealing this thing so I know what to pray against, or that he had identified it so I could take the supplements for the rest of my life – I am yet to discover his true will in this. But I opted to take the medication, and found that while it did severely decrease my pain symptoms (accute cramping and rhumatica /joint pain and stiffness) it seemed to make the anxiety, depression and frustration much worse. I’ve recently stopped taking them, like a week ago, after forgetting to take them and having a really good day, and also after noticing continually that almost immediately after taking them I felt anxious and edgy. And I have had the best week for a long time, lol. I have to praise God for that, right. Of course, my joint pain is sort of twinging again, so I will probably make an appointment with the doctor again to collaborate, and certainly keep God’s will in mind, and among my list of prospects – as it’s not unheard of.

    Of course, I wouldn’t suggest to people to decide what to do with regard to their medical/psyche problems without consultation – obviously with their professional advisors, but most importantly with God.

    I hope this perspective is in some way helpful :p

  5. *and healing among my list of prospects – as it’s not unheard of.

    And sorry for the massive triple post, lol.
    Oya and I do still struggle with anxiety a little bit (to my shame :P ) but the major symptoms of frustration and depression seem much less intense.

  6. I hadn’t heard of Hashimoto’s disorder. I know what you mean about the quandary of wanting to get a diagnosis but then not wanting to have something that’s diagnosed.
    Jeff

  7. Yeah it’s one of those fairly rare-ish throid problems, where it doesn’t work properly.
    But you can’t let it stop us from living, ay. It just gets harder some times and you need more grace. Although we all know that it’s easier said than done at times xD


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