I just received another email from someone who is a Christian and struggling with anxiety. The panic has become so severe that the person isn’t functioning well. The question he asked was, “Is it wrong, a lack of faith, to take medication to help this condition?”
My answer, an emphatic NO–it is not wrong to use medication to help free you from something that is impairing your life.
Some people are prone to anxiety because of their genetics and must work on their coping skills in general. In others, anxiety can be triggered by loss, trauma and other life experiences that create a feeling of loss of control. Even if anxiety is not predisposed genetically, life experiences can create this reaction and people must learn how to release it and let it go. Part of that treatment sometimes includes medications to help calm the person enough to begin working on his/her thoughts and physical relaxation. Medications can be used as part of a treatment strategy for those needing more than therapy. Medications are not typically used long term unless you are dealing with a biological-based anxiety like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Medicine can be a path of healing. God is not limited to healing people one way. Spiritually, one of the issues in letting go of anxiety is to fully trust God in terms of His promises and character. That is part of the spiritual work that can begin once a person is calm enough to work on that part of doubt. Other areas relate to anxious thoughts, knowing how to calm the body and more. Anxiety is very treatable and usually employs a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Approach.