Defeat Anxiety: Defanging the monster!

Do you struggle with anxiety or depression? Many Christian leaders (and their followers) do.

I’ve written especially for people who doubt their faith, or their faithfulness, because they are taking prescription meds for anxiety or depression. I also wrote for those who have rejected medication on the basis that it is not within God’s will. And, I’ve met a few men along the way who refuse medication because they think it shows weakness and makes them less of a man to do so.

You Need Spiritual Help, Plus…

Some may have been “put down” by their pastor, church leaders or well-meaning friends. I know this because I was one of those pastors who looked down on people for taking drugs to alleviate anxiety or depression. My standard advice was, “Read the Bible more and kick up your prayer life.”

Not bad advice…simply incomplete. And, I doled it out with little or no compassion. I honestly couldn’t comprehend the struggles my friends experienced. God can and does heal marvelously. But sometimes things don’t work out just as we pray that they will. When God doesn’t answer in ways we hope for, we are forced to seek other options.

20161101-new-defanx-kindle-cover-275wMy Own Problem

Several years ago, I had an acute panic/anxiety attack. The one good thing about it was that it taught me empathy and compassion toward people who have lost control over their emotions. The bad part about it was that it happened at all—I was weak and shattered.

I felt like that fellow “Humpty Dumpty who sat on a wall… “Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.” The nursery rhyme goes on to say that, “…all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again.” My life came unglued and nothing I did on my own would repair the damage.

I spent much time in prayer and reading the Bible, but something in my brain would not allow me to feast on the promises God makes to us. I was too bent to even focus on God’s word.

Enter The Family Doctor

In sheer desperation, we called our family doctor.  The short story is that he prescribed a medication, which calmed me quite rapidly. Years later, I still use the same drug, in smaller doses. Since that difficult time, I have learned several techniques for managing chronic anxiety and I am into my Bible and prayer more than ever. In other words, this is a war that needs to be fought on several fronts simultaneously and continuously.

I wrote more about medications than any other tool in this book. This is not because I believe that medications are the final answer to anything. Nor does it mean that I diminish the spiritual dimensions of anxiety. However my purpose is to counteract those people, in your life, who condemn others for finding help in a physician’s prescription pad.

‘Healthy Anxiety’ Can Spin Out Of Control

The fact is that a certain level of anxiety travels alongside any healthy individual—we need it to protect us from things we should legitimately fear. For instance, anxiety over injury will keep you from stepping in front of an oncoming bus. But anxiety can overstep its boundaries leaving you very unhealthy. When that happens, life is bound and blinded by emotional pain. We can’t eliminate anxiety but can control it so it doesn’t control us.

It is possible to defeat the monster that threatens you on-a daily basis. You can overcome it so that it does not overcome you.

If you’ve read this far, you or someone you know struggles with these issues. Take a look at the book on Amazon Kindle. Defeating Anxiety: Overcoming Fear Before It Overcomes You

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4 thoughts on “Defeat Anxiety: Defanging the monster!”

  1. Hey Ralph,
    I so appreciate your willingness to deal with mental illness in a transparent way. I am a firm believer in getting professional help whenever needed. I personally struggled with suicidal thoughts 39 years ago while I was in Bible College. I have deep compassion for people struggling with those kind of thoughts. The Lord has used me on multiple occasions to strengthen and minister deliverance to folks tortured by the kind of thoughts that left me disabled for about 6 months. Today, I would recommend both professional and spiritual counseling. By the way, I hope we can do more training in Latin America together!

  2. Thank you for this direct and helpful article. I am dealing with anxiety and some depression right now after going through some deep ministry and employment issues. I have had panic attacks for the first time in my life and there is no one I am free to talk to right now. I am at a major crossroads in my life right now that I am not sure where it will go. It is not simply more Bible reading and prayer. There is much more to life than a few pat answers. If it were then this life would be much easier. Thanks again for sharing.

  3. Raph, good and helpful words. I remember when, a few years back, you shared your struggles with anxiety at your denominational annual convention in front of a couple of thousand pastors and their wives. Of all the convention messages I’ve ever listened to, your message that night is the only one I remember. I also remember how some of those pastors criticized you for your honesty and transparency.

    By the way, what has helped me with depression is meditation, contemplation or Lectio Devina.

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