Saturday, July 02, 2011

To be or not to be?

Today, as I quickly and with panic drove home from my parents house with a slight stomach ache, I remembered that this past week marked five years since, what I would call terrible experience, I got a stomach bug. Go ahead, you can chuckle. I get it. It's silly for someone to remember and dread the anniversary of their first stomach bug. It sounds quite silly to me too, as I sit and type about it. This blog post is about the big question I faced in times when I had a panic attack, to be or not to be... on medication.

I know I am going to step on somebody's toes and I don't mean to offend, really. I don't. Through the biblical counseling my brother in law did with me, the subject of whether or not I should take medication came up and helped me to gain a better understanding about the matter.

While at a check up at my doctors I mentioned I have been struggling with being anxious. The first thing that came out of her mouth was, would you like to try some medication? I was a little shocked, to be quite honest. You're not going to ask me why I am anxious? Or try to help me in any other way? You're just going to prescribe me something? So, I said well I guess so. She gave me a free sample card for a months supply, then went on her way to her next patient. I had the card for about a week before I brought it up to Ben, my BIL. I was torn between wanting relief from the anxiousness and panic attacks, but knowing myself I would probably not want to get off of them. Which posed a problem, in no way did I want to get addicted or have a reliance to medication.

At our next counseling "session" I guess you could call it, Scott and I sat down with Ben and talked about the option of medication. Here is what we talked about:

- Medication is often times used to balance out chemical imbalances in the brain. But there is not a way, at least that I am aware of, that can test the chemicals in your brain. Therefore, how do I really know if I even have an imbalance?
-Medication, for me and I think many others especially those who are followers of Christ, does not get to the root of the problem. My heart. In my heart I seek after comfort, and when that is not granted I panic. My heart is sinful and desires things of the flesh and not of God. Medication, I believe, would have only put a tarp over my true heart, just hiding it from the surface and preserving the sin. Once that tarp was lifted and the sin was unmasked again, I would be right back at square one. Because the SIN IS STILL THERE!
-Anti Anxiety/Depression medications can make anxiety worse in some cases.
-Sometimes all that is needed is to balance out your thyroid levels, vitamins, diet, and/or exercise which can be easily tested with a routine blood test. (From personal experience what I ate could make the anxiety worse,and if I was not active that did as well. If I sat around the house and did not get out and do things my anxiety got worse.)
-A great way of handling anxiety and depression can be followed by this verse, "Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and petition, present your requests to God and the peace that passes all understanding will guard your heart and minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

There have been so many prayers and petitions that I have said to God, and he HAS given me a peace I just do not understand. That peace has helped me get through so many tough situations with anxiety.  God has told me, us, that in everything we should pray and petition to God  our requests and HE will provide a peace we don't understand. I still many times have anxiety and i don't understand how He is going to provide that peace to me, but He does. He does not fail!

The conclusion that we came to, was no medication was not for me. Would it have made this refining process easier, maybe. Would it have made it harder, possibly. Would I change my decision, no.

I don't know if you are reading this and your on medication or your not, or if you hate my guts because of what I said, but look to your heart. What is in it? Is it deceiving you to believe that everything is fine because  it is masked by something? Masked by pity for yourself and your circumstances, by medication, sin, or are you seeing the truth that your heart is deceitful and there are things that need to change? Do it today! Look into your heart, ask God to change it! My anxieties are not gone, and I still ask God why, but He has not let me down, and He has and always will provide for my needs in the way He sees fit.


The Wootens said...

Amen, Jen! Proud of you! And if you are looking for ways to carefully balance your nutrition for the sake of your thyroid, etc, I can refer you to the excellent Christian nutritionist I've been seeing for a year. She works with pregnant clients and newborns, too. Blessings,

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