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"This is a question for those out there in the Christian faith. As a Christian myself I was wondering what others thought about the use of medication to treat depression? I feel like it is impossible to know for sure if that is what God wants me to do! I have of course read many websites about Christianity and of course there are so many differing views...in fact alot of the sites I visited filled my head with more paranoia and fear that I certainly don't need with talk of demonic influence...AHHH! I am so scared and confused...so I just wanted to talk to other Christians in the same boat."--cagedheat3
Comments
April 4, 2006 at 10:03 am
(1) Joyce says:

We see a Christian psychiatrist. Our son has depression and ADHD and takes separate medications for both. God created Adam and Eve perfect. All the mess that follows is due to the fall. Christians need to be more real about who they are or more people will turn to Oprah than to God. There should not be any shame in taking medication for mental health improvement.

April 5, 2006 at 7:54 am
(2) darlene atchley says:

depression is just an illness, just as diabetes is just an illness. the restof our body is subject to diseases, so why not our brain too? i am a person of deep faith who has been struggling with depression for five years. it is NOT a demon, it’s just a disease. get treatment for it, you would if it was anything else. don’t suffer or delay another minute.

April 5, 2006 at 12:42 pm
(3) Rob says:

I agree with Darlene. Get help, and try different therapies/medications until you find the right ones for you. Jesus would want you to help yourself. Good luck and God Bless. Don’t let depression defeat you or rob you of what a Christian life should be – which is one of joy.

April 7, 2006 at 8:04 am
(4) Jess says:

The three people above are right on. Your mind is an organ just like your liver, your kidneys, etc. Do you take meds for those? Do you have a headache, do you take aspirins? By all means seek a psychiatrist preferably a Christian. But, I would like to say something, you maybe in a situation someday when you need a physician and he’s not a Christian, sometimes you can’t pick and chose. I would rather go to someone who is the best, rather than a Christian who is a complete idiot. I see that in Christian Counseling a lot. They get a degree off some bogus website and they hang up a shingle and get an office and they are in business.

Yes, get help. 99% of the Pastors and support groups are inadequate to handle this type of mental illness. I would rather take the medication and let God heal me, or just sit and wait and go off the deep end waiting for God to heal me. I’m a diabetic, God hasn’t healed me yet, can he? Yes!
Will he, maybe. I certainly would like it, I don’t like taking pills. But I do it. Yes, I go up to the alter for healing. Remember if you start takings meds for brain, don’t stop until your Doctor says so, don’t listen to some moron that says “God told me, to tell you to quit taking your meds.” Not good. When and if God heals you, you will know it. Balance is the word.

April 7, 2006 at 5:49 pm
(5) Liz says:

Excellent site–I too always wondered about religion and meds. This site was the answer I needed. Thanks!!

April 12, 2006 at 5:17 am
(6) Pamela says:

I was wondering the same thing? I have had 2 bouts with depression over the past year and I have taken medication and I’m so glad I did! I feel like God gave me a great Christian counselor who was wise in instructing me to get meds to help and God has given me my old life back! Sheila Walsh is a wonderful christian author and singer and talks about her depression in one of her books I strongly reccommend you looking for them. God Bless you and do what you need to do to get better. Our God is a loving God!

April 18, 2006 at 8:41 pm
(7) Charity says:

The brain is just as subject to a disease as any other part of our bodies. The previous statements are right on. The Lord never gives us anything that we can’t handle but He never says that we have to handle it alone. I truly feel that He put people like the scientists and doctors in the world as a form of help to those of us who are struggling with things like depression. While satan will try to get us away from God as far as our walk is concerned when we become Christians we cannot be posessed or taken control of by demons. Where God is the demons cannot also be, He and they cannot dwell in us at the same time. Please don’t be disuaded to seek help by people trying to downplay depression. It is a potentially very serious disorder and you should make an informed decision on what type of help to get or what type of medication to take but please, don’t feel hindered about getting the help that you need.

April 20, 2006 at 12:18 pm
(8) Tony says:

The above reponses are great. Depression is an illness, not a weakness or lack of faith. You probably wouldn’t hesitate to suck on a cough drop to relieve that cold symptom- this is no different. It is a condition that needs treatment- seek the help as you would with any other illness. I’m sure those who might disagree don’t refuse gas or novacaine at the dentist. One little side note; I try to help others as often as I can- there is great reward, and it keeps my mind on someone other than me…..this isn’t meant as a treatment for depression- but as a lttle ‘pick-me-up.”

September 30, 2006 at 1:12 pm
(9) Natalie Amos says:

I agree with every one above. Over the past few years, I have had bouts with depression. I have only sought help since last year. I feel so much better since I have been taking the prescribed medication. I feel free from the torment that I had been going through due to so many negative pressures in my life. Of course, my family thinks that I should not take the meds, but I feel that depression is just as serious as any other illness. I suffer from HBP, and no one says “do not take your meds”. How is depression any different? I take the meds and pray that God will deliver me from this illness as well as other physical illnesses I have. I suggest that you do the same.

May God bless and keep you.

March 17, 2008 at 10:40 am
(10) John says:

Hey guys, I have suffered from Depression for about 4 years. I was on illegal drugs a high percentage of the time through High School.I eventually accepted Christ as my Lord and savior and was healed of depression while I was on meds and everything. I have been on meds for 2 years until recently, when a group of christians tried to heal me at my Bible College. It was some what a deliverance. Ever since then I have really been suffering from depression and now am starting to realize that it was because I had a mental illness. But at the same time God’s word has been an amazing help to my health. I am starting to gain a better biblical worldview, and its hard, but its starting to happen a little bit. But not everyone completly has one of these world views and I guess at that point Im trying to gain a little bit of knowledge on How I should be thinking as a christian, and especially if i should go back to meds. I still somewhat suffer from depression and notice how it effects me with friends and relationships. Any advice, Im just wondering if I truly need to look into more bible therapy or maybe just counseling im trying to figure out, what would be glorifying to the Lord

March 28, 2008 at 10:50 pm
(11) Kyle says:

Reading the comments above brought me a sense of peace.

I have struggled with depression for years and like the above poster turned to drugs for a period in my teens. I’m 25 now and have been clean & sober for over 5 years. For the first 16 months, I focused on God and service. That helped, but I eventually decided I needed more help for my depression. I took medication for a few months, but ended up thinking that just God alone would be enough. The depression came back, and for months more, I struggled, telling myself that it was part of God’s way of making me more pliant, of making me more open to his will. I saw it as my cross, so to speak. Despite my best attempts to get closer to God and to learn more about his will, the depression worsened, relationships suffered, and, most importantly, my ability to be of service suffered.

I ended up getting back on medication to help me stop smoking (three years ago in May). While taking the medication, I realized that my depression was greatly relieved, so for over two years, I continued to take it.

My life improved greatly, I got engaged, and decided to try and give back to my country through the service. Anti-depressants are not generally accepted in the service (when given for long-lasting depression), so I thought I had built up enough positive life experience that I could take it. This was about 5 months ago. At first, exercise and positive thinking seemed to help. But, little by little, it started getting harder to wake up in the morning.

I recently got baptized again, and I started being less hard on myself. I started letting Jesus show me how to treat myself with more love. Part of that love has been realizing that I have a responsibility to take care of my body. That includes getting orthotics and having my wisdom teeth pulled (two things I’ve put off for a long time). It also has included getting back on anti-depressants.

This has been a long road for me, but like the above comments said, I have a disease. If there were another way, I would have found it, but this is the easier and softer way. My life and the life of my fiancee, friends, and family are all improved when I can do three things: (1) admit I need help, (2) get that help, and (3) give freely of the rewards I receive from that help.

God bless.

September 17, 2008 at 10:11 pm
(12) laura says:

I am a graduate of a Bible college and a seminary. I am a musician. I am a writer. I have mental illness and take medication for it as I do for some physical illnesses like diabetes and hypothyroidism and GERD. If I were not on meds I would function less well and would not be able to use the gifts and talents God has given me to be of service and to continue to try to conform to the images of Christ.
It’s interesting that nobody has mentioned that Luke, one of the gospel writers of the Bible was a physician. God used physicians then and he uses them now, including psychiatrists. Depression and other mood disorders, anxiety disorders and many other mental illnesses can respond successfully to medication. Depression is so much more than the grief and sadness that we all experience when we suffer a loss. It is not a weakness. If there are treatments that God has allowed us to discover and use, we would be doing less than what He wanted by not taking them, by not doing our best with what we are given.
Most of the comments I have read here are positive and that is, I believe, a testimony to how far we have come and are coming as Christians.

June 26, 2009 at 10:47 am
(13) Matt says:

God has already healed all of you, it was already done through Jesus! No longer ask the illness but command it to leave. That’s what Jesus name does doesn’t it? If it doesn’t have that authority then whats the point in using it? Jesus name doesn’t have partial authority over some sickness he has ALL authority over death. That is the whole gospel message.
BUT be open to hearing what God wants you to do, God works in mysterious ways and sometimes he asks us to do weird things, sometimes that may be medication. So take drugs only if God tells you to. If he doesn’t and you take them, you are no longer relying on the power of God to heal you but the power of man which is worthless, however God that will not seperate the love of God from you, so you may be healed. Just make sure you leave room for God to move.

July 6, 2010 at 9:27 pm
(14) John says:

Thank You Matt I could not have said it better myself. I would prescribe ECCLESIASTES for depression, if I where a doctor.

November 3, 2010 at 1:18 am
(15) Andy says:

I don’t believe God is against antidepressants, however if your depression is not severe I would recommend not starting them unless absolutely necessary. What many doctors never tell patients is that there are serious withdrawal symptoms from many of these drugs. Try Googling Effexor withdrawal and you’ll see what I mean. I have been on antidepressants for 1 1/2 years. Antidepressants only did not remove my depression. I had to a number of other things to finally see the symptoms get better. I would give the following advice before you try antidepressants, however if you really feel you need them than seek medical help from a doctor who is familiar with the withdrawal symptoms. What I found was that doctors are basically guessing what kind of antidepressant is best for you and don’t know until you’ve been taking them for about 6 weeks because it takes that long for them to “kick in”. I too prayed that God would heal my depression, but he needed to do it in HIS time and with the use of other “treatments”.

1. DON’T GIVE UP
Many time I was tempted, and in some ways I did, but you have to believe that there is HOPE. ( even if you can’t see it )
2. DON’T ISOLATE YOURSELF. I know this is not easy, I spent a year on my couch not being able to get out of bed, or leave the house. Do your best to surround yourself with people that care about you. You may need to confide to a close friend what is troubling you, but don’t repeat it over and over, not in your mind, or to your friends. Find anything else to think about and focus on besides your problems.
3. STOP NEGATIVE THINKING:You have to break the cycle of negative thinking ( which may seem impossible to you now, But YOU CAN! ) I don’t know if they allow links in comments but this is a good place to start. http://zerotolerancetonegativethinking.com/
For weeks I spent hours in a row reading this material just to get to the point
where I could leave the house without a panic attack.
4. FIND A COUNCELOR who has spirtual perspective and if possible also uses (CES) Cranial ElectroTherapy Stimulation. I have a device called Alpha-Stim.
Google it to find out more. This was a real turning point for me, when nothing else worked.
5. EXERCISE: It will be hard to start but it WILL make you feel better. Exercise releases neurotransmitters naturally in the brain. These neurotransmitters help to promote neurogenesis, (the process of creating new brain cells) in the hippocampus. (The part of the brain most likely damaged by Cortisol, which is released by the body in reation to stress. It actually can damage cells in the hippocampus)
6. FIND A SUPPORT GROUP: For me this was a Christian men’s group. (Not a bunch of phonies, but genuine Christians who will support you, and accept you the way you are.)
7. Prayer and Meditation can calm you mind and help you heal.
8. EAT NUTRITIONAL MEALS. I was eating junky doughnuts for breakfast, skipping lunch, and only eating dinner.
9. RESEARCH SUPPLEMENTS FOR DEPRESSION: Don’t take the supplement sellers word as fact. Look for solid scientific studies that show the supplement is useful. http://clinicaltrials.gov/ is one good site. Be sure to check for interactions with the drugs you are taking and check with you doctor before you do. I found SAMe to be helpful, but I also found a study that showed it’s effectiveness with Effexor which I’m on before taking it. Be careful with supplements. Don’t over due them. I went a little overboard and am risking damage to my kidneys so be careful.

This is the best advice I can give.
Good Luck and God Bless

November 10, 2010 at 10:53 pm
(16) Eugene says:

I really like your answers on here about being a Christian and meds. I have felt much guilt about being on prescribed drugs, though I am talking about anxiety drugs like Klonopin. Is that a whole other ballgame than anti-depressants? Is Klonopin a sin, but Effexor not? What say ye? Thank You and God Bless.

November 15, 2010 at 1:35 pm
(17) Roxanne says:

I have suffered from anxiety disorder since I was 10 y.o. Yes….10 y.o. I would throw up every day because my teacher was threatening me emotionally and physically. I was finally diagnosed in my 20′s. I am on medication for anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and depression. I have often been made to feel guilty for taking medication and why didn’t I just trust God and have more faith? Dear ones, this is a MEDICAL problem. You can not drum up more faith. If we could, I would have been healed years and years ago. I was at a church support group last week and the speaker was so good! She said that her daughter has anxiety disorder. She becomes paralyzed with anxiety and she calls her mom saying that she must just not have enough faith. Her mom encourages her and says that faith has nothing to do with us. Just as some of us have higher pain thresh-holds than others, we are also chemically made up differently. That’s the facts. You can spiritualize it if you want, but, you are being deceived and being judgemental. God loves me and He made me. He wants me to get help. I must interject something. I am a nurse and I STRONGLY believe that if we had a lung problem, we would go to a specialist who is a pulmonologist, I feel that to be treated for any mental illness, we need to go to a Psychiatrist. He/she is a specialist in brain medications. Your G.P. may think he knows about anti-depressants and anxiety meds, but he does not know the interactions and ways to help you get the RIGHT meds for YOU. My rant is over. Thank you for being patient. “Love the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths.” Blessings~

February 17, 2011 at 12:37 pm
(18) Martin says:

I once read a book about the Holy Spirit written by a pastor who leads one of the fastest growing pentocoastal church movements globally. When it comes to God healing us, his view is that God gave us doctors and professionals for a reason and that in most cases you shouldn’t defy doctors advise to go off medications or not use them when needed, rather you believe for healing and when it comes, you bring the evidence to the doctor if you follow me. It’s all about faith though with that sometimes you don’t wanna get ahead of things too much, God will provide things on his timing and his faithfullness and you’ll know when you’re healed.

March 22, 2011 at 6:19 am
(19) Jonathan says:

Interesting thought in response to all this. Alot of depression is brought about because of social reasons (i.e. family breakdowns and relational breakdowns) especially at a young age this can be quite devastating. So is depression like a diseases in that sense? I tend to think not. I have suffered from depression before, and every now and then it comes back(due to circumstances). But i think the more we label it as a disease the harder it is to break. Personally if it was a brain(thought life) that brought it about (from relational circumstances) then surely the thought life will change the way it is now?? I never used meds (have nothing against them, just way too much choice and also no moneys LOL) I think if God thinks highly of us and also wants us to chill about our circumstances (i.e. He is Almighty God, why should we worry or fear) then i should think the same too

November 8, 2011 at 12:33 pm
(20) cherie says:

In response to the old post by Matt from 2009 …. if you have a mental illness like schizophrenia you cannot decipher which voices are from God and which are from the illness. this is exactly why our son refuses to go on mnedications for his schizophrenia and has lost nearly all that is dear to him, including his ability to serve Christ in missions and to attend church. PLEASE PLEASE know that all things are possible in Christ, and using medication can very well be the way to finally truly hear the voice of God.
a very sad mom

March 28, 2012 at 2:54 pm
(21) Terri Assini says:

i just want to say i understand everyones needs, but i think i’m gonna let God work through me and for me on this one thanks so much for your comments but those drugs can sometimes male you worse..i will just pray for healing for you all, God bless

July 25, 2012 at 2:51 am
(22) Chris says:

Take it. I did. I got better.

September 14, 2012 at 10:13 pm
(23) LouAnn says:

I just wanted to comment about the drug Effexor. Someone said it is very hard to get off of. What you do in that case is FOLLOW DOCTORS ORDERS!! They know what they’re doing. They know there are withdrawal symptoms if you don’t come off the pills slowly, so that’s what you do. Simple. If you have a problem, you tell the doctor and you can always adjust your medication. You don’t have to suffer when you’re under a doctors care as long as you communicate with them. So do that!!

October 6, 2012 at 2:30 pm
(24) Mark says:

Medications are used to treat serious medical conditions such as
depression. Prayer for healing is also appropriate. Get professional help and
use all the resources God has given us. God bless you.

December 17, 2012 at 4:03 pm
(25) Kate says:

if the christian consensus is no meds, then I must assume God is punishing me and wants me to suffer. not very loving, is it.? Imagine a father telling his child she must suffer. when a useful safe treatment is available to relieve the suffering. i hink god wants us to use all available resources rather than suffer. but I believe in a loving god, not a christian god.

February 24, 2013 at 10:33 pm
(26) Jessica says:

Reading these comments have been very helpful, actually. I’m 19 & I remember the first time I noticed serious depression was 12, I think its about time I go get it checked out & hopefully God leads me the right way. I pray for everyone that left a comment. You’re not alone. <3

March 23, 2013 at 2:00 pm
(27) Emily says:

The best thing you can do for yourself is to not stress over this. Meds or no meds, God will be with you throughout your life and He’ll guide you to where you need to be. There should be no set goal to get a Christian off meds, as there is nothing Biblical that says they are good or bad. God created science, and depression is very real. So don’t beat yourself up over it like it’s a horrible weakness that should be healed, as we are all weak in our own areas! God wants you to rest and hand your burdens over to Him, live your life “as is” and use your trials and struggles as a testimony to reach out to others. The point of being a Christian is not to become perfect, but to use our imperfections to guide others toward the Kingdom. Nobody wants to take lessons from a teacher who has no experience. Use your experience for God. I wish you the best. You are blessed!

August 3, 2013 at 4:57 pm
(28) Elaine says:

I just read all the comments & thought I would share my experiences.
I have been ill fo 10 years with depression, PTSD & now fibromyalgia .
None of the medications helped me, most made me worse. No ones prayers helped either. I now believe it is according to your faith, what one truly believes. Many time we say we believe something & we don’t really believe in our heart but we are trying to believe it. I think doubt & unbelief
can cause problems. A lot of ministers don’t know the truth & cause many
People to be confused. Some of them are false prophets, that say one thing and don’t do what they say.that causes problems too.
We have to each try to find a solid belief & get to know God as best we can. Sometimes suffering changes everything you thought you knew. No one can judge because we are all different. Do the best you can, with what you know and have & pray God will do the rest.

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