With few exceptions, when Christians get sick, we go to the doctor. When we are injured, we go to the doctor. We still pray to God in these situations, and this is good, but almost none of us (in Western Christian culture) rely solely on the power of prayer to heal our bodies.
So, why do we expect people to do this with mental health?
By and large, the Western Christian community has not done a very good job of addressing mental health and anxiety. The sad thing about this is that anxiety impacts nearly 20 percent of adults in the United States alone. There’s a very good chance that many of those who struggle with anxiety are members of the church.
So, what should Christians do with anxiety?
Christians represent a large group of people in the United States and in the world. If we all joined together and became active participants in the fight against mental illness, who knows what could happen? At the very least, we can make some steps in our own communities when someone (including yourself) has anxiety:
- Name it — The first step to treating something is it admit it exists in the first place. It can be scary to acknowledge something like anxiety because it makes you feel powerless and helpless. However, acknowledging it is a big step toward overcoming it.
- Get real treatment — When we don’t treat anxiety like a real problem, we don’t use real treatments. We self-medicate with food, drugs, alcohol and other unhealthy mediums.
Instead, we need to encourage our brothers and sisters to get real treatment when anxiety is an issue. Doctors may not be able to make anxiety go away, but they can help you learn how to live with it in a healthy way.
- Accept that you’re not extra-broken — When you have anxiety, it’s easy to allow yourself to think you’re somehow extra broken or fallen. You must realize this isn’t true and we are all equally broken and fallen in sin. Your anxiety isn’t a punishment, it’s a genuine mental health disorder. You deserve help, not criticism.
- Get in touch with God — Ask one hundred Christians about healing and you’ll get one hundred different answers. It’s not an easy topic, so we’re not quite sure how to pray to God when we need healing.
Perhaps the best way to approach God in these situations is without any expectations. Your Creator wants to know you in all situations, so don’t neglect talking to Him when you have anxiety. He may provide more peace and comfort than you may imagine.
At Unfiltered Radio, we acknowledge anxiety is a real and powerful mental health disorder. We stand by the sides of those who struggle with it. We encourage others to do the same and to empower people in their community to care for those suffering from anxiety.