I wonder how many people have experienced severe anxiety.
I don’t mean the type that makes sense, like anxiety over an exam, over an interview, going to the dentist. I don’t mean those aren’t worthy of discussion but at least they can be viewed as logical, based on the circumstances.
But have you ever experienced severe anxiety that strikes for no reason and that almost makes you want to give up on life? If you have, read on. If you haven’t, read on because someone down the road (maybe even you), someone you care about is going to experience this kind of anxiety and you need to understand.
Anxiety related disorders are the most common disorder in the United States.
The can accompany depression and OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) and are hard to differentiate.
I have been there and I can truthfully say that except for certain people who have committed horrific acts of violence, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
It is without a doubt one of the most painful feelings precisely because there is usually no clear-cut cause. Therefore, along with the anxiety comes guilt and shame:
“I shouldn’t be feeling this way.”
“What’s the matter with me?”
“Why can’t I get over this?”
“Am I mentally ill?”
“What would people think if they knew what is going on in my mind?”
“Why can’t I be like “normal” people?”
I’ve done my homework. I’ve done my thinking. I’ve done my Bible reading. I’ve done my prayer. And I wish I could give you a definitive answer today to the “why’s”. I can’t.
Some things I do know for sure. Whether you “should” or “shouldn’t” feel anxious is not the issue. You do. So there’s that. No sense in denying reality.
There’s nothing any more wrong with you than the person who drinks too much, eats too much or too little, is rude, is selfish, stingy, mean-hearted, etc
Are you mentally ill? Well, do a degree, we all are. I mean that. None of us is one hundred percent mentally healthy.
People don’t care what’s going on in your mind. They have enough to worry about with what is going on in theirs.
Who defines “normal” anyway?
You noticed I skipped right over “Why can’t I get over this”?
That’s because I really don’t know. I know that it’s not what God wants for any us. I know anxiety is a very human response because God addresses it throughout scripture.
I’m reading Psalm 119 as part of my daily reading and over and over I read the word “revive” and every time it is connected with knowing and “living” God’s word. There really is power in God’s word. As simple as it sounds (and really, didn’t God mean for it to be simple?), we can’t know God’s word too much. It truly is our armor.
“I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have revived me.”
I am exceedingly afflicted (anxious, hurt, depressed, ((my additions)); revive me according to your word.”
Seven times a day I praise you……those who love your law have great peace and nothing causes them to stumble. (Feeling anxious is NOT stumbling. We only stumble with those feelings cause us to sin and feelings are no sin. In fact, those people suffering anxiety and depression may actually have deeper faith than those who don’t because they have to cling to God to survive the day.)
Today’s post was prompted because I am keenly aware of someone who is struggling today. And as is almost always the case, this is one of the best people I know. Isn’t it always that way?
Selfish, self-centered, narcissistic never have these problems. Hmmm, I wonder why. Oh, I know it’s the”self” part.
The only statements I can unequivocally make today is that I know anxiety and all its accompanying issues are not what God wants for you and He will not let you slip as long as you cling to Him and His word. If he can rescue me, he can and will rescue you.
This “dark night of the soul”, this “prison”, will not last. But you have to do your part.
Now, I don’t exactly know that your “part” looks like. It’s probably different for different people. Ask God for his help and make sure you recognize it when it comes. (For me, it’s always been exercise, meditation, and distraction as my main “go to’s.)
God bless you and I am so praying for you today.
(I wrote this quickly today and from my heart. There is so much more to be written about this subject, especially from a Christian viewpoint. But sometimes the best advice is the kind that is from the heart without a lot of editing.)