I am adamantly and firmly 100% against pharmaceuticals of any kind except in truly urgent medical situations, and because of my hardened stance on the topic, I often get asked what my thoughts are on medication for mental health.
I know this is a sensitive topic and so I would like to preface this blog by saying that there is absolutely zero judgment here. This is my personal story about my two experiences with anxiety and depression, and what has helped me, and I know has helped many others who are now born-again Christians. My family and I are Bible-believing Christians who believe that the Good Lord has provided everything to us that we need to heal here on His earth…and there is extensive research linking depression to nutritional deficiency. I also believe that His will and plan will always happen regardless of our own desires…so at any time, He has the power to heal us from any physical ailments with which we suffer.
Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass,
Unless the Lord has commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
That both good and ill go forth?
I had my first bout with depression in 2004 one year after having my first child. I had moved about 1,000 miles away from my family when I married my first husband who had been transferred by the Navy. I was a very young first-time Mom, we had very little income and very little concern about health or Christ at the time. We consumed little to no nutrition on a daily basis – all of our food was boxed, processed, and genetically modified. I had picked up a cigarette-smoking habit and had stopped exercising. Adding most fuel to my depressive fire was my marriage. My ex-husband was and is a great father, but if I am putting it nicely, we had a relationship that truly brought out the worst in one another. I spent every day crying. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. By 2006, my depression had become extreme and I had become a person I didn’t recognize at all. I had to go back to work 3 weeks after I delivered my second baby just so we could make ends meet – and I worked three jobs in addition to going to school full-time.
I took me a long time to realize or acknowledge the fact that I had a problem. I had a lot of pride and always thought “If I just do this, things will get better”…or “If I just do that, things will get better”, always thinking happiness was just on the other side of a certain action or achievement. However, it seemed like the more time that passed, the worse things got for me mentally. I was crying every day and felt hopeless…and as much as I hated to even take so much as a Tylenol at that time, I knew I couldn’t continue the way I was going anymore and I broke down and finally made an appointment to see a doctor.
I still remember that appointment like it was yesterday because it was one of those moments in life that triggers something in the mindset to just “click”.
I went in, sat down, began to spill out everything that was going on in my life and how I had been feeling dispirited for years and that I had finally come to my breaking point. I flat out asked him to write me a prescription for an anti-depressant. Now, this is where my life takes a turn because I was blessed to have a doctor that day that was driven by actually helping me with my root cause of the issue – and not slapping a band-aid on it.
He told me that he could write me a prescription, but unless I changed something in my life circumstances (got rid of a job or fixed my marriage or did SOMETHING TO FIX THE UNDERLYING ISSUE OF WHAT WAS CAUSING THE DEPRESSION)…I would be on medication forever and he warned the side effects were serious.
Mind blown? So is mine. So grateful to this day. The lightbulb went off and I knew that he was right. I walked out of his office with no prescriptions and I went home and made some very serious life changes.
I started eating healthier and I started exercising. I quit smoking. I filed for divorce (at that time neither of us were believers). I enrolled in Nursing School. I never took anti-depressant medication and yet things got better and stayed that way for years.
I got remarried in 2012 and everything was great for years. I felt like myself again…happy, bubbly, a little bit sassy at times, but most importantly, I was content and peaceful with life and had my third and fourth children 15 months apart from each other without issue. Enter 2016. At the beginning of the year I started experiencing some anxiety again. The atmosphere of our country was tense. Riots in different cities, racial division, and the presidential election were tearing people that I loved apart and bringing out the worst in one another. I found out one of my childhood friends was diagnosed with breast cancer, and there were multiple shootings that year as well. As an empath, I felt drained emotionally and found myself crying again every day. My anxiety had become completely debilitating.
I had zero patience with anyone and I felt overwhelmed even with my basic daily to-do lists …simple things like laundry, cooking, even connecting with people I cared about. I went on in this state throughout all of 2016, and even though I was doing everything I had done that helped the first time I went through this, this time they didn’t help. I felt like I was at rock bottom and didn’t know what else to do other than to cry out to a God I didn’t even 100% believe existed at the time. I got down on my knees every day, weeping and pleading for Him to give me the grace to be the Mother, wife, and person that He wanted me to be. I asked Him to make me a patient and gentle person and to show me that He was in fact real. An amazing thing happened…with nothing else changing in my life other than the prayer, I felt my anxiety slowly start to melt away and my patience started to come back to a level I hadn’t recognized in a long time. And at the beginning of 2017, for the first time in my life I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit and I felt a thirsting to know God and Christ.
I had come completely out of my anxiety and depression. For the first time in my life, I had a level of peace and comfort I had never known before, and I did that by finding Christ and accepting Him as my Savior, repenting of my sins and being born again. It is really that simple. Once I realized ONE MILLION PERCENT that Christ Is REAL, He is ALIVE, and He died on that cross for you and me – I have been on fire ever since and have found that if I ever am not putting Him at the forefront of all I do, it is opening the door for the enemy to gain a foothold in my life.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. – Matthew 11:28-30
Do I have moments of worry? Of course. But I have never, and will never be in that dark place again, and if at any time I ever feel like I am out of control, I give my worries to God and pray fervently in the name of Jesus Christ. God is good and is always righteous, and I do not believe in pharmaceuticals for mental health, period. They do not, and will not ever, address the issue that caused your problem in the first place. But there is nothing in the world that is too big for our God. Brothers and sisters, if you are burdened, find Jesus and get right with Him. Take care of yourself. Take care of your marriage and your family. Stay in your own lane and stop comparing your life to what the highlight reels you see on Facebook. Pray big every day – and whenever you are sad or scared…it is OK to cry out and ask why?! But the stronger you grow in faith – the more comfort and peace you will feel.
Note : I personally know people who have true hearts for Christ who have still suffered from debilitating depression. If you are in this situation, please reach out for help from loved ones and seek deliverance from strongholds immediately. I know several people who have had great success with deliverance from Refuge Ranch Ministries.
From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me
Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.
One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:17
And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”