Hi! So I lately I’ve been having a lot of anxiety/panic attacks. I’ve dealt with this in the past, but never as bad as this. It’s started to effect me from going to church & even just hanging with my friends cos I get so anxious. I know that we’re called to walk in freedom and I don’t want this to stop me from interacting with people & following God’s plan for my life. But right now I’m feeling pretty trapped by my anxiety. Help?
I am not a medical professional, but I know enough to know that anxiety and panic attacks are medical conditions, like depression, which we have discussed on this blog before. For some reason, people are much less understanding about mental health issues than they would be about physical health issues, even with their own.
You would probably never hear someone tell a friend that they needed to pray harder to get over their diabetes, but some people who prescribe prayer and Bible for things like depression and anxiety. That is not right, and it is not helpful.
If you can, it would probably be helpful to visit with a mental health professional. Someone who deals with this stuff for a living is very often the quickest route to getting some wisdom on it. There should be no shame in meeting with a counselor or psychiatrist, and anyone putting any on it is a ridiculous person.
Your anxiety is not a weakness or a character flaw, it is just a part of who you are. But it is possible foothold for the enemy, if you let it start a negative spiral. Say your anxiety gets the best of you one night and you don’t go hang out with your friends, that doesn’t mean you are an outcast forever, it doesn’t mean that God’s purpose for your life is passing you by, it just means you stayed in one night.
You have a problem, not a disqualification or a definition. God is used to dealing with problems, it’s kind of His thing. Get some good wisdom, preferably from a professional, and take it one obstacle at a time. Don’t beat yourself up if you hit a wall, just take some deep breaths
-Matt from The Bridge