personal

my struggle with anxiety and the church

October 29, 2019

It’s known to my readers that I have struggled with anxiety my entire life. Daily I use coping skills and other helpful forms of coping so I can live my life normally. Some days are more difficult than others, but the thoughts are always there. I’ve done hours of research to try and find ways to help ease it and one that has popped up frequently is religion. 

I have grown up Catholic, but don’t continually go to church. This isn’t my first post regarding religion (you can read the first one here,) but it is something I continue to struggle with. One of the main reasons I think I struggle with religion is because of religious views on anxiety. While going over a couple verses and reading many articles all of them consisted of worry leading you to the devil. So it can be concluded that anxiety is a sin because you should be giving your worries up to God. That troubles me a bit.

People sin , that’s just the way it is. This was a little hard for me to accept because I always want to be good enough, but I’ve learned I will always be good enough for God. That is something I love to think about and one of the reasons I would love to start attending church regularly. In all aspects of my life I struggle to be enough except with my relationship with God. The thing holding me back is pretty much my brain. 

Anxiety disorders are caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. If the anxiety gets in the way of normal life activity treatment usually goes to medication. The most common medications are Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, SSRIs, which basically increases the level of serotonin in the brain. Anxiety disorders are an effect of chemical imbalances which can be fixed by medication that adds chemicals to the brain. So, this further proves that anxiety is much more than a mindset, but an actual physical disability within the brain.

With that being said, how do I give my worries and anxious thoughts to God when my brain is simply not capable? Perhaps I’m missing the point or misinterpreting what the Bible is saying, but I don’t understand how to not be anxious. If I could turn that part of my brain off or give all of my worries to God I would in a heartbeat. I don’t want to be this way, this is something that I will have to struggle with every day for the rest of my life. 

I pray daily thanking God for everything I have and my worries. I understand everything happens for a reason and put my trust in God that he has a path for me and my future. I know I am accepted, but I would really love to join a branch of Christianity that welcomes me, every part of me. My mental illness is a part of me whether I like it or not, so I hope that I will be welcomed with open arms despite the bad parts of me I can’t fully control. God made me this way and I trust that it was for a reason.

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