Be happy - tip #21

When discussing strategies to combat depression, the question of medication comes up.  Is it helpful?  Necessary?  A good idea?  A bad idea?  Overused?  Underutilized?
We seem to polarize the issue - saying we should never use medication or automatically relying only on a prescription without considering any other issues.

I don't know the answers. I am not a professional counselor, a psychologist, nor a physician.  But I do know the Wonderful Counselor, the Soul-ologist, the Great Physician.  And here are some principles that I can garner from His Word that might address this question.

1.  Some Christians I know have been judged harshly for the feelings of darkness they experience and even more harshly for their choice to get some of that darkness to lift by using medication.  That judging is not helpful at all so if you have condemned someone for that, please stop. People who experience seasons of darkness need your compassion and your prayers. Not your condemnation.

2.  I have not personally tried medication for this so I don't know if it helps or not.  However, I have spoken with enough other women to know that medication - under the guidance of a wise physician who understands physiological changes and the ensuing challenges - can be an effective tool.

3.  While medicine might be one approach to try, I'd like to suggest that it not be the only approach nor the primary one.  The Enemy of our souls would absolutely love to distract each of us from dealing victoriously with anything that hinders our relationship with Christ. So if he can cause us to turn only to the medical answer instead of seeking a spiritual one, you can sure bet that's the tactic he will try.

4.  We are a triune being - body, soul, and spirit.  Whatever is affecting one aspect of us is affecting all of us.  If something is wrong on a physical level, it very well may show up in us emotionally and spiritually.  And vice versa.  See post #1 on this topic - check out the physical aspect.  Sleep is a key component. Not to be redundant but check out tip #1.

5.  It's not simplistic to acknowledge that since God says to pray about everything , we can expect everything to be affected by prayer.  Including our quest for joy.  So let's turn to prayer with the fervor and faith that we might instead apply exclusively to prescriptions.

6.  It seems to me that a wise approach to using medicine might be for it to be used sparingly, when one is unable to employ other strategies, and then to be used  for a season until one is able to try to fight the darkness. In other words, it could be used short term to get to the point where you can address the other issues.

Tip #21 - When considering the use of medication to combat depression, try these other strategies first.  Then, seek the Lord to see what He ordains that you do.