Taking Medication for Anxiety or Depression
It comes up all the time in counseling. “Do I need to take medication for anxiety?” “Why do I have to take medication for depression?”
Not everyone needs to take medication for anxiety/depression, but for those who qualify, and once the right medication has been discovered, there is a remarkable difference between those who take it faithfully and those who don’t.
Those with experience taking medication on a regular basis offer some helpful, encouraging answers to two of the most foundational questions from those who are more skeptical:
Why is it so important to take my medication every day?
KR: Even when I miss one dose, I notice a difference. I don’t want to feel that sad or anxious when I know I could easily take a medication and feel a ton better.
MJ: It’s important to me to be respectful and mindful of others. I want to stay healthy for my spouse, kids, job, and other relationships. If I skip my medicine, I’m not my best self and that unfairly impacts everyone around me.
Why isn’t it okay to stop taking medication when my circumstances are better?
KR: When circumstances are better and I’m at my ideal dosage, I can grow and develop as a person. If I stop taking my medication when my circumstances are better, I will start feeling more sad and anxious. I will then have to work harder to just improve the way I feel. I would rather use my energy to become a better person than go back to feeling anxious and sad all the time.
MJ: There are times when circumstances cause my dosages to change. When life is stable, when I’m upholding a commitment to a very healthy lifestyle, and if others close to me support the idea, sometimes I slowly, carefully lower my baseline dosage. Just as willingly, I would evaluate the need to increase the amount again if my family and I felt I was crashing for an extended period of time and needed to go higher. I’m grateful for whatever amount of medication I need this side of heaven to help me stay strong and thriving.
Both Jesus (Mt. 4:11) and Elijah (1 Kings 19:4-8) needed special intervention such as angels and various kinds of sustenance to strengthen them to do what they were called to do. Renewal was found in the willingness to receive needed and effective help.