Question: "Should a Christian take anti-depressants or other mental health medicines?"

The question of whether a Christian should take anti-depressants or other mental health medicine is being asked more and more. Panic attacks, anxiety disorders, phobias, and depression affect millions of people. Panic attacks can be particularly debilitating, as they can strike a person with no warning. For most sufferers, what they experience is rooted in fear: fear of rejection, fear of acceptance, fear of responsibility, fear of the unknown. Something will trigger fear which drives the person to feel like they are losing control and like they might die. Panic attacks are often both physically and psychologically intense.

Although medical experts believe that many times the above-mentioned ailments originate from within a person's psyche, there are times when a chemical imbalance is the cause. If this is the case, medication is prescribed to help counter this imbalance, which in turn treats the symptoms of the psychological ailment. Is this a sin? No. God has allowed man to grow in his knowledge of medicine, which God uses in the healing process. Does God need man-made medicine in order to heal? Of course not! God has chosen to allow the practice of medicine to progress, and we would be foolish not to avail ourselves of it.

However, there is a fine line between using medicine for healing purposes and continual reliance upon medicine for daily living. We need to recognize God as the Great Physician, and that He alone holds the power to truly heal (John 4:14). As such, we need to look to God first and foremost for our healing. Medicine used to treat a case of panic attack should only be used to the extent that it allows the sufferer to deal with the root cause of fear. It should be used to give back control to the sufferer. However, many sufferers take medicine in order to avoid dealing with the true cause of their ailment; this would be denying responsibility, denying God's healing, and possibly denying others the freedom of forgiveness or closure to some past event that could be contributing to the ailment. This, then, does become sin as it is based on selfishness.

By taking medicine on a limited basis in order to treat the symptoms, then relying upon the Word of God to enact transformation in one's heart and mind, gradually the need for the medicine will diminish. The believer's position in Christ is affirmed and God is allowed to bring healing into those troubled areas of the heart and mind which are causing the ailment. God's Word has much to say about fear and its place in a believer's life. Reading through the following Scriptures and meditating on them and allowing God's Word to come alive in the heart is the universal cure. These verses give confidence, and illuminate the Truth behind what being a child of God entails: Proverbs 29:25; Matthew 6:34; John 8:32; Romans 8:28-39; 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 10:5; Philippians 4:4-9; Colossians 3:1-2; 2 Timothy 1:6-8; Hebrews 13:5-6; James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 5:7; 2 Peter 1:3-4; 1 John 1:9; 4:18-19.

God can heal supernaturally, miraculously. We should pray to that end. God also heals through medicine and doctors. We should pray to that end as well. Regardless of which direction God takes, it's our faith that is the catalyst (Matthew 9:22). Believe on Him, and be healed!