An article in today’s Wall Street Journal – Antidepressant Use Rises – reports that the use of antidepressants is significantly on the rise. The article cites a study published in the journal of Health Affairs, authored by Mark Olfson, a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University.
Antidepressants were the second most widely prescribed class of medicine in the United States in 2010, after cholesterol-lowering statins, according to IMS health. “Over 10 percent of people over the age of 6 were receiving anti-depression medication. That strikes me as significant,” says Dr. Olfson. It appears that physicians may be prescribing antidepressants for more mild forms of mood and anxiety disorders, or for isolated psychiatric symptoms like sleep disturbance, nervousness or nonspecific pain, Doctor Olfson said.
In a similar vein, an article on the Psychology Today website reports that antidepressants are oversubscribed. Christopher Lane, Ph.D, indicates that in a reported study more than 70% of patients in the survey who were prescribed antidepressants presented no medical need for antidepressant treatment.
It sure seems that the trend is for people to turn to pills instead of God to relieve the results of the stress that they are experiencing in their lives associated with life events. On the one hand it sure seems like a simple and quick fix to go to your doctor’s office or to your counselor and ask for and receive a prescription for an antidepressant drug. Just pop one in your mouth every day and you’ll feel better. This is not God’s way of handling stress.
There are several scriptures in the Bible that remind us of God’s principles for how to handle the stressors that life brings us. Here are a few:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6
Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! Fear the Lord, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need. Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing. Psalm 34:8–10
LORD Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you. Psalm 84:12
The scriptures remind us to place our trust in God and to turn our anxieties and fears over Him. This is the way he designed us to live. Trust in God is just one of many spiritual exercises I’ve identified that are important for living an abundant and healthier life. It is certainly a more effective way to cope with the ups and downs life brings us than taking antidepressant medications.
Questions to Reflect On:
How are you handling the stressors of your life? Are you turning to pills or to God?
Resources Related to Stress and Trust:
Webpage – Spiritual Exercises for a Healthier Life