Should Christians Take Antidepressant Medications?
The decision to seek treatment for any condition can be a difficult one. The decision to seek treatment for depression and anxiety can be made significantly more difficult by current social stigmas and also by one’s interpretation of religious beliefs. This question represents so many other questions that can become barriers to treatment: If I seek treatment, does it mean I don’t have enough faith in God’s healing power? If I seek treatment, does it mean that there is something really wrong with me? If I seek treatment and someone finds out, will they judge me in a negative manor? I have lost count of how many believers have delayed or avoided treatment for these very reasons; not to mention how many stop treatment prematurely so they can “get back to thinking that there’s nothing wrong” with themselves. These same people generally would not hesitate to seek treatment for high blood pressure or diabetes.
My response is this: Our bodies are temples that we are entrusted with caring for. We are an incredible collection of cells, nerves, chemicals, and more that are continually changing in response to biologic, psychological, and social factors. Sometimes our chemistry can become unbalanced necessitating the use of antidepressant medication to correct states of depression and anxiety when they cause dysfunction in our lives. Depression and anxiety are not punishment; they are real medical conditions that can respond to specific treatments. To not take the steps needed to maintain our bodies would be far more wrong and damaging; sometimes this might mean taking medications in addition to doing therapy and other activities. Have faith that the God of the Universe is not limited in His capacity to heal: that healing may very well be accomplished through any variety of treatment modalities including medications. Find a physician, who understands your beliefs and listens to you, but don’t avoid or delay getting the help you need.