Many things make us anxious and stressed today. We may worry about finances, caring for family members, or health issues.
Anxiety and stress can be helpful by raising adrenaline and motivating us to action. The uneasiness or nervousness about an upcoming event is not necessarily terrible. Usually, when that event has passed, the worry and stress pass.
However, some of us have another type of anxiety, where worry and stress do not pass. We have difficulty moving our thoughts away from a specific incident or dwelling on what could happen. A particular incident, location, or memory may come unexpectedly, raising our “flight or fight mode” and creating a dreaded panic attack.
My anxiety began when I was relatively young. I didn’t understand panic attacks at that age, nor did I share what I was feeling with my mother. I only knew that I wanted to flee from the uncomfortable situation. Today, with adult responsibilities, there are still times when something is triggering. Unless I use calming techniques, a panic attack could begin.
Panic attacks are ugly. When it comes to flight or fight, I want to take a “flight” path. If I can’t control the situation, I will do all I can to get away from or prevent the situation that brings on the attack — without alerting others of the problem.
Anxiety and depression disorders are often misunderstood. Someone with an anxiety disorder who is brave enough to trust someone with what they are experiencing will still fear the result: that person may visibly become uncomfortable, offer pat answers, or find a way to remove themselves from the conversation.
Anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults in the United States, age 18 or older, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). That’s almost 20% of the population. Those with this disorder can develop it from complex risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events. In the many different types of anxiety disorders, women are more likely to be affected than men.
Because women are often juggling the many aspects of family and work, it is especially imperative to seek help because anxiety will cause disruptions in the family. It is incredibly important to find a doctor who understands anxiety and depression and can prescribe any necessary prescriptions for the road to a better life.
An encouraging observation in the past few years is that a spotlight on anxiety and depression is growing within the Christian community. With streams of information, congregations are now more educated and helpful. There is an understanding that medications are useful and sometimes necessary. Many churches no longer see anxiety and depression as “sin” or a fault for not having a greater dependence on God.
Can You Depend on God when Anxiety Strikes?
When uninformed people say there is a deficit of trust in God and more prayer is needed, I can tell you that my first response has always been prayer. Believe me when I say: I have greatly depended on God to overcome my panic attacks.
Every. Single. Time.
From all that prayer, have I been healed from my anxiety? No. However, I remember in 2 Corinthians when the Apostle Paul spoke about how he had his own “thorn in the flesh.” He prayed three times for it to be taken away, but God chose not to, instead telling Paul: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Paul realized that when he was weak with hardships, persecution, and difficulties, he was strong because of the strength he would receive through Christ Jesus.
When friends or family become uncomfortable when I share my anxiety, I am confident God is with me and will listen without judgment.
When others don’t understand how to respond to someone with severe anxiety, God is a close Protector who will shield and rescue the mind.
In fact, I feel I’m more dependent on God and stronger in my faith because of my anxiety and panic attacks. I cannot imagine trying to manage it all on my own.
3 Resources I Used to Help with Anxiety
If you need help with anxiety, big or small, here are three resources that helped me in the past couple of years.
Fearless in 21 Days: A Survivor’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety by Sarah E. Ball.
From Amazon’s description: “This book is a testimony of hope and a day-by-day guide to healing the mind using mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual applications for those bound by crippling fear, anxiety, panic disorders, and depression.” I highly recommend it, and it is available as an eBook.
Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World by Max Lucado
We all encounter anxiety, but we don’t have to let worry and fear control our lives. Bestselling author and America’s pastor, Max Lucado provides a roadmap for battling with and healing from anxiety. Available for free with Kindle Unlimited.
20 Bible Verses to Help with Anxiety
This free PDF download is a gift to you for allowing me to share my story about anxiety. These Scriptures may be helpful on days when anxiety is ready to strike. May you feel God’s presence and strength through cloudy days.
More helpful articles from Angie Vallejo Writes:
How to Deal with Weariness
25 Quotes to Inspire When Life is Hard
Is it Good or Bad Stress? How to Know and What to Do
When the Struggle is Just Too Real
Alleviate Stress and Anxiety with These 3 Important Steps