Antidepressants

Events occurring and how they relate/affect Anabaptist faith and culture.
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lesterb
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Re: Antidepressants

Postby lesterb » Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:58 pm

Another sobering thought: I knew of a conservative Mennonite who decided to go off his meds because he read up on them and saw what they were. He shot himself less than week later.
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When a man's ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. (Pro 16:7 ESV)

RZehr
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Re: Antidepressants

Postby RZehr » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:23 pm

If people are using them to mask a spiritual problem then it is no different than self medicating with alcohol and they need to fix what is broken inside them. In a close spiritual community of believers these people are not very adapt at hiding from everyone the fact that something is not quite right on a spiritual level. In this case, many people will come away with a strong bias against depression medications.

However if the person in question has a clear Christian testimony and a high level of openness and sincerity, a love for Christ and the church, I have found that I no problem believing that their depression is a physical problem and not a spiritual problem.
I don’t think every Christian always waltzes around with an ear to ear grin plastered on there face.
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Valerie
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Re: Antidepressants

Postby Valerie » Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:48 am

lesterb wrote:
MaxPC wrote:There are those who have genuine need of these medications in order to function within a normal range. They are unable to do otherwise. They have excellent doctors who have them go through a thorough diagnostic in which other causes are eliminated first before prescribing these meds.

Then there are those doctors who prescribe these meds like so much candy. If the doctor doesn't exhaust the possibility of others causes first, then get I recommend going to another doctor for a second opinion.

One of the more recent findings is that there are those with symptoms of depression who in reality simply need more vitamin D. Once supplemented, they do well. Some people are unable to process vitamin D as well as others and so supplementation are needed.

You can test for vitamin D with a blood test. My doctor put me on vitamin D some years ago. After I had a TIA, I really struggled with panic attacks in crowds in crowds especially. To a degree, I still do, though normally I can handle it. They put me on anti-depressants for that, and upped the dose several times to get it under control. About six months ago I talked my doctor into lowering the dose a notch, intending to do it again this fall. But I can't. I'm walking along the edge too often to take the chance.

So are some people on this thread saying that if I was a better Christian, it would solve my problem?


Lesterb, I hope in my post you did not get this impression. What I was trying to convey was that after learning more about the human body, when my husband went through what he did, I realized depression is not just a 'mental' disorder, nor just a focus on one's life situation that brings them down. Prior to that, my feelings on the matter were that most people were depressed becaused they focused on the negative, or on their circumstances, etc- and that a focus on Christ should affect our emotional health & wellness, and reading God's Word can give us that peace & joy- however, in our amazing bodies that our Creator created- we are in this side of heaven faced with all kinds of physical infirmities that can indeed affect our emotions- and it took seeing what happened to my husband to really understand this better.

I do think in these days we live that doctors prescribe these antidepressants way to easily, way too often- and people are not willing to go through the suffering or hard times that trials & tribulations bring us, to draw us closer to Him, to help our faith to be dependent on Him, and His promises are true- and the great realization that it is not about this life- so we can keep that perspective always before us.

I am sorry if what I had said gave that impression- , ignorance of the matter affected my prior position of feeling like Christians should 'never' need antidepressants or anxiety medication-
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Adam
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Re: Antidepressants

Postby Adam » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:11 am

KingdomBuilder wrote:The amount of Christians I know on antidepressants seems to grow continually. Honestly, it baffles me. I just dont see how Chistians can, in good conscience, rely on a doctors order to rid themselves of burdens like this? I know I could not. Am I lacking sympathy on this?

What's your take? What's the consensus among CA's?
What should our response be to loved-ones who identify as Chritians looking into AD's?


It should be the same response that we have to loved-ones that take other medications for other health conditions such as asthma, high blood pressure, allergies, etc. We don't question people's spirituality when they have other medical conditions. We shouldn't question their spirituality when they have medical conditions that are treated with anti-depressants. Much better to pray for them and be a loving friend than to try to judge whether or not they actually need the medication (unless you are a medical doctor who has technical knowledge in this field).
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Erika
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Re: Antidepressants

Postby Erika » Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:19 am

My major at University was in mental health. My current work is in a community based mental health program. It is true that some Doctors do prescribe anti depressants too much. However my view of anti depressants is the same as any other medication. If we think that using anti depressants is a sign of not 'trusting God for the healing' we could apply this same logic to any medication, for example insulin or anti coagulants or what ever, including those used in surgery. If anyone thinks there is something wrong with people taking anti depressants then you had better be prepared to stop taking your current meds, what ever they are, as the same logic applies to any health issue.
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CADude
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Re: Antidepressants

Postby CADude » Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:36 am

To my knowledge, antidepressants don't remove a sense of guilt or condemnation. For a truly depressed person, they may actually give him enough mental "power" or courage to be able to face his guilt and condemnation. So I don't see them as an altogether bad thing.

I suppose antidepressants can be used sometimes to mask some problems, to avoid dealing with challenges one is facing. But some people use escapes or practice "avoidance behavior" without medication and I don't really see the difference.
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MaxPC
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Re: Antidepressants

Postby MaxPC » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:27 am

CADude wrote:To my knowledge, antidepressants don't remove a sense of guilt or condemnation. For a truly depressed person, they may actually give him enough mental "power" or courage to be able to face his guilt and condemnation. So I don't see them as an altogether bad thing.

I suppose antidepressants can be used sometimes to mask some problems, to avoid dealing with challenges one is facing. But some people use escapes or practice "avoidance behavior" without medication and I don't really see the difference.

Very true. I started refreshing my knowledge base of extant successful interventions when this thread appeared. Here are highlights of what I found:

-The use of light therapy combined with antidepressants produced the greatest relief of symptoms. This is true even for those who do not have the Seasonal Affective Disorder form of depression.

-The medical and insurance community is working toward educating doctors to follow a better diagnostic protocol that eliminates other possible causes first before prescribing the antidepressants.

-The most commonly used escape is the internet. Sufferers spend hours on the internet to avoid real life instead of seeking qualified and authentic medical help. This avoidance behavior can make it difficult to diagnose as there are those whose jobs require that time on the internet: interestingly there has also been a significant rise in the number of people who suffer depression among those whose jobs require hours and hours on the computer. Researchers are currently exploring those connections (causes/effects).
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Max (aka Plain Catholic)
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Bootstrap
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Re: Antidepressants

Postby Bootstrap » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:29 am

I would never judge someone for being depressed. Antidepressants seem to help some people significantly, but they aren't a silver bullet that magically makes everyone well, especially people with severe depression, and there's evidence that they have been oversold. When used, it's important that they be carefully monitored, because they can have negative effects too. I think there's some danger in trying to get by "on the cheap" with someone taking antidepressants, they really do need to be monitored by a professional.

For us, I think the bigger question is this: how can we best walk with our brethren when they are depressed? Our role isn't going to be making the decisions about drugs. But drugs are not enough by themselves, things like exercise, diet, alcohol, sleep, thought patterns, stress, social support networks, and purpose are hugely important for stress - and a whole lot of other psychological and medical conditions. And these things are very much what fellowship is about. The link I just pointed to suggests some practices at odds with our faith, but they are easily adapted. If you know someone who is depressed, perhaps walking with them for 30 minutes a day can give them social support and exercise at the same time. Praying with them directly can let them know they are cared for. And volunteering is very beneficial, that's something we can do together with people who are depressed.

Regardless, judging people for being depressed will never help anyone. And when antidepressants are useful for whom is way above my head.
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Is it biblical? Is it Christlike? Is it loving? Is it true? How can I find out?

Wade
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Re: Antidepressants

Postby Wade » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:11 am

Bootstrap wrote:I would never judge someone for being depressed. Antidepressants seem to help some people significantly, but they aren't a silver bullet that magically makes everyone well, especially people with severe depression, and there's evidence that they have been oversold. When used, it's important that they be carefully monitored, because they can have negative effects too. I think there's some danger in trying to get by "on the cheap" with someone taking antidepressants, they really do need to be monitored by a professional.

For us, I think the bigger question is this: how can we best walk with our brethren when they are depressed? Our role isn't going to be making the decisions about drugs. But drugs are not enough by themselves, things like exercise, diet, alcohol, sleep, thought patterns, stress, social support networks, and purpose are hugely important for stress - and a whole lot of other psychological and medical conditions. And these things are very much what fellowship is about. The link I just pointed to suggests some practices at odds with our faith, but they are easily adapted. If you know someone who is depressed, perhaps walking with them for 30 minutes a day can give them social support and exercise at the same time. Praying with them directly can let them know they are cared for. And volunteering is very beneficial, that's something we can do together with people who are depressed.

Regardless, judging people for being depressed will never help anyone. And when antidepressants are useful for whom is way above my head.


I like this Boot.

Reminded me about my sister-in-law in college taking medical courses and being taught that over 95% of depression was cured by exercise.
1 x
"when ye do well,and suffer for it,ye take it patiently,this is acceptable with God..Christ also suffered for us,leaving us an example,that ye should follow his steps:Who did no sin..when he suffered,he threatened not;but committed himself"


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