How Should Christians Think about Taking Medicine for Depression?

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From an article on depression by Ed Welch:

The severe pain of depression makes you welcome anything that can bring relief.

For some people, medication brings relief from some symptoms.

Most family physicians are qualified to prescribe appropriate medications. If you prefer a specialist, get a recommendation for a psychiatrist, and ask these questions of your doctor and pharmacist:

How long will it take before it is effective?

What are some of the common side effects?

And, if your physician is prescribing two medications, will it be difficult to determine which medication is effective?

From a Christian perspective, the choice to take medication is a wisdom issue. It is rarely a matter of right or wrong. Instead, the question to ask is, “What is best and wise?”

Wise people seek counsel (your physicians should be part of the group that counsels you).

Wise people approach decisions prayerfully.

They don’t put their hope in people or medicine but in the Lord.

They recognize that medication is a blessing, when it helps, but recognize its limits.

Medication can change physical symptoms, but not spiritual ones.

It might give sleep, offer physical energy, allow you to see in color, and alleviate the physical feeling of depression.

But it won’t answer your spiritual doubts, fears, frustrations, or failures.

If you choose to take medication, please consider letting a wise and trusted person from your church walk come along side of you. They can remind you that God is good, that you can find power to know God’s love and love others, and, yes, that joy is possible, even during depression.

For more on Welch’s perspective, read the whole article, and see his books

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