Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Medicated Rose

Know that I am not at all 'throwing stones' at anyone who chooses medication to deal with their emotional problems.  If it works for you, then praise God!  I consider it for myself once per month at least. 

But two things stop me from accepting the offered prescriptions from my doctor.  One is that I really do grow more spiritually during the hard times and trials God gives me.  But to be very honest, that spiritual (ized?) reason alone doesn't stop me from taking meds.  You can certainly be a growing Christian while on medication!  What stops me dead in my tracks when I am tempted to take meds for emotional problems is the potential side effects and withdrawal issues that may result from the medicine itself.

Will Medicine Stop the Pain?: Finding God's Healing for Depression, Anxiety, and Other Troubling Emotions by Dr. Laura Hendrickson is definitely worth reading if you are considering or are taking such medications.  Dr. Hendrickson is a biblical counselor, mom to an autistic son, formerly a practicing psychiatrist, and once took some of these medications herself.  This book explores the reasons one should be very careful about certain medications and she shares her personal (and almost tragic) story from her time on anti-depressant medications.

Most close to home, though, is a friend of mine who has suffered from pain and depression for many years.  She is currently having horrific side effects from her years of being on anti-psychotic drugs.  She will tell you these side effects (which no doctor can figure out how to treat!) are worse than all the pain and all the depression she suffered for so long.  While watching her and seeing how awfully she is now daily suffering  from the side effects of a drug, I decide anew to keep plodding through these trials, unmedicated.

Please don't feel harshly judged if you are taking these meds.  I am very thankful for medications that help when we need them.  God uses many different means to work in different folks' lives.   However, I do encourage you to read Dr. Hendrickson's book to get a different perspective than many doctors may give you.  And then, whatever you decide, go forward in faith!