“Count it all joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of various kinds.” – The Book of James.
How do we deal with stress? How do we cope when the trials never seem to stop but whatever we do the difficulties continue? Do we resort to prescription drugs or, worse, the illegal variety?
Of course, anxiety occurs in many degrees of severity. Everyone experiences it sometimes, but few severely enough to warrant medical intervention. That, however, is changing as the modern way of life makes our daily grind even more strenuous.
The problems may start small: the odd unpaid bill, the sick child, or even as tiny as a forgotten item at the checkout. But then, because this world gives us no opportunity to rest and truly “seek God with all [our] heart” the problems mount up and the anxiety gets worse.
Nipping it in the bud
Anxiety can become harder to deal with the more it develops. One phrase which was used by people speaking to me was that I was “trapped in a vicious circle.”
This “vicious circle” became so huge for me that I resorted to copious amounts of alcohol, along with certain illicit drugs, especially cannabis. [NOTE: both alcohol and the good varieties of natural cannabis sativa can be helpful in combating anxiety. The trouble comes with large quantities and/or synthetically produced alternatives.]
But my own full story is beside the point. Sufficient to say that I found a way to recover and cope. I did so through prayer, Scripture reading, fellowship (both Christian and with friends) and a good amount of herbal remedial actions.
My anxiety levels are currently huge due to numerous ghosts from the past, pressures on housing, modern technology, benefits issues as well as a number of evil accusations levelled against me, yet for most the following steps will help deal with anxiety at mild to moderate levels without any need to resort to psychiatric help:
- Try to keep calm through using tea. White tea or certain herbal teas can reduce anxiety levels and help you remain at peace.
- Ask trusted and mature Christian people in your life of the most useful Bible passages for your present situation.
- Take regular periods of rest. This is vital.
- If need be, take a little extra soothing remedy such as standard strength alcohol (not too much!), herbal smokes (I can give advice on this if wanted; ask in the comments), certain preparations such as valerian for sleep, dandelion and burdock soft drinks, or a local holiday or a day out with a friend, family member or even on your own if you are that sort of person.
When it all gets too much
That is all well and good, but what about when the anxiety and stress is so great that we simply can’t cope? Should we then get medical advice, seek admission into a psychiatric ward and resort to powerful psychoactive medications such as clopixol or SSRIs?
Certainly advice from doctors and nurses can be helpful, and indeed is often far preferable to advice from misguided friends and family or the infamous “Google Doctor.”
However, though the advice is useful, be aware that modern doctors do not take the Hippocratic Oath and are, in fact, heavily influenced and subsidised by private drug companies.
Medication should be avoided, though the value of good counselling should never be underestimated. In preference, though, seek a Christian counsellor who holds strongly to the traditional Protestant tradition unless you are comfortable with Orthodoxy (the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches are far better and more aware about mental illness than Western Churches.)
To sum up, try to nip any anxiety in the bud. It is unavoidable, but try not to let it build up.
If it does start building up then make minor lifestyle changes (a little extra exercise, a little less fat and sugar). Take good herbal remedies if necessary. Don’t worry about minor addictions.
If severe anxiety develops, seek medical advise but be aware that doctors are often misguided themselves.