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Does your faith help or hurt your struggle with anxiety?

Discussion in 'Tips' started by Padre, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. Padre

    Padre Junior Member

    This is sort of a broad question. As we have friends from all over the world and various backgrounds here, let's be respectful. The questions is, has your religious beliefs, if you hold to any, helped or hurt your struggle with anxiety? Did any disciplines (e.g., prayer, scripture study, etc.) or rites help you? Any that were harmful?

    Thank you for sharing.
    janemariesayed likes this.
  2. Fae

    Fae Junior Member

    I personally find bible reading, prayers, and music quite helpful. They force me to focus on something outside myself and my own issues, give me some solid ideas about how to address the issues, and they have a generally calming effect. When they "don't work" I just do some more until they do work. :)

    Once in the base state of being somewhat calmer, it's easier to go exercise or do chores that give me a more accomplished feeling sort of mood. Keeping various scriptures and songs in mind throughout the day sometimes helps quell my anxieties as they come up, or at least keep some of the edge off. A little "don't worry so much, things will get better with some patience and trust" vibe in the background.
  3. Panic57

    Panic57 Junior Member

    Personally, I think Christianity makes it worse because I'm expected to pray my mental problems away. My failure to have God get rid of my depression and anxiety and anxiety. In their eyes, I'm a horrible sinner who isn't confessing something because I haven't been cured yet. It makes me feel like an outsider in the church.
  4. EntropiaAddict

    EntropiaAddict Junior Member

    I have found my faith to be a tremendous help with my anxiety, not so much with my depression. There are certainly times when I have turned to reading the Bible, praying, or listening to Christian music that have given me the peace of mind to settle my anxiety a little. Keep in mind that this is also only after years of therapy... I would not have been able to get this far without the therapy. The depression is a different beast though. Being a Christian, I at least have the benefit that suicide has never been an option, even during the worst of my depressive cycles. However, any time spent with my Bible or praying has little to no effect when I am depressed. Obviously I do not view this as a shortcoming of my faith, but rather as a chemical imbalance in me. The medication I am currently on helps level out the cycles quite a bit... so I am somewhat neutral most of the time. It also helps me to believe that there is a reason God has made me this way, and while it may not be clear to me, He has a plan. I can speculate all day long on why I am the way that I am, but in the end, my faith has helped me come to terms with it and focus on the things I do have some amount of control over.
  5. lexinonomous

    lexinonomous Junior Member

    Having faith does not help me all that much. I don't believe in a Christian God and find the idea of it a bit silly. It's hard for me to take myself seriously when I'm praying for some magical anxiety deterioration. I just don't feel like I can depend on something that I have no faith in. I'd much rather take the steps to ease my anxiety. I find that breathing techniques and grounding myself works much better than prayer. I have prayed in the past and ended up crying because of how silly I felt, expecting someone to help me when no one was here to help.
  6. sidney

    sidney Junior Member

    I can't really answer this question, because I don't really pray when I get anxiety attacks. I just try to stay calm to be in control of the situation. But I think that having a belief in a higher power is not really a bad thing, because faith can largely influence your mindset, even if it's sometimes similar to having a placebo effect.
  7. John Snort

    John Snort Junior Member

    I believe that faith most certainly can ease someone's anxiety. If say you pray and believe that your prayer will be answered, you'll in faith begin acting like your prayer was answered. And as facing fears often is one way to conquer anxiety, as long as you take action then you'll beat anxiety. That said, prayer does help me when I'm feeling anxious. There's this nice hymn I love: "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" if there's anything troubling you, tell Him about it and He'll fix it.
  8. Aree Wongwanlee

    Aree Wongwanlee Junior Member

    Oh, yes, my faith has certainly made a lot of difference to my state of mind. It works like this. There is no certainty about the future. Anything and everything can happen. We can prepare and prepare and prepare but what really happens is still very much beyond our control. So what I do is just do what I can and leave the rest to God. Interestingly, in retrospect, even things which don't, in the first place, seem to have gone the right way, actually turned out better than expected.
  9. Alex

    Alex Senior Member

    Faith can help, but then what do you do when those prayers aren't answered? You lose faith, so it can be a double edged sword. Each of us have different ways to perceive things though and while we may ask for help and guidance, we don't always get it or in the way we hope. Sometimes we need to struggle to learn and that's part of life.
  10. hades_leae

    hades_leae Junior Member

    I don't believe in faith, I still don't think I really understand the concept of it. I know it's supposed to be around religion, and I'm not religious so I don't really care. I have always told myself that I shouldn't rely on 3rd party stuff to handle my mental problems if I have any unless I actually need it like medication to knock me out for a surgery or something like that.

    I think people will put too much of their lives needs onto other things whether it be other people, or religion. People should try making themselves more stronger mentally and physically so that they can deal wit these problems more efficiently.
  11. Surrender

    Surrender Junior Member

    I am sorry you feel treated that way. I am an unworthy sinner myself that was only converted in my late 30's, so I understand the struggle and unanswered questions that come before. We are all horrible sinners whether saved or not. Before I actually used to think of myself as a "good person". Now I see how egotistical, judgmental and unloving I can be.

    Being "saved" isn't going to fix all your problems, it is just going to give you the strength of Christ to help you through them, if you choose to lean on Him.

    Something someone told me which changed my life was that we are all sinners, separated from God by our sin (greed, envy, pride, etc., we all have these issues if we are honest with ourselves). This is why God sent Jesus to us, to act as bridge, to reunite us with God through His son, our savior (if we choose to ask him to save us). Jesus was sent to interact with us, to give us direction, to bring us back to our Father. So it is through asking Jesus into our lives, and believing He is the son of God and God himself, that we will be "saved" through our appeal to Jesus.

    I used to be a real cynic and was more interested in new age stuff and buddhism, but when I took a leap of faith and asked Jesus into my life things changed.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2016
  12. kgord

    kgord Junior Member

    I think that faith is something that helps alot of people with anxiety and worries about the future. However, I think as a Christian you need to realize you are not immune to anxiety and worry. You can give it all to God, but turning off your mind as to what might come down the pike is a bit difficult. I think it is just one of the options that you might need to understand as a person of faith.
  13. HappyKoi

    HappyKoi Junior Member

    My faith has helped me a lot, at least my current one. I'm Wiccan, but I come from a Christian background. I think a lot of my anxiety and low self-esteem came from the idea of sin, especially original sin, and that we are expected not to sin, which is really impossible, since that demands a level of perfection that no one has. There was also a lot of guilt involved, and a lot of very strict standards, especially for women. If you had a problem, you were asked by the clergy (and other believers) what you did to sin and make God mad at you. For some people, this isn't a problem, but for me it was. For those people who are Christian and it helps them, great. I can say I tried it, and it didn't work for me personally.

    The Wiccan perspective on religion helps me. It says that we are a part of nature and a part of the Divine, and that we are not expected to be perfect. There is no concept of sin or hell, and there's no real "thou shalt nots", but more of an idea of being a good, open-minded person and helping others because we are all essentially a piece of the gods, including the animals and plants. My worship practices help me calm my emotions and discipline my thoughts when they swing too far, my gods are very kind and easy to communicate with, and my priest and priestesshood have all been very helpful. Our religious community is nonjudgemental and respectful.

    In the end, it's a matter of what works for you and what lets you be the best person that you can be.
  14. DDNatureLover

    DDNatureLover Member

    I sometimes find solace in my faith, but other times I do question why the world is the way it is, and why so many people have to suffer so. I've never questioned whether God existed, but being human, I do question his ways. I also sometimes question certain aspects of my religion, but I doubt i would ever turn away from it. 
  15. Padre

    Padre Junior Member

    I'm familiar with this feeling. In my early life I was a fervent Christian (first Catholic then Protestant), so I get this on a visceral level.  The disciplines in the Protestant sect that I practiced, and later took part in lay ministry (deacon), helped.  It was a faith that emphasised discipline, action, and endurance.  I am no longer am so involved, but it did help.  But, agreed, waiting around for a miraculous cure can crush a soul.

    That is awesome.  If you feel comfortable sharing, could you talk about your faith tradition?  Thanks.
  16. hades_leae

    hades_leae Junior Member

    I personally believe that just attempting to make myself belief that GOD and prayer is going to hurt me more because it would make me stress and try to challenge my own moral beliefs which I'm not willing to do for anyone other than myself. I'm just the guy who chooses not to believe, I really don't understand why people pray and they never get answered until they take action themselves but then give credit to GOD.
  17. biege

    biege Member

    I strongly believe that God exist and he is always there for me whenever I need him. Whenever I feel anxious and sad, I talk to him when all of the people around me doesn't give a damn care. If not for him I may have lost my life before.
  18. pwarbi

    pwarbi Member

    I myself don't have any religious beliefs, so I might be the wrong person to answer, but from the people that do believe in God, whichever that God is, they do find some comfort in their religion and that can only be a good thing for them in helping them make it through difficult periods in their life. Sometimes I wish that I was religious as those who are can certainly gain a lot of comfort from what they believe in and in a way it makes them stronger people knowing and believing in something other than their day to day lives.

    Even those that don't have religious beliefs when things start to get too much we'll look to the sky for guidance and help, and I think that's only natural as even though we might not think that there is a God watching over us, we are always aware that there are a lot of people that do believe so when things do get too much, we do start to question whether it's them or us that's got it right.
  19. janemariesayed

    janemariesayed Junior Member

    All of my life, ever since I can remember I have been reading the bible and even gave myself to live in a church when I was 24 years old. We memorized scriptures and had bible discussions, we taught the bible to toddlers and teens. I read the bible every day. I was a very strong Christian until a decade ago.

    Being Christian for all those years, about 4 decades, never did anything to help my situation. God hasn't helped. I don't know if God exists anymore. I am sure of one thing, though, being religious won't help with mental problems. Being religious didn't seem to add to my problems either. Although being born as a product of incest, means I would have been more accepted in society if God hadn't of made it a huge sin throughout all his books.

    Nowadays I believe in energy. I believe that energy is intelligent but that it vibrates.
  20. misszerable

    misszerable Junior Member

    My faith in someone bigger than myself, God, has helped me deal with a lot of things that are happening in my life. I grew up as a Catholic with all those traditions and rites. Four years ago, I became a fundamentalist Christian and it set me free from many hurtful memories and discrimination I've felt when I was younger. From a harsh God who brings floods and punishment to people who disobey him, I began to see God as a loving, caring, merciful, and forgiving God. I may not see him, but I can feel him all around me and there's no denying that my God is a living God. This thought calms me down when I'm beset with worries about the future or about things that aren't really happening. Less of myself and more of God - that has helped a lot.

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