1.24.2014

Social Anxiety Disorder - What Should Be The Christian Response?

As I had posted in a previous post I have had bouts with Social Anxiety Disorder over the last several years. What that looks like is:

1) Thinking you are doing something wrong and people are constantly judging you or laughing at you.
2) Inability to go to Social Functions and making excuses as to why you won't go
3) Depression mild or severe
4) Hermit like behavior. Staying in your apartment or room for weeks/months at a time with limited Social Contact outside of work
5) Being afraid in Social situations and having panic attacks

Social Anxiety DisorderNow these are just a few of the symptoms that I have had over the years and it has played with my emotions and my life.

My faith was a biggest part of my life (and still is) and I was not able to attend services as It would heighten my anxiety to be in groups of people that large (or small) Especially people I didn't know. I would feel very claustrophobic and closed in.

I had shared this with many people I trusted because it also is very embarrassing. Who wants to admit they are a temperamental hermit?

Of all of the Christians I have shared this with they all had advice for me ranging from get therapy, to go on medication for this disorder.

NOT ONE said "let me pray for you, let me lay hands on you and share your burden."

You see I am a person of faith and I believe God is BIGGER than this disorder. My God can help me get through this without medications that mask the disorder. (read: i don't do narcotics if possible) I don't like the side effects.

It also didn't make sense to me to see a "therapist" who first of all was not a Believer and second of all has ONLY clinical knowledge. I have worked with these people in the past and understand their foundation.

Thankfully I have met a woman who understands my struggle. I married her! We do attend a rather large Church together and she helps me to focus on the things I need to focus on.

I am able for the most part to get through Social Settings although still have issues with multiple sound sources but she gives me a smile that lets me know she is there and that all is ok. It calms me almost immediately.

I am able to work and focus and am more focused than ever when online working and love what I do.

She is able to get me out and our walks and hikes give me the exercise and fresh air needed to remain calm and focused.

So if someone you know is struggling with any form of Social Anxiety Disorder, pull up a chair beside them. Walk with them, pray with them, share in their struggle and burdens and be their support.

I have found that I am not the ONLY one who has struggled with these issues. Just since moving back to Abbotsford I know of 3 people who I know would benefit from good friendships with people who will take up their burden with them

Veritus
Location: Abbotsford, BC, Canada

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