Dear Dr. B,
Is anxiety a new epidemic or is it that people are now just feeling comfortable talking about it? Has it always been this prevalent? It seems “new” if you will. It is everywhere… Is it new? Epidemic? Thanks so much. Proud of all you do.
Anxiety has been part of the human experience since Adam and Eve’s encounter with the serpent in the garden. If we think about it, it was their unhealthy fear of God that led them to hide once they became aware of their nakedness.
We’re becoming more aware of anxiety now. Children naturally experience fears because of their limited experience and greater exposure, but the degree to which they are being diagnosed with anxiety has increased, in my experience, over the last decade.
God knew we would experience worry, fear and anxiety or he wouldn’t have included over 300 scriptures encouraging us, no, commanding us, not to fear.
Anxiety and worry always come back to a fear of loss of control.
God never allows us to experience temptation without also giving us a way to escape it (see 1 Corinthians 10:13).
The same is true for worry, fear, and anxiety. Here are 7 steps to cope when worry, fear, or anxiety strike:
1. First, we must recognize the fear/worry/anxiety exists. (My people perish for lack of knowledge. Hosea 4:6)
2. Recognize that those thoughts are not your thoughts. (For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12)
3. Ask God “where is this fear/concern coming from?” (But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. John 16:13)
4. Counter the fear/worry/anxiety with the truth of God’s word. (For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12)
5. Proclaim that truth out loud every time you are tempted to go back into worry/fear/anxiety. (So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17)
6. Tell God you are trusting Him to handle your situation and thank Him ahead of time for His answers. (Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Philippians 4:6)
7. Tell the enemy to leave you alone and to go back to the pit he came from. (“Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.” Matthew 16:23 and “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7)
One thing is for sure: when we experience fear, worry, or anxiety, it does not come from God, but what God gives us instead is much greater and for our good. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
Are you willing to turn your worry, fear, and anxiety over to Him today and live in the power, love, and sound mind that He has already given you?
Because of Him, #PeacePrevails!
(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)
A short brief about Hope Prevails.
Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression
Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Speaking from personal and professional experience, a neuropsychologist unpacks what depression is, shows how it affects us spiritually, and offers hope for living the abundant life.
Neuropsychologist Offers Hope to Those Struggling with Depression
-By 2020, depression will be our greatest epidemic worldwide
- An estimated 350 million people worldwide suffer from some form of depression
- As with the bestselling My Stroke of Insight, the author experienced the same condition she treats
- Helpful features include personal stories, biblical truths, prayers, and music recommendations
In Hope Prevails, Dr. Bengtson writes with deep compassion and empathy, blending her extensive training and faith, to offer readers a hope that is grounded in God’s love and grace. She helps readers understand what depression is, how it affects them spiritually, and what, by God’s grace, it cannot do. The result is a treatment plan that addresses the whole person—not just chemical imbalances in the brain.
For those who struggle with depression and those that want to help them, Hope Prevails offers real hope for the future.
Hope Prevails is available now wherever books are sold. To find out more, see: https://drmichellebengtson.com/hope-prevails-book/.