Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Christians Shouldn’t Take Antidepressants?
In a somewhat older article, Dr. Archibald Hart describes the antidepressant medication Prozac as being a gift from God. In the same article, a few other Christians who had suffered from severe depression before taking the drug describe their experience with the medication as having strengthened their relationship with God. After their depression had lifted, they were able to experience God in new and powerful ways.
Dr. Hart also alludes to this in his book “The Anxiety Cure”. In it he mentions that emotional and spiritual tranquility is founded upon biological tranquility (p. 254). A clinically depressed person will not function optimally on the emotional or spiritual plane if their biochemistry is out-of-whack. SSRIs, like Prozac, can restore the levels of serotonin that result in this “biological tranquility”. Hart also mentions that “When our body and mind are fighting for basic survival, they don’t have the energy or time to connect with God” (p. 255).
I agree that antidepressants should not be prescribed for every single bout of emotional pain. However, I do not agree with many Christians I have encountered who believe that taking these medications indicates a lack of faith. I think that it is as equally foolish to expect a chronically depressed individual to simply pray their depression away as it would be for a diabetic to pray their diabetes away. Although our sovereign Lord may chose to heal someone through prayer, he may very well use the combination of medication and therapy as a channel to heal someone of severe depression.
Do you think that a Christian with clinical depression can be helped (or hurt) biologically, emotionally, and spiritually through the use of antidepressant medication? How do you feel about Dr. Hart’s stance on medication for anxiety and depression?