Medication and Mental Illness

The problem with taking medication to treat mental illness is that you have to take them in order for them to work.  I take four anxiety meds, one antidepressant, three sleeping pills, a blood pressure stabilizer and assortment of remedies and pills for irritable bowel syndrome.  Every day I look at the bottles and consider them like one considers the dentist drill.  They all have the potential to help, but I wonder how long I can stave off treatment before the symptoms overwhelm me. I have been known to play Russian roulette with my teeth, waiting until the last possible minute to address the problem, until it’s so painful and inflamed that treating it is excruciating. One time I ignored a niggling pain, an infection under a crown, for weeks until a non-stop flight from Boston to Seattle caused horrid pain due to air pressure fluctuation. By the time I returned home I was begging the dentist to fix the problem that should never have gotten that far out of hand.

Conflicting Feelings

I hate meds. I hate that I am dependent on them to be a functional person. I especially hate that I have gained 50 pounds, which I cannot shed, no matter how hard I work out. (Pops another Easter jelly bean in her mouth) But as a Pastor and friend I have counseled dozens of parishioners to continue their meds and doctor prescribed course of treatment even if it doesn’t seem to be working or doesn’t make sense to them. So often now, this advice comes back to me like an LED ticker tape sign across my bedside vanity, “Take your meds…take your meds…take your meds.”

A Change in Perspective

It’s at this point that I must remember that God has graciously provided doctors, pharmacists and practitioners the knowledge and resources to aid me in my illness. He has also given me the resources to access the treatment I need. So perhaps I could change my perspective from one who sees only the last drops of oil and life in a jar, to one who sees provision in what the Lord has already provided. 


And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 

Question for Reflection:

 How has God provided for your needs in the treatment of mental illness for yourself or for a loved one? We would love to hear from you, comment below!

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