- (Photo: Courtesy of NewSpring Church)
Last week I wrote an article about the fact I actually take antidepressants and it created way more conversations than I thought it would.
One of the questions asked of me as a result of the article was, "How do I know if I should consider taking anti-depression medicine?"
So here are five things I would tell you to consider before taking an antidepressant:
#1 – Ask yourself is there anything going on in your life that you need to change.
When I battled depression and anxiety the first time, I did not take any medications. Because, in doing so, it would not have allowed me to deal with the root of the problem…it would have only treated the symptoms.
For example, if your schedule is so insane that thinking about it causes you to get anxious…then the answer MAY not be a pill, but rather slowing down and actually telling people "NO" when they ask you to do something you know you do not have the time or margin for.
As I write about in my upcoming book, Overwhelmed (which releases April 1 of this year), I wanted God to change my circumstances, but God was trying to change me!
#2 – Nutrition Matters!
Believe me, if you are pounding doughnuts and slamming caffeine all day to "just keep going" then a pill will not solve your problem. Adjusting your diet to include healthier options WILL make you feel better, I promise.
#3 – Exercise.
It's been proven in study after study that exercise can be used to combat depression. When we exercise, certain chemicals are released in the brain that really do improve our mood.
#4 – Ask For Help!
Asking for help when you feel like you are going through a time of anxiety and depression is NOT a sign of weakness…it's actually a sign of strength. You will be tempted to think thoughts such as, "No one will understand," or, "I am all alone in this struggle."
People will understand, and you are NOT alone!! MAYBE by opening up and talking about it with your friends can help open your eyes to the blind spots you may have in your life.
#5 - Talk with a doctor ASAP!
If you are struggling with anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts…CALL A DOCTOR RIGHT NOW and set up an appointment.
All through my first battle and now with my current battle I have sought medical attention. I have had fantastic doctors involved with me in this journey and I can honestly say I don't know where I would be without them.
Medicine for depression is NOT something for "minor league Christians," but rather for REAL people who have REAL problems and need a REAL solution for getting out of the situation they are in.