by Rev. Joda Collins
First things first. I have no criticism of a person with Anxiety Disorder. Most people have experienced anxiety. To experience anxiety most all of the time has to be horrendous. For those with such a condition a caring person can only experience sympathy.
Medical and psychological organizations like to give things a title. I understand that and I agree with doing so. If you have a bottle of aspirin and a bottle of rat poison tablets in your home, it would be wise to put a title on the bottles regarding what the bottles contain. However, giving each bottle a title only alerts you to the contents so you do not take rat poison for a headache or try to kill your basement rats with aspirin. The title designation on the bottle does not tell you anything about the content other that what it is. Beyond that, the title designation is worthless. Likewise, the designation of “Anxiety Disorder” beyond telling you what it is, is worthless.
Where does anxiety disorder come from and exactly what is it? Is it psychological, chemical, sociological, purposeful, a welcomed crutch, unavoidable, a sickness, treatable, transferable, self-inflicted, just an excuse for failure, or what?
Let’s keep it simple. Anxiety Disorder does not exist without a host. However, Anxiety Disorder is not like the flu that roams the atmosphere looking for someone to infect. There is zero evidence it is organic (that is, some kind of chemical imbalance in the brain or found in the blood stream). It cannot be “caught” like the flu. It is not inherited. There is only one place in all of the printed literature that definitively addresses the cause of Anxiety Disorder. Before I tell you where that place is and what is stated there, let us first define Anxiety Disorder.
“Dis-order” means “out of the norm” or “chaos.” Anxiety, at its root, is fear. In other words, people with Anxiety Disorder have out of order and out of the ordinary fears that create chaos in their lives.
If you are driving on a mountain road, drive over a 500-foot cliff and find yourself out of order and filled with fear on your way to your sure and imminent death that is not Anxiety Disorder.
However, if you are driving over a mountain on a wide road, at a safe speed, in mild well-behaved traffic, on a beautiful sunny day and you find yourself imagining what it would be like to be driving on a skinny-muddy road, three inches left of a 500-foot drop, on a 10% decline with no brakes and facing a severe left turn at 100 mph and find yourself filled with fear and such thinking patterns define your life, that is Anxiety Disorder. You thought your way into anxiety/fear.
Proverbs 23:7 states, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he….” “In his heart” means sincere-deep conviction or honest mental analysis.
“…Your thoughts (are)…a reflection of who (and what) you really are….your thinking…will ultimately shape you….That’s why what you think about matters, because (what you think)…is forming…you….” Author: Clarence L. Haynes Jr., Source Material: ‘As a Man Thinks, So He Is’ – Meaning of Proverbs 23:7 (crosswalk.com) Parenthesis within quote are mine, Joda Collins.
It has been my experience that many people with Anxiety Disorder tend to justify their fears, and to that extent Anxiety Disorder is self-inflicted. I am not saying that overcoming the root cause of Anxiety Disorder (justifying unjustified fearful thinking) is easy. Solutions stated are usually much easier than solutions experienced. I am saying, start with admitting to justifying unjustified fearful thinking and make a reasonable effort not to think that way. That is the stating place for deliverance from Anxiety Disorder. Your mind is out of order, filled with fears and in chaos. Only you can do the hard work of changing the way you think.
To what degree does all of the other maybe-possibilities for Anxiety Disorder contribute to the reality of Anxiety Disorder cannot be determined until a person with Anxiety Disorder corrects his or her unreasonable, excessive and exaggerated fearful thoughts. Identify them, stop justifying them and work to overcome them. What anxiety remains after that work is done, is the result of something other than improper thinking and can, then, be addressed.
I have no criticism of a person with Anxiety Disorder. And, I have no criticism of a person who does not give a good effort to change his or her thinking with the goal of getting rid of their Anxiety Disorder. To each his own. Live and let live. Whatever floats your boat.
I have been a Christian since I was nine years old. I have been a serious-devoted Christian for 50-years. Therefore, I have an advantage compared to most people. If you cannot immediately see that advantage, I probably cannot put it in words that can reach you. Let me, however, try my best. In Christ, there is a sweet-deliverance from fear and a supernatural calming of the human spirit that is found no where else in the universe.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 1 Timothy 1:7. “Thou (God) wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Isaiah 26:3.
Apart from having a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ I do not know how to tell a person or help a person overcome unjustified fearful thinking to any significant degree. Down deep in my soul, I have serious doubts it can be done apart from being in Christ — but like I say, I do not know.
Rev. Joda Collins
I make no claim that anyone else agrees with me.