What is the Biblical cure for neurosis and anxiety-depressive disorder?
The Bible talked more about obedience and God’s faithfulness rather than worry or anxiety. It is not to say people in the old world did not have concerns, but they were more dependent on God’s grace. Hence, an answered prayer was synonymous with healing.
Today, we live in a complicated society where much of our concerns go beyond necessities. As a result, anxiety has become a common mental illness, affecting most developed countries. [ADAA]
Neurosis or obsessive anxiety disorder
Characteristic of neurosis: [A]
Neurosis is a disorder involving obsessive thoughts or anxiety. Nearly one-half clinically diagnosed with depression have an anxiety disorder. It affects 25.1% of children, while adults with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is about 3.1%. [ADAA]
The general symptoms include restlessness, antisocial personality disorder, depression, OCD, hysteria, irritability, social phobia, and unhappy thoughts and feelings, but chronic anxiety can lead to the following:
- Difficulty in changing life patterns
- Difficulty in developing a richer personality
- Extreme sadness
- Inability to adapt
- Low self-worth
- Panic disorder
- Out of proportion distress
- School refusal
Anxiety disorder in the Bible
The Bible acknowledges anxiety can be a day-to-day struggle for anyone (Psalm 94:19). It weighs a man down (Proverbs 12:25), but chronic anxiety is associated with a demonic stronghold.
Neurosis or anxiety disorder is an attribute of faithlessness, sin, or demonic influence in the Bible. While it could be genetic, hence a natural disposition, it is sinful.
It is not to say demons cause all mental problems
Debilitating conditions like Parkinson’s, dementia, or dyskinesia have genetic links. Nonetheless, Jesus demonstrated that He has power overall all sickness.
Being anxious is not necessarily a sin
Sometimes, certain stimuli naturally make us nervous. However, to have feelings of anxiety is different from being controlled by it.
Even Jesus, as a human, had anxious feelings when He sweated blood (hematohidrosis) the night before His crucifixion.
To have feelings of anxiety is different from being controlled by it.
When faith and science didn’t help cure anxiety and depression
In 2018, Andrew Stoecklein, a young, vibrant megachurch Pastor, preached about depression, then killed himself. In 2019, Jarrid Wilson, church leader and mental health advocate committed suicide. Similarly, Matthew, son of Rick Warren, killed himself, and Jeff, son of Charles Morris, host of ‘Haven Today,’ died from a drug overdose.
These men are not faithless. Despite countless prayers, therapy, and medication, their kids who grew up in a loving Christian home—still lost the battle.
Certain neurotransmitters are linked to depression. Interventions like Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or fluoxetine (antidepressants) may help. However, evidence show problems persist despite medications. [McAllister-Williams]
Evidence show problems persist, despite medications.
Finding cure in scriptures
Interestingly, for most of the sickness Jesus healed, he said, “go and sin no more.” Apostle Paul also had depression. He became anxious and would rather die to be with the LORD (Philippians 1:23). Instead, he chose contentment and thankfulness. In contrast, many of us fall into a sinful behavior pattern.
Discontentment & wanting
Bitterness & unforgiveness
Unbelief & faithlessness
Laziness & idleness
Peace of Christ
Contentment & rejoicing
Thankfulness & forgiveness
Hope & Endurance
A Biblical cure for chronic anxiety
There’s always trouble in this world and an enemy out to destroy us. Stand up, take up your cross daily (Luke (9:23). Turn your life to Jesus and ask Him to heal you. Only He can save you. (Matthew 16:24-2)
“… we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope…”
1 Chronicle 16:11
“Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.”