What science says about neurosis, an anxiety disorder
In the 1930s, neuroscientists observed that when the brain is “shaken” after a seizure, it seems to relieve psychiatric disturbances, such as chronic depression. Today, the cause is how neurotransmitters regulate various bodily and mental functions. [Sportelli]
The uptrend of people with this type of mental disorder began around 2010 when tablets came out. At the same time, internet access became readily available to most people. [SEE GRAPH]
It may be a coincidence, but clearly, man becomes more confused as knowledge grows. No wonder God warned Adam and Eve of the forbidden fruit. It led to man’s fall and his nature ever more sinful.
General characteristic of neurosis: [A]
Nearly one-half clinically diagnosed with depression have an anxiety disorder. The mental condition affects 25.1% of children between 13 and 18 years old in the USA, while adults with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is about 3.1%. [ADAA]
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive behavior
- Social phobia
- Unhappy thoughts and feelings
GAD is a common mental disorder that involves chronic worrying. The anxiety is diffused—a general feeling of dread or unease that affects one’s entire life.
- 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
Chronic mental illnesses were characterized by demonic oppression in the Bible. It is not to say demons cause all mental conditions. The Bible acknowledges anxiety can be a day-to-day struggle for anyone. (Psalm 94:19)
It weighs a man down (Proverbs 12:25), and it is something familiar (Matthew 6:34). However, we are told not to be anxious. (Luke 12:25-26)
Neurosis or anxiety disorder is an attribute of faithlessness and sinful nature in the Bible. While it could be genetic, many overcame through faith, perseverance, and being thankful for all things.
Differentiating between anxious feelings and chronic anxiety
Being anxious is not necessarily a sin. Sometimes, certain stimuli can make us anxious because that’s our physiological make-up. To have feelings of anxiety is different from being controlled by it. The reason we need the mind of Christ.
Even Jesus, perhaps, had anxious feelings when He sweated blood (hematohidrosis) the night before His crucifixion. To have feelings of anxiety is different from being ruled by anxiety.
In Matthew 17:14–18. Jesus healed a boy with a physiological brain problem. It was an epileptic-like seizure. He rebuked the demon in the boy, and it left him. From that moment, the boy was well.
The boy’s issue may not have been anxiety, but his problem involved neurotransmitters. The point is, demons can influence the mind, and he does it through temptation and mind manipulation.
Satan failed miserably when he tried to tempt Jesus, but it’s not always the same for the rest of us.
To have feelings of anxiety is different from being controlled by it.
Where Doctors fail in treating anxiety disorder
Certain neurotransmitters are linked to depression. Interventions like antidepressants or therapy provide benefits—long or short term. However, evidence show problems persist despite medications. [McAllister-Williams]
For deep and chronic anxiety, treatment such as counseling, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, or antidepressant drug may appear to help, but no definitive treatment has ever been found.
As Christians, only Jesus provides the cure to man’s fallen nature, not saying He will heal everyone. But God continues to do miracles, even today.
For debilitating mental conditions such as Parkinson’s, dementia, or dyskinesia, the cause appears to be physiological brain damage (not emotional).
However, there have been small breakthroughs where the patient had “awakening,” even if its temporary. The point is, somewhere in the brain, these people remain alive—there is always hope!
Evidence show problems persist, despite medications.
On a Biblical lens, neurosis is a behavior pattern
Scriptures at times referred to mental problems as “demonic,” rooted in sin and Satan’s foothold. For most of the sickness Jesus healed, he often said, “go and sin no more.”
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. 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.”