Christians, Addiction And Anxiety

Does addiction lead to anxiety or does anxiety lead to addiction? The answer is not always clear, but the two are often tightly intertwined. Christians who experience anxiety may turn to an addictive substance such as drugs or alcohol to numb anxious feelings. Others will use food or pornography to take the edge off. To someone experiencing anxiety, the sensation of panic can be so unbearable that anything that promises to relieve it seems like a viable option.

Anxiety doesn’t conform to the rules of logic. Sometimes we don’t even know what we are afraid of. If we can identify the fear, we can often see how irrational it is. Yet we still feel this generalized sense of dread that grips the chest and churns the stomach. We feel panicky, shaky and afraid. We want to believe we’re okay and that we’re safe. We want to have faith, but how can one have faith when the world seems so out of our control?

What The Bible Says About Anxiety

Finding Relief From Addiction And Anxiety - Christian Drug RehabWhile there may not be a formal Christian approach to anxiety, the Bible has quite a lot of wisdom for those who experience fear, anxiety, panic, doubt and uncertainty. So much is written in the Bible about fear and worry that we can be comforted by the fact that God knew we would experience fear and was ready for it with words of comfort and assurance. The Bible helps us to know that we are not alone—many of the Bible’s prominent figures experienced fear—and it shows us that in the midst of fear, God provides relief. There is a way to be free of fear without destroying our lives with addiction.

Many of us, even though we were professing Christians, were putting our faith in a substance or a behavior rather than in God. Thus the anxiety persisted and even got worse. In order to combat it, we drank more, ate more, found stronger drugs or did whatever we felt we needed to do in order to escape. We didn’t believe that faith would really work. We didn’t know God could or would set us free.

Finding Relief From Addiction And Relief From Anxiety

If you are like many of us who sought help for addiction, especially if you turned to Christian drug rehab programs, you may have found yourself finding your way back to God. As you became sober and began practicing the 12 steps, His word made sense in a new way, even if you had been a Christian your entire life. As you saw the work He was doing in saving you from your addiction, you may have been compelled to begin trusting Him with other areas of your life as well. You may have experienced relief from not only the addiction, but also the anxiety that had plagued your life and created the endless cycle of fear and the unbearable need to escape.

Others, even if they experience freedom from the addiction, will continue to battle anxiety. This doesn’t mean you are doing anything wrong, but that God may have a different path for you. Be comforted that He is with you on it. You are never alone. His presence goes with you.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

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