Jan 10 2012
Is Jesus Enough?

I apologize for the length in advance.  I wrote it, because I think some can relate to it.  Some will find it depressing, but others actually might be strangely encouraged. 

This was written when I was particularly down, a couple years ago.  And I've talked about this, on the air, at my last Christian radio job. I'm glad I did, too, save for some of the response: "Well, you don't have enough faith, and..." "You're not living in Victory, brother..." and "You are giving in to a Satanic attack, and..." and the equally legalistic "You're just not doing the right kind of Positive Thinking, and..."

Well, thanks, there, partner. But there's also the reaction of, "I'm so glad someone else understands. And God hasn't given up on me."

Also, since I wrote this, I've been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. Since that diagnosis, I've read that taking a low dosage of an anti-depressant is not an uncommon way for adults with AS to battle the "haunting fear of failure", as one doctor put it.  

Truth is, our neurology is dynamic.  It's not a one-way street:  Our decisions are shaped by our physiology, and our physiology is shaped by our experience.  And -- duh -- we can't control our past experience.  You don't know what I've been through, and I don't know what you've been through. That realization, alone, has helped me become less judgmental.

My adult life was blessed before I started with the drugs.  My marriage was outstanding, I was a good employee, had career "success", and I believe God used me at times.

But the difference now? Now, I can rest.  That's all I know.  Lord have mercy on me, and I hope you do, too.  Mostly, please know, if you take Prozac or something -- I understand you.

 

-----------------------------

 

My name is Brant, and I'm on mind-altering drugs.

And that is both the best first line, ever, on this blog, and -- distressingly --it's also quite true.

Fluoxetine, to be exact. 20 mg a day.  It's for my brain, which isn't normal.  Or, perhaps it's very normal, given the millions currently taking fluoxetine, or its name-brand equivalent, Prozac.  I've been taking fluoxetine for the past year, and there hasn't been a day I haven't struggled with the fact that I'm messing with my brain.  And there hasn't been a day I've been as viciously angry at myself as I had been in my entire, conscious life.  I suspect I was angry at myself when I was lying in a neo-natal unit.  My guess:  I heard the cries of other babies, and wondered why I was failing to help.

It's been this way from the start.  Evidence is immaterial.  I'm a failure.

I remember sitting next a woman, and sobbing. My life had been wasted. I'd accomplished nothing, and the sorrow of it all was descending on me. The vanished years! I've done nothing! Where did the time go? Life is too fast, rushing by like a freight train, and I couldn't get on it. 

The woman comforted me, and tried to understand, and I think she did, if only because that's the way moms are. But she may have wondered how a seven year-old could consider himself an abysmal failure.

------

I started taking drugs because of this blog.  I posted about an odd day, when my self-esteem was downright okay, and how thrilled I was to be thinking more about others.  Weeks later, a very good friend, and very wise doctor-friend at that, told me HE was taking anti-depressants, and I should look into it.  So I did, and within a day - literally, after a pill! - my mindset was different.

I know it's not supposed to happen that fast, and I can tell you I'm not given to the placebo-effect. But everything changed. I wasn't angry. I was patient. I thought about myself less. I didn't consider myself a failure. I was actually content with my station in life. 

I could take naps, because I wasn't roiling with regret. I couldn't take naps before!  I'd previously lie there and think about how I blew it on the air this morning; how I never should have quit talk radio; how I shouldn't have said that one awkward thing five, 10, or 25 years ago;  how I'd wasted whatever I'd been given; how I'd failed to provide a yard for my kids to play in; how the years were slipping by, and, though my wife said differently, I just knew I wasn't doing enough as a dad or a husband or a child of God.

No, it's not rational.  But none of this is.  And it was self-absorption, too, which gave me something else to feel failed about.

But I take a little pill, once a day, and wham -- I can think about other people.  I think I'm okay.  I can sit and relax and fall asleep.  I can be on the air, do something stupid, like I do daily, and move on. Happens to the best of 'em, you know?  One little pill, and I'm a better person. 

------

And that, friend, is the disturbing thing.  As a Christian, I'm uncomfortable with purely mechanistic explanations for our behavior.  Friends say, "What's the struggle?  Taking this pill is just like taking Tylenol for an ache."  But no.  No, it's not.  I take this pill, and I'm morally better.  I'm not kidding. 

Think about it:  They tell addicts about "HALT".  Watch out, they say, when you're Hurt, Angry, Lonely, or Tired.  That's when you'll be most apt to succumb to temptation, to be given to weakness, to engage in behavior and thoughts you know you don't want to do or entertain. Look out when you're Hurt. Angry. Lonely. Tired.

Imagine taking a pill and, suddenly, you're not hurt, or angry, or lonely, or tired.  You'll be less likely to succumb to temptation.  Your need to retreat into bad habits, addictions, and destructive behavior lessens dramatically.  So you don't -- because of a pill.  You're more patient with people, more loving, more joyful, more peaceful;  less likely to argue, less bitter, less angry, less selfish.

That ain't Tylenol, folks.  That's messing with who you are. 

Ironically, in my euphoria about being, at last, "released from myself" - I felt like my head had cooled off, my mind had stopped over-heating after all these years - I was a bit angry about one thing:  I was wondering, "So -- is THIS how it's been for everyone else?  'Normal' people feel this way?  They don't constantly berate themselves?  They can simply enjoy a sunny day?"

I began to understand simple contentment, simple delight, simple patience, and I'm telling you, it's not fair.  All my life I had to put up with that melancholia?  And other people could be happy?  No fair.  This is how other people see the world? 

And it's easier now, for me to be a moral, other-centered person, content to listen to someone else without worrying about my failed self?  This is how other people have it? 

How does God judge people?   Did He judge me differently, because of my brain chemistry, so easily altered?*  If I had more seratonin, like other people, I would've been happier, more content, less apt to "sin". The debate over mind/body interaction, the physical and the spiritual, is an ancient one. 

But now I go to CVS, stand in line for a moment, and I'm handed the whole of the issue in a little brown bottle. 

This ain't Tylenol. 

I'm anti-drugs, by the way.  I think we're way over-prescribed, as a culture. So yeah, I'm generally anti-drugs. I just use them.  

Believe me, a fair-minded person cannot easily dismiss marijuana use while popping 20 mg of fluoxetine every day.  It's just not a simple issue.  Yes, one's legal, the other's not, but that rather begs a question, doesn't it?  I'm not pro-legalization.  I've argued with those groups before on the radio.  I still would, for a number of reasons.  But let's just say I know how I'd argue with me now. 

My new sticker idea would cover the whole bumper:  "Just say no, and yes, but mostly no, but kind of yes, for me."

------

Ever read Flowers for Algernon?  I did, and I've been thinking about that little mouse a lot, lately.  For some reason, I've been growing depressed these last days.  I've wondered about the efficacy of the pills, and sure enough, for a third of users, Prozac wears off in a year or so.  As I say, it's been a year or so.

I don't want to go back.  As you can tell, I struggle with this.  I struggle with treating a melancholy, critical personality as though it were aberrant, and as though the shiny, happy, faces were the ideal.  I struggle with wondering if I won't produce that something, that I-don't-know-what, that I would have were I not medicated.  (I'm no Mozart, but would W.A.M. have been placed on meds, were the opportunity there? Certainly so, and then what would he have given us?)

I struggle, but please -- I don't want to go back.  It may not be me, but I like the new guy better, the one with the normal seratonin.  He thinks of other people more, has more time for them, and can enjoy the sun and the sand, and, while his brain is atrophying on the beach, he at least isn't angry about it.

I don't want to go back.

------

Is Jesus enough?

Of course He is.

Of course He is, and I also have some other things.  

I have Jesus, Who is enough, and I have what, apparently, pretty much everyone wants:  A beautiful, smart, funny wife, and beautiful, smart, funny kids.  And good health -- I can run for many miles.  And hair. And I have Jesus.

I'm a ridiculously privileged white male in the richest area of the most materially-successful culture in man's history.  I have a family-friendly job with a great boss.  I don't ever shave.  I have a loving, adventurous church community, loaded with friends.  I have a well-behaved, if poorly-balanced, three-legged beagle.  I have a Taylor and a Martin.  And I have Jesus, too.

I talk gooder than most.  I get to travel the world.  I get to help children in poverty-stricken nations.  I live next door to the spring training stadium of my most beloved sports team, and occasionally even do P.A. for them.  I even get to sign autographs for sweet little kids.  Oh -- and I have Jesus, too.

I've got peace in my home.  So much so, in fact, that I rarely discuss it, for fear of making people gag reactively. I've got good credit, and no debt.  How about that?  I've got that, along with Jesus.

He's my "All in All", and "all I want", and "all I need", and "everything I ever wanted", and in case I should forget, I sing the words frequently.  Jesus is all I need.

Except, apparently, for these little pills.

Welcome to the planet, as it now is.

Tie that one into a bow.

 

 

-----

*A note: As I say, I wrote that a few years ago. I'm still on fluoxetine, and still thankful for it. 

One thing that HAS changed: My appreciation for the Gospel.  I asked the question, "How does God judge us?" Well, now... I think I get it.  He knows our brain chemistry, our upbringing, our experiences, better than we even know ourselves. Yes, some have it easier than others. But all are sinners. So how does He judge us? If we're in Christ, we're fine, because Jesus met the standard. We're given credit for what HE did. He is, in the most wonderful and profound and final sense, "enough".  

Yes, life is unfair, and I'll take it.

 

Comments (207) -

1/11/2012 12:42:00 AM
Mike Taylor United Kingdom
Mike Taylor
Is Jesus enough?

Is he enough for salvation?  Yes, absolutely.

Is he enough for physical health?  No, we also have to put food and water into our mouths.  (And ultimately that food and water comes from Jesus.)

Is he enough for emotional health?  No, we also need parents, friends; ideally spouses and children.  (And ultimately those people come from Jesus.)

Is he enough for someone who's lost a leg to walk?  No, that person also needs a prosthesis.  (And ultimately that prosthesis comes from Jesus.)

Is he enough for your brain to function properly?  No, you also need fluoxetine to address the deficiency.  (And where does fluoxetine come from, in the end?)
1/11/2012 2:59:25 AM
Heather United States
Heather
@ Mike T.:I really like your post, thanks for sharing.

@ Brant,
Wow. It takes a lot of courage to speak about this. I am glad you did. I lost a good friend to depression. I truly believe he would have not have committed suicide if there were not such a controversy about seeking medicinal help as a Christian. He was active in the church and he was in counseling with his pastor along with seeking help through a mentor. His faith was strong, he should have been ok, right? I know God sends healing, sometimes it is in the form of a pill. Even before all this happened I believed that sometimes that is God's answer. I hope that more people would beab to come to this understanding, it may just save some lives.
Thank You Brant
1/11/2012 4:30:58 AM
Lucinda Theisen United States
Lucinda Theisen
Hello Brant,

I also suffer from a depressive disorder and cannot function well without my medication.  A year ago, I asked others to pray with me to be healed and in faith stopped taking my meds.  About a month later as my symptoms were getting worse and worse. I was driving home from work crying over an incident at work and began to think my faith was not strong enough to be healed. Then I got a message. It came from within me and was like the feeling of words more than the sound of words.  This was my message: "You are healed. This is how I made you."   Then I proceeded to see why God made me like this.  Thank you so much for being so brave and talking about this so openly.  It helps those of us who have mental illness to see, yes we can function in society.  
I also wanted to tell you that I struggled many years with understanding Gods love for me.  Today I know that there is absolutely nothing I can do or not do that will change God's love for me.  I read this scripture today and thought of you, so I am sharing it with you:  this is for you Brant:

"Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting, and His faithfulness to all generations."

Psalms 100: 4-5

I look forward to listening every day.

In Christ
Lucinda
1/11/2012 4:39:00 AM
Lucinda Theisen United States
Lucinda Theisen
I also for got to tell you that I am back on my meds and accepting this is who I am and now my goal is to let God help me be the person He made me to be.
1/11/2012 5:12:36 AM
Beverly United States
Beverly
WOW! That could be me your talking about. Exactly! Thanks for letting everyone read your story. There is so much personal termoil for so many. It's hard being human, but after 40 years, I'm learning to love it!
1/11/2012 5:26:17 AM
Mark United States
Mark
Duuuuude... Sounds like me you're talking about. Believe it or not I've dealt with the same struggle my entire 48 years of life and yes, I was a 6 year old who felt like a total failure in the first grade. I also have a Martin and a Taylor... and a Gibson (LOL). The most annoying thing I've ever heard in regard to this is that legalistic brother, or sister, in Christ who says "if you're struggling with that then you've got unconfessed sin in your life...". I had a former pastor who used to run that phrase out quite a bit and it blistered me to hear him say that. The reality is that, for whatever reason, God made same of us with brains that don't quite function like they're supposed to. My friends, a chemical imbalance in my brain does not equal unconfessed sin. Think about it.

Brant-THANK YOU soooo much for posting this.
1/11/2012 5:26:42 AM
Bob Glenn United States
Bob Glenn
"Yes, life is unfair, and I'll take it."

AMEN!
1/11/2012 5:32:33 AM
Melissa United States
Melissa
Thank you, Brant!! Well said!! Bravo!!! When I finally came to terms that a little pill will HELP me and NOT disappoint God, things have been going much better...for myself and my family. Smile  I appriciate your blog.  
1/11/2012 6:23:47 AM
Ernie United States
Ernie
Brant, may the Lord Bless you and your family. After reading your blog today I went back on my anti-depressants for the first time in over a year, and it was a Very rough year.Not even sure why I stopped taking them. But I have been experiencing so many of the feelings you described. After much prayer yesterday and last night I awoke this morning and the first thing I read was your blog. And there was the answer to my prayer!I cannot thank you enough for sharing, and for being the vessel that God used to speak to me. Thanks!!
1/11/2012 7:10:39 AM
Diane United States
Diane
I could write the female edition of your post, (without the accordion!). I feel that taking medication took me and my unpredictable sometimes irrational thoughts 'out of the way' and allowed me to deepen my relationship with Christ. So I accept that and now I can enjoy the journey.
1/11/2012 7:29:27 AM
Tina United States
Tina
Thank you, Brant, for posting this. I have felt the same way my whole life. I've always been a failure. I started having anxiety attacks at age 29 cause I felt like my life was spinning out of control. My doctor put me on antidepressants, which helped a little. I started seeing a therapist who diagnosed me with bipolar disorder & changed my meds. The meds he gave me made me have mood swings that are characteristic of bipolar disorder. I was terrified & wanted off the meds, but the psychologist said I would have to stay on them my whole life. The meds made me silly & giddy for a few hours & severely depressed the next. So I weaned myself off of those horrid pills on my own & stopped seeing the psychologist. I wish I would have just stuck with the antidepressant the regular doctor had prescribed in the first place. Now at age 34 I am sure I could be happy if I wasn't such a failure. I was let go from my job due to company down-sizing a year ago. Since then I've only held temporary jobs. I have little job skills. My vehicle has finally broken down. I cant contribute toward paying the bills. Some days I really feel completely worthless. But everyone around me, especially my husband, says I'm fine without medicine, that I don't need it. I can't afford it now without health insurance anyway. I realize after writing all this that I think I just need to tell my husband I'm not fine, I DO need the medicine. I just want to be happy.
1/11/2012 8:05:17 AM
Kathryn United States
Kathryn
Great blog! As a therapist and a Christian I have tried to explain to my clients that sometimes God makes us the way we are for a reason; and sometimes meds are a miracle. Keep up the good work. I know that it can be a struggle even with the meds.
1/11/2012 9:27:39 AM
vic United States
vic
As a parent, I can appreciate your perspective. My 20 yo son was diagnosed at 9. He knows Jesus but still has his own agenda. His "fixations" are with the civil war, military weaponry and firefighting. Never heard of Prozac being used for AS but will mention it. God must have meant for me to read this. Thank you.

1/11/2012 10:05:31 AM
Dawn United States
Dawn
Thank you for having the courage to speak out on a topic with which many struggle...unfortunately it seems more so in the Christian world.

I thought I had been set free from the guilt and same associated with it after reading Shelia Walsh's amazing story several years ago. I had many of the same thoughts and feelings you described and logically knew I had no reason to feel that way but was unable to escape it. I found it amazing that a small pill could make such a huge difference.

Recently I have found myself in that same place struggling with the state of my faith because I need an antidepresant. Your message was very timely for me. God often speaks to us through others.

I will continue to pray for healing just like I do with other ailments; however, continue to take my little pill and live in peace Smile
1/11/2012 10:07:25 AM
Tiff United States
Tiff
Brant, thank you so much for sharing this story and your journey.  I have been struggling with depression since last year and have been taking Fluoxetine since spring of last year.  I love that you are talking about this, because, as a believe, we have a tendency to be even harder on ourselves because we feel we shouldn't have to take drugs for depression, or have depression at all.  The truth is, the devil will use anything and everything in his power to attack us, and if depression is his point of entry, that's what he will use.  Luckily, God can use all things for good, and we can overcome these things, with or without chemical help.  In fact, the pastor of the church I attend has given many testimonies about his own struggle with depression, and now he uses it as a motivational tool for others going through it.  It's encouraging to know there are other believers going through the same kinds of things and struggling with the same doubts and questions.  Thanks again for sharing!!
 
 
@Mike Taylor - also an awesome comment!  It's so true and is something we, as believers, should embrace.  Be practical about your faith.  We're so busy trying to be the perfect Christians, when, in reality, we all fall short of His glory and need Jesus in all that we go through, good and bad, and He never said we were immune from the bad...we just know where our Help comes from!
              
Blessings to you all!!
1/11/2012 11:04:20 AM
Nicole Swinney United States
Nicole Swinney
Hi Brant,

I'm an 18 year old college student, I love Air1, your show is my absolute favorite. Not because any of the other hosts aren't "as good as you," but because I relate to you the most. Your sense of humor, your random comments, your views on most issues, and now, apparently, struggling with self-destructive thoughts.

I've had a lot happen to me in my little 18 years of living and it warped the way I was able to handle life, both the big and the little things. My mind was set on self-destruct and I didn't know how to change that. About a year and a half ago I decided to tackle this thing. I finally had a friend who would listen to my problems and actually understand me, Nicole Swinney, for who I was and what I was trying to say. I starting with the big problems and worked my way to the little ones. I talked through my sister's death, my father's short-term drinking problem, my mother's long-term fight with depression, the years I spent without friends, the guy who absolutely shattered my heart, and the over-whelming input that I just was never quite good enough.

I went to college last fall to an amazing Christian University and God truly blessed me while I was there. I took advantage of the free counseling services there, the wonderful church just across the street, and I threw myself out there and made some wonderful friends. I had only been at school for a month and a half when my family ran into some unexpected financial trouble and they told me that I wouldn't be able to return for second semester. I was crushed. Absolutely crushed. I had made a life I was happy with there, I made the me I wanted to be, and now - I wasn't allowed to go back "home."

I signed up for community college classes, but of course they messed up my file so I only got 2 out of the 3 classes that I wanted, one with the worst professor on campus, and the other was "correct"...only not at the time my friend and I worked out for me to take it together. I got a job on campus, but my hours are terrible. I don't have my own car so I have to work it out with my parents every day, or I get dropped off.

All of this is my new situation but....I'm ok now Smile The over-whelming sense that I'm not good enough, the bad stuff always happens to me, and I don't even want to be happy, is gone. I used to say that I wished that whatever was wrong with me could be fixed with a pill because all the talk wasn't working, but that wasn't the fix God had in mind for me. He wanted me to talk, to try over and over and over again to fix things, to break down, to come to him as a mess. I know that my situation chemically isn't the same as you, but I know the feeling of being able to breathe for the first time and think "So this is what normal is? Most people don't die a thousand times inside because they said something stupid? Huh, who knew?"

I want to wish you the very best Brant. Thank you for posting what you did. It was an encouragement to me. Keep up the good work and may God bless you continually. You're in my prayers Smile

~ Nicole
1/11/2012 11:55:04 AM
Cecilia United States
Cecilia
Hi, Brant, I only have read the first few lines because I'm at work. I'll read it later when I have more time but I wanted to let you know that I am on the same page as you. I take Xanax only when needed and it so totally helps me. It takes the anxiety edge off and I am able to function better. I take half a pill only when I can't take the situation I'm in or I know I'm going to be around people who cause me to be anxious. Jesus is more than enough but He gave us doctors for a reason. My husband didn't want me to take it. He said he thought I was fine, but I asked him if he liked the tension in our household and he said no. It's true that when mom is happy, the whole house is happy.  Thank you for talking about this article. You rock!!
1/11/2012 11:56:07 AM
Brad United States
Brad
I am so glad I saw this post, today. I can't tell you how much I needed to hear this. Thank you, Brant.
1/11/2012 11:58:13 AM
lauren United States
lauren
although i understand, i can deagree.
1/11/2012 11:59:06 AM
Tori United States
Tori
That was very encouraging. Jesus is enough and in reading your blog I know you understand that. I believe everyone's situation is different and I believe that God is not judging you because your taking a pill.  I would pray about your situation and if you would not like to have to take a pill, the Lord will help you. Granted, it won't be overnight but he can supply you the strength to get through this. Just know that he is with you and is there to help you. Just rest in knowing your doing right for God. Just rest in him. Your in my prayers. ;)
1/11/2012 11:59:15 AM
Chelsea United States
Chelsea
My brother is bipolar and he takes medication for it because when he doesn't, he punches wholes through walls and doors, he gets violent towards me or my parents, or he takes it out on himself. Jesus has protected him and us during his rages, but He can't stop the disorder because sin exists on this earth. He made doctors smart enough to create a drug to help lessen the problems. Just like people with cancer still die. God doesn't want it to happen, but it's sin so it happens. Yes Jesus is a key factor, but I don't believe there's anything wrong with partnering the meds with it. Thank you for being so honest. <3
~Chelsea <3
1/11/2012 12:05:57 PM
Joseph Ravenscroft United States
Joseph Ravenscroft
Brant. You are the only person in the world anymore that for some reason reaches down to the core of my being and makes me want to pretty much cry because of who you are and the things you say. And I dont know why. I'm not depressed nor am I on any medication but I felt your pain in your blog. I dont get emotional. You bring it out of me. Thank you for reminding me Im not a robot Brant. Smile
1/11/2012 12:07:28 PM
Stacy United States
Stacy
Thank you for always sharing your heart. I really like the comment about God not judging you based on brain chemistry. Your last post about youth not understanding the Gospel made me barrel into my youth Sunday School class this past Sunday and clearly and emphatically explain that God's love for them is not based on their behavior and there was no BUT... I made sure they knew that Christianity is about what has been done for them in Jesus Christ and not what they do... I had two students (a senior and a junior) accept Christ as a result. Glory to God.
1/11/2012 12:08:28 PM
Kathy United States
Kathy
Bless you! For your honesty and self-realization. I know someone who became a 'counselor' at a Christian counseling center, after just a few weeks of training. She declared - any problem can be resolved with just counseling. Needless to say, I pray for her regularly. Not everything can be fixed by just talking to someone. Keep helping to make our afternoons enjoyable!
1/11/2012 12:09:56 PM
Amy United States
Amy
@Nicole,

I'm 19 and went through the same college stuff you did. Went to an amazing Christian school where I really thought I was called to, ran out of money and now I'm living with my dad, riding the bus to a public university, and struggling to find a job that I would actually enjoy. People kept telling me that the last four places I've lived through this process have been where "God's called me". God has shown me that he has not called me to a specific apartment or school but that He has called me to further His kingdom wherever I am and whatever school I'm at and work towards the broader calling of becoming an oral surgeon.
1/11/2012 12:16:52 PM
Eric United States
Eric
Hi Brant,

Great post.  I, too, have struggled with the "if Jesus is enough then why do I..."

Being ADHD then diagnosed with PTSD my first counselor put up the option of medication.  I first thought, "Yeah...I get to be 'normal'!"  But unfortunately I have two reasons not to take the meds.  My profession as a pilot means no medical which means no job.  Second is the one you mentioned.  Save for an occasional allergy pill or Tylenol or nasty upper respitory infection I don't like drugs of any kind.

While Jesus IS all I need, a little EMDR for the PTSD helps a lot.  Like you said, 'Tie that one in a bow..."

Eric
1/11/2012 12:21:30 PM
J. Foster United States
J. Foster
I am realizing how true and relevant your words are more and more, particularly as I try to love a father who suffers with depression and anxiety disorder. I grew up in a church that, with the all best intentions, encouraged people with depression to "stand in faith" and essentially pray away their symtoms, which led to a lot of unneccessary guilt when the symtoms persisted. I absolutely believe in healing and miracles, and I also believe that if symptoms persist, they should be treated.  As for me, I don't think I have the typical symptoms of depression, but some of my lower lows scare me, particularly when I start beating myself up over things that happened 10 years ago, and berate myself for how little I've accomplished in life (I really relate to you there!) But these feelings are sporatic and come and go with long stretches in between, which is why I don't take meds. It sure would be nice to be able to get myself out from underneath all that garbage when it DOES happen. Just my thoughts.
1/11/2012 12:36:01 PM
Michelle Marsh United States
Michelle Marsh
Paul had some sort of "problem" that God did not take away. It is obvious to me, being on the outside looking in, that God made you this way for a reason. Part of the reason is to encourage others in the faith that have similar situations to yours. The other might have to do you yourself. Maybe if you didn't have this problem you would be too egotistical or judgemental or whatever. I definitely don't see anything wrong with your having to take medication. Lots of people have to take daily medication. I really hate it when people try to tell others that they can pray and be healed because we have no guarantee of that in the Bible. YES God will help us, but sometimes he helps us THRU it not out of it. When my husband was dying we prayed...and believed for healing....and...He still died. But the beauty is realizing that he really WAS healed. Just not on this earth as we had desired. It's not a lack of faith, it is how you were made. Uniquely and wonderfully. And you would not be who you are without your condition. God Bless you Brant!
1/11/2012 12:43:20 PM
Ashe United States
Ashe
Brant... I can't cry while reading this at work, because then people will know that I feel that way too. All my life I've wondered why I'm not good enough, why I'm so selfish and can only think about my problems, why my hurt consumes my thoughts. As a child I told myself that it would get better if I just focused more on God. It didn't. Now I tell myself it'll get better if I have a better job, if I'm smarter, if I just try to do more for others. It doesn't get better. Everyone thinks I'm wonderful and happy, but at night I cry when I'm alone because they don't know how deep this pain goes and how much I regret things normal people don't even think about.

I've struggled with the idea of antidepressents for years. My brother is taking them, and his personality has mellowed out so much. When he doesn't take them he shakes and holds my hand to keep himself anchored. I don't want to be a slave to a bottle. It was only after reading this that I realized I'm already a slave to this angst.

I'm going to talk to my therapist about antidepressants. Maybe I'll be able to breathe for once.

Thank you.
1/11/2012 12:48:56 PM
Stacey United States
Stacey
I am always amazed and humbled by your honesty. Thank you for covering this topic because I think it is one that is overlooked way too often. I have taken antidepressants off and on for several years. The first time was after the birth of my third child because I had suffered from severe post partum depression and obsessive compulsive thought disorder after my first two. My post partum was not just related to lack of sleep, physical exhaustion, feelings of inadequacy as a mother, etc--all the things that most mothers feel. After my first child, I was having injury/homicidal fantasies about my baby. After the second child, I was having, not only the fantasies about my infant, but also self injury and suicide fantasies. It got to the point where I was afraid to be alone with my children, I was afraid to go in the kitchen, afraid to drive, afraid to be around anything that I might be able to hurt myself with. Both times, it lasted around 5 months. I felt like I was losing my mind and telling anyone would (in my mind) result in a stay at the local mental hospital and having my children taken away. I started on Prozac immediately after the birth of my third and my experience was everything it should be. I was content and able to function without fear. I was back on the meds when my husband was deployed to Iraq and I was overwhelmed by all that goes with military family territory and having to solo-parent an infant, a toddler and a suicidally depressed teenager. off the meds again. a lifetime of avoiding traumatic events (abuse, sexual assault and rape) and not dealing with them had me back on my meds a bit later. That time I started seeing a counselor and began to deal with the root of my depression. I am off the meds again for about a year now and I am doing pretty well. I fear having to go back on them, but I realize now that having a mental illness is no different than a physical one and sometimes, that painful curse can be a blessing. As hard as it is to start opening up about it, when you do, the burden is lifted just a little bit, not only for me, but for others who are suffering too. If I hadn't started talking about my experience, my son would not have opened up to me and I may have lost him to suicide. People, especially Christians, seem to live in fear of being "found out" and so they paste a happy face on it and lie about what's going on. They fear the judgment of others--that they don't have enough faith, or aren't really Christians because a Christian could never be depressed, etc. I have no fear anymore about sharing my experience--with depression, sexual assault/rape, being unwed and pregnant when I was younger, etc. it's not always easy to talk about, but I am open about my experiences, because you never know who is going to hear something they need to hear or something that helps. Some may judge and that is on them. More often than not, the response is more like "You too? I thought I was alone" or "My sister/brother/mother/friend suffers from depression. Can you help me understand it?". I think we are allowed to suffer, because without suffering and trials, we could never have compassion and understanding for the suffering of others. Thank you for being so open about everything you have gone through. You will never know how many people you have helped or inspired. For every one that speaks up, there are probably dozens that don't. Keep doing what you are doing. God bless!
1/11/2012 12:49:43 PM
Norlynda Cook United States
Norlynda Cook
Oh, man!!! I am SSSSSSSSSSSSOOOOOOOOOOOO glad you posted this, Brant!!! I struggled with guilt all the time about taking fluoxetine! But, it DID HELP! I felt the same "release" from my mad, bad, selfish, horrible self. I went off it a couple of years ago because I got pregnant. I find myself not having patience with my little ones now and was thinking of maybe going back on it, but felt guilty for exactly the reasons you mentioned. Isn't Christ enough??? Thank you, thank you, thank you for being so candid about this!
1/11/2012 12:50:48 PM
Debbie Sneddon United States
Debbie Sneddon
Thank God He looks at the heart not the mind, our true intentions, and most of us don't set out  or intend to be short-tempered, impatient, depressed fill in the _______. I love how with Jesus, I can come to Him & tell Him, I blew it today LORD, I did not reflect You, and He accepts me, He comforts me, He sets me back up on my feet after I have fallen on my butt. Brant, God made those drugs to help us, He made the people who invented them, He made the counselors/doctors intelligent enough to recognize these issues we have in this fallen/mutated world. One day though He is going to make all things NEW and I am surely getting in that line, I know I have died and am hidden in Christ(Col.3:3) but I also know my flesh has not been redeemed yet and that includes my brain and it's functions. I have also had occasions to be on Prozac(during a heart-shattering divorce) and Celexa (onset of menopause at 41 when I was almost suicidal with mood swings) and it truly helped me, I am glad you are being helped by these medications just as I have been. I don't see any difference in taking anti-depressants or taking anti-hypertensives if you have hypertension or taking a Tylenol for fever. Have a blessed day, 'cause you are blessed! Love Air1 and your show!
1/11/2012 12:54:42 PM
Amanda United States
Amanda
Brant,
Love listening to you on the air I actually called you once and we talked a little we both have aspergers and you like peas and like corn. I love when you ask people stuff as a guage for normal behavior. It helps me too. I think I was probably the only one who thought your thing with peas was not absurd but we "aspies" should stick together. Ha ha

Loved your blog I completely identify. I started on a mild anti depressant about 6 months ago and it has made a huge difference. The dr put me on them before but I felt like I was failing god by not relying on him enough or I wouldn't need them. So I quit them cold turkey and ended up back struggling. After spending days in my room crying over everything and nothing all at the same time andafter pushing my husband so far from me I finally went back on them. The peace in our home is so astounding and I feel ok with life for probably the first time in all my life. Thanks for posting thanks for being you and thanks for not being afraid to share. Smile your friend in christ, amanda
1/11/2012 1:04:20 PM
Jill S United States
Jill S
Can I just say a HUGE THANK YOU for writing this??? And I LOVE IT!!! I've had my own struggles with depression over the YEARS, and I too get a lot of religious responses if I tell anyone. And usually I don't tell anyone because of what it gets me. I have taken the same med you mentioned and now I take a different one similar to this to help me balance my little hormone problem (and I have to take another pill for this which causes me to need the prozac). If I were taking a pill for regulating my blood sugar, or high blood pressure, would I get the same responses from these folks? No. How is treating a mental medical issue that deals with emotions any different?
I'm glad God allowed somebody to make a medicine that treats this. My grandmother on one side and grandfather on the other side of my family both committed suicide due to depression. I feel I am very lucky to be living in a day and age where medicine can hopefully prevent this from happening to me. Yes, I rely on Jesus. But God also gave the smarts to somebody to figure out a medicine like this. Chemical imbalance is no reason to demonize another person, or think of them as "less spiritual" because they take a pill. God loves all of us. Not just the unmedicated.
1/11/2012 1:17:41 PM
Michele United States
Michele
I used to take anti-depressants, too (Lexapro, which is another brand of Paxil), and I was very unhappy taking them.  They did what they were supposed to do, but even with them, I couldn't help being mad at myself for needing them, and having to spend all that money every month to get them, when to me, I should've been depending on Jesus to feel better instead of a pill.  I tried a few different times to quit them, but I would end up stressed out, depressed, and having massive chest pains.  I prayed about it, asking God why this was happening when He knew I didn't want to take them, and surprisingly enough, He answered with telling me to take the pills, that it was OK, and that He would tell me when to stop.  It ended up being 2 more years of taking them before I got myself, my life, and my faith into a place where I could stop them without side-effects or returning symptoms... I remember telling God that this was enough, I was ready to quit, and that I was putting all my faith in him that if I don't refill the prescription and I just stop right now, that there will be no symptoms, no chest pains, no anything, and that I'd still be OK.  I did it, I stopped cold-turkey, and there was not a single adverse effect, no chest pain, no depression, no stress... I was perfectly fine, and I have been ever since.  So now, to me, I don't see them as being something wrong or terrible or anything like that... we all have different lives, different issues, different problems, etc., so we all need to go about it handling them in a different way, and if/when we need to stop taking them will be different for us all, and how that all happens should be up to God.
1/11/2012 1:21:28 PM
Sharon United States
Sharon
I've struggled with this since my mid-twenties, I felt so broken all the time, and was laughing on the outside, and dying on the inside, and I LOVE JESUS -- FOR REAL - FOR LIFE - but couldn't get over this internal struggle.  I've been off/on anti-depressants and do much better on. Jesus knows my heart, and everyone else can walk a mile in my shoes, before they judge me. I feel better just writing this -- Love you all for sharing !!
1/11/2012 1:23:41 PM
Nicole d. United States
Nicole d.
Brant, thank you.
1/11/2012 1:47:02 PM
Melinda United States
Melinda
This blot makes me think of my own struggles with depression and anxiety.  I spent a long time trying to be med free because I thought, "I have God and that is all I need, if I have enough faith he will make all this go away." But the thing is, mental illness has nothing to do with how much faith we have to overcome it...it is an imbalance of chemicals in the brain and no amount of prayer is going to change that (unless God performs a miracle) just like no amount of prayer will make someone who has stage 4 cancer better (again unless in the case of rare miracles). So the option that one is left with is to either live with it and suffer or take the medication that God has blessed us with finding and level out the chemicals in your brain. I frond no sin or condemnation in taking a pill that helps you be a healthier and happier you.

Continue what you do Brant, because I am moved on a daily basis with your honesty in situations where most people would not divulge in that way. Mental health is near and dear to my heart, as I am going to school to be a therapist and I think the message that you have about Autism and mental health is so important to the community, because pellet need to realize how important it is to get help when one needs it.

Love the show! Keep doing what you are doing.
1/11/2012 1:51:39 PM
Ashley United States
Ashley
Brant,
To echo what others have said -- thank you for posting this, because it gives me encouragement that I'm not alone!  Sometimes I feel like because I'm a Christian and because "Jesus is enough," I shouldn't be struggling with depression like I do.  I should be spiritually strong enough to defeat it... but I'm not.  The truth is, it's a physiological thing, not a spiritual thing.  

Thank you again for being willing to share. God bless!
Ashley
1/11/2012 2:01:32 PM
Cheese Doodle Bandit United States
Cheese Doodle Bandit
I get it.  I can't really say any more than that.  I haven't been in your position, but with God's help, I get it.  I won't say any more, 'cause then the point of this whole thing might get buried.
1/11/2012 2:27:31 PM
Trudy Metzger Canada
Trudy Metzger
I love, love, love this post!! Raw, real and honest! I don't take meds--definitely should have at points in my life--but understand their value. (I too am anti-drug after almost losing my life to one... but still I see the necessity at times) We have a son on meds to make his brain slow down. His grades went from C- and D, with occasional 'good' marks, to being an almost staight 'A' student. We live in a fallen world and Jesus is enough in every situation, but that doesn't mean we stop eating, and wearing clothes and taking little pills. I take them for my heart. You take them for your mind and so do a lot of people I know. Bless you, brother! The stigma should be done away with!

Having said all that, and meaning it from my heart, I come from a hellish background, and for me it wasn't the little white pill that healed me--it was going back to that hell, and taking Jesus with me on that journey.

Every story is different and we should never judge religiously...

And, btw, I LOVE this blog post!
1/11/2012 2:28:24 PM
Trudy Metzger Canada
Trudy Metzger
Correction: "...don't take meds *for my mind*..."
1/11/2012 2:31:59 PM
Mrs T United States
Mrs T
Wow... I often have the same debate. I will not tell you how eery I feel about your post since it sounds exactly like my behavior, except that I don't take anti-depressants. Maybe I should? I feel like crying because I thought/think felt/feel like I'm completely alone.
1/11/2012 2:51:14 PM
Kyle United States
Kyle
Fantastic. Thanks Brant.
1/11/2012 2:56:29 PM
melissa United States
melissa
thank you, brant. and everyone who has commented. as much as i wish no one had to deal with this kind of stuff, it's nice to know i'm not the only one. i was on pills for a couple months, but i stopped because i felt guilty. (didn't help that my preacher gave a sermon about how ppl shouldn't use drugs like that, but i digress.) but it's nice to hear your points of view. i don't really have too many ppl i can talk to that understand.
1/11/2012 2:56:45 PM
B United States
B
I'm in college and was diagnosed with clinical depression my senior year of high school. I dropped out of college in my first year for treatment for depression. It was so hard for me to take the medicine. Thankfully, my doctor is a family friend and a brother in Christ. He finally sat me down and told me that if someone had cancer, they wouldn't feel guilty for taking medicine. The same goes for a person with depression.

I have a problem in my body - in the production of chemicals with my brain. There is no reason for us to struggle with why we take medicine because sick people take medicine, even if it is just to treat a sinus infection. Of course Jesus has the power to heal us, but He has also given us medicine to help heal us.

I was convicted by 1 Thessalonians 5:18, "give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." God made us to be thankful, even in the midst of depression. When I started thanking God for my depression and glorifying Him for making me this way, life got a lot better.

Incredible post. God bless.
1/11/2012 2:57:55 PM
Rachel United States
Rachel
Thank you so much, Brant. Your honesty is so encouraging.
1/11/2012 2:58:00 PM
melissa United States
melissa
oh, and mike taylor. thank you so much.
1/11/2012 3:25:02 PM
Dawne United States
Dawne
Brant I want to say thank you so much for addressing this. I know lots of people who judge people who are on antidepressants. I was on prozac at one time. I too was in the 1/3 where it wears off. I have a chemical imbalance in my brain and that is why I take my cymbalta now. Well, I was when I had health insurance. I definitely do better when I am on my medication. Jesus is all... BUT God gave us dr.s to help when we are not well... I too went thru the feeling like a failure and I still do. Thank you for sharing so we know we are not alone.
God Bless
1/11/2012 3:32:55 PM
Marilyn N. United States
Marilyn  N.
  Dear Brant,

   Please, do hanging in because My in situation, when I was between 2 1/2 to 4 1/2yrs ago?  

   I did fell on my head sitting on my older brother's handle bars?  I don't know which adult figure(s) were around then?

   But, when I was little that they had called my condition by then "A Learning Disiablitly"? Also, over 4 yrs. ago that in the media was talking about Dylesia?  Well, I got myself tested?

   I was really suprise that I have this condition?

   When, I had excepted the Lord Jesus into my life! I did admitly started to pray to God thru Christ with guidance of the Holy Spirit to take away my condition?

   Well, the God didn't because God thru Christ with guidance of the Holy Spirit that they have helped me to endure and to grow inside spiritually!

   Also, I have always tried to apply God's Word daily into my life?  Do know what Brant that there are some days that it do help some days that it doesn't?  But, There is on scripture that has helped me tremously?

  I do hope that this scripture will help U?

  Here it is: John 16:33-" These thing that I spoken unto you that in me ye might find peace in this world ye may have tribulation, but be a good cheer for I have over come the world."
1/11/2012 3:34:27 PM
Tom N. Carolina United States
Tom N. Carolina
I choose to struggle without medication, doctors, or counseling. The anger, nausea, extreme depression, racing thoughts, and anxiety never leaves --so this may not be wise. But, my ability to internalize and defeat the moment has never abandoned me either. I found a place inside my mind to wage this war alone. I am a father, friend, and confident to many. No one sees me for the 'fight' that I am. I'm the calm, easy listener.  And with each fit that I engage and overcome, my reslience force mulitplies the encouragement that I use during times my body and mind are dragged beneath the boiling red zone, out to dreamy space, or into shadow. And I no longer reside on one small victory at a time --I'll go weeks or months completely alive! Maybe it's my intelligence. Maybe it's physical strength. Maybe I'm not as stricken as others! Most-likely, it's my stubborness to not lay my life down as a victim. That's my way and it works for me.

My prayers are not about being normal. My prayers are not about self-healing. In fact, I don't pray on it all. I do pray, though.

And I do ignore any person who doubts the strenuous power of depression, PTSD, ADHD, Touretts, and many other disorders --and the possibility that medication might help the symptoms. My fight is not with medicine, while others find it life-altering helpful.

If Jesus Christ would reach out to a blind man and give him sight, why then would he not place a Prozac, or other, into my hand for a chance to live?

Brant, Christ is our lesson, and God is our judge. Healing is not abusing, and no single person nor organiztion will instruct me otherwise --less they go unheard.

I pray God bless us all with a giving, humble 2012 in our walk with Christ's love! Happy New Year.
1/11/2012 3:44:34 PM
Gabrielle United States
Gabrielle
Thank you! I needed to read this. I'm 18 and struggling with dreption and suicidal thoughts. I feel like you said that I'm not good eugh. Im always angry with myself but I can't  seem to stop my self from taking it out on my family (I still live at home and can't afford to move out or even go to collge right now) I'm not trying to make any one feel sorry for me I'm just trying to say thank you. I was to scarred to go to therapy but now after reading this I'm going to. I still dont want to. I'm still scarred of what people will say if they find out but after reading this I know I'm not alone, and that helps. Thank you Smile
1/11/2012 3:47:23 PM
Tom N. Carolina United States
Tom N. Carolina
Oh yeah, thanks for sharing a part of your life. Reading through the responses alone and seeing those it touched, not only changed my opion about the title of your post (I thought, "A little bold... let's have a look."), but it prompted me to join! Because I was touched too!
1/11/2012 3:48:48 PM
Gabrielle United States
Gabrielle
Ok I read my comment after I posted and don't know if makes sence to any one... But I just wanted to add that the songs look away, scream, and move by thousand foot krutch have been super helpful to me. And so have alot of songs on air1
1/11/2012 3:55:31 PM
Joseph Broseph (the other) United States
Joseph Broseph (the other)
Brant,

Thank you for sharing something so personal with the world. You said it was the hardest post to write; I can only imagine what you went through to hit the SEND button. I will pray for you Smile
1/11/2012 4:07:58 PM
Holly United States
Holly
Thank you thank you thank you for posting this. I have been struggling with the same exact issue. I've struggled with the idea that taking a pill to be "normal" might be an indication of failing to allow God to work in me. But, you have convinced me that is not the case. Taking a pill everyday does NOT mean you are allowing yourself to be defeated, but you are being victorious in doing what you have to do to be the person God intends you to be. A good friend once told me that if anyone has heart disease, they wouldn't question popping a pill everyday. They would take the meds they needed to survive. Why should this be any different? They are both cases of something not working right in the body. Again, thank you for posting this. Your honesty is inspiring Smile
1/11/2012 4:38:04 PM
Christina United States
Christina
Hey Brant, just wanted to say your words resonate brother. Especially today. Thanks.
1/11/2012 4:58:04 PM
Raquel United States
Raquel
Hi,
I am so glad this was posted.. and I have to say that It never ceases to amaze me that our God is a multifaceted God... he will use what he will use- because he is God!!  He is not in a box... God IS.   and I love that he has mercy on HIS broken people, in ways that unbroken people will never realize.  I have learned this truth, and am sure I will continue to be taught!    O, the depths of his riches,  both of the wisdom and knowledge of God,  how unsearchable are his judgements and his ways past finding out.  (Romans something)
1/11/2012 5:07:02 PM
Debra Masters United States
Debra Masters
It's complicated. Brian chemistry is complicated and life is complicated. My husband takes Welbutrin. He's a much better person to live with because of it. We suffered before it. We suffer less now. We are grateful.

If you needed a physical doctor and medicine, no one would bat an eye. So why think that brain medicine is somehow less spiritual?

Debra
1/11/2012 5:35:43 PM
patti United States
patti
The thing that most people fail to realize is that depression and the resultant behaviors occur due to an imbalance of the proper chemicals in the brain. This imbalance creates a largar array of symptoms, feeling and actions that someone with a proper balance would not be faced with. Taking this medication restores this balance. For some reason people want to stereotype this as a weakness or inadequacy but would certainly not do the same to a diabetic which has an insulin imbalance and requires a Med. Certainly Jesus could take it away if he wanted to, but he allows these things in our lives for a greater purpose that we will fully understand when we stand before him in his glory. You are not broken, you are fulfilling God's purpose; feel no shame in accepting treatment to be the person u need to be for Father, for your
Family and for u!
1/11/2012 5:58:48 PM
Denise United States
Denise
I have bi-polarism. I suffered for 10 years, being hospitlaized, each year. After I got saved I never went back into the hospital again.
I learned from experience that I couldn't go off my meds because each time I would relapse. I have a testimony I tell others, I give God all the glory for the healing in my mind, but I also say that I am still taking my medicine.
So for ten years I was hospitalized each year, I got saved at a church that taught me to read my bible daily (The Truth heals) I still take my meds and I have been hospital free for 13 years.
1/11/2012 6:18:49 PM
Jesse United States
Jesse
This may be one of the best articles I have read in years.

So thankful for the encouragement!
1/11/2012 6:22:59 PM
George United States
George
Brant,
     As believers,we need to share our weaknesses and confussions so we can all encourage each other in our humanity. God made us all unique, but there are many things that we share in, but in our depressed state we feel like we are all alone. My Dad was a bi-polar self abusive alcoholic, yet he never missed a day at work or not pay a bill on time or put food on the table. As he got help, he joined AA and later became a sponsor for many that thought they had excuses and my Dad said it was all bull and that they needed to man-up and get right. He as a good man despite his failures, weakness, and faults. God calls it grace. Thanks for being so transparent.

                   George
                   A successful, blessed, failure
1/11/2012 6:43:34 PM
Keven John United States
Keven John
Brant,
I just want to say thanks for this. So many think we choose to react the way we do which is so far from the truth. I been on some kind of medication since the late 90s and have recently been diagnosed with IED, Impulsive Explosive Disorder, so an increase in the dosage of Paxil with the addition of Welbutrin has been my daily morning ritual for the last year and a half. I do not take these medications because I want to I take them because I no longer like the idea of losing my job or destroying a relationship because of my hissy fits. I probably wouldn't be to bad a problem except the fact I'm 6'3" and 325lbs so most people think of the Hulk when I lose control and not just some disgruntled employee. I ask God all the time for help in managing this imbalance of chemicals flowing through my brain and since he has given the doctors the knowledge to treat me I rely on them to do so. There have been excellent posts and it is comforting to know we are not alone. Again, thanks Brant.
1/11/2012 6:51:31 PM
Cheese Doodle Bandit United States
Cheese Doodle Bandit
Being "normal" is so overrated!

No one can even agree on what that word means.
1/11/2012 7:44:17 PM
Barbara United States
Barbara
Hello,

I have social anxiety disorder. I have suffered from this all my life. When I was in junior high, I had nervous breakdown. I have struggled with whether or not taking medication is the answer. I have taken medication in the past and it really is like night and day. I have constant anxiety, all the time. It never stops. I am now 36 and I have tried lots of none medication ways of coping. I have taken drama, dance, I have spoken at church and lead worship and it never abates. It is always there. People have advised "Just get up in front of people, the more you do it, the better it gets," but it never gets better. I have been in a church for two years and I could only tell you the names of 2-3 people. I know no one else. I am so nervous around people, I cannot function. People have absolutely no patience for this, especially, the church. It is refreshing to see your blog and also everyone else who has posted. My issue is something I don't tell  anyone about anymore as I face more judgement then compassion. It is comforting in a sad way to know that we are not all alone. I have a doctors appointment and am going to go back on meds. I felt so guilty and like a failure because of it. I feel better after reading this blog along with everyone's comments.
1/11/2012 11:07:08 PM
Jenn United States
Jenn
Thank you for being so transparent, and for encouraging so many people who struggle with this often times debilitating mental illness.  I am a grateful believer in Jesus who has been struggling off and on with depression and anxiety for about ten years.  I take my meds daily, without them I am an even bigger mess.  I see a therapist/counselor once a week, attend Celebrate Recovery at church for food addiction/life issues. In combination this is what works for me. I can accept who I am, and am thankful for all the healing that God continues to bless me with.  He has put some amazing people in my life.  God has used my weakness to be able to share my fears, faults and failures with others. I really appreciate the other posts/comments, too. I can relate to a lot of what you and others have posted. I am thankful that I have medicine that I can take to make my brain work better, and for the people that God puts in my path that are helping me. I still struggle with self-doubt and low self-esteem from time to time, and then I am reminded and encouraged by the truth in God's word in Jer. 29:11. My hope and prayers are that more people will find healing and peace to live your lives to the fullest that is pleasing to God.  He created us and knows what each person needs.  God loves you!   Proverbs 3:5-6

1/11/2012 11:14:02 PM
Eric United States
Eric
Brant, I have been down these past couple of days... thinking about how our bodies react to chemicals, and there's a question in my mind "Is that all we are?"... I know Jesus is the Way because I can feel His Spirit of Truth taking over me when I read His Word and sing praises to Him... I know He is using this time to strengthen me and to teach me, praise be to Him because I feel like I now understand the word "hope",....and it's a beautiful thing... so I do feel like my heart is more rugged and battle-worn, the wound is still fresh and I read Collosians 2:18
"Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind," and know God is letting me know that that doubt that was planted by my friend in our discussion, was indeed puffed up by his fleshly mind from the enemy...

when we all feel like something's just not the same, let us again abide in the Vine
1/12/2012 1:35:01 AM
Trish United States
Trish
Like so, so many others, I can relate as well. Sadly, I have felt the disapproval from not only my church but some of my family as well. I was diagnosed with depressive disorder about 8 years ago, and within 6 months, my father was asking when I would be "done" with my meds, like it was a course of antibiotics. he refused to admit it was a physical shortcoming... My brain doesn't produce the right chemicals. About 6 months ago, my condition worsened, and my diagnosis was changed to rapid cycling bipolar. My husband could not deal with the idea, so if left me. I have got the right combo of meds now, but I still struggle with others accepting of, meds and all.
1/12/2012 3:15:31 AM
Wazza Australia
Wazza
Hey Brant.

Thank you for your openness. There seems to be a particular set of emotions that come along with AS. The constant, almost unquenchanble lifelong anger at myself,  that ever-present sens of failure, and nothing ever being good enough.

At the moment I ride it out a day at a time. I was treated once during my twenties and again during my early thirties with anti-depressants, and for me the results weren't the greatest. But I absolutely agree that the right drug for the right person can be the difference between night and day.

Right now I'm highly resistant to taking the ADs again, but the idea that I might be able to rest... to find some joy... that hasn't come, no matter how much I've begged, pleaded and prayed?

It's a tempting proposition.

It does feel like we're unique, so honesty about our mental health and our state of mind, as Christians (Aspies or not) is incredibly important. I think that honesty is when we help carry one another's burdens.

Although, the downside of AS is that it makes it so much harder to connect and stay connected to the very people who understand us the best.

Thanks, again Brant.

W
1/12/2012 3:43:20 AM
Test Killer United Kingdom
Test Killer
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1/12/2012 7:33:15 AM
chels United States
chels
Wow sounds like my husband (who is still struggling with taking medication) he goes back and forth he has ADD and ADHD, he struggles with addiction and gets really down on himself. says if he takes meds he might as well give into his addiction. I just want him to have piece within his own head, i pray Jesus would give him that i know its all in Gods timing. I want him to read this, he always talks about being "normal" and whats "normal" and how different he feels from others. I know he is not alone. Thank you so much for having the courage to share something so personal. Now i see why God does allow suffering at times, so you can help others! i believe you have done so. May the Lord bless you and your ministry!!
1/12/2012 8:51:29 AM
Cindy White United States
Cindy White
My experience with these medications has been with my elderly parents.  Both of them have passed away in the last 3 years.  I believe it is important for a doctor to communicate with another adult to understand their patient's needs. My parents were not very good at communicating their needs to their doctors. I tried to communicate with this to the doctors but they just wanted to be done as quickly as possible.  Please be sure that you or whoever you are concerned about is getting the help they need and is taking all their medication properly.      
1/12/2012 8:58:35 AM
julie United States
julie
I happened to be born with a very "depressed" (by the world's standards - i didn't realize till I was about 13 that it wasn't normal) way of looking at the world, so I can totally identify. I'm not on anti-depressants or anything, but, honestly, if I went to the doctor they'd probably freak out at how depressed I was and put me on meds or send me to a counselor right away.

Anyway, especially if you're born that way, I think it's like a disease - say, comparable to someone who has a blood disease, or with problems that leave them in constant pain. There's nothing wrong with taking medicine for these things. God can heal these things, He is capable of it, but he's under no obligation to, and it doesn't make anyone any less of a person if they take medication to help just because God hasn't chosen to heal them. If that makes any sense.
1/12/2012 11:27:45 AM
MARINA United States
MARINA
Brant,
I admire your courage and honesty on this issue.

I think most people go thru depression, especially women due to our major hormonal fluctuations from birth to death. Our current Healthcare status/culture is predominantly addresing only the physical aspect of our health. The bible says that we are a spirit, soul and a body. Holistic Health is still the way to go in the future.

More Power to you Brant and God Bless,
Marina
1/12/2012 12:00:40 PM
SRK United States
SRK
As someone who has had migraines since I  was 8, I am now on a daily control medication.  I am thankful that God blessed us with people who could create these medications so I can function.
1/12/2012 1:10:34 PM
Kasey United States
Kasey
I have to take antidepressants also, and I have come to think of them as God's answer to my prayers. Who is to say that God HASNT answered our prayers by giving us this medicine?? So, if it works, then take it (if you need it, of course.)
1/12/2012 1:16:58 PM
Liz Keppler United States
Liz Keppler
Brant,

Thank you for sharing with us.  I truly believe that God has given us a gift in this medication.  It is kind of funny because when someone has a heart issue...they take meds to help, When people have diabetes...guess what?  They take medication for it.  And when someone has a chemical missing in there brain....yes we take a medication for it!  It took me many years to understand this illness myself and now have hope that Jesus will take care of me! I take 40mg daily for the rest of my life and I am just fine with that!!!!
1/12/2012 1:18:10 PM
dan jackowitz United States
dan jackowitz
Haven't read all the comments so this may have been talked about already & if so, sorry about that.

Brant, you write: "It may not be me, but I like the new guy better, the one with the normal seratonin."

As a licensed therapist, i've seen lots of folks who have something off balance with their body chemicals. My Clinical Supervior always said that we should call depression 'Seratonin Deficiency' so that we don't have the stigma of labeling a disease as a moral/emotional failure.

i'm glad that you have some reservations about people using meds [not drugs] and think about this. i tell my clients this story: i broke my hand & didn't realize it until it was too late for a cast & my bone healed unevenly. It is a big bump as i didn't get treated for it. i should had put a cast on my hand until the connection healed correctly. Meds are a similar thing. If there is a faulty connection in your brain, meds are like a cast to correct the connection until the connection heals. For some people, their system reboots itself & they don't need their cast/meds anymore. For others, the connection will not heal on it's own & needs it's cast/meds to make a 'clean' or normal connection.

Hope that this addes something to the discussion. Thanks for this Brant! U Rock!
1/12/2012 1:21:48 PM
D United States
D
Brant ~
I am in high school so I see the results of depression too often. In fact, I lost a good friend to depression just a year ago. He was only 17 and didn't think his life was worth anything.  I don't think that anyone should judge someone for getting help.
1/12/2012 1:24:31 PM
Brandy United States
Brandy
I used your experience with my BSF (best sister friend) and her son who is 6. He has ADD and Ashburgers (spelling? ) he has massive panic attacks when Kristy (BSF) leaves him at school or even at church Sunday school. If taking mass helps him them that is a prayer answered. I believe God gave us the gift of medical research for a reason. To help when we need it. Until someone walks in your shoes they have NO room to judge
1/12/2012 1:26:37 PM
Miranda United States
Miranda
You have no idea how many conversations my husband and I have about ME. About how everything I do feels like a failure. Whether it's working and being away from the kids, not being a good mother, not being social enough, not being good enough at my job, or not measuring up to those around me...wondering how everyone else can be so confident and "normal" but not me....It's in every aspect of my life. It's such a relief to hear that it's not just me. Most people that know me may never know that I feel the way I do....because I don't want everyone to think I'm "messed up". I have Jesus in my life...and I always wonder what's wrong with me because I feel like HE should be enough. Thanks for sharing.
1/12/2012 1:29:39 PM
Lucero Villegas United States
Lucero Villegas
From my perspective there are a lot of religious people in church and outside church. But i can tell you one thing...we all must go and face different obstacles in life. Does that mean that God is punishing us? trying to teach us a lesson? No. should we die because we reject medicine? No. It just means that we must face life in different ways. Trust and confine that it is thru Him we life, glorify is name no matter what happens. Misty Edwards a great musician and pastor struggled with cancer, and thousands of people are moved through her services, does she not have enough faith to get cure every time she gets sick? NO. Sickness just remind us that we cant do anything in our own strength but only on our Father. It is not what others say about us but what the WORD says we are...
1/12/2012 1:31:21 PM
dan jackowitz United States
dan jackowitz
Hey Brant! Me again, sorry. You wrote: "As a Christian, I'm uncomfortable with purely mechanistic explanations for our behavior."

However, now that we know what areas of our brain control certain feelings & actions we can alter them. Our brain is what God created to govern our bodies/thoughts/feelings/emotions/etc. So, by being able to influence our physical structure [our brain], we can guide how we feel, physically & emotionally. This can allow us to function differently & hopefully, more like we as Believers in Jesus would want to act [i.e. more like Christ].

So, altering your mechanism through medicine doesn't alter who you are, but does allow you to act & react in different ways.

In other words, meds are NOT 'happy pills' that simply make us feel something we are not. They are agents that normalize our mechanics and this then allows us to be the person that God created us to be, but we still have to participate in life. We can still have bad days or get stressed, even if we are taking our "happy pills".

A student at my junior college in our speech class gave a speech about this & said, "I don't feel drugged or altered, I just feel normal. Like this is who I really am."

Not 'happy pills' or 'drugs', but medication that is used to treat symptoms.
1/12/2012 1:33:22 PM
Devon United States
Devon
Hi Brant,

Thanks for the great post.
I'd like to add a couple comments:

(1) Regarding the comparison to marijuana, it seems a clear difference to me between marijuana which is usually taken for pleasure & often leads people to act less morally - and fluoxetine which is taken for treatment & enables you to act more morally.

(2) I wonder if there's an application of Matthew 5:29-30.  I wonder if it's reasonable to look at the drug you take as chemically cutting off the fear of failure that (as you describe) hindered you in ways to act less morally.  (Not that you were going to hell without the drugs.)

Having said that, I totally agree with you that we're an over-medicated society in a lot of ways & we shouldn't jump to look to drugs to solve all problems.
1/12/2012 1:33:44 PM
Brenda United States
Brenda
My son is 17. Twelve years ago at the age of 5 he was diagnosed with ADHD and it was suggested he take medication.  I was upset mainly because I thought I failed as a parent.  I made the choice to educate myself on ADHD.  After understanding that his brain had a chemical imbalance, I asked for a specific brand of medication for my son.  He started taking the medication over Christmas break in kindergarten.  Just 5 mg to begin with.  When he returned to school, what a difference.  He was able to color with more than one color.  His handwriting improved.  He made friends.  Over the years he has had to switch medications because he always would reach the maximum dosage and would still need more. Last year, we were actually help to drop his dosage.  My son is a much better person on his medication.  He is able to function a day without it but he (and everyone else) can see the difference.  
A few years ago, I had to take Paxil for about 9 months.  And like you I felt like a failure.  But mental illness is real and I am thankful that today we have medications that help.
1/12/2012 1:33:49 PM
Renee United States
Renee
Want to say THANK you for your bravery and honesty! I myself take the same " mind altering " drug. Has changed my life in a very good way ! BTW you are by far my favorite on air personality of all time!!
1/12/2012 1:34:59 PM
Billie Wille United States
Billie Wille
Thank you for sharing your story.  I am not ready to share my story right now, but just know that I appreciate you for saying this out loud!
1/12/2012 1:40:04 PM
DEEDEE United States
DEEDEE
I so admire your courage to talk about your umm so-called- flaw. I had been told by my parents all my life that I am a no good failure. So even to this day I wander what's the point if I've done no good in my life? I have been on cymbalta for years now and have the same thoughts as you have about it.I do not like the thought of "mind" altering drugs but what choice do I have at this point? As a Christian I have tried several times to get off of it because of the guilt,tho I still feel I do not function well, I cannot function  at all without it.I just could not do that to my family as they felt helpless and watched me go from one extreme to the other.Once I drove on the wrong side of the stree to hit a lady I was angry with for some small thing! I did not like that person I had become who would do such a thing! So I quickly got back on the meds!  God bless you. DeeDee
1/12/2012 1:41:19 PM
Lauren Ewing United States
Lauren Ewing
I heard you talking on the radio about how you were on a anti-depressant and how some people were giving you crap.  I wanted to leave you with some thoughts and comments and I really hope you have a chance to read them.  I'm 31 years old and have struggled with borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, anxiety/panic disorders and a whole slew of medical problems my whole life.  I am on 2 anti-depressants and an anti-psychotic,as well as other meds for my medical issues.  God has definitely given me the strength to endure these issues and without him in my life I wouldn't have been able to make it.  But as my awesome dad says God also gave us knowledge, medical science and medicines.  I don't think or believe that having to be on meds is a lack of faith in God.  We all have things in our life where sometimes meds help.  Why would God give them to us unless he intended for them to help and be used correctly!  My meds have literally been a God-send.  My faith is still as strong as ever.  The meds aren't a cure all, and that is where God comes in to help.  Like you said, until someone is in the situation they can't possibly make a judgment.  Don't feel bad that you need a little extra something.  Jesus still loves you and wants you to do everything possible to get where you wanna be.  And if a medication is part of that, then so be it.  I'm really glad you wrote this.  I have struggled with thoughts of is my faith just not enough.  But that is the devil putting bad thoughts in our mind.  I'm glad that the medication is helping and I hope you get where you wanna be.  Thank you so much for addressing an issue that I know many of us struggle with.  God bless you!

Lauren Ewing
LaurennEwing@gmail.com
1/12/2012 1:41:41 PM
Kim United States
Kim
Hi Brant!
Halleluiah! Amen!  Good for you for standing up for those who struggle with depression!  I've been off and on "meds" since 2001.  I remember the first time I had them in my system and remember the overwhelming calm I felt for the first time in my 33 years at that time.  It was truly a blessing!  It has taken me 12 years, lots of counseling (both Christian and secular) to stabilize on the correct medication, but I know that my brain requires it and I'm okay with that.  As for other Christians? Well, that's their problem and between them and the God of their understanding.  The God of my understanding made me uniquely and lovingly including my brain chemistry.

I had a conversation with my brother back in 2004 about psychology and medication.  I told him that medication saved my life, literally, without it I might have killed myself due to the overwhelming dread I had felt for so many years.  He was unwilling to concede that it was okay to even agree to disagree.  This breaks my heart.  

This is why I have a very difficult time with evangelical Christians.  We “devour” our own.  

For anyone reading this and disagrees with taking drugs for brain chemistry, really?  How many of you smoke?  How many of you drink alcohol?  How many of you drink beverages with caffeine?  How many of you eat food with sugar?  How many of you have ever taken cold medication?  How many of you over eat?  How many of you are overweight and get high from food?  All these items alter your brain chemistry.  What did Jesus say about throwing the first stone?  

Am I angry?  Maybe a little.  Being accused for not praying hard enough, or reading the Bible enough, or “giving it to God” enough grates on me.  

So thanks so much Brant for opening up the conversation for others to acknowledge the very real struggle of depression and anxiety disorders!

Kim from Scottsdale, AZ
1/12/2012 1:42:27 PM
Bill Williamson United States
Bill Williamson
I was listening to you discuss your blog on the radio, so I went to go read it.  I am 52 years old, and about 10 years ago suffered from a very major depression that went undiagnosed at first.  When I told my wife I understood why a friend of ours took his life, she said I needed help.  Well, I started counseling, and got to the "dad issues", but that wasn't the problem.  The counselor felt I might be depressed, but I could sense that he didn't know what to do with me.  He was a Christian counselor, but his bag of tricks wasn't helping.  He directed me to a psychiatrist, which at first was a bit weird for me.  But, he immediately was able to ask the right questions.  As much as I saw this as a spiritual battle, and I believe some of it was, it was more a physical and mental issue, and not just "daddy issues".  Depression was explained to me as a disease, and like any other disease that can't be corrected without medicine, I began taking medicine.  It took a while to get the right medicine, but I eventually began to turn a corner.  With the help of God I the medicine helped me become the person God created me to be.

It was explained to me about serotonin, and that it was as if I wasn't operating on all cylinders.  I asked if it was possible that I had been depressed my whole life at a low level.  The answer was yes, and after a year's worth of medication I began functioning like I had never functioned in my whole life.  

I don't believe medicine is for everybody.  And I highly recommend that people reading this blog do not just determine they are depressed and get a doctor to prescribe something.  Not even my general physician was educated enough on the various medicines and they work.  The psychiatrist was the expert.  People need the right kind of counsel.

Thanks for sharing your story.  I share mine whenever I can, and am finding how many people struggle with depression, and can't believe I actually had depression.  To see me it gives them hope, because they too know God can get them through it.
1/12/2012 1:45:46 PM
Rita United States
Rita
Hey,
I just found out about Air1 through a friend who has the privilege of living in California and listening to you. Even though I have to listen to you on-line, as we have no actual Air1 station here in South Carolina that I can pick up, I think you are AWESOME! I have become so addicted to your station, and I look so forward to your show coming on every afternoon! You are by far the best radio personality I have heard in a long time! Who cares if you take medication? It's no different than having to take meds for diabetes, hypertension, migraines, seizures, etc. You have an awesome opportunity through your job to reach out to people, and from what you say, you have a pretty awesome life. Be proud of who you are, whether it's medication induced or not...it seems to work!
1/12/2012 1:50:05 PM
Denise Y. United States
Denise Y.
I developed post-partem anxiety after my baby was born. I was constantly and intensely freaking out thinking that the baby could die at any time (SIDS and all). I had been a relaxed easy-going person for 28 years before this. My anxiety wore on my husband for several monhs. At times I was so anxious I had trouble feeding my baby.

I finally told my midwife who put me on Effexor(Zoloft)which helped a lot, but made me feel ill. I found that taking DHA really helped instead without the side effects. They both their in turn have allowed me to get a handle on the anxiety to the point that I can relax.
Mama is happy, therefore everyone is happy!
(P.S. Mama is a pastor's wife.)

Also, there is a concept in Judiasm that everything is inherently good. It is what we do with, or in relation to a particular thing that makes it bad. (i.e tobacco leaves have great antibacterial and anticeptic properties; burning and inhaling the smoke fron those leaves, not so much). Pretty cool.


It is a powerful testament to God that He gave us the ability to use His creation through scientific discovery for further good in people's lives.

Sometimes we're praying harder and harder for an answer, and God is holding the answer right in front of us (sometimes in pill form).
1/12/2012 1:50:46 PM
Shaunda United States
Shaunda
Thank you for sharing this with everyone. Sooo many people struggle with depression and other illnesses that lend to depression and fear of being a failure. I personally have had to come to terms with illness and the depressive thoughts that "come with". Medication helps so much. I just try to remember that God never lets us go; we just have to let go and stop resisting. Those who are so against medications controlled under the supervision of specialized doctors, well, lets just ask "What do they do for a common headache?" Are they "not praying enough, or are they too sinful, or are they do enough positive thinking"? The list could go on and on, but the truth is that we serve a risen God and he loves us. Sometimes this means giving in and letting him provide for us, even if it means taking a "drug" to control depression.
1/12/2012 1:52:37 PM
DEEDEE United States
DEEDEE
PS I am 58 years old and still have guilt. BTW I hate when people try to tell me how to take care of my umm problem including my husband...lol. I wish they understood.  DD
1/12/2012 1:52:50 PM
Dawn from Ohio United States
Dawn from Ohio
It's about time.  We aren't supposed to be ashamed of our faith but then we hide things that have potential to strengthen our faith and bring us closer as brothers and sisters.  Truth!  I applaud your courage!  God delights in it.  Lets the rest of us know we are not alone!  Thank you and I too didn't think I needed to take anything.  Pride isn't always the best road to take.  I have been back on treatment with this medication for just over 5 weeks and even my kids have noticed.  Something must be right about it.  I am not angry or yelling all the time or constantly ridden with anxiety.  Perhaps in time I won't need it.  Till then I am working on what works.  I do exercise, eat well and pray often.  I am just VERY VERY high strung.  haha!  Hang in there man!  Laugh at everyone who has alllllll the answers.... cuz, they do ya know!  right.  take care!
1/12/2012 1:54:43 PM
Chuck Hyland United States
Chuck Hyland
I'm a nurse and two points I would like to make.... the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts were written by Luke and included in the 66 books of the bible. For those who don't know Luke was known as the beloved physican... wait a minute!! a doctor who performed procedures and adiministerd medications hmmmmm.... Also for those who say prayer is all you need. Last time I checked the apostle Paul was a praying man, wasn't he afflicted with health issues?? A praying man who wasn't healed... hmmmm.... whose to say these two didn't cross paths..... just saying
1/12/2012 1:57:29 PM
Bill Williamson United States
Bill Williamson
I have to write again Smile I can't believe anybody, particularly Christians, would slam someone for taking an anti-depression medicine.  Are they folks who don't take any medicine for other physical ailments?  Do they not believe in medicine for blood pressure and cholesterol?

Brant, you did mention exercise, and no, exercise won't cure you, but along with the medicine, eating right and for me exercise helps keep all cylinders running.  Sleep is also important.  
1/12/2012 1:57:45 PM
CN United States
CN
ARGH!!!
I just typed a VERY long reply and my cat stepped on the keyboard and deleted it.
VERY short version: Thank you for your honesty, openness, wisdom, for allowing God to speak to others through you and tell them that they are OK.
I am SO glad you have found peace and from the comments here it appears others have too thanks to you being willing to talk about your life.
BLESSINGS to you and your family.
1/12/2012 2:04:49 PM
Michael United States
Michael
Brant,
  I was there the first time you broached this subject and I'm so glad you've brought it up again.
  I've been moody and down on myself all my life. It wasn't until a few years ago when I had a nervous break down that I sought help.  When they diagnosed me as Bi-Polar/Manic Depressive with a Panic disorder.  They prescribed some medications including Fluoxitine.
  I was amazed after taking the medication for a few weeks at my change.  My family noticed a difference in my behavior and mannerisms.  I had become a different and more pleasant person to be around.
  I know the chemical imbalance in my brain is now within the range of the normal folks now.
  I'm convinced we would not have the ability to come up with medications if it was not part of God's plan.  That being said, I truely believe those people that have to take these medications can better grasp some of the struggles others are going through and can empathise with them and point them toward an alternative answer for thier feelings.
  God loves us all, and made us all different for a reason.  We can help our fellow man because of these differences.
  Thank you so much for being bold enough to broach the subject.
1/12/2012 2:05:17 PM
Michelle United States
Michelle
Thank you for sharing, Brant.  Being candid with who God made us almost always encourages at least one other person.  Look how many people you have encouraged and inspired!!  

Please be in prayer for someone I know and love very much who I'm sure could benefit from ceretonin producing medication but thinks they can think they way thru the depression, fear, anxiety...and also tries endlessly to convince themselves otherwise.  

I hope to share your story with them and that they will reconsider.  
1/12/2012 2:13:35 PM
Jennifer United States
Jennifer
Thank you so much for sharing! Sometimes I think we are such hypocrites! We are supposed to be able to share and for others not to judge us but everyone does. I took anti-depressants from the time I was 18 until I was 22. I think that if I wouldn't have been on them I am not sure what would have happened to me...I sometimes think I might really need them now but I am too afraid of what my doctor is going to put in my chart or what others will say if they find out that I am on them again. My days are like a roller coaster most of the time. Why does it matter so much what others think of us? If we need help, we should ask and not be ashamed...
1/12/2012 2:15:39 PM
Dan Stuart United States
Dan Stuart
I recommend Dr. Daniel Amen's CD set, "Change Your Brain, Change Your Life."  He views the brain more scientifically rather than purely emotional.  He compares a malfunctioning brain to that of faulty eyes.  When you cannot see, you get glasses (your eyes are treated).  When you have a brain that is not operating at an optimal state, you should seek treatment.  Medication is not always the answer, but is certainly an answer when properly prescribed.  Paul, in Romans 7 mentions he wants to do right but cannot.  You cannot will it away, especially if your brain is not functioning properly.  You did right my brother.  Christ be with you!    
1/12/2012 2:16:41 PM
Chelsea Burkhart United States
Chelsea Burkhart
Brent,
I have been taking an anti-depressant for 8 months now. I had been taking it for 3 months straight before me and my husband got back into church. Since then I have not needed it. I truly believe that some people need it for hope while others find that hope in Christ. Yes they say excising helps, but it really never did much to me.In fact after going to church i was able to stop medicine and started doing my own home based buisness. Its been great!
1/12/2012 2:19:36 PM
David D. United States
David D.
Brant, if you had a vitamin deficiency you'd take vitamins wouldn't you? I take anti-depressants as well. I've felt the sting of judgments from people closest to me. Some people (even my closest friends and family) either won't or can't understand that the mental illness (depression, PTSD, Night Terror, borderline bipolar) I have isn't a choice. Sometimes I would rather have an illness that people could see. My best friend is my brother-in-law and as much as I know he loves me (we have a weekly bible study) he assumes I can just "snap out of it" or "stop dwelling on it". Even my wife, who just left me after 10 years of marriage, admitted she always felt like I chose to be depressed/etc. The person who was closer to me than anyone in my life felt that way towards me. Much more does the world feel that way towards me. I can't help how I wake up. It's a daily battle for me. Will I wake up happy or will I wake up with pain both mentally and physically. I don't know what is more frustrating, the disease or the stigma that comes with it. I've gotten to a point that I hide it. I use to be open with it. But the judgement of friends, my wife, and even the pastoral care people at my church is just too much. When I tell people what my disability is I immediately see the concern fall off of their faces. It's heartbreaking.
1/12/2012 2:23:22 PM
marria United States
marria
About your disorder, I have to take mode stabilizer / anti-Segre  median. I had left a message but I cried so I hung up. I was saying that I know how you feel. When I was 5 years old, I wanted to die. I thought that I can't ever amount to anything. I still feel that way when I'm on medication but off, oh my gosh no one wants to be near me;sad thing is I can't help it and all I do is think about ways to kill myself. The only reason why I haven't done it is because I want to live with the lord again. I am Mormon so I go to the church of Jesus Christ of later day saints. They believe that he'll for give you but you will go to hell if you kill yourself, well I think I'll still live with my father. He knows how I feel and what I think, he knows what you went through. As you said on air that you're thankful that he's judging you. I know that he would of never put anti-depressants on earth if there wasn't a purpose. I'm only 14 almost 15 and I still feel like I can't do anything right and no one gets that because I don't let my personal things come out. So my medication doctor and counselor don't believe me when I tell them more of what's going on. It's like they don't care. I just wanted to say that I DON'T think you're crazy. i actually thank you that you're on air1.
I love you!!!
1/12/2012 2:24:44 PM
Danny Hopper United States
Danny Hopper
Brant,
   My wife and I are raising a son, who we found out a couple years ago, at age 11, that he has Aspergers as well. We tried everything to avoid giving him drugs, but we ended up having to go that route. It is far more damaging to him, to not use medication to help with these issues. My son had been suisidele on several occasions, constantly depressed and down on himself, couldn't sleep at night, couldn't stay focused in school, etc.
   The meds are a much better and safer way for him.
  Thank you for your blog on this.
Danny Hopper
1/12/2012 2:31:57 PM
DLK United States
DLK
Hey there. It is purely by accident that I began listening to your show. You see, I live in South Thurston County, WA, and about a week ago, 88.1 changed from KLOVE to Air1. For a while, I was confused, but now, I like you guys better. I relate better to contemporary music, and the song, "Every Time You Run" by Manafest has been such an inspiration to me.

Heard you on the air telling people to read your blog, so here I am, reading it. It takes a lot of guts to come out and say that you have a problem, especially with the way the world views things nowadays.

I am eighteen and have the world ahead of me, and I believe that God has the best plans for me in the future. However, I, too, struggle with something... And it is not easy to deal with, but I've learned to slowly accept the fact that I am not my own boss, that things are the way they are for a reason, and that this will all change for the better, be used by God, someday. Every day is a battle, but every day is also a new opportunity to see exactly how God will change the day to be a little better than the way it could be without Him.

I appreciate your sincerity and honesty. May God bless you and everyone at Air1 - and know that here is one boy who loves the station! Smile

"Every time you run, every time you hide
Every time it hurts, every time you cry
Every time you run away, every time you hide your face
And it feels so far away, I’m right here, with you"

-DLK-
1/12/2012 2:41:54 PM
Lauren from Martinez, Georgia, USA United States
Lauren from Martinez, Georgia, USA
I praise God for psychopharmacology.  And it has come a long way from the 'thorazine shuffle'.   I've been on antidepressants since 1991 (tried many...paxil works best for me).  

We live in a fallen world, and in this flesh, i am the fallen version of myself.  I am set free for eternity thru the blood of Christ, His righteousness is mine, but for the present, i am still bound to the earth.  

Without my medication, satan has 10 times the opportunity to get inside my head, keeping me focused on myself, feeling shame, and isolating, and turning to idols and addictions to fill the void.  

I give glory to God for seeing me thru years of drug addiction and alcoholism and for setting me free, and, again, praise Him for giving me access to my medication.  

Thank you for sharing, Brant, and for humbling yourself and "boasting" in your weaknesses.  God's Grace is sufficient... man holds no power over us...sin holds no power over us... we are free to proclaim our deliverance and the Deliverer, and we each have our own story about how God has met us in our needs.   Go JESUS!!!!!
1/12/2012 2:54:46 PM
Steve United States
Steve
Reading through these comments I am saddened by what I read. There is no Biblical advice that appears anywhere, only stories of how pills helped me to cope. Well, I used to drink lots and lots of beer to cope and take away my fear and worries. That worked as long as I was riding a buzz, much the same way medication works as long as you keep taking it. Nowhere in the Bible does God reveal the answer to fear, depression, worry, guilt, shame, etc by medicating (or using intoxicants). The Bible is however full of of commands and revelations that can and will lead to peace and rest and hope. Please stop encouraging our youth to turn to medication to make it through life. Instead, encourage them to seek God more. To Love him with all their heart, soul, and strength and to love their neighbor as themselves. The answer to God's peace never comes from medication, but only from meditation.
1/12/2012 2:56:50 PM
Andrew from Rome, NY United States
Andrew from Rome, NY
I heard you talking on the radio about how you take Prozac for depression. I’ve battled with depression myself, albeit not to the degree that you have. I’d like you to hear me out, and not write me off as just another person judging you. I have a strong distaste for Christians taking any kind of drugs, for the bible says to be in bondage to nothing, but also because to me, it shows a lack of faith. I say this, knowing that I myself take Zyrtec, a drug for allergies. So you could say to me, well if you have so much faith, why hasn’t God healed you of your allergies? But I’m bringing this to you, not to condemn you, so that you would feel the need to defend yourself, but I told you about my weakness too, so that you would know I’m right in there with you, with not enough faith. My point to this whole thing is that you would not let the Prozac be the end of it, that you would not be satisfied with that status quo, but that you would pursue God and grow your faith, and use the Prozac as a kind of milestone, or a kind of level of achievement, an indicator of when you have achieved that faith to where you no longer need it, where you know the Love of God inside and out enough so that medicine is just no longer necessary. God is bigger than your depression, and the God that parted the red sea, plagued Egypt, and guided Israel through the wilderness by a pillar of smoke by day and a pillar of fire by night, and healed too many to count in the lifetime of Jesus is more than able and willing to alter your brain chemistry to make you whole. I’d like to encourage you, if you don’t already, to spend at least an hour every day reading the word, and remain in prayer continually as the bible says to do, as I believe these help build and sustain faith. On the days that I actually do it, especially the bible part, I see a marked difference, not just on the allergies, but life in general seems not to suck as much, and I seem not to suck as much at it.
1/12/2012 3:02:32 PM
Kim United States
Kim
Hi Steve,
Nowhere in the Bible does God reveal how to cure the common cold, polio or malaria or some of the worst diseases that have killed off huge portions of the population.  However, man came up with miracle cures for these devastating diseases and as a result, many have been saved.

Proverbs encourages man to turn to wisdom and not be foolish.  It would be foolish for us to not seek treatment for an ailment if it was available to us – even one for our mood as a result of a brain chemistry disorder.

1/12/2012 3:03:19 PM
Lori McGee United States
Lori McGee
Brant, I was listening to your show on the way home from work and was pleasantly surprised to hear you talk about your use of an anti-depressant. I know first hand the deep sadness of depression, including the true feelings of dispair.

I once sat on the edge of my bed with my dad's shotgun, trying to see if I could pull the trigger with my toes. Yes, I was a Christian...still am, but we fool ourselves if we think good Christians never get depressed.

I am thankful today that God was working in my life at that time and lead me to a wonderful Christian therapist who lead me to see that the mind can get "sick" just as any other part of the body. Taking meds to get over infection, colds or any other ailment isn't "taboo" in the Christian world, getting over depression shouldn't be either.

I am now off my anti-depressant, through the awesome power of God, but it took several years of learning how to recognize symptoms of depression, despondency and hopelessness as well as learning how to combat those feelings and thoughts productively.

God also lead me to a church where my pastor is so open and understanding about this subject as he chose to educate himself instead of standing behind the doors of the church, hiding from the truth of mental illness.

In closing, all I can say is "good for you" and "thank you" for braving this subject in such a judgemental environment. Sometimes Christians can be so hateful to one another, yet I thank the Lord for HIS mercy, grace and healing!
1/12/2012 3:03:27 PM
kate United States
kate
thanks so much Brant
1/12/2012 3:15:14 PM
Vanessa B United States
Vanessa B
My name is Vanessa and I am a 30 year old mother and wife.  I have been married 7 years to a great man.  I understand how life is on medication.  I was in the army and at the end of my 4 year term i didnt reenlist.  I was struggling with a diagnosis of Anxiety and Panic Disorder.  I tried to cope with out help (meds).  About 4 years ago I began to take meds and my life has gotten better.  I am not saying life is all perfect but i am currently in college to become an RN.  I have 1 year left to get my BN.  I love GOD with all i have and am.  I dont believe in praying more or excersing more to help your self.  I have done the excersie thing and pray is nver a time by time basis it is a daily hourly continuos relationship and friendship with GOD.  There is a song called Sometimes I Cry.  By Jason Crabb.  It talks the truth of a christian life.  I may be on meds but i know where my hope stands.  Its in my God.  I try to give others hope that not all is lost when you have to be where I am at.  I used to feel scared and like someone would think i was crazy.  Now that I am in school i seem it is as simple as a diabetic not having enough insulin.  God is Good and I have JOY!!!  Brant.  You are REAL  You are BLESSED  You are HUMAN.  GOD bless and i thank God for AIR1 in South Texas now.  Thank you.  You have gave me more strength to say I will be fine and Meds help me.  
1/12/2012 3:15:40 PM
Ashley United States
Ashley
I have a brother with bipolar disorder and paranoid schizophrenia, which led to me getting a degree in psychology.  Of course, classes on neurobiology were required; and few other classes have ever done more to strengthen my faith (chemistry alone compares).  How amazing and intricate a creation is the brain--then don't forget to acknowledge the rest of creation!  Armed with an appreciation for the brain, I find it very funny that Christians who claim to believe that God and science are in beautiful and mysterious harmony and also acknowledge malevolent spiritual beings (Satan and demons) perpetually overlook where these things can intersect.  Read Job!  Wasn't Satan given permission to "strike his flesh and bones" (Job 2:5-6)?  Why would we assume that he is not still given leave to do this, at least to some?  Now recall Job's response:  "Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble? (Job 2:10)”  And wasn't Paul given "a thorn in his flesh, A MESSENGER FROM SATAN, to torment him" (2 Cor 12:8)?  Similar permission may have been granted to effect Paul's body in some way.  And why would God grant Satan such liberty?  With Job, it was to show Satan that Job would be faithful to God through the tests.  With Paul, it was so he would ever rely on God's grace to strengthen him, "for His power is made perfect in weakness."  And what did Jesus say about the man born blind?  "This happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. (Jn. 9:3)"  For a contemporary example, oh listeners of Air 1, look at Ginny Owens!  She has been blind since a toddler and yet plays the piano and sings praise to God in her circumstance!  Personally, I believe she is a great example of God glorifying Himself through her human fragility--albeit through the gift for music given her, rather than through healing.

There are many hard truths to be swallowed if anyone is a Bible-believing Christian, like the fact that a just God has to send people to hell for their sin if they don't accept Jesus as the conduit of forgiveness by being the satisfaction of our deserved punishment.  Another hard truth is that God allows difficult circustances in our lives.  Some are the natural consequences of our sins, allowed in order to lead us to repentance.  Others are allowed expressly so God will be glorified through His works and our faith and obedience despite the hard circumstances.  

All spittle out, thank you for being honest, Brant.  I think you, unlike many other Christians, would be able to understand and show some grace toward my brother, whom I love so much.  It makes me very sad that so many people think he has the psychological problems he does because of anything he has done wrong.  He and you have no control over how your brain chemistry is askew without any alteration on your part.  I actually commend you for trying to put your brain chemistry back in synch with God's design for it.  Don't we commend such efforts to right the distortion of God's creation elsewhere?  Forget the well-meaning but ignorant naysayers.  I'm sure they don't mean to be rude or discouraging, but they "are talking like fools (Job 2:10)."
1/12/2012 3:29:00 PM
Alesa Lonseth United States
Alesa Lonseth
I caught a bit of this discussion in the car today. I had to read the posts and I am just amazed at God's timing. This past year has been the hardest and most eye-opening year of my life. This is my story...

I was 40 years old and a successful business woman. I had climbed high on the corporate ladder sacrificing myself along the way. I have an amazing husband and beautiful home, great friends and a big empty hole where no children reside due to infertility.

I think I always had depression. It runs in the family but if we ever planned to adopt, I didn't what that on my medical charts. So I just keep up the mask of perfection until a few emotional events sent me into a downward spiral.

Aug 2010...An adoption of a teenager ended in failure as she decide to not be adopted. Overwhelmed in my corporate job and a hysterectomy is apparently my breaking point.  

The week before Christmas 2010 I checked myself into the hospital because my depression, anxiety and panic attacks were getting so severe that I was really starting to act on my suicidal ideation. I was scared of myself.

Since that time I have been in therapy 2-3 time a week. On multiple medications, one for depression another for anxiety and yet another to help me sleep. I don't like all the meds and I feel weak in my faith that I need them. However, I have learned that the weakness without them allowed the enemy to get to me. I attempted suicide last May.

It was such a simple act. No thought put to it. A few too many pills fell into my hands so what the heck. I took them all and what ever else was within reach. The amazing thing is that I just laid on the bathroom floor instead of going to bed. My husband found me and the ambulance got to me before the pills digested. I woke the next day back in the hospital and confused even more. Why was I still here and what had I done. I cried for days. My husband was so angry with me (very deserving). Talk about feeling of failure. I couldn't even get that right! But then I realized...God saved me. GOD SAVED ME!

I don't know why I have to have these problems,  but I do know that because of them...I am much more aware of God's love for me and my faith continues to grow stronger now with each day. How he keeps holding on too me is more that my little human brian can comprehend.

I have learned, that sometimes God has to allow us to be completely broken before we can truly submit and rely on him.

Its been a year and I still have my challenges, but I am getting stronger each day with God's help.

Blessing to all those out there with these life's challenges. We are much stronger than we give ourself credit.
1/12/2012 3:32:05 PM
Jerry Abbott United States
Jerry Abbott
I appreciate your candor in sharing this. The Christian culture has looked down on using medicines or counseling for depression for a long time. In fact, at the Bible college I attended, their psychology classes were intended to sway students away from trusting in psychology as a tool of healing. So when my depression onset a few years ago I was too scared to talk to anybody about it, for fear of being labeled as a "weak Christian". Eventually, through persuasion of my wife, I went to see a counselor. When they explained to me about the actual medical symptom and the chemical imbalance I had I was shocked. I said, "Give me the drugs!" What I took was intended to heal the brain so that it would function normal again. I am now off the meds and happy as can be, but I never would have arrived at this place had it not been for the counseling and meds they put me on.

I'm not familiar with your condition, but I hope that these meds will work toward healing you so that someday you won't need them. (I'm sure that would be nice on the wallet, too!) Also, you may or may not have had counseling. If not, I highly recommend it. It was the counseling that helped me see WHY I was depressed and struggling with failure so much. Once I was able to see the cause, the healing was a lot easier.

One last thing-- continue to be honest. After being in the ministry for a while, and even as a Worship Pastor, being transparent may not always mean people will like you, but it will mean people will always know your heart, and this is how we reach people: by allowing them to see into our heart.

God Bless you!
1/12/2012 3:39:05 PM
GodGirl15 United States
GodGirl15
Ok Brant, I know how you feel about being depressed... It is a suckish feeling.
When I was 9 years old I got told by my BEST FRIEND that I was fat...telling my parents and they saying I wasn't, but believing my friend was stupid because after that I started getting the thoughts of wanting to kill myself Frown
I never told my parents so it got worse over six years...I would almost everyday ask God to just take me home so I could just not be in this world anymore. It was such a horrible feeling, feeling like you don't do anything right, and that the world would be better if you weren't around any mroe, also sometimes I thought not even God loved me anymore... Frown After finally going to a church where me and my family fit into has helped me soo much! I realized how much God really loves me and how much I would be missed if I did ever kill myself! My parents never knew that I wanted to kill myself, and I had just told my mom back in July last year, she had told me she would rather have no money and no house than not have me.
I am SO glad I don't feel that way anymore! I realize now that I would have missed out on an awesome church, new friends, and a really great radio station! I got baptized by my youth pastor and campus pastor in Oct and ever since I have felt closer to God!!! Laughing
I'm glad that you are feeling much better now Brant!! Laughing It is better to be happy than sad and know how much God really does love you and doesn't care how much everyone screws up in life! Smile
P.S. I feel good about sharing my story because only a few people from my church and my family only know this story! Smile
1/12/2012 3:46:35 PM
Geralyn United States
Geralyn
I haven't read all of this blog but I did hear you on the radio this afternoon talking about taking fluoxetine and what people have commented to you about it.  I've been on 10mg fluoxetine for over half my life and wish I'd been on it the first half!  I have a strong faith in my Savior Jesus and don't feel taking any medication is in any way related to your relationship with God.  Depression can be just as serious as any physical ailment.  Would you not get treatment for pneumonia or diabetes? What matters is what you know in your heart about your relationship with the Lord, not what others want to think.  Love listening to you! Stand in your faith!
1/12/2012 4:04:50 PM
Amy United States
Amy
Brant:
As usual, you rock.  The negative comments you have received are yet another reason why people hate Christians.  

I have been on anti-depressants for twelve years and to be honest, I should have been on them my entire life.  I am a messed up, mixed up person without them and only slightly messy when I am with them.  I have rarely told people about my meds - only have when they have shared their antidepressant story w/me first.  I just don't want to deal with the reaction.

Since it is a medical issue/chemical imbalance, I wonder if the people who make such rude comments would do the same to somebody who took medication for high cholesterol, high blood pressure or perhaps a diabetic.  I don't think you would tell someone w/a high PSA level that they weren't praying enough.  

More importantly, why are Christians so judgmental of each other?  Don't we get enough of that from the secular world?  Just listen in love. Isn't that what Jesus would have done?

Love you, love your show and love your honesty.
1/12/2012 4:09:52 PM
Chuck Hyland United States
Chuck Hyland
I've been reading the past posts.... it is true that some depression can be treatable in the sense the death of a loved one, guilt, and of the like that. What people don't realize is that depression and other mental health issues is due to an imbalance of natural body hormones or lack there of. The body needs a certain level of hormones, chemicals, minerals, and vitamins to sustain itself. If people want to say it's a lack of faith , that's their misunderstanding. It is like a supplement for a brain chemical. If you need it, you need it. God could be using it to reach and/or encourage others going through the same thing. It's like too much or to little calcium can actually kill you by causing disturbances in your heart, yet we need it to maintain a balance. same thing with your meds...
1/12/2012 4:26:34 PM
Jamie United States
Jamie
Brant,

I have only been listening to the staion a couple of months, it is primarily what i have on in the car. For some reason this afternoon I was driving and the sound of your voice when you began to talk about this struck me and I turned it up!!!!   God Bless you for sharing your story on air and internet, to many people suffer from things and because of religion or the ideas of people thinking differently of them they do not seek help.  
My husband and I have been through so much almost 9 years of everything we could go through.  He was diagnosed as having ADD ADHD as a child and was put on Ridalin. All his memories of being on that are not so good, he remembers feeling like a "zombie". He was taken of it and never had anything as an adult, he was in the military and got kicked out because he couldnt "keep his mouth shut" and couldnt focus. Just in the last 6 months he has been given Bupropion as well as Fluoxetine. Since being on these meds he has been a completely different person. I am so thankful for them.


Bottom line... you need to do what helps you and your family and if that means taking medication then by all means take it.

One question I did have while listening to your story on air was the people JUDGING you are they truely Christians? Like you said they may not know your story, your circumstances. You do, your family does and God does!!!!  That is what matters!!!    God Bless you and your family and I hope things continue to improve.
1/12/2012 4:30:15 PM
Melissa United States
Melissa
This was an eye opener for me. I have been on different meds for years now, and one week ago I stopped taking my meds feeling guilty by friends and family around me who say I am not relying on God if I have to be on meds like these. But in the past year, I have been diagnosed with 14 new things...they do not seem to understand the pain I am in physically and mentally without my meds. My relationship with God, I feel like, is a lot stronger when I am in the right mind and can actually have a relationship with him. So here I sit, at home, sick from not having my meds, crying that I can not control...and my husband tells me about your show yesterday and your blog. All I can say is I am glad there are some out there who do seem to understand... Makes me feel not so alone...I was born with these things...I can not control them...But I can thank God for the opportunity to be able to take medications to help my conditions. My dad has always said...if u were a diabetic then u surely would be taking your meds, well this is the same...Thank u for speaking up and for all the comments out there. Prayers for all! I am starting my meds back tonight and starting my life again. Thank u God for allowing me to live my life u have given me to the fullest, its what I plan to do, for u Smile
1/12/2012 5:30:22 PM
Molly S. United States
Molly S.
Brant,
I always love listening to you on Air 1 when I get out of class (I am currently in my junior year in college). Today I was listening while you were talking about this blog entry, so I decided to check it out....especially since I have started having panic attacks. Last night alone I had at least 3. I have been on medication for depression before, and I hated the way it made me feel, so I stopped...especially because I felt like I was being fake. I felt like I was not being genuine in my faith or being the real me.

After last night, I talked to some friends, and I still felt like I was doing something wrong. I felt like my faith was not as strong as I felt like it was. I felt like I was sinning for being so worried, stressed, and over whelmed. I mean, the Bible does say not to worry or be anxious. So how could I be doing something right when I had all this weight on my shoulders and was so stressed? However, after reading this, I realized that it really is not my fault...so thank you.

I start a new medication soon, but this time (thanks to reading this) I am going to have a more positive out look on whatever the doctor says...
1/12/2012 5:54:15 PM
HS United States
HS
Thank you.

I've been struggling for a long time, wading through the dark water. I just started counseling (I've been to two meetings so far). I've struggled (and still do) with feeling like I wasn't good enough or even broken enough to get help and I've wanted to so desperately. I know that's not accurate and would encourage everyone to talk to someone.

No matter what I've accomplished (and compliments, awards, promotions, etc) I feel like a failure all the time and in every way. I'm never good enough. Guilt and regret suffocate me even if it is over things I don't need to have guilt and regret about. But, I'm feeling very hopeful that I can work through and release a lot of this. I know medication may be a big part of that and that's still a discussion with my counselor since all of this is new.

Talking about things I haven't opened up about before has led to a lot of honest self-reflection. I remember being in 1st grade and stressing, crying over homework assignments because I was scared I wasn't doing them right or had missed something or was going to mess up. Wow, that isn't normal for a child. That has been a re-occurring theme.

I also work in the media and most people say and think I'm this extremely happy and smiley person. That's at least one of the personas I project.

I'm completely digressing. I wanted to say, "Thank You" for sharing. I knew others felt like failures or not good enough, but I didn't know or realize or grasp that others had also felt this way their whole lives. I feel a lot of relief in knowing that I don't have to achieve A,B,C,D to not feel this way anymore...it's not the symptom, it's the problem.

Thanks Brant and thanks to everyone else who shared so openly.
1/12/2012 7:15:28 PM
Mr. Clean United States
Mr. Clean
1st of all, Thank you Brant for your courage and openness in sharing these struggles.  As the father of a soon-to-be 10 yr old boy with Asperger's, I understand the struggles of meds vs no-meds.  We spent 4yrs with different diagnoses and meds for each diagnoses trying to figure out how to make our child 'normal' and better in school work.

Now, for the God side of this...@ church camp this last May, we had a healing night for anyone needing freedom from any afflictions.  As I stood there with these great men of God laying healing hands on my oil-anointed son, 'it' hit me. God showed me that I was the one who needed freed and healed! My son's 'condition' was not a handicap for him, and that he was just perfect the way God made him! Sadly, it took my wife and I another 4 months to realize that our son's meds a hindrance to his learning abilities.

I'm not saying that anyone is better or worse for needing meds to deal with their own conditions.  God provides many resources to aide us through our daily lives; I just wanted to share my personal experience dealing with Asperger's and say that my family can empathize with the struggles and challenges that AS can bring.  It is truly an aggravating and silent disease.
1/12/2012 7:17:50 PM
Mr. Clean United States
Mr. Clean
O! I forgot to add... Since being med-free for AS, my son has shown incredible improvements in his school work and personality growth!  Praise God for His grace and mercy!
1/12/2012 7:19:11 PM
Michelle United States
Michelle
Thank you for your post. I have been diagnosed with Major depression for 6 years. For several years I rejected taking medication. The negative stigma around mental health made it that much harder for me to seek proper health. I use to pray for god to heal my mind and my heart. Then one day I ended up in a mental institution. Initially I was angry with God. I didn't understand why i was there and felt that God had left me. While I was there I met a woman who prayed with me daily. Who reminded me that when I drawer closer to God, I will feel his presence that much more. I finally accepted that the medication could help me because I recognized that there is a chemical balance that exists in my brain. I know the medication alone is not the answer to my problems. My medication is helping with the chemical inbalance, but God did answer my prayers and put in an environment where i could get proper medical help. More importantly though, he changed my heart while I was there and made realize that I needed spiritual help as well.

Being in the hospital changed my life because God changed my heart to help failing spiritual health, but he also surrounded me with doctors who could help me which my medical condition. I have learned to ignore the negative comments about being on medication because I honestly believe that God has  brought these doctors in my life to help heal/ reduce my chemical inbalance.

The Lord has been helping me to help myself. When I do not feel strong enough to help myself or control my emotions I am comforted in the fact that God is always with me. I am never alone. If i cast my cares upon him, I have nothing left to worry about. I don't have to allow the sadness or worries to consume me, because my faith in God will see me through.

"The Lord will give strength to his people. The Lord will bless his people with peace"- Psalm 29:11

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer & supplication with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God; And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ." -Philippians 4:6,7

"Casting all your cares upon him, for he care for you" - 1Peter 5:7
1/12/2012 7:30:07 PM
Laria United States
Laria
Molly S.
How did you read my Diary, it's the only one who knows how I feel. And you said just how I feel.
  
  I would not call myself a songwriter (I'm not getting off topic, don;t worry) but I have written a few. Many people write songs about their joy, the successes in their live, me? All I can write about is my brokeness. The brokeness no one sees, and this is where we get to Jesus being, or not being enough. I know that Jesus knows my heart. He sees all the pain and hurt and heartache that happens in it, but somehow for me, that is not enough. No one in my family knows. Honestly, no one knows, and in a way I don't want them to. But Jesus knows and I know He loves me anyway, but I want someone else to know. I want someone to care enough about me to see through my mask without my having to explain that I even have a mask. Does Jesus know? Yes. Did I have to explain it to Him? No. Will He ever stop listening to and understanding me? No, again. Should it be enough? Yes. Do I feel like it is? No. Do I know why? Ha, NO! Why? Well, I don;t know about you, but I think we just made a complete circle. But I am not going to leave it there, I do have a bit of an answer, My answer is simple, kinda. "I am not enough, I can never be enough, God is enough, God is more than enough." And the most well known verse in the whole Bible, "For God so loved the World" That is why He is enough. He loves the world. This Broken, depressed, crushed, hurting, and not enough world. His love makes us enough, but is easy to forget. Much too easy.

  So, in a nutshell.
Am I enough? Ha, no. Is He enough? Oh yeah.
Do I always remember that? No. But does He understand even my forgetfulness? Yup, He does.
Does His love ever end? The most emphatic 'NO' ever said.

If you read this whole thing, I thank youSmile God Bless,
   Laria
1/12/2012 7:41:49 PM
Mallory United States
Mallory
Thank you for sharing this.  I went to the doctor today and was prescribed Zoloft.  I'm a divorced 24 year old and now I'm on Zoloft.... I felt like such a loser leaving the pharmacy today.  I know it was God who made sure I got to listen to you today and hear your story it lifted my spirits knowing he was looking out for me and there is someone out there that I could relate to in some way.  Thank you.
1/12/2012 8:00:17 PM
Richard United States
Richard
I seldom if ever listen to Air 1 but rather K-Love, however I was on the road today and could only pick up Air 1.  I can't tell you how your discussions helped me, and particularly the nurse that made the comparison of taking an antidepressant to taking stomach medication (which I am also no).  I have had three severe bouts of depression/anxiety each of which I went to a doctor for medication and a therapist.  I can't say either therapist was a great deal of help but the medications did though I was able to come off of them with a great deal of difficulty (dry heaves every morning) but gradually was able to get off the medications completely.   This time I started having the problems again but coupled with extreme tiredness in addition to the dry heaves.   Went to a doctor and he started me on an antidepressant but it wasn't working and the doctor retired. Went to his PA replacement who put me on an antianiexty medicine that started working immediately but he also did an endocrine workup and discovered by testerone level was on the low side - symptoms can be the same.  So now I am on shots every three weeks and the antianxiety medicine - dry heaves mostly are gone unless I get really stressed and since I am only taking a half dose, I increase to what was prescribed and feel better.   Your conversations and some of the call ins took some of the guilt I have been feeling for quite some time that I couldn't handle this problem with God's help but the comparison to taking stomach medicine really hit a chord so I will continue the medicines and feel more comfortable knowing that God just as easily could have fixed my problem or put a medical practioner out there that recognized the problem and was able to help me.  I am just as convinced my hearing your program while 150 miles from home wasn't a coincident.  Thank you for your help and the help of those calling in and posting response.  
1/12/2012 8:10:35 PM
Cheese Doodle Bandit United States
Cheese Doodle Bandit
For the anti-medication group:

"Is Jesus Enough?"

Yes, He is indeed.  But what if those pills are His way of getting some people with their chemical imbalances through each day?  "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me."  It is fully possible to have help from these drugs and still fully rely on God.
1/12/2012 8:19:09 PM
jami United States
jami
Thank you again for your wonderful story but think about this (if you are reading after the 131 posts lol) is the earth the way God made it ?? no we as humans have altered it so dont you think we have altered ourselves with what we have done to the food and water ?? I dont think God made us to be like this (I have bipolar) I think after all the generations of taking of his gift of this world to take care of and misusing it we have changed how we are. I do think God has given us great scientist to make the drugs for us to help with what people in general have done. this is his answer IN my opinion. We are told that there are consequences to our actions well are we not seeing them ?? just my 2 cents... I love listening to you too please dont stop you are such a comfort and joy.
1/12/2012 9:22:28 PM
Janessa United States
Janessa
First off, thanks for sharing. It takes a lot of courage to share something like this. Especially because our culture looks down on people who take anti-depressants.

I'm actually a psychology student, studying to become a licensed counselor, and I'm taking a positive psychology class this semester. It actually challenges this model of treatment. Positive psychology focuses on people's strengths and not weakness, which most therapists focus on the weakness. A survey done by the APA shows that people treated with positive psychology instead of anti-depressants are more likely to be happy. Think about this if 20 good things happen in a day and one bad thing we, as humans, tend to focus on the bad and not the good. So with positive psychology you focus on the good. My professor said that he treated a woman with depression just by having her carry around a journal and write down all the good things that happen to her and then had her read it before she went to sleep. If you savor the good and not the bad it tends to make you more positive!

Now for the God side. I believe that our God is a loving God who created us. In Psalms it says he knit us together in our mothers womb, including chemical imbalances in our brains. I think that if we lean on him he becomes our joy, how can I not find everlasting joy when I hear that God loves me no matter what. Now how we come about that joy might be different. Maybe we need meds to fully realize that? Maybe we can realize that joy by writing down the good and reviewing it before we sleep. Everyone is different, everyone is in a different spot with their walk with God. I don't think meds are a bad thing but it should be a last option.

There is book called Psychology Through the Eyes of Faith, which I think could answer this question better if you want to explore it!

1/12/2012 10:09:02 PM
talena keller United States
talena keller
My son has Aspergers and talking with his psychiatrist today she belives as i have thought that i am an undiagnosed case. We heard you on the radio when we were on our way home. I turned it up & told him to listen to what you were saying. He also has adhd, takes medication for it, antidepressants & something to help him sleep. So basically he takes uppers & downers. I really struggle with giving him so many medications & he does not like to take them. I do not want to set him up to abuse drugs when he is older. Listening to you saying you have aspergers & take an antidepressant to help you was something we needed to hear. Maybe it will help him realize he needs them to function right. God used you today for us & i am sure a lot of other people.
1/13/2012 5:56:44 AM
Micah Clare United States
Micah Clare
Hey Brant! Love you brother, and your bold proclaimation of the gospel has been a constant source of hair raising on the back of neck and that warm sense of comfort from hearing the Good News.

However, I was pretty shocked to hear about your anti-depressant use. Not angry or judgemental, but a little confused at first.

But what comforted me the most is that you made it public, and told the truth, which is the single most valuable thing true followers of Christ should be doing.

Whether or not taking anti-depressants is a sin I don't think is a call anyone can make, for God is the one who judges the heart and its motives.

For me, even after a lifetime of struggling with sexual inadequacy and deviances, a 15 month tour in Afghanistan as a combat photographer, struggling with acute PTSD (also a "diagnosable" brain chemicle imbalance) and the subsequent passing away of my 2 month old son, and finally, divorce, the plethora of anti-depressants (depakote, ataban) that, intially helped lift me out of my suicidal, violent, hyper-depressed condition, became a way to deaden my consience, the same as alcohol or recreational drugs, giving me the "strength" to make major misteps in my life.

It became a sin, and when the Lord found me about, they went in the garbage.

I'm not better or holier than anyone who still uses drugs in this way, for the Lord is the one who brought me the victorious state I now live in (my wife and I remarried and have had another child to replace the one we lost). I had nothing to do with it, but, getting rid of the drugs forced me to listen to the sizzling of my newly alive conscience.

I guess my only warning to those medicating is to beware that these mind-altering drugs do not give us an avenue to sin and lead us to become "hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron."(1 Tim 4:2)

Brant, I've NEVER heard you act or talk this way (your truthfulness in this matter demonstrates) so I have no doubt Dad's taking care of you and leading you into his kingdom.

Just thought I'd share maybe a different side of things.

Love in Christ!
1/13/2012 7:22:19 AM
Angela United States
Angela
Brant,
Thank you for posting this.  I have struggled for years with depression and anxiety.  In the beginning, I got a lot of the comments from Christians that you mentioned and it was very discouraging.  I tried medications but they didn't set very well with me.  So I have spent the past 15 years trying to deal with this on my own and it isn't working out really well.  So recently I began seeing a Christian counselor and a Christian psychiatrist who listened to me.  He took into consideration my past, my present, and my sensitivity to drugs and started me on a low dose of an anti-anxiety med.  It has helped, but I still feel kind of dull.  I want to feel what you described the "normal" people feeling like.  Your blog has encouraged me to continue trying meds that may hopefully give me the normal that I am looking for.  I just wish people who do not deal with this could understand that a person's brain can be sick just like their heart, liver, pancreas or any other organ.  Why so much judgmentalism when it comes to issues of the brain?  Because of this and reactions from people years ago, I pretty much keep my depression to myself.  Less than a handful of people know about it and for right now I plan to keep it that way although it is very isolating.  Thank you for your honesty and transparency.  My kids and I love listening to you!  
1/13/2012 7:49:30 AM
Ellen United States
Ellen
See what a blessing your life and sharing your life is for others. maybe that is the reason God formed you in the womb as you are. To struggle and help others with the struggle. We have to be careful with over use of drugs, but I really can't see someone saying "well if you pray about it your blood pressure and cholesterol levels will get better, so you shouldn't take this life-saving medicine." But with chemical brain imbalance people seem to think you can cognitively heal yourself. Keep on, keeping on. Adore your point of view in life and your openness to share. (I teach kids with Aspergers so great and refreshing for you to share that with the world too). My kids love your Accordion karaoke btw... if you had a ukulele version they would be all over that!

God's blessings on your and your continued ministry on Air1.
1/13/2012 9:21:01 AM
Stefani Cabrera United States
Stefani Cabrera
Good Morning!  
I was listening to your segment yesterday afternoon & couldn't believe what I was hearing!
I have fought off mild depression but never enough to take prescribed medicines.
I do though understand the struggle of not understanding why you feel the way you feel.
I had to have a surgery which removed a tumor from my adrenal glands. I had gained soo much weight before surgery & always thinking I was 'fat'. I walked, ate right, everything. I continued to gain weight & feel bad but finally after 7-8 years I was diagnosed with Cushings disease.
Many people still are unaware of it but my body was a cortisol making machine...making me over weight.
The tumor stopped one gland & over worked the other.
When you hear of people on steroids getting depressed...that's what happened to me. My cortisol levels (natural steroids) were so high before surgery, that when the tumor was removed my levels were dropping so fast I started having fits of paranoia, depression, crying & anxiety fits.
It wasn't until a emergency room doctor (not my regular dr's) finally found the medicine that helped me.
Now that my levels are somewhat normal, I don't need the anti-anxiety medicine anymore...but from time to time, I do get anxious & have them nearby.

I believe that God wants the very best for His children & would not want to see us suffer more then necessary. He has made us..ALL of us...which includes doctors, scientists, pharmacists, psychiatrists, etc....so if God made them, we need to utilize them!!

Continue your walk of faith & I pray you can continue to let God use you as His willing vessel : )
1/13/2012 12:44:12 PM
Raven United States
Raven
Hey, I understand. I'm only 18, but I've felt like that for most of my life. I have 5 autistic cousins and am on the as spectrum as well. I think you're very brave talking about it on the radio for anyone to hear and you've inspired me to talk to others myself.
1/13/2012 1:57:43 PM
Michelle United States
Michelle
I posted yesterday but have continued going back to this page to read the comments of others. Thank for everyone who is willing to leave their comments and feedback. I sent the link to a friend so she too could gain comfort from both this radio station and this specific blog. You guys aren't alone. God will never leave you alone and is always with each and everyone of you. God bless everyone!
1/13/2012 2:00:36 PM
Virginia United States
Virginia
Thank you for sharing on the radio about taking anti-depression medication. I imagine that there is even more of a stigma for a man to admit that than if a woman did.

I am recently remarried for the 2nd time. I was not in a good marriage the first time. It was abusive. Over time I became more and more isolated and depressed. After the birth of my 4th child, I finally decided I had enough, wanted a better life for the kids and even though I was very scared of leaving and supporting all of us, I gave him over to his depravity, got a divorce and started forward with my kids and myself.

I have been on anti-depressants myself off and on since I was a teenager. Growing up I was overweight and not accepted by my peers which caused me to not feel good about myself. I did not come to know Christ as my Savior until my early 20's.

The fallout of 15 years of an abusive marriage with kids is that some of the kids learned unhealthy behaviors from both parents. I was off anti-depressants for a while then when my son became a teenager, just dealing with him has caused me to need them again. Some days it feels like it did before - hopeless.

The hardest thing is that my new husband does not believe in depression. He takes the stand that many other people do, that a person is feeling sorry for yourself and having a pity party - He says get up, dust yourself off and go on. He even compares his past situations and how he handled them to how I should be handling mine, like I am the same person he is.

This perceived judgement only serves to make me feel even worse -and some how unsafe deep deep down. It just adds to everything else that already feels so hopeless at times.

If we could all stand in anothers shoes and feel what they feel, I would hope that we would chose to show mercy and grace, instead of judge and compare.

I am thankful for medicine. I hate that I need to take it, but I accept that I am better person on it.

I am more thankful for a GOD who loves me even when I will never be perfect, I will never earn what HE has done for me by my actions, and HE loves me no matter what.


Thanks for letting me share.  

Virginia  from Tulsa, OK
1/13/2012 6:51:08 PM
Krista United States
Krista
Brant,

Thank you for having the courage to share your story.  I know how difficult it can be. I had my first child almost 14 years ago followed by a severe post-partum depression.  Until that time, I had never had any problems with depression, and I did not know what was wrong with me.  I had always wanted to have a family and be a stay-at-home mom, and that is exactly what I was doing. However, I was miserable. I wasn't sleeping or eating and really thought I had gone crazy. I just wanted to die. I did not tell anyone what was going on with me because of the shame and guilt I felt.  I just kept praying, and concluded that either I didn't have enough faith in God or maybe I wasn't even saved at all.

After about 4 months I finally told my husband and mother. After a Christian counselor diagnosed me, he suggested I see my OBGYN.  It seemed like a good idea, but didn't work out for me.  I have since learned that many OBGYN's don't know that much about post-partum depression and the best way to treat it.  Praise God my mom learned of a Dr. who specialized in women's issues who put me on medication.  It did take about 2 months for the medication to work, but when it did it was as if I became my old self again.  

I am a firm believer in medication. I believe as well that God has given us medicine to take for depression just as we would for any other illness. I am still taking it to this day, and probably will be taking it for the rest of my life.

Thank you for all that you do!

Krista

  
1/14/2012 2:10:50 PM
Larry Lund United States
Larry Lund
Too busy last week, Brad, to post this article on this thread, but here ya' finally go.

http://www.equip.org/PDF/​JAV1316.pdf

1/15/2012 5:43:17 AM
Connie United States
Connie
Brant,
As a  mental health clinician I applaud your courage in sharing your experience with anti-depressants.  As someone who also takes anti-depresssants I have to say I have shared the same thoughts and feelings over the years.  Why am I a better person when I take my medication?  Shouldn't my relationship with Christ take that away? Just as Paul said in the Bible, God chose not to take his "thorn in the flesh" away.  We all have struggles.  When Adam and Eve fell from grace in the garden, brain chemistry also was part of the change that some of us have inherited.    Thank God he gave science the ability to treat us so we can deal with life in a more healthy way through chemistry!  
God bless you for your courage, strength and honesty!
1/15/2012 9:54:34 AM
Brant Hansen United States
Brant Hansen
So VERY thankful for these stories and thoughts.  And yes, I've read them all.  Very, very thankful.  

I've actually fought back tears reading them, especially the ones thanking OTHER commenters for their honesty.

I can see why Paul "boasted" in his weakness, about three dozen times, in the New Testament.  It allows people to realize how good God really is.  
1/15/2012 10:12:11 AM
R United States
R
Brent, I heard a clip on air1 about this blog, and I wanted to read it... I SO understand where you are coming from... Thanks for your post.
1/17/2012 5:52:43 AM
Ashley United States
Ashley
Hi Brant,

This was really encouraging. I am 22 years old and have felt different than most people. It is painful for me to socially interact with people and I often view that as my biggest failure. I want God to use me but I dont know how I could ever be of use sometimes if I cant even communicate with people. Its refreshing to know i am not alone.

Thank you,

Ashley
1/18/2012 11:52:30 AM
Marilyn United States
Marilyn
Thank you for sharing this on the air and in your blog. It is difficult for people to understand the gift that medical RX's can be. For the Schitzophrenic, Traumatized individual at home or at war, Bi-Polar or any individual needing extra help dealing with pain while healing. RX's can not only be a temporary tool to help them heal or adjust but it sometimes is just the thing God will provide to help them live better lives long term or short term.
Christians need to weigh their words and count the cost using wisdom when communicating. Words can and do hurt. Knowing the backstory and the person more thouroughly is a better investment in love and grace than just giving a "knee jerk" reaction. I applaud your courage to speak out and hope your testimony reaches many.
You are not alone.
1/18/2012 7:28:09 PM
trin Canada
trin
I believe I am only alive today because of the anti-depressants that God gifted medical people to develop.

Would those in the church that accuse you of lacking faith, or of having unconfessed sin, say the same thing to a diabetic for taking insulin?

Thanks...and blessings.
Your medicated, drug dependent sister.
1/22/2012 5:40:57 AM
Susanne United States
Susanne
Brant, I'm not a Christian, but last week I was struggling with this very issue and my friend pointed me to this post. It's helped a lot; it's been really comforting. So thanks.

http://stationaryrunner.blogspot.com/
1/23/2012 10:20:54 PM
Susan United States
Susan
Unfortunately I don't get to listen to you as often as I would like, or have a chance to read your blogs very often.  From the 1st day I heard you on the radio, I got you.  I am a new Christian & can get very confused by things I hear from other Chrisians, pastors, members of church.  I constantly am battling the demons of depression. (I am on medication but it doesn't always work well). I've missed church many times because I haven't been strong enough to fight the temptations of alcohol to "ease the pain" as Satan tells me.
My pastor has made it very clear on several occasions that taking medication is a cop out.  Thank you for letting me know that there are others out there that LOVE JESUS & take their little pill.   In feeling better already
1/24/2012 4:46:38 PM
Dawn Castro United States
Dawn Castro
I have taken anti-depressants for almost 13 years now. There is no way that I would give up those pills! My family will tell you that if I don't have those pills, everyone better leave because Momma ain't happy! I understand that God made me this way and this is just the way I am. I would not change a thing about taking that pill every day for the rest of my life. So keep taking that pill because that is just the way God made you and you totally rock to him and the rest of druggies!!!
1/28/2012 3:18:39 PM
Dawn Scholtisek United States
Dawn Scholtisek
I have had a depression disorder since before I was 18 yrs old and if I do not take my serotonin I am in the hospital...my brain needs itI have a pain disorder now too and pain patients need their serotonin the brain is amazing and not so for me but the body needs serotonin and other medications. Ask a neurologist or a pain specialist. Take Care Dawn
1/29/2012 7:22:34 AM
Dr Mike United States
Dr Mike
Brant:

Good to know you're doing so well.

For me, keeping the distinction between brain and mind makes taking meds easier: some of us are wired badly - due to Sin (the principle) - and don't get a chance to think before we react; others get caught in seemingly endless loops of painful thoughts; some, like me, do both.  

SSRIs slow the process down, giving us a chance to choose how we respond, or (in your case and mine) interrupt the obsessive thoughts and allow us to move on.

But no pill makes us moral or immoral.  It merely gives us a chance to act according to our nature, regardless of whether it's our new nature in Christ or our ever-present sin nature.  Spiritually, we are new creations; physically, we are not new - "earthen vessels," Paul says, or "the body of this death."  

The drugs - all drugs - do directly affect your brain.  But they do not directly affect your spirit: rather, they allow you to consciously choose whether you want to walk in the Spirit or in the flesh.  And I am truly thankful for that.

Or so it seems to me.  Of course, I could be wrong . . . but maybe not.
2/6/2012 3:59:50 PM
Kim Broyer United States
Kim Broyer
This could not have come at a better time for me to read. I have also been suffering my whole life with a very negative outlook on life, mostly with my feelings of being completely unworthy of anything and everything. My family and friends keep telling me how easy it is just to give God all of my problems and let Him heal me and how no one should need medicine when they have God. After hearing this, I get even more frustrated and my faith diminishes even more, then more guilt is added on and more lack of self worth and more confusion and anger and frustration and then addictions. I just started taking a medication on Friday, and like you, with the very first pill, which was only 25mg and I was told I would not feel anything until 50 or 75mg, I felt a huge change. I am beginning to have hope again that after 37 years of a life that I have been very unhappily living, there is still a chance for me to live a happy life for the first time ever. Thank you for sharing so honestly and openly. You have touched a lot of hearts through your words and your heart, including me.

"For I will gather you up from all the nations and bring you home again. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my ways."  Ezekiel
2/8/2012 11:02:42 AM
Wendy Nicole United States
Wendy Nicole
Thank you for sharing, Brant. It lets us know public figures are only human. And that there is SO much to be thankful for.
LOVE listening to you in the afternoons! Makes my day!
2/10/2012 3:44:51 AM
Tracie United States
Tracie
Thank you for this blog! I have struggled with this issue as well and being the wife of an associate pastor has added to that struggle. I too take a low dose anti-depresant.My husband was not supportive of "mind altering drugs", but when my depression became increasingly worse, he actually called my doctor and made the appointment. I have come to terms that I am human and have a medical issue. I accept that I am not crazy. My husband is very supportive and has seen the difference in me as well.I am able to think more clearly and be objective rather than blame myself for EVERYTHING or feel that everyone is against me..as you said, a failure. Thank you again and God bless.
2/12/2012 7:00:22 PM
Delight Schubert United States
Delight Schubert
lt is so good to know there are others like me. A lot of what you said sounded like me and some of the other comments helped a lot to see that it is okay. If we had an insulin problem or an eyesight problem we would get help for those things. Why not get help for the chemical imbalance in our brain? When I take my medicine I stop focusing on me and start focusing more on God and what He can do through me. Thank you for sharing and encouraging!
2/16/2012 2:28:25 PM
Mel United States
Mel
Brant: I understand completely.  As a perfectionist I saw my life unraveling and I couldn't stop it.  I could no longer drive without wanting to ram my truck into the person in front of me that was driving too slow etc.
I finally ended up completely rock bottom into depression. Stayed in bed, comfort eating and crying. I HATED my job (this was a huge part of my depression) I hated my co-workers and did not want to go back to work.  I was so broken.  I gave in and started taking an antianxiety meds. Like you it only took one dose for me to actually be calm and walk away from chaos when I had planned so carefully.  
I made peace with God and most importantly made peace with myself.  I do not like taking medications and as a health care worker felt antidepressants were the "sissy" way out. For whatever reason someone needs these meds I understand.  If you can get through life and realize all the beauty and joy with these mind altering medications, I'm all for it.
God made each and everyone of us unique. We all carry a weight for a reason. That reason is to keep us grounded in Jesus. I can do nothing without Jesus and wouldn't want to.  I can't change the past, I can only move forward with God as my guide.
2/19/2012 8:36:43 AM
val United States
val
Dear Brant,
Thank you for your honesty and eloquence in this blog entry from last month. Hope you have time to read one more comment.
I have struggled with depression and anxiety since my early teens; a special combination that I call "anxession" or "depriety." I have also experienced the normalizing effect of antidepressant medicine.
My older son is now 12. Over the years, we have finally realized that he has Asperger Syndrome, depression, and ADHD. I saw signs of depression as young as age 4, but did not want to project my issues onto him. At age 8, he calmly asked me one night if the world would be a better place without him. He also asked his therapist if there was "something to help my brain."
Psychiatric medications have helped my son and me immensely. They aren't magic or happy pills, but rather treat our mental illnesses and allow us to realize our God-given potential to serve others. Just like people who don't need medicine, we work hard at maintaining healthy spirits, minds,and bodies through prayer, relationships, study,exercise, diet,etc.
For an interesting perspective on the ethical issues surrounding psychiatric medication, I recommend the book "Listening To Prozac." It gives no easy answers,but rather interesting insight into the history of how and why these meds were developed.
Thanks again, Val
2/23/2012 4:33:32 PM
Katie United States
Katie
I love you, man.
2/26/2012 10:27:19 AM
greg United States
greg
Smile
2/28/2012 3:00:45 PM
Beka United States
Beka
Brant,

Wow. When reading through this I saw so many similarities to myself both as a kid and now. I vividly remember sitting under a tree in my front yard when I was around 5 or 6 years old and crying to my best friend about how I was a horrible person and a failure as a friend. I still have those moments, though lately they've been progressing to anger and hostility towards others and towards myself (mostly myself). I've become bitter and cynical and angry. I have a friend who routinely tells me to just "get over it" and "grow up". But through what you've said here, I realize that sometimes it just isn't that simple. Sometimes you just CAN'T get over it. I'm not a horrible person for feeling this way. I'm not going to hell because I can't shake these feelings. God knows all about us even before we were born and he'd already made a way. It sounds like you've found yours. I'll be praying and listening every day. Thank you.
3/1/2012 7:23:27 AM
Jennifer United States
Jennifer
Thank you so much for sharing this, that takes guts! As one who also takes anti-depressant (Fluoxetine, now at 30mg) and had to add anti-anxiety (Buspar, 45mg) I am thankful to hear how others deal with this. We're already anxious and have the overwhelming fear of failure and not measuring up, so to have others who don't get it make judgements compounds that guilty feeling. Just this morning, I got in the car, it's a sunny beautiful March 1st, all's well, but I realized I'm going to have a bawl fest on the way to work. It is an emotional roller coaster that you cannot control. I am grateful God led me to the help I didn't know was out there! These meds are a gift to me, and I become grateful when I am feeling good and can relate when someone else tells of the same struggle. I can say, "I have been there! Come let me hug you, you're not alone in this!"  There is so much more I can say, but in essence, I am grateful for folks who share their struggles with emotional pain. Thank you!!
3/1/2012 7:26:39 AM
Jennifer United States
Jennifer
@ Beka:  Bless you, dearheart, get the help that's out there! You can do it! If I was with you, I'd give you a big hug.
3/5/2012 6:33:04 AM
Andre Canada
Andre
Thanks Brant for sharing such a personal issue. It takes guts. I completely understand what you are saying. I suffer from depression and anxiety, especially in winters. Diagnosed BPII myself and have been a Christian 9 years now! THANK GOD for JESUS. I have meds too but without JESUS i would be dead by now. I am also anti-meds, but the reality is they do help me. I don't want them to help if that makes any sense, but they do and so I must continue to use them so that I CAN stay in the WORD, so that I can get out of the house and be with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and so that I can serve others and not wallow in self pity.

Yes the meds help get the focus off of self....so does the WORD! Meds give me peace...so does the WORD! The WORD gives me hope....meds do not!!! I know many others like me through groups I have been involved with. Many struggle much more mightily than myself. They don't have JESUS but I do. I want them to have Jesus. Maybe one day...when they can see clearly, they will "get it" and find the HOPE that I have!

I like what you said about how God judges us. Yep. HE KNOWS the lot we have been dealt in life and all we gotta do is put on JESUS and GOD accepts us without condition!!! Sometimes life really sucks...we live in a fallen world and one of the effects of this fallen world is some of us have different brain chemisty.....but I don't care about that. I will get through with the WORD, the CHURCH (who love me the way I am), with GOD and with JESUS because yes he is enough for me! Praise Jesus!

I like listening to your show. I hope you keep doing what you are doing.
I'll see you in heaven one day Brant!
Take care brother.
Andre
3/8/2012 4:14:40 PM
Lori United States
Lori
I have never written on a blog before.  I don’t face book or twitter.  This is my first time to ever join in on a blog.  It has taken me several weeks to bring myself to do this.  I was listening to Air 1 in January when Brant shared his thoughts about taking antidepressants so I went to his blog and found the blog entry January 10, 2012: Is Jesus Enough.  

I have counted only about 2 people in the comment section which believe as I as I do.  I happen to believe Jesus is Enough no meds needed.

Most of the comments are thanking Brant for his boldness to tell everyone he is on meds.  Then each entry celebrates the use of antidepressants and equals these medications to taking a pain reliever to stop a physical pain or a sinus medication to clear up a runny nose.

Let me tell my story.  Depression is a topic with which I’m very familiar!  I’m a 51 one year old female.  I have a “perfect” life.   My parents raised me in a Christian home, I have two married children and there were no real problems as they grew up. I have the “perfect” husband!  I’m a teacher who loves her job.  I’m a huddle coach for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (athlete not required) where I have shared Jesus with students in the public school for 22 years.  I have no financial difficulties.  My life has been mostly free from our fallen world’s troubles.

Experiences which some may say I would have a reason for my depression:  I was living in sin in my 20’s when I tragically took my child’s life in my choice to have an abortion,  the next year my father  suffered a stroke which left him with aphasia and paralyzed, my husband in 2010 had a DVT and pulmonary embolism where three doctors said he should have died, good friends and family have gone on to be with the Lord over the years, I took care of my father the last 6 months of his life and dealt with changing diapers etc., I currently am dealing with my mom and the diapers and possibly after she leaves rehab moving in with my husband and me, I have no grandchildren as of yet because my daughter and daughter-in-law are both experiencing some female problems, I could continue but those were the biggest things of which I could think that may cause depression or struggles.  

When my father had his stroke I asked the Lord for another outcome but His answer was no.  I was sad but not depressed.  It was not until I was in my early 30’s when I became depressed-- really depressed!

I never went to a psychologist or a therapist.  I believed the Lord and I could figure this out.  I never liked the idea of psychologist or a therapist “Christian” or not.

Recently I have come to believe the church has failed in taking care of people and the struggles they face.  

It is astounding to me the church can preach a sermon on the “Power of the Cross” but then place and ad in their bulletin which reads:  depressed, angry, etc. seek the “professional” at blaa blaa.  

They forget Paul’s words, “I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another.” Romans 15:14.  

There are many good books now in print which warn of the dangers of psychology even so called Christian psychology.  

I highly recommend the book:  

Psychology Debunked Revealing the Overcoming Life by Ryan & Lisa Bazler.  

This book also has excellent information about debunking the chemical imbalance theory.  PLEASE do the research.  

Did You Know...

1.  Mental disorders are NOT medical/physical conditions like cancer or diabetes? Every mental disorder is merely a list of observable behaviors given a label and voted into existence by the APA Board.

2.  No one can objectively prove you have a mental disorder? Even the APA President admits that no lab test exists to prove the existence of depression, ADHD, bipolar, and every other mental disorder--no brain scan, no blood test, nothing.

3.  There is no reason to take a pill for a mental disorder, like you would for true medical/physical conditions? The chemical-imbalance-in-the-brain theory has never been proven to cause mental disorders, despite popular belief and drug company marketing.

4.  Psychiatric drugs CAUSE chemical imbalances in the brain by disrupting normal brain chemicals? Long-term use can cause permanent brain and organ damage.

5.  The FDA now admits antidepressants and ADHD drugs can CAUSE violent and suicidal behavior in children and adults? It is well-documented that most school shooters and baby killers over the last two decades were on psychiatric drugs.

6.  Mental health screening, labeling and drugging of children is in almost every state in America? School screening programs like TeenScreen label normal children with mental disorders, leading to dangerous psychiatric drugging.

7.  Over time, more people improve without psychotherapy than with it?

8.  Every major psychological theory is anti-Christian at its core?

http://www.psychologydebunked.com/thesituation.htm

Let me get back to my story.  As I said, I have had a “perfect” life.  Yet, in my early 30’s I never was diagnosed with clinical depression but if I would allow a “professional” to diagnose me they would label me clinically depressed with bipolar tendencies.  I have a tendency to have a volatile temper.  Scream, swear, yell (mostly only when my husband is around) but have lost some good friendships due to my sin outbursts.  

Psalm 88

O LORD, God of my salvation;
    I cry out day and night before you.
2 Let my prayer come before you;
     incline your ear to my cry!
3 For my soul is full of troubles,
    and my life draws near to Sheol.
4 I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
    I am a man who has no strength,
5 like one set loose among the dead,
    like the slain that lie in the grave,
like those whom you remember no more,
    for they are cut off from your hand.
6 You have put me in the depths of the pit,
    in the regions dark and deep.
7 Your wrath lies heavy upon me,
    and you overwhelm me with all your waves. Selah
8 You have caused my companions to shun me;
    you have made me a horror[b] to them.
I am shut in so that I cannot escape;
9      my eye grows dim through sorrow.
Every day I call upon you, O LORD;
    I spread out my hands to you.
10 Do you work wonders for the dead?
     Do the departed rise up to praise you? Selah
11 Is your steadfast love declared in the grave,
    or your faithfulness in Abaddon?
12 Are your wonders known in the darkness,
    or your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?
13 But I, O LORD, cry to you;
     in the morning my prayer comes before you.
14 O LORD, why do you cast my soul away?
    Why do you hide your face from me?
15 Afflicted and close to death from my youth up,
    I suffer your terrors; I am helpless.[c]
16 Your wrath has swept over me;
    your dreadful assaults destroy me.
17 They surround me like a flood all day long;
    they close in on me together.
18 You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me;
    my companions have become darkness

I have to ask all who celebrate taking pills to cope with life’s struggles:  

Did David take pills, smoke hemp, drink intoxicating wine to “take the edge off”?  

Nowhere in the Bible do we find someone taking some mind altering substances to help with coping!

If I walked into my doctor’s office today and said, “I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping,” the doctor would throw a sample box of antidepressants at me and say take these.  

I know because when I was at my worst I finally walked into a doctor’s office and basically said the above statement.  He threw some free samples of Paxil at me and gave me a prescription. I came home and took one pill but just couldn’t take any more!  I threw the pills away.  

For 13 years I would cry out to the Lord.  At times I seemed to get better but mostly each year seemed to be the same.  But finally in June 2005 I began a wonderful journey learning  “to be content whatever the circumstances” (Philippians 4:11).

Was it easy?  NO!  Is it getting easier?  ABSOLUTELY!!

I have been so depressed that I have held a gun in my hand, I have thought of leaving the car running in the garage, I have thought about jumping from a moving car, I have thought of taking an over dose, but mostly I have been as the Psalmist:  “I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping,” (Psalm 6:6).  

Many times I become like Moses, “ . . .  the burden is too heavy for me.  If you will treat me like this, kill me at once . . . ”  (Numbers 11:14-15).  

I must point out Moses was so depressed he called on God, “Just kill me now!”  If Moses were living in today’s society he would quickly be put on antidepressants!

For those of you who believe and also for you Brant do the research about the history of the antidepressants.  

Two books I suggest to read:  

Peter R. Breggin, M.D.:  Your Drug May Be Your Problem How And Why To Stop Taking Psychiatric Medications.  

America Fooled: The Truth About Antidepressants, Antipsychotics And How We've Been Deceived by Timothy Scott.

Do the research! More people are saying, “I wish I would have never started taking antidepressants”.  

There are horror stories about these medications.  I am a public school teacher and I pray daily my school will not be the next school to be shot up by some student who is currently taking medication.  Almost every school shooting is a result from a student on antidepressants!  This should alarm everyone!!  

Ephesians 4:18,"And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit"-- We are called to be filled with the Spirit.  This verse, I believe, includes any mind altering substances.

In Luke 11:13 Jesus says, "If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”  We must daily ask for the Holy Spirit.  We are saved by grace and the Holy Spirit dwells in us when we accept His free gift.  We begin our walk with Him and it is through the Holy Spirit’s Power we live the “Overcoming Life!”   This is called the sanctification process.

Daily I take a physically bath.  I must also daily take my “spiritual bath.”  I must ask God to show me any sin in my life that would prevent a close walk with Him.   My “daily spiritual bar of soap” is I John 1:9.  “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
We must fully understand the battle of living in a fallen world.

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should."  (Ephesians 6:10-20)  

Think about what Paul went through.  Is there any hint in his writings that he said take a pill?  No!

Notice our “struggle is not against flesh and blood.”  The “devil’s schemes”, tricks, or wiles, is to convince people that there is a chemical imbalance!  But as I said do the research!  This is an unproven theory!!!  

The church foolishly believed the unproven theory of evolution and began to reinterpret Genesis in the middle of the 1800’s.  Now we have millions of students leaving the church at an alarming rate.  Over 70% of our youth are leaving the church today saying they are leaving because they think the Bible has proven incorrect.  Check out:  answersingenesis.org.

In the 20th & 21st century the church once again falls for the “devil’s schemes”.  As I said I’m a public school teacher who began her career in the early 80’s.  I have only 22 years currently due to staying at home with my children.  However, my husband has been a teacher/principal for 31 years.

I have watched all the various labels placed on our children.  I have watched the horror of watching student after student be placed on these harmful medications.  I have had students tell me they don’t want to take these pills!  Going to my classroom one morning by the water fountain I happen to see a co-worker shoving the ADHD pill down his son’s throat while the child was fighting him all the way!!  

Sadly, the Church of Scientology screams don’t take pills and recognizes the harm of how America is medicating herself.  AND Scientology does not know the Creator, Savior, & Sustainer!!  

The church in America is screaming Jesus Is Not Enough!  You have to take a pill!  And when I heard Brant on Air 1 join in on this chorus I had to pull my funding of from Air 1.  Brant just gave blessings to thousands of people to take a pill because Jesus is not enough.

I realize I’m going to be screamed at by many because I’m a “heartless” church member who believes antidepressants are not ordained by God.  But for those of you who are burning with anger toward me please do the research.  

Start with the book Psychology Debunked by Ryan & Lisa Bazler.  

I’m not heartless I have been where you are at.  I still have my struggles.  Some days although they are becoming fewer I find victory only in that I don’t take a pill.  Some days I still get angry with God but He is teaching me to be as the Psalmist.  

In Psalm 89:1 the Psalm right after David sat on his “pity pot” we read:  “I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever; with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations.”

In Isaiah 55:11 we read:  So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.  

As I said I have never written on a blog before. I pray it is the Holy Spirit who led me to write this very lengthy comment.  I pray, Brant, you read posts from time to time and you reconsider your beliefs about meds.  

I’m sure you didn’t take it lightly to share with the Air 1 world you are depressed and take medications.  I fully understand this was a difficult decision you made.  

I silently suffered with the sin of depression for 15 years before I finally began to share with others.  

Notice I said, “sin of depression”.  

Galatians 5:22-26:  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”

If I’m walking in the Spirit my life demonstrates the fruit of the Spirit.  But if I am not walking in the Spirit my life is bipolar and depressed.

Galatians 5:19-21:  “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery,
HATRED,
CONTENTIONS,
JEALOUSIES,
OUTBURSTS OF WRATH,
SELFISH AMBITIONS,
DISSENSIONS,
heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”  

Thankfully, I’m not tempted by those "works of flesh" I did not make in all caps.

But I have been in my past even to the point of murder when I killed my unborn child. Praise God for Psalm 51!! Go read it.  

This is the prayer David wrote after he sinned with Bathsheba and had her husband killed after he found out she was pregnant!

I recommend reading Tim LaHaye’s book:  Spirit Controlled Temperament.  He has several books on why we act the way we do.  All though he seems to subscribe to the “take a pill in rare cases idea” for which I totally disagree, I found his books amazing.  

How To Win Over Depression was the first book I read.

He taught me how to celebrate my melancholy temperament and not be envious of my husband’s phlegmatic temperament.  

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.” Psalm 139:13

God created me with bipolar depressed tendencies so that He could show me how to rely on Him to remove the sin and replace it with His Holy Spirit's Power!  My struggles become victories through Jesus Christ my Lord!!

This is only done by the Holy Spirit and not with a pill, hemp, alcohol or any other mind altering drug.  Victory is in Him and Him alone.  

So if you ask if Jesus is Enough—I must say a resounding, “Yes, JESUS IS ENOUGH!”

“Blessed be the Lord!  For He has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.  The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him.” Psalms 28 6-7.


When tempted to sit on my pity pot of sin I claim the promises of His Word-- "So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he'll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it's the only way you'll get on your feet." James 4:7 The Message Bible.

If you made it through this very long blog I say thank you for reading and possibly if I ever blog again I’ll learn how to write the short version.
Smile




3/8/2012 5:56:37 PM
Stacey United States
Stacey
@Lori--I am not even sure what to write because your comment came off as very self righteous and preachy and right now I am beyond irritated. I am afraid my anger will get the best of me so I will keep it short. it is precisely your attitude within the church that kept me from reporting my rape and asking for help with my depression. I prayed everyday for help. Every day, until I no longer had the strength to pray, to get up off the couch, to do anything but cry, to take care of my children the way a mother should. God did not take that away from me. Despite you think, I was not mired in my own filth of sin. I was sick. Your sources may discount medicine and therapy, but there hundreds more out there that will say just the opposite and they are Christians too. I thank God that he put me on the path to my family doctor (who prescribed an antidepressant) and my therapist. I believe that those two people and the medicine are my prayers answered. Nothing you can say will change my mind.
3/8/2012 7:56:01 PM
Bre United States
Bre
I would like to comment on Lori's comments and then the response from Stacey.  Stacey - how did Lori's comments come off as "self-righteous?"  And if it came off as preachy, well of course it did!  She is trying to get people to start looking at the research!  Brant's comments, like many in the church, give their opinion, why can't Lori give hers?  And she did quite a great job of explaining her position, both personally, medically, and MOST importantly BIBLICALLY!  Shouldn't that be where we find our answers as Christians?  Most of the previous comments, didn't even use scripture to base their beliefs on this subject.  I love how the title of this article is "Is Jesus Enough?"  And most people are commenting, Yes, but I still need those mood-altering pills.  Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, can't alter our moods???  My answer is, YES, Jesus is enough, with out mind-altering pills.  How sad the church is saying to the lost, "Jesus is enough, but for some of you, you will STILL need pills."  To me that is almost the same as teaching my daughter that abstinence is what God intends, but for you, just in case, here is how you use a condom...  Not really teaching her that I trust her and that she can, with Jesus' help, stay abstinent in this world until marriage.  Again, we tell certain people, well if Jesus isn't enough for you, go ahead and take that pill.  Thank you, Lori for sharing your experiences and scripture!!!
3/8/2012 10:35:09 PM
TIFFANY MCDANIEL United States
TIFFANY MCDANIEL
just wanted to say thank you for sharing your story Brant.  I have been on prozac for 12 years, without it I would have destroyed my marriage, my children & my health & everything else around me.  I am a recovering alcoholic/addict who is almost 20 years sober.  I am involved in my church & in AA, both organizations tend to have reservations about the use of mind altering meds.

So I want to share my story.  I am a christian woman, wife to my hubby, mother to 3 children, grandma to 1 & 1 on the way and more grateful for the life I have been given than words could ever relay.  That being said, I started making myself throw up at the ripe old age of 8.  I had incredible mood swings for no apparent reason from puberty until I started on prozac at the the age of 30.  My mood swings would go from happy to enraged to suicidal to apologetic for my behavior over and over again.  I had my first child @ 18, started using methamphetamine @ 20, got married - divorced - sober all in 18 months.  After staying sober for a short period I started using alcohol to numb all of the pain. Then I met my husband.  He was 4 years sober and why he married my I will never know, but he did.  I got sober for the last time shortly after we married, by God's Grace.  During the years before I was diagnosed ADHD with Depression things were very volatile.  I now had 3 children, one with ADHD, and my bulimic episodes were 3 or more times a day and my fits of rage were out of control.  The last straw came one morning while on our way to church my husband & I began to ague, about nothing I'm sure, to me it was everything.  I made him turn the car around and take me home telling him to take the children and go to church.  Once he left I loaded my shotgun and sat on my bed.  I was done.  Done with the roller coaster of life & my inability to control my emotions.  Done being a failure as a follower of Christ, a daughter, a friend, a wife, a mother, an anything...  as I decided how I could ensure that I did not survive shooting myself, I heard the garage door slam.  Terrified that my kids would see me with a loaded gun and ask what I was doing I quickly threw it up into the top of the closet.  I never told anyone about that day.  But I did seek help the very next day.  The psychiatrist gave me a diagnosis and suggested prozac.   When I said that I did not believe that medication was the answer he said this to me and it changed my life, "Your brain does not make enough serotonin, it does not work right.  You need to take this medication.  If your pancreas did not make enough insulin you would need to take insulin to survive.  Would you have a problem taking that medication?" Of course not.  

I was 30 years old and done with this life.  I know that God sent me to that shrink!  12 years later my life is not perfect but it is awesome.  I am happy, healthy and praising God!  Today I am capable of empathy, compassion, joy & sorrow. I have a great relationship with the man of my dreams.  I have been able to repair some of the damage done to my oldest child from being dragged through my pathetic life when he was young.  I have a better relationship with my 2 teenage children than I could have imagined possible.  I have wonderful relationship with my parents and my friendships are the flowers in my garden.  I actually have something to give to this world now.

God knows me better than I know me.  Jesus is my salvation and I try to remember that day on my bed 12 years ago on a regular basis so that I don't forget how far He has brought me.  

All that I ask is that before you make a sweeping decision about mind altering drugs, you ask God to allow you to walk a mile in the shoes of Brant or myself or any person who has walked this road.  It will change your view.
3/9/2012 7:26:27 AM
Jennifer United States
Jennifer
I've posted once before,I take my meds while giving thanks to my God and Savior for providing for each need, each day. In response to recent comments, I respect each view here. Every stance taken for Christ takes guts to share and face the ridicule of opposing opinions. But let us be careful. Romans 14 seems fitting here. Keep in mind, I am by no means calling any side here "weak", but taking the entire chapter's intent into consideration. The main idea that I am pointing to summarized as "Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth." And that which we take, by faith with thanksgiving, let no man judge us in, whether it be having the courage to seek help, or having the courage to tough it out. Love an peach to all who are Christ's.  Jen  

"Romans 14:1-24
King James Version (KJV)

Romans 14
1Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.

2For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.

3Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.

4Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

5One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

6He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

7For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.

8For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.

9For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.

10But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

11For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

12So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

13Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.

14I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

15But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.

16Let not then your good be evil spoken of:

17For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

18For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.

19Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

20For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.

21It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

22Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.

23And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin."
3/9/2012 7:27:39 AM
Jennifer United States
Jennifer
sorry, "love and peace", not peach!  LOL!
3/9/2012 9:35:38 AM
Andre Canada
Andre
Thx Jen, great point!
Oh and I like peaches too! LLOLL!!!
3/11/2012 6:09:23 AM
Michelle United States
Michelle
Here’s an illustration that I heard in a sermon long ago, which fits well here:

During a storm a man was tossed overboard from the ship he was sailing on. Being a devout Christian, he prayed in faith that the Lord would save him from the stormy seas and had peace in the knowledge that God himself would save him. Almost immediately a lifeboat lifeboat filled with his fellow passengers sailed by and offered to pull him in. “No thank you.” The man replied, “God himself is going to save me from these stormy seas.” Soon after that a helicopter dropped a ladder but the man waved the helicopter off shouting, “God will save me from these stormy seas.” When the man was almost out of strength a ship from the US Coast Guard stopped and offered to rescue him. “No thanks,” the man called using the last of his strength to swim away from the ship, “God is going to save me very soon from these stormy seas.” Eventually, the man’s strength wore out and he could tread water no longer. He slipped beneath the waves and drowned. When he got to heaven, the he asked God was why he didn’t save him. God replied, “I tried to save you three times! I sent a lifeboat, a helicopter, and the US Coast Guard. What kind of help were you expecting?”

I learned the hard way, that I could tread water in the mucky mire of depression for a long time. My mind was so clouded that I couldn’t concentrate on what I was reading, I had difficult driving, and I couldn’t focus on basic tasks. I sent many prayers heavenward, and when I humbled myself to hear the answer God had (not the answer I wanted) God sent help via the brilliant minds of the field of medical research.

I am no less faithful for taking and antidepressant. In fact, I feel like I have had my eyes opened to the amazing ways that God uses us to help each other. I didn’t want to take a pill; I wanted to resolve my depression with God alone. I learned that God never intended us to stoically stand and fight our battles single-handedly rather he intends for us to humble ourselves and accept help from others. Scientists and doctors, whom I have never met, researched and developed a pill that could clear my mind and heart of the fog it was trapped in. They made a pill that made me able to feel joy at my baby’s giggles, cleared my mind enough to read God’s word, and freed me from just surviving the day so I could serve others. I never doubted for a second that it was God who saved me.

In Psalm 44 David said, “I do not trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory;/ but you give us victory over our enemies, you put our adversaries to shame.” And Paul reminds us, “Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against…the powers of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12) While David and I both depend on the full armor of God in our battles, God requires us to be participants in our battles and to achieve victory through a weapon specific to our battle. For David, it was a sword, for me, a little peach pill. But always--Victory belongs to the Lord!
3/11/2012 6:23:48 AM
Michelle United States
Michelle
Oh and for the record, I don't think antidepressants are the answer to everyone's struggles with depression. But they were the answer to mine and a means to address some other issues God has been working on in my life including my stubbornness in being independent and self-reliant (American virtues...not biblical ones)
3/11/2012 4:57:26 PM
Andre Canada
Andre
Thx for your MSG Michelle. Yea I have heard that before and I do believe it applies very well. Would we deprive a diabetic of insulin? A cancer patient of chemo? Someone who suffers migraines would we deny a pill that can help? If you have high cholesterol and have dieted but it's hereditary would we deny a pill proven to help? If you have high blood pressure and there is a pill that can help would we say to our brother NO!?  To me that does not seem the LOVING thing to do. Our relationship with God is always important and should not be diminished in any way by relying on medicine. Who has revelead these things to doctors anyway?? God is in control.  Praise Him!
3/13/2012 12:37:05 PM
Eileen United States
Eileen
I believe God works through doctors and medications - they are gifts from him and allow others the joy of helping people.  I found out my brain, an organ like any other in my body, doesn't produce enough Serotonin, not unlike a diabetic whose pancreas doesn't produce adequate insulin.  I have been on Prozac for over 20 years and went from 30 years of  daily overhanging sadness and hopelessness to feeling normal and optomistic within 2 weeks.  What a blessing!
3/16/2012 3:25:53 PM
Lynda Salina United States
Lynda Salina
@Lori... you are entitled to your opinion, of course! But please be careful with your judgement. Every person is different. God created each of us but we are all different. Even our fingerprints are different from anyone elses! Some people with depression can get by without meds. I am glad you are one of those people. Seriously, I am! But for those of us that need medication, I have to say I resent being told that I am not relying on Jesus enough. I am 56 years old, was depressed most of my life until 23 years ago when I finally let go of the idea that if I trusted God enough I would not need medication. God did not remove my depression, but He did provide a way to deal with it.

The comparison of Paul and his "thorn" is really not a very good one. You don't really know what his affliction was, the Bible doesn't tell us. Only that God did not remove it. It doesn't say that he didn't find a way to deal with it THROUGH prayer and possibly some other source that God revealed to him....? Of course they did not have the drugs we have...but possibly some natural remedy. The Bible doesn't tell us. And you know why? Because it is NOT important!!! It is between Paul and God. My depression is between me and God.
I am so grateful that I found the strength , with the Lord's guidance, to stop listening to those who said I was "broken" (we are all broken!) that I wasn't "good enough" (none of us are good enough) and that if I just prayed hard enough I would be healed. Beleive me, I prayed hard! I sat in my closet and ripped my flesh to shreds while I prayed "hard enough"!
God said to me "Enough, my precious daughter!" Enough!

I am glad you do not have the need for medication. but for those of us who do need it and do take it.... God says "enough"! He has provided something for us to help us live productive lives.  Just like my diabetic sister who takes insulin (God did not heal her either, but she takes insulin) or my father who takes thyroid (God didn't heal him)  GOD PROVIDED A WAY!!!!!
Thank you Jesus!
I am sorry this is so long, but I needed to say this for those of you that struggle with taking medication. Pray about it! God will give you the answer you need. And if it is medication, please TAKE it, with His Blessings!!!
Lynda Horton Salina, Canyon Lake, California
3/20/2012 4:52:25 PM
Erik United States
Erik
I haven't had time to read all of the comments on here, so forgive me if I post something that's already been said, but wow!  Amazing how something like this can cause so much conflict among brothers and sisters in Christ.

I too take medication for depression, but I am going to take a middle-of-the-road stance here.  Medication does help in many cases, but it should not be the only source of help we seek.  Depression, and all forms of psychiatric disorders, are not well understood.  

Personally, I'm not one to shut down any solutions for something we don't clearly understand unless specifically forbidden in Scripture.  This is why I advocate a gradual approach toward treating depression.  Statistically, more often than not, depression, anxiety, etc have identifiable environmental source, whether that's an acute, temporary source (such as the death of a loved one) or a lifelong effect of ineffective ways of coping with life's stressors (such as the inability to cope with personal tragedy).  For that reason, I believe strongly in seeking counseling first.  "Be transformed by the renewal of your mind."

But what if all prayer, fasting, encouragement and application of wisdom has failed, what then?  If we have prayed to be released from depression, and God has not done so, what do we say?  

Is it our sin?  Not necessarily, though it is possible - "As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him."

Is it a lack of faith?  Not necessarily, though it is possible - Look at the great men of faith who dealt with sickness and disease (Elisha in 2Kings 13:14, Timothy in I Timothy 5:23 and more)

Therefore, in the cases where there is not some deep-seated issue we need to deal with, nor is it some spiritual barrier standing in the way of our healing, be it physical or mental, should we just live with it?  If we should, then why did Jesus heal so many?

Therefore, I believe that there is a time and place for medication, as there is for physical ailments.  I was recently certified in mental health first aid, and in the process recognized the need to "stop the bleeding" first, much as we would with a physical injury.  If depression is causing significant barriers to healthy, safe functioning, and especially if it puts a person at risk of harm, the first priority is to keep the person safe.  If medication can do that, it can often be followed up with an assessment to determine the source of the depression, counseling to treat the problem, and weaning the person off of medication.  This is also a way to ward off the "distraction" of depression that keeps us from the truth about ourselves and God.  "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us."

Does our joy and our healing come from Jesus?  Absolutely!  Does he sometimes use the tools he gave us in the natural world to accomplish this healing?  Absolutely!  When he fed the 5000, he didn't create special miraculous fish, he used the ones someone gave him.  When he healed a particualr blind man, he used dirt from the ground.  It seems to me that the issue is not so much in what you use, but are you seeing it as a tool from God, or as a way around having to rely on Him?  Who gets the glory?
3/21/2012 5:00:17 AM
Marilyn United States
Marilyn
Yes-"Who gets the glory?" Very good question. It is all dependant on our perspective and where one may be in their spiritual walk. One could say "Thank you doc your skill(tools) helped me to heal from the inside out!" and/or "Thank you God for giving this physician the skill(tools) and wisdom (from God with tools) to help me." Each person grows differently and on a continuum and not neccasarily at the same rate as others. No matter to what degree or timing God still gets the glory. Even if it looks to us like he isn't given the credit somewhere someone is always watching and observing how we react to His gifts and God smiles....His story is written on our hearts and witnessed by nations so many will know Him.Bless your brother.
3/22/2012 2:17:14 AM
Amy United States
Amy
Hi Brant,
Thank you for being willing to touch on a subject that is so taboo in Christian circles.  Many, well-meaning Christian friends and family told me that I wasn't walking close enough with God.  I personally don't think I will ever be walking "close enough" with God this side of heaven.  I can't wait to get to heaven some day when there will be no more pain and no more tears.  I have two children, both of whom are dealing with major medical issues.  If I stopped taking my medicine today, I would not be able to function as their mother and provide them with the care and spiritual nourishment they need.  

I was blessed to be referred to a Christian psychiatrist.  I told her I wanted to get off the medicine.  She explained it to me using the analogy of a car.  If the car gas tank has holes in it, the gas will continue to run out.  So, something must be done to "fill up the holes."  She said my serotonin tank has holes in it...so my serotonin disappears faster than the average person.  So, my medicine helps me to be a better wife, mom, sister, friend, etc by allowing my brain to hang on to its serotonin a little longer.  

I have been on medicine since 2000.  I have tried to go off of the medicine, three different times, under the supervision of Christian doctors.  All three times the spiral into full blown depression happened within a week.  A wise Christian friend told me that she had quit taking her medicine out of guilt.  She said that her medicine has not worked for her ever since then.  She strongly advised me that if I am doing well, keep taking the medicine under the supervision of a doctor.  Our whole family frequently prays for healing for all of us.  God heals us in his own time.  Sometimes, his time is when we get to heaven.  The mighty apostle Paul prayed and prayed that God would remove the "thorn in his flesh."  God chose not to.  God said my strength is sufficient for you.  God works best when we admit we need him and can't do this thing called life without him.

Thanks again Brant!  There are several kids in our church who are dealing with Asperger's or Autism.  Many of them mention how much hope you give them...you have a family, a successful career, you have a life...keep up the good work.  We'll be praying for you...anytime someone has this much of a positive impact for Christ you can expect spiritual warfare to rear its ugly head.  Keep the faith!  
3/26/2012 4:03:09 PM
Brenda Van Camp United States
Brenda Van Camp
Brant,

The way I look at it is this, God made us the way we are so that we could include all things in this life as part of out testimony. I'm 55 and at the age of 48 I was diagnosed as being manic depressant. At that point in my life I had ruined my marriage (made him crazy)lost custody of my children and had to reason to live. I know that was all part of God's plan. I was so low that all I could do was look up. Two years later I was born again. As you know there are no coincidences. when it comes to God. It's God's orchestration that calls us to Him. Oh and one more point. It is God that gives us the blessings of the medical world. Always have no fear of others. Speak out you may be helping another. God bless you Brant. You brought me back to Air 1.
4/13/2012 12:55:16 AM
Katie United States
Katie
@ Amy
Amy! I love what your are saying here (waaaaay up in the beginning of the comments) about feeling like God called you to go to a great christian college but then, running out of money and now you are having to go to a local university. I really love that you are able to identify that God is calling you to bring His kingdom where ever you go. It takes humility and maturity to realize that! Blessings over becoming an oral surgeon! I know God is and will continue to use you powerfully in the name of Jesus! Thanks for your encouraging and awakening words : )
5/18/2012 1:09:18 PM
Christy United States
Christy
Thanks so much. I've received so many of the same comments from well-meaning Christians, and battle with my own feelings of guilt and anger that I have to be on medications (two of them, though that's one less than a couple of months ago!) in order to feel "normal" and be able to function. That I have to spend $150 a month from our limited budget to keep myself steady - a transaction that sends me into guilt every time over what we cannot do as a family because of it. So much easier to think about than the fact that I am a better mom, better wife, and how much we are able to DO as a family because of it.

Still - and maybe more BECAUSE - God is able to use us in ways that perhaps we would not be of use if we did not struggle. It is in our weaknesses that He shows His strength, and there are so many who need to see that, not just the "I'm inright, outright, upright, downright happy all the time" image of what a Christian should be. We find hope when we see others being real about their struggles and overcoming. It's hard to feel hope when you think you're alone.

So thank you. And keep being real.

Coach Christy

p.s. My blog is at www.journeytohealingandjoy.com/christys-blog/   I don't update it as often as I'd like - but for what it's worth.
7/19/2012 9:03:00 PM
Amy Bryant United States
Amy Bryant
Thank you. I cried...but I feel a little better.
7/19/2012 9:08:26 PM
K. United States
K.
Simply put...Jesus understands.

Read:   http://bit.ly/MKSkrK

How do you see God today? Do you see Him as someone who constantly points out your faults and mistakes? No my friend! God is for you, not against you! He is not present to find fault with you, but He is always with you to guide you, lead you, and make you a success in everything that you do. there is no situation or care too small that you cannot bring to the Lord. Right now, begin to cast every care and every concern that you have on your heart to Jesus, for He cares for you. What an awesome thought it is, that the God of the universe is vitally and intensely involved in every minute detail of your life. do you know what stops the flow of healing in your life? (no matter what kind of healing). It is when you try to deserve your healing by your own obedience! You are healed not because of what you do, but because of what Jesus has already done! Whatever you are facing today, rest easy knowing that Jesus not only perfectly understands all that you are going through, but has also placed all His power, authority and resources on your side to help you. Take heart that you are not left alone to face your challenges today. Jesus is right there with you, and He is supplying you His wisdom and favor to overcome every problem. He wants you to declare by faith that all is and shall be well with you, and to expect to see just that. And then, no matter how long you have had the problem, no matter how bad the experts say it is, an explosion of healing and restoration will take place, and you will receive what you are believing for. Believe in God’s goodness and love toward you, and you will receive what you are believing for.

Joseph Prince (facebook)
7/19/2012 9:36:54 PM
Lauren United States
Lauren
I get it Brant. I really do. A mental disorder? Yeah, I have one. There's so many different ones out there, but I guess I'll just leave it at that: a disorder. I'm not right. This is not how people are supposed to feel, to act. Thank you for saying that you don't want to go back to who you were before the pills. I took the exact same pill that you take. I missed a prescription... I accidently let me old self come back... and I realized that although the pills made me who I wanted to be... I wasn't me. Then I had to make a choice: the hardest choice I've ever had to make. Do I want to be the person that I like? Or the person that I really am? I currently am not on any medications. I have good days and I have really, really bad days. I know that God made me this way for a reason and I know that He loves me no matter what, even if I make mistakes because of the chemical imbalance in my brain. I know that I hurt those around me and it eats away at me, but God is helping me and even though I deserve death and God has given me life, I will continue to honor His creation. I often asked myself, "God why do I deserve this?" He told me once, "My child, if anyone didn't deserve something, it was my Son." So apparently, this life isn't about me. Smile It doesn't matter if I prefer the girl who's on meds, to the one that isn't. It's not about me. Honestly, God has helped me, and I have changed. I am able to keep my disorder in control... (a little bit). No, a mental disorder cannot be fixed. Those that have one, will always stumble and fail, but then again, what person on this entire planet has achieved perfection aside from Jesus Christ?

I won't judge a person for taking medication. Everyone is different and until I've been in your shoes, I simply cannot tell you what's best for you. I just wanted to share my experience, since mine was a little different than Brant's. As much as it's okay to take pills... it's also okay not to.
7/19/2012 9:55:29 PM
Doreen United States
Doreen
I am so glad you posted this again today.  I have been struggling with taking my antidepressant or not.  The girls in my bible study are always talking about mind altering drugs.  They say they don't take them because the way the make them feel and things like God is enough.  Sometimes it makes me a little angry because they just don't know. People who haven't experienced it can't understand.  So I ran out of money and stopped taking them.  After a couple of weeks I was on the edge, even after starting them again I still feel like crying but it only has been a couple days.  I don't like me without these.  I backslid without them because I knew I could count on someone who would be there and understand and now I am sad about that.  I was a mess before, there was a time I sat down on the floor at work and cried.. I also had a mind full of regrets that wouldn't leave my head, why I did this or that or why didn't I do this or that.  It is just a fact that I need these.  Would someone not take and aspirin when they have a headache? How about high blood pressure meds or insulin?  This is just how I am and I that God that there is something I can take so I can function without feeling like the world is crushing me.  You Brant are a blessing to all your listeners.  Thank you for being you!  
7/19/2012 10:07:49 PM
Dorci United States
Dorci
You're a blessed man, Brant.  But it sounds like you already know that.  Some may question your decision to take drugs, but I say you're blessed.  You're blessed because you can.  And it sounds like it's saved a big part of your life.  

I could relate about a lot of what you're talking about--the depression, the critical spirit, of yourself more than others, I'm guessing.  I can relate because that's my life.  I think I was born depressed and self-loathing.  And having to deal with some of the most major trials life can hand a person hasn't helped.  

But I can't take anti-depressants. I've tried 3, and the side-effects are too debilitating.  And so I'm stuck. I'm stuck trudging through every day, putting on the smiley face.  

Some days I wake up and it's already there.  I genuinely feel happy and content and like everything's going to be okay.  

But other days..other days I'm a colossal failure, everybody hates me and my life is over.  

So I say, you're blessed.  You're blessed you have the opportunity and the ability to help your brain with the chemistry it's lacking.  Why God won't bless me like that I don't know.  But it makes me even more depressed.  

God bless you, Brant.  You're touching a lot of people, including mine, and you're making us smile and think and love.  
7/19/2012 10:09:21 PM
Lynda Salina United States
Lynda Salina
I posted a few months ago on this... it is interesting to see the comments.
@Doreen.... I too have just gotten back on my meds. I am a 56 yr old woman, have been on and off medication for over 20 years. I am so much better ON my medication...It is better for me and for the people around me. God uses many ways to heal us from our afflictions. Would anyone not take medication for a life threatening infection? God has gifted man with the scientific knowledge to make healing drugs. GOD HAS GIFTED MAN.... In this case, these medications help me to be able to be a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, friend and serve my Lord in many ways. I take them with God's blessing!
Doreen, I hope you will take your medication and know that it is with God's blessing!
7/19/2012 10:11:50 PM
Andre United States
Andre
I would like to say that, those who tell you that you shouldn't need medications are those who say that people who die of cancer didn't pray enough or were somehow deserving of their fate. But, these are often the same who go to the doctor to treat broken arms, legs, colds, or flus. If they had the faith they accuse others of not having, then their faith alone should heal their ailments. But God often provides others to heal our ailments, because no human is meant to be able to do it all. And, if nobody needed anything other than faith in God, then what good would it do for any of us to learn to do anything other than take care of our basic needs?
7/19/2012 11:56:46 PM
Dorci United States
Dorci
I'd just like to add one thing to my last comment.  Because of some health issues, I've been forced to majorly curb a huge carbohydrate addiction.  I grew up on sugar and the habit stuck all my life.  

But when I got to the point I couldn't eat it, I found after a while that my mood changed. I felt lighter, happier.  Somehow I believe refined sugar (in all forms, including pasta, bread, white rice, etc.) can muddy our brain chemistries and can cause us to become depressed, agitated, restless, sleepless, etc., to one degree or another.  (Maybe the Hulk just needed to lay off the candy bars.)

I don't think it's necessarily a coincidence that here in America we suffer from possibly the highest rate of depression and we also have diets that are full of junk food.  

So, I thought I'd add that in case it might help anybody else who finds themselves in frequent mood unwanted states and at the same time comforting themselves with sugar.  It could be a vicious cycle.  Not that it's a cure-all, but any little bit we can do to help ourselves and treat our bodies more like the temple they are is worth a try.
7/20/2012 12:37:01 AM
Kay United States
Kay
One of my favorite bible verses is Luke 15:2 ..."This man receives sinners and eats with them!" This verse is so comforting to me.
I am a sinner but Jesus loves me anyway, nothing I do or don't do is going to stop Jesus from loving me:

Romans 8:38 and 39
38.) "For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, not things to come, nor powers,
39.) nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of god, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

When I was 8 years old my dad committed suicide, my mother was under a lot of stress raising 4 kids by herself, she became very depressed and died a few years later. At age 13 I was an orphan.
I have struggled with depression and thoughts of suicide my whole life. I did a lot of sinning.
At age 40 I went to a church and the pastor read Luke 15 which is about Jesus leaving 99 sheep to go and look for the one who was lost - that lost sheep was me,  Jesus cared enough about me to leave the fold to go and look for ME. I couldn't believe that someone would love me that much.
I am 54 now and I am so happy in the arms of Jesus, but I still struggle with depression.
I don't have insurance and I can't afford Dr.'s but I have discovered that exercise really helps me feel better. I have taken up running. After I run I always feel better, the problem is sometimes my depression takes over to the point that I can't get myself motivated to get out the door and run - ugh.
If I had the money I would see a Dr. - but for now I frequently find myself crying in the arms of Jesus and sometimes He pushes me out the door and I run.
7/20/2012 12:39:41 AM
Beth United States
Beth
I was driving to work  this morning sobbing because I am  such a failure. I am an  idiot and am   not learning what I need to learn fast enough. This is my 5th job in 6 months, all but 1 with the same city, just different positions I keep getting switched around to. Now this newest job I have held for 5 weeks, its a very complicated job where I need to absorb vast amounts of info. Well I can't keep it all straight. Every day for the past 3 weeks I have come home sobbing or driven in to work that way. Knowing that once again I will not be able to do the work required of me. Now at work they tell me differently, that I have picked up on it quickly. They say I have picked up the job better than 2 other people they recently hired that were fired  in their 1st month because they weren't "getting it". But having them tell me this does not help, because I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am an idiot.
Yeah, I have been on  Prozac off and on the last several years. One of the times was when I had an accident that the docs told me I would never regain 100% use of my arm, that I would be "lucky" if I could ever feed myself with that arm again. Oh and did I mention, there is about a 90% chance they will have to amputate. So yes, Jesus  is enough. His strength is made perfect in my weakness. And God gave men the knowledge to make Prozac.
Reading through some of this made me realise I should probably be back on it. I just hadn't realised how far down into the pit of despair I had sunk. So Brant, thanks for reposting this, especially today. Next week I need to see my doc about refills for blood pressure meds and pain pills, I think I need to see him about depression also.
And for those that say depression has no measurable standard, just a reminder that many years ago the heart had no measurable standards either.But today high blood pressure pills are common practice. Many years before that blood letting was common practice. Just because medicine doesn't have all the answers today, doesn't mean the condition shouldn't be treated.
7/20/2012 7:18:11 AM
Abigail United States
Abigail
Hi Brant,I know this was written a while ago, but the part about not wanting to go back. I'm Bipolar, and before i came to God i had been on meds, and off them, and then on different ones. no matter what, i would still feel despair. where i was nothing, not as in worthless, but as in just nothing. the last time i felt that way was over a year ago. the last time i felt that way was before i came to God.
One thing i have stuggled with early on was how could God give me this? I realized He didn't. It is from sin. The bodies that God gave man in the garden of Eden are different form what we have now. Yes we can act in sin, but our flesh is also corrupted BY it. our brain chemistry, our biology, all of that, is messed up because of sin. That realization helped me a lot with my struggle. It also gave me the strength to go back to the doctor and ask for help. I am on meds again, and i am doing great. i still cycle now and then, but sin can't be removed from us completely while we are on this earth. we are still tempted, or struggle with it. the awesome part of it is though, most of my problems lessened when i accepted Christ. The meds was the extra nudge to make it easier. i can cope with out them, but its better with them. and thats the thing. God already knew all of this, and gave us the knowledge to understand the science, as well as the knowledge to create medicine. No God didnt give me this, Yes i have to sstruggle with it the rest of my life, even if it is a minor struggle, but God has given me that escape. Scripture says that God will not tempt us beyond what we can take, and when we are tempted we are provided an escape from it. Following Christ first, meds are my escape from my mood swings.
7/20/2012 8:25:07 AM
Michelle United States
Michelle
When you first posted this story I was so low, dealing with the grief of losing a very dear loved one to cancer from the past summer.  I had never felt this way before.  I'd known the depression coming and had already been using exercise like crazy and a means to fight if off.  But I didn't it would be so hard and the exercise just wasn't enough.  My protective bubble seemed to burst at Christmas.  My family does not encourage medications like this and I didn't know how I was going to survive.  I had already spoken to my doctor but was still wary.  Your story gave me the courage to go ahead and seek this help that I truly needed.  While I'm still grieving and still have some very low days.  I have found that taking a medication for this depression (even though I didn't want to) has helped me more than I thought possible.  Thank you for sharing the hard stories like this for all of us.
7/20/2012 10:44:47 AM
Garry United States
Garry
I, too, have been on Prozac for the last year or so. Situational depression, they say. The med didn't change anything in a major way. Hardly noticed it. Questioned whether or not it was doing anything.

But it just got me out of bed a little easier. Between lingering divorce issues, change, health, and financial issues, I felt overwhelmed, like a failure. Felt judged and way too concerned about what others think. I believe that started out in the neo natal unit for me as well. I was just crying over what the other newborns thought about me!

It's not that I'm escaping issues, it's that I'm now slightly more able to face them without them being colored by the excessive negativity, obsession, and catastrophizing.

I'm healthier and am at my lowest weight since high school, and that was a number of decades ago. Because of a health issue--that I now feel this depression contributed to--I've changed my diet, exercise daily and am doing far better. And I don't expect to be taking this med for the rest of my life.

But here's the thing. I'm ashamed to tell anyone at church about it. But why? I have (had) high cholesterol, took a med for that. And now because of my new regimine that's now cut in half from a few months ago. I could talk about that.

But not Prozac. Ooooo. You're mental. Jesus should heal that one. Huh?

Did Prozac contribute to better health, lower cholesterol, more energy, and an outlook where I can more easily leave aside the negativity and barriers that were keeping me sad and feeling like a failure all these years? I think so ... if only indirectly. It's all a puzzle. This was merely a piece.

I'm not pro drug either. Doing my best to get  balanced and get off any of these meds asap.

I have a friend who has back issues. A great man of faith. Yet extremely depressed. Gets shots of meds (opioids) in his back. Can talk about that. Won't consider anti-depressants for Jesus is enough. Would mind-meds help? Maybe. Would it help him physically? I don't know. It might. Could he then be more effective in his ministry rather than wanting to give up? Could he be more present with his family? Perhaps. Would life and ministry be less burdensome? I think it's worth a try ... all to the glory of God.

So where's the line? It shifts. At what point does it get stigmatized? When do you take your kid to the doctor? What procedures and meds make the good list and which fall to the bad. When do you dictate what God will or won't heal? Do you suffer with high cholesterol and greater risk of heart attack and leave your family? Or do you take a med for it. Or take a med for a brain imbalance so that you can rejoin your family?

It depends on your take. But if you're affected to where you can't cope, physically or emotionally, which absolutely go hand in hand (if you're not healthy physically, you're not healthy mentally) and the medicine is available to assist you in doing so, I say use it sparingly, but use it.
7/20/2012 12:54:46 PM
Christie United States
Christie
Your re-sharing of this post might have saved the life of my fiance last night.. He's been struggling for so long with depression and doctors and meds and while he was on the phone with a crisis hotline, I randomly checked facebook and saw this link. I re-read it and then when my fiance handed the phone back to me, I asked him to read this post. My fiance has Asperger's and has been treated for other diagnoses over the years and this post gave him hope. He relates to how you felt before you had fluoxetine. He agreed last night to go to the hospital and tomorrow he will go to a crisis house where they can adjust his meds to see what helps. I really feel like it's a miracle that all the events of the evening led to my fiance finally getting help that he's needed for so long. Thank you and thank God!
7/20/2012 6:35:36 PM
Melissa Boyce United States
Melissa Boyce
I want to thank you for writing this Brant! I am also on Fluoxentine but not for the exact same reasons as yourself.  I was told that I was sinning against God and needed to repent. I had to have a complete hysterectomy for health issues.  I absolutely love listening to you on Air1!
7/20/2012 7:39:32 PM
Raeha Butler United States
Raeha Butler
I used to work with kids. Many of them were on medication and had been for a long time. One even had Asperger's like you. I could definitely tell a difference in them when they were on medication and when they weren't. I agree with you on being anti-drugs. But I also know God gave men the knowledge to make medicine for people who need it. What I'm really against is the overuse or dependency some people place on medication. It seemed sometimes my kids would be put on a medication, it would work just fine, then the doctor would decide to change it or "test" another out, and chaos would ensue. It was difficult for me having to deal with a different kid every time the medication changed, but even more difficult seeing the kid struggle with knowing how they should be and wanted to be but not knowing how to control anything. I really wish you had been with Air 1 when I worked there. We listened to it frequently and to hear your testimonies and honest words about your experiences would have been a great spring board for discussion. The one boy with Asperger's I think really would have benefited immensely because I know he felt he was alone in his condition. And some people allowed him to think it was okay to use his syndrome as an excuse. Him thinking that way didn't help him, but only hurt him more. I pray with your honesty you will help someone. May God continue to use you to encourage others.  
8/12/2012 11:38:20 AM
Rose United States
Rose
Brant, Thanks so much for writing your story!! I've struggled with Bipolar Depression and have been through over 40 different types of medications to be stablized. I've been praying about putting my testimony on DVD & CD, because I want to help people. Thankful for God's provision every step of the way. I've grown so much! At one time I was on 7 different medications and now I'm down to 2 different medications. Prozac is one medication that I have tried in the past but now I don't have to take it. God has been my joy and my comfort everyday. I'm more compassionate to others as I serve in leadership in my home church. I'm more creative because of my Bipolar/Schizo Affective Disorder. God has gifted me with soo much!! Thanks again for sharing your story! I hope to one day meet you. Praise God for putting it on your heart to share. I think sometimes depression and disorders like yours get dismissed so much by so many Christian believers today. It's sad but then I am thankful that I share my story, my testimony and that God has a plan for anyone that is struggling with depression or any disorder for that matter. Philippians 4:13 is my life verse. Praise God that we can do all things through Christ whom strengthens us! Doctors used to tell my parents since the age of 16 that I would never live a normal life. The doctors were wrong about that. Here I am at the young age of 34 & God has freed me from sooo much!! I'm thankful that I can always cast ALL of my cares upon the Lord for He cares for me as 1 Peter 5:7 tells me so. I get the opportunity to share my story, and that I get the opportunity to build up the body of Christ and not tear down others when it comes to our own personal insecurities and struggles. Thanks again!! Keep shining for His Glory, because God is Faithful All of the time!!
11/29/2012 1:57:31 AM
eg Israel
eg
Dear Brant,

Thank you for this entry.

Is there any email address I can write to you to personally?

Thank you.
2/16/2013 8:56:37 AM
Kate Canada
Kate
My story is an echo of many of the stories here.  Thank you.
4/15/2013 5:03:44 PM
Jacob India
Jacob
Dear, great blog, explosive thoughts, keep writing when you don't have much orders pending as cost of living is getting higher each day, so does inflation mark.

I would rather like to have a share in your finished work on the tree, law is addictive though can never meet the ends.

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