Be Not Afraid: Christians & Anxiety, by Dr. Gregory Popcak

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Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

By Dr. Gregory Popcak, Catholic Exchange, February 27, 2020

Dr. Gregory Popcak is the Executive Director of the Pastoral Solutions Institute, an organization dedicated to helping Catholics find faith-filled solutions to tough marriage, family, and personal problems.

In any given year about 20% of adults in the US experience one type or another of anxiety disorder so if you do have an anxiety disorder, you’re in good company.  The good news is that up to 80% of people who seek treatment for anxiety disorders get better.  Anxiety disorders are highly treatable and new, more effective ways to help people are being developed every day.    If you are suffering with an anxiety disorder, the best thing to do is to seek help today.

Do God’s People get Anxiety Disorders?

People of faith often feel guilty for being anxious. They wonder if perhaps they are not praying hard enough or not trusting God enough.  The truth is, Christians get anxiety disorders at roughly the same rate as everyone else.  This should not be a surprise.  After all, Christians catch cold as often as everyone else and get cancer or heart disease or high blood pressure at the same rate as everyone else.  No one thinks of these things as spiritual failings. Anxiety disorders are what happen to a person when the brain’s fire-alarm center—the amygdala—gets a “chemical burn” from bathing too long in stress chemicals, making it hypersensitive and over-reactive to new problems.  Anxiety Disorders are not a failure of character or spiritual maturity.  They are what happen when the brain’s stress-warning systems become overwhelmed and hyper-activated.  ….


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