Anxiety: Causes and effect pt. 2
PANICK ATTACKS and POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER: These are more serious anxiety. Often this is the anxiety that brings people to counselors.
PANICK attack involves sudden, often unexpected, rushes of intense fear accompanied by rapid heartbeat, trembling, and shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain, or feelings of losing control. These attacks peak intensity within a few minutes and fade quickly after that. Many times they become associated with specific places or situations, such as being in a crowd, going to a dentist, riding in a car, or feeling trapped in a room. Because these attacks can be so scary and unpredictable, victims avoid the situations or places where the anxiety occurred in the past, lest they occur again.
POST-TRAUMATIC STREE DISORDER (PSTD) arises following intense stress, such as observing or experiencing events that involved death or great danger. These could include military conflict, rape, and involvement in a serious accident, kidnapping, a violent crime, prisoner abuse, or natural disasters, such as tornado or earthquake. Any of these can leave a lifelong legacy of anxiety.
For years after the trauma, some people have nightmares, irrational fears, depression, and loss of interest in activities that once were pleasant. For these people anxiety has become a way of life.
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT ANXIETY?
The Bible views anxiety in two ways: as a healthy concern and as fret or worry.
ANXIETY IN THE FORM OF REALISTIC CONCERN: This is neither condemned nor forbidden. Paul wrote that he was anxious (that is worried) about the possibility of being beaten, cold, hungry or in danger, but he did experience anxiety (that is concern) about the welfare of the churches. This sincere care for others put a daily burden on the apostle and made Timothy ‘genuinely anxious’ (concerned and interested as well. (2Corinthians 11:27-28; Philippians 2: 20)
ANXIETY AS FRET AND WORRY: This appears to be what Jesus had in mind in the Sermon on the Mount. He taught that we should not worry about life’s basic needs, such as food and clothing. We have a Heavenly Father who knows that what we need and will provide. (Matthew 6:25-34) see also (1 Peter 5:7; Philippians 4:6-7).
Anxiety as a fret or worry comes when we turn from God, shift the burdens of life on to ourselves, and show by our attitudes and actions that we alone are taking responsibility for handling problems. Instead of acknowledging God’s sovereignty and power, or determining to live for him and make his kingdom our primary concern, many of us slip into sinful self-reliance and preoccupation with our life pressures.
While it is OK to be responsible and handle our daily tasks, it is wrong, and unhealthy to be immobilized by excessive worry.
Impatience often accompanies anxiety, and anxious people want help in handling their pressures quickly. It can be very hard to wait for God’s perfect time schedule.
Written by Dr. Godwin Ude.