Dec 13, 2018
This week I published a post on fear. I also shared a New York Times article on Facebook about teens and anxiety. Anxiety seems to be the accepted medical term. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America anxiety disorders affect “40 million adults (18-54) every year.” Fears range from general to specific, but whatever the type, it brings torment to the person involved.
But kids are suffering too. I was surprised to find out in the Times article that schools arrange 504 plans for students with anxiety. 504 plans are typically used for students with physical or mental conditions to accommodate a special need. They provide for verbal testing or individualized testing, modified class schedules and requirements or even physical therapy. But now 504 plans are used for students to avoid what they perceive as frightening situations. Some of the changes include “later school start times, less homework and more project-based learning.”
But are they taking avoiding fear too far? The article mentions parents as problems, but schools also do a lot of modifying for what one school calls its “fragile students.” Calling and texting the students to try to get them out of bed, out of their room and to try to execute their studies for the day. Preparing special classrooms, allowing students to leave classrooms when they feel anxious, etc.
Most professionals believe anxiety to be treatable. The approved methods are behavior therapy and medications like Zoloft, Prozac and tranquilizers. The best they say is a combination of therapy and medication. Web Med says exercising and avoiding caffeine can help. They also recommend scheduling a time to do your worrying. What?! Isn’t that cementing the behavior as a habit?
I realize many professionals do not recognize the Bible as a medical reference, but it says the word is medicine. Also it has a lot to say about fear. As in don’t do it. Why? Because it brings torment. (1John 4:18) It shows a lack of trust in the goodness of God and it activates Satan. Fear is to be resisted not accommodated. It is a spirit. And if you are a born again child of God, God did not give you a spirit of fear. (2Timothy 1:7)
According to Romans 12, the world pushes on us. It tries to break us and push us into its mold. But we have to push back, constantly resisting or we lose ground. The borders close in around us. Our minds need to be renewed by the word like Romans 12 tells us. That is Kingdom style behavior modification isn’t it?
Then we resist the fear, using the word, the truth, to make it leave. It is a spirit and it has to go because He who lives in us is greater than he who is in the world. There’s much more to cover on the topic isn’t there? (PTSD is a whole other conversation.) The big question is why is fear becoming more of an issue?
The Bible tells us to be alert, and Peter is the one who passes that message to us. (1Peter 5:8-9) God’s mercies are new every morning and Satan launches his campaign anew everyday too. So, we need to be ready to resist everyday.
Do you know someone suffering with anxiety? Maybe it is you? I’d love to know what you think. Do you think anxiety disorders are inherited or a learned behavior? Should fears be avoided or confronted? As a Christian how do you teach children to handle fear? Please write your comments below.
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