We have now come to the end of our series on anxiety.
- Have you learned anything new about what anxiety is?
- Did you learn anything new from the Bible to help you manage your anxiety? (And we only scratched the surface of what the Bible has to say about it.)
- Did you learn anything new about God and His ability to help you, even in the middle of your anxiety? The first post gave some helpful information about how to manage your anxiety apart from the Bible.
- But there is one area I haven’t touched on yet. It shouldn’t be the last thing you consider when dealing with anxiety. You need to be sure that there are not any physical causes for your anxiety. For that, you need to see a good medical doctor and have some bloodwork done.
The physical causes of anxiety
If you haven’t had problems with anxiety in the past, and suddenly you start having trouble, it would be wise to check in with a doctor who will listen to you. Take note of your symptoms. It would be wise to write them down ahead of time.
- When do they happen? After meals? at night? in certain situations? When do the symptoms start?
- What symptoms do you have beside anxiety? sweating? flushed skin? episodes of weakness? etc.
- How do they affect you? Just for a few minutes or for a longer period? Do other symptoms go with the anxiety such as splotchy vision, shortness of breath, chest pain, etc.?
These are a few questions to prime the pump and get you noticing your physical symptoms so you can tell the doctor. Anxiety is rarely the problem. It is a symptom. But it can be a symptom of a physical problem.
- Vitamin deficiencies can show as anxiety.
- Electrolyte imbalances can show as anxiety as well.
- Tumors can also show as anxiety.
- Medication interactions can also cause anxiety.
- A variety of hormonal problems can show as anxiety. These can be female hormones, thyroid-high or low. and other hormonal imbalances as well. If other imbalances are normal, often the doctor will send you to an endocrinologist to check out a variety of hormonal issues that can come from adrenals, pancreas (diabetes) and these other glands that produce hormones.
It can take a little while to sort out what is causing the problem if it is a physical one, But it can be done. When I worked in a mental hospital, a complete physical workup was done on all our patients to be sure there weren’t other reasons for their symptoms. Often other issues were discovered to explain some of their symptoms or at least reasons that contributed to their symptoms.
Journaling will help you as you process the Scripture and the things that are happening to you.
As I mentioned earlier, I am not a mental health professional. My posts are meant to get your mind thinking. They won’t answer all your questions. Often your journaling can help answer many of the questions regarding symptoms, patterns of your anxiety, and other issues that arise. As you think them through and write about them as well as interact with some of the Bible passages about anxiety, you will find help for yourself. It won’t 100% solve the problem overnight, but with time, you will see gradual improvement as you learn to give your anxieties to God, trusting His might to deal with them.
It is important to remember that we are created as beings who are made in the image of God. We are made up of different aspects: Physical, Emotional, Intellectual and Spiritual. Often, the Spiritual gets ignored. That is why I have included Bible verses…so we can integrate the Spiritual with the other aspects of our personality. When trying to solve problems, we can’t ignore the spiritual portion of our personalities. Just like we can’t ignore the intellectual, physical, or emotional sides. They are all part of who we are and who God made us to be.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God
so that at the proper time he may exalt you,
casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Be sober-minded; be watchful.
I Peter 5:6-8 ESV