I have struggled for a long time with understanding anti-depressant drugs. I know some of the symptoms of depression, and I know the spiritual battle involved in fighting against those symptoms. I also know family members who swear by their anti-depressant drugs. I watch them, and they seem more nervous, upset, anxious, and enslaved to their symptoms than I have ever been.
As a pastor, I have struggled with trying to help people fight against the very real symptoms of depression. One of the great verses for me is Ephesians 2:10, which says that we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ for good works which God has already prepared for us. The fight here is to believe that I am a new, redeemed person who has the power of resurrection life in me through Christ. Also, I have to believe that there are good works which even I can accomplish today. We fight the symptoms with such verses as these.
At any rate, here is an article which asserts that many highly addictive anti-depressant drugs are also impotent, ineffective against the real effects of depression. Consider this quote from the article:
“Although patients get better when they take antidepressants, they also get better when they take a placebo, and the difference in improvement is not very great. This means that depressed people can improve without chemical treatments,” Kirsch said in a statement.
The study referred to in this article offers us hope that we can fight just as effectively without the drugs. The problem is whether we still will believe in the drugs. O, that God would grant more to believe Ephesians 2:10.
I struggle as well in trying to understand why people are so quick to attempt anything in order to avoid the painful reality of their circumstances. I believe you are right and biblical in counseling Christians to fight for faith in God’s promises through their struggles. To be sure, there are a few folks with physical imbalances that may benefit from medicinal treatment (William Cowper?), nevertheless it seems we are a way too over medicated culture. Although probably unwittingly, many Christians are living as though God is not present and sovereign in that aspect of their life. Maybe most importantly is the tragedy of first seeeking to numb themselves to reality instead of drawing near to Christ and seeking His wisdom and redemption in the matter. The Lord has much to teach and us through pain, dissapointment, tragedy, and heartache. The discipline of the Lord may hurt but it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. God help us to want that fruit more than avoiding any discomforts in this life.