Friday, June 11, 2010


“…and he came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him” - Luke 10:34

The use of medication for emotional issues is a controversial and hot topic today. With the explosion of psychotropic medicine, its use and misuse have been widely documented. In a world where people are hesitant to take responsibility for most things, the use of medication as a “fix” for negative emotions and actions has been popular.

But the use of medication has also been a miracle for many that would otherwise be hindered by their emotions and behavior. Before the advent of these medicines, many were left living and suffering in their mental illness. Many adults and teenagers are on medications that have been a tremendous help in their treatment process. For many of the teens at Shelterwood, meds have helped them stabilize to focus on their challenges. Used correctly, the use of meds is a crucial part of the better solution- behaviorally being in control of emotions.

Research has shown over and over that many have a “leaky faucet” in their brains. There is no underlying deep cause for their behavior- they simply have parts of their brain that secrete too much of chemicals that cause depression, mania or other destructive behaviors. The correct medication can balance out the chemicals and produce balanced behavior.

But some would claim that taking medications is an unhealthy crutch. But medication is in fact a healthy crutch. What's wrong with using crutches? I think that a lot of resistance to meds lies in pride. To have to depend on something other than myself is humbling. But we all have needs- whether on others or on doctor recommended medications. After all, using crutches lets my broken bones heal correctly.

Some Christians feel that meds is a worldly substitution for God. But if I have a headache, I take aspirin to decrease blood flow to my brain and help the headache go away. Is God somehow glorified by my suffering through the headache? I don’t think so. I think God is pleased that I’m “healed” from the headache and useful for Christ. I know in my years of counseling that meds have helped people better deal with the destructive issues in their lives.

So parents, if your teenager is struggling emotionally and in need of help, certainly seek out good solid Christian counseling, but also be open to the use of medications recommended by a physician. It may be the key to stabilizing emotions so that counseling can be more effective.

God cures in all kinds of ways. He can certainly cure with a touch, but may also choose to use competent Professional Counselors and medications.

Either way, God is doing the healing.

By Eric Joseph Staples ©

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