I figured this was the best place to post. I’m sorry if it isn’t.
For the past year and a half I have been had anxiety issues. For the past 6 months it has gotten in the way of my daily life. Today I went to the doctor to talk about my anxiety issues, for the first time and he informed me that not only do I have anxiety, I also have depression. This breaks my heart. I was put on 2 different medications and I have a follow up appointment in two weeks.
Now to my question: is this a punishment? Did I upset God so much somehow that he’s punishing me?
The documentary, 'A PLEA TO HUMANITY", presents some of the most remarkable happenings in modern times which will have important implications for both science and religion.
In Cochabamba, Bolivia, a statue of the Crucified Christ, inexplicably has wept tears and blood.
In the same city, Katya Rivas has had appear in her hands, in her feet, and on her forehead, wounds similar to those believed to have been suffered by Christ in His Crucifixion, the stigmata.
Also, Katya, who had never read the bible, and who did not complete her high school education, has written, without theological error, hundreds of pages of profound theological teachings and biblical commentaries which she says are dictated to her by Christ.
The story of these happenings was presented in a Fox Network prime time special called “Signs from God” which was broadcast throughout the United States in July 1999 and subsequently in a number of other countries.
Here is a list with the links to Katya’s short books free to read and download online (my favourite being “The Holy Mass” and “In Adoration” but they are all truly remarkable and invaluable! and have deepened me in the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church in enourmous ways)
You can find all of this including the most part of the documentry “Signs from God” free to watch, read and download online here - youshallbelieve.com/
I may not know the meaning of suffering, but I do know that it’s not because God doesn’t love us. “16 God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son” - John 3:16 and in turn the Son loved the world so much that he gave his own life for us (the love of Agape confirmed through works by the Father and the Son).
Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins etc all focus on this in their books on atheism, they begin their books with a catastrophe or some evil act and than they say “If God is Omnipotent, than he chose to let this happen, is this a God you should believe in?” I notice how it’s not an intellectual argument against God, but rather an emotional one playing on our lack of understanding.
I find it amazing at just how similar their arguments are with the ones from Christ’s time.
I believe it’s the very same thing that was said to Christ as they made fun of him on the Cross and it’s the number one call I believe of atheists today, at the heart of atheism is usually a fist raised toward God from this lack of understanding between God’s omnipotance and the reality of suffering.
Those very same taunts.
“If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself!”
“Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and save us!”
“He saved others. Now he should save himself, if he really is God’s chosen Messiah!”
I believe the Gospel passage this week is a perfect one to reflect on with the subject of God’s omnipotence and suffering.
I strongly encourage you KendraDZ1902 and everyone else reading this to reflect on the extract I provided above from the book “From Sini to Calvary” in which shows the two ways that men carry their crosses. Our crosses are inevitable, we will all have to carry them at some stage in our life, (e.g. Death) some heavier than others, but I certainly know which cross I will prefer to carry, and that is Dismas’ cross, humbly recognising himself as a sinner and asking that though his sufferings, mercy remembers him. It’s in this way that warrented such a reply from our lord “I promise that today you will be with me in paradise.” - Luke 23:43
“Humility opens the doors to the kingdom of heaven.”
Dispelling the notion of a simplistic link between suffering and punishment was so important to God that he devoted an entire book to it: the book of Job. Throughout the book, Job’s friends bombard him with the conventional model (“sin = punishment = suffering”), only to be confounded at the end; though God rebukes Job, He is even harder on them, and asks Job to intercede for them.
In the New Testament, we have several passages, such as John 9 and Luke 13: 1-4, in which Jesus clearly does not endorse such a simple model.
Suffering is a dark mystery, which only makes sense in the light of the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 - Jesus Christ, who suffered for our sake.
The prayer in the middle of the “Our Father” in the liturgy is interesting in this context:
Old version: “keep us free from sin, and protect us from all anxiety”
New version: “keep us free from sin, and keep us safe from all distress”
There are many causes - psychological, social, spiritual and even physical - for anxiety and depression. While modern science is far from finding a solution to these mysteries, rest assured that you are not simply being punished. Courage!
Why should you be upset by the Doctor’s diagnosis of your problems? While you may not be happy about it, you possibly should be glad to know what the problem is and that treatment is underway to relieve your condition. A short prayer of thanks along with a prayer that the treatment be effective may be in order.
Buck up, you will be well soon!!
BTW, Since Christ died upon the Cross, G*D does not punish people directly for their transgressions by inflicting bad health or “bad luck” upon them.
Remember always that Jesus of Nazareth loves you and is with you even in the midst of current darkness and difficulty. He is the *Good Shepherd *who is with his sheep -carrying them through the rocky paths -even if the shadows that may darken the path prevent the eyes of sheep from always seeing him.
Because my diagnosis isn’t a stomach bug or a sinus infection. The doctor can give me meds, but it isn’t like taking antibiotics for a week, then I’m back to my old self. It taboo to talk about illnesses like this. It just upsets me.
Be thankful that you have a diagnosis! Anxiety and such can sometimes be treated by anti-depressants. Please continue to work CLOSELY with your doctor. It can take a while to find the right meds, and some can have side effects. If you have someone close to you (spouse, best friend, sibling), let them know you are on meds, and to alert someone if you have a sudden change in personality or actions. Most of the time this isn’t an issue, but it’s important to note. I don’t know how old you are; it can be more marked in younger people. Also, do not quit taking your meds without seeing your doctor. ** This isn’t medical advice; this is real life, been there done that, advice.**
Now, if you were diagnosed with diabetes, or cancer, or something else that might require long-term treatment, would you feel bad? Also, sometimes meds can be helpful to get some people ‘back on track’ in the short term, and they don’t have to take them forever, or not consistently. While you might think that everyone looking at you can see that you are on anti-depressants, that is not true.
It is NOT a punishment from God. While it might be a cross we bear, that does not equate to punishment. I do understand where you’re coming from. It’s a cross I’ve had to deal with for over 20+ years. The severe part was triggered by a very traumatic event, and I’ve had deep episodes over the years. It ebbs, but it’s always there.
I urge you to take a look at St. Dymphna. She is my Confirmation Saint. I chose her (I thought) because her name was pretty (not to mention the fact that my mom didn’t want me to choose her). It wasn’t until many years later that I had my first severe bout of depression, and realized that she was actually chosen for me. Back in 1983, that’s when it wasn’t talked about, so the fact that I chose a ‘mental illness’ patron saint as my confirmation saint, was scandalous to my mother.