Is prescription medicine a sin?

From what I understand the word for pharmacy is the same Greek word meaning witchcraft. The Bible says to listen to our doctors because it is a God ordained profession. Is it a sin to take prescription medicine for mental health problems? Would taking antidepressants for example go against the idea of the merit of suffering and taking up our crosses and following Christ?

I don’t see how it can be as long as its you the medicine was prescribed for.

Healing is a divinely inspired act.

No, medication is certainly not a sin. You should be talking to your pastor for reassurance if you have such fears.

The drugs Paul wrote about were not the healing medicines we use today. Some of the NFP materials actually suggest it was a euphemism for contraceptive herbs, which were actually quite dangerous.

The Greek word you reference, pharmakeia, is often understood in a biblical context to mean poisons which were often related to witchcraft. In 3 places were pharmakeia is used it is also listed with sexual sins. For this reason some link pharmakeia to poisons used to induce miscarriage (aka birth control/abortifacients).

Taken in the context it is not sinful to use medications to heal, but it is sinful to use drugs to kill or support other sinful acts.

No, it is not a sin. Not at all. Please talk with your priest if you have concerns.

I wonder what makes you Think that curing a disease should be contrary to take up our crosses?

In my understanding it is meant that we should take our crosses spiritualy, because that is the biggest suffering that we have to deal with Daily.

It is most difficult to control our ego.

That’s a good point. I once asked my regular confessor if seeking help for a cross we had to bear was being ungrateful, and he said not at all, that the purpose of a cross was not to simply make us miserable, and that God doesn’t enjoy seeing us miserable.


1 Honor the physician with the honor due him, * according to your need of him, for the Lord created him; 2 for healing comes from the Most High, and he will receive a gift from the king. 3 The skill of the physician lifts up his head, and in the presence of great men he is admired. 4 The Lord created medicines from the earth, and a sensible man will not despise them. 5 Was not water made sweet with a tree in order that his* power might be known? 6 And he gave skill to men that he* might be glorified in his marvelous works. 7 By them he heals and takes away pain; 8 the pharmacist makes of them a compound. His works will never be finished; and from him health* is upon the face of the earth. 9 My son, when you are sick do not be negligent, but pray to the Lord, and he will heal you. 10 Give up your faults and direct your hands aright, and cleanse your heart from all sin. 11 Offer a sweet-smelling sacrifice, and a memorial portion of fine flour, and pour oil on your offering, as much as you can afford. * 12 And give the physician his place, for the Lord created him; let him not leave you, for there is need of him. 13 There is a time when success lies in the hands of physicians, * 14 for they too will pray to the Lord that he should grant them success in diagnosis* and in healing, for the sake of preserving life.

Sirach 38:1-14

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