Quotes for Topic: Medication
As a rule, I never advise or require counselees to stop medicating because I am not their physician. I don’t know their complete medical history, and it would be irresponsible for me to advise them out of ignorance. In many cases patients who stop taking their medication cold turkey will suffer severe withdrawal symptoms that make it even more challenging to think and act rightly.
Reference: Counseling the Hard Cases, Edited by Stuart Scott and Health Lambert, B&H Publishing, 2012, p. 120, Used by Permission.
Does medicine ultimately solve heart problems? No. But is God’s will ultimately going to be hindered by medicine or a lack of medicine? No. God will work His will in a counselee’s heart regardless of whether they are medicated. My goal and responsibility are to cultivate hope, to help people grow in Christlikeness, and to help them prosper in the freedom of the gospel and in God’s rich purpose for their lives.
Reference: Counseling the Hard Cases, Edited by Stuart Scott and Health Lambert, B&H Publishing, 2012, p. 121, Used by Permission.
Ritalin affects a number of areas of the brain, but its mode of action is uncertain. One thing, however, is clear. Ritalin does not treat any known chemical deficiency in a child’s brain. No one needs Ritalin. Like most psychiatric drugs (including the antidepressants discussed earlier), the best analogy would be to say that Ritalin-type drugs act like aspirin: they suppress symptoms in some people, but they are not a cure.
Reference: Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 142-143. Get this book!
It is imperative to stress that drugs cannot change a child’s heart. If a child seems more obedient when taking Ritalin, it is because an influence on the child’s life has changed. That is, in the same way that parents and peers can influence our hearts, so our bodies can influence us. Our bodies bring pleasure and pain, intellectual clarity and confusion. Such physical changes can act like a temptation to which some children respond sinfully. When the temptation is removed, these children might be less prone to certain kinds of sins.
Reference: Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 144. Get this book!
What exactly does medication help? Medication cannot change the heart: it cannot remove our tendency toward sin, it cannot revive our faith, and it cannot make us more obedient to Christ. It can, however, alleviate some of the physical symptoms associated with some psychiatric problems.
Reference: Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 109. Get this book!
Although it is not wrong to take these medications, they are rarely our first line of attack against personal suffering. Instead, we should first consider that God can bless us through our suffering, and we might also weigh the possibility that psychiatric medications could numb us to the refining benefits of suffering. There is a worthwhile point here. Although it may sound strange or even unloving to those who don’t share a biblical position, there can be real benefits from having our faith tested and strengthened through trials.
Reference: Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 110. Get this book!
Whether a person takes psychiatric medication or not is not the most important issue. Scripture is especially interested in why someone is taking medication or why someone is not taking medication. And it is clear that medication is never the source of our hope. With these guidelines in mind, there is biblical freedom to try, or not try, psychiatric medication.
Reference: Blame in on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 111-112. Get this book!
By itself, medicine is never a solution to spiritual darkness. All the fundamental issues of life remain to be brought into proper relation to Christ when the medicine has done its work. Antidepressants are not the decisive savior. Christ is. In fact, the almost automatic use of pills for child misbehavior and adult sorrows is probably going to hurt us as a society.
Reference: The Darkness of Melancholy taken from When the Darkness Will Not Lift by John Piper, 2006, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org. p. 27.
Psychiatric medications are not the answer; however, they may be useful for a limited time and limited purpose. Biblical counseling provides answers that psychiatric medications cannot. At best, medication can stabilize a person’s mind and mood for a season, but it cannot change the person.
Reference: Counseling the Hard Cases, Edited by Stuart Scott and Health Lambert, B&H Publishing, 2012, p. 283, Used by Permission.