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psychiatric treatment and medication

idahoon1

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There is a lot of talk about vaccines - but I would like to ask what is the position of the Orthodox Church towards modern days psychiatric treatment?

I remember that once during a routine medical check-up I complained to my doctor about work stress-related issues.

He suggested taking SSRI drugs (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) - but after reading all the warnings I had serious doubts.

My question is - from the Orthodox Church point of view, is it OK to undergo a "treatment" by taking a drug that can increase suicidial tendencies, cause sexual dysfunctions, induce weight problems, blurred vision, etc. Moreover, some of the psychiatric drugs are of narcotic nature (e.g. compounds simillar to amphetamine) - and the Church teaches that drunkards, drug addicts risk eternal damnation, like people who comitted suicide.

What is your opinion?
 
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There is a lot of talk about vaccines - but I would like to ask what is the position of the Orthodox Church towards modern days psychiatric treatment?

I remember that once during a routine medical check-up I complained to my doctor about work stress-related issues.

He suggested taking SSRI drugs (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) - but after reading all the warnings I had serious doubts.

My question is - from the Orthodox Church point of view, is it OK to undergo a "treatment" by taking a drug that can increase suicidial tendencies, cause sexual dysfunctions, induce weight problems, blurred vision, etc. Moreover, some of the psychiatric drugs are of narcotic nature (e.g. compounds simillar to amphetamine) - and the Church teaches that drunkards, drug addicts risk eternal damnation, like people who comitted suicide.

What is your opinion?
I am not sure of the Orthodox teaching but I would point out that almost all medicine comes wiht the possibility of side effects. Tylenol, advil, anti biotics, all come with potential harmful side effects. Taking a medicine for health is not remotely like being a drunk or a drug addict.
 

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This link is a directory of orthodox christian mental health providers. They have a place where one can look up a local provider.

Ask your priest this good question.

Sometimes medications are prescribed instead of lifestyle changes. It's best to approach a health problem with the least invasive therapy.
Gentle daily outdoor walks in early morning sunshine helps circadian rythym and sleep, and opens up airways for good circulation. Keep a healthy diet, early to bed, and forgive all who have hurt us. If that's not effective over time then a general daily vitamin and labs to check if there may be a problem with hormones (thyroid, cortisol, hCG, testosterone, etc...) or other things that show up in labs.
Maybe a lifestyle change is in order: change jobs, set boundaries, spend more time alone in prayer. Are friends causing stress? What triggers stress?
Then if all is well in these areas yet coping is a struggle, maybe counseling with a christian therapist may be helpful. Sometimes our broken bodies need an extra vitamin, or hormone, insulin, or SSRI, lithium....or other types of medications.
May God bless you and give you his peace. May God help us all in our broken bodies living in a broken world. We have a better hope though and this time on earth is not forever.

 

Arachne

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The leaflet that comes inside every medication pack is a legal document. The manufacturers are obligated to list every effect that has ever been correlated, however loosely, with or without proven causation, with use of the particular drug. Most of those have vanishingly small chances of manifesting. Common side effects are usually highlighted.

As it's already been said, all medical intervention can have side effects, and there will always be someone who can't do or take this or that. You need to work closely with your doctor to get you to take the right thing at the right dosage, and manage drawbacks as they come.
 

idahoon1

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No, no, don't get me wrong :) My health issues weren't so bad - the doc said I got high blood pressure - and asked if it is stress-related.

And just like that told me about the pills - and It got me thinking, is it ethical, is it in compliance with Orthodox teaching?
 
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An example. I take Lexapro daily. Without it I was a ball of anxiety and not living well because of my anxiety. With it I live so much better. I have not noticed a single side affect that could possibly happen. No sexual dysfunction as I have a baby on the way in a couple of months. I am happier. I also have sought counseling.
 

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No, no, don't get me wrong :) My health issues weren't so bad - the doc said I got high blood pressure - and asked if it is stress-related.

And just like that told me about the pills - and It got me thinking, is it ethical, is it in compliance with Orthodox teaching?
Doing what is necessary to treat a problem is okay. Now, if you were offered lifestyle changes first, and you chose to jump straight into the pills, that could be a questionable attitude that you should investigate. Overdoing it is as harmful as refusing to do it.
 
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Doing what is necessary to treat a problem is okay. Now, if you were offered lifestyle changes first, and you chose to jump straight into the pills, that could be a questionable attitude that you should investigate. Overdoing it is as harmful as refusing to do it.
Yep not sinful in itself but it shows that maybe you don't really want to change and want to cover up the problem and not face it
 

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I would like to ask what is the position of the Orthodox Church towards modern days psychiatric treatment?
The link above has Orthodox Psychiatrists listed. Psychiatrists are licensed to prescribe medications; they specialize in psychiatric medication. They also use labs, therapy, and other resources to determine what is needed.
From this I conclude that the position of the church is that it is not opposed to psychiatric medication.
 

Faithseeker

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I have mental health issues. Just like we must take care of our physical health, we must take care of our mental health.

If a person's mental health affects their quality of life or presents issues of suicidal thoughts, medication are a part of becoming healthy.

How can you practice your faith when your mental health presents barriers to your ability to function in a healthy manner?
 
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