Mental Health Ministries

Anxiety Resources: Overcoming the Fear

Videos | Articles/Other Resources | Books

Nearly one in five Americans has an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older. Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment. College students are often described as more stressed than ever before. Anxiety in children is also on a rise. Our faith communities are one place to educate on how fear and anxiety can affect our daily lives and offer ways to support persons living with anxiety.

Anxiety Disorders: Overcoming the Fear

(PDF, English | PDF, Español)

Anxiety Disorders: Overcoming the Fear A brochure from Mental Health Ministries can be used as a handout to help educate congregations about the different types of anxiety disorders and how congregations can help.  Anxiety can make people feel as if no one cares and they don’t see a way forward.  This may cause people to pull back from social situations…and from their faith.  One of the greatest problems for those with anxiety is the lack of seeing the future as positive.  A faith community can offer a vision of hope and assurance that the individual is not alone.  Congregations can offer a safe, welcoming and accepting community with people who care and will listen without judgment.  Practices of prayer, meditation and mindfulness can help persons calm their breathing and center their bodies in the present.

Videos

Video by Mental Health Ministries – Anxiety Disorders: Overcoming the Fear

Complete Show - 20:06 (watch it on YouTube)

For some 23 million Americans, anxiety is more than a simple case of the nerves. Instead, it manifests in severe panic attacks that lead to fearful avoidance of certain places or situations. These fears can be as crippling as any serious physical illness. Help and hope are available.

The complete show is available on the DVD set, Mental Illness and Families of Faith.

Video by Mental Health Ministries – Overcoming Stigma Finding Hope

Preview Clip (watch it on YouTube)
Complete Show - 14:42 (watch it on YouTube)

All too often the term "mental illness" evokes inaccurate, stigmatizing stereotypes. Studies estimate that one-half of people with treatable mental illness do not seek help because of the stigma. Mental health professionals discuss stigma, its affects and moving beyond stigma to hope.

The complete show is available on the DVD set, Mental Illness and Families of Faith.

Holding Your Center in Anxious Times

View Show (watch it on YouTube)

The Interfaith Network on Mental Illness hosted a presentation by Dr. Jerry Ruhl last November. We live in a time of tumultuous social, political, and psychological upheaval. Today, many people experience, in their families and faith communities, a divisiveness that triggers pervasive stress and anxiety. How are we to manage anxiety, heal moral injury, and sustain a healthy center in these times?

The complete show is available on the DVD set, Mental Illness and Families of Faith.

 

Articles/Other Resources

Article – Overcoming Anxiety

By Robin L. Flanigan

(@ Esperanza Magazine)

Overcoming Anxiety article An article by Robin L. Flanigan from Esperanza magazine, gives a description of the different types and degrees of anxiety disorders and offers tool and treatments that can help combat the constant worrying, irrational fears or panic attacks.  No one medication or treatment will work for everyone, but she stresses the importance of accepting that you have an anxiety disorder.  The article talks about Rod, a retired pastor.  “Meditation is a form of acceptance,” says the pastor, who also takes a low dose of anxiety medication. “An hour after you’ve done your meditation, the same symptoms can occur, but now, instead of saying, ‘Dang it, here it comes again,’ I just tell the anxiety, ‘I’ve got to do things today that I think are important, and if you want to come along, come along.’” 

Article – A Healthy Home is a Happy Home: How to Optimize Your Home for Healthy, Stress-free Living

(@Redfin.com)

A Healthy Home is a Happy Home: How to Optimize Your Home for Healthy, Stress-free LivingIt’s no secret that our environments influence the way we think, feel and act. Most people desire good health and for most people, their home is the environment they are most often surrounded by. Everyone deserves to live a happy, healthy life and we can start by creating a home environment optimal for health.  Stress reduction is the first step toward living a healthy life, because stress is a large determinant of good health. Continuous or chronic stress can cause muscle tension, headaches and migraines, heart problems, adrenal fatigue, nausea, overeating and is overall draining for your energy levels.
This blog article offers a number of suggestions on ways to make changes where you live to reduce stress and promote overall health.  For example, you can relieve stress by bringing some plants into your home.  A few ideas include looking to reduce clutter, setting aside a place for solitude and meditation, making healthier choices about food and simple things like bringing some plants inside.  Studies have shown that exposure to nature improves mood and reduces stress. 

Research Study – Benefits of Mindfulness for Combating Anxious Thoughts

(@ bpHope)

Just 10 minutes of daily mindful mediation can help prevent your mind from wandering and is particularly effective if you tend to have repetitive, anxious thoughts, according to a study from the University of Waterloo.  The study, which assessed the impact of meditation with 82 participants who experience anxiety, found that developing an awareness of the present moment reduced incidents of repetitive, off-task thinking, a hallmark of anxiety.  The study, co-authored by Waterloo psychology professors Christine Purdon and Daniel Smilek and Harvard University’s Paul Seli, was published in Consciousness and Cognition.

Article – Almost Two-Thirds of Children Worry All the Time

(@ BBC.com)

The BBC reports on a study that reveals the number of 11 and 12-year-old children who experience anxiety. Concerns about family and friends and fear of failing at school are the top causes of anxiety. There was a gender divide, with 36% of girls worrying about being bullied, compared with 22% of boys. More than 80% of the children surveyed said the best way for adults to help was to listen sympathetically and pupils said it was important to be kind to anxious classmates. The most common coping strategies were talking to family members (72%) or to friends (65%), while 65% of boys calmed themselves by playing computer games compared with 39% of girls.

Center for Anxiety

The Center for AnxietyThe Center for Anxiety focuses on religiously/spiritually-integrated treatments for anxiety (particularly for those from Jewish backgrounds, but also for those from any religious or non-religious background). For more information and to register to receive the newsletter, see their website or contact the Center’s founder and director, Dr. David H. Rosmarin at info@centerforanxiety.org.

Article – Bipolar & Pets: Breaking the Grip of Panic Attacks

(@ bpHope)

A blog from a bphope shares how pets can be helpful when you are in the midst of a panic attack. Whether it’s a service dog or a companion animal, pets have been documented to get the attention of their owners during an anxiety episode or a panic attack and break the grip the panic has. For some, having a psychiatric dog will allow people to go out in public again with confidence. They know that if they have a severe attack, their dog will get their attention, break the spell and offer love and affection.

 

Books

Anxious: Choosing Faith in a World of Worry

(Available on Amazon)

Anxious: Choosing Faith in a World of WorryOur culture is frantic with worry. We stress over circumstances we can’t control, we talk about what’s keeping us up at night and we wring our hands over the fate of disadvantaged people all over the world, almost as if to show we care and that we have big things to care about. Worry is part of our culture, an expectation of responsible people. And sadly, Christians are no different. But we are called to live and think differently from the worried world around us. Worry is a spiritual problem, which ultimately cannot be overcome with sheer willpower–its solution is rooted entirely in who God is.

Challenging the idolatrous underpinnings of worry, former Christianity Today executive Amy Simpson encourages us to root our faith in who God is, not in our own will power. Correctly understanding the theology of worry is critical to true transformation