Author Topic: I loathe and fear going to church  (Read 1022 times)

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Offline Rhinosaur

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I loathe and fear going to church
« on: December 14, 2017, 05:02:05 PM »
I have to share a major problem I'm going through.  Though going to church has always been a bit of a chore for me, in the last few weeks, these feelings have ramped up considerably, and they have been building up for many months.  As of the moment, the very thought of going to church almost sends me into a panic.  The last time I went to Vespers, I had a panic attack (it was internal, I didn't show my discomfort).  As of the moment, the idea of going to church sends me into a near-existential panic.  I feel trapped, caged, persecuted, and even some degree of physical discomfort, like I'm being beaten up with invisible clubs. 

The Orthodox Church has done so much for me, and I know these feelings are wrong, but I can't bottle them up anymore.  I have been going through some tough personal struggles, and my faith has helped me, but still, these feelings and persist and grow.  Maybe I just need to move my schedule around a bit in other areas of my life, I don't.  Vespers especially gets to me; I have to go to confession to take communion, so I go, but it can be pure hell.  It feels like I'm being blackmailed into going.  I know, viewing taking the steps to receive the Eucharist as blackmail is horrible, but again, that's how my mind how sometimes framed it.  Going to church in general feels painful, and there's a part of me that's wondering why I submit myself to something that's so miserable?  Why do I torment myself like this?  I know that the devil attacks us in church, I know how important church attendance is, and I've met some great people there, but at this point, going there seems like going to a weekly torture chamber.  Also, I know that there are many Christians throughout the world being attacked and killed for their faith, so I feel a measure of guilt for having these feelings.  I know these feelings aren't right, but they are a reality.  Any advice?

Offline Ainnir

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2017, 05:47:59 PM »
Lord, have mercy. 

And hugs for you.  That is all I have to offer for now, though it's not very practical.
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2017, 05:52:44 PM »

Why is going to church "miserable"? 
Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria

Offline Rhinosaur

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2017, 06:15:55 PM »

Why is going to church "miserable"?

I just feel like I'm going to snap in two while I'm there.  Also, even though it's Thursday, I already have dread about upcoming Vespers.  I know that going to Vespers isn't required, but I need to confess, and I've done so the last few times as well.  The whole routine has just exhausted me.  It feels like I'm being put in scalding water sometimes.

Offline Ainnir

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2017, 06:41:36 PM »
Do you feel better or worse after confessing?  You don't necessarily need to answer "out loud," but it might be worth reflecting on.
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2017, 07:04:30 PM »
Hmm. Do you suffer from social anxiety at all? Could that enter into it?
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Offline biro

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2017, 07:32:57 PM »
Maybe Confession will help?

Lord have mercy. I hope it gets better.
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Offline Nathanael

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2017, 07:39:50 PM »
Have you asked your confessor/Spiritual father about this problem?

Monk Arseniye (Yovanovich) - probably today the most famous preacher of the Serbian Orthodox Church - is here on this video speaking about his phase of life where he as a novice had to handle with fear and panic attacks. It's part 11 of his (spiritual) autobiography. In part 12 he continues to talk about it. It's not exactly the same situation like yours, but it's similiar, and I think you can benefit from his talk.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2Ze_wUzufA



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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2017, 10:41:59 PM »
Do you have secular professional help (psychiatrists, psychologists, psychanalists)? I really don't suffer in that intensity, but I can relate to have psychiatric conditions impairing church life. I have ADHD, which makes me have a hard time paying attention to long services or staying still, and GAD, which sometimes makes me just wish the service is over so I can do something else (after a whole week waiting for Divine Liturgy eagerly). I just accept this is beyond me and hope God to heal me, which helped over time, of course, with some help from my Jewish doctor (Canon XI of Constantinople III doesn't apply because she doesn't use magic to take care of my hyperactive brain).

Jokes aside, I think POD is on to something. You should combine secular treatment (psychiatry and psychology) with religious (pastorals, confession, prayer, etc.).

Pray to St. Dymphna. I heard she is the patron saint of mental health and praying to her in that respect has become a habit.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 10:45:08 PM by RaphaCam »
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Offline Lexi

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2017, 11:08:56 PM »
I suffer from anxiety myself. I highly recommend seeking the help of a medical professional, as such strong anxiety is not something you should have to deal with. It's a medical condition that deserves medical treatment. Trying to soldier through on your own isn't doing yourself or the other people in your life any good. Whether it is just someone to talk to, or something that needs medication, it would be wise to seek the help of a professional.

Offline JTLoganville

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2017, 11:35:46 PM »
Find an Orthodox Christian medical practitioner.

They exist.

My AOA congregation is blessed to have two Psychologists and one Psychiatrist (as well as a Oncological surgeon, an Orthopedic surgeon, and a retired Cardiologist).

Offline RobS

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2017, 11:53:40 PM »
I have to share a major problem I'm going through.  Though going to church has always been a bit of a chore for me, in the last few weeks, these feelings have ramped up considerably, and they have been building up for many months.  As of the moment, the very thought of going to church almost sends me into a panic.  The last time I went to Vespers, I had a panic attack (it was internal, I didn't show my discomfort).  As of the moment, the idea of going to church sends me into a near-existential panic.  I feel trapped, caged, persecuted, and even some degree of physical discomfort, like I'm being beaten up with invisible clubs.

Rhinosaur, in bold is particularly worrisome. I agree with Lexi, what you are describing I'd recommend receiving help from a professional. I know the feelings you have cause I went through them last year. My own experience with acute clinical depression was a hellish nightmare I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. The day of my baptism my entire body was kicking and screaming. But I used three stones to kill a bird. I got treatment through a qualified psychologist, my GP to prescribe basic anti-depressants, and involvement in the parish life. All three of these in tandem helped resolve my depression and anxiety. You don't have to do what I did, but I want you to know there is hope and success is possible.

Please keep us updated with how things are going along. Shoot me a PM if you want to talk.


I suffer from anxiety myself. I highly recommend seeking the help of a medical professional, as such strong anxiety is not something you should have to deal with. It's a medical condition that deserves medical treatment. Trying to soldier through on your own isn't doing yourself or the other people in your life any good. Whether it is just someone to talk to, or something that needs medication, it would be wise to seek the help of a professional.
+1

You should combine secular treatment (psychiatry and psychology) with religious (pastorals, confession, prayer, etc.).
+1
« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 11:55:18 PM by RobS »
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Offline Pravoslavbob

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2017, 12:12:09 AM »
I have to share a major problem I'm going through.  Though going to church has always been a bit of a chore for me, in the last few weeks, these feelings have ramped up considerably, and they have been building up for many months.  As of the moment, the very thought of going to church almost sends me into a panic.  The last time I went to Vespers, I had a panic attack (it was internal, I didn't show my discomfort).  As of the moment, the idea of going to church sends me into a near-existential panic.  I feel trapped, caged, persecuted, and even some degree of physical discomfort, like I'm being beaten up with invisible clubs. 

The Orthodox Church has done so much for me, and I know these feelings are wrong, but I can't bottle them up anymore.  I have been going through some tough personal struggles, and my faith has helped me, but still, these feelings and persist and grow.  Maybe I just need to move my schedule around a bit in other areas of my life, I don't.  Vespers especially gets to me; I have to go to confession to take communion, so I go, but it can be pure hell.  It feels like I'm being blackmailed into going.  I know, viewing taking the steps to receive the Eucharist as blackmail is horrible, but again, that's how my mind how sometimes framed it.  Going to church in general feels painful, and there's a part of me that's wondering why I submit myself to something that's so miserable?  Why do I torment myself like this?  I know that the devil attacks us in church, I know how important church attendance is, and I've met some great people there, but at this point, going there seems like going to a weekly torture chamber.  Also, I know that there are many Christians throughout the world being attacked and killed for their faith, so I feel a measure of guilt for having these feelings.  I know these feelings aren't right, but they are a reality.  Any advice?

When you say "I have to go to confession to take communion", ie every time you wish to go to communion, do you mean your spiritual father has initiated this discipline particularly in your case, or does he require it of everyone who wishes to approach the cup every week?
« Last Edit: December 15, 2017, 12:12:28 AM by Pravoslavbob »
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Offline Nathanael

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2017, 06:13:16 AM »
I can't believe that so many recommend you to seek the help of a medical professional. I would understand that, if this problem effects you in your everday life - from morning till evening - and that would indicate that it has maybe a mental cause. But it's "only" during the service in the church - and therefore it's from the devil. 

Even since the Early Church Christians are compared with soldiers. We're in a spiritual arena. And we have to fight, and we have to find a way out to the last atom of our strength.
And I can say only from my own experience. I had and I have terrible temptations  but I'm so thankful for God for that. All this fight exhausted so much - but all that opened my spiritual eyes and I see more and more clearly how messed up my life is with so many, "little" bad habits, passions and by my Ego. Horrible temptations give us the opportunity to see our life and ourselves more clearly and to see the need to change our life and to lead a more virtuous, "ascetic" life; it teaches us humility and prayer. And by seeking help of a medical professional at the very beginning, we lose this opportunity.

Orthodox Psychotherapy (as for example described in the book of Hierotheos Vlachos) is also effective against so many sorts of psychological problems. But we need guidance, the will to fight and most of all - patience. Maybe the problem will be solved in few months, maybe after one year or after ten years. but that's the way to eternal life - to carry our cross. Father Arseniye, who I recommended to you to listen, had different psychological problems during his life and he has been dealing with mental problems in general and the question of taking medicine against that. He says that we have first to really try to solve the problem without medicine and then - with the blessing and guidance of our spiritual father - we can consider seeking help of a medical professional/psychiatrist. But you risk to be addicted to that. Father Arseniye recommends medical help in case of schizophrenia.

Quote
so I feel a measure of guilt for having these feelings

Eight years ago I struggled almost for a year with terrible blasphemous-vulgar thoughts during services. I couldn't even look at the icons and it was very difficult to pray. And like you I felt very guilty for these thoughts. But this is an error. We shouldn't feel guilty - this feeling can only increase this temptation. The cause of this fear is not you - but the devil. This is not your feeling. Try as much as possible not to pay attention to them.
And after receiving this and other advise from a monk, these blasphemous disappeared in my case.



« Last Edit: December 15, 2017, 06:17:48 AM by Nathanael »
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Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2017, 07:17:43 AM »
DISCLAIMER: I am not a priest or Orthodox authority of any sort.

I can relate to your struggles. I struggle with anxiety and depression and insomnia. I love attending Divine Liturgy, and yet I miss Church way too often. I have learned that we all have to live out our own faith as best we can. Measuring ourselves against others, and judging others, is a sure spiritual pitfall. So don't worry about what others think. You will attend Divine services when you can. If others think you are weak and unfaithful because you don't come every Sunday, so be it. Remember that you are living to serve God, not man. And God knows your heart. So be at peace, and keep striving.

Selam
« Last Edit: December 15, 2017, 07:18:30 AM by Gebre Menfes Kidus »
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Offline Nathanael

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2017, 10:11:05 AM »
Forgive me that I gave you some advises - as unexperienced and weak as I am. I was just shocked how some people without thinking about it much, gave you the advise to seek help from a medical professional. It's a very serious step. Especially when you write that you have this problem since few weeks.

And the problem is that the most medical professionals (even with an orthodox christian background) incline to give you some drugs anyway, without measuring your situation exactly. Medical treatment for mental disorders is not something evil or bad per se, but I think the most people decide too hasty for such a solution. And if somebody is an orthodox believer and if he has a spiritual father and would probably never advise him to take pharmaceutical drug.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2017, 10:22:25 AM by Nathanael »
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Offline Nathanael

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2017, 10:22:57 AM »
I hope and pray that you will find your way out of that...
« Last Edit: December 15, 2017, 10:24:12 AM by Nathanael »
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2017, 02:53:14 PM »
Thanks for the perspective, Nathanael.
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2017, 03:11:31 PM »
Thanks for the perspective, Nathanael.

Why?  I'm sure it's well intended, but it is potentially as harmful as what he claims to be responding to.
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2017, 03:33:04 PM »
Thanks for the perspective, Nathanael.

Why?  I'm sure it's well intended, but it is potentially as harmful as what he claims to be responding to.

Personally, I'd recommend depth psychology, and mild drugs like Welbutrin (not an SSRI) as well as a medical checkup. I mean as long as we're giving advice on the internet to people we know nothing about. As someone who's watched SSRI withdrawal kill someone (and as I was her nurse aide, I do mean watched), and, on the other hand, was raised with religious scare stories designed to discourage us from going to psychiatrists at all (and many people in my community suffered as a result of neglecting their mental health for religious reasons, in a few cases with terrible results for those around them, including felony-level harmful actions), I'm just glad for any nuance or firm unfashionable fact any side can bring forward.
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Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Nathanael

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2017, 03:45:15 PM »
Quote
And if somebody is an orthodox believer and if he has a spiritual father and would probably never advise him to take pharmaceutical drug.

I have to modify my message. I would also never advise somebody not to take pharmaceutical drug. If I personally would suffer from a psychological problem, I think (!), I would seek help form a medical professional after struggling several years against this problem and wihtout seeing any connections between my passions and this psychological problem.

Forgive me please, but to ask members of this forum: Would you personally start to take pharmaceutical drug because of having anxiety and panic "only" during church services after just few weeks? Really?
« Last Edit: December 15, 2017, 03:47:07 PM by Nathanael »
Wisdom from Valaam:
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Offline Nathanael

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2017, 04:00:14 PM »
Quote
As someone who's watched SSRI withdrawal kill someone (and as I was her nurse aide, I do mean watched)

That's what I mean when I write it's a serious step. I could use also other examples, which I experienced during social work activity...but everybody responds differently to pharmaceutical drugs.
Wisdom from Valaam:
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The Goal of the Eastern Christian Monk:
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Offline RobS

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #22 on: December 15, 2017, 04:00:31 PM »
We don't know anything about Rhinosaur, true, but what he is describing seems to go beyond advice from a spiritual master. Maybe there's an underlying anxiety that might be helped with talk therapy or medication, who knows. I hope he knows someone that cares about him where he can talk about this stuff openly and receive guidance on what to do.

If I were to tackle the OP's issue, I'd seek out the best qualified psychologist I could afford and who also is sensitive towards the importance of faith in one's life. I would be regularly communicating with a parish priest with how therapy is going, etc. and also try to do some spiritual activities in-conjunction with therapies from a psychologist. I'd leave the medication as probably a last resort.

Everyone is unique and has to find the right treatment for them that'll involve trial and error.
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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #23 on: December 15, 2017, 04:03:52 PM »
The point is to keep your options open.  Talk to your priest about what's going on.  Talk to a physician about what's going on.  These are not necessarily opposed.  Turning every problem into some cosmic battle with demons is as unhelpful as medicating everything and ignoring the spiritual.  In one person's case, it may be exclusively the former, in another's the latter, and in many people's cases, a bit of both.  What works for you may not work for someone else, and may in fact make their problems worse.   

Quote
And if somebody is an orthodox believer and if he has a spiritual father and would probably never advise him to take pharmaceutical drug.

I have to modify my message. I would also never advise somebody not to take pharmaceutical drug. If I personally would suffer from a psychological problem, I think (!), I would seek help form a medical professional after struggling several years against this problem and wihtout seeing any connections between my passions and this psychological problem.

You're free to do with your life as you please, but I would never recommend someone with the issues in the OP to bumble around and try to figure it out on their own for several years before seeking help. 

Quote
Forgive me please, but to ask members of this forum: Would you personally start to take pharmaceutical drug because of having anxiety and panic "only" during church services after just few weeks? Really?

If I talked to my priest and to a physician and this was part of my care, yes.  I wouldn't go on the internet, diagnose myself with a psychiatric issue, and solicit my local drug dealer, neither would I bury my head in the sand and pretend it's actually my mind descending into my nous. 
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

Quote
The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #24 on: December 15, 2017, 04:05:38 PM »
Quote
As someone who's watched SSRI withdrawal kill someone (and as I was her nurse aide, I do mean watched)

That's what I mean when I write it's a serious step. I could use also other examples, which I experienced during social work activity...but everybody responds differently to pharmaceutical drugs.

Pastoral care also has a checkered history, but we don't dismiss it entirely for that reason.
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

Quote
The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline RobS

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #25 on: December 15, 2017, 04:05:58 PM »
Quote
And if somebody is an orthodox believer and if he has a spiritual father and would probably never advise him to take pharmaceutical drug.

I have to modify my message. I would also never advise somebody not to take pharmaceutical drug. If I personally would suffer from a psychological problem, I think (!), I would seek help form a medical professional after struggling several years against this problem and wihtout seeing any connections between my passions and this psychological problem.

Forgive me please, but to ask members of this forum: Would you personally start to take pharmaceutical drug because of having anxiety and panic "only" during church services after just few weeks? Really?

He said this has been developing over months and intensified in the past few weeks. Are we going to play armchair psychoanalysts now? Why he feels like going to Church is a weekly torture chamber? It's not our jobs as Christians to figure people out. Besides nobody here is qualified to do that. I think its only appropriate we can give general advice and we do so out of love for our brother. It's ok to caution certain treatments, but lets not run wild with our anecdotes as the deciding factor for everyone else.
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #26 on: December 15, 2017, 04:15:41 PM »
The point is to keep your options open.  Talk to your priest about what's going on.  Talk to a physician about what's going on.  These are not necessarily opposed.  Turning every problem into some cosmic battle with demons is as unhelpful as medicating everything and ignoring the spiritual.  In one person's case, it may be exclusively the former, in another's the latter, and in many people's cases, a bit of both.  What works for you may not work for someone else, and may in fact make their problems worse.   

Quote
And if somebody is an orthodox believer and if he has a spiritual father and would probably never advise him to take pharmaceutical drug.

I have to modify my message. I would also never advise somebody not to take pharmaceutical drug. If I personally would suffer from a psychological problem, I think (!), I would seek help form a medical professional after struggling several years against this problem and wihtout seeing any connections between my passions and this psychological problem.

You're free to do with your life as you please, but I would never recommend someone with the issues in the OP to bumble around and try to figure it out on their own for several years before seeking help. 

Quote
Forgive me please, but to ask members of this forum: Would you personally start to take pharmaceutical drug because of having anxiety and panic "only" during church services after just few weeks? Really?

If I talked to my priest and to a physician and this was part of my care, yes.  I wouldn't go on the internet, diagnose myself with a psychiatric issue, and solicit my local drug dealer, neither would I bury my head in the sand and pretend it's actually my mind descending into my nous.

Excellent points all.

Quote
And if somebody is an orthodox believer and if he has a spiritual father and would probably never advise him to take pharmaceutical drug.

I have to modify my message. I would also never advise somebody not to take pharmaceutical drug. If I personally would suffer from a psychological problem, I think (!), I would seek help form a medical professional after struggling several years against this problem and wihtout seeing any connections between my passions and this psychological problem.

Forgive me please, but to ask members of this forum: Would you personally start to take pharmaceutical drug because of having anxiety and panic "only" during church services after just few weeks? Really?

He said this has been developing over months and intensified in the past few weeks. Are we going to play armchair psychoanalysts now? Why he feels like going to Church is a weekly torture chamber? It's not our jobs as Christians to figure people out. Besides nobody here is qualified to do that. I think its only appropriate we can give general advice and we do so out of love for our brother. It's ok to caution certain treatments, but lets not run wild with our anecdotes as the deciding factor for everyone else.

I agree.
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Offline Nathanael

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #27 on: December 15, 2017, 04:25:33 PM »
Quote
Everyone is unique and has to find the right treatment for them that'll involve trial and error.
+1
« Last Edit: December 15, 2017, 04:25:45 PM by Nathanael »
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Offline Alpo

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #28 on: December 15, 2017, 04:29:48 PM »
I know these feelings are wrong

No, they aren't. It is never wrong to be honest with yourself. Being honest is IMO the first step of doing anything sensible in the first place.

Quote
Everyone is unique and has to find the right treatment for them that'll involve trial and error.
+1

+2
« Last Edit: December 15, 2017, 04:30:30 PM by Alpo »
But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 19:34

Offline Rhinosaur

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #29 on: December 15, 2017, 05:39:17 PM »
Thanks for all the responses and support, I really appreciate it.

I am doing counseling, and that's helped me alot.  These feelings aren't by any means limited to church, though that is arguably the most prominent.  Any place where I feel pinned down in any sort of way can cause me to retreat into myself, I think it has to do with some things from my childhood (nothing too traumatic or terrible, don't worry).  I do take at least one bathroom break during church, and I know that technically, I can walk out any time.  But I know how important every part of the Divine Liturgy is and I don't want to miss anything.  I don't take any medication right now, though I'm open to it if need be.  I do think the weight of my sins comes down on me, but more and more, it's like the specter of going to church is a black cloud that hangs over my entire week.  Again, these feelings do manifest themselves elsewhere, but most prominently when it comes to church.

As to having to go to confession, I don't have a spiritual father, and I'm not sure if having one right now would be best for me.  It's more along the lines that certain sins force me to go to confession regularly if I want communion.

I am starting to realize more and more that I have to take my faith very slowly if I want to keep going.  I might have been pushing myself too hard and judging myself too much, though I may also be doing the complete opposite.

Offline WPM

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #30 on: December 15, 2017, 07:02:36 PM »
Quote
And if somebody is an orthodox believer and if he has a spiritual father and would probably never advise him to take pharmaceutical drug.

I have to modify my message. I would also never advise somebody not to take pharmaceutical drug. If I personally would suffer from a psychological problem, I think (!), I would seek help form a medical professional after struggling several years against this problem and wihtout seeing any connections between my passions and this psychological problem.

Forgive me please, but to ask members of this forum: Would you personally start to take pharmaceutical drug because of having anxiety and panic "only" during church services after just few weeks? Really?

He said this has been developing over months and intensified in the past few weeks. Are we going to play armchair psychoanalysts now? Why he feels like going to Church is a weekly torture chamber? It's not our jobs as Christians to figure people out. Besides nobody here is qualified to do that. I think its only appropriate we can give general advice and we do so out of love for our brother. It's ok to caution certain treatments, but lets not run wild with our anecdotes as the deciding factor for everyone else.     


I think you would have to study Psychology or get a degree.
Learn meditation.

Offline Nathanael

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #31 on: December 16, 2017, 07:04:59 AM »
I think it's really important to which therapist you go. While in choosing a spiritual father you can previously observe him during weeks, months or years how he serves, how he acts towards other people and how he receives your confession, and so on. And then you can make a decision. But to choose a therapist you have to trust two, three persons who made good experiences with him/her.

The major problem in American health care system is, that people get to early a diagnosis and strong pharmaceutical drugs. For example: Until 2012, bereavement has always been excluded in the diagnosis of major depression in America. Not anymore. The current draft of the fifth version, known as DSM-V, will allow major depression to be diagnosed two weeks after the death of a loved one. And then they get therapy and drugs. In Europe this would be impossible. But this is due to the influence of the Pharmaceutical industry and not because of the newest scientific discoveries in psychology or in whatever. Another example is the current Opioid Overdose Crisis in America.
Yes, we're too weak and the human life is today too complex, so that all our problems may be resolved always by spiritual practice. But that doesn't mean that we should have complete confidence in modern science - like psychology or psychotherapy, but we should ask God for discernment.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 07:05:26 AM by Nathanael »
Wisdom from Valaam:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6eL2pwtVKs

The Goal of the Eastern Christian Monk:
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Offline Lexi

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #32 on: December 16, 2017, 11:41:54 AM »
I think it's really important to which therapist you go. While in choosing a spiritual father you can previously observe him during weeks, months or years how he serves, how he acts towards other people and how he receives your confession, and so on. And then you can make a decision. But to choose a therapist you have to trust two, three persons who made good experiences with him/her.

The major problem in American health care system is, that people get to early a diagnosis and strong pharmaceutical drugs. For example: Until 2012, bereavement has always been excluded in the diagnosis of major depression in America. Not anymore. The current draft of the fifth version, known as DSM-V, will allow major depression to be diagnosed two weeks after the death of a loved one. And then they get therapy and drugs. In Europe this would be impossible. But this is due to the influence of the Pharmaceutical industry and not because of the newest scientific discoveries in psychology or in whatever. Another example is the current Opioid Overdose Crisis in America.
Yes, we're too weak and the human life is today too complex, so that all our problems may be resolved always by spiritual practice. But that doesn't mean that we should have complete confidence in modern science - like psychology or psychotherapy, but we should ask God for discernment.

This is not always the case. If you go to a GP, all he can do is offer drugs and suggest counseling. If you see a psychiatrist, they do not do therapy they do meds (being medical doctors), if you see a psychologist, they cannot give you drugs they only do therapy. I have experience in all types. Most psychologists and counselors work with a psychiatrist or other medical doctor so they can make recommendations for medication alongside therapy. It's not just "here are some drugs" any time you go to a doctor about mental issues. You need to go to the right kind of doctor.

I personally find the best course of action to speak to your GP and ask them for a recommendation for a therapist/psychologist/counselor. At that point it can be decided if medication would be helpful or if therapy would be best on it's own.

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #33 on: December 16, 2017, 11:53:14 AM »
Satan often does his best work in church.

It is the righteous who are helping him.

  If we feel smothered at church we have to consider satan using the legalism that Christ admonished the church leaders in his time for smothering the common parishoners .

Do not get caught up in rules is what I am saying, concentrate instead on Jesus love for us all. Try to love everyone , yourself included, this is following what Jesus did.

Jesus reminds us that God desires mercy and love, not sacrifice.

Jesus Christ , Son of God, Lord have mercy.
The Lord gathers his sheep, I fear I am a goat. Lord have mercy.

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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #34 on: December 16, 2017, 03:14:29 PM »
Satan often does his best work in church.

It is the righteous who are helping him.

  If we feel smothered at church we have to consider satan using the legalism that Christ admonished the church leaders in his time for smothering the common parishoners .

Do not get caught up in rules is what I am saying, concentrate instead on Jesus love for us all. Try to love everyone , yourself included, this is following what Jesus did.

Jesus reminds us that God desires mercy and love, not sacrifice.

Jesus Christ , Son of God, Lord have mercy.

Commanding someone to "try" while expressing contempt for his coaches and their coaching -- now to me this seems cruel.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #35 on: December 18, 2017, 03:50:09 PM »
Satan often does his best work in church.

It is the righteous who are helping him.

  If we feel smothered at church we have to consider satan using the legalism that Christ admonished the church leaders in his time for smothering the common parishoners .

Do not get caught up in rules is what I am saying, concentrate instead on Jesus love for us all. Try to love everyone , yourself included, this is following what Jesus did.

Jesus reminds us that God desires mercy and love, not sacrifice.

Jesus Christ , Son of God, Lord have mercy.

Commanding someone to "try" while expressing contempt for his coaches and their coaching -- now to me this seems cruel.

Remember Jesus said to do what they tell you, not what they do?
Here is where.

Woes to Scribes and Pharisees
…Mathew 23:2“The scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3So practice and observe everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4They tie up heavy, burdensome loads and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.…

And do not think that this does not happen in every church today, I am here to tell you it still does happen.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2017, 03:52:53 PM by Sinful Hypocrite »
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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #36 on: December 18, 2017, 04:49:51 PM »
Satan often does his best work in church.

It is the righteous who are helping him.

  If we feel smothered at church we have to consider satan using the legalism that Christ admonished the church leaders in his time for smothering the common parishoners .

Do not get caught up in rules is what I am saying, concentrate instead on Jesus love for us all. Try to love everyone , yourself included, this is following what Jesus did.

Jesus reminds us that God desires mercy and love, not sacrifice.

Jesus Christ , Son of God, Lord have mercy.

Commanding someone to "try" while expressing contempt for his coaches and their coaching -- now to me this seems cruel.

Remember Jesus said to do what they tell you, not what they do?
Here is where.

Woes to Scribes and Pharisees
…Mathew 23:2“The scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3So practice and observe everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4They tie up heavy, burdensome loads and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.…

And do not think that this does not happen in every church today, I am here to tell you it still does happen.

True and irrelevant. What you were advising our friend here is that we must exercise our own narcissism for salvation, and by strong implication that the Church is impotent in salvation.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

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Re: I loathe and fear going to church
« Reply #37 on: December 18, 2017, 11:42:54 PM »
Jesus reminds us that God desires mercy and love, not sacrifice.
There's no either/or here, God desires sacrifices of mercy and love.
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