"Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace."
Valentine's Day can be unpleasant from some especially if you suffer from GAD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Suffers of this disorder make comments such as:
“I always thought I was just a worrier. I’d feel keyed up and unable to relax. At times it would come and go, and at times it would be constant. It could go on for days. I’d worry about what I was going to fix for a dinner party, or what would be a great present for somebody. I just couldn’t let something go.”
“I’d have terrible sleeping problems. There were times I’d wake up wired in the middle of the night. I had trouble concentrating, even reading the newspaper or a novel. Sometimes I’d feel a little lightheaded. My heart would race or pound. And that would make me worry more. I was always imagining things were worse than they really were. When I got a stomachache, I’d think it was an ulcer.”
“I was worried all the time about everything. It didn't matter that there were no signs of problems, I just got upset. I was having trouble falling asleep at night, and I couldn't keep my mind focused at work. I felt angry at my family all the time.”
People with GAD can’t seem to get rid of their concerns, even though they usually realize that their anxiety is more intense than the situation warrants. They can’t relax, startle easily, and have difficulty concentrating. Often they have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Physical symptoms that often accompany the anxiety include fatigue, headaches, muscle tension, muscle aches, difficulty swallowing, trembling, twitching, irritability, sweating, nausea, lightheadedness, having to go to the bathroom frequently, feeling out of breath, and hot flashes.
In the Bible it is said, "You will need the breastplate of God's approval." (Ephesians 6:14) Each morning, no matter how badly you feel, no matter what went wrong the day before, you need to wake up and say, "God, thank you for loving me. Thank you for approving me. I know you are pleased with me. Thank you for you're forgiveness. I know I am your friend."
If you do that you'll be amazed what begins to happen. Your whole life will change. That heavy load of guilt, frustration, and anxiety will begin to lift off your shoulders. You will begin to get more joy into your life. You'll begin seeing a whole new attitude.
Putting on the breastplate of God's approval does not happen automatically. It is something you must strive to do each day. Sometimes we may need a bit more help along the way, too. God understands this and may speak to our heart concerning getting the help you need.
People with GAD may visit a doctor many times before they find out they have this disorder. They ask their doctors to help them with headaches or trouble falling asleep, which can be symptoms of GAD but they don't always get the help they need right away. It may take doctors some time to be sure that a person has GAD instead of something else.
GAD is generally treated with psychotherapy, medication, or both.
Psychotherapy: is a type of psychotherapy called cognitive behavior therapy is especially useful for treating GAD. It teaches a person different ways of thinking, behaving, and reacting to situations that help him or her feel less anxious and worried.
Medication: Doctors also may prescribe medication to help treat GAD. Two types of medications are commonly used to treat GAD—anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants. Anti-anxiety medications are powerful and there are different types. Many types begin working right away, but they generally should not be taken for long periods.
If you have an anxiety disorder, stop beating yourself up. Don't worry how many mistakes you've made. God sees value in you because you are created in his own image. He will help you through this. Open your heart. Realize that this is something you may have to work on all your life, but God is with you every step of the way.