What Missionaries Ought to Know about Anxiety

  • Approximate Time Commitment: 15 minutes

What Missionaries Ought to know… does not mean that the author sat down and decided what missionaries ought to know, but rather what missionaries themselves asked about these topics. During the author’s 35 years of college teaching, he learned that if one person asks a question, others probably want to know the same thing—and if two people ask, it was certainly a topic that others need to know about. These are things missionaries need to know because several missionaries have asked about each of them at one time or another.

To read more from the What Missionaries Ought to Know series


Resource Description


You have been worrying more than usual lately. You used to worry only about such things as the unstable political situation or the safety of your children, but lately you seem to be anxious about everything. You even worry about such things as car repairs and having enough money for retirement. Sometimes your hands get cold and clammy, and you are beginning to have trouble sleeping. You begin to wonder such things as these: Is my anxiety serious? Can I have anxiety if I am really committed to Christ? What causes anxiety? Will I ever get over it? What can I do to prevent and get rid of it? Let’s consider some of these questions.

How serious is my anxiety?

Everyone has some anxiety. For some it is anticipating speaking to a crowd. For others it is when meeting new people. For still others it is about being in a different culture. Usually this uneasiness is rather mild and does not last long. However, if it does not go away and becomes intense, you may have an anxiety disorder. To have a generalized anxiety disorder you must have the following:

  • Excessive worry about many things more days than not for at least six months.
  • Difficulty controlling the worrying

At least three of the following:

  • Feeling “keyed up” or “on edge”
  • Easily fatigued
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Sleep disturbances

These symptoms must be bad enough to distress you or impair your daily functioning and not be caused by drugs, hormonal imbalance, or other physical factors. However, even if you do not meet these criteria for an anxiety disorder, the material in this brochure may still help you and make your life more pleasant and make you more effective at work and in your relationships with others.


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