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Sermon Title: How to live free from Anxiety

Place: Oakdale Wesleyan Church

Date: February 27, 2005

Series: How to Live the Uncomplicated Life

Introduction

In recent years our society has been plagued by a new epidemic. The cure for this epidemic has become a billion dollar industry as one pharmaceutical company after another attempts to find the magic cure. What is this new epidemic? Stress and Anxiety disorders. This past Thursday as Dr. John, Bob Parisaue and myself were talking John made mention that even with all the advancements we have, stress is at an all time high.

Let me quickly share some research I discovered about stress and axiety this week from a research project that was recently completed for a governmental study ….

• Anxiety Disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S. with 19.1 million (13.3%) of the adult U.S. population (ages 18-54) being affected.

• According to "The Economic Burden of Anxiety Disorders," a study commissioned by the ADAA and based on data gathered by the association and published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, anxiety disorders cost the U.S. more than $42 billion a year, almost one third of the $148 billion total mental health bill for the U.S.

• More than $22.84 billion of those costs are associated with the repeated use of healthcare services, as those with anxiety disorders seek relief for symptoms that mimic physical illnesses.

• People with an anxiety disorder are three-to-five times more likely to go to the doctor and six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than non-sufferers.

Survey of Panic Disorders

• One and a half percent of the US population are afflicted with a panic disorder: 4,045,627. Over four MILLION people.

• 10% of the population will at one time in their lives have a panic attack. This is occasionally, and not to the point of disability.

• It is most common for a panic disorder to emerge in the early 20’s, but children are not immune. Panic Attacks are rare in people over the age of 65.

• The average person goes to the doctor 5 times a year. A person with Panic Disorder goes, on average, 37 times. 15% of the 37 visits were emergency situations; either Emergency Room treatment, emergency family doctor visits, or urgent care facilities.

• Half of all Panic Disorder patients either have had, or will develop clinical depression

Stats on Work Place Stress

In the U.S., experts at the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health are dedicated to studying stress. They’ve found:

• Stress is linked to physical and mental health, as well as decreased willingness to take on new and creative endeavors.

• Job burnout experienced by 25% to 40% of U.S. workers is blamed on stress.

• More than ever before, employee stress is being recognized as a major drain on corporate productivity and competitiveness.

• Depression, only one type of stress reaction, is predicted to be the leading occupational disease of the 21st century, responsible for more days lost than any other single factor.

• $300 billion, or $7,500 per employee, is spent annually in the U.S. on stress-related compensation claims, reduced productivity, absenteeism, health insurance costs, direct medical expenses, and employee turnover.

Numerous common health problems linked to stress:

• The leading six causes of death in the U.S.: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide are often stress related

• Immune response and deficiency is brought on by stress

• Stress can cause memory loss

• It can also cause obesity

So as you can see, America is loosing billions on stress and anxiety disorders and companies are lining up to find the magic fix. Now here is the funny part of all this. While we are trying to medicate our cares away, God, several thousand years ago, already gave us a prescription for reducing stress and anxiety in our lives. God has already given us a remedy to living an uncomplicated life. I don’t claim to be a psychiatrist and psychologist or medical doctor and if you have some severe emotional or mental struggles you should seek proper care. If you want to start in the church you can make an appointment to visit Dr. John who can get you pointed in the right direction for proper help and care.

What I do claim to be is a student of God’s word. And I do believe that what is in this book can and does in fact cure us if we are willing to follow its advice. So while the world is going crazy trying to find a cure to stress and anxiety, I believe God has already given us the cure and that cure I would like to share with you this morning, and I won’t even charge you for it. I believe if we can learn to truly take these concepts to heart, it might very well lead us to living the Uncomplicated, anxiety free, stress free life…

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