Anxiety is the most common mental illness diagnosis, and those who suffer from it often feel overwhelmed, out of control, ashamed, lonely, and spiritually defeated.

Dr. Amanda Porter, a psychiatric nurse practitioner with triple-board certifications in internal medicine, psychiatry/mental health, and addiction, openly shares that she, too, struggles with anxiety.

She has found that many people mistake anxiety as a sin and consequently experience feelings of guilt. She says the truth is that anxiety is an emotion that can serve as a life-saving tool. 

"Although anxiety sometimes occurs as a result of our sins, specifically as consequences of poor choices, we can learn to minimize our anxiety levels by making good decisions, praying, receiving input from trusted sources, and surrounding ourselves with other people who make good decisions," said Dr. Porter.

"We must remember that God can use our struggles to develop our character, draw us closer to him, and guide us to truth through prayer and Scripture."

Dr. Porter encourages those who have grown weary in their search for relief to push forward, trust God, and choose faith over fear. She reminds us that our victory is found in Jesus, and through him, we can transform a life of anxiety into one of peace and abundance.

"Our focus should be on healing, not finding a cure. We may never fully eradicate the symptoms of anxiety, but through hard work and commitment, we can find healing, peace, and acceptance."

Today on Connections, Dr. Porter shares some coping strategies, spiritual guidance, and refreshing encouragement to help those struggling discover personal freedom.