Christian author Craig Denison, who pens the popular devotional First15 reaching 1.4 million millennials daily, opened up about how the global COVID-19 pandemic has heightened his own struggle with anxiety and offered practical advice on what believers and churches can do to help those suffering from panic attacks.
In a recent blog post, “I’m a Christian author, and I keep having panic attacks,” the author admitted that he’s has had five panic attacks since March. Although he said he felt like a “phony” as a leader because of his struggles, Denison decided to be transparent because he knew he was not alone.
According to a 2020 study released by Anxiety and Depression Association of America, an estimated 31% of all adults will experience an anxiety disorder at some point in their life.
Denison, son of a pastor, releases a daily devotional which guides over a million believers into a new experience with God’s presence every day. He and his wife, Rachel, are also worship leaders at Denison Ministries. He is now using his influence to help others suffering from the surge of worry and concern in today’s world.
The following is an edited transcript of The Christian Post’s interview with Denison where the author candidly shares of his battles, reveals why he believes panic attacks are so prevalent today and offers tips for Christians and leaders on how to navigate anxiety.
Christian Post: What inspired you to be so transparent and write “I’m a Christian author, and I keep having panic attacks?”
Denison: One of the most powerful ways I grow as a human and as a child of God is having an opportunity to hear the lived-experience of others. With so many believers struggling with anxiety, stress, and even panic attacks in these uncommon days, I was hoping to simply bring peace and edification to other believers like me. You can love God wholeheartedly, be pursuing Him, even leading other believers in a pursuit of God, and still struggle. None of us are perfect. All of us are in need. And it’s in the declaration of that need that God meets us most powerfully with His unconditional love and peaceful presence.
CP: Why do you think there is such a stigma against the thought of being a Christian and having a panic attack?