We all know what it’s like to feel down. Some of us even know what it feels like to live with depression, or, as it’s sometimes called, ‘the black dog’. Indeed, statistics show that 1 in 4 people per year in the UK will experience a mental health problem. As Christians, living in this fallen and broken world, we too know what it is like to struggle with depression. Despite what some popular teachers might say, Christians are not always going to be the happiest people in the world – we are just as susceptible to depression as everyone else.
Dealing with Depression is a short and helpful book that explains the symptoms, the emotions that people can experience, and some of the practicalities surrounding depression. This book is not a self-help book, but rather a short introduction to the topic designed to help both the person suffering with depression and those who want to care for loved ones.
The authors offer both straightforward explanations and practical advice for those seeking to care for people who struggle with mental health. As Christians we want to be as equipped and informed as possible to help people who struggle with depression. This book gives some good advice on how to ‘walk with people’, as well as suggesting things to say and things not to say. Depression can often make you feel as if you are alone and our desire as Christians should be to support, care for and walk with our fellow brothers and sisters in Jesus.
When reading the book, and the short testimonies in it, I was struck by how many people said that time with friends and family was such a help to them. This was quite a challenge because I had to question how much I ‘walk with’ people I know who have mental health problems.
When was the last time we met with someone just to listen and spend some quality time with them?
Spending time with someone and reading the bible with them, filling their minds with gospel truths, building them up in their knowledge of the character of God and pointing them to the magnificence of God’s Grace is vital.
Not only does this book give practical insights into depression but interwoven throughout are testimonies of people who have both experienced depression and cared for loved ones as they have lived with depression. Often the misconception is that there aren’t many who have suffered with depression but the truth is that there are so many Christians, both well-known and not so well-known, who have struggled and have been very open about their experiences.
I thank God for the people who have opened up about their experiences of depression to help those who suffer and those who care for others, without their help and insights we would be less informed and less able to ‘walk with’ and to love our brothers and sisters who struggle.
If you have depression, if you have a friend or family member with depression or if you want to be able to care for people in a more informed way then pick up this book and have a read.