Over the years I’ve read a lot about depression. I have personal history with depression that I’ve written and spoken about on many different occasions. I’ve written a dissertation on how churches can best care for the depressed. Poor mental health is a topic that I am very invested in because I love people, and very often, people hurt. “Is it unspiritual to be depressed?” is a question that many Christians struggling with depression ask.
So when I got this book through the post I was excited to hear an author tackling this topic head on. But is this book any different from others? Well, yes and no.
In one sense, it isn’t different. Like other books, this one talks you through some of the symptoms of depression, anxiety, OCD and a number of other mental health struggles. It talks about some of the practical tips and ways that you, the sufferer or the carer, can help. In that sense, it is quite similar to other shorter books on depression.
But it is also different. In ‘Is it Unspiritual to Be Depressed?‘ Paul Ritchie brings you into his own story. He doesn’t write this book as someone who has everything sorted, he writes it as someone who struggles with his own mental health. But he also writes as a pastor with a deep love for those who are struggling. This means that in this short book you will find story upon story from Paul’s own life, and the lives of others, of their journey with poor mental health. Not all the stories are ‘resolved’ or ‘neat’ but they give you a real sense of the emotions, struggles, questions and doubts that people wrestle with.
The other thing I like about this book is that Paul doesn’t dodge the difficult questions, he takes them head on and addresses some really deep stuff like suicide, medication, sin and depression, anxiety and worrying, etc. This short book will resonate with so many people because it will definitely ask at least one question that you’re probably thinking of or wrestling with.
My one ‘criticism’ of the book is that it’s too short, it is only 102 pages long. I see why Paul has written it like that, and I think it’s the right thing to do, but I was left wanting more. I would have liked to have seen some of the questioned answered in a bit more detail. But this isn’t really a criticism because it’s always a good thing when a book has you wanting more!
If you’re looking for an introduction to depression that gives you some details and insights into the thought patterns and feelings of the sufferer, this is a great place to start! It’s a super easy read, you’ll get through it in no time and each chapter is full of good insights and stories. You won’t be able to put it down. As an added bonus, I think the cover looks great!
Buy your copy here. It may be a book that you think would be helpful to read as a church staff team, a pastoral care team, a small group or a church book club. It will certainly get you thinking and help you care for people better.
I decided not to add a ton of quotes to this post, but my copy of the book is highlighted all over the place and the pages are dogeared, that is a sign that I really enjoyed the book!
*** I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not change the way I rate the book. My views are my own. ***