September 10, 2008

Depression: a Stubborn Darkness by Ed Welch

Depression: a Stubborn Darkness: a Light for the Path is a book by Ed Welch, a prominent figure in the world of biblical counseling. In this book he seeks to provide theological and practical help for those suffering from depression as well as those who love someone suffering from depression.

He reminds the reader to not be too quick to pinpoint depression on any one cause. There are people on both extremes: depression is caused by physical causes alone (such as a chemical imbalance in the brain) or depression is caused by spiritual causes alone (such as sin). He doesn't fall into either category, but thinks that we should be skeptical of both. No one can prove either way. Most likely, these and other causes all factor in to causing depression.

I think that Ed Welch does a great job of not just outlining a bunch of to-do lists for those who are depressed. Rather, he talks through a few underlying issues and provides a few practical steps and hints someone can take without forcing some regiment on them. He devotes chapters to related issues such as fear, anger, dashed hopes, shame, guilt, and death.

I would recommend this book to anyone who might be dealing with depression now or has in the past, or anyone who loves someone who is. I feel better equipped to appropriately handle my feelings as well as loving others that I know that deal with this sensitive issue.

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