Whether you are suffering from depression yourself or a loved one is you need to find support and education. The following resources will help you get started.
For Personal Help
When Life Goes Dark by Richard Winter (InterVarsity Press c2012)
This book is a helpful guide for those who find themselves, their loved ones or those they counsel vulnerable to depression. The book provides a framework both for understanding depression and rediscovering hope. Psychiatrist and theologian Richard Winter explores the complex medical and psychological issues surrounding depression. He sorts through recent scientific research on its biochemical and genetic causes and examines social and cultural factors. Winter also dispels common Christian misunderstandings of depression and looks at how biblical characters experienced severe depair. Throughout he offers ways to help the suffering. Even in the shadow of the valley of death, there is hope for healing an deliverance.
Breaking Through Depression: A Biblical and Medical Approach to Emotional Wholeness by Donald Hall. (Harvest House c2009)
Depression affects a person mentally, spiritually, and physically, greatly impacting their lives and the people they love. This book is a must-read for anyone who suffers from this debilitating illness, or has a friend or family member affected by depression. With empathy and clear language, psychiatrist Donald Hall explains recent scientific discoveries about the role of chemicals in the brain, and how depression, like other illnesses, has symptoms and cures.
Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David D. Burns, M.D. (Harper c1999)
This book describes depression and mood disorders. It is focused on Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). In the updated edition, Dr. Burns adds an All-New-Consumer’s Guide to Anti-depressant Drugs as well as a new introduction to help you answer your questions about the many options available for treating depression.
Is Your Teen Stressed or Depressed? – A Practical and Inspirational Guide for Parents of Hurting Teenagers by Dr. Arch Hart and Dr. Catherine Hart Weber (Thomas Nelson c2005)
Is your teen simply acting like a hormone-raging teenager, or actually suffering from too much stress or even depression? This book is a practical guide for parents and role models for teens who are struggling in life, in deep waters, or suffering through some form of pain. The book is also for those wondering if their teen is going through normal growth and challenges, or if he is at risk for more serious problems of stress, anxiety, depression, and related challenges and needs professional help.
For Helping Others
Ministry with Persons with Mental Illness and Their Families by Robert H. Albers, William H. Meller, and Steven D. Thurber, editors (Fortress Press c2012)
A handbook for those caring for those afflicted and affected by mental illness. Those who are afflicted as well as those who are adversely affected by mental illness often live lives of “quiet desperation” without proper assistance. Most caregivers confronted with these illnesses in the work of ministry have no training or accurate information about mental illnesses, so frequently they do nothing, resulting in further harm and damage.
In this book, eighteen psychiatrists and pastoral theologians come together in a collaborative effort to ensure accuracy of information concerning the medical dimensions of mental illness, interpret these illnesses from a faith perspective and make suggestions relative to effective ministry. Readers will learn how science and faith tradition cannot only co-exist but work in tandem to alleviate the pain of the afflicted and affected.
Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission by Amy Simpson (InterVarsity Press c2013)
Amy Simpson calls the church to a renewed commitment to people who suffer from mental illness and to the families that suffer with them. Drawing on her own family’s history of mental illness, Simpson provides a bracing look at the social and physical realities of mental illness and explores new possibilities for ministry to this stigmatized group. Includes first-person stories of mental illness in and around church, provides information on various kinds of mental illness, provides concrete direction for churches that are ready to respond helpfully and meaningfully to mental illness.
These websites provide tremendous resources for depression:
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (nami.org)
- The National Institute on Mental Health (nimh.nih.gov)
- Pbs.org has many videos available, such as Out of the Shadows, which are comprehensive documentaries into the lives of people experiencing major depressive disorders.