From triple helix - Winter 2012 - Dealing with depression [p21]
(Right click and choose 'save as...' to download a printable version of this article)
Sarah Collins & Jayne Haynes
Christian Focus Publications, 2011
£4.99 Pb 128pp
ISBN 978 1 845 506 339
Here is a primer for the families, friends and pastors of those suffering from depressive illness, as much as for those currently walking with the'black dog' themselves. The authors (one a doctor) describe the condition in ways that will help sufferers to make sense of their experience, and both to cope and to hope. It will help carers to give effective support. It's interspersed with the personal stories of those afflicted and affected, in short testimonies and three appendices. Further printed and online resources are listed, with useful organisations for contact.
There is a healthy emphasis throughout on inter-dependence and community and on realistic boundaries for all involved. The value of depression is described in terms of its potential pastoral and creative fruitfulness, free of any suggestion that suffering is intrinsically good. The depressed person's relationship with God, and the value and power of Scripture, are central to the discourse, with the highlight for me being' in the Psalms people's words to God become God's words to us'.
I've a few minor gripes about terminology, distracting repetition and typos, but it should prove a very helpful read for believing patients and carers encountered in general practice, out-patient psychiatry and pastoral work.
Julian Churcher is CMF graduate staffworker for London and the South East .