In the US there are apparently 7 million Christians with depression, so no doubt there are proportionally similarly large numbers across other countries. Depression is a condition that we have all encountered, whether personally or in those we love, for a season or a long-term battle.
When coupled with a faith that by its very nature encourages joy, or in fact expects it as an inherent fruit of the indwelling Holy Spirit, the stigma of depression amongst Christians can be huge, even adding to the depth of suffering.
Len Lantz is clearly an expert physician specialising in treating people with depression, as well as being a man of faith who can address that angle too.
His advice is balanced, sensible and applicable, outlining the many practical steps to be taken in addressing the challenges of depression, whether the sufferer is a believer or not. It should also be welcome advice and support for the many Christians who suffer with depression.
The book includes many Biblical pointers, and is entirely wrapped in love, care and a desire to see everyone healed … it has a sound Christian attitude towards dealing with the problems, whether that solution comes from medical or spiritual support … ideally both.
There is also a reassuringly honest thread acknowledging that a sufferer of depression may also experience a stagnation or even a crisis of faith. At the very least faith becomes more of a struggle. Sufferers are encouraged to persist, as faith can be a great source of strength. It is also an area of life where others can step into the breach and advocate, until the sufferer is ready to pick it up again for themselves.
Most of all, the book highlights the need for all sufferers to not be ashamed. There is no failure, having depression does not make you any less of a believer.
It is a really helpful read to equip us properly to deal with the issues and most of all to not suffer alone. Seek help.
Len deals sensitively with the topics of treatments, talking therapies and medicines, fully aware of the way Christians can sometimes respond to both. There are many useful signposts to other resources if you need further information.
Throughout, Len stresses the importance of getting the right treatment for the correctly diagnosed condition. If this is an issue that affects you then please do seek help and support. It can’t be God’s will that anyone should be left suffering and alone.
Thanks to the author and Interviews & Reviews for a gifted copy in exchange for an honest review.