Hannah Anderson at The Gospel Coalition Reviews, offers an informative review of Dealing with Depression: Trusting God through the Dark Times by Sarah Collins and Jayne Haynes (Christian Focus, 2011). Here is an excerpt from her review, but we encourage you to read the whole thing.
If depression is controversial in the world at large, it is even more so in the church, because it is elusive and difficult to understand. It manifests itself in a complex mix of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual symptoms until it is almost impossible to separate cause from effect. What in one person may stem from guilt (either real or imagined) can in another person be purely biological or circumstantial. To complicate matters, it doesn’t play favorites—so much so that it is referred to as “the common cold of the mind” (14).
Given depression’s frequency, we shouldn’t be surprised when we or someone we love falls prey to it. But we continue to be caught off guard. That’s why the book Dealing with Depression: Trusting God through the Dark Times is so helpful. In it, Sarah Collins, a previous teacher at St. Ebbes, Oxford, and Jayne Haynes, part-time GP based in Oxford, combine their experience in Christian ministry and family medicine to provide a straightforward, accessible introduction to the causes, treatments, and spiritual implications of depression. It is intended as a primer for those either helping loved ones or suffering themselves.
And while the book (the authors use the diminutive “booklet” in the introduction) is not comprehensive, its value lies precisely in its brevity. One painful irony of depression is that in the middle of it, the last thing you are able to do is wade through thick, academic writing to find answers. So when the basics are contained in one easily accessible reference, beginning to understand depression somehow becomes manageable. Collins and Haynes do include a list of additional resources when more information is needed, as well as stories from those who have personally battled depression.
–Excerpted from Hannah Anderson’s review at The Gospel Coalition Reviews.