Although this booklet is about depression it is not a depressing book to read. It is not a booklet for the 'expert'. All of us will be able to recognise parts of ourselves and our own lives. Neither is it only about dealing with depression, but about the experience of guilt and our attitudes to it; how we ought to behave when things go wrong and what we should do when faced with stress and anxiety.
Here is positive, practical, authoritative counsel firmly based on the application of scriptural principles to the personal experience of the writer.
The scripture used takes on a new, inspirational meaning and opens the way for a fresh appraisal of the relevance of the Word of God to the sometimes difficult, stressful circumstances of life.
This booklet is in every way a spiritual tonic.
Depression is, sadly, all too prevalent today and Christadelphians are not immune to this distressing condition. Sincere, whole-hearted commitment to Christ does not guarantee full mental or physical health, nor does depression necessarily indicate a lack of commitment. In fact, depression can be aggravated by the pressures and expectations of belonging to our community or by a misunderstanding of doctrines or by legalism or by inhibiting traditions. Our standards of behaviour are so high that some people feel guilty if they fall short of perfection or experience strong emotions.
We need to recognise that Christians do not become Christ-like overnight but are engaged in a life-long process of refinement. During that process there may be mistakes, doubts, sins, difficulties and even crises to contend with. It is mostly our habit to repress such problems because it is felt unacceptable to admit them. We put on our Sunday faces and smile and say "I'm very well, thank you" while we may be crying inside. Let us accept our humanity and look with more compassion to our brothers and sisters for whom the struggle is greater. May we seek to understand and encourage each other rather than censure.
The CSN has been approached by many who are plagued by depression and are desperate for understanding and help. Those close to them feel helpless and in need of advice. It was felt, therefore, that a booklet about depression written from the Christian point of view would be of value.
There are many books on the subject written by psychiatrists and professional counsellors. This is not one of them. This has been written by a sister who has suffered from recurrent depression over many years and who has moved towards recovery and an understanding of the condition. She has written down her findings in the prayerful hope that others who suffer similarly will find relief and that those who seek to help them will gain an insight into the condition.