When Life Goes Dark
Depression strikes millions, across all ages and demographic groups. Approximately one in eight will have a severe depressive episode at some point in their life. Women experience depression twice as often as men. And over fifty percent of people with serious depression do not get adequate help. What can be done?
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 despair. Throughout he offers ways to help the suffering. Even in the shadow of the valley of death, there is hope for healing and deliverance.
This book is a helpful guide for those who find themselves, their loved ones or those they counsel vulnerable to depression. Find here a framework both for understanding depression and for rediscovering hope.
"When Life Goes Dark is an excellent treatment of the full range of distressed mood. Dr. Winter clearly has the gift of comprehending the whole person and uses it to bring coherence to a part of our experience that is too often treated superficially and simplistically. He gives a balanced and thorough picture of both who we are and how we are in times of distress. There is no 'flavor of the month' here, but a true picture of the problem of being human and coping with emotion. In doing so he provides an accurate and integrated look at the complete human condition and its savor. I particularly enjoyed the various contemporary and historic examples of people coping with the world and all its brokenness: personal, biological, social, spiritual. It's good to know we are not alone but travel in a very real company who've experienced everything we do and lived on."
"Richard Winter's book, When Life Goes Dark, is a comprehensive and biblically based guide for finding hope in the midst of depression. It will be of great help to those suffering from depression and those who minister to them."
"This labor is a profound and life-giving walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Few people will escape the wrenching and sullen emptiness of depression or the exhausting triggers of anxiety--yet there is little available to help us address this heartache from a biblical, neurological, relational and spiritual viewpoint. Richard Winter offers not only decades of wisdom and knowledge, but the fruit of his own personal struggle with depression and anxiety. This is a tour de force of how to engage the reality of our struggles in the bright light of our relationship with Christ."
"Dr. Winter is both a careful thinker and a lover of God. His adept handling of the research and psychological literature, life experiences and the Word of God yield a book that will be a great asset to those walking in the darkness of depression and their companions along the way."
"Here is a readable, thorough, responsible and compassionate guide to depression and how God can make a difference. This book is ideal for pastors and sufferers, and really any who want to know more about the factors associated with depression as well as practical advice for finding Christian healing beyond the darkness. I now have another resource to recommend!"
"It is a special joy to be granted the privilege of recommending this excellent book. Richard Winter has written the most wise and careful meditation on sorrow, anxiety, depression and brokenness that I have ever read. His book is full of deep reflection on Scripture, experience and the most up-to-date scientific research on the troubles of the mind. Consequently, it will be a wonderful resource for every pastor, counselor, psychologist and psychiatrist, or simply for anyone desiring to be a kind and helpful friend to those who struggle with depression or severe pain and sorrow. Richard's sensitive use of personal stories and his drawing on many years of listening to and responding to deeply depressed individuals make this book come alive and make it extraordinarily useful to the reader committed to trying to bring hope to the hurting. His appeals to Scripture are never superficial but arise from a deep understanding of the biblical story of creation, rebellion, redemption and the expectation of consummation through which the Lord desires to shape and direct our lives. This book will be a valuable source of help for many years to come, both to those who are themselves troubled and to those who give their lives to serve the wounded heart."
"As a pastor for over thirty years, I must engage in my own personal battle with depression and anxiety while seeking to equip others to fight this good fight of faith. I have searched for a resource that is comprehensive enough to cover the spiritual, physical, psychological and relational dimensions of depression while remaining readable and accessible, especially to one like myself who faces depression. This is it! Dr. Winter has given his readers a priceless tool. For those simply wanting to grasp the dynamics and difficulty of depression or assist those who face it, here is a compass with which to navigate these dangerously turbulent waters."
"Drawing on a wealth of experience in clinical psychiatry, counseling and biblical reflection, Richard Winter has produced a unique resource. It is worth the purchase price just for its carefully crafted inquiry into the role of the satanic. Depression in some form or other will almost inevitably come our way, either in our own experience or in the lives of those close to us. So read this book when the sun is shining and life looks good. Its practical wisdom will reduce the likelihood of these dark nights of the soul, and when they do come, provide a well-stocked toolbox for self-care, counsel, advice on treatment where needed and practical redemption. A must-have resource for pastors, counselors and all Christians who want to live well under God."
"Winter's excellent book deals comprehensively with a topic affecting many people: He treats in a balanced way the role of nature and nurture, and explains differences between sadness, grief, and depression."
"Winter helpfully surveys the field, explaining current understandings and research, sprinkling his exposition with illustrations drawn from his own life, both as a psychiatrist and as someone who has suffered major depression. He also draws on scripture, which can be particularly helpful to those who are religious and can find some relief and echo in the groaning and lamenting that scripture gives voice to."
"If you're looking for a book to help you learn how to help those suffering with depression, this will offer you valuable insight medically, psychologically and spiritually."
Part One: The Roots of Sorrow: Nature's Effects and Nuture's Choices
1. Falling into Darkness: The Experience of Depression
2. Rising into Light: Bipolar Swings, Mania and Happiness
3. A Mind Diseased: Genes, Chemicals and Other Mysteries
4. Some Rooted Sorrows: Childhood, Thought Patterns and Relationships
5. Loss, Sorrow and Grief: Inevitable Pain in a Broken World
6. Suicide: The Final Solution?
Part Two: Coping with the Dark and Moving Toward the Light
7. Breaking Points and Suicidal Saints
8. Coping with Anxiety, Worry and Fear
9. Anger and the Struggle to Forgive
10. The Tangled Web of Guilt and Shame
11. Reducing Vulnerability: Moving Toward Healing
12. Hope and Light in the Darkness
Appendix: Are Darker Forces at Work in Depression? On Spiritual Warfare