Countless Christians-including scores of saints-have suffered profound, pervasive sorrow that modern psychiatrists call "depression." Then, as now, great faith and even fervent spiritual practices have generally failed to ease this wearying desolation of soul.
In these pages, Catholic psychiatrist Aaron Kheriaty reviews the effective ways that have recently been devised to deal with this grave and sometimes deadly affliction - ways that are not only consistent with the teachings of the Church, but even rooted in many of those teachings.
Extensive clinical experience treating patients with depression has shown Dr. Kheriaty that the confessional can't cure neuroses, nor can the couch forgive sin. Healing comes only when we integrate the legitimate discoveries of modern psychology and pharmacology with spiritual direction and the Sacraments, giving particular attention to the wisdom of the Church Fathers and the saints.
Here, with the expert help of Dr. Kheriaty, you'll learn how to distinguish depression from similarlooking but fundamentally different mental states such as guilt, sloth, the darkness of sin, and the sublime desolation called "dark night of the soul" that is, in fact, a privileged spiritual trial sent to good souls as a special gift from God.
You'll come to know how to identify the various types of depression and come to understand the interplay of their often manifold causes, biological, psychological, behavioral, cultural, and, yes, moral.
Then you'll learn about exciting breakthroughs in pharmacological and other medical treatments, the benefits and limitations of psychotherapy, the critical place that spiritual direction must have in your healing, and the vital role that hope - Christian hope - can play in driving out depression.
Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review Online
"The Catholic Guide to Depression is a practical, heartbreaking, liberating book, one that will both wretch and soothe the soul. If you're depressed, if you know someone who is depressed, get help. It's not a sin, it's an illness."
Jeff Mirus, President of CatholicCulture.org
"Dr. Kheriaty will give you sound physical, psychological and spiritual reasons for hope--important reasons which will make it easier to stay the difficult course."
Catholic Business Journal
"Catholic psychiatrist Aaron Kheriaty provides readers with a fresh and extremely useful guide to understanding depression, in the context of faith and science, and he highlights proven avenues to discover genuine hope and healing in the journey."
Catholic Medical Quarterly
"This is a very well written book and it is recommended to those who have depression and to the interested non-medical reader."
Fr. C. John McCloskey
"This book should be in every Catholic home."
As one who has suffered the effects of depression and anxiety for over 10 years, in addition to leading a deep prayer life, this book is truly a blessing. I have read several books on depression, some Christian and some specifically Catholic. This is by far the most excellent resource for depression I have been privileged to read.
Dr. Kheriaty not only addresses the topic of depression itself, but the spiritual life as well, for man is not just a mind and a physical body, but is imbued with an immortal soul. The healing of the soul cannot be separated from the healing of body/mind.
The author writes on topics including types and causes of depression, depression and the spiritual life with enlightening insights on differentiating depression from specific spiritual trials, suicide, treatments, and spiritual help with a focus on the virtue of hope.
A wonderful book for Catholics who suffer from major depression. Just as the doctor writes, I see both a mental health 'doctor' as well as a spiritual 'doctor.' Treatment includes both meds & prayer, reading the Saints, etc. I sure which that I could find a faithful Catholic psychiatrist, though!
The intended audience for this book, I would say, is those suffering from depression. However, family and friends of those suffering from depression could gain a better understanding from this book. I believe it would also be beneficial for spiritual directors of people suffering from depression. This book is not light reading though, so unless you fall in one of the three categories I listed, or just have a general interest in psychology, this book is not for you as it reads like a textbook.
The first half of the book is designed to help one better understand exactly what depression is and is not. Symptoms, both physical and emotional, are listed and explained in detail in the first chapter. Also addressed in the first chapter are the different types of depression and some causes of depression. Chapter Two addresses "Depression and the Spiritual Life" and includes a very interesting take on how Jesus redeemed depression on the Cross. Dr. Kheriaty also makes it a point to convey that
Haven't read the book yet, but this description sounds perfect. Can't wait to read the book and share it with others.
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