Friday, November 09, 2012

The Catholic Guide to Depression

I haven't read The Catholic Guide to Depression, but it looks like it would be a great help for all Catholics who struggle with depression - especially needed this time of year when the physical darkness outside tends to add to the psychological darkness within.

This was the message I received from Sophia Institute Press regarding it:

Should I see a priest . . . or a shrink?

Is more prayer the solution . . . or medications?

How have Catholic popes and saints kept depression
from controlling their lives?

 
 *          *          * 

Countless Christians — including scores of saints — have suffered profound, pervasive sorrow that modern psychiatrists call “depression.”

Those suffering from this wearying desolation of soul are often left with more questions than answers, never sure where to turn or who to trust.

Now comes The Catholic Guide to Depression — an accessible review of 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.


The Catholic Guide to Depression
by Dr. Aaron Kheriaty and Fr. John Cihak
288 Pages  -  List Price: $19.95

Extensive clinical experience treating patients with depression has shown Catholic psychologist Dr. Aaron 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 similar looking 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.

For those less-frequent cases when the pain of depression can’t be fully banished by the combined efforts of science and spirituality, Dr. Kheriaty shows how pain — like the unavoidable sufferings of Jesus on the Cross — can be made redemptive for yourself and for others.

Finally, to this masterful, hope-filled work Dr. Kheriaty has appended a list of resources for further reading, a set of prayers for those times when the anguish of depression grows great, and even an address by Pope John Paul II about depression.

Written by a faithful Catholic psychiatrist committed to the teachings of the Church, The Catholic Guide to Depression provides help and consolation to anyone suffering from this grave spiritual affliction.

And, it affords friends, loved-ones, pastors, and spiritual directors the knowledge they need to give depressed persons the understanding, help, and comfort they so desperately need.
 

The Catholic Guide to Depression
by Dr. Aaron Kheriaty and Fr. John Cihak
288 Pages  -  List Price: $19.95

 
 From the rich pages of The Catholic Guide to Depression you’ll also learn . . . 
  • The manifold causes of depression. Plus, what the Church teaches about its roots in man’s estrangement from God;
  • Why a holistic approach to depression (psychiatric, pharmacological, and spiritual) best reflects the Church’s understanding of the unity of body and soul;
  • Why antidepressants are often necessary, but never sufficient;
     
  • The kinds of psychotherapy and the merits and weaknesses of each: cognitive, behavioral, interpersonal, and others;
     
  • The roles and limits of pharmacology, psychotherapy, and spirituality in overcoming depression (and why all three are generally necessary);
     
  • How diet, exercise, vitamins, and other non-medical treatments can alleviate the symptoms of depression, and often even drive away its lesser forms;
     
  • How seeking appropriate help — medical or otherwise — nurtures humility, helps you pray, and can itself help lift depression;
     
  • The special self-knowledge granted to the depressed (in some ways, their vision is clearer than that of the rest of us!);
     
  • How, though not sufficient, silence, prayer, spiritual reading, and a plan of life can quicken hope and speed healing from depression, even when your desolation is greatest;
     
  • Ways to keep depression from retarding your spiritual progress (and how your spiritual progress can lighten the burden of depression);
     
  • Why, the greater your desolation, the closer you must stay to the Sacraments, embraced there by your Brother in anguish, the suffering Christ;
     
  • St. Peter, St. Teresa of Avila, Pope John Paul II, Pope Pius XII, Pope Benedict XVI, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Philip Neri, St. Benedict Joseph Labre,  St. Josemaria Escriva: what these good Catholics have taught us about depression (many suffered from it themselves);
     
  • And much more, to help you understand depression and, using the combined powers of psychiatry and the sacraments, finally free yourself from its suffocating grip.

 
 
The Catholic Guide to Depression
by Dr. Aaron Kheriaty and Fr. John Cihak

1 comment:

Denise said...

Thank you for highlighting this! I'm currently undergoing treatment for depression, and agree very much that both modern medicine and spiritual direction are important.