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Publisher's Summary

Countless Christians, including scores of saints, have suffered the 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 the soul.

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 in 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 similar-looking but fundamentally different mental states, such as guilt, sloth, the darkness of sin, and the sublime desolation called the "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 Christian hope can play in driving out depression.

©2012 Sophia Institute Press (P)2015 Sophia Institute Press

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Balanced and Honest

Dr Kheriarty grounds the reader upfront about the somatic, social, and serious psychological cause and effects of depression. Never does he allude to a "just pray" mode of healing, and yet, with a courage so seldom seen in his discipline of medicine, he embraces, guides, and exhorts the critically placed fulcrum of spiritual maturity and efficacy. This book opens up possibilities, especially for those who serve the wounded. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can take on a new depth of intervention by integration of spirituality. Dr Kheriarty praises Dr Beck et al alongside St Augustine and St Therese de Liseaux. This volume expands the heart and mind of all who read it.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Extraordinarily helpful!

I was skeptical when I bought this audiobook on depression. But I was so suprised by the depth of the knowledge in both psychiatry and traditional Catholicism when I started the book. I am a catholic physician who has some experience with the topic of depression, after hearing this book, my understanding of both the disease and treatment through the great spiritual directors of the past has increased tremendously! I highly recommend it to all catholics who wants to understand depression better.

31 of 34 people found this review helpful

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Very Helpful

As one who struggles with faith, doubt, hope, occasional nihilism, and many of the psychological, spiritual, and mental issues addressed in this book, I can certainly recommend this book. This is a balanced book, drawing upon both Christian wisdom and medical and scientific knowledge in order to address the malady of depression. It offers valuable insights into the causes and contributing factors of depression, and gives the sufferer much in the way of sound advice and encouragement for dealing with it. Catholics who suffer depression will get the most out of this book, but much it contains can be applied, I think, to people on other paths.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Disappointed

I had hoped that this book would give more insight as to how to handle depression without medication. I have a Masters degree in Clinical Art Therapy and many many hours of study and training in Counseling. I learned all of this in grad programs. I hoped it would inspire me to with more information about HOPE in Gods Strength and Jesus TEACHINGS to help me get through my own depression. I was very disappointed in the book. I don't see it helping the average uneducated person. Nevertheless, thank you for trying.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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great book.

the book combines good science with solid Christian teaching on depression and the virtue of hope

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • 03-09-16

Extremely helpful...

It helps to put everything in perspective mentally, emotionally and spiritually... Thank you Dr. Aaron Kheriaty for such an amazing book!

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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awesome read

The monotone voice made me not want to finish but it is amazing and Intresting

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Very good broad overview

Understanding how faith and depression can intertwine but is never an evil given by God.

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Well balanced presentation

Depression is becoming an epidemic in the USA. This book is a great help to understand this disease and ways to find a cure or how to live with its effects.

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An Important Book

This is an important book for Catholic Christians. It has a good anthropological understanding. It's an important book for pastoral care providers, as it emphasizes the need for holistic care of the human person, which includes their spiritual health along with the common treatment for depression nowadays.

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  • Yorkie
  • 01-17-18

The reflections on hope were spot on

I really like the chapter on hope. There was meaty pertinent discussion around the topic, and not like I’ve found in other psychology self helps on happiness.This is a well written book with particularly useful reflections on how from a Catholic perspective one can live and get past depression, with reference to great texts/speeches from Pope John Paul II and some of the saints lives. There are also more medicalised chapters on therapy, depression and anxiety. Overall I’ve found this very helpful and will return again to many of the spiritual chapters.