Finding Joy In Depression

Heather —  March 16, 2012

What are your thoughts about depression?

Honestly, I feel very uncomfortable talking about depression. Over the years, I have had many health issues and one doctor did attribute them to depression. I found that frustrating, because deep down, I suppose I see depression as a weakness, something I could fix if I “just tried harder.”

At the time, I went ahead and was treated for depression using medication. I disliked that very much and did gain some weight. To make a long story short…well, I am not sure that I ever really was depressed. I still have some health issues. My current doctor is very helpful and has helped find some other solutions for my health issues, such as figuring out my gluten intolerance and a couple other things—this has improved my quality of life.

And, yes, I feel happier. I wonder about all this sometimes. Am I really depressed and it manifests as immune issues? Or do my immune issues cause me to feel bad and so I seem depressed? I mean really…which came first, the chicken or the egg? You know?

And, I am not a doctor. I know there are some types of depression that can be clearly diagnosed and treated. I certainly do not think depression should be some sort of white elephant in the room.

The reason I am talking about this today is because I was able to get a copy of Amanda Pelsers new ebook, Finding Joy in Depression. I enjoy Amanda’s blog and her wonderful book clubs, and when I saw she had a book coming out about depression, I was super curious to see what she would say…because I also know that she has a BA in Bible from Anderson University and a MA in Old Testament Studies from Talbot School of Theology.  (She is a former church communications director turned stay-at-home-mom.)

So, I thought, what would she say? I mean, the fact that she is in ministry adds a whole other layer to this discussion. Because some people feel that depression is a heart issue, and that if you are depressed maybe you need to go to God to resolve something. Personally, I do not agree with this take on depression. I know that Jesus is our healer and nothing is impossible with him. But I also believe that depression can be a medical issue that God can use doctors and medications to heal.

So…anyway, all this led me to read Finding Joy in Depression.

I found Amanda’s take on this subject refreshing. Just the title clues you in that she is searching to honor God through hardship, finding the joy in the midst of trouble.

Overall, I feel that Amanda really wants to throw open some windows on the topic of depression. Especially for Christians. For people who have been through a traumatic event. For the young, stressed moms who wonder if they are depressed or just a bit overwhelmed.

Often, when I read a book like this, I look hard for solid solutions to issues. I like how clearly Amanda described her journey and tries to give answers that can really help others.

In a down to earth fashion, she talks about the options of medication, the importance of a caring spouse, natural remedies, knowing triggers and dealing with bad days.

It is fascinating to think about the connections between our bodies, minds and spirits. I really encourage you to read this book.

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Finding Joy in Depression, by Amanda Pelser, ebook/kindle/nook format, $4.99

Finding Joy in Depression.

Have a story to share to encourage others? Visit www.findingjoyindepression.com/stories

Follow @apelser on Twitter and Like The Pelsers on Facebook.

I received a copy of this ebook to facilitate my review. I am also an affiliate, now, because I like the book:) Buy it from my link…or hers…whatever:) But if you know someone struggling with depression, do check it out.

Heather

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Blogging about parenting, green living, education.

15 responses to Finding Joy In Depression

  1. I love the positivity in the title. Thanks for the review. I know so many people who have been diagnosed as depressed. The idea of finding joy is definitely what I would want to grab at. The few times I have felt on the edge, I know that the hole seemed very deep, and hard to climb out of. I had to fight to keep myself from falling in. What worked for me was to cling to what brought me joy.

    • Hi Catherine! Thanks for reading:) I agree. I have enjoyed Amanda’s blog for a while and I just knew this would be an uplifting thing.

  2. This sounds like a very interesting book and I am a fan of anything that brings mental health issues into the public forum. Far to many people feel the subject is something to be avoided and that depression is somehow the person’s fault.

  3. Heather, you have explained exactly what I have been through over the years. I have never tried the prescription route, usually going as natural as possible. I have been exactly where you describe, feeling the burden but feeling unable to share because I didn’t want anyone to think I was weak. Thank you for sharing your heart and this book. Blessings!

    • Hi Mindy, I am glad you left a comment. I often wonder why depression is viewed so differently than many other medical issues. I do not think it should be–it is a physical thing–no matter where it stems from, right? I mean if someone is facing diabetes, I would recommend some natural approaches and perhaps medications…depending on the exact person. I feel the same way about depression. I do tend to watch my friends when something unexpected occurs, such as an emergency c-section, or a death in the family, because depression can be so insidious. It should not be hidden away:)

  4. Thank you for reviewing my book and for working with me to create an environment where it is safe to talk about depression.

  5. Heather,
    Thanks for your honest review of the book. This is an interesting subject for me, because the family members that I have that battle depression, and other issues like it, are not professing Christians. So, on the surface, it makes you draw a line between the two.
    While, I have not battled depression, I have battled in the last year, that I never thought I would battle. And one of the things that made it worse, was the fact that I felt like I wasn’t living up to what a Christian should do. Which made my circumstances worse.
    However, the one thing I am sure of.. we Christians are broken people ( all people are) who have come to the saving knowledge of Christ. And having Him in our life does make the difference in successfully treating something like depression. Meaning, without Him I do not think there is any hope. But their may be times when assistance is needed. I would lean toward a natural route.. but, that is for each to decide on their own.
    Thanks for the review, and the conversation!

  6. I know how you feel. I actually know I have depression, but I don’t tell my doctor I do because I am not going to be medicated if at all possible. I am not severe in it, and I know God helps me through the rough times. I have an amazing hubby that helps me too.

    • :)Yes–if you can handle it in other ways…it is nice to not deal with any side effects! My husband is a born supporter too and he does make a difference! That all being said…I do not want to make anyone feel bad who does take meds–I can totally see times for that as well–It is so individual. I do think alternative medicine can be super helpful too. My energy level went up so when I went Gluten free–it really shocked me. So that was physical for me. so weird.

  7. Thanks for sharing. This could not have come at a better time. I have had issues with depression myself. It is key to communicate. It is also so important to have support. Great post 🙂

    • Thank you, gingermommy! I know you have had lots of things to deal with lately–I have had a few friends who were depressed due to stressful, sad and overwhelming situations with sickness in the family and such. I am praying for your family. Hang in there

  8. For as long as I can remember I have had bouts of depression. Starting when I was a teenager. Most people attributed it to the fact that I am an artist and we live with drama and angst! However, as an adult it hit me pretty hard–usually during significant growing times in my spiritual walk. The ONLY thing that truly made a difference(for me personally) was surrounding myself with people of prayer and faith, a husband who never gave up on me, and worship music. It was a fight. But On the other side of it–a strength i never knew I had.