Ed Welch has written one of the best books on depression.  In this video, he gives some of the background to his book.


Here’s the book review that I wrote in 2006:

Depression: A Stubborn Darkness, Edward T. Welch, Winston-Salem: Vantage Point, 2004, softcover, 275 pages, $10.19 (from Amazon.com).

Depression has been described as the common cold of mental illnesses.  Many of us know people who chronically or periodically suffer with this ailment.  Many of us ourselves suffer, often in silence.  This being the case, it’s always good to know of some helpful resources that direct us back to God’s Word for the support and encouragement we need.  This book by Ed Welch is one such resource that I can highly recommend.

Ed Welch is the author of several helpful books, including When People are Big and God is Small.  He is a professor of Practical Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and a counsellor, faculty member and director of the School of Biblical Counseling at the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation.  His years of experience both in counselling and in teaching the Scriptures are reflected in this volume.

The book begins with a vivid description of what depression is and what it’s like to experience it.  For those who live with depressed people, this will be enormously helpful.  It’ll give you an idea of what your loved one is experiencing.  From there, Welch goes on to describe the ways in which depression is suffering and how we’re to interpret that suffering in the light of the Bible.  He examines what depression is saying to us and goes on to look at ways that the depressed person can be helped.  Welch acknowledges the place of medication in treatment for depression, but he urges his readers to be circumspect.  The book closes with some exhortations from Scripture to humility, hope, thankfulness and joy.  Like his other books, this one is really devotional in character.  Skilfully using the Word, Welch drives us to God and, more specifically, to Christ the Saviour.  It is a long book, but the chapters (26 of them) are short enough to read in one sitting.

There are a good deal many helpful insights in this book.  This is not the “grin and bear it” brand of counselling, nor is it the brand that simply tells us that depression is a disease like cancer, a disease that might be helped solely by medical treatments.  Welch’s approach is balanced and Biblical.  All in all, when that stubborn darkness descends on you or someone you love, Ed Welch could be the one to bring the light of the Scriptures to bear with a good result.

One response to “Depression: A Stubborn Darkness”

  1. Rita VanDooren says:

    Hey Wes:
    Thanks for these articles! I just ran into them as I was scrolling through Facebook. I am familiar with most of the references, but especially familiar with your mom’s distress!! I remember her well and knew her before her depressions set in. So tragic! Sooo unconscionable!! I will always feel burdened by the lack of due justice in our Church communities as silence prevailed and the powers that be looked the other way. As a child, I already struggled with my first episode of depression following my mom’s near death. I also recognize that I am biologically “loaded,” as are many in my extended family, but the self loathing and deep shame still finds its way to torment us. This insidious negative self talk is part of the disease and we succumb, despite our best efforts to trust that God knows our despair and hasn’t abandoned us.
    Again, thanks for sharing!

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