Friday, September 13, 2013

The Catholic Guide to Depression

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 the 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.

In his bestselling book, The Catholic Guide to Depression, Catholic psychiatrist Dr. Aaron Kheriaty reviews effective ways to deal with this grave 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.

In fact, 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 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 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.

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.
This best-selling book is a must-have resource for friends, loved-ones, pastors, and spiritual directors who lack 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
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St. Francis de Sales called St. John of Avila "the learned and saintly preacher." St. Francis Borgia called him "the Great Master" and St. Teresa of Avila named him "the Master of things spiritual."
Last year Pope Benedict XVI named St. John of Avila the 34th "Doctor of the Universal Church." Here St. John offers the life-giving habits of an authentic Christian life--habits that develop not through false "conversions" and "visions," but in the slow and steady steps on the path to holiness.  
Among the many lessons you will learn from this new Doctor of the Church:
  • How suffering is frequently the means God chooses to reveal His mercy and His design for our lives.
  • True beauty: for a Christians it will shine out in poverty, chastity, and fidelity, not in the luxuries and comforts of this world.
  • The easy graces of the liturgical year: one of the surest ways to develop in sanctity, and how Christians should ready themselves for the gifts which the Holy Spirit will send.
  • The dangers of personal resolutions: These are often built upon pride and mistaken notions, but God sends us every day trials to transform us into His spiritual champions.
  • How a Christian should prepare himself for Holy Mass, how to approach the Blessed Sacrament, and what real participation in the Sacrifice means.
  • That weakness, persecution, and infidelity are often found within the institutional Church, and what we can do to combat it or at least suffer it faithfully.

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