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Through the power of story, nationally recognized journalist Jane Clayson Johnson shines a light on the desperate, dark, and lonely reality faced by those who struggle with clinical depression. At once hopeful and heart-wrenching, Silent Souls Weeping examines the stigma and isolation associated with depression, as well as the dangers of perfectionistic tendencies and suicidal ideation.
Beginning with an open and frank exploration of her own experience with clinical depression, the author goes on to share stories gathered from interviews with more than 150 men, women, and teens—all members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—who have suffered from depression.
Within these stories is a plea to change the dialogue surrounding depression, particularly among Latter-day Saints, who face unique struggles as they try to fit a disease manifest through sorrow into a religion centered on a “plan of happiness.”
“The worst part of depression,” writes the author, “is the profound isolation it engenders, not just from the Spirit but from family, friends, and community.” Sharing our stories is the first step toward ending that isolation. This important book opens the door for a new level of honesty and helpfulness, both for those who suffer from depression and for their family members, friends, and Church leaders.
While learning how to navigate some personal relationships colored by anxiety and depression, I received a very strong prompting that I should buy and read this book. I am so glad that I obeyed. The stories, studies, Conference talks, and other resources shared in Silent Souls Weeping helped me feel more empathy for those who struggle with depression and mental illness. Not only did this help me better understand my loved ones, but when I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression myself just a few months later, it gave me the tools I needed to extend grace and understanding to myself as well.
Silent Souls Weeping is very well researched and well written, and treats sensitive issues with a balance of compassion and honesty. This is a must read for anyone who has depression or cares for someone who does. I’d also recommend it for church leaders who may need to provide support and counseling for those who deal with mental illness. I truly believe it is an inspired book.