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New Light on Depression: Help, Hope, & Answers for the Depressed & Those Who Love Them Review by Dawn Oaks

By David Biebel, D. Min., and Harold Koenig, M.D.
5300 Patterson Ave. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49530

Depression. If we haven't dealt with it ourselves, we know of someone who has. It can come in the form of postpartum depression, depression related to grieving, or simply a generalized depression that may stem from a variety of reasons. There is no direct correlation between a specific event and the probability that one will develop depression. Why can some people lose a job and bounce back with a "go get 'em" mentality while others fall into the depths of depression and gloom? Why do some teens shoot off like a rocket with a new sense of independence and accomplishments while others withdraw and contemplate suicide during these sometimes difficult years? Is it the mother's fault? The father's? The friends he is hanging out with? The music she is listening to? Unfortunately with depression there are no easy answers. The authors of New Light on Depression state that getting our hands around depression can be "like nailing Jell-O to the Wall." That does not mean there is no hope. There just isn't a one-size-fits-all treatment plan for recovery.

New Light on Depression is a wonderful resource for adults who struggle with depression themselves or love someone who is. This 320-page text provides insights into the different types of depression, counseling models to consider, prescription medications that may be helpful, and how to live with depression. This insightful guide is written at an easy-to-read level, yet it does not water down the medical information shared. This information is all presented with the scriptures and a Christian perspective as the backdrop.

Biebel and Koenig intersperse case studies or real-life scenarios throughout the book to help make the information real and grounded. These vignettes certainly help the reader to know that even though they may feel very alone, the journey has been traveled by others before. Each case study has resolution and healing, which instills the reader with a greater sense of hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Chapter 3 is entitled "Do Real Christians Get Depressed?" The answer is a resounding yes. If you or someone you know is struggling with depression and is not sure where to turn, is not familiar with the prescriptions being prescribed, or just wants to know where to turn next, New Light on Depression can shine a light on what may feel like a very dark and scary pathway.

Product review by Dawn Oaks, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2009