After a lingering and chronic cold he contracted as a freshman in college more than forty years ago, author William Stephens vowed he would always carry a handkerchief, whether he actually needed one or not. He also promised himself that if he ever wrote a book, as improbable as it seemed at the time, he knew then what the title would be. Years later, his unlikely book title took on special meaning, symbolizing his dependence on God in his battle against depression. Depression affects the body, mind, and spirit and is best treated using not only medical and psychological tools but spiritual ones as well. That’s what you’ll find in Life Is Hell without a Hankie.
Although many of us suffer from depression, we are often too proud or afraid to tell our friends, family members, and fellow churchgoers. We may fear dismissive attitudes or criticism from other Christians, some of whom seem to believe that if we simply have enough faith, we’ll get better.
Plagued with anxiety and adrift with no sense of purpose, Stephens chose to fight his depression from every angle. Many books address the medical and psychological aspects of depression. Others focus on it as a spiritual problem. Based on the premise that knowledge is power, Stephens takes an integrated approach to all three areas in honest, easy-to-understand language that takes the whole self into account. He also discusses the role “spiritual warfare” plays in depression, an often-neglected subject for Christians. Provoking questions and exercises will challenge you to grow and think, and Scripture passages provide inspiration. Fighting depression takes work and commitment but the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel can indeed represent the hope of recovery rather than an oncoming train. Let your hope be renewed as you begin your journey toward the life God intended for you!