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HTS Theological Studies

On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
Print version ISSN 0259-9422

Herv. teol. stud. vol.64 n.1 Pretoria Mar. 2008





Stone, H W 2007 – Defeating depression: Real help for you and those who love you
Publisher: Augsberg Fortress. 243 Pages. Price: Unknown
Reviewer: Dr W J Smith (Benoni)

In the traumatized world we live in, books on depression, anxiety, fear and anger abound. Many of these books are very general and do not offer new insights. What distinguishes Howard Stone’s work from these, is the fact that it speaks to the person who is experiencing depression, as well as to the sufferer’s network of family members and friends. This book examines depression from what it is to how to deal with it. While it is recommended to the scientific reader, counselor and pastor, it is still accessible and practical enough to be of benefit to anyone who wants to know more about this topic. Even the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS), included as Appendix A (p 235), is accessible enough for everyone to gaug his/her own state of depression.

The author is a psychologist, a family and marriage therapist and professor emeritus at Texas Christian University. He is the author of a number of influential books on pastoral care and counseling. He served on numerous editorial boards of professional journals. As someone who also suffered from depression, many of the methods and coping skills discussed in the book, he used himself.

Throughout the book one is aware of the empowerment brought about by the realization that there is help for depression and there is hope for those suffering from depression. Stone offers a way to manage depression. Defeating depression is not an amalgamation of facts to banish the disorderly, but a reframing of the possibilities to embrace depression.

Defeating depression will offer the reader a new perspective on a disease that has been steeped in misconception and contempt for a long time. Reading the sub-title of this book, brings the realization that there is “Real help for you and those who love you”. It verbalizes the deepest and most intense emotions and feelings associated with depression and is an effective tool in helping the depressed and their loved ones. Pastoral caregivers will benefit from it as an useful source of information.

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