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Broken Minds: Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It Paperback – August 25, 2005

4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"This is the best Christian perspective on depression I have read. A young American Baptist is about to start his first pastorate when he is incapacitated by a severe clinical depression. The story is told by the man himself and also his wife. She in turn suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder and Post-traumatic Stress. The author shows how C. H. Spurgeon suffered from all three and yet he was a great servant of God. The question is asked, does a mental affliction disbar a man from pastoral ministry? The not unusual experience related here is of some lack of understanding and sympathy from Christians who deny the reality of mental illness or attribute it all to the demonic." (Graham Weeks christianquoter.blogspot.com 2006-09-26)

"This is a candid and spirit affirming story of a family's personal struggle, not only with mental illness, but also in finding where they fit into the body of Christ and His ministry. Considering that 10% of the world's adult population suffer from some form of mental illness, this book could well be required reading for pastors, elders, and Christian counselors or for anyone who is called to minister with understanding and unbiased care. The book is solidly based on a scriptural foundation with ample clinical information to appeal to the lay person or anyone in a counseling capacity. Informative, honest and helpful, this work shatters the old stigmas and perceptions of mental illness and depression. It is well written with enough heart and hope to balance the seriousness of the subject. Interesting reading." (Sandra Thayer Author's Choice Reviews 2005-12-01)

"I have a personal interest in Steven and Robyn Bloem's book because I too am a pastor 'on pills.' My depression remained undiagnosed from the age of twenty until the age of fifty. That was largely because I put my cyclic low periods down to fatigue and refused to seek medical help. I was greatly helped, however, by the elders and members of Little Hill Church near Leicester, where I was pastor for 15 years. They had the right ideas about clinical depression being organic in origin and eventually prevailed on me to seek appropriate help. . . .These spells I now recognise as being good for me, 'thorns in the flesh' keeping me from being over-elated or arrogant (2 Corinthians 12:7). I also find that my personal experience of clinical depression has brought me two other benefits as a pastoróit has taught me to rely more on the God who is able to raise the dead and has given me a great sympathy for, and understanding of, those who suffer from depression (2 Corinthians 1:3-11)." (David Gregson evangelical-times.org 2006-09-01) --1

From the Back Cover

Mental illness. These words illicit frightening images of uncontrolled behavior, hospital confinement, and destructive violence.

But mental illness is often much more subtle—and much more prevalent than we imagine. Unfortunately, people who are diagnosed as mentally ill may not understand what is happening to them. And for Christians, some “helpful” leaders heap on guilt, saying that the problem is spiritual rather than emotional or physical.

This book takes Steve’s personal story of major depression and weaves through it Robyn’s insights and Steve’s professional knowledge. The result is a tapestry of practical information—including definitions, treatment options, government services available, and interactions with the church and God—and a deep compassion for those who feel like their world is falling apart.

“If this book can help to dispel the stigma of mental illness and depression, remove the fallacious claims of the nouthetic counseling, integrationist, and spiritual warfare devotees, and recover the wisdom of the Puritans for pastoral counseling of the depressed, it will have done a great service for God's church.”


—John Rawlinson
General Manager
The Banner of Truth Trust

“The Bloems have produced a useful, biblical, practical, and pastoral book that presents spiritual truth and provides hope for the mentally ill or those caring for them.”

— Chaplain, Colonel John Poston

 Steve Bloem (B.A., Cornerstone University; M.Min., Baptist Bible Seminary, Clarks Summit, Penn.) has been a children' therapist to socially and emotionally disturbed youth, been involved in clinical counseling/case management for a mental health agency, and presently is in private practice as the director of Heartfelt Counseling Ministries Inc. But it was his own struggle with depression that led him to write this book.

Robyn Bloem has been a volunteer in a variety of inner-city and church ministries for more than twenty years.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications (August 25, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0825421187
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825421181
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #642,552 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By P. Brown on January 5, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a Christian who has struggled with depression off and on for decades. It seems to run in my family. Through my life I have read many books on depression and overcoming depression. Many of them are mentioned in "Broken Minds". I have bought into one theory of depression after another. I've tried over and over to get my act together and solve my depression but always ended up feeling like I was just going through the motions or whistling in the dark. For years now I have been moving towards the idea that my depression is not the result of something I am or am not doing but just how I am "wired".

This book somewhat validates that way of thinking. There is still much to be gained with cognitive therapy and looking to God for help. But it is also helpful for me to realize that when my thinking gets dark I am not necessarily thinking correctly. The chemicals in my brain are out of balance and my brain is not working correctly. I try to remember not to do or say anything with long term consequences because my thinking isn't right.

The open, and painfully honest, account of the author's experience with depression ties together the topics covered in the book. I found it an easy to read book. It held my interest.

The church needs to think this through better and realize that depression is much like any of many other afflictions in life. It isn't necessarily the individual's fault. I hope this book will be an important step in that direction.
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Format: Paperback
When you are a Christian who is depressed, where do you turn for help? Authors Steve and Robyn Bloem tell their personal story about Steve's battles with deep depression. Both authors perspective is weaved into the fiber of this book yet the book is much more. It is a resource so Christian counselors and pastors can increase their understanding of the broken people who enter their office and guide them to professional help. BROKEN MINDS is packed with careful research and documentation to provide hope and healing. If you live or work with anyone who is depressed, this book is a valuable resource.
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This book started out really interesting -- I loved the personal stories and testimony from the perspectives of both the author and his wife. But then it started jumping around and felt really confusing. Every chapter didn't feel like a normal progression, it just felt like they were rehashing the same things over and over again. Also, for the last half of the book, it went into more depression research mode, and I could barely stay awake. The writing was very dull at this point, and I couldn't pay attention. I wish I could recommend this book, but it really didn't have many helpful takeaways at all.
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Praise God for what He is doing through Steve and Robyn Bloem! Sadly, many lives have been lost to depression, but the Bloems have taken a strong stand on the front lines trying to keep more people from giving up on life. It's sad that the insidious belief, that one can merely "snap out of it," has pervaded even the walls of the Church. This book is especially helpful for those who know someone dealing with mental illness.
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