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Freedom from Depression: Emotional Healing through Spiritual Health and Wholeness Paperback – July 9, 2013
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"This is not a self-help book; it is more like a "Jesus-help" book, because it was written for people who are desperate to find a way out of depression and who know that the Lord is their hope for freedom." Freedom from Depression is set up to serve as a small group study or as a handbook/workbook for an individual. Each chapter presents a Biblical principle and builds on the previous chapters. The participant is encouraged to read one chapter each week, working through the study questions and actively doing the given assignments.The author has drawn on her own experiences as illustrations for some of the points. She also employs Scripture verses, word pictures, tables or graphs to illuminate a lesson. At the conclusion of each chapter is a short heart-felt prayer.
As I explored each chapter I was impressed with the honest simplicity of the author's approach. There's no clinical analysis, no judgment, and no preaching. The amount of material to read is not overwhelming or technical. Instead I felt as if I were sitting on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa warming my hands, talking about a shared experience with my sister...or chuckling over an amusing incident. The empathy and warmth in each precept introduced seems to flow from the author's heart to the reader's. I could tell that Ms. Swindall really cares that her readers find healing and wholeness through the transforming work of the Holy Spirit.
The other thing I noticed about the book's make-up is how easy it would be to return to a chapter, and guided by the clear headings and sub-headings, find exactly the place you need to repeat an exercise, rework some of the questions, re-read a section pertaining to some new trial that's come your way, or to regain some assurance. The book is well organized with succinct divisions that make this a terrific resource.
If a person becomes serious about overcoming depression using this book as a guide, the author recommends working through it with a friend or a small group. Another person is able to help hold the participant accountable and provide much needed encouragement. Emotional healing takes time. It isn't unusual to feel like giving up mid-stream. Achieving wholeness when all you can think about is your brokenness is a process where sometimes all the progress a person can make for awhile is baby steps. Another person sharing the journey can help prevent discouragement.
Finally, Jenny Swindall encourages her readers to visit her website where she provides a video introduction for each of the chapters in the book. The website address is provided on the final pages. If the reader is part of a small group working through the book together, these short videos are a great way to open each session.
A complimentary review copy was provided to me by Charisma House Publishing and the Booketeria. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
I have felt the pain and stigma of depression in the past, even if it's temporary (loss of my father, loss of my mother, etc.)
As a coach, minister and leader, I am constantly running into women who do struggle with depression.
With a professional past in creating drug for people with depression, I know for sure that that what the world needs most are books like these, to guide God's people to His view to freedom and healing.
I've seen people healed by the power of God again and again.
Whether it's hormone related after 40 physically related, chemical imbalances, circumstance related (a bad weather day, hair day, kid day), trauma related, loss related, or it's the devil himself plaguing you, I am very happy to say that this book is a great resource of answers. Upon learning at that author is a pharmaceutical sales rep, I was intrigued to read her story. I spent 12 years in clinical research and drug information the pharmaceutical industry with Therapy Area focus on psychopharmacology (depression and other mental disorders) and ended my career there as a Regional Director before launching my own company. The brooding scientists?, I could understand them being depressed. After all, we were studying depression! But the sales reps? Aren't they are another breed? Always looking great, happy, resilient, upbeat and positive. Bringing solutions to the doctors and hope for the patients, right? But the truth is, no matter our personality or position, all of us are humanly susceptible, especially women in our too much, too fast world. And isn't that the world? Always willing to judge a book by it's cover. And yet, appearances are deceiving. Everyone has problems, pains and past hurts.
I was encouraged to hear this author, Jerry Swindall's heartbreaking story of loss. As a reviewer, I could not read as recommended (I chapter a week for 12 weeks). But, I understand and agree with the authors' heart for this suggested pace. True transformation comes from meditating on the word of God and taking action on the assignments. I love the approach and agree with its method and would recommend this to my clients. As Jerry says, "As you digest the words of the Lord, His peace will begin to settle into the wounds of your soul." Why is this a true statement? The author brings a spiritual look to this epidemic plaguing our culture and dampening the call and commission of the warrior Bride. Step by step biblical focus includes: understanding the thief, confronting pride, learning to hope, truly surrendering, forgiveness of self and others, identity in Christ, and ways to recognize the enemies' plans and resist his negative influence in your life once and for all. This is a self -help, manual perfect for someone who no longer wants to lay down and take it, but rise up and win the battle of the mind and flesh. You can experience total breakthrough. I love Jenny Swindall's heart in sharing her story and teaching and I highly recommend this book to anyone struggling with depression.
Freedom is possible - without pills and doctors. And yes, that's coming from a Pharm.D. who spent years developing treatments for depression. It's better than what man can create: it's called Deliverance.