on November 7, 2002
Jean Vanier, noted spiritual author and founder of the L'Arche communities for people with learning disabilities, gently describes various aspects of the causes of, experience of, and recovery from depression.
Though neither a clinical analysis nor a first-person narrative, Seeing Beyond Depression is informed by both psychological theory and personal experience. Vanier's approach is to provide a meditative mixture of realism and hope intended to speak to the spiritual state of the depressed person.
The author's tone is that of one friend caring for another, and this slim volume would certainly make a thoughtful gift to a friend who is depressed, even if that friend is yourself.
on April 29, 2009
This book is an easy, enjoyable read. I bought it for a family member and read it myself first. I disagree with the author's belief that all depression stems from childhood hurts inflicted (intentionally or unintentionally) by the parents. He refers to those supposed childhood hurts a fair bit. Other than that, though, this is an encouraging book that offers the reassurance that you are not alone in the way you feel and there is hope and light to look forward to, beyond the depression.