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There is definitely a stigma surrounding mental illness. I think there is sometimes an even greater level of pressure for Christians because there is the misconception that mental illness is a reflection of a poor faith life. This is certainly not true, and I am always eager to find resources that talk about how Christians manage things like depression and anxiety.
That is why I was excited for the opportunity to read Jasmine Bennett’s book, The Silent Death of Depression (full disclosure: she gave me her book for free in exchange for an honest review from me).
About the Author
Jasmine is an author and blogger who is happily married with two kids. She is passionate about helping and empowering women. Jasmine started experiencing depression after the unexpected loss of her father when she was in her early teenage years. Through her teenage years and early twenties, Jasmine continued to battle depression, but despite the challenges she faced, she was able to overcome depression. Her victory over depression inspired her to create her website, start a coaching business, and write her book.
About the Book
Jasmine describes her motivation to write her book as follows: “After the unexpected loss of my father, I went down a dark path of depression. With the help of my faith, natural health, and newfound purpose I overcame the biggest obstacle in my life. This memoir is the journey of my experiences, failures and triumphs I encountered while breaking free from depression. It’s written to give all the women silently suffering from depression hope through my story.” It is a short book (less than 100 pages) and is only available as an eBook.
Jasmine starts her short memoir by sharing childhood memories of her father. She provides an introspective reflection with engaging descriptions that draw the reader into her story. After she describes her father’s passing, she starts expressing the sense of loss. Her depression manifests itself in a variety of forms from “feelings of brokenness…choking [her]” to numbness. We also see how her relationship with God transformed from resentment to trust. Jasmine writes in such a way that it feels like she is having a conversation with you. You get an intimate look into her experiences that are at times heart-wrenching and other times inspiring. What I really appreciated about this book is that she acknowledged a multi-faceted approach to addressing depression after a loss; physical health, spiritual health, and emotional health were all addressed.
There were two minor things I would’ve liked to see changed. There were a few grammatical errors (which she does acknowledge at the start of her book), but they don’t detract from the flow of the story in any way. The other was when she wrote “[t]hat is not to say that God caused [depression], or that he allowed it.” While God does not cause our suffering, he allows all things to happen to us. That being said, since this a memoir rather than a book explaining theological understandings of suffering, it is not a big issue.
The Silent Death of Depression is an easy and engaging read. I think this would be a good book for a Christian who is seeking a story she can relate to after a loss.
You can read more of my book reviews here.