Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness

Edward T. Welch
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Best-selling author Edward T. Welch delivers a clear picture of gospel hope in Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness for those who struggle. In this life-changing guide, Welch shares biblical wisdom and examines how the rich treasures of the gospel apply to our everyday lives in the midst of suffering and depression.

The peace, comfort, and hope of Christ are laid out in front of the reader instead of "cure-all" formulas—offering a compassionate perspective on the complex nature of depression. With biblical understanding, Welch moves past the mere symptoms of depression and shines the light of Christ on every page.

Through his own personal empathy and long counseling experiences, Welch addresses one of the most common issues people face today. Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness provides practical help for a particular kind of suffering, cultivating compassion generated by the love of Jesus. This is a must-have resource of anyone suffering with depression or walking alongside someone suffering with depression.


Edward T. Welch, MDiv, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). He earned a PhD in counseling (neuropsychology) from the University of Utah and has a master's of divinity from Biblical Theological Seminary. Ed has been counseling for over thirty years and has written extensively on the topics of depression, fear, and addictions. His biblical counseling books include Shame Interrupted; When People Are Big and God Is Small; Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave; Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness; Crossroads: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from Addiction; Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest; When I Am Afraid: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from Fear and Anxiety; Side by Side: Walking with Others in Wisdom and Love; and A Small Book about a Big Problem: Meditations on Anger, Patience, and Peace.

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"I cannot overstate the importance, timeliness, and helpfulness of this book. Ed has given us the wisdom that only comes from a heart shaped by the gospel and a deep compassion for people, generated by the love of Jesus. This is a must read and a must share."
Scotty Smith, Senior Pastor, Christ Community Church; author of The Reign of Grace and Objects of His Affection

"An all-too-rare combination of gospel understanding, biblical wisdom, personal empathy and long counseling experience shines through these pages. What is most needed is a course of divinely prescribed anti-depressants. Like a skilled spiritual pharmacist, Ed Welch fills that prescription for us."
Sinclair B. Ferguson, Senior Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, SC; theologian; author of The Christian Life

"I have come to rely on Ed Welch and others at CCEF for guidance and insight in better understanding the issues of the soul that plague many people today. For those who want to address more than just the symptoms of depression, Ed's counsel is invaluable."
Bob Lepine, Cohost, FamilyLife Today

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27 Reviews

  • 5
    Depression: Looking Up

    Posted by Megan on 10 17 2023

    This book is very readable. It seemed a little harsh at first, but It unfolds beautifully and accessibly. Very readable. I quickly came to trust what Mr. Welch had to say about depression. I can see myself buying more copies, to share.

  • 5
    A very helpful book for those struggling with depression and intense discouragement.

    Posted by Mark on 10 01 2018

    This is one of the best books on dealing with depression written from a Christian, Bible-believing, point of view. It is very helpful.

  • 5
    My Daughter's Depression

    Posted by David R Kahn on 10 01 2018

    Our daughter went through a sever depression a couple years ago. I found this book tremendously valuable as a guide. With lots of prayer, genuion encouragement and time for our daughter to process her fealings with us, time with close friends, and gently spoon feeding her with time looking at the life of Jesus, with and God's grace, within just a few months our daughter took an about turn for the better. It was very helpful that she trusted us and had a teachable heart. We were expecting that it may take a couple years. We realize it could have been much different. We have hightly recommended this book to several of our friends and have an extra copy on hand in case we run into someone who could really use some help.

  • 5
    Great Insight

    Posted by Christopher W Morris on 10 01 2018

    This book seems to address the heart of depression, without minimizing the effects of depression. It addresses the heart of depression by addressing the human heart. As someone who has not experienced severe depression, this book has helped me understand (if only a little) what it could feel like to be depressed. There is a great chapter on what depression feels like. In addition, this book directs the Christian towards the God who gives hope in the midst of and beyond depression. Ed Welch helps show how to respond to depression, fight for joy and faith, use the Psalms as a model for crying out to God, and shows how God is with us and cares for us enough to send Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. Highly recommended for those who experience depression and those who want to help others who experience depression.

  • 5
    this was a great book for a friend. thank you

    Posted by Curtis J Poole on 10 01 2018

    this was a great book for a friend. thank you

  • 5
    Addendum to other great reviews on a great book.

    Posted by JD on 10 01 2018

    There are some very good reviews on this book that adequately outline much of the content. What I want to add to this book is with regard to its practical features and my personal experience with it. If you are looking at this book, you either know Ed Welch through CCEF and are likely going to buy it, or you are surfing through a sea of books on this topic. Obviously this is my opinion, but in a sea of books on similar topics, this is one you should buy to help with Depression.Here's why: First: Ed Welch presents a very honest approach to depression, which is basically that it is a complex issue. This is not a book that says the root of all depression is your own sin so repent. This is not a book that says the root of all your depression is simply suffering to endure. This not a book that denies any phyiosological and biological contributions. It is a humble approach at saying that some or all may play a role, so now what do we do as believers. Second: The style of the book is written to those who suffer with depression. The chapters are short. It is not the type of book you may read from cover to cover. After all, one of the symptoms of depression is difficulty with motivation. I am a Christian and practice as a licensed professional doing counseling. I utilize this book to help people put words to what they are experiencing. I don't assign to read the entire thing, but depeding on where they are at, I ask them to read certain parts and then respond. It has not failed to stir some very relevant and useful responses in people. That's certainly worth the price, and quite frankly it's a book I have found people to actually read. Again, I appreciate his honest yet informed approach. In conclusion, you will not waste your money on this book, but don't feel bad if you don't read it cover to cover. My opinion is that it should be about half the size for practical reasons, but then again I'm not sure what I would ask him to take out. After a few books by Ed Welch, I'm a big fan.

  • 5

    Posted by LESLIE on 10 01 2018

    I suffer from depression and have tried medication and therapy and neither has helped. Honestly......therapy is like throwing your money in the fire, as there are so many healthier resources, productive resources than paying a bundle to sit accross from someone who thinks they are God and says very little to actually help you solve the problems and feel better. I am a Christian and so when I discovered this book on Amazon, knew the author was good, I snagged it. I look forward to reading this book. He backs up everything with biblical scripture and quotes it right there in the sentence so you are confidant that God, my father is saying these things. In my opinion, he's the TOP, advice about how to live your life, be happy, feel loved and special and how to conquer and overcome obstacles is all coming from the God I love and respect. If you are depressed or suffering from any emotional issues, then I highly rec you buying this book. I am only a 1/3 of the way through and I feel so much better.

  • 5
    Five Stars

    Posted by PJ Pon on 10 01 2018


  • 5
    Shocked at how great this book is...

    Posted by Jack Zavada on 10 01 2018

    Many Amazon reviews fall into what I call the "Ravy Train." That is, the first reviewer raves about the book and everyone else follows. In the past I have purchased books with all rave reviews and have been disappointed. I was honestly shocked at how practical and worthwhile Edward T. Welch's Depression: A Stubborn Darkness is. If you are a Christian and have suffered from depression, this is the book you've been searching for all your life. You will find yourself somewhere in Welch's comprehensive study. He thoroughly covers the causes of depression, some of which will surprise you. His coverage of self-inflicted damage may hurt, but it is vital for clear thinking. Sometimes the truth does hurt, but running from it is never a solution. Welch's spiritual guidance is rock-solid. These are answers that make sense, yet we know we must trust in Christ when we're unable to wring any sense out of the situation. If I have any criticism of the book at all, it's that Welch is lukewarm on the use of medication. He acknowledges that it can help but warns against using it as a crutch. In many cases, depressed people have had their lives turned around by the proper medication. But he's right. Ultimately our healing comes from Jesus Christ. Time and distance place no restrictions on God's healing power. I wholeheartedly recommend this book. Read it, highlight it, then read it again. You'll be so glad you did.

  • 5
    Great book for those in the struggle

    Posted by Bradley S Kelly on 10 01 2018

    Balanced. Biblical. Thorough. Those left unimpressed with the "repent and get over it" method of counseling will find comfort here. Welch skillfully weaves Scripture, science, and experience to get at the root causes of depression and offers wise guidance for looking up from the stubborn darkness. A valuable resource for those struggling with depression and for those in the struggle with someone depressed.

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