Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness

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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 InterruptedWhen People Are Big and God Is SmallAddictions: A Banquet in the GraveDepression: Looking Up from the Stubborn DarknessCrossroads: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from AddictionRunning Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of RestWhen I Am Afraid: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from Fear and AnxietySide by Side: Walking with Others in Wisdom and Love; and A Small Book about a Big Problem: Meditations on Anger, Patience, and Peace.


"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

Additional Details

1.00 LBS
6.00 (in)
9.00 (in)
0.65 (in)
Edward T. Welch
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26 Reviews

  • 5
    Very helpful

    Published by Michael Stone on 10 01 2018

    Presents hope and help for depression. Notes many causes and encourages us to look for clues to our cause and then helps us deal with each cause. Treats depression as pain and suffering and shows how the Bible teaches that suffering has a purpose and so does your depression.

  • 5
    Refreshing book on Depression

    Published by Amanda on 10 01 2018

    Great book on depression from the Biblical Counseling perspective. It's open to secular methods and diagnoses but is strongly biblical. It's a breath of fresh air from the biblical counseling camp.

  • 4
    Very Good

    Published by Brian G. Hedgeson on 10 01 2018

    "When you are depressed, how can you take a step, let alone a journey? When all vital energy is devoted to staying alive and just making it to the next hour, how can you add anything else - like hope - to your day?" So begins this wise and compassionate book by Ed Welch. Whether you are a someone who struggles with depression yourself, or someone who desires to help those who do, Depression: A Stubborn Darkness will prove an informed and biblically-faithful resource. The book is divided into an introduction and four parts. Introduction. The first three chapters are introductory and begin with an empathetic note, describing "How Depression Feels" (chapter two) with a number of actual statements from those who have experienced depression. This chapter will help give understanding to someone who has never personally battled with severe depression. "Definitions and Causes" are described in chapter three, which differentiates between "situational depression" (less severe) and "clinical depression" (more severe), along with lists of possible symptoms for each. Part One: Depression is Suffering. The seven chapters making up part one are Godward and hopeful, reminding us that depression is a form of suffering out which we can cry out to God for comfort and purpose. Welch doesn't try to make depression look less painful than it is. He faces it head-on. But neither does he let the lying voices of depression claim the day. Instead, he points the reader to God and Scripture (especially the Psalms), with gentle and hopeful reminders of God's love and sovereignty. Part Two: Listen to Depression. Part two is especially helpful as the various contributing causes of depression are explored. These include other people, "Adam," Satan (chapter eleven), and culture (chapter twelve). Chapter thirteen gets to "The Heart of Depression" showing that depression is a result not simply of the "outside events" that "come at us," but also our "internal believes and interpretations . . . that come out of us" (p. 123). To deal with depression we must learn to address the "spiritual allegiances" of our hearts" which give rise to imaginations, desires, motives, thoughts, feelings, and actions. "The curious path to true life" says Welch, "is to grow in both the knowledge of God's love and your own sin" (p. 131). Chapter fourteen continues with "The Heart Unveiled," with following chapters exploring other causes of and collaborators with depression such as fear, anger, dashed hopes, failure and shame, guilt and legalism, and death. With each of these, the author walks the reader through the fog of confused feelings onto the sure-footed path of biblical truth about sin and grace. Part Three: Other Help and Advice. In part three, Welch discusses medical treatments (chapter twenty-one) and gives helpful advice for the families and friends of those who are suffering from depression (chapter twenty-two). "To help a depressed person, you don't need expert knowledge. You do need an awareness of your own spiritual neediness, a growing knowledge of Jesus, and an eagerness to learn from others, including the person you would like to help" (p. 224). A particularly great chapter follows called "What Has Helped." It contains helpful insights from counselees about what first helped them begin to change, along with some specific strategies to try. The goal of the chapter is not to give an endless to-do list, but rather to "prime the pump" by giving ideas and strategies that have actually been helpful for depressed people. Chapter twenty-four is another honest, yet hopeful, look at "What to Expect" as one continues to battle against depression. Part Four: Hope and Joy: Thinking God's Thoughts. The book finishes with two chapters on Humility and Hope (chapter twenty-five) and Thankfulness and Joy (chapter twenty-six). Potential readers should not feel daunted by the twenty-six chapters; each chapter is short and Ed Welch is an engaging writer with an easy prose. It is obvious that Welch has done his research, but the book isn't cluttered by clinical language. More than anything, reading this book feels like getting good advice from an kind and caring friend. As a pastor who sometimes struggles with discouragement and sometimes counsels those with more severe forms of depression, I found this a grace-filled book, loaded with hope and wisdom. I highly recommend it.

  • 5

    Published by Jessica R on 10 01 2018

    I can't express how thankful I am that this book exists. It's easily one of the best books I've ever read on this topic. The author doesn't once give cheap or easy platitudes in order to comfort you. He shows you how real God is in this struggle and makes you excited that you have such an Avenue (depression) in order to know God intimately!

  • 4
    If you are depressed and christian, going through this ...

    Published by Christ Ensbled on 10 01 2018

    If you are depressed and christian, going through this book with a counselor can help a lot. It did for me.

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