Through the power of story, nationally recognized journalist Jane Clayson Johnson shines a light on the desperate, dark, and lonely reality faced by those who struggle with clinical depression. At once hopeful and heart-wrenching, Silent Souls Weeping examines the stigma and isolation associated with depression, as well as the dangers of perfectionistic tendencies and suicidal ideation.
Beginning with an open and frank exploration of her own experience with clinical depression, the author goes on to share stories gathered from interviews with more than 150 men, women, and teens—all members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—who have suffered from depression.
Within these stories is a plea to change the dialogue surrounding depression, particularly among Latter-day Saints, who face unique struggles as they try to fit a disease manifest through sorrow into a religion centered on a "plan of happiness."
"The worst part of depression," writes the author, "is the profound isolation it engenders, not just from the Spirit but from family, friends, and community." Sharing our stories is the first step toward ending that isolation. This important book opens the door for a new level of honesty and helpfulness, both for those who suffer from depression and for their family members, friends, and Church leaders.
|Size||6 x 9|
|Published||Deseret Book 2018|
|Audiobook Narrator||Jane Clayson Johnson|
|Audiobook Runtime||Approximately 7 hrs.|
I am so grateful for this book. Depression is one of the most common illnesses on the earth, and yet it is still widely misunderstood and too often stigmatized -- even (or especially) by members of the church who mean well.
In the book, the author opens up about her own devastating experience with depression and also shares the stories of some of the hundreds of people she interviewed -- teenagers, elderly people, missionaries, new moms, experienced professionals. She describes the isolation, pain, and emotional trauma that are often a part of depression, and also points out a unique problem among members of the church: Depression can make even the most devoted followers of Christ feel that they are no longer worthy of God's love.
But the book also offers hope. It is filled with stories of people who found healing with the help of medication and counseling and the support of their families and communities. The author also has chapters devoted to the specific challenges facing missionaries, new mothers, and teenagers, with concrete, practical advice on how to help. It's a tremendous resource for church leaders and teachers at all levels.
Finally, I want to say that although the book is about depression, I did not find it at all depressing to read. The author's honest description of her own struggles creates a sense of love and caring for all those whose stories she tells. She does not hide from the devastating details of what depression can do, but she offers love, hope, and understanding to those caught in its throes. It's a book I'll go back to many times. I can't recommend it highly enough.
So well done. To break stigmas and help so many, it really should be required reading.
For all those who have suffered in silence, this book is a voice for you. Depression, in all it’s real and endless darkness for one who suffers it, seems to evoke the opposite conviction of not being real to those who have never experienced it. Which makes it understandable, though not justified, that people with depression are treated with such carelessness and belittlement. That is why this book is so needed in a culture that projects perfection as the ideal. The stories of so many anguished souls will touch even the strongest of unbelievers, and comfort those in the depths of the disease’s loneliness. Stories of people from all walks of life, race, and gender, along with the breakdown of the different ways we experience depression speaks to us all, uniting us in the knowledge that we are not alone and that we need each other. But mostly this book brings hope. The hope that maybe we can all become a little more educated and a little more compassionate toward the suffering of others. And the hope that we might make someone’s day just a little bit easier.
I want to highlight every sentence in this book. I’m only on page 43 and have already recommended it to 4 people. Written in such a way that all can relate in one way or another. Read it. Share it. Thank you Jane.
This book was wonderful and so candid about the real experiences of women struggling with depression. It is healing to know we are not alone. I am motivated to share my story with others now, too, because I know how much hearing about other people has helped me heal.
I absolutely loved this book! I, myself, have struggled with depression and found so much hope and validation in this book. Jane is incredibly vulnerable as she shares her own personal battle with depression. She also does a wonderful job sharing other individual's stories of their struggle. She does a great job of sharing the realities of what people go through while suffering from depression, as well as offering nuggets of wisdom and hope. Even if you don't struggle with depression, chances are you know someone who does. It would be a great resource to help you understand what your loved one is going through, and how you might help. I highly recommend this book!
As a person who has witnessed the ravages of depression among multiple members of my family, including several suicides, I can't recommend this book highly enough. I'd like to think that my family's sad experience is unusual; what I've learned is that it is all too common. Almost everyone I know is somehow acquainted with the hidden monster of depression or some form of mental illness. Jane attacks the stigma, shame and mythology that sadly, even in the 21st century, still envelop emotional illnesses and their sufferers, and she does so head-on, with sensitivity, honesty and bravery. Within our religious community, and in our larger society, we seem to need help holding the charitable and constructive conversations that would facilitate meaningful efforts to serve and lift those who labor under this heavy burden. With Jane's book, that help has arrived. I highly recommend Silent Souls Weeping as a support to those who battle depression, a guide for those who love them and as a rallying point for families, neighbors, communities, congregations and their leaders—anyone who believes, as I do, that it’s past time that diseases of the brain be treated with the same combination of medical best practices and human empathy that are used to battle any other kind of physical malady.
Jane Clayson Johnson delves sensitively and incisively into the heartache of depression in Silent Souls Weeping, adding a personal perspective of the pain and the battle many go through in an attempt to escape its debilitating clutches. As a Bishop who talks frequently with people who are fighting depression, I appreciate Jane’s insight that the comfort and joy of feeling the influence of the Holy Spirit while fighting clinical depression are basically inaccessible. She correctly asserts that the malady needs to be taken and treated seriously, and there must be some relief before the Spirit can have its calming and healing effect on a depression sufferer. Jane’s book will open the eyes of many to the experiences and needs of those who experience depression.
So intrigued was I to read this book that I purchased my copy mere days after it hit the bookstore. Alerted by a friend to its upcoming publishing I had been excitedly anticipating it for months. I went right from the checkout counter to my car and read the preface before I even left the bookstore's parking lot. As one who has been wrestling with depression for more than two decades, I am thrilled to be holding this book in my hands. I'm on page 119 and enjoying every relatable story I'm reading in it (and there are many). I'm already convinced that this book will prime conversation and stimulate understanding on this far-reaching and timely topic. Jane Clayson Johnson has bravely opened up dialogue on this issue and she's also done a great job shining a light on a topic that has for too long been much too hidden.
This book was life-changing for me. I appreciated the personal insight from not only those who suffer from depression but family members who struggle to support and uphold those afflicted with this illness. Any person who is associated with mental illness in any way should read this book. The message provides hope and a connection that is difficult to find.
The author opened my mind to the struggles of those suffering from depression. The stories validate the pain that is endured. Although the stigma of mental illness is improving, it is still very prevalent, and individuals, families, and communities suffer in quiet. Thank you, Jane Clayson Johnson, for breaking that silence!
Thank you Jane Clayson Johnson for writing this book and thank you Deseret Book for publishing it! What a ground breaking work on a topic so needed, especially in the culture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I found it to be filled with faith and hope. Anyone that may struggle with depression, loves someone that struggles, or serves someone that struggles can find peace, joy, hope, and the love of the Savior in this book. This book will help break some of the stigma that comes along with illnesses that are centered in the brain; a needed element in our day when almost everyone is touched by these illnesses themselves or through someone they love and care for.
Please read this book! It is one of the most meaningful books you will finish. If you have depression, you will connect with many of the people you meet in its pages and cheer for feeling less alone in the world. That was valuable for me. If you know and love someone with depression, Silent Souls Weeping will candidly and generously open your eyes to the real world of living with this pervasive mental illness. Jane Clayson Johnson achieves a perfect balance of sound reasoning, compelling personal accounts, elegant spiritual interpretation and useful advice. I love that it’s more than one story of depression because the illness itself is multi-layered and multi-faceted, board in its effect and impact. No matter who you are, you will find good nuggets. By the end, your pages will be filled with dog-eared corners, highlighting, hand-written notes and comments.
Silent Souls Weeping is an excellent book. A must read for all. I. echo all of the previous reviews written. It is informative, inspiring and gives hope. It shines a light on an issue that affects all of us in some way or another, as friends, family and church leaders. Jane Clayson Johnson does an excellent job sharing her own experience as well as the experiences of others. The book can aid us all in being more compassionate and empathetic to those living with mental/mood disorders. I especially appreciated the chapter on missions that encourages us all to be more understanding and loving toward those who return early.
If you have suffered from the debilitating crunch of depression or know someone that has, this book, written from an LDS perspective, is for you. It takes a hard, even uncomfortable, look at depression and its impact on those afflicted with this disrespected condition.
Here are a few chapter titles: The Storm Cloud of Stigma, Toxic Perfectionism, Young People and Depression, Missionaries and Depression, Postpartum Depression, and many more....
I’m loving it and will be passing it along!
This book is amazing and one of the greatest gifts I’ve been given!! It’s so full of heart, honesty, and hope. I love Jane’s style, it’s captivating and so inspiring. It’s going to touch so many lives, it’s seriously a game changer. A must read for anyone who wants to improve their life!!!
Jane Clayson Johnson does a beautiful job maneuvering through a very difficult topic. I'm grateful she shared her personal story along with many others traveling the same dark and lonely road. I'm hoping the stigma of depression will soon fade, especially within the Church culture where many can be judgmental. I pray this book will allow those who don't suffer with this disease be more empathetic with those who do.
This is a courageous and tide-changing book that opens the often secret door of living with and through mental illness. With an expert journalistic background, personal experience with depression, and a gift for connecting with the inner most parts of the human soul, Jane Clayson Johnson has captivated the core experience and intensity of emotions of suffering from mental illness in a whole and comprehensive way, specifically addressing the experience of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. As an over-all, but raw and close-up look at mental health struggles, every reader has the opportunity to understand mental illness, in all it's forms and severity, through personal accounts, yet within the context of gospel truths; to hear the the personal experiences of those who have suffered and those who love those who suffer; to understand the hope that is available from those (including a prophet, a mission president, mothers, and missionaries) that have been able to endure, serve, and accomplish amazing things in their lives amidst the struggle with mental illness. Jane explores both the physiological and spiritual effects of mental illness and how they correlate, how loved ones can support those suffering from mental illness, as well as how we, as a culture, can better understand and support those that are struggling. I consider this a absolute must-read for everyone who wants to understand the modern epidemic of mental illness in an intimate way for the benefit of their loved ones, their children, their spouses, and themselves.
Jane Clayson Johnson has given us a wonderful gift with this beautifully raw and honest exploration of a topic that is too often either ignored, brushed aside or simply misunderstood. As a mother of two children who struggle with depression and anxiety, I have yearned for a way to help others - especially church leaders and youth advisers - to better understand them. This book is the answer. It should be required reading for anyone working with our youth , so many are suffering in silence. Thank you, Jane, for your diligence and your courage in bringing this topic and these stories into the light. Silent no more.
Weaving a tapestry of stories, Jane poignantly captures what it means to deal with depression and to love those who struggle with it. Her story, along with the stories of many other Latter-day Saints evokes new understanding for the need to change the dialogue and stigmas surrounding mental illness. Silent Souls Weeping shines a light on the isolation and sorrow of depression and how we can reach out to those suffering in silence.
Yes! This is a book that has been needed for some time. It's a deep dive into depression and suicide within our faith community along with an outpouring of compassion, understanding and hope. Jane Clayson Johnson starts out by vulnerably sharing her own experience with the darkness of depression. She destigmatizes depression by sharing, with their permission, the stories of well-known Church leaders, writers and scholars who also struggled with depression. Then she powerfully develops the topic based on numerous interviews with sufferers, including, among others, early-returned missionaries and women with post-partum depression. Silent Souls Weeping is a plea for more openness and compassion. It provides helpful insight and advice that benefits all readers and will be especially important for Church leaders and mission presidents.