Clinical depression is the term used to describe a persistent state of sadness, loss of energy, sense of hopelessness, and loss of interest in life activities. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, it is experienced by approximately 7% of the US population—about 17 million people—at any given time. In other words, it is a widely shared experience. It can emerge from repeated difficult life events, physiological changes, or biological deficiencies. Someone experiencing chronic depression can feel a deep sense of behavioral and mental apathy, and this can cause them to disengage from activities that might rebuild confidence and energy. One often feels a loss of value and a sense of ungroundedness or of being stuck. However, there have been many breakthroughs in our understanding of and treatments for clinical depression.
If you or someone you know is in immediate need of support, please seek professional help. If you are in crisis, here are some immediate free resources.
When you're in the midst of terrible depression, the days and weeks can feel like an eternity. This book is for those who are in the long night of depression. It does not promise healing or deliverance; it is not a guide to praying away the depression.