Yesterday was world mental health day. It was a privilege to recently participate in a Pastor’s Academy day at London Seminary dedicated to the issue of pastors and depression. The day had lectures on the reality of depression from a medical perspective, what it is like being a pastor with depression (and how to deal with depression in ministry), a lecture on Newton and Cowper (the latter of whom suffered from serious depression) and a final lecture picking up on some points from Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ book Spiritual Depression.
Alongside those lectures, my book The Pastor With A Thorn In His Side, was available. Again, it has been a real privilege to see how the Lord has been using that book of stories from pastors with a real range of different experiences with depression to help others who are suffering the same. Depression affects people very differently and so it was important to have a range of stories that show there is no one definitive experience.
Most importantly, if you are suffering – or you know someone else who is suffering – with depression, it is really important you see help. Go to your doctor and explain the issue to them. Find trusted friends you can speak to as well. There is help available.
If you would like to get a copy of The Pastor With a Thorn In HIs Side – whether that is for yourself or someone else – you can get it here:
The Pastor with a Thorn in His Side – Grace Publications Trust
Seven pastors share their struggles with depression and how they have sought to deal with it in their ministry. It is a book that can help you understand your own experience of depression, will certainly help if you are seeking to look after others with depression and may benefit if your pastor is struggling and you want to understand him and his condition better.