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Out of the Blues: Dealing with the Blues of…
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Out of the Blues: Dealing with the Blues of Depression and Loneliness (edició 2006)

de Dr Wayne Mack (Autor)

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1271171,430 (4.2)1
This book addresses a problem that nearly everyone faces at some time in their lives. If you are not living with depression now, you know someone who is. Out of the Blues will: Define and describe depression; Describe the dynamics of depression and how it develops; Present a biblical solution to the problem; Outline causes and solutions to the blues caused by loneliness. Excellent Questions for Discussion following each chapter.… (més)
Títol:Out of the Blues: Dealing with the Blues of Depression and Loneliness
Autors:Dr Wayne Mack (Autor)
Informació:Focus Publishing (MN) (2006), Edition: Illustrated, 144 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

Detalls de l'obra

Out of the Blues: Dealing with the Blues of Depression and Loneliness de Wayne Mack

  1. 10
    Our Sufficiency in Christ de John MacArthur (atimco)
    atimco: Both books deal with the spiritual resources every Christian possesses to deal with every aspect of life. Mack's book is more of a workbook with many practical tips for dealing with depression, while MacArthur's scope is more intellectual. Both are excellent!
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Out of the Blues by Dr. Wayne Mack is a Christian's look at depression, its causes, and its cure. Mack has over thirty years of counseling experience, and suffered severe depression himself as a young man after things went badly at a church he had pastored.

I am finding this a difficult review to write, and have put it off for awhile. The book is just so provocatively divisive. Probably because it's full of Scripture and uncompromising in its basic tenets. This feeling of bemused defiance pops up occasionally; one example is how Mack disagrees with secular psychologists on almost every point. (He has no problem with research work; it's the secular interpretations of the data that he takes issue with.) It's really because of their radically different worldviews. Mack believes that man is depraved because of original sin; most secular psychologists hold to a milder view of humanity as basically good or at the worst, tabula rasa until shaped by the environment. This is a huge, huge difference, and all our theories and treatments of depression hinge upon it. Mack believes (and I agree with him) that no one can be truly cured of depression outside of a relationship with Jesus Christ.

(Something compels me to address my secular readers at this point and assure you that I have no wish to be offensive, make light of very real pain, or be otherwise obnoxious. However, this is a biblical look at depression, so I can pretty much guarantee you'll think me mad, pathetic, and/or foolish by the end of this review. That's okay. You're welcome to stay anyways.)

According to Mack, there are three levels of depression: mild, moderate, and severe. Everyone suffers mild and even moderate depression at some point, many on a regular basis. Mack tells of one pastor who experienced an emotional letdown every Monday after the excitement and build-up of the weekly Sunday service. Depression is caused by three things: not confessing sin, mishandling a painful event, and/or holding unbiblical standards (note that for the second, it isn't the event that causes the depression, but our reaction to it).

Mack makes it clear that the feeling of depression is not automatically sin: "According to the gospel accounts, Jesus as a perfect man experienced sorrow, weariness, discouragement, and disappointment just as we do... However, though He was grieved over the effects of sin in the lives of others and in the world, He never allowed Himself to be controlled by these feelings. Christ always fulfilled His responsibilities in spite of His circumstances" (5). Being depressed and down is not wrong in itself. But sinning because of depressed feelings is.

Mack is solidly biblical in his approach, and I really appreciate that. There are lots of examples in the Bible of people dealing with depression (Elijah, Jonah, Asaph, Christ, etc.). Mack doesn't thump his Bible obnoxiously, but when he makes a claim, he usually substantiates it with Scripture. I loved Mack's assertion, worked out in a practical way, that God has already given us everything we need for life and godliness (II Peter 1:3). Mack never denies the pain and helplessness that we feel when we are depressed, and he is not rude or uncompassionate toward those suffering. But nor does he get lost in murmuring words of inane comfort, muffling the truth that depressed Christians really need to hear.

One piece of great advice that Mack gives, that I find helpful even as a person who has never struggled with severe depression, is that we must talk to ourselves rather than listen to ourselves. He argues that when we listen to ourselves, we are aimless and at the mercy of our feelings, which are so often deceptive. But when we talk to ourselves, we are deliberately taking ourselves in hand and directing our thoughts. Instead of wandering, we are taking responsibility for making sure that we end up where we want to go. It sounds kind of funny at first, a counselor telling us to talk to ourselves, but the more I think about it and practice it, the more sound I find it.

But despite the things I applaud in this book, it has several weaknesses. Early on, Mack clarifies that this book is not intended to diagnose or discuss depression caused by "some malfunction or physical disease... In our discussion of depression, it is important to keep in mind that we are not directly addressing any kind of depression that is physically or biologically induced" (3). I hate the idea of depression being caused by a physical problem; it may indeed be in some cases, but to my mind this is often used as a cop-out by people who don't want to take responsibility for their condition. Mack does include a brief Q&A near the end about how to determine the cause of your depression, whether it is purely physical or spiritual/emotional. But it feels like an afterthought.

I think physically induced depression is a lot rarer than our pill-prescribing specialists would like to admit. And it isn't just the pharmaceutical companies and secular psychologists/psychiatrists who are to blame; we all want a quick fix. Pop a pill and get that good feeling that enables you to function normally again. I can understand that. I'm the same way (just not in this particular area). The problem is, the pill is just a band-aid, and eventually it won't work anymore. And who knows what other problems — addiction, unhealthy side effects, etc. — those pills will bring us?

Mack plays coy on the topic of antidepressant drugs — which I think is a wise move. It isn't his mission to get people off antidepressants. He says that usually the people who come to him are already trying to get off the drugs. He does not prescribe drugs or advise people about getting off them, choosing instead to defer to medical doctors on those points. I like his approach, actually. He doesn't make the antidepressants the issue; obedience to Christ is the focus.

Another problem I had with the book was the offhand way in which Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is handled. In a very brief mention, Mack says that he counseled a man who had OCD-like symptoms, training him to replace those thoughts with godly ones. This is not bad advice at all; in fact, all Christians can benefit from it. And it's true that some people (like the man Mack talks about) may suffer very mild OCD-like symptoms that personal discipline and counseling can manage. But there are other people who have the real thing. I believe Jesus healed the lame and blind, and that He could heal the physical problem in the brain that causes or contributes to severe OCD. But physical healing is not a right we can claim from Him. It isn't something we can earn if we just conjure up enough faith. "By His stripes you are healed" is talking about our healing from the spiritual disease of sin, not — as we so often contort it to mean — just our physical bodies.

This is where the Christian steps out a bit further on the limb and asks himself if God has a bigger reason for placing this disorder in his life, if God will receive glory because of it, and if that is more important. Non-Christians won't get this; they'll say God is a sick sadist if He really does have the power to heal and chooses not to use it. This is unanswerable; at this point we both start speaking another language. The wisdom of God is foolishness to the secular world. I guess that is why we have this division. This will mean nothing to nonbelievers, but I have found that suffering is God's tool in my life to help me — sometimes force me — to grow. It is sanctifying in the life of the believer. He is refining us... and who knows but that depression is just another fall-out of sin that He uses? God wants to bless us, but sometimes the best blessing we can receive is the pain that leads us to grow.

Secular readers, if you've read this far, I applaud you, even if you are just persevering to gather more ammo ;). Depression isn't my area of specialty by a long shot; I've never had firsthand experience with severe depression and have not read much on the subject. No doubt non-Christians will find this all a load of rubbish. That's to be expected. One thing I want to make clear is that Jesus is not just a remedy for depression. He isn't the ticket to "your best life now." I would never hawk Him as a cuddly best buddy who will take away all your problems and make you feel warm and fuzzy if you'll just open your heart's door to Him. Good heavens, no. And thankfully, Mack doesn't do this either.

Depression is something that all of us in this crazy imperfect world experience at some point, in some measure of severity. It's natural we should all seek to remedy it according to our life philosophies. We should at least show compassion to one another as fellow sufferers, even if our worldviews and remedies for the problem are diametrically opposed. No one is immune to this.

Out of the Blues is an important book because it begins to fill a void in Christian literature, the plight of those who struggle with mental and emotional disorders of some kind. How are we to live godly lives when we also live with these problems? There are answers in the Bible. I don't think this is the definitive Christian work on the subject, but perhaps it will lead the way for other Christians in the field to write about this universal human experience. Mack's firmly grounded perspective gives us a great starting point, and always leads us back to the Word. This book has a few flaws, but it definitely got that part right. ( )
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This book addresses a problem that nearly everyone faces at some time in their lives. If you are not living with depression now, you know someone who is. Out of the Blues will: Define and describe depression; Describe the dynamics of depression and how it develops; Present a biblical solution to the problem; Outline causes and solutions to the blues caused by loneliness. Excellent Questions for Discussion following each chapter.

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