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Journey Through Depression by Dr. Rick Marrs is LHM's latest Project Connect booklet. It deals with the causes of depression and how it impacts our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Marrs also addresses recovery strategies, myths surrounding depression, and how caregivers can help. He reminds readers that "Whatever pain we are in, whatever is troubling us, Jesus invites us to believe, to know, that we are not alone."

The National Institute of Mental Health notes that depression impacts all ages and races/ethnicities. In the U.S. alone, some 21 million adults experienced at least one major depressive episode (an event lasting two weeks or longer) in 2021. Globally, as of 2023, some 280 million people have depression, according to the World Health Organization.

Types of depression include Major Depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder, or related diagnoses like Bi-Polar Disorder. Depression triggers include physical causes, biological predisposition, trauma, grief or loss, aging, brain injury and, of course, relationship issues. Because of the complexities involved, consulting a professional is essential to finding out what is going on and how to treat it.

Recovering from depression is certainly possible. Proper care of the body (nutrition, exercise, rest, stress avoidance), medications, and alternative treatments all play a part. So does counseling. Still, finding the right counselor may take time. "If you feel like giving up, ask your pastor or another trusted Christian friend to check in with you on a regular basis and encourage you to keep trying until you find the right one for you," Marrs writes.

For caregivers—prayer, listening, and reminding the person that you love them are crucial. Marrs suggests joining them in a healthy pursuit like exercise, and just being there for them, but be sparing with advice as feelings can get in the way. If they mention thoughts of suicide, know and use the 988 suicide prevention hotline.

Depression can be awful, but it doesn't have the last word. "Even when we don't feel like Jesus is with us, we have His promise that He is (see Matthew 28:20)," Marrs writes. "His heart goes out to you, and He is deeply concerned about your welfare. God is here with you in your pain, whether it feels that way or not."

Rev. Dr. Rick Marrs is a licensed psychologist and senior professor of practical theology (counseling) at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. To find out more about LHM's Project Connect topical booklets, go to

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