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Author Topic: Looking for Orthodox books about depression  (Read 3763 times) Average Rating: 0
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GreekChef
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« on: January 26, 2008, 10:14:00 AM »

I wasn't sure where to post this (feel free to move it, Mods, if need be)...

I was once told about a saint who suffered with depression for years, but now I can't think of who it was.  Does anyone know?

I'm looking for that saint, or any other, for that matter, who wrote something that might be helpful to someone who has suffered with depression for many years (it's for a relative).  Can anyone help me???

Thanks in advance,
Presbytera Mari
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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2008, 12:24:04 PM »

Hello Presbytera,
One particular modern saint that is a healer of depression is the martyr Eldress Maria of Gatchina.  A book put out by St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood titled Heavenly Wisdom from the God-illumed Teachers on Conquering Depressionshould be helpful.

The blurb on the back reads:
   Modern society is Godless.  Godless not because man doesn't need God, but because he forgets God.  The loneliness which results from forgetfulness of God becomes unbearable for  the soul and produces dissatisfaction, despondency and despair.  In the attempt to build "paradise" on earth and relieve this loneliness, man instead builds artificial golden cages which imprison the human spirit, depriving it of spiritual freedom.
   Depression, a modern word for hopelessness, is especially prevalent in our times, demanding a remedy.  Presented here is a brief life of a healer of depression of our century, Eldress Maria of Gatchina, together with a treasury of eternal teachings from the Holy Fathers and Mothers throughout the ages who taught from personal experience on how to fly out of the cage of despair.  These teachings have already helped millions of people overcome the demonic spirit of depression and attain freedom.

I hope this helps,        Juliana Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2008, 03:21:48 AM »

I'm not sure about saints, but Greek Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos (sorry if I just butchered the whole Greek language there) wrote a very good book on it.

I believe it was called "Depression: a spiritual guide" or something along those lines.  If I can find a place to order it, I'll let you know.
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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2011, 08:35:48 AM »

Hello Presbytera,
One particular modern saint that is a healer of depression is the martyr Eldress Maria of Gatchina.  A book put out by St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood titled Heavenly Wisdom from the God-illumed Teachers on Conquering Depressionshould be helpful.


I know this is an older thread, but I'm wondering if anyone has read this book and if it was helpful?
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« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2011, 05:27:42 PM »

I recently ordered this book and I am so glad that I did. I haven't read it all yet, but it seems the kind of book one needn't read from cover to cover. It is divided into 4 sections: What is depression, what causes depression, how to alleviate depression, and spiritual struggle. The entire book is a compilation of quotes, mostly from patristic and monastic sources, that deal with despair, depression, and hopelessness, etc, and how to overcome these in the context of the life of the Church through faith, prayer, service, and so on.  It really gives one hope when things seem black. I think it would be most helpful not only for those who deal with deep depression regularly, but virtually every modern Christian.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2011, 05:28:28 PM by stavros_388 » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2011, 05:43:27 PM »

Greetings in that Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



Father Meletios' book is sublime in regards to dealing with human psychological issues in the context of the Church theology.  In particular, he explains so mystically how God can heal us of our natural psychological issues and baggage through our participation with the Divine Mysteries of the Church, in fact his running thesis is that essentially, the Apostolic Church was commission by Our Lord precisely to bring about the divine healing through Grace which we flawed and fractured human beings need to survive.

The first section explains the Fathers teachings of the gulf between the human heart and mind, and how our psychological issues such as depression or anger result from this gulf and our being duped by the chatter of our fractured minds.  Only God can heal this deep wound and bring about completion and wholeness to ourselves.  The second section is devoted to each of the Seven Divine Mysteries and how God acts through these to bring about Healing and Grace in our lives to deal precisely with our psychology.  Father Meletios is a medically trained and practicing psychologist so his perspective is thoroughly modern and grounded in practice and yet fundamentally and Mysteriously Orthodox.  I can't recommend enough as folks might have already noticed, and I read from it often.
Here are some more resources from the Orthodox perspective

http://www.antiochian.org/1141449331
http://ocampr.org/archives/
http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/depression_fr_stephen.htm
http://orthodoxhealing.blogspot.com/search/label/depression

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2011, 06:02:37 PM »

Yes that book is highly illuminating and actually helped me see how we can meet God through mystery.

This might be a good one too: http://www.amazon.com/Our-Thoughts-Determine-Lives/dp/1887904190/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1311544911&sr=8-1

I know my parish's bookstore has quite a few books on Depression, I'll have to write them down and post them. I believe one had to do with Psychotherapy.
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« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2011, 06:13:12 PM »

I agree with the recommendation of Fr. Melitios Webber's book.  Another great book by Metropolitan HIEROTHEOS Vlachos is Orthodox Psychotherapy.  While it doesn't deal exclusively with depression, it does have a good deal to say about it.
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« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2011, 09:53:35 PM »

Yes that book is highly illuminating and actually helped me see how we can meet God through mystery.

This might be a good one too: http://www.amazon.com/Our-Thoughts-Determine-Lives/dp/1887904190/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1311544911&sr=8-1

I know my parish's bookstore has quite a few books on Depression, I'll have to write them down and post them. I believe one had to do with Psychotherapy.

Which book do you think is illuminating?  The book on depression or Fr. Melitios' book?  You didn't quote so I can't tell.

I've also read Fr. Melitios' book a couple of times but never through the lens of depression.  I'm actually looking for a book to help me with one of my teens.


I have "Our Thoughts Determine our Lives" and it was quite good.  
« Last Edit: July 24, 2011, 09:54:51 PM by PrincessMommy » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2011, 10:18:13 PM »

Yes Fr. Melitios' book, not so much on depression but rather on experiencing God which has healing qualities of course.

I'd recommend a book that focuses more on depression but from an Orthodox Christian view, but I am lacking titles off hand.
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« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2011, 10:30:53 PM »

I was once told about a saint who suffered with depression for years, but now I can't think of who it was.  Does anyone know?

Hmm, was it one in this list:
St. Dymphna
St. Tikhon of Zadonsk (His works here: A Spiritual Treasure Gathered from the World)
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