What do you read when you're depressed?

The question itself may be wrong headed.  Maybe the question should be, can you read when you’re depressed?

But let’s go with the first question.  What do you read when you’re depressed?

I’ve reviewed a few books here along the way, some good, some not so good.  As most of you know, I’ve submitted a book to a publisher, and I’m continuing to pray for some success in that venture.  Even if you don’t have specific books, what types of books do you read?  Fiction, devotional?  other stuff.

Looking forward to hearing from you.  I’ll share my thoughts on this subject shortly.

-DMR

16 thoughts on “What do you read when you're depressed?”

  1. The hymnal. I might read parts of the liturgy, or look through the prayers until I run across one that resonates at that moment. But mostly I read hymns. Lenten hymns work best. When I’m depressed, anything upbeat is annoying or even discouraging. But a Lenten hymn or something else with a somber tone is palatable. A good hymn can help to turn my thoughts away from myself and toward Christ. I don’t even have to sing; I just read silently.

  2. The hymnal. I might read parts of the liturgy, or look through the prayers until I run across one that resonates at that moment. But mostly I read hymns. Lenten hymns work best. When I’m depressed, anything upbeat is annoying or even discouraging. But a Lenten hymn or something else with a somber tone is palatable. A good hymn can help to turn my thoughts away from myself and toward Christ. I don’t even have to sing; I just read silently.

  3. Psalms. No matter how dark and despairing things seem to be for me or for the Psalmist, there is always that gentle turn ’round the bed to see Jesus. Like Cindy, the hymnal searcher above, I flip through the Psalms until something in the first verse or two resonates and then I follow that Psalm through to the end. Good examples: 6, 10, 13, 28, 51, etc. These Pslams lend comfort that you aren’t alone in these feelings – and you know it’s real because intellectually you know the darkness Israel faced at points in its hisory. And, there is hope because you know (at least intellectually, if not spiritually) that the mercy of God is found when hiding yourself in Jesus Christ.

    Sometimes my heart is too closed off to allow such Light. But eventually, it is the Gospel that shatters the darkness. Nothing else will do.

    I also think the Psalms are a good guide for those wanting to help someone in despair. You can’t just turn on a happy-clappy disco ball and expect that person to dance. First you start by admitting the darkness is real and that it hurts. Call the Law what it is. Then, apply appropriate Gospel. God’s Word is exacting and powerful and that is what can break the hold of darkness — it is both a laser that destroys its target and the sun that lights up the sky.

  4. Psalms. No matter how dark and despairing things seem to be for me or for the Psalmist, there is always that gentle turn ’round the bed to see Jesus. Like Cindy, the hymnal searcher above, I flip through the Psalms until something in the first verse or two resonates and then I follow that Psalm through to the end. Good examples: 6, 10, 13, 28, 51, etc. These Pslams lend comfort that you aren’t alone in these feelings – and you know it’s real because intellectually you know the darkness Israel faced at points in its hisory. And, there is hope because you know (at least intellectually, if not spiritually) that the mercy of God is found when hiding yourself in Jesus Christ.

    Sometimes my heart is too closed off to allow such Light. But eventually, it is the Gospel that shatters the darkness. Nothing else will do.

    I also think the Psalms are a good guide for those wanting to help someone in despair. You can’t just turn on a happy-clappy disco ball and expect that person to dance. First you start by admitting the darkness is real and that it hurts. Call the Law what it is. Then, apply appropriate Gospel. God’s Word is exacting and powerful and that is what can break the hold of darkness — it is both a laser that destroys its target and the sun that lights up the sky.

  5. I get REALLY into fiction when I am depressed. I can’t concentrate on nonfiction — which is another reason why my blogging slows down in the Winter.

    I generally have something I fixate on every Winter. This past dreary gray season, I think I read the whole Harry Potter series about seven times through. Last year it was Horatio Hornblower.

    Often, when my thoughts would focus on dissatisfaction with being a pastor’s wife or feeling trapped, etc., I would read Anna Karenina. There just are times when depressing Russian literature works. And Anna Karenina does have some hope in it in the end, a search for meaning and a prospect of hope for the future within marriage, babies, duty, breathing and enjoying the air and the world without thinking too much about it.

  6. I get REALLY into fiction when I am depressed. I can’t concentrate on nonfiction — which is another reason why my blogging slows down in the Winter.

    I generally have something I fixate on every Winter. This past dreary gray season, I think I read the whole Harry Potter series about seven times through. Last year it was Horatio Hornblower.

    Often, when my thoughts would focus on dissatisfaction with being a pastor’s wife or feeling trapped, etc., I would read Anna Karenina. There just are times when depressing Russian literature works. And Anna Karenina does have some hope in it in the end, a search for meaning and a prospect of hope for the future within marriage, babies, duty, breathing and enjoying the air and the world without thinking too much about it.

  7. But then I’d add that my reading style when things are like that is obsessive. I don’t want to put down the book, don’t want to deal with the kids, don’t want to get things done….I just want to read and hide in the blankets.

  8. But then I’d add that my reading style when things are like that is obsessive. I don’t want to put down the book, don’t want to deal with the kids, don’t want to get things done….I just want to read and hide in the blankets.

  9. I can’t read most of the time. Sometimes, now I am able to read favorite Bible verses, blogs, menus, labels on boxes, recipes. I still can’t get through the Sunday comics because I become overwhelmed.

  10. I can’t read most of the time. Sometimes, now I am able to read favorite Bible verses, blogs, menus, labels on boxes, recipes. I still can’t get through the Sunday comics because I become overwhelmed.

  11. In the midst of a deep depression, my experience has been that it is impossible to read anything. Hearing someone read Bible passages TO ME is then what is needed.

    Also……coincidentally, my major depressive episode occurred right after I finished reading a lengthy book about Martin Luther. It was just a coincidence.

  12. In the midst of a deep depression, my experience has been that it is impossible to read anything. Hearing someone read Bible passages TO ME is then what is needed.

    Also……coincidentally, my major depressive episode occurred right after I finished reading a lengthy book about Martin Luther. It was just a coincidence.

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