Author: Jane Clayson Johnson
Product Description: Through the power of story, nationally recognized journalist Jane Clayson Johnson shines a light on the desperate, dark, and lonely reality faced by those who struggle with clinical depression. At once hopeful and heart-wrenching, Silent Souls Weeping examines the stigma and isolation associated with depression, as well as the dangers of perfectionistic tendencies and suicidal idealization.
Beginning with an open and frank exploration of her own experience with clinical depression, the author goes on to share stories gathered from interviews with more than 150 men, women, and teens—all members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—who have suffered from depression. Within these stories is a plea to change the dialogue surrounding depression, particularly among Latter-day Saints, who face unique struggles as they try to fit a disease manifest through sorrow into a religion centered on a "plan of happiness."
"The worst part of depression," writes the author, "is the profound isolation it engenders, not just from the Spirit but from family, friends, and community." Sharing our stories is the first step toward ending that isolation. This important book opens the door for a new level of honesty and helpfulness, both for those who suffer from depression and for their family members, friends, and Church leaders.
About the Author: Jane Clayson Johnson is an award-winning journalist widely known for her work at CBS News, ABC News, and the nationally syndicated NPR program On Point. Over more than two decades, she traveled the world covering stories from international news to presidential campaigns and interviewing the biggest newsmakers of the day. Jane is the best-selling author of I Am a Mother. She has served in regional, stake, and ward public affairs, as a Gospel doctrine teacher, and in many Relief Society and Primary callings. Jane and her husband, Mark, live in Boston. They are the parents of five children and grandparents of three.
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PHENOMENAL! I would highly recommend this book to any person with depression, any person who has someone in their life with depression, and everyone else! I was diagnosed with depression 18 months ago and have spent a lot of time processing that this means for my life, my happiness, and my success. This book came with so much information, validation, insight, and real life stories that I could relate to in so many ways. Some of my main takeaways from this book:
1. Depression IS an illness. If you have depression, it isn't because you did something wrong. You didn't sin. You didn't cause this. God loves you.
2. Mental health should really be referred to as brain health. Because depression (and other mental illnesses) are a disorder of the brain.
3. Talking about our own stories of depression and mental illness is the one of the best forms of medication.
4. Depression is a chronic illness. This has prompted a lot of introspection for me as I realized I still haven't accepted the fact that this didn't start 18 months ago when I got diagnosed and this won't magically go away. It helped me understand why I am constantly surprised when I have dips in how I am feeling and how I am functioning.
5. Talking openly about mental illness / suicide, etc doesn't cause those things to happen. Talking openly about these things allows people suffering to verbalize what they are going through so they can get help before it is too late. THIS WAS HUGE FOR ME.
6. There are people all around us suffering silently. Don't judge. Don't assume. Just love.
7. You can still be a successful person if you have a mental illness. There is a way through it. If Abraham Lincoln can be President of the United States with depression, I can achieve all of my goals too. So can you.
7. Most of all, WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT MENTAL ILLNESS MORE. We need to remove the stigma. This is real. People need help, understanding and love.
Highly recommended. Deeply impacted. Thank you Jane Clayson Johnson for doing what has been so needed to be done. I appreciate your vulnerability, the time you have taken to research this topic and interview so many people. You have blessed my life so greatly.