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Depression, Anxiety, and Other Things We Don't Want to Talk About

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Mental illness loves to tell lies. One of those lies is that you really should be able to manage what you're struggling with. Pastor and psychotherapist Ryan Casey Waller says no. Mental health issues are not a symptom of a spiritual failing or insufficient faith; rather, suffering is the very thing our Savior seeks to heal as he leads us toward restoration. And yet, as Wa Mental illness loves to tell lies. One of those lies is that you really should be able to manage what you're struggling with. Pastor and psychotherapist Ryan Casey Waller says no. Mental health issues are not a symptom of a spiritual failing or insufficient faith; rather, suffering is the very thing our Savior seeks to heal as he leads us toward restoration. And yet, as Waller has experienced personally, the battle can be lonely and discouraging. But it doesn't have to be. Combining practical theology, clinical insights, and deep empathy, Waller offers a rare mix of companionship and truth, inviting us to have shame-free conversations about mental health; discover why self-knowledge is so important to a deep relationship with God; understand the intersection of biology, psychology, and spirituality; explore varying avenues of healing in community, therapy, and medication; and be equipped to support loved ones while practicing self-care. Waller bridges the gap between the spiritual and the psychological in this empathetic, imminently helpful guidebook, reminding us all that we are not alone. Hope starts now.


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Mental illness loves to tell lies. One of those lies is that you really should be able to manage what you're struggling with. Pastor and psychotherapist Ryan Casey Waller says no. Mental health issues are not a symptom of a spiritual failing or insufficient faith; rather, suffering is the very thing our Savior seeks to heal as he leads us toward restoration. And yet, as Wa Mental illness loves to tell lies. One of those lies is that you really should be able to manage what you're struggling with. Pastor and psychotherapist Ryan Casey Waller says no. Mental health issues are not a symptom of a spiritual failing or insufficient faith; rather, suffering is the very thing our Savior seeks to heal as he leads us toward restoration. And yet, as Waller has experienced personally, the battle can be lonely and discouraging. But it doesn't have to be. Combining practical theology, clinical insights, and deep empathy, Waller offers a rare mix of companionship and truth, inviting us to have shame-free conversations about mental health; discover why self-knowledge is so important to a deep relationship with God; understand the intersection of biology, psychology, and spirituality; explore varying avenues of healing in community, therapy, and medication; and be equipped to support loved ones while practicing self-care. Waller bridges the gap between the spiritual and the psychological in this empathetic, imminently helpful guidebook, reminding us all that we are not alone. Hope starts now.

30 review for Depression, Anxiety, and Other Things We Don't Want to Talk About

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sheena

    Going into this I had no idea it was so religious based which isn't my thing but I feel like it would be really helpful for someone in the christianity community struggling with mental illness. Going into this I had no idea it was so religious based which isn't my thing but I feel like it would be really helpful for someone in the christianity community struggling with mental illness.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Abdullah Thakur

    A nice introductory insight in depression, anxiety and suicide; addressing various other topics too.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    This book is for anyone that needs a pick me up or to read about someone struggling with depression/anxiety. I was not able to finish the book because it hit too close to home. I do think that this book is for people who need help with knowing that there are others like them out there.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Freedom

    WOW - a breath of fresh air. Having someone name and describe what I go through and how to live better with Depression and Anxiety. Has a great step by step and more!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Panda Incognito

    Ryan Casey Waller is a pastor and licensed psychotherapist, and in this new book, he shares his personal story, summarizes information related to mental health, medication, and therapy, and encourages his readers to talk about their experiences and get help. He writes in a casual, conversational style, and is bracingly honest about his own struggles with depression and alcohol abuse. He includes short narratives related to his experiences between some of the chapters, writing about himself in th Ryan Casey Waller is a pastor and licensed psychotherapist, and in this new book, he shares his personal story, summarizes information related to mental health, medication, and therapy, and encourages his readers to talk about their experiences and get help. He writes in a casual, conversational style, and is bracingly honest about his own struggles with depression and alcohol abuse. He includes short narratives related to his experiences between some of the chapters, writing about himself in the second person as if he were observing himself from the outside during the darkest time in his life. Because he tells the truth about his own struggles and how they have affected his family, he gives the reader a sense of his credibility as a fellow sufferer. Waller addresses common questions related to why God allows suffering, dispels various myths about mental health, and explains what a state of positive mental health should look like, helping readers measure their situation against a vision for what life can be like, instead of just cataloging their symptoms. This was eye-opening for me, because even though I have not dealt with severe depression or anxiety in years, I could see based on his description of a positive state just how much my mental health has degraded over the past year of dealing with the pandemic. Waller's approach helps someone conceptualize what holistic wellness looks like, and he then provides information about how people can pursue help. He also writes about suicide, shares compassionate stories about people he knows who have died this way, and addresses current statistics about how "epidemic" depression has become. My one significant critique of this book is that I wish he had written more about reasons why mental health issues have become so prevalent in our time. During the second half of the book, Waller demystifies the process of finding care, provides detailed information about medication options, and helps de-stigmatize pharmaceutical medications, even though he also acknowledges that health and lifestyle changes can help alleviate mental struggles. Throughout the book, he is direct, balanced, and informative, and he provides lots of practical advice for how people can take incremental steps towards improving their mental health. This book is an excellent resource for people who are dealing with psychiatric, situational, or emotional issues, and I would strongly encourage friends and family members of sufferers to read this as well. This book has the power to break down barriers and start new conversations in Christian communities about mental health. It isn't perfect, since no book on such a sensitive subject could be, but it is an excellent resource. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sierra Moran

    Ryan Casey Waller got real and personal about his ‘fall from grace.’ Depression, anxiety, suicide - they don’t discriminate. As Christians, we know we have an ever-present Father, a God who will hear our every need, who will walk through the trials and temptations with us. Knowing and believing these things often leaves individuals suffering from mental illness feeling that we are not strong, we aren’t living life right, or even that we deserve what is happening to us. Waller gives a new perspec Ryan Casey Waller got real and personal about his ‘fall from grace.’ Depression, anxiety, suicide - they don’t discriminate. As Christians, we know we have an ever-present Father, a God who will hear our every need, who will walk through the trials and temptations with us. Knowing and believing these things often leaves individuals suffering from mental illness feeling that we are not strong, we aren’t living life right, or even that we deserve what is happening to us. Waller gives a new perspective on mental health and the role that our faith has in recovery.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kristine

    This is a good book for those brand new to exploring anxiety and depression- it covers basic and crucial info like how to find a therapist, understanding mental health, etc. There should be a trigger warning though as suicide is discussed pretty explicitly. The author is also really open and vulnerable with his own struggles which is great! A good read to someone very new to the mental health world.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    As someone who has personally dealt with depression and anxiety, I was very interested to read this book. The author does a really good job of explaining what potential causes and treatments are as well as working in how it relates to our lives as Christians. There were definitely things that I could relate to in this book and things that I found helpful. From the title, I expected the book to talk more about how to bring these issues more to the forefront and get people talking about them, but As someone who has personally dealt with depression and anxiety, I was very interested to read this book. The author does a really good job of explaining what potential causes and treatments are as well as working in how it relates to our lives as Christians. There were definitely things that I could relate to in this book and things that I found helpful. From the title, I expected the book to talk more about how to bring these issues more to the forefront and get people talking about them, but there wasn't a whole lot of that.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    After reading the first few pages, I almost stopped reading. He tells of his experience coming to church, as a pastor, drunk, and I cannot relate to that at all and wondered if the whole book would relate mental illness to drug and alcohol abuse, which are non-applicable to myself and just wasn't what I expected. Fortunately, the book did not just focus on that but began to apply more and more as I kept reading. Additionally, I found that I could also replace alcohol with other vices, such as fo After reading the first few pages, I almost stopped reading. He tells of his experience coming to church, as a pastor, drunk, and I cannot relate to that at all and wondered if the whole book would relate mental illness to drug and alcohol abuse, which are non-applicable to myself and just wasn't what I expected. Fortunately, the book did not just focus on that but began to apply more and more as I kept reading. Additionally, I found that I could also replace alcohol with other vices, such as food. While not exactly the same, the root of the addiction is similar enough to empathize with his situation, even if it was different than my own. I really enjoyed this book overall! It looks at mental illness from a Christian viewpoint. I have read a lot of books on the subject since I have suffered from depression and anxiety since I was a child, and a lot of books tend to either be completely agnostic and claim that therapy and drugs are the only remedy, while there are some religious ones that claim you can make it all go away by just praying or becoming closer to God. I don't agree with either of those stances, and thankfully, Waller doesn't either. He recognizes that mental illness, like physical illness, is a condition of life. It is not a punishment from God, a sign one is not close enough to Him, or anything of the sort. God recognizes our challenges and while they are not usually completely lifted, He does support us and is there with us so we are not alone. This is akin to what I have always been taught and felt, but different than the usual black or white I have read in other books. He details the loneliness, exhaustion, and apathy that mental illness can cause quite well and points out how it doesn't discriminate and can affect anyone. He covers multiple paths to recover and getting help while also acknowledging the trajectory that is depression. Those with it understand that it never truly goes away, or is cured, but requires vigilance and constant self checks. I learned a lot of new tips and tricks in this book and really enjoyed reading from the perspective of someone who understands, in a way, how I feel. I didn't necessarily agree with 100% of what he wrote, but I think it is a great book with tons of wonderful insight that can be gleaned.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Logan

    A direct, easy-to-read primer for those struggling with mental health issues or loving someone who is. Ryan shares a lot of great information in this book. Even shares from the DSM what are the typical symptoms of depression which was quite enlightening. I appreciated how Ryan managed to cover a lot of ground while devoting enough attention to each one. It was refreshing to see a chapter discussing suicide and how we can better be present for those we know who have struggled or are struggling. At A direct, easy-to-read primer for those struggling with mental health issues or loving someone who is. Ryan shares a lot of great information in this book. Even shares from the DSM what are the typical symptoms of depression which was quite enlightening. I appreciated how Ryan managed to cover a lot of ground while devoting enough attention to each one. It was refreshing to see a chapter discussing suicide and how we can better be present for those we know who have struggled or are struggling. At the root of it all is Ryan’s compassion for others that is rooted in God’s love. I was not expecting this book to be theologically rooted but it was a pleasant surprise, nonetheless. I’ll be blunt: this is a book that every church needs to have in its library and many a Christian would do well to give this a read. I think it would help a lot of us who are new to this, and strengthen us who have been battling this for awhile, to give this a read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bry

    As a person who has struggled with anxiety and depression and recently went through a major depressive episode a couple years ago I wanted to find a book written by a therapist as well as a Christian! and I’m so thankful I found this book! He goes into detail about his struggles as well as explains what goes on in the brain when depression and anxiety hits! He talks about other people’s struggles and how they got help as well as what to do when your depressed or if you are thinking of suicide or As a person who has struggled with anxiety and depression and recently went through a major depressive episode a couple years ago I wanted to find a book written by a therapist as well as a Christian! and I’m so thankful I found this book! He goes into detail about his struggles as well as explains what goes on in the brain when depression and anxiety hits! He talks about other people’s struggles and how they got help as well as what to do when your depressed or if you are thinking of suicide or you know someone who is! It also talks about the history of mental illness and best of all he incorporates the Bible and how God see’s depressed people! I highly recommend it if you have anxiety, depression or know someone who does and wants to know how to help them! Heck I encourage you to just read it to educate yourself even if you don’t know anyone with it! It’s just an overall great book!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tangled in Text

    Can you read below the authors name? I completely missed it at first, but because of it I got so much more than I bargained for. The author, Ryan Casey Waller is a Pastor, Therapist, and Co-Sufferer. This book was both confirmation and acceptance coupled with guidance and encouragement. This book was comforting yet empowering. I would reread this in a heartbeat and will be buying it to recommend to others. This book addresses shame and nips it in the butt! I loved the bluntness and Waller coming Can you read below the authors name? I completely missed it at first, but because of it I got so much more than I bargained for. The author, Ryan Casey Waller is a Pastor, Therapist, and Co-Sufferer. This book was both confirmation and acceptance coupled with guidance and encouragement. This book was comforting yet empowering. I would reread this in a heartbeat and will be buying it to recommend to others. This book addresses shame and nips it in the butt! I loved the bluntness and Waller coming to the defense of those suffering. He presents some great advice in both understanding and treating different levels of illness. He includes some amazing references and even has a list of books for further research on some of the more pronounced illnesses.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Blake

    A sobering, uplifting book that made me feel a little less alone in the battle to function in society. I'm someone who quit a good job and nearly committed suicide because I was so lost in the depths of despair and obsession. I've only recently been able to get back on track, to admit to myself and others how I've felt, how I feel. Finally talking to a doctor, a therapist, and taking the medication that I tried to avoid for so long, I'm doing better and looking to enjoy life again. It'll never b A sobering, uplifting book that made me feel a little less alone in the battle to function in society. I'm someone who quit a good job and nearly committed suicide because I was so lost in the depths of despair and obsession. I've only recently been able to get back on track, to admit to myself and others how I've felt, how I feel. Finally talking to a doctor, a therapist, and taking the medication that I tried to avoid for so long, I'm doing better and looking to enjoy life again. It'll never be easy, but Ryan's book convinced me that I just might be able to make it after all. Thanks for being brave and speaking about the things we don't like to talk about.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mhughessc

    Ryan Casey Waller, pastor and therapist, has written this excellent guidebook for anyone who is struggling with depression/anxiety or loves someone who is on their own mental health journey. I appreciated his candor and transparency, and was moved by the personal anecdotes he shared. In "Depression, Anxiety, and Other Things We Don't Want to Talk About", Waller does a fantastic job weaving psychology and Biblical principles together. He also writes about the difficulties Christians in particular Ryan Casey Waller, pastor and therapist, has written this excellent guidebook for anyone who is struggling with depression/anxiety or loves someone who is on their own mental health journey. I appreciated his candor and transparency, and was moved by the personal anecdotes he shared. In "Depression, Anxiety, and Other Things We Don't Want to Talk About", Waller does a fantastic job weaving psychology and Biblical principles together. He also writes about the difficulties Christians in particular have with being honest about their mental health struggles. I would highly recommend this book! Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. All opinions are my own.

  15. 4 out of 5

    J.J.

    Such a good book about mental health from a Christian perspective, including the importance of taking meds, what to do if you're feeling suicidal, and how to find a therapist. It also talks about talking about mental illness in the church. And it's written by a pastor and LPC, who covers his own addiction and mental health battles including the day he preached drunk from the pulpit and going to an inpatient facility. And it continuously pointed back to recognizing our worth in Christ, and our ne Such a good book about mental health from a Christian perspective, including the importance of taking meds, what to do if you're feeling suicidal, and how to find a therapist. It also talks about talking about mental illness in the church. And it's written by a pastor and LPC, who covers his own addiction and mental health battles including the day he preached drunk from the pulpit and going to an inpatient facility. And it continuously pointed back to recognizing our worth in Christ, and our need for his people and his creation, meds, in overcoming.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jordy Pross | read.over.the.rainbow

    I felt like this book was speaking directly to me and I am so thankful I had the chance to read this. Even if you do not struggle with anxiety or depression, it's a good way to educate yourself and learn a little bit about people who do and what they may be thinking and/or feeling. Their is inclusion of God and the Bible which I personally enjoyed but I know others may not appreciate that like I did. Thank you to #netgalley and Ryan Casey Waller for the chance to read this in exchange for my hon I felt like this book was speaking directly to me and I am so thankful I had the chance to read this. Even if you do not struggle with anxiety or depression, it's a good way to educate yourself and learn a little bit about people who do and what they may be thinking and/or feeling. Their is inclusion of God and the Bible which I personally enjoyed but I know others may not appreciate that like I did. Thank you to #netgalley and Ryan Casey Waller for the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    G. Connor Salter

    Several people have brought up the fact it's encouraging to get advice from someone who's actually experienced the struggle you're facing, and that there are things which only a "fellow sufferer" can tell you. Waller really dives into that idea, alternating between telling you his journey through depression and alcoholism with sections of advice and guidelines for finding better mental health. The combination is very refreshing, well worth reading. Several people have brought up the fact it's encouraging to get advice from someone who's actually experienced the struggle you're facing, and that there are things which only a "fellow sufferer" can tell you. Waller really dives into that idea, alternating between telling you his journey through depression and alcoholism with sections of advice and guidelines for finding better mental health. The combination is very refreshing, well worth reading.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kristin Sanders

    **I received an ARC from the publisher on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The best thing about this book was how the author made the argument that it's important for churches to openly talk about mental illness and incouraged providing support for those suffering with different types of mental illnesses and not making them feel like an outcast. Especially in the church. **I received an ARC from the publisher on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The best thing about this book was how the author made the argument that it's important for churches to openly talk about mental illness and incouraged providing support for those suffering with different types of mental illnesses and not making them feel like an outcast. Especially in the church.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Wood

    I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This book was extremely helpful. I appreciated the author’s transparency - it couldn’t have been easy. I think anyone who leads in ministry should read this: either for help for themselves or to help them help others.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

    Would not recommend. From the title, I was not expecting the faith bias and the emphasis on how the author is a pastor. So, I would recommend reading another book on mental health by a licensed and experienced professional.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mary Kruft

    Can’t recommend this book enough for anyone with mentsl health issues or anyone who loves someone with depression or anxiety. So well written by a “co-sufferer” with so many practical explanations. The author is a former Anglican priest & attorney who is now a therapist. This book is so rich.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This is a great book for someone who is just recently learning about their mental health issues, especially anyone who came from a Christian tradition that (unfortunately!) does not give much credence to them. I received an ARC from NetGalley. The book will be released on January 5, 2021.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gillian Doplemore

    Great book that gives insight to what mental illness can be, how they can work, and what we can do to fight them. This is an extremely important topic that has been neglected for too long. Every Christian should read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Suzy Finigan

    Depression This book showed up in a recommendation list. I take it as a God thing. I have struggled with depression my adult life. Ryan has authored a very useful book through his transparency and research. I highly recommend this book if you struggle with depression.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    This is absolutely the best book I have read on this subject. Waller does a wonderful job educating, explaining, empathizing, sharing life experience, and subtly connecting with Scripture when appropriate. I have recommended this book to many friends.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Arianna Bullock

    Everyone Should Read This Book!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Abigail Ngugi

    Very thoughtfully and carefully written. I felt seen and acknowledged while reading this. Very very helpful as a fellow suffering Christian.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    If you are a Christian who has ever struggled with mental illness or a Christian who knows someone who has struggled with mental illness, you must read this book. So to sum up, all Christians should read this book. Because whether you know it or not, you know someone who has struggled with mental illness. Ryan Waller has written this honest and heartfelt book about the history of mental illness, the church and mental illness, and how we can all move forward. The book is well-written and relatabl If you are a Christian who has ever struggled with mental illness or a Christian who knows someone who has struggled with mental illness, you must read this book. So to sum up, all Christians should read this book. Because whether you know it or not, you know someone who has struggled with mental illness. Ryan Waller has written this honest and heartfelt book about the history of mental illness, the church and mental illness, and how we can all move forward. The book is well-written and relatable. With great ties to scripture, it really looks at how we as Christians should be in helping ourselves and others with mental illness. I highly recommend this book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne

    I would recommend this book to ANYONE who is involved in the church in any way- whether it be serving in Youth ministry, working with a womens or mens group, pastoring, etc. The church has gotten Mental Health SO SO SO wrong in the past and its such an important thing to be getting better at. I felt this book could be a good resource for that. As a person who has life experience personally with Depression and Anxiety and exposure to family members with Schizophrenia and Bipolar disorder and also I would recommend this book to ANYONE who is involved in the church in any way- whether it be serving in Youth ministry, working with a womens or mens group, pastoring, etc. The church has gotten Mental Health SO SO SO wrong in the past and its such an important thing to be getting better at. I felt this book could be a good resource for that. As a person who has life experience personally with Depression and Anxiety and exposure to family members with Schizophrenia and Bipolar disorder and also a Psychology minor, there wasn't a lot of NEW information here for me, but it was informative and well written. I found myself genuinely interested in reading more.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

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