Depression as a spiritual journey

Is human suffering an inevitable manifestation of life, or is it a divine and sadistic test of human faith and will to survive?

Are suffering and pain the great sanctifiers that cleanse the soul from impurities, or are they the masochistic and mandatory passages toward maturity, wisdom, and emancipation from the banalities of life?

Unfortunately, human suffering is multifaceted and assumes many shapes. Whether it is physical, emotional or mental the ensuing results would be either an utter anger and bitterness, or a rebirth of the individual who will develop new perception of the world and of life.

Many people experience some type of depression in their lifetime but with different forms and severity, because depression always was and still is the crisis of the alienated and lost self as well as the common cold of the human heart.

The true etiology of depression remains unknown. However, the theories are numerous and range from psychological to genetic and from psychosocial to medical. Many have proposed that depression could be a medical condition based on an unproven chemical imbalance theory that results in a prescription pad and a fast fix in the form of a $4 pill that may or may not work. Others have perceived it as a psychological reaction to a stressful and abusive environment, or depression was attributed to a genetic predisposition and/or to both the genes and the environment as interactive contributors. However, some others perceive depression as a process of life, and portray the suffering as an intrinsic ingredient that will eventually mobilize and propel the afflicted person to move into a higher stage of emotional and spiritual development.

Stephanie Sorrell has written an inspirational book about depression as a spiritual journey. She is the author of two other books, Trusting the Process and The River That Knows the Way. She has an MA in Psychosynthesis Psychology, has acted as a spiritual counselor for 20 years and works as a Clinical Support Worker in Furness General Hospital, England, and was herself afflicted with this disorder. Her book accentuates a positive approach to the perception of depression as a means to find ourselves. In addition, her volume is definitely written from the heart. It translates her personal experience and suffering into real words that strike a sensitive chord in the human psyche. It is written in a lucid, poetic, and elegant style that flows smoothly from chapter to chapter and keeps you yearning for more. It also articulates the experience of depression to heighten our understanding of this journey that most people will take at one time or another in their lives.

This book consists of an introduction, seventeen cohesive chapters, and a conclusion. It covers a broad scope of knowledge in the subject, and each chapter is enhanced with a gentle touch of the author’s personal experience with this illness. The book ends with a conclusion that congeals the entire book into a literary journey that will illuminate the anguished human soul.

Depression as a Spiritual Journey will make terrific reading for anyone who suffers depression or knows someone who is affected by it. This book will have wide and global appeal, because it targets an existential subject of a chronic human condition, and offers a deep and insightful understanding of this insidious illness.


Sorell, S. (2009). Depression as a Spiritual Journey. Alresford: John Hunt Publishing

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