Nowadays, mental health is a trending topic. Compared to the past years, our generation is more aware of it, which I think is a good thing, because mental disorders can now be addressed and treated properly. As a Catholic, my faith has been a contributor in alleviating my OCD and depression. Prayers and devotions strengthen me. To add, reading became one of my antidotes in eradicating fears. Since psychology intrigues me so much, I love going through the pages of Catholic books talking about anxiety and depression. It is interesting to know what does the Catholic Church says about different mental health issues and how do they correlate them with faith.
Here are some of the best Catholic books for anxiety and depression with reviews.
Pray, Hope, & Don’t Worry Prayer Journal for Catholic Women
One piece of advice I got back when I was struggling with anxiety was to write down my fears. At first, I doubted it but when I started listing them down, I found comfort. It worked for me. From then on, I highly recommend doing it. In a way, it is a form of journaling.
The Pray, Hope, and Don’t Worry Prayer Journal was created by Sarah and Scott Smith after being inspired by Chiara Corbella Petrillo’s writings. She battled and overcame much anxiety in her life through Christ’s lasting life love. This Prayer Journal is a 52-week guided devotional that takes you through Scripture and some of history’s most beautiful prayers, all chosen to help you overcome worry. This prayer journal will help you overcome your concerns and anxieties by falling more entirely in love with Jesus. The following are included in each of the 52 weeks:
- Generously sized journal pages with plenty of areas to write
- 7-step prayer sequence with a breathing practice to help you stop panic attacks in their tracks
- Interiors and prayer places with beautiful illustrations
- The Prayer Journal also includes weekly sacramental goals and a variety of prayers, such as the Prayers of Calm and Generosity, the Prayer for Panic Attacks, and the well-known Serenity Prayer.
The design is beautiful, and the arrangement is easy to follow. This prayer system’s seven steps are beneficial and biblically sound. If you are looking for a catholic meditation for anxiety, the bible verses supplied got you covered. It also does an excellent job incorporating traditional and liturgical prayers.
St. Dymphna’s Playbook (A Catholic Guide to Finding Mental and Emotional Well-Being)
In the world of mental disorders, who wouldn’t know St. Dymphna? She is the patron saint of anxiety and fear, and other mental illnesses.
Tommy Tighe, through this book, wants people to take steps to reach and maintain mental and emotional well-being not only by mere self-care, healthy mechanisms to cope, and professional intervention but also by scripture, prayer, and developing relations with saints. In this book, a combined therapeutic approach has deep wells of the Catholic faith and spiritual practice that explores paths towards healing, hope, and wellness. It offers solid explanations of the broad scope of mental health concerns related to anxiety, depression, grief, relationships, and trauma. It also explains everyday situations that allow them to grow, like isolation, social anxiety, fear, and unhealthy relationships.
In his book, the writer has shared best practices to understand each concern. He offers a unique Catholic understanding that dives into relevant scriptures and introduces the readers to a Catholic saint who lived with the same issue, including St. Dympna, a patron of those having mental disorders. People who have mental illness are often stigmatized. His objective is to erase that stigma so that those who suffer can feel free to talk about their difficulties. Showing them that they are not alone. You are not alone in your worries or struggles. As we work toward mental health, the witness of scripture and the saints reminds us of the community we already have.
If you are into podcasts, here is a Catholic Podcast on anxiety. It talks about St. Dymphna.
Every human being has experienced regrets in a lifetime. If possible, we want to turn back time just to fix things and escape from regret. Reclaim Regret will guide the readers to the freedom that God desires for them. Out of any setback or disappointment, they may construct a new future. In the framework of your life story, this book Sr. Kathryn Hermes can help you rework past regret and disappointment.
Sr. Kathryn’s ministry is inspired by her own life experiences and recovery and the experiences and healing of the laypersons she mentors and spiritually counsels. The book’s examples provide a grounded, “real-world” feeling of the agony and remorse that many of us feel as we go through life. The hurts we experience, and the afflictions others cause us. Real-life examples, compelling meditations, and Sr. Kathryn’s own experiences can help you go from midlife stagnation to spiritual emancipation. Through sacred scripture and prayer, learn about God’s four promises to you; they will help you forgive yourself, encounter God’s love and healing, and accept spiritual freedom.
Catholic Guide to Depression (How the Saints, the Sacraments, and Psychiatry can help to break its Grip and Find Happiness Again)
If you need a book that will explain to you deeply everything about depression, this is it!
Numerous Christians, including saints, have suffered deep and unescapable sorrow today called “Depression”. Even spiritual practices have failed to escape people from this desolation of soul. For those rare cases where mutual efforts of science and spirituality cannot expatriate the pain of depression, Dr. Kheriaty depicts how pain-like inevitable sufferings of Jesus on cross-can prove to be rescuing for your own and others as well.
After the detailed clinical experience of treating patients with depression, Dr. Kheriaty found out that the confessional cannot help in curing neuroses. He believes that healing can only be achieved by mixing discoveries of modern psychology and pharmacology and spiritual directions and sacraments. This is what Dr. Kheriaty has done in his thoughtful and spiritually wise book: The Catholic Guide to Depression.
This book will help you distinguish depression from other mental states like sloth, guilt, the darkness of sin, and inspiring desolation called the night of the soul, which is a fortunate spiritual trial given to good souls as a special present from God. Written by a faithful Catholic psychiatrist who is committed to the Church teachings, Dr. Kheriaty, through his book, helped in providing consolation to people suffering from depression. He gave spiritual directors, pastors, loved ones, and friends the knowledge they require to help depressed ones, providing the support they utterly need. Overall, a must-have!
The Mindful Catholic Finding God One Moment at a Time
Anxiety and depression can lure us to whether a person is trying to carry out his daily life behaviors, conversing with others, or trying to pray, the way his mind works dramatically affects how well he functions. But most of the time, he may think like his mind has a mind of its own.
- At the end of a hectic day, you lay on your bed and crave a good night’s sleep so that your mind can race in a million directions.
- In between a conversation, you realize that you have not heard a single word the other person has said.
- Prayer is an exercise practice in futility, and it is full of distractions and rambling thoughts.
- You arrive at a destination without having any memory of how you reached there.
These are some of the most common examples to show how our minds can seem to be entirely out of control at some stage of life. We end up passing through the motions day after day and feel only anxious and preoccupied.
In his book, Dr. Greg Bottaro, the writer, tells how mindfulness can aid us in becoming aware of the present moment and how to accept it. Catholic mindfulness is described as showing how we can trust God more in our lives practically. This book will show you how mindfulness may help you be more present in many aspects of your life, from going to the shop to relaxing with friends to listening more intently to a homily or meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary.
Surviving Depression a Catholic Approach
How would it feel to be surrounded by a supportive community at times of emotional fragility, to wake up most mornings knowing your life has significance, and to know that Jesus understands and holds your tears as sacred? It may seem like a fantasy when emptiness takes over but this book can guide you in the journey.
Surviving Depression teaches you how to take the initial steps towards recovery and how to include practices into your daily life that will assist you in embarking on a spiritual journey through the dark. You’ll learn how to reconnect with your heart, form stronger bonds with others, boost your self-esteem, stop negative thoughts from spiraling out of control, and live with serenity and gratefulness.
Surviving Depression has been helping thousands of readers find a new way to live with depression with faith and hope for over a decade, using:
- Saints and ordinary individuals who have struggled with depression share their inspiring stories.
- From a psychological, medical, and spiritual standpoint, insights and techniques for dealing with depression.
- Suggestions for depressed people’s friends and family
This new edition has an additional section, “8 Steps to Inner Peace”, which is composed of scriptural reflections and a step-by-step guide to finding peace.
You can read this with Prayers for Surviving Depression, a companion piece that is also an excellent read.
Finding Hope in Depression: A Catholic Approach
This audiobook is a personal journey of the writer through the realm of depression. Sr. Kathryn J. Hermes, your guide, has fought with depression for many years. In this book, she presented a holistic approach to finding peace in the dark and hope for a new dawn. Sr. Hermes is a best-selling author who specializes in spirituality and despair. A Catholic Approach investigates the relationship between depression and faith. For people suffering from melancholy or feeling disheartened and disillusioned, nervous and uncertain, the richness of the Catholic tradition can be one of the most potent paths to well-being and completeness.
The book will provide:
- A holistic approach to depression, including spiritual, psychological, medical, and practical self-care techniques
- Hopeful stories from others who have experienced depression
- Practical advice for friends and family
- Prayer and reflection suggestions
- Help and insight for those suffering from depression;
- Valuable resources for caregivers and pastoral counselors
The saints, some of whom suffered from depression themselves, become our mentors as we learn how to cope with depression. The presentations are designed to lead you or your loved ones through a spiritual growth experience.
I know how it feels to be depressed and anxious. I, myself have been going through a mental disorder for a long time now. It sucks! As a matter of fact, while writing this, I am experiencing obsession. In a way, I know that bearing this cross could be an opportunity for us to be holy. Reading the mentioned books could be helpful in dealing with our mental disorders as Catholics.
Know that you are not alone in this battle. We got this!
For more Catholic Books, check this out.
St. Dymphna, Patron Saint of Mental Disorders, pray for us.