Does depression affect women more often and more severely than men? Author Maura Hanrahan, who has suffered from serious depression for many years, would never say that. What she would, and does, say in Spirit & Dust is that depression affects women in different ways and from different causes and with different effects than it does men. She directs this beautiful book of meditations directly at women who suffer from long-term or chronic depression.
Each short meditation deals with one aspect or another of depression in women, from how many women are programmed toward depression as little girls to how a husband or parent or support group can help (or hinder) a woman in dealing with her depression. This is not for the woman who is occasionally melancholy or discouraged. Nor is it for the faint of heart, for the author tells about serious depression the way it is. The book offers no easy cures, yet it is hopeful and helpful. Each meditation is accompanied by a quote or verse from a woman spiritual writer, many of them mystics and some of them sufferers from depression themselves.
Spirit & Dust is for women who suffer from serious depression, their loved ones who seek to understand what they are going through, and counselors and ministers who work with depressed women.
Mary K. Doyle is an author, speaker, and freelance writer. She earned a Masters of Arts Degree in Pastoral Theology from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. She is the author of Seven Principles of Sainthood, The Rosary Prayer by Prayer and Mentoring Heroes.