Light in a Dark Place – Encountering Depression by Carlton L. Coon, Sr., was introduced to me when Pastor Coon spoke about depression at our annual church conference. Where his ministry left off, his book continued to enlighten and educate. Suppose you’ve never suffered from a long season of depression. In that case, it is impossible to comprehend the widespread effects on your mental, physical and spiritual health. Depression affects relationships with family, friends, and other areas of life. For those unfamiliar with clinical depression, Light in a Dark Place is valuable in broadening your understanding of how to help and respond to those suffering from depression. Likewise, Coon’s book encourages those who have walked or are walking this road and offers practical solutions for managing depression.

This book is an excellent resource for recognizing, defining, and treating depression in a plain-language, non-textbook format. The information presented is easy to comprehend. The book’s content is not meant to be a clinical guide for the diagnosis and treatment of depression; instead, what Coon offers is an overview for those who may be unfamiliar with depression. It gives a clearer understanding of the path those living with depression travel. Whether you have experienced depression or wish to understand it better, you will learn much from Light in a Dark Place. 

Author: Carlton Coon. Publisher: Independent. Pages: 151

This book is compassionate. Coon’s brave narrative of his journey puts a human face on this frequently misunderstood illness and its impact on those battling depression. It brings encouragement and fraternity to those experiencing the life-altering effects and reminds them they are not alone. Despite the nature of his story, this is not a pity party but instead a celebration of the victories which come through preserving. The author’s openness about his challenges helps the readers deal with the unfair stigma of depression. Further, Coon’s transparency as a well-known minister goes a long way to encourage open conversations and free those suffering from the additional burden of secrecy. Coon calls on those who have not faced the battle of depression in their own lives to embrace those who do with love, compassion, and understanding. 

This book is revelatory. It offers meaningful suggestions for managing symptoms and finding treatment. It addresses the myths and thoughtless words which can become wounds from the uninformed. Depression isn’t “just” about “feeling sad” but encompasses many emotions, thoughts, and symptoms. Light in a Dark Place brings an awareness that deepens one’s understanding and compassion towards those struggling with depression.

Depression is more prevalent in Apostolic ranks than one would assume. Because of the stigma surrounding depression, many suffer in silence and are left feeling alone and misunderstood. The author’s honest and transparent writing has produced the literary equivalent of someone holding your hand. It echoes, “I’ve been there. I am there. I understand.” Coon compassionately educates those who’ve never had to comprehend the depths of despair and long seasons of pain. Light in a Dark Place is a deeply personal story that offers hope and wisdom and equips the reader to understand depression better. It is one of my favorite books to share and has my sincerest recommendation.