"I'm enjoying what I have read thus far. Your honesty in sharing your story and your feelings throughout your journey is amazing. It's something I don't remember reading in other writing that approaches the topic of depression. It's real and raw and very refreshing in that you talk about this tension and wrestling with your mental health while still being a believer. The church doesn't deal with the issue in such a real way."
"Carl, I am confident someone will read this book and feel a great sense of relief and like they are seen for the first time. What an incredible gift you are giving to people by sharing your story - and sharing the real struggle in detailed moments. Congratulations on creating a powerful work. I am moved and I am so excited for those it will help."
-Monica DiChristina LPC
“If I had to use one word to sum it up, I’d say “hope”. Your story conveys hope to the reader. And not like a surface-level, well-wisher type of hope. It’s like someone reminding you that, even if you feel like you’re floating off into the dark abyss, you’re still tethered to the Anchor.”
"Carl does a wonderful job of walking the reader through his battle and eventual mental health victory. His honest account of struggling with depression and faith is descriptive enough that I think many people, particularly men, struggling would feel like they're not alone.”
-Dr. LaRonda Starling
"Carl’s story is a testament to his vocational aim: walking alongside those who are struggling where they are. Framed in personal reflection, The Progressive Darkness is told with an honesty that seeks to let in the Christian who is wrestling with depression and encourages hope via Jesus’ style of ministry. Carl’s inclusion of reflective poems adds another level of communication and resonate deeply. If you’re looking for a voice to speak plainly about Christianity and depression, this book will be a welcome read." -Abigail Sitterley
"Even though I wish you never had to experience the darkness that you have, I really appreciated you sharing so openly about your experiences and how God has used them to redeem them for good."
"Overall, this was really great. I felt so understood, and like we've known each other for quite some time. I think people will really feel connected and not alone. You really show how God was working through this dark time in your life, and how He was there with you while you even when you didn't "feel" His presence. So glad for the work of God in your life brother. This was a blessing for sure, and I know it will be for so many others."
"Carl invites us into his heart and mind during the transformative faith journey of his life. Darkness certainly loses its power when you realize you are not there alone. Carl gives all who suffer with depression this gift and provides a personal, Christian perspective on our darkest seasons."
"I found it is encouraging for those going through the hell of depression and enlightening about what the writer has gone through in his life"
"In regards to the poems, I love them. I thought that they were well written and I honestly feel like they do a good job in describing what depression is like."
-Dr. Dyona Augustin
"You don't hear people talk about these things much, especially in the Christian world. I think you are going to connect with a lot of people in ways they have not known as you bring these types of feelings and battles to light. I also think it's good you are sharing a positive experience with medication - how the journey out of the deep depression involved Jesus and medicine. Again, not something usually promoted as good and necessary in these circles, so I appreciated that and your balanced approach to not rush to that as the answer, but sometimes it is part of the solution."
“This book is a resource I wish I had during the time I was depressed. I believe it will help a Christian struggling with depression to know that they are not alone, and that although well meaning people may disappoint or even hurt us in these times, we can find others who have walked a similar road and have our faith strengthened on the way. Ultimately, we will find that Jesus is the one who can best identify with us and heal.”
"It is often said that you can at once identify an expert by the ease with which he executes his craft or by the grace with which he distills high concepts such that the novice has a lively grasp of them. I am stunned at the ease of vulnerability that characterizes this book, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Though its primary
subject matter is the presence of clinical depression within the Christian community, the book is really a pithy primer for the church at large and should, in my estimation, be included in every church's library or resource center. It is a very raw and real look at that troubling intersection between the chemically-induced lies of
depression and the true Christian's exhortation to "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith' ...". This is not a theological text in the academic sense; rather, every line drips with practical insight into the mindset of one being ground in that agonizing and all too often unseen crucible. The book is raw, real, and effectual. It is not an exercise in navel-gazing, but its aim throughout is to point with intimate honesty to Jesus the Christ, the
Sufferer of Sufferers, while gently but Biblically adjusting the lens through which the church has often and naively approached true depression. The title, The Progressive Darkness, is drawn from one of the Poems tucked away toward the back of the book. These MUST be read. They are pungent psalms of the soul, both afflicted and revived,
testimonies in miniature of God's unfailing love toward His servant, even in his deepest sorrow. Really, there is nothing extraneous about this book; every word, from the Introduction through the Poems, Bibliography, and Further Reading, has been painstakingly culled but naturally presented, and one would do well to tease out line by line what Carl has so succinctly delivered in these few pages.
"This book reflects the pain and despair that depression brings. It’s a vulnerable account of an experience many people feel completely alone in. This book shines a light onto this dark topic and lets others know they do not have to suffer in silence. There is joy and there is hope in this book. There is the proclamation that mental health issues can happen to anyone, anywhere including those inside the church. And that treatment of those issues can include the church, professional help and medication, all at the same time. Carl, I appreciate your voice in normalizing mental health discussions and advocating for believers to get the support they need. "