Thursday, December 11, 2003


One of my dear friends, Sr. Kathryn James, fsp has just published a book on depression. Surviving Depression will be a wonderful, thoughtful book, principally because SkJ is one of the most profound and prayerful women I have ever known. As a result of a minor surgery, she suffered a devastating and debilitating stroke when she was 24 years old. We all knew it was God taking one of his special souls to the next level. She has weathered depression personally, and, as Emily Dickinson would say, "her words know."

I write about this here because SKJ is my friend, but also because I know I will use this book as an important resource in my work here in Hollywood. This can be a very depressed town. I remember a television writing friend of mine telling me once that pretty much every one on his show was on Prozac.

I have seen depression in many middle-aged people who have struggled here for years and have never made it. I have also seen it in people who have made it big, but whose career success has wreaked havoc in every other aspect of their lives. There are many people here who are very good at show biz, but very bad at everything else: friendship, parenthood, marriage, spirituality and "rainy Tuesday afternoons."

I never know how to help these people. One has to be careful. It has been my experience that depression can be a contagious ailment. will value an approach that sees depression as just another stepping stone to God.

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