• Archive for May, 2010

    Thank you for a great day of “Losing God”

    May 11, 2010 // 3 Comments »

    Thanks so much to all of you who took part in “Losing God on May 10.” Many of you blogged about the event, changed your facebook status to make others aware of it, and ordered copies of Losing God. Whatever role(s) you played on May 10, please know how grateful I am.

    Each of you helped raise awareness about a serious mental illness that affects 19 million people in the US every year, and you offered hope to those afflicted by spreading the word about Losing God. As one who has battled the nearly-tangible darkness of depression, again, thank you.

    If you could not participate on May 10, no worries. The date doesn’t matter. Make today a day for Losing God. Tell a friend about the book. Blog about it. Order copies cheap, cheap, cheap online. Become a fan of Losing God on Facebook to hear about future events. And of course, visit my website often for the latest news on Losing God, When Answers Aren’t Enough, and future books. Oh yes, I suspect there will be others!

    Posted in General, Writing Updates

    Hookah no safer than cigarettes

    May 10, 2010 // 2 Comments »

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that a hookah is so much safer than smoking cigarettes, and never have the supposed reasons made any sense to me. Now this article. I’m no anti-tobacco saint–I enjoy the occasional cigar myself–so I’m not coming down on anyone’s vice here. I just wish people would stop deluding themselves with the wishful thinking that smoke in your lungs could ever be a good thing, no matter how smooth or tasty it might be.

    Click here for the full story from msnbc.com.

    Posted in General

    Losing God TODAY

    May 9, 2010 // 1 Comment »

    Today is the day! Let’s spread some hope by spreading Losing God. It’s simple:

    1. Order Losing God online today. (Amazon is likely cheapest.)

    2. Encourage your friends to do the same.

    3. Post this as your Facebook message (or tweet it): “Losing God today. You should too. http://www.mattrogers.us/losing-god-on-may-10/2010/05/03/”.

    Remember to include the link so people know what you’re taking about. And thank you for your help with this. Every year in the US alone 19 million people battle depression. Thirty thousand commit suicide in the US each year. Let’s bring those numbers down.

    Posted in General, Writing Updates

    On creating, then hating, Mother’s Day

    May 8, 2010 // No Comments »

    Ever wonder how holidays like Mother’s Day get started? Me neither. But this year I stumbled upon the surprisingly interesting history of Mother’s Day on MSNBC.com and felt like passing it along. Anna Jarvis founded the holiday over a hundred years ago to honor her late mother. The day was supposed to be a simple, reverential reminder of mom’s role in the family. Before she died, Anna Jarvis had spent all her money and perhaps even her sanity trying to control the commercial monster her Mother’s Day had become.

    Click here for the full history. Doesn’t take long to read, and worth the time. Note, especially, Anna Jarvis’s attention to grammar and punctuation: It’s Mother’s Day for a reason, not Mothers’ Day or Mothers Day.

    Posted in General

    Losing God this Monday

    May 7, 2010 // 1 Comment »

    NOTE: I accidentally just slammed my head into the corner of my own car door. I didn’t even know that was possible, but I just did it, so please excuse any grammatical errors in this post.

    Monday is closing in. Get ready to spread some hope by ordering and telling others about Losing God. If you haven’t already, invite your friends to the Facebook event, “Losing God on May 10,” and then on Monday …

    1) Order Losing God online.

    2) Use your Facebook status (and tweets) to tell others about the event.

    Have a great weekend, and pray for my head.

    Posted in General, Writing Updates

    Hope for drug-resistant depression sufferers

    May 4, 2010 // No Comments »

    Since May is Mental Health Month, I’m scouring the web each day in search of the latest news about depression. Came across an article today that might offer some slight hope to people who suffer from depression that does not respond to medication. I’m so thankful that 40mg of citalopram every morning does the trick for me. What if antidepressants hadn’t worked? Sadly, that’s the case for many people.

    The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting today that a new study in which 190 depressed patients were given electromagnetic stimulation over three weeks found that 14 percent experienced remissions that often lasted several months. Fourteen percent probably isn’t the number researchers had hoped for, but it is certainly some hope for patients who can find no other relief for their dark moods.

    Read the entire story here.

    Posted in General

    Behind the cover of “Losing God”

    May 3, 2010 // No Comments »

    I get more questions about the cover of Losing God than almost any other aspect of the book. Kudos to InterVarsity Press designer Matt Smith for a truly fantastic, intriguing cover. The most frequently asked question–which I may never understand, given that I’m not a woman, and that that is clearly a woman on the cover of the book–is whether the person on the cover is me. For the record: 1) I’m male, and 2) I don’t own a red rain jacket, so no, that isn’t me. I don’t know who it is. The cover art for Losing God is a blending of two stock photos:

    Click here for “Woman Wearing Red Coat With Hood”

    Click here for “Approaching Storm Over Pacific”

    Other questions I receive:

    Q: Did you design the cover?

    A: Already gave this one away. Matt Smith at InterVarsity Press is the genius.

    Q: Did you get to approve the cover?

    A: No. The right to approval was not in my contract. I had that right on When Answers Aren’t Enough, not on Losing God. InterVarsity Press did, however, kindly show me the cover ahead of time, just to make sure I didn’t hate it.

    Q: Do you like the cover?

    A: I love it. I think Matt Smith did a terrific job. He had a tough task, depicting the malaise of depression without making the cover itself depressing. In my opinion, he succeeded brilliantly. Everything about the cover seems to work. The book is a simple story of one man’s journey. The cover art, likewise, is simple–not too busy, and with no fancy fonts. The dim, gray clouds are perfectly offset with a splash of bright red from the rain coat, drawing your eye to the book and preventing the cover from feeling oppressive or bleak. Compare Losing God‘s cover with that of many other books on your shelf–Losing God pops. It stands out.

    I can’t wait to see the cover for the Korean translation that’s in the works right now. I’ll let you know when it releases.

    Posted in General, Writing Updates

    Losing God on May 10

    // No Comments »

    May is Mental Health Month. Every year, 19 million Americans wrestle major depression. Thirty thousand commit suicide. To help spread some hope this month, you’re invited to the event, Losing God on May 10.” It’s as simple as one, two, three.

    1. Order Losing God online on May 10.

    The 2008 book about depression and doubt is a great resource whether you’re struggling with depression, know someone who is, or just want to educate yourself about this terrible illness. I know some of you already own the book. If so, do you know someone you could get a copy for? Or would you consider buying another copy just to have on-hand (and to encourage the publisher to keep producing books like Losing God)? You can get the book wherever, but Amazon is probably cheapest, around ten bucks.

    2. Invite your friends to take part in “Losing God on May 10.”

    Pass along the link to this post, or click here to join the Facebook event and invite your friends.

    3. Use your Facebook status on May 10 to spread the word.

    Post this as your Facebook status on May 10: “Losing God today. You should too. http://www.mattrogers.us/losing-god-on-may-10/2010/05/03/”. Make sure you include the link to this post so people know what you’re talking about. You can also tweet this if you have a Twitter account.

    Thanks so much for your help. As one who struggled for years with the awful despair of major depression, I know there are people out there who will hear about Losing God through your efforts and finally find some much-needed solace. Thank you for being a part of that.

    Posted in General, Writing Updates

    May is Mental Health Month

    May 1, 2010 // No Comments »

    Every year since 1949, Mental Health America (formerly the National Mental Health Association) has sponsored “May is Mental Health Month.” According to their website,

    Depression affects more people than any other mental health condition–more than 19 million Americans each year.

    Everyone gets down from time to time, but sometimes it’s more than “the blues.” Clinical depression is a real illness that can be treated effectively. Unfortunately, fewer than half of the people who have depression seek treatment.

    Too many people believe that depression is a normal part of life’s ups and downs, rather than a real health problem. As a result, they may delay seeking help or not seek help at all. It’s important to know that depression is real, and it can be effectively treated.

    What are the signs of depression?

    • Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood
    • Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or sleeping more than usual
    • Reduced appetite and weight loss, or increased appetite and weight gain
    • Loss of pleasure and interest in once-enjoyable activities
    • Restlessness, irritability
    • Difficulty concentrating at work or at school, or difficulty remembering things or making decisions
    • Fatigue or loss of energy
    • Feeling guilty, hopeless or worthless
    • Thoughts of suicide or death

    If you experience five or more of these symptoms for two weeks or longer, you may have depression. See a doctor or mental health professional for help right away. It’s also important to connect to the people in your life who care about you and can give you support.

    My 2008 book, Losing God: Clinging to Faith Through Doubt and Depression, follows my four-year struggle with major depression from 1996 to 2000. Despite many wonderful people telling me I might have a mood disorder, I spent most of those years believing my problem was spiritual. If you know someone you believe is depressed–someone who displays the symptoms above–and who feels as though they’ve lost God in the confusion, this book might help.

    Beginning Monday on this website, I’ll offer thoughts on how you can spread some hope by spreading the word about this book during Mental Health Month. Check back on Monday!

    Posted in General