The Dark Night of the Soul
Contrary to popular belief, the dark night of the soul is not only about pain and misery. It is as much about the freshly dawning light that can break through after the totally debilitating times of the dark night. A helpful book on the subject is Gerald May’s The Dark Night of the Soul: A Psychiatrist Explores the Connection Between Darkness and Spiritual Growth. Drawing on his clinical experience, May writes that depression and the 'dark night' often go hand in hand, in the same way that we have seen how other spiritual crises can be accompanied by psychotic-type symptoms. He considers it not helpful to try to separate them out, the important thing being to treat the depression where present and to support the 'dark night'.