Married; wife's name Sue; children: two. Hobbies and other interests: Astronomy and photography.
Writer, physician, photographer, and insurance executive. Chief medical officer and vice president of medical operations for an Arizona-based health plan. Member of board, Cross Roads Church of the Nazarene.
Seeing in the Dark: Getting the Facts on Depression & Finding Hope Again, Bethany House (Minneapolis, MN), 2006.
Richard Jacobs is a physician, author, and insurance executive. He is an avid amateur astronomer, and his photographs of astronomic phenomena have been published in a variety of magazines. He is an active member of the Cross Roads Church of the Nazarene near Phoenix, AZ, where he serves as a Sunday school teacher, the leader of the church's prayer ministry, and a member of the board of directors. Jacobs is the coauthor of Seeing in the Dark: Getting the Facts on Depression & Finding Hope Again, a study he wrote with Gary Kinnaman, the senior minister of Word of Grace Church in Mesa, AZ, who also suffers from depression.
As an author and minister, Kinnaman has faced numerous difficulties, but many were surprised when he publicly admitted that he suffered from depression. By doing so, he ‘made it safe for Christians to admit’ to experiencing this difficult, often misunderstood, and sometimes stigmatized psychological condition, commented a biographer on the Bethany House Web site. Jacobs and Kinnaman's book, Seeing in the Dark, helps ‘dispel faulty Christian notions that depression is a character flaw or an attention getter,’ and refutes more general concepts of depression as a solely physical or mental condition, noted a Publishers Weekly reviewer. Kinnaman and Jacobs deal compassionately with a much-misunderstood psychological disease. They make it clear that genuine depression is not simply a temporary case of the blues, and they stress that it cannot be cured by waiting for it to go away, or by denying its existence, or by just ‘cheering up.’ Both authors offer detailed accounts of their personal experiences with depression, Jacobs as the husband of a sufferer and Kinnaman as an outwardly successful and happy individual who was overcome by it. They offer readers both a physical and spiritual course for recognizing, confronting, and overcoming depression. Discussion of the nature and causes of depression coincide with information on alterations in brain chemistry that can trigger depression. They consider aspects of pharmaceutical treatment as well as behavioral modifications that can help sufferers recognize and arrest thought patterns that contribute to and exacerbate depression. Kinnaman and Jacobs also offer suggestions for response by the Christian community at large when one of their own is feeling the devastating effects of depression, and how acceptance and understanding by the community can help a depressive handle his or her condition when too overwhelmed to face it alone. The authors confront the harm that depression can cause, but also offer guidance on maintaining a hold on Christian faith while learning to cope with and overcome the affliction. Resources such as self-assessment aids, a history of pharmaceuticals used to treat depression, and case studies round out the book's offerings. An Internet Bookwatch reviewer called Seeing in the Dark a ‘vital guide to rising above neurochemical and emotional misery."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Internet Bookwatch, December, 2006, review of Seeing in the Dark: Getting the Facts on Depression & Finding Hope Again.
Publishers Weekly, June 12, 2006, review of Seeing in the Dark, p. 49.
Bethany House Web site,http://www.bethanyhouse.com/ (October 28, 2007), biography of Richard Jacobs.
Christian Books for Women,http://www.christian-books-for-women.com/ (October 28, 2007), review of Seeing in the Dark.