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Archbishop of Canterbury says his faith helped during depression

Archbishop of Canterbury says his faith helped during depression

By Jennifer Meierhans
BBC News
April 20, 2022

Justin Welby said a book written by his daughter on her own struggle with depression had encouraged him to get help.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said his faith acted as a "safety net" during his struggles with depression.

The Most Reverend Justin Welby told BBC Radio 4 it was "very odd" to feel the love of God and a "real, vicious sense of dislike of oneself" simultaneously.

Mr Welby said a book written by his daughter in 2017 had encouraged him to speak to others and get help.

He first opened up about his depression that same year and in 2019 revealed that he was taking medication.

In the first episode of a new programme, The Archbishop Interviews, Mr Welby and the author Elif Shafak explored the topics of faith, doubt and depression.

"My own experience of depression - one of the symptoms of it is self-hatred, self-contempt, real, vicious sense of dislike of oneself," said Mr Welby.

"And that seems very odd when it combines with also a deep sense that I'm loved by god. And in my life that expressed itself almost as a safety net.

"I would say in my prayers - I may be this terrible person, this failure as an Archbishop, whatever it is, but I know you know me better than I know myself and you still love me. And by that I am held."

Mr Welby said reading the book I Thought There Would Be Cake by his eldest daughter, Katherine Welby-Roberts, had made a "huge difference".

"She had a breakdown and very severe depression and still suffers from illness, and she's married now with two children," he said.

"And in that there was a chapter about the need to be open to speak to others. And so I did."

Another report said Welby was under a doctor's care for depression


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