Ann Keiffer

Book Groups

Suggested Questions for Reflection on Ann’s book

Blest by the Dark Angel: Transformed and Healed Through Depression

What were some of the factors that contributed to Ann’s decline into serious depression? Which seem external and which internal? What are the external and internal challenges in your life that could threaten your peace of mind and well-being?

What do you think might have happened in Ann’s life if she had not taken the job at the advertising agency? How would her life have been different? Do you think she could have avoided her descent into depression ?

How might Ann’s outcome have been different if she had been hospitalized for her depression? If it were in her control to go back and do this period of her life over, do you think she would choose hospitalization if it were available to her? Why or why not?

Looking at the responses and actions of Ann’s husband, how do you think he viewed her depression? In what ways did he support Ann’s recovery by what he did or didn’t do? How did you feel about his going to work, leaving Ann to her own devices? 

What was the impact of Ann’s depression on family, friends, and colleagues at work? Could she have done anything to minimize the negative impact? Could her depression have had any positive impact on other people in her life?

How are society’s views of depression and mental illness reflected in the reactions of people in Ann’s life? In Ann’s own reaction to her illness? What factors might help society move toward reducing the stigma of mental illness?

If you were struggling with depression or any other mental illness, how would you go about finding and choosing a good therapist? What resources could you call on for help?

List some wisdom lessons you think Ann learned through the crisis of her depression? What of those things might be useful in any other time of trouble?

Some call depression a spiritual emergency. What was the nature of Ann’s spiritual emergency?

Thinking into the idea of balance, in your own life where are you in regard to the masculine and feminine principles Ann writes about? Are you more tilted toward doing or being? If you are out of balance, what does that imbalance cost you?

One of Ann’s key take-aways from her experience with depression and subsequent physical challenges is the idea that dark and difficult times hold “transforming possibility.” How would you explain that in your own words? When in your own life have you faced difficulty…and gained something from the struggle? What are some of the things required to live out the idea of transforming possibility?

Which of the photos or poems in the book spoke to your condition, your need?

Thinking about the fact that life almost always brings with it some trouble, what for you are some of the most important things to cultivate in yourself?