New book is inspired by author’s own struggles with anxiety and depression

Rev Patrick Coghlan, whose latest book aims at encouraging people to focus on the positive things in

Rev Patrick Coghlan, whose latest book aims at encouraging people to focus on the positive things in their lives.Photo: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

A Norfolk-based Christian author whose books are inspired by his own struggles with mental ill-health has published a new title aimed at helping people to focus on the joyful moments in their lives.

Rev Patrick Coghlan, who been minister at Worstead Baptist Church since 2004, published his first book, entitled Anytime Chats with God, nearly 20 years ago.

He has since written a further 36 novels, plays, children's books and self-help titles on topics ranging from depression and bereavement, to living with dementia.

"I try to write every day," he said. "And, because I use a lot of what I write in my ministry, I get some very useful feedback from my loyal and supportive congregation, which helps me to know what does and doesn't work."

The Norfolk-born father-of-two is also chaplain, counselling services manager and a trustee of Aylsham and District Care Trust, which provides a range of services to elderly people and those at risk of isolation.

He battled depression and anxiety for more than 13 years and believes his own experiences give him an insight into the struggles of others.

Entitled A Diary of Thankfulness: 31 Days of Gratitude, his new book is written in the form of a calendar, with each chapter focus on a different topic.

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"It is often not easy to be thankful and, certainly for people who are dealing with mental health problems, bereavement or poverty, it is easier to think about what is wrong," he said. "But I hope that this book will inspire people to write their own diary of thankfulness and think about the positive things in their lives like new opportunities, pets and the talents they have, as those are the sort of things that keep us going."

Mr Coghlan, who traces his own struggles with mental ill-health back to a childhood accident, also recently completed another new book - an exploration of the physical, mental and spiritual impact that a traumatic event can have on a person's life.

He is now working on a compilation of 40 prayers aimed at supporting people in retirement and old age.

A Diary of Thankfulness: 31 Days of Gratitude and other books by Patrick Coghlan are available from Christian bookshops, or from

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