Hope Prevails: Insights From A Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression by Dr. Michelle Bengtson. Published August 16, 2016 by Baker/ Revell by Dr. Michelle. Twelve chapters of Dr. Bengtson’s riveting personal journey suffering with severe depression, interacting compassionately with the reader, and prescribing methods at the end of each chapter such as writing down a bible verse, helping the depressed person make choices and changes daily to focus on health and well-being instead of the self-destructive path that depression leads them to further harm is a welcomed book. A book that finally looks at the spiritual aspect of a person that suffers with depression.
As a board certified clinical neuropsychologist with over 25 years of experience diagnosing and treating patients with medical and mental health disorders, Dr. Michelle Bengtson has seen the devastation that depression brings. So for her to walk through the valley of depression this gives so much credibility to this book for me. She knows what someone is going through, they are not alone. This reader found golden nuggets in every chapter. This book written to the depressed person to give hope, a hope that sustains, and a hope that prevails.
Chapter 1, “This Thing Called Depression,” addresses many facts about depression. Dr. Bengtson almost daily diagnoses and treats patients with medical and mental health disorders, she has seen the devastation that depression brings first hand. One fact that I struggled to wrap my mind around is 9 million women suffer from depression. Another fact, depression is the leading cause of disability.
Chapter 2, “You Are Not Alone” Dr. Michelle shares the truth that Christians suffers from depression but often hide their depression. I can relate to this statement as I kept praying for healing and it just did not come quickly enough. She shares, “If you want freedom from depression, you have to let go of some myths and lies, and replace them with truth, God’s truth.”
Chapter 3, “The Underlying Truth about Depression” this chapter reviews the various causes of depression. It’s Chemical one may have a chemical imbalance, its genetic one may have a family member or a parent who suffers with depression. It’s secondary from another cause so primarily one has an illness and depression develops, I saw this in my husband after his back surgeries. It’s reactionary from a major life change such as one has a job loss. It’s spiritual and she devotes many chapters to this area. She begins to share her journey in this chapter. As she shares, “Nothing compares one to experiencing such conditions of depression first hand. We can never fully understand another person’s suffering until we go through it ourselves. Such is the case with depression. When I went through the valley of depression, I tried all the same treatment recommendations that I offered to my own patients, and they helped but they were suboptimal and I could not figure out what I was doing wrong. It was only when I started understanding that we cannot ignore the spiritual side of depression.”
The chapters that follow share a complex healing plan that includes how to recognize your enemy, how to recover your joy, how to reclaim your peace, and how to reestablish your identity and much more. At the end of every chapter is a prescription, an “Rx”, to follow and a music play list of music that will help one in their journey towards wellness.
The chapter I most identified with is Chapter 8, “Know Your Worth” I found freedom in Chapter 8, “Know Your Worth.” In this chapter, Dr. Michelle Bengtson shares about how God is 100% for us. Yet we have an enemy who is 100% against us and it is one of his primary purposes to bring us down and demean us and distract us from living the victorious life God provides. In this chapter, Dr. Michelle said, “Depression doesn’t define our worth, and God delights in us as his masterpiece.” Through reading this chapter, I realized just how much I have allowed words of others to decide how I feel about myself and when Dr. Michelle said, “Tragically, we allow words, attitudes or actions of others to influence how we feel about ourselves” Lastly, a quote that really says it all, “The authority to speak on my worth is Jesus.”
“Hope Prevails” offers the insights that I learned about the spiritual side of depression, what the enemy does to entrap us in depression, and what by the grace of God, the enemy cannot do. “Hope Prevails” shares God’s help, hope, and healing for managing depression. Dr. Michelle Bengtson wrote this book to offer hope: a hope that sustains, a hope that is real, a hope that prevails.
I highly recommend this book, I am a Master’s Prepared Nurse in discharge planning and we help with many homeless, this book would be great in the homeless shelter and the transitional housing centers. This book is a must read any ministry that has people who are coping with challenging life issues that are facing social issues affecting mental health. This book would be a nice addition to the Set Free Ministries, Freedom In Christ Ministries, and Pregnancy Centers.
Diana Rockwell RN, MSN
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
If anyone cannot afford the book and would like a copy please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or I am Diana Manley Rockwell on Facebook and you can private message me.