Dr. Michelle Bengston writes in Chapter 1, “Perhaps the description of depression to which I could most relate is that “it’s like drowning, except you can see everyone around you breathing.” (author unknown) She says, “depression presents in various ways depending on the individual, but the common thread is that it is always emotionally painful.”
Beloved, have you suffered that emotional pain that depression causes? In this chapter, Dr. Michelle explains that she grew up in a home where depression was prevalent. But when the symptoms appeared in her life, she didn’t recognize the symptoms for what it was. She says she was in denial and that denial prolonged her misery.
So what is depression? Depression is a “mood disorder” and a condition of general emotional dejection and withdrawal where one experiences greater sadness. One may have less energy, stamina, or functional activity. It can present a range of severity depending on age, gender, ethnicity, personality, circumstances of the person suffering per Dr. Michelle Bengtson in Chapter 1 of Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression.
Dr. Michelle Bengtson shares that depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. 18.8 million American adults suffer from a depressive disorder. She says one in four Americans will experience depression. Nearly twice as many women as men are estimated to be affected by a depressive disorder each year. Depression first visited me as a child when I was in fifth grade. My teacher was overbearing and accused me of listening to a conversation she was having in the hallway. Looking back at it, I may have very well been listening to her as I sharpened my pencil but as she grabbed me and pulled me by my ear to my desk, she scared me enough that I had nightmares. My mom removed me from school as I couldn’t quit crying and we went and stayed with my grandmother for a while. It’s funny but I don’t remember the resolution to this except I was removed from school. Depression has visited me as an adult many times. So I am familiar with the emotional pain it causes.
In this chapter, Dr. Michelle Bengtson reviews the symptoms of depression. Some of the most common symptoms per Dr. Michelle in Chapter 1 are feeling sad, blue, down, or numb, irritability, or agitation, difficulty concentrating, feeling worthless, helpless, and or hopeless. One might feel guilty, indecisiveness, decreased energy or motivation, decreased interest in previously enjoyed activities, decreased physical activities, crying, sleep and or appetite disturbances, unintentional weight gain or loss, thoughts of suicide, aches and pains that do not improve with treatment, and excessive use of alcohol or other substances (including prescription medication). These symptoms, if they continue, may suggest that one is suffering from depression. She states that traits like perfectionism, drivenness, people pleasing, or peacekeeping, can be subconscious coping styles for managing the discomfort depression produces.
Dr. Michelle Bengtson states that many misunderstand depression. She sheds light on the spiritual battle we need to fight in order to equip you to fight the war against depression.
This chapter homework is to write out the following verses Psalm 31:7, Psalm 34: 17-18 and Psalm 54: 4
I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul. Psalm 31:7 NIV
The righteous cry, and the LORD hears
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34: 17-18 NIV
Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me. Psalm 54:4 NIV
Beloved, in Romans 15: 13 it says, “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.” Surely God is my help. For the woman reading this that’s depressed may this book help her. God, you are the Great Physician and do heal, please heal us, Lord. We ask for this healing Lord, in Jesus’ name Amen.
The emotional pain will improve if we physically move and fight the spiritual battle. Walking, reading God’s word, claiming who she is in Christ, and listening.
What do you need to do today to feel better? How about using the music list and praising God.
Dr Michelle shares on This Thing Called Depression. https://www.facebook.com/michelle.bengtson.50/videos/vb.100006485936299/2423658204527020/?type=2&video_source=user_video_tab