I remember the first time I realized I wasn’t alone in my struggle with depression.
I was scrolling through Facebook, and a friend said she was praying for a new mom who was struggling through her first postpartum months. This person said how she, too, fought to survive during this season of life and vulnerably stated how hard it was.
Suddenly, I felt like a veil was lifted. I realized how many women struggle with this darkness that sometimes feels like it may never clear, this feeling of hopelessness that consumes even when you have every reason to be happy.
We want others to like us and to not be a burden, so we put on a smile even though inside we feel like we’re drowning. And you don’t have to be the mom of a newborn to be affected by it.
As a matter of fact, author and neuropsychologist Dr. Michelle Bengtson states in her book, Hope Prevails, that, “In any given year, approximately 18.8 million American adults suffer from a depressive disorder, and at some point in their lives, about one out of four Americans will experience depression.”
When I first heard about Bengtson’s book, I was immediately intrigued. The title alone is enough to grab the attention of anyone who has experienced this hopelessness at some point during their lives: Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression. Then, when I learned Bengtson is not only a doctor but a neuropsychologist, I thought to myself, “Wait a minute. You mean those treating this condition experience it too?”
Despite decades in this field and having what most would consider effective tools to fight it, Bengtson experienced depression herself. Not only that, but the same prescriptions and methods she gave others to remedy this condition were not enough for her.
Hope Prevails explores what many psychologists and books ignore about depression: the spiritual side of it.
The author explains that while medication, counseling and other treatments can be helpful and effective, without addressing the spiritual nature of this disorder we are not seeing the entire picture. Depression may stick around, or resurface again in the future.
What I love about this book is how Bengtson addresses what depression is not only as a doctor, but also as a believer and someone who has walked through it. She gives you effective descriptions and research to determine whether you suffer from the condition, but also shows you what depression does and cannot do to you spiritually.
She ends each chapter with a section called “Your Rx” where she gives you questions to ask, actions to take and verses to equip you. She also covers the reader with a prayer and offers a recommended playlist of worship music which gave her hope during her darkest times.
Bengtson says, “Our feelings are the outward manifestation of the thoughts we believe.”
We have an enemy who is referred to in scripture as the father of lies, who would like nothing better than for us to be oblivious to the battle taking place. He wants us to not only believe lies about ourselves, but about our lives and those around us.
Friend, if you are in a place where you’re struggling with a darkness that seems to consume you, I highly recommend this book. It will equip you to fight, to know you’re not alone, and to arm yourself with the truth.
Depression has taken the lives of many, but it doesn’t have to have the final say. As Bengtson says, “Hope prevails.”
As someone who’s survived the darkness, I believe it.
I am giving away a copy of Hope Prevails to one of my readers! You can enter the giveaway by subscribing to my email list or commenting below. I will announce the winner next Thursday, July 13th. Also, please share this post with a friend who may benefit from this book!
Hope Prevails is available wherever books are sold.
*Two copies of this book were provided to me by The Blythe Daniel Agency in exchange for my review. I was not required to give a positive review.