Why do we pretend to be happier than we are? Why is it hard to admit to others how we feel? I welcome your perspective in the comments.
Dr. Brené Brown gives a great TED Talk on vulnerability. Many of us struggle to talk about mental health because we fear appearing vulnerable in front of our family and friends. The stigma surrounding depression is at its peak, and we numb our emotions in self-defense. We need only look to the media’s implicit bias to be aware of this.
Many of us are culturally predisposed to feelings of failure if suffering from mental illness. Many parents feel they failed because they’d hoped we’d “turn out different.” And many parents are in denial that mental illness is even an existing problem. My family is one of them.
The problem is that we cannot selectively numb. When we selectively numb our emotions, our joy and hope is numbed as well. We numb ourselves to uncertainty. In doing so, we turn away from God because the mystery of faith is not a concrete feeling we can hold.
“When we don’t appreciate our worth in Christ, many of our thoughts, attitudes, and actions run adrift, and depression has an open door to enter” (Bengston, 123).
Vulnerability is necessary to healing. When we’re honest with God it’s easier to move forward. Do you agree? First, we must believe that God is enough.
In Hope Prevails, Dr. Michelle Bengston tackles depression from the outside looking in. As a neuropsychologist, having walked through this battlefield, she determines to help us understand the spiritual battleground of depression.
“We are destroyed when the enemy knows more about the roots of our depression than we do” (Bengston, 49).
I appreciate her insight because she is both the doctor and the patient. The reader sees both sides of the journey and feels confident in the knowledge dispersed throughout the pages. As patients, we are treated with medication and mental exercises, but often our spirit remains untreated. This is where Dr. Bengston comes in. Her firsthand knowledge and experience is valuable.
Hope Prevails is biblically based. It offers insight while digging into the Bible to help further heal from the strongholds of depression.
My favorite parts of the book come at the end of each chapter where Dr. Bengston offers a prescription. These prescriptions are questions to further journal out your experience. She then offers a short prayer followed by a playlist of worship songs.
I would recommend this book to anyone suffering from depression who is tired of medication not working, tired of feeling empty, and tired of feeling lost. It’s a valuable gift to offer a family member if they suffer with depression and feelings of negative self-worth. Hope Prevails offers hope in Jesus.
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From her website:
Dr. Michelle Bengtson is a board certified clinical neuropsychologist with more than 20 years of experience in the diagnosis and treatment of medical and mental disorders in children, adults, and seniors. She has been in private practice for more than a decade of that time. Speaker, author, and doctor, Michelle is also a woman—a wife, mother, and friend. She has experienced her share of trouble and trials and knows the pain of losing someone she loves as well as the despair that can follow trauma or illness.
Combining her professional expertise and personal experience with her faith, Dr. Bengtson is on a mission to instill hope in the hearts of those who are suffering from or caring for those with ADD/ADHD, learning disabilities, developmental disorders, head injuries, dementia, and the neurological side effects of illnesses such as Epilepsy, Diabetes, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, and Cancer, as well as psychiatric disorders such as Depression, Anxiety, and Bipolar Disorder.
Everyone goes through hard times, but you are not alone. Hope is the key to the survival of your soul. Dr. Michelle Bengtson provides sound practical tools, affirms worth, and encourages faith. She instills hope to unlock joy and relief—even in the middle of the storm.
Cover photo credit:Kyle Ellefson
*Thank you to Stephanie Alton at the Blythe Daniel Agency, Inc. for allowing me to review this book and for providing a book for the giveaway this month.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Blog About book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”