In the United States, around 15 million people experience depression every year, and the majority of them are women. In fact, one in four will have some type of episode of depression at some point in their life.
I’ve certainly gone through seasons of life, even recently, where I wondered if I was struggling with depression, and maybe you have too.But unfortunately, nearly two thirds of those struggling in some way don’t admit they need help, much less seek help. And that’s why I chose this new release by Dr. Michelle Bengtson as the next summer reading pick. She not only treats patients with depression, but has gone through it herself, so her writing is a blend of her training, but also her faith.
Read her post below for a better description of her book. Then enter to win one of FOUR FREE COPIES! See the end of the post for details on how to enter.
Do you want to get well?
I receive many emails, but this one was different. This one made me pause. This one brought tears to my eyes: “This. ALL of this! This. Is. Me. My God, for the past 25 years, this has been me!”
This was the start of an email message I received after one reader read my book, “Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression.”
What she, and all of us, really needed to know is that we are not alone in our suffering and that there is hope. We all long to know that someone understands us in our pain and brokenness.
But the stigma surrounding depression and mental health issues has colored our perception and introduces yet another lie from the enemy that no one understands, and that we’d better not tell anyone or they might reject or abandon us at a time when we need them the most.
John 10:10 says, that “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
In my 25 years as a neuropsychologist, I have seen that when we treat mental health issues such as depression but we fail to address the spiritual component, we do nothing more than apply a band aid and hope that it’ll get better. But it rarely does. Or when it does, it’s temporary and will come back.
In the case of depression, the enemy seeks to steal our joy, kill our peace, and destroy our identity. He does this primarily through our thoughts. The good news, however, is that God puts limits on the enemy’s ability to interfere in our lives.
- God doesn’t allow the enemy, or depression, to determine your worth. Jesus already did that when He decided you were worth dying for.
- God doesn’t allow the enemy, or depression, to dictate your destiny! If you have surrendered your life to Jesus as your savior, your destiny is secure.
- God doesn’t allow anything, not the enemy, nor depression, to separate you from the love of God.
Fortunately, God puts limits on the degree to which the enemy of our soul can interfere with our lives. Even so, we still often unconsciously give him the opportunity to interfere with our physical and emotional well being by agreeing with the lies he implants in our hearts and minds. We must be alert and sober, and take every thought captive in order to close the door on his entry.
Jesus asked the lame man, “Do you want to get well?”
Jesus knew that getting well would take work. He also knew that getting well would require shedding old habits, thoughts, beliefs, and identities in order to adopt a new, healthy way of living.
Sadly, not everyone really wants to make the sacrifice or do the work to get well.
In the case of depression or anxiety, for example, if we really want to get well, it is imperative that we examine our thoughts and reject any lies that the enemy has introduced into our belief system so that we can stand on God’s truth. And then we must declare truth over ourselves.
Faith comes by hearing, and for every negative, it takes many more positives to counteract it. It’s crucial to be in God’s word and to rely on His promises to get through those dark days; to declare those promises over ourselves.
There were many potential contributors to my own experience with depression:
- I grew up in a home where genetics placed me at risk: my mother suffered from depression my entire life, as did her sister and mother.
- I suffered post-partum depression, so hormones were definitely a factor at times.
- I was also in the role of being caregiver to my husband and mother while they went through treatment for cancer, and at the same time miscarried our baby, so stressful conditions set the stage for a reactionary component for depression in my life as well.
- I also felt shame because as the professional who treated others for depression, what I advised them to do for themselves was insufficient for climbing out of my own valley of depression.
It was only when I recognized that there was a spiritual component to depression and began to align myself with God’s truth and declare it over myself that I experienced the freedom that He offers to all who truly want to get well.
God does not play favorites. What He did for me, He is willing to do for others.
He knows the plans He has for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans for a future and a hope! (Jeremiah 29:11) Take heart and take hope, my friend. I’ve been there, and because of Him, I can tell you from experience, Hope Prevails! ~Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Author, speaker and board certified clinical neuropsychologist, Dr. Michelle Bengtson is also a wife, mother and friend. She knows pain and despair firsthand and combines her professional expertise and personal experience with her faith to address issues surrounding medical and mental disorders, both for those who suffer and for those who care for them. She offers sound practical tools, affirms worth, and encourages faith. Dr. Michelle Bengtson offers hope as a key to unlock joy and relief—even in the middle of the storm. She blogs regularly on her own site: http://www.DrMichelleBengtson.com
For more hope and encouragement, stay connected with Michelle at:
Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/DrMBengtson (@DrMBengtson)
Dr. Bengtson’s book “Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression” releases today!
As a board-certified neuropsychologist, Dr. Michelle Bengtson sees the devastation of depression. Early on, she practiced the most effective treatments and prescribed them for her clients. But when she experienced depression herself, she found that the treatments she had recommended were lacking. Her experience showed her the missing component in treating depression.
In Hope Prevails, Dr. Bengtson writes with deep compassion, blending her training and faith, to offer readers a hope grounded in God’s love and grace. She helps readers understand what depression is, how it affects them spiritually, and what, by God’s grace, it cannot do. The result is an approach that offers the hope of release, not just the management of symptoms. For those who struggle with depression and those who want to help them, Hope Prevails offers hope for the future.
FOUR copies of Hope Prevails are up for grabs
(Thanks to donations from Dr. Bengtson and Diana Rockwell)