Depression is not something people talk about much. I have a few friends who have been kind enough to open up about their journeys through depression and an author I admire does, too. In "Hope Prevails" by Dr. Michelle Bengtson, Dr. Bengtson talks about how she has been on this journey many times with her patients. She's prescribed many different successful courses of treatment, but when she found herself in the throes of depression, those same things didn't work for her.
I love how encouraging this is to have a doctor say, I've been there. I don't think there is anything more powerful in humanity than realizing someone actually gets what you're going through or feeling because they have been there, too. I have some of my strongest friendships because those women get me.
This was a difficult book for me to get into, possibly because of the downer subject that depression is. The writing is good and I think Dr. Bengtson speaks from her heart. I loved the letter to herself at the beginning. It is full of hope and Scripture and love and encouragement for herself from herself. That encouragement really spoke to me.
I think my favorite part about this book is that it's not all about having medicine prescribed to treat depression. While I am in no way against medicine, I don't think that alone can do it. I think that you must be rooted in God's Word and confident in His love. Dr. Bengtson writes, "God knew you, your personality, and the choices you would make before you took your first breath. Jeremiah 29:11 assures us that God knows the plans he has for each of us, and they are good." This truth is something I've held on to desperately this past year.
It's helpful to me to read this sentiment: "What if you stopped listening to the father of lies and asked the Father of Light what he thinks about you? When tempted to review your faults or beat yourself up, what if instead you stopped and asked God for an honest appraisal?" I have a terrible habit of beating myself up and I've found many of my friends do, too. It's awful when we listen to the "father of lies" and it hurts not only us but our families and friends.
God points us in the path toward light but we must listen. For some that means counseling, for others medicine, but for all it should mean time with God, listening to His Truth. I believe that Dr. Bengtson has brought some wonderful thoughts on this through "Hope Prevails."
Disclaimer: I received this book in order to write an honest review. Others' opinions may differ from my own.