Tuesday, September 13, 2016

My Personal Experience with Depression and "Hope Prevails" Book Review

Hello, friends in the Lord!
It's good to be back here blogging again, as I have had another rough few weeks. My health issues continue to cause me some pain and difficulties in daily activities.
Today, though, I want to share some info with you that I have wanted to share for awhile, but wasn't sure how to go about it. 
Several months ago, I had the pleasure of being invited to be a part of the  "#HopePrevails Insights from a Doctor's Personal Journey through Depression" book launch team. 
The book was released a little under a month ago, but due to my health issues(as well as some online issues), I was not able to read it till recently. 
Actually, I am still reading it and hope to finish it very soon, as I will be having surgery at the end of September.

As I have read through some of the chapters, I was reminded of a time when I also struggled with depression, following the birth of my only son 24 years ago. The name often given for this is "Postpartum depression". My experience with this lasted several months and I can only explain it now as having no energy or desire to do anything every day, all day. I could barely get enough energy to feed, bathe, and change my son's diapers. Most days, I just would lay on the sofa and cry. My husband obviously knew something was wrong, but had no idea what to do about it, as neither did I. I just knew I couldn't find joy or happiness in my life and I felt guilty that I wasn't enjoying spending time with my son at home. I was a full-time mom and had isolated myself from most friends and family members. I think at the time, I wasn't fully aware of what was going on. If I had known to tell my doctor, who may have been able to help me regulate my hormones, which were definitely going haywire, it would have most likely shortened the time I had been depressed. In time, by the grace of God, my hormones went back to normal and I felt more energy and desire to get out and do things. I began to enjoy playing with my son and became more social. Throughout this period, I had prayed, off and on for relief. I know that even when I could barely say a prayer, God knew my heart and desire to be healed and eventually, He brought me out of that dark place. I'm not sure exactly why I was allowed to go through the depression, but I know when I see/hear of a mother who is struggling with postpartum depression, I have a sympathetic heart. I also had to encourage and get help for my own son, when he struggled with depression as a teenager, going through the many hormonal changes of puberty and the following years.

As I was reading the book, I also felt that author, Dr. Michelle Bengtson, shared some very informative words, as well as empathy for those who struggle with depression. I think that we, as Christians, often feel like we should be able to overcome such difficulties, just by reading the Bible or saying a prayer. But this is a myth and lie straight from Satan himself! Yes, these activities can and often do help, but sometimes we need more support and expertise to get us through the deepest lows. As I am reading further into the book, I notice that there are many spiritual truths that Dr. Bengtson focus' on. From recognizing that we truly do have an enemy to remembering our secure destiny through salvation and so much more, this book will help the person who feels like there is no hope, to find hope again!! Not only that, but to recognize that hope, through Christ, always prevails!!!

I recently enjoyed an afternoon out by the lake, reading "Hope Prevails" and taking time to just commune with God!! I have loved wearing some of the reminders of the hope we have in Him, as well. Here are some pics from that afternoon.




I would definitely recommend to anyone who is struggling with depression for you to read "Hope Prevails". Whether depression is something that has seemingly dismantled your life, has been a result of stress or difficult circumstance, or maybe just seems to be something you struggle with off and on, the words and suggestions may be just what you need to start getting you out of the depression that holds you down.

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7 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Blessings.

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  2. Thank you for this review Ann. What a wonderful book to read at the lake! God bless πŸ™‚

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    1. It has been such a wonderful and encouraging read. Thanks for stopping by, Patricia.

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  3. Ann, thanks for unpacking Michelle's book for us. I have also struggled with depression and am so thankful for this resource that Michelle has provided those in the valley.

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    1. I agree, Lyli. Knowing that what we went through, so many people have also gone through and can relate to our experience. Michelle shares this so well in her book.

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  4. Ann I found myself enjoying the same things you mentioned. Blessings Diana

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    1. YES, I know!! There is so much to gain from reading this book!!

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