Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression {Book Review}

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(Updated 7.30.21)

I don’t talk about it too much. But when I do, others often nod their heads in understanding. They nod because they’ve been there. They’ve felt the dark, dreary pit void of hope. They’ve sat on a cold, dark, careless floor, staring at a rung-less ladder. They’ve experienced depression.

My dance with depression, undiagnosed clinically but certainly offering more than its fair share of symptoms, came in 2006. Hubby was deployed. The house was new and the punch list loomed large. The kids were active but small – three of them under the age of 7. And homeschooling was our new journey.

I’m the kind of gal that freezes and stares, wide-eyed when too much plops on her plate. That’s what happened in 2006.

Some tasks I served myself, others were plunked down on my plate out of necessity or by others. Regardless, the downward spiral began.

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • An angry tone filtering through the day
  • Unable to make decisions
  • Visualizing no way out – except suicide
  • And more. 

Others have experienced similar symptoms. Maybe you have. Most likely someone you know sat or is now sitting on that cold, dark, careless floor called depression.

Most likely someone you know sat or is now sitting on that cold, dark, careless floor called depression. #HopePrevails by @DrMBengtson Click To Tweet

If so, may I introduce you to Dr. Michelle Bengtson? I recently finished reading her book, Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression. I hope you’ll consider it.

Michelle is a neuropsychologist. She knows depression. Clients have often graced her office threshold with a list of depression symptoms. Michelle offered them her prescription.

But something was missing.

Her own prescription didn’t work when she found herself in the depths of depression’s dungeon. Only the Lord could offer her the ultimate prescription. And He did.

Quote from Hope Prevails by Dr. Michelle Bengtson
In my despair, I needed to know I was not alone. ~ @DrMBengtson #hopeprevails Click To Tweet

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Michelle details her most inward thoughts during the journey, and often they bare witness to an all-out, arrows-flying battlefield. She offers her encouragement from a neuropsychologist’s view as well as one looking to the Lord. Here’s a link to gather a few more of Michelle’s words.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Michelle in Hope Prevails:

“Once I became aware of the spiritual aspects of depression, the curtain was pulled back and I found new ammunition to fight the battle.”

“You are not the primary cause of your depression.”

“Our feelings are the outward manifestation of the thoughts we believe.”

“The enemy’s voice sounds just like our own, making it difficult to detect.”

“God provides a perspective based not on our moods or our circumstances but on our identity in Christ.”


Nothing we face is too big for God! ~ @DrMBengtson #hopeprevails Click To Tweet


Quote from Dr. Michelle Bengtson's book, Hope Prevails.

Hope Prevails is an honest approach against depression’s darkness and toward hope. Consider grabbing a copy to read or give away. It’ll offer encouragement to any set of eyes and is available at Christianbook.com and other booksellers.

A copy of Hope Prevails was provided to me via the publisher in exchange for my honest review. 
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  1. Sounds like a must-read, Kristi. Depression, anxiety, and other brain illnesses are rampant … yes, even among those of us who serve others in a professional way. I applaud Dr. Michelle’s courage in sharing her story.

    Especially since I just shared my own this week … and I’m finding out that doing so opens the doors for all kinds of helpful conversations that do nothing but increase love, support, and a sense of community among those of us who’ve suffered so … and those who have walked alongside us through the valley of the shadow.

  2. I’ve gotten so much encouragement from the book myself and from everything I’ve seen about it. I’m not what I’d call a depressive person, but the book is equipping me to stand stronger in fit ting discouragement. Thanks for sharing some of your story, Kristi, and thanks to Michele, for offering HOPE!

  3. Thank you for sharing this wonderful review. I’ve gotten so much encouragement from Michelle’s book, as well. Powerful truths there! I also like the playlists:)

  4. As I began to read, I began to see myself in the story. The term “modeling” was unfamiliar to me. I now know my Mother suffered with depression as far back as I can remember. The good news is here, in these pages, lies true hope! Thank you Dr. Bengston for being courageous in telling your story! It is helping and I am no longer fearful that I have to settle for a lie any longer!


  5. Depression is a topic that is difficult to talk about Kristi. I can remember the concern my mother had for me after the stroke when she would observe me sitting in the dark not wanting the curtains pulled back in my room at times. What ever it was I was going through, it is only by God’s grace that brought me through that difficult time. Thank you for sharing your heart here today. Always blessed by your artful depictions in your writing. Have a wonderful week and God bless you and yours!

  6. Thank you for sharing this review and your story. It’s so good to hear more people talking about mental health. Treating depression or any mental illness is never as simple as taking a prescription. We must address the whole person: spiritually, emotionally, physically…Thanks again for writing today. Visiting from #intentionaltuesday

  7. Kristi, thank you for sharing a bit of your story today. And for sharing about Dr. Michelle’s book. It sounds like an important read in a culture where mental illness and depression seem to be becoming more common. I’m definitely keeping it on my list of resources and to-be-read.

  8. I struggled deeply with anxiety attacks (which led to a bout of depression) in high school. It’s a topic that people feel so ashamed of, but I’m so glad people are talking more and more about it because it takes away it’s power. This book is a beautiful book. Thanks for sharing so that others may have hope, dear Kristi.

    1. Lauren, I’m so sorry to hear about the anxiety attacks. I hope that’s history now. I’m nodding my head in agreement w/your comment. Praise God people are more open to sharing about depression, anxiety, etc. Yes, praise God.

  9. Michelle is amazing and full of energy. It’s hard to believe that one she was struggled with this beast. Clearly–God has given her tools to fight and share with others. Thanks, Kristi, for sharing bits of your story and some good stuff from Michelle’s book!