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Hope Prevails: Freedom From Depression


Hope Prevails - Freedom From Depression

“What will they think?” “How can I possibly help them if I didn’t have all the answers for myself?” “Will referral sources will stop referring if they knew the truth?”

These questions, and many others like them, swirled around my thoughts constantly, invoking ridicule and shame.

I had been a board certified clinical neuropsychologist for over twenty years, treating patients with conditions ranging from depression or anxiety to traumatic brain injury or dementia. I had seen and helped thousands of patients over the years when I became deathly ill.

When my illness continued to worsen rather than improve, severe depression set in. If I couldn’t get back to work and be the doctor helping patients, I wasn’t sure I even wanted to continue living. In my darkest days it didn’t even feel like I was living, but rather, dying a slow death.

Hope Prevails 2

In my darkest days, I began to believe the lie that because I suffered from depression as a doctor who “should’ve had all the answers” and perhaps should’ve been able to prevent it in the first place, that God could no longer use me. I began to believe the lie that a life-threatening illness and the resulting depression disqualified me from His service.

And as long as I remained on medically-induced bed rest, unable to work, I began to believe that if I could no longer “do” for my patients or for God, then somehow, He wouldn’t love me.

When depression enshrouded my mind and my heart, I tried all the treatments I had recommended to my depressed patients for two decades: therapy, medication, diet, sleep, and exercise. They all helped but they were insufficient to eradicate the depression. That’s when I got real honest with God and cried out to Him. “I won’t go back to being a doctor if I don’t know that what I would recommend will help. Either you have to take me home with you, or you have to show me the missing piece!”

That’s when I heard His answer in my spirit: “Michelle, unless you are willing to address the spiritual root of disease, it’s like putting a band-aid on an infection and hoping it gets well.”

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God was right! I had been addressing the physical, the cognitive, and the emotional aspects of depression, but not the spiritual.

Scripture says in