Rise From Darkness - by Kristian Hall

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There are many self-help books about overcoming depression. This one is special; it is not written by an academic, but by a person who overcame his own depression by following the techniques in this book. This means that people suffering from depression will find themselves being able to identify with the author and the text. This book was written by someone who really understands how you feel. Imagine being Administrator of NASA the day after John F. Kennedy promised to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. It must have seemed overwhelming. You cannot complete such complex projects in a single go; you need to divide them into many small and achievable tasks. Then, just take on the individual tasks one at a time. You can follow the same strategy to overcome depression.

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<ul><li><p>RISE FROM DARKNESS KRISTIAN HALL</p><p>FAKKELFORLAG</p><p>RISE FROM DARKNESS Paths Out of Depression </p><p>Toward Happiness</p><p>KRISTIAN HALL</p><p>THERE ARE PATHS OUT OF DEPRESSIONImagine being Administrator of NASA the day after John F. Kennedy promised to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. It must have seemed overwhelming. You cannot complete such complex projects in a single go; you need to divide them into many small and achievable tasks. Then, just take on the individual tasks one at a time. You can follow the same strategy to overcome depression.</p><p>Kristian Hall went through eleven years of deep depression as a teenager and student. He overcame his depression by practicing techniques from cognitive behavioral therapy and positive psychology. His personal development did not stop there he used the same techniques to overcome lifes other challenges, and to become a thoroughly happy person.</p><p>You can improve your life a lot and your path may start with this book!</p></li><li><p>RISE FROM DARKNESS</p><p>How to Overcome Depression </p><p>through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy </p><p>and Positive Psychology</p><p>Kristian Hall</p><p>FAKKEL FORLAG</p><p>Paths Out of Depression Toward Happiness</p></li><li><p> Fakkel Forlag AS, Oslo, Norway</p><p>First published in Norway in 2015, originally titled Opp fra avgrunnen</p><p>Published in English translation 2016</p><p>Translated by: Jonathan Fraenkel-EidseIllustrated by: Thomas Nesland Olsen</p><p>All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, </p><p>including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the </p><p>copyright owner.</p><p>ISBN: 978-82-999887-3-5</p></li><li><p>To Dad.For everything you gave us, despite your inner darkness.</p></li><li><p>Contents</p><p>Foreword ..........................................................................13How to use this book ........................................................19To those who care about a depressed person .....................23</p><p>PART 1: HOW TO BE HAPPY ...............................................25What is depression? ...........................................................26What you can change ........................................................28About the brain .................................................................30What are feelings? .............................................................33Reality filters .....................................................................36Demons and thought fallacies ...........................................41</p><p>PART 2: GET BETTER RIGHT NOW ..................................51A toolbox for a better life ..................................................52A crash plan ......................................................................54Therapy .............................................................................57Chimney sweeping ............................................................59Live here and now .............................................................62Bring on the good feelings .................................................65Positive psychology ...........................................................72Exercise and Fitness ..........................................................83Diet ...................................................................................87Surround yourself with people who uplift you ......................................................89The Super Week ................................................................93</p></li><li><p>PART 3: DEPRESSIONS COMPANIONS ............................95Related conditions .............................................................96Worries and sleeplessness ..................................................97Anxiety ...........................................................................100Grief ................................................................................102Bitterness and self-pity ....................................................106Envy ................................................................................108Regret, guilt and shame ..................................................110Suicidal thoughts .............................................................111</p><p>PART 4: LONG-TERM SELF-IMPROVEMENT ....................113The process .....................................................................114An initiation ritual ..........................................................116Mapping .........................................................................117Acceptance ......................................................................129Decide to change .............................................................130Implementation phase .....................................................133</p><p>PART 5: MEDITATION AND SELF-HYPNOSIS ................151Meet your subconscious ..................................................152Let go ..............................................................................154Self-hypnosis ...................................................................161Visualization ...................................................................168Rituals .............................................................................172Immerse yourself .............................................................175Thank you! .....................................................................179</p><p>APPENDICES .......................................................................181Appendix A: Further reading ...........................................182Appendix B: Example of self-hypnosis script ...................184Appendix C: Endnotes ....................................................188About the Author ............................................................191</p></li><li><p>13</p><p>Foreword</p><p>My father was an exceptional person. I have never met an adult who was so warm, playful and inventive. It was as though he was taken from a childrens tale. </p><p>At the same time, he was a person with serious psychological problems which were partly the result of a difficult childhood. He had deep depression and struggled with anxiety. When he was young he self-medicated with alcohol in order to suppress his social anxiety. Eventually this developed into a serious alcohol problem.</p><p>He never managed to beat alcoholism, even after he had children. My sister and I grew up in a home where we never knew if Dad was drunk or if he was himself when we came home from school. This resulted in many frightening situations as our mother could not always be there for us.</p><p>When I was 14 years old my dad died suddenly. It was a terrible shock for the entire family. Despite his problems, he was a fantastic person who gave me and many others countless warm experiences and memories. I loved him very much, and still do.</p><p>My sorrow eventually developed into a deep depression. Full of sorrow and anger, I became a bad person, filled to the brink with negative thoughts and feelings, which in turn made me horrible company for others. One by one I lost most of my friends. They were, quite understandably, not particularly inter-ested in being around me.</p><p>I lived in depression for a decade, a depression which continued to grow deeper and which eventually reached a level where my greatest desire was to die. Not a day went by when I did not think of how I would take my life, and when I would do </p></li><li><p>19</p><p>How to use this book</p><p>There are many ways to read a book. Personally, I like to open a new book on page one and plow through it as fast as I can. You can read this book in such a manner, but if you do so, you should read it several times to increase the benefit you receive from it. I have kept the book short. The intention is that you should be able to skim through it in one evening to get an impression of what its about. You can use a highlighter to quickly go back to those techniques in which you have the most faith.</p><p>The core of the book is the techniques. If you want maximum personal change, you need to do the exercises. People learn best by experiencing things directly, not by reading what others have done. Overcoming depression involves teaching oneself to live life in another way, learning how to think differently and to do things which lead to a better balance in ones emotional life.</p><p>Whether you read this book quickly or slowly, take the time to try all of the exercises. If a practice does not work for you the first time, try it one more time before moving on. You may find that some of the techniques work perfectly for you, while others do not work at all. Different techniques will work differently from person to person. Use and develop those techniques which are the most effective for you.</p><p>Depending on your life situation, some of these techniques may seem pretty tough. I am of the opinion that as a rule it is better to confront our problems, and in doing so to temporar-ily increase the pain rather than to let the problems continue to produce low-intensity pain over a long period of time. If you are unsure if a technique is right for you, consult with your doctor or therapist.</p></li><li><p>23</p><p>To those who care about a depressed person</p><p>In some cases, it can be quite difficult to be close to somebody who is depressed. It can feel as though you are depressed yourself. Feeling powerless when you see a child, a sibling, a partner, a friend or a parent who is depressed, can be terrible. You only want to help, but often there are few actions that will have a significant effect. Its the depressed person that will need to work themselves out of it. People in the surroundings can support and assist, but not make another person overcome depression.</p><p>I believe that one of the most important things that friends and relations can do is to first understand what depression is, and then accept that it is ultimately the person struggling with depres-sion who must decide whether he or she will be become well or not. The most important time in the healing process is when the depressed person actually decides to get better. For somebody who is depressed there is often comfort to be found in the depres-sion they allow themselves to fall back into its familiar embrace. This is one of the reasons depression can last so long. </p><p>Nobody, not even parents, can take responsibility for another persons feelings. It can get to the point where the friend or relative must completely resign. If you have tried for years to help without any real effect, then it may be best to take a step back and take a break. By resigning I do not mean that you should give up, but that you can realize that there are limits to how much influence you really can have over anothers depression.</p><p>On the other hand, what you can continue to do, for as long as necessary, is to encourage a sense of empowerment in the </p></li><li><p>24</p><p>depressed person and to facilitate as many positive experiences as possible; that is to say, everything that can lead to increased pro-duction of neurotransmitters which are associated with positive feelings (which we soon will learn more about).</p><p>Another thing that will really help is to imagine how the mind of the depressed works; how thought fallacies act. The next part of the book explores this in detail. The depressed will often feel that they are misunderstood, as though nobody understands how they actually feel. It is not surprising that it can be difficult for others to understand, as their thoughts can be completely irratio-nal. Being depressed is a bit like coming from another planet. By understanding false thoughts, you can show that you understand more of the depressed persons world, perhaps making them feel less alone.</p><p>Finally, take care of yourself! You cannot help others if you yourself become completely exhausted, anxious or depressed. It is no coincidence that airline flight attendants ask you to first put on your own oxygen mask before you help others.</p></li><li><p>25</p><p>PART 1</p><p>HOW TO BE HAPPY</p></li><li><p>26</p><p>What is depression?</p><p>Many people are depressed without being entirely aware of it. As with most things in life, we are not provided with a manual at birth to tell us what depression is and how to rid ourselves of it.</p><p>Depression is not one specific illness; it is an umbrella diagnosis which covers many different situations and conditions. At the core of most depressions lies a persistent sadness, sorrow and melancholy which does not necessarily result from a particu-lar cause or source. Typically, the depressed person will have low energy, require much sleep and may have crying spells and intense psychological pain which may materialize as physical symptoms. Sometimes depression is accompanied by suicidal thoughts. Life can be so painful that one desires to end it.</p><p>There are many possible causes for depression. Here are a few of them: traumas from ones childhood or youth, mourning, bullying, low self-esteem, self-criticism and unbalanced chemistry in the body. Some people simply are depressed, without a clear explanation as to why.</p><p>Many depressed people have a mind full of mechanisms which sustain and amplify the depression. They think negatively about themselves, the world and the future. The key to ridding oneself of depression is to change or eliminate these mechanisms.</p><p>A basic principle for me is that being aware of and directing attention to the causes of your depression does not necessarily lead to improvement. Often this may actually exacerbate the problem. People generally do not become happier when thinking of their own pain; quite the opposite, they do so by thinking of those things in life which give them joy and other positive feelings.</p></li><li><p>28</p><p>What you can change</p><p>A persons degree of happiness depends on several factors. Some of them are outside of ones control, such as when a loved one is involved in an accident, or when healthy people suddenly become seriously ill. Accidents can occur randomly and without warning. We cannot choose our parents or which genes we have been given.ii Life is in many ways a casino some win, and some lose.</p><p>At the same time, there are people who go through the most horrendous experiences and still manage to maintain a positive mood. Others can fall into darkness from events which to outsiders appear relatively minor.</p><p>This book concentrates on those parts of life we have influence over, those which you can change. Improving your life is in many ways about changing your inner life what you think and feel. Even if it can seem difficult, it is possible to control your thoughts and feelings. These are factors which you do have power over.</p><p>The process of going from depression to happiness can be compared to swimming upstream through rapids. The depressed feel as though they are constantly working against themselves. But suddenly the current changes direction and they arrive at a situation where they can work with themselves. To live in depres-sion is like riding down a self-reinforcing negative spiral. You can turn this spiral around, eventually reaching critical...</p></li></ul>