Rise From Darkness: How to Overcome Depression through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Positive Psychology by Kristian Hall is an easy-to-grasp fundamental guide meant to be read directly by those who suffer from chronic depression, or by caretakers and relatives. Fakkel Forlag AS | Paperback | December, 2015 | 192 pp
“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 particular cause or source.”
In Rise from Darkness, Hall explains that a cocoon of negative thoughts, subconsciously perpetuated, will work in a cycle to keep one in a perpetual state of depression which is nearly shatterproof. It’s not something you can just “snap out of” and it isn’t the fault of the chronologically depressed. One cannot simply just change an ingrained thought process.
Or can you?
“Up to 95% of the activity in the brain is comprised of subconscious processes, automated processes which run in the background without requiring one to think about them. Just 5% are conscious thoughts, and this goes a long way to explaining why it can be so difficult to change oneself.”
Hall articulates how thoughts and feelings are joined and how negative thoughts work as our own personal demons, bringing us down unintentionally and without warning. It is a brief lesson without the textbook feel. This is meant for the patient rather than the doctor. And after this, Hall sets out a plan to change those subconscious thoughts in the long run through positive reinforcements and the identification of negative emotions.
Some of the items on the list are commonly known and some are obvious. But when they’re all put together, and provided one chooses to act on all elements of the plan, putting them to use on a daily basis, this could very well work to change one’s outlook on life over time. Over time needs to be stressed – there is no ‘quick fix’ in psychology – well, perhaps with a happy pill, but that’s just a band-aid.
Hall begins with The Crash Plan, which is undoubtedly my favorite part of the entire plan. Just as it is extremely difficult to get back to the gym after a long hiatus, weakened muscles, and a bloated belly – it’s even more difficult for the depressed to get out of bed. Hall says to get up when you wake up rather than continuing to stay under the covers. Get up, shower, groom, and eat a good breakfast. It’s the primer before beginning this new quest to changing one’s outlook lifestyle and as simple as it sounds – I nodded my head in agreement while reading. I’ve been there. I know just how key this little piece of advice is.
Well-written and informative, Rise from Darkness is highly recommended to those who suffer from Depression, to therapists, and to the friends and family of the chronically depressed. Moreover, it’s a useful tool for everyone because we’ve almost all fallen victim at one point or another. An enormously helpful book, it was written by someone who brought himself out of depression through behavioral psychology – a true warrior who had been in the trenches – rather than a theoretical pencil-pusher.
Pass this one around. It could be a life saver.