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- The way out of depression is not a process straight up, it is a ladder game where you fall down every now and then.

 Image: Dreamstime (with licence)


This is what Kristian Hall, known as the author of the book Up from the abyss, writes in this guest post. Here he provide a brief, recognizable and understandable explanation about the way out of depression.


Overcoming a depression

There is mild, moderate and severe depression, and the way out will depend on how deep your depression is and how long you have had it. That said, I am convinced that the basic techniques below can to be used successfully, no matter what situation you are in.

So how to overcome depression?

You must first decide to do what you can to get rid of it. It sounds simple, but by that I mean you have to be prepared to roll up your sleeves and work.

There are two main processes: You have to work over time with your thoughts, and gradually learn new ways of thinking. In parallel, you should gradually spend more and more time on activities and people who give produce a greater content of positive emotions.

Do you filter your life through a pair of black sunglasses?

To deal with your thoughts first.

If you are depressed, it is overwhelmingly likely that you think in a way that generates bad feelings, that you talk yourself down, are self-critical, that you filter your life through a pair of black sunglasses. This can be difficult to realize, because in many ways we are our thoughts. It will be like the fish that will realize that there is something other than water.

You can pick up techniques from cognitive behavioral therapy to achieve this. In short, these techniques are about using cold logic to distinguish rational from irrational thoughts. Every time you suspect that you are thinking in an irrational and unhelpful way, ask yourself a series of control questions to determine if this is the case.


What activities do you spend time on?

So the emotions; how to change these directly? Think about the different activities you spend time on. Which ones make you depressed, and which ones lift you up? Take out a sheet and write down different activities, and mark with colors those that produce positive emotions, and those that do the opposite. Then use this overview to prioritize differently going forward.

Do more of the positive things, and less of the negative ones.

You can also introduce new ones; such as singing, dancing, walks in the woods and fields; activities that increase the level of serotonin, endorphins and oxytocin in the body.

In addition, you can choose differently when it comes to impulses: Drop news and newspapers, drop social media (which is often used for self-flattery, and can make the depressed feel even worse), choose books and movies that make you laugh and that make you happier.


No easy road, but a ladder game

If you work along these main dimensions over time, and here we are typically talking about several years, not months, it is overwhelmingly likely that you will get much better.

The way out of depression is not a process straight up, it is a ladder game where you fall down every now and then.

But are you prepared for this, and if you continue to take the steps one by one, you will reach the goal in the end - you can overcome depression.

You are welcome to read more about this in Up from the abyss ("Opp fra avgrunnen", Norwegian book).

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