When Going Through Hell...Dont' Stop! by Douglas Bloch - Read Online
When Going Through Hell...Dont' Stop!
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When Going Through Hell.. Don't Stop! is the e-book version of the print book that was published in 2000. It tells the story of how one person survived a life-threatening depressive illness through adopting a holistic recovery program that included, physical self-care, mental/emotional self-care, spiritual connection and social support. Ultimately, Douglas's recovery was brought about by the power of prayer.
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ISBN: 9780929671062
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When Going Through Hell...Dont' Stop! - Douglas Bloch

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Other inspirational books by Douglas Bloch

(available at www.healingfromdepression.com)

PRINT BOOKS

Words That Heal:

Affirmations and Meditations for Daily Living

Listening to Your Inner Voice:

Discover the Truth Within You and Let It Guide Your Way

I Am With You Always:

A Treasury of Inspirational Quotations, Poems and Prayers

The Power of Positive Self-Talk:

Teaching Children Self-Esteem Through Affirmations

Healing From Depression: 12 Weeks to a Better Mood

Words That Heal the Blues: Daily Affirmations for Healing From

Anxiety and Depression

EBOOKS

Words That Heal:

Affirmations and Meditations for Daily Living

I Am With You Always:

A Treasury of Inspirational Quotations, Poems and Prayers

Beyond Prozac

Healing From Depression Naturally

Helping Your Depressed Child

Healing Your Depressed Partner

ISBN 978-0929671-06-2

eISBN: 9780929671062

© Douglas Bloch, 2012, all rights reserved.

Dedicated to Anne Zimmerman and Pat Ritter

Praise for When Going Through Hell...Don’t Stop!

An inspiring and uplifting story about the power of love to create miracles in our lives.

Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul

Douglas Bloch has written a triumphant, poignant account of his successful battle with depression which nearly took his life. He lays bare his soul and reveals how he came through. This book is an important a valuable contribution to the millions of people who suffer from depression and to the doctors who treat them.

Larry Dossey, M.D., author of Reinventing Medicine

This book is filled with important ideas and information that are essential to anyone on the road to healing from anxiety and depression.

Mary Ellen Copeland, author of The Depression Workbook

"Douglas Bloch writes with the insight and power of message only available to someone who has walked in some of the deepest darkness a human can know. When Going Through Hell...Don’t Stop! is much more than one man’s journey. It is a powerful contribution to anyone seeking help for themselves or someone they love."

Mary Manin Morrissey, author of Building Your Field of Dreams

Douglas Bloch exhibits the traits of a true survivor. The techniques he used to recover from depression can be used by others to overcome a difficult ordeal. A rare accomplishment.

Al Siebert, PhD, author of The Survivor Personality

Nothing speaks with more authority than the voice of experience. As one who has been there and back, Douglas has created a powerful and useful roadmap for others to follow. When Going Through Hell...Don’t Stop! offers a beacon of hope for those who are still wandering in the darkness of depression."

Michael Moran, senior minister, Spiritual Life Center

INTRODUCTION

"There is not one of us in whom a devil does not dwell.

At some time, at some point, that devil masters each of us.

It is not having been in the dark house,

but having left it, that counts."

Teddy Roosevelt

"Anyone who survives a test is obliged to tell his story."

Elie Wiesel, author and survivor of the Nazi concentration camps

When Going Through Hell...Don’t Stop! A Survivor’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety and Clinical Depression is my story of how I descended into and emerged from the hell of a depressive episode. It can be used as resource for anyone who is struggling with depression, manic depression (also known as bipolar disorder), anxiety, or a related mood disorder.

If you are reading this e-book up, it is no doubt because either you or someone you love is in pain. I understand that pain. I know what it is like to feel the despair, the torment, the hopelessness of major depression. I have experienced it and have survived. My message is that you can get through it, too. I pray that my story of rebirth will validate your reality, reassure you that you are not alone, and give you the hope that healing is possible. That is why I have written this book.

Because my depression was diagnosed as treatment resistant—i.e., it did not respond to antidepressant medication—I was forced to put together my daily survival plan for living in hell"—a series of coping strategies that kept me alive day by day, hour by hour, and minute by minute. These survival strategies were based on five different kinds of self-care activities—physical self-care, mental-emotional self-care, social support, spiritual connection and lifestyle habits.

After my recovery, my daily survival plan became my daily wellness plan which I used to stabilize my moods and to minimize the potential for relapse. Soon, I felt called to share these wellness principles through teaching a 12-week class called Healing From Depression. In creating the curriculum for the class, I took the self-care strategies I was employing and formulated them into a systematic, step-by-step sequence that could be learned and practiced over a 12-week period. I wrote about this program in my book Healing From Depression: 12 Weeks to a Better Mood, which can be found on my web site, (www.healingfromdepression.com).

In the years since my recovery I have continued to teach these principles through the ongoing depression and anxiety support groups that I facilitate in Portland, Oregon. During this time, I have been privileged to see many healings and miracles in the lives of the group members. You can learn more about these groups by going to the link below:

http://www.healingfromdepression.com/depression-support-groups.htm

Clinical depression is a serious matter. At any given moment, somewhere between 15 and 20 million Americans are suffering from depressive disorders, and about one in eight will develop the illness during their lifetimes. Suicide, the eighth leading cause of death in America, is largely caused by untreated depression. Thus, while Going Through Hell: Don’t Stop! offers a program for how to manage the symptoms of depression and anxiety, it is not a substitute for professional treatment. If you or someone you care about is severely depressed or anxious and have symptoms that are interfering with your ability to function, please seek out professional help. (See Appendix B for treatment resources).

Finally, although my personal narrative and the book’s clinical material focus on healing from a depression, I believe that many of the book’s principles can be applied to anyone who is undergoing a dark night of the soul experience—which I define as relentless emotional or physical pain that appears to have no end. It is my deepest wish that the lessons I learned from my suffering and the material contained in this book may give you or a loved one the hope and inspiration to fight on in your darkest hours.

Douglas Bloch

July 14, 2012

Portland, Oregon

dbloch@teleport.com

Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1.The Descent Into Hell

Chapter 2.There Is No Room at The Inn

Chapter 3.Treading Fire

  4. Madness or Suicide, It’s Yours to Decide

  5. Bearing the Unbearable Pain

  6. Overcoming the Stigma of Depression

  7. God is My Antidepressant

  8. After the Pain, the Joy

  9. Epilogue: Footprints in the Sand

  10. Chronology of Events

Appendix A: Living in Recovery

Appendix B: Depression Treatment Resources

    Internet Web Sites

    Mental Health Organizations

    Suicide Prevention Groups and Hotlines

    Associations of Mental Health Professionals

    Telephone Prayer Ministries

Appendix C: Books for Mental and Emotional Wellness

Appendix D: Newsletters for Mental and Emotional Wellness

Appendix E: Author Contact Information

Recommended Reading

Acknowledgments

Tables

Diagnostic Criteria for a Major Depressive Episode

Diagnostic Criteria for Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Words of Hope

Daily Rating Scale For Anxiety and Depression

January Mood Diary

Depression Life-Raft Card

Prayer for Going Through a Dark Night of the Soul

Back to the Present

CHAPTER ONE

THE DESCENT INTO HELL

"The journey to higher awareness is not a direct flight.

Challenges, struggles and tests confront the traveler along the way. Eventually, no matter who

you are or how far you have come along the path, you must experience your

‘dark night of the soul.’ "

Douglas Bloch, Words That Heal

The notebook by the side of my bed was finally being put to use. Given to me by a friend so that I could record my dreams, the lined yellow paper had remained untouched for months, as my sleeping medication made dream recollection all but impossible.

Oh, well, I mused. It won’t matter much after today.

I looked out the window. It was another of those oppressive Oregon winter skies that moves in like an unwanted house guest at the beginning of November and doesn’t depart until the first of July. The black clouds overhead mirrored those inside my head. I was suffering from a mental disorder known as clinical depression.

Slowly, I reached for the pen and began to write.

To my friends and family, November 12, 1996

I know that this is wrong, but I can no longer endure the pain of living with this mental illness. Further hospitalizations will not help, as my condition is too deep-seated and advanced to uproot. On some deeper level, I know that my work on the planet is finished, and that it is time to move on.

Douglas

I reached over for the bottle of pills that I had secretly saved for this occasion, slowly twisted off the cap and imagined the sweet slumber that awaited me. My reverie was interrupted by a loud knock at the door.

Who can that be? I wondered. Can’t a man commit suicide in peace?

I turned over in bed and spied my friend Stuart entering the living room.

Just thought I’d check in and see if you made it off to day treatment, he said cheerfully as he made his way to the bedroom.

I quickly hid the pills, wondering if I should tell Stuart about my note. Meanwhile, I could feel the stirrings of another anxiety attack. It began with the involuntary twitching of my legs, then violent shaking, until my whole body went into convulsions. Not able to contain the huge amount of energy that was surging through me, I jumped out of bed and began to pace. Back and forth, back and forth I stumbled across the living room, hitting myself in the head and screaming, Electric shock for Douglas Bloch. Electric shock for Douglas Bloch.

I had not always been so disturbed. Just ten weeks earlier, on September 4, 1996, I had taken a new Prozac-related medication in the hopes of alleviating a two-year, chronic, low-grade depression which was brought on by a painful divorce and a bad case of writer’s block. Instead of mellowing me out, however, the drug produced an adverse reaction—a state of intense agitation that catapulted me into the psychiatric ward of a local hospital.

Although it took only 24 hours for the adverse drug reaction to totally disable me, the roots of my depression extended far into the past. Although I have never formally investigated my genealogy, I know that the illness has run rampant in my family for at least three generations. Five of my family members have suffered from chronic depression; one developed an eating disorder and another a gambling addiction. One uncle died of starvation in the midst of a depressive episode. My mother suffered