Faith appears to be good for one’s health.

Joyce  was a client of mine a few years back. She was in her early sixties and just recuperating from   a successful  open heart surgery. She also was very  depressed.  That’s where I come in. I was asked by my clinical supervisor  if I would spend some time with her and see  how I might be of help to her.  I agreed to do what I could do.

In the midst of counseling and listening to Joyce’s  story, I discovered her  strong faith,  which included her personal faith in God which gave her the belief that she was going to get through whatever  that had her  in lockdown.

She wasn’t aware of our Depressed Anonymous group and so I shared my story with her and the fact that I too  was once depressed. I told her how I became a  believer in the spirituality of the Twelve Steps and how my belief in God  delivered me from my symptoms of depression. Now don’t get me wrong -my own story is that it took me over a year to finally  get free of this noose around my neck.  Also, because of my faith in a program and the  recovered  people who lived it out in their daily lives,  I started on the road to recovery.

My faith told me if I would follow some of the simple steps outlined in this recovery program I would get better. My faith got me off of my seat,  out of bed and out my door to begin walking.  I believed  walking might be the key that unlocked my prison of depression. I read  that some Doctors in England were writing out   prescriptions for exercise for their depressed patients. I figured that it worked for them and so why wouldn’t exercise work for me.  After a year of walking everyday I finally walked out of the mental fog, lost the jitters and became free of depression. My faith in a Higher Power and my getting my body moving on a daily basis produced the healing effect that I had hoped for.

Back to Joyce. She and I had ten sessions together and I suggested to her that she start to think about the things that she did before her depression. What provided the satisfaction  and those pleasant events previously in her life. She talked about how she at one time was a cartoonist as well as a lover of writing poetry. So, that is what I suggested — that she involve herself with these pleasant activities again.  She said that she believed that she could do it–even though her mind and body rebelled at moving out of her comfort zone of doing absolutely nothing. The main defense for doing nothing is the oft repeated mantra from all of us when  we are depressed which  is “I’ll do it when I feel better.”

With each new session she would share with me a cartoon or a poem which she had created the previous  week. As she continued doing what she liked, I  noticed more energy in her voice as she shared her feelings about her new  creations.  All the while, she was compliant with her own physical recovery from heart surgery. Her pleasant moods  gave her a feeling of being in control of her life and her future.  She came to believe that a power greater than herself would restore not only her sanity but her health as well. Her faith was renewed in the God of her understanding while restoring  her belief that her  health was going to get better. Not only did  she have a plan to follow but she made the spiritual principles of the Twelve Steps her way out of depression. She continues to follow this map to this very day.

The following quote is from a work  titled,  The Secret Strength of Depression written by Frederic Flach, M.D., K.H.S.

Faith appears to be good for one’s overall health. Cardiovascular illnesses are more frequently seen in depressed individuals, in patients with coronary ischemia, depression worsens the outcome, possibly due to alterations in platelet function and changes in autonomic tone. Depression is also associated with a higher mortality rate following acute myocardial infarction; for those patients who survive, the recovery process is often a more complicated  one. Studies suggest that the recovery rate from medical and surgical procedures, from the repair of hip  fractures to coronary bypass surgery, is faster among believers. Moreover, patients undergoing such treatment appear less likely to have serious complications or die.” Page 239.

SOURCES:  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications.  Louisville. Ky.

Copyright(c)  I’ll do it when I feel better. 2nd  Edition 1986,  2013.  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

Copyright)(c)  Believing is seeing:15 Ways to leave the prison of depression. (2017)  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky.

You see yourself as a healer instead of victim!

“The Twelve Steps work for those who work the program and who try to live one day at a time. Many times we have been so scared of being  rejected that we have withdrawn deeper into the anguish of our shame and hurt.   We need to air our hurts, our shame, and let others hear our story. There is something healing about hearing ourselves speak to others about our own journey in life and the many emotional potholes that we have fallen into from time to time. We have felt our lives were jinxed. But now we can begin to feel hopeful when other members of the group shake their heads in knowing approval of what we are saying when we tell our story. Most have been where we have been where  and we are now. And the more we make an effort to come to meetings  regularly, the more we will find members of the group telling us how they are seeing a change in the way we act, talk, and look. We will accept the group’s comments as being true and honestly expressed. These people speak our language and they all have been wher e we are now. You gradually begin to see yourself as healer instead of victim the more you work this program and get excited about the possibility of helping others. When you start reaching out  to others in the group, it is at this point that you are carrying the message of hope to others. You have a future with Depressed  Anonymous. ”

SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 105.

When I am “powerless” I feel out of control.

 

During my depression   I was “powerless“.  I no longer had the ability to bounce back from my ongoing ruminations about how bad I felt. The more that I tried to figure out why I was feeling so bad and horrible,  the intensity  deepened. The more that my thoughts circled around in my head the more despair I felt.  I felt hopeless. All I was able to do was lay down and sleep, hoping against hope that my anxiety and fear would disappear. But no, they only intensified my despair. I knew that I had to do something. I had to get my body in motion. I had to talk to someone. I had to DO something besides sit at home and think, think and think some more.

I gradually discovered that my  thoughts produce feelings, feelings produce moods and my  moods produce behaviors. In my case. the behavior was to do nothing, The one thing that I did do, was to begin to isolate from family and friends. This deepened my anxiety and frustration. I knew about talking with someone and so I contacted a friend who was in another 12 Step fellowship. We call these friends sponsors. And so it was in talking with a sponsor that I gradually dug myself out of the hole that I was in. I quit digging.

Today, at the present we have some persons who have decided to do something about their depression and pain–they have begun to participate in our HOME STUDY PROGRAM of recovery. This program is a one to one relationship with a sponsor. All one has to do is sign up  and contact us here at depressedanon.com. There are no fees or dues just a willingness to learn all they can about depression and their  own depression experience,   while  utilizing both  the Depressed Anonymous Manual and the Depressed Anonymous Workbook. Both can be found by clicking onto the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore here at this website.

For more information as to how this Home Study works, please read more at Newsletters, the Antidepressant Tablet. You can read how Kim found us on her computer and is now engaged  in getting herself free of the shackles of depression.

She is longer powerless.

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+++For more information please contact me at  depanon@netpenny.net.

I CAN CHANGE THE WAY I FEEL

“We  do know that depression, like any other long standing emotion, can and does cause a physiological change in the body. Many scientists also know that positive emotions over time can produce a change in the immunological makeup of our human body and so protect it from illness.”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

Depression can be eliminated from my life after I take a closer look at my lifestyle. If I want to conquer depression, I have to take a closer look at the way I think, behave and live out my life.  Of course, to have a belief in some power greater than myself produces the hopeful vision that, in time, I can begin the healing process. My brokenness and fear of risking change is at the core of my depression.  I know that once I begin to get moving in a positive physical and mental way, the healthier I can become.

Someone once said that an emotion is energy in motion. A good description I would say.  My ability to maintain an emotional balance depends heavily on my belief that I can change the way I feel. I know with the help of my conscious contact with my Higher Power that I can find the peace that I am searching for.

MEDITATION

We know that good things start to happen when we give up our will to the one who wills nothing but our personal good.  The power which is greater than the power  of our depression is desirous of eradicating its dominion of our lives.  Let go now your fear to let go and let God.

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Source: Copyright(c)Higher Thoughts for down days:365 daily thoughts and meditations for Twelve Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 106.  Higher Thought for May 25.

Source: Depressed Anonymous (3rd Edition) 2011. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Kentucky.