What is the power of Depressed Anonymous?

What is the power of Depressed Anonymous?


“Well,  first let me say that when I first started attending Depressed Anonymous, I went for s couple of months and then stopped. I stopped going because my depression was so bad that I didn’t  want to leave my apartment. I didn’t want to be around or talk to anyone. I just didn’t want to do anything except crawl in a hole somewhere and isolate myself from everything. Then after about six weeks of isolation, I called the residential treatment center where I had been a client to see if I had received any mail there and one of the members of the DA group where I attend answered the phone. I spent a few minutes talking to her and there was something in her voice that told me  that for some reason, it was important for me to be at the meeting. I attended the next Depreseed Anonymous meeting. After the meeting was over, I suddenly realized the importance  and power of Depressed Anonymous.

So what is the power of Depressed Anonymous? For me, it is just like attending that first meeting. I was a little scared and apprehensive at first, but then I found the Depressed Anonymous meeting was a place to go where there were other depressed people just like me. They could relate to and understand what I was going thr0ugh. They didn’t judge me or think of me as crazy. I was accepted.

Another power of Depressed Anonymous is the miracle fo the group and what each person brings to the group. I have seen our fellowship get stronger and grow. I have developed many friendships that I can depend on for support and understanding. I have watched some  of the newcomers that have kept coming back grow and improve. Even something as simple as a smile when there was none before.  The miracle of the group empowers and energizes me.

The most important power of Depresseed Anonynous is hope. Hope that we will not be locked into the prison of depression forever and that there is a way out for each of us. A hope that our Higher Power will work the miracle through us and that we will find our own happiness. I have hope that our heart and minds will know love and peace like we have never known or felt before.  The power of Depressed  Anonymous works for me.  I hope and pray that it works for you. Keep coming back!

SOURCE:  Copyright(c)  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY . Pages 134,135.  Ray’s personal story of recovery.

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If there is no Depressed Anonymous group where you live–don’t let that stop you from joining our fellowship. Get started today and use the HOME STUDY KIT (SEE STORE)  where you can begin your own recovery using the tools that members in a “face to face” group use at their meetings.  The HOME STUDY  version provides you with a Depressed Anonynmous WORKBOOK plus a Depresssed Anonymous  MANUAl. These two works will provide you with an amazing process in which you can grow and learn more about depression and its effect upon your own  life.  It can also  provide you with an access to our web blog where you can read article after article on the “how” to leave the prison of depression. You are always welcome to involve yourself with any and all comments that you would like to send to the site in response to what you see and read here.

We welcome you.

Home Study Kit

I am not perfect–so what?

Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications Louisville, Kentucky
An excerpt with some modifications and additions from Higher Thoughts for today, November 15.
AFFIRMATION
NO LONGER WILL WE ACCEPT OUR PAST THINKING THAT OUR WORTH IS BASED ON OUR ABILITY TO PRODUCE.
REFLECTION
I am going to be alert to those times during the day today, when I give myself the message that I could have done something better. These messages are from an old hypercritical tape from my childhood. Guilt rides roughshod over us when we fail to live up to the expectations we have of ourselves or those held by others about us. ( My 3rd grade teacher compared me to my brother, who was very smart, and said that I would never be like him, meaning brilliant. She was right, I am not brilliant. But it was only until I was in my 30’s did I realize that I had other qualities. Like it really didn’t matter anymore what she thought.) Since I have admitted that I am depressed, (Aware, motivated, doing, and maintaining positive behaviors) I am able to change certain old ways of thinking and behaving.
Our worth comes from the earliest childhood memories. The more we are able to get in touch with early images and feelings that we hold about ourselves the more clearly can we see that what we feel as adults is many times based on early childhood emotions. I am depending more now on my Higher Power to get me safely to those early days and those feelings. I will also talk to a friend today about my childhood experiences. I am not perfect–so what?
MEDITATION
With God on our side, we can’t fail. God loves us just the way we are.

What is Dep-Anon Family Group?

DEP-ANON FAMILY GROUP

Support Group for family and friends of the depressed.

Scores of books have been written on the subject of depression. If you are like most of us, we have all run after and read the latest work on depression looking for clues to see just what is wrong with our loved ones and what it is that they face and struggle with.
DEP-ANON is a support group for family and friends of the depressed. This program is very much like AL-ANON where family members gather to help each other learn how to detach and cope with alcoholism. In the same way DEP-ANON is an effort of family and friends to gather together and learn how to live with and cope with their depressed loved one.
At a planning session for DEP-ANON, family members were asked to list all the feelings that they experience while living with a depressed loved one. From the discussion we were surprised to find out some amazing facts. 1) That the feelings family members were experiencing were very similar to those which their depressed loved ones were experiencing, and 2) these feelings were also having an equally destructive effect in the lives of family members. DEP-ANON FAMILY GROUP (1999) Depressed Anonymous Publications, Louisville, KY.USA.
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More on this important subject tomorrow. Please let us know if this topic is of interest to you. We might be able to help you set up a Family Group in your locale or just use the material for your own guidance.

ISOLATION FROM WORLD AND OTHERS KEEPS ME DEPRESSED

HIGHER THOUGHTS FOR DOWN DAYS

AFFIRMATION
I have a desire to get connected with everything around me today!

“Until we have actually been depressed we do not realize that there is a great difference between being depressed and being unhappy. When we are unhappy, no matter what terrible things have happened to us, we still feel in contact with the rest of the world. When other people offer comfort and love we can feel it warm and support us… When we are depressed we feel cut off from the rest of the world.” (7)

REFLECTION

I admit to taking full responsibility for my detachment from my world and also from my very self. It seems that by numbing my grief over those matters lost in my past life, this has caused myself to be depressed. By burying what need to be faced and mourned, I am making a stand to face the depression that I have created over the years. I am going to care for myself and make the effort to hope that this twenty-four period that I call TODAY is one of rebirth and movement toward others.
Many times I wish I was merely unhappy rather than depressed. I can handle being unhappy, depression is a different story./ I am not about to give up on myself as I step out of depression and begin to take responsibility for my recovery TODAY. Because I have “made a decision to turn my life and my will over to the care of God as I understand God” my life is already starting to show the signs of a positive nature.

MEDITATION

My God has given me hope that my depressed days are going to be less and less: I believe that. My faith in God has given me hope.
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Source: (c)Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 step fellowship groups. (1993, 2014). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky. Page 210.

I WANT TO SHARE MY THOUGHTS ABOUT SOME DOMINANT FEELINGS THAT I AM EXPERIENCING.

I WANT TO SHARE SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT SOME DOMINANT FEELINGS THAT I AM EXPERIENCING TODAY.

OCTOBER 18 Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for down days:365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications (2014) pages 207-208.
AFFIRMATION
Today, I want to write down the dominant feelings and share some thoughts about them with some friend.
“…Whenever we bring something clearly into consciousness and then put it outside ourselves in words or in something we make, we take control of it and thus reduce its power.” (7)

REFLECTION
I am finding that letting out feelings and ideas into the open after having stuffed them for a time is like steam being released from a boiler. The more I release my sadness and my feelings of helplessness and despair, the more I am able to feel a bit lighter in mood. When I see in front of me, on black and white, what I have been thinking, I am able to debate the material that has had me crippled for so long. I am able to rattle the skeleton’s cage and not run away.
When I give away my power I give away a part of myself. And to give away part of myself is to lose hope about my life and my purpose e in life. Purpose, self and power all go together. I have, within my grasp, the power to work myself out of my helplessness the more I put my power to work.

MEDITATION
God, grant me the power to take hold of the power that comes from you and put it to use in controlling the fear that pushes me deep into my sadness. I now have the hope that God is going to deliver me my power, that I am taking hold of it and using it to hope.
PERSONAL COMMENTS.

Many depressed people will say, “I don’t know why I am depressed. It just happened suddenly…”

“Many depressed people will say, ‘I don’t know why I am depressed. It just happened suddenly, like a black cloud coming down.’  They say this because they do not want to look at the terrible events which threatened to destroy the way they saw themselves and their world.  These events might not seem very significant to other people, but to the person concerned, they are very important. It is not the events in themselves which made them important,  frightening, or overwhelming, but the meaning which we give to these events.” Dorothy Rowe, Ph.D., in the Foreword to the DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS book. Page 12.

IT TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE — AND HELP ONE ANOTHER!

AFFIRMATION

I WANT TO CARRY THE MESSAGE OF HOPE TO THOSE OTHERS WHO ARE DEPRESSED.

“I  (Dr. Dorothy Rowe) said what I so often said, that the best way depressed people can  help themselves is to help one another. Form a group, get to know one another, support one another.”

REFLECTION

They also think that all I have to do is just be cheerful and my mood will automatically change. It’s like telling someone to stop their diarrhea as if they have any control over it.  My depression took time to develop and so it will take time and work to remove. The people who are the most supportive are those who have been depressed themselves, they won’t tell you to “snap out of it!”

I best support myself when I find other people like myself and try and help them.

MEDITATION

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, and the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. (Personal comments).

SOURCE: Higher Thoughts for Down Days:  365 Daily Thoughts and Meditations for 12 Step Fellowship Groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications.  Louisville, Ky.  Page 201.

HOW TO BE A WORRYWART.

AFFIRMATION

I INTEND TO LIVE IN TODAY!

“As an expert in guilt you cannot live in the present.  You are constantly worrying about the past and fearing for the future. As an expert in guilt you cannot enjoy happiness when it comes, for you believe that as night follows day, suffering will follow joy. When good fortune does come your way, you know it will not stay, for you are the guilty ones and you will b punished.”  (7)

REFLECTION

I have believed for most of my life that since most things never worked out in my life, why should things work out now. I have always had the belief, mostly unconscious, that nothing ever works out for me and that this belief is reinforced by the way I habitually think about my life.  I have lived my life so much in the past and in the future that I have forgotten about trying to live for today. 

What I have learned is that most of the things that we fear never happen and if they did we would have the resources to deal with them in some effective manner.  Steps Four and Five of the Twelve Step program insure that we find a way out of this depression by looking at the way we guilt ourselves and then make amends to those, as appropriate, who we need to make amends to.

MEDITATION

God, we ask you to help us to make amends to ourselves as we go through this day. We want you to help us rid myself of the guilt, worry and fear that prevents us from living with any serenity or peace today.  We pray that our lives will improve as we make attempts to change the way we feel and think.”

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SOURCE: Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 Daily Thoughts and Meditations for 12 Step fellowship groups. DAP. Louisville, Ky  Page 199.

A SAFE HAVEN: THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS GROUP.

Higher Thoughts for down days for September 27.

AFFIRMATION

I am not going to have any expectations about any person, place or situation.

” The great attraction  of telling ourselves that we know how other people see things without making the effort to check whether we are right is that we can claim that other people will reject us, we do not have to make the effort to meet people and get to know them. If we tell ourselves that other people will find us boring , we do not have to make the effort to talk to people.” (3)

I am less prone to read people’s minds, but I am beginning to check other peoples feelings instead of trying to read their minds. I am finding that the more I am in tune and in touch with my own feelings, the more able I am to feel comfortable around other people. I am less concerned about their opinions of me as I am concerned about the feelings that I have about myself. I am no longer going to operate out of the belief that I am worthless or unacceptable. Gradually, the fellowship of the Twelve Step program has made me aware that I am acceptable, especially now that I am part of a group that talks of being wounded and in need of repair. I am no longer alone.

In the fellowship, we are all equal. When I first came into the program, I found it a safe haven and I felt strengthened by the support of the other members of the group.  The people who are like me understand me. They never tell me to snap out of something that has been going on in me for many years.

MEDITATION

The words that give us the most hope, are the words that by experiencing a spiritual awakening, we can find the serenity and life that we have been wanting to find all these years.

SOURCE: Higher Thoughts for Down Days:365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 Step fellowship groups.. Page 193-194.

Therapists Views on Depressed Anonymous

The “Birth” of a Depressed Anonymous Group. Judith Bouffiou, Ph.D. (Cand.), Olympia, Washington

Isn’t life just full of expected and unexpected challenges, synchronous happenings, joys and griefs. Your life and mine. Following is a synopsis of a time in my life when I experienced all of the above. The summer of 1991 saw the dissolving of a business partnership for me; a painful, but healthy decision. The counseling center my ex-partner and I operated had provided the community with a Domestic Violence/Anger
Management (DV/A M ) Program for court and self referred clients, plus each of us had a private practice. M y decision to dissolve the partnership was motivated by a number of reasons, among them a desire to go back to school, and to spend more time and energy in my private practice. Over time my private practice had evolved into a growth and development type of practice, which I loved doing. A long with the dissolution of the partnership came the decision to no longer do the DV/A M work. I had a desire to still give the community some type of community service, but what?

Then I remembered reading some time earlier in one of my professional journals about a man who had developed a Twelve-step program, Depressed Anonymous for individuals who suffered from depression. Like most therapists, a significant number of the people I saw (and still see) in my practice were experiencing depression to one degree or other.

The more I thought about the concept of Depressed Anonymous, the more intrigued I was, so I contacted the founder of Depressed Anonymous for information and details. Information was sent to me and that was the start of the first Depressed Anonymous group in Washington State.

From the Depressed Anonymous material I received, I photocopied, organized, prepared and prepared and advertized. I decided on a start time and date, sent notices to our local paper, our Crisis Clinic, therapists and physicians in this area, tacked up flyers all over town, and of course, lots of word of mouth advertizing. The Depressed
Anonymous group originally met in a group room at my office, and eventually moved to a local church when I moved into a smaller office space.

A s a therapist I organized, started, sponsored, and “mothered” the Depressed
Anonymous group for a time, before withdrawing to just being the phone contact person that people can call in for information. From the very first meetings, which had 8-10 people, a “home” group evolved; fine people, some of whom had previous Twelve-step experiences. One of fine traditions and legacies of Twelve-step groups is the willingeness of folks to be and do the supportive and necessary work (the glue) that holds the Twelve-step groups together. The Twelve-step tradition and service continues on.

As is often the case, I have received more than I’ve given as the person who organized and started this Olympia, Washington Depressed Anonymous group. Now that I’m not a person who suffers from depression, other than short term appropriate situational depression; nothing ever deep or prolonged. A s I organized and started this Depressed Anonymous group little did I know that I would benefit from the Depressed Anonymous process and group in such a personal way.

The Depressed Anonymous group had only met two or three times when my middle son unexpectedly died from a type of cancer that years before had taken his father. So, in a synchronous manner, for a time and in a different way, the Depressed Anonymous group supported me as much as I supported them. In my prior work as a nurse, I had often been witness to dying and death, also in my personal life. However, the death of one son and then a year and half later, the death of my oldest son (two out of three) have been devastating experiences for me.

So in many, many ways being the organizer and sponsor of the first Depressed Anonymous group have been an exceedingly enriching experience for me. A s mentioned before, because of the wonderful people in the group, and with great confidence on my part, I turned the operation of the Depressed Anonymous group over to the capable hands of the home group people. I remain the telephone contact. The Depressed Anonymous group continues to thrive and grow. Just recently I talked with a man from Portland, Oregon, who is thinking about starting a group in the Portland area

MY VIEWS ON DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS

Denise L ., Louisville, Kentucky

One of the greatest resources I’ve used in working with many depressed persons has been Depressed Anonymous. The transformation it causes in an individual’s life is truly miraculous. This stems from it being primarily a spiritual program of healing and recovery. It encourages a person to seek a personal relationship with God, whoever they understand him to be. In doing this it helps a person to look inside for healing, rather than in a pill or some quick “cure”. M any persons who suffer with depression look on God as a being who judges them harshly. This thinking usually leads to much anger towards God, which results in more negative thinking. I know this from my own
experiences with depression, and the angry relationship with God I had during those times. This is where Depressed Anonymous offers hope by getting a person connected to a group who also suffer with depression, and are working the twelve steps. In doing this, it helps a person come to a realization that it will only be through a power greater than themselves, that they will find sanity in their life. Depressed people cannot do this alone because of the compulsion to ruminate endlessly over negative thoughts. It is only through coming together with a group of people like Depressed Anonymous, that they are able to break the cycle of negative thinking.

A client I was working with is a good example of the above. H e spent his time alone and many countless hours thinking of all the disappointments in his life, which continually reinforced his depression. Then he started going to DA, and found that through being with other people like himself, he didn’t feel as alone as he did before. H e started sharing his pain, and found understanding and support. I noticed his face began to soften, and he started smiling more. Then I noticed his face began to soften, and he started smiling more. H e also found help spiritually from DA, for he started
working the twelve steps, and as a result he started trusting God more for his healing. H e is one of many persons I’ve worked with who have found help and encouragement through attending DA .

The spiritual emphasis of DA is it’s greatest strength. People come together and hear from one another how their higher power is healing and guiding their lives. They realize that in being part of the group they are not alone, and also encourage true healing. DA has been a wonderful healing tool in the lives of many depressed persons I’ve worked with. It will always be one of the greatest resources I use in my work. It is true that “it works if you work it.”