Depressed Anonymous offers a Home Study as an alternative path for recovery:

An alternative path:  The Depressed Anonymous  Home Study Program of Recovery has been offered for those who cannot find a   Depressed Anonymous group in their area. One of the drawbacks to finding a Depressed Anonymous meeting in one’s  community is the nature of the problem in that depression  has our life shut down.  Depression is such that it isolates and  immobilizes. We don’t want to move out of our comfort zone. We’ll take care of our problem when we feel better. But we never feel better and so stay in our isolation. It is only when we feel we have to get help that we move toward a solution for our depression or whatever it is we have.

Depression is not a substance addiction problem, even  though we modeled our program on the 12 spiritual principles of Alcoholics Anonymous. Like so many problems  facing our modern society,  many people have  put the  power of these principles to work  in their own lives, be that of overeating, opioids addiction and a plethora of compulsive behaviors, phobias and  so on.

Depressed Anonymous  formed as a mutual aid group where others,  like ourselves,  have come together, utilizing the 12 Steps of recovery  and have found a way out of their depression.

When people ask us for a group in their area  more times than not we suggest they use the tools that we offer at our site and come together and form their own group.  But for those who cannot do this, for all sorts of reasons,  find  themselves without the help that they are looking for.

This is where the Depressed  Anonymous Home Study comes in to help. With this program, a person can use the Depressed Anonymous Manual and Workbook. They also can be provided with a sponsor to work their program online. The program is conducted via emails between the Home Study participant and the sponsor.  The  12 Steps are examined and applied to one’s own experience with depression by answering the questions provided  by Home Study. From having a positive experience with the Home Study Program of Recovery some of the participants have begun a Depressed Anonymous program in their own community. Before the Home Study Program of Recovery  there were no DA groups in their home community. After the Home Study Program was used , and a thorough study of the Steps was accomplished , a group was set in motion. Sometimes a therapist was obtained who helped the participant work the Steps. Sometimes a member of another 12 Step fellowship  could help  share  how their own involvement with the Steps  provided them a release from their addiction.

To learn more about the Home Study Program we have given you some resources   at our website www.depressedanon.com for your examination

Kim shares her own experiences with the Home Study Program in Volume #1 Fall  Issue of the DA Newsletter.  She tells us about the “before” of working the Steps and the “after” of completing the Home Study an how it freed her from the captivity of depression and isolation. Please read it–be inspired as was I.   Her story is to be found at the NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES on the Home Page Menu list.

Also, a full explanation of the HSP and what it is about,  is explained at the Depressed Anonymous Home Page Menu-See HOME STUDY PROGRAM.

Depressed Anonymous groups also use the HOME STUDY as the basis for the STEP STUDY home group.re are different and creative ways to use this tool for recovery from depression. Also remember that there is available a sponsor to help the participant work through each of the Steps.

NOTE: I f you desire to start a group in your community is  also advisable to have worked all the steps yourself. We  can then share that we have worked through all the Steps and that we have a Sponsor.

A member of a newly formed  Depressed Anonymous group in an international community is now started with the Home Study and will be the first member of the group to go through all the Steps with a Sponsor. Congratulations to her and her group. It is a positive that the questions contained in the Workbook have a unique relationship to one’s own life as the steps are applied to one’s own life situations.

 

You can contact us at depanon@netpenny.net. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“They said that I was ‘damaged beyond recovery.'”

Kim, The author of this comment, speaks  about those  therapists who said  that she was ‘damaged beyond recovery.’ Even though   experiencing  a myriad  of therapeutic interventions, various psychiatrists, psychologists and psychotherapists, her depression just kept on coming. There seemed to be no escape.  Included with all these were a number of popular every 12 Step groups from  which she sought help.

In the following paragraphs,  with excerpts from  the  Depressed Anonymous Newsletter Volume .#1, Fall Issue, 2017,  she shares   her own  experiences . (See Newsletter Archives for full account). She shares with us her  life  Before and her  life After   participating in the Depressed Anonymous HOME STUDY PROGRAM OF RECOVERY.

What my  life was before Depressed Anonymous

While all my program friends had gotten full recovery, the Promises of Recovery had not materialized for me. I would stay depressed forever. This destroyed me. I quit the program and started to take antidepressants, but even that didn’t work: The depressions got  more intense and more frequent. I didn’t want to live anymore. One day I found the Depressed Anonymous site on the Internet, but there was no meeting in Europe.  There was a book though. So I made a deal with God; I could go through the Twelve Steps one last time. And after that I could jump  in front of a train. It was now or never. So I bought the book, and the workbook, and I asked Hugh to become my email  sponsor. That was three years ago.

What my life is like now.

I never expected this, but I have been free from depression for a whole year now.  The next depression will kill me, so it is very importantr to stay out of it. Every Sunday I sit behind my computer and answer questions from   the Workbook. I send them to my email sponsor, who reads them, gives me feedback and stimulates me to keep going.  I discover important things about myself…

In  Depressed Anonymous, I discovered my conclusion was wrong. I do belong to the  group. Indeed, I have always been part of the group. People with odd parents are part of society as well and so are depressed people and people that did rally stupid things. There is nothing to hide. I am human, no more, no less…

I made a deal with my Higher Power, one more time I would take the Steps. I am so happy that I did.

Submitted by Kim, a member of the Depressed Anonymous fellowship.

PS.  Kim has started an online Depressed  Anonymous for SKYPE users at Depanon@hotmail.com.  She is also translating Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition into her home  language.

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Kim has  just completed (1/30/2019)  her work on the HOME STUDY PROGRAM OF RECOVERY,  with the assistance of her email Sponsor.    By her  continued commitment and  study of the Depressed Anonymous (Big Book) with the Depressed Anonymous Workbook, she not only knows herself at a deeper level but also lives out the spiritual principles of the Twelve Steps with hope and vigor. One day at a time.

If you would you like to work the Twelve  Steps of Depressed Anonymous, using the Home Study Program of Recovery  and to find  how to have  an email Sponsor, as did Kim,  please write to me, Hugh  at depanon@netpenny.net., and discover how you too can work the Twelve Steps , with a program designed for you — plus  the unique  goals you have chosen for your own recovery from depression.

Make a commitment today, stick to a plan of action, and  grow through  each of the STEPS with your own email sponsor –at your own speed –especially when there are no Depressed Anonymous groups in your locale. See the Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore to find out more  about the HOME STUDY  KIT.

Some depressions are followed by thriving. We honor the strength of those who achieve recovery. It is possible!

 

“One obstacle to a more affirmative national conversation is that depression has lacked a unifying public symbol  that could   bring it  out  of the  dark, and Livestrong(c) bracelets did for cancer or the rainbow flag did for LGBT. When most people think of depression, their first associations are to unfortunate images, such as a dark cloud, the color black, or a noose. One reason why depression stigma lives is that depression has a serious bumper stick problem.

But this is essentially an issue of failed marketing and messaging. It should be possible to develop a unifying symbol, and it is presented in a compelling way, many might rally. Conservatively, thirteen million US adults are currently in an episode of depression, more than twice that number have had depression in the past. When we add  caregivers , millions more are indirectly affected by the quality and the quantity  of our national dialogue about  depression.  Have no illusions.  Even with a strong  public education  campaign, stereotypes that have been decades in the making will  resist change.  Still with  so much to gain, it is high  time that we  try.

But in my view, finding more humane ways to discuss the predicament  of depressed people is not just good marketing, it’s also good science. The mood science perspective tells us that depression, deep or shallow, is a natural product of the mood system. However a person gets there, facing deep depression is a supremely difficult trial. Rather than weakness or defectiveness, we should acknowledge that getting through depression requires considerable strength. Rather than assuming permanent debility, we should recognize that some depressions are followed by thriving. Writing these words fourteen years after my episode, I recognize that I am not broken. Getting beyond the disease model will require us to honor the strengths of formerly depressed people, to see their potential for rebirth after depression and the ways that, once reborn, they can help others build enduring recoveries from depression. It is possible.” Copyright(c) Rottenberg,  Jonathon. The Evolutionary Origins of  the  Depression Epidemic. (2014) Basic Books.  New York,  Pages  198-200.

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Hugh’s comments

This work of Jonathon Rottenberg is one that everyone need to read. Not only does  it provide us with a insight into “mood science”  it also is a positive statement on the depressed person’s strengths.  And then it promotes the fact that once a depressed person recovers they will go on and help others rebuild their lives.

If you are fortunate to be a member of the Depressed Anonymous fellowship you will  understand this statement completely: helping others rebuld their lives completely. In fact this is where our Twelve Step program challenges the person recovered “having  had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps. we tried to carry this message to the depressed, and to practice these principles in all of our affairs.”

SOURCE:  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky.  (Personal Stories).

Our Big Book has more than 30 personal stories of how  these stories of the recovered members of Depressed Anonymous  have had their lives rebuilt and now are thriving and strengthened and reaching out to others depressed. It is possible.

Looking fear in the face!

AFFIRMATION

I am no longer alone in my suffering depression. I believe that by getting more active in my recovery that my life will begin to brighten up.

“We of AA and Depressed Anonymous find that our basic antidote for fear is a spiritual awakening.” Bill W.

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

I know after becoming actively involved with the 12 step program, that one of the best ways to overcome the handicap  of depression is to start by working on my faith – a faith that I will and can get better. I know that it is mainly staring my sadness in the face that I will be clear of it. I also know that my depression which has been part of my life for so long can be dismantled if I so choose. Surprised? So often  I hear others stories say that they have been depressed all their lives–until- let me repeat – until they hear others stories as to how with work, time and belief in a power greater than themselves that they did and are feeling better now. I need to trust that once I have made my conscious decision to turn my life and will over to the care of God as I understand him, that my life will indeed begin to change.

We know that fear is truly a poison in some ways and in others it is a gift. We need to fear only that which will keep us locked in the prison of depression. Sometimes our fears are of what tomorrow might bring or it might be the fears of the past. One of the better antidotes to fear is trying to live, just for today, Today is all I have.,

MEDITATION

God, we believe that there is no greater power than you . We have already admitted that our depression has made us feel hopeless. Now we are ready to let you get to work on our lives,  take over and lead us where we know we will be   in a safe healing place.”

SOURCE: Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous  Publications. Louisville. Pages 95-96.

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.

Personal empowerment is an investment in ourselves.

 

It is with a personal sense of awe that I see the empowerment that comes to those persons who work the 12 Step  program of Depressed Anonymous. The empowerment comes to those who are conscious of the various ways they will have to change if their lives are to grow and change. This of course is not without its risks.

One of the major obstacles that we have to face when we are depressed is to be willing to change the way we think about ourselves, the world and our future. And of course, to change the future we have to dwell and experience the pleasant as well as the unpleasant feelings in the present. We have to be willing to face the discomfort of living life with a sense of unpredictability. This is not an easy task, but it is a task that can be achieved with time, patience and work.

  Empowerment comes from being informed and making choices that help us change our lives for the better.  When I came to Depressed Anonymous meeting I am making the first major step–namely, that I admit with my presence at the group meeting that my life is out of control. My compulsion to depress myself is at the root of my inability to take on the challenge of living life with risk and enthusiasm. But how can I possibly say that I want to depress myself?  We are not blaming ourselves here  but are taking responsibility for our own feelings, behavior and thinking. We are no longer going to  run on mental auto-pilot. Now that I am conscious of some negative patterns of my own for my own behavior I can get on with learning new strategies for my own healing. With the heartfelt prayer of a monk, I now understand that it is by sharing the story of my life –and with the conviction that someone is there to listen, that this can in time help me make it out of my prison of fear and sadness.

I am empowered by taking the bull by the horns and choosing each new day, one day art a time, and start to feel different. I now have the support of the group–a sponsor–support from those people who have walked where I have walked.

I am investing in myself. I am making my recovery my highest priority. I may have been on all the antidepressants medications- I may have seen all the counselors, psychiatrists and doctors but now finally I am going to a room full of depressed people –people who understand me. These people I discover are investing in themselves. What will I find there? I will find some of the most caring people on the face of thee earth. Some of the group will have ben coming for months, and they are having more good days than bad and it’s getting better. The more meetings they attend the better they feel and the more support they receive. They are feeling empowered. It’s the miracle of the group.  Instead of living with a compulsion to repeat old negative and life negating thought and feelings we now have a compulsion to live with hope plus a desire for a brand new way of living. We are now about  to change the way we live –not just the way we talk to ourselves.

We are going to get  a life.

I now feel that I’m getting better in learning how not to repeat my old way of thinking, feeling, believing and isolating myself. I now know that this  healing all takes time. With    work and patience I will get better. For most of us, it has taken us a few years to get here (depressed) so why not take the time and daily work toward getting better – one day at a time-one meeting at a time.

Hugh  /The Antidepressant Tablet

Dear reader: No DA group in your community. Today sign onto the Home Study Program of Recovery which begins online this November 15, 2017. There are no fees or dues just a commitment to utilize the Home Study combo of DA Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition and the Depressed Anonymous Workbook.  This will be an online person to person program where emails between participant will form the basis for discussions between the participant and the sponsor.

Click onto The Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore to learn how to purchase study material.  SKYPE may also be an alternative means of communication.

For a description of the program please go to the Website menu at www.depressedanon.com and go to the Newsletter drop down menu where the latest Newsletter, titled The Antidepressant Tablet, Volume 1 Issue Fall, 2017. Here  a member of DA shares her recovery  experience using our new method of contact with the Home Study Program.  All the work is accomplished with emails between the sponsor and the DA member.  I know this  will help so much to facilitate one’s own recovery from depression.

To join, please sign up soon. Contact us at depanon@netpenny.net  for more information. Thank you.

Depression and quicksand–what do they have in common? Online Home Study provides the answers.

 

One thing that they have in common is their capacity to suck you down into the darkness in which you feel there is no escaping.  Quicksand is no respecter of persons and neither is depression.  What happens when we step into quicksand our feet become aware that something is drawing us  down into a place that has no bottom. There is no support that will hold us up.

With depression we too feel that once the spiraling begins, the mood changes and we are there alone without support to hold us up. We are afraid to tell anyone that we are depressed. We continue to isolate ourselves and the prison of depression is gradually being built by fear, isolation and ongoing ruminations  about how bad things are.  By withdrawing and living in the small world that we have created all hope appears to have ben sucked out of us.  Now it’s the lack of motivation to do anything to help ourselves and so we begin to eat too much or not eat at all. We want to sleep all the time or not sleep at all. We are no longer interested in those pleasant activities that we once enjoyed but now we get no pleasure from them.

I would like to offer you a way out of depression and protection from being sucked down into the pain of nothingness.

On November 15, we will initiate our HOME STUDY RECOVERY PROGRAM ONLINE. The program is an online process where you can email answers to questions posed in the Depressed Anonymous Workbook and get a response to your progress from a Depressed Anonymous  sponsor. Because there might not be a Depressed Anonymous meeting in your community we have found that providing you with the possibility of working the Steps, gaining information about yourself and what depression feels and looks like. All this becomes possible by taking part in this online individual help from a member of the DA fellowship. You and your sponsor/guide who continues to help those who want to leave the prison of depression. To challenge yourself and free your self from depression this is the program for you. There are no fees or dues, all you need is  a plan, a well marked out path, provided by our fellowship, which we call the  12 steps of recovery and restoration,

Start now and be part of the HOME STUDY  PROGRAM BY signing up soon so that you will be ready to start your one on one in recovery on November 15.  We are accepting only 10 persons in this program. The two books which you will need are the Depressed Anonymous Workbook and the Depressed Anonymous Manual, 3rd edition.   Please VISIT THE STORE here at www.depressedanon.com to learn how you can order online to receive your material. This is NOT  a group meeting, but a program personalized  to meet you where you are in life. The whole step by step process is achieved like a long distance course offered by colleges and universities. You and your guide will be in communication via emails to each other to get the most benefit for your own life.

If you have any questions please contact me here or at our website: depanon@netpenny.net. We will be looking forward to visiting with you. I have been helping others free themselves from depression these past 30 years and I am willing to go to bat for you too.

If for any reason you prefer to SKYPE then that will be fine with me and our guides.

I hope to hear from you soon. Our email address is  depanon@netpenny.net for those who wish more information about the upcoming program on November 15, 2017.

Hugh

for the fellowship of DA.

Moving to a new home means packing, unpacking, and packing up things we no longer need or want.

 

There is a strange but real similarity with moving from one place to another with the packing up and unpacking that  is involved. The same holds true for our lives. We packed  habits of thinking, feeling and behaving from early childhood into our adult lives.  It is no surprise to us then and now that certain habitual modes of behavior and thinking have got us to a place where we either hit an emotional wall or we reflect that something in our lives has to change.  It’s time to pack up stuff in our lives that no longer work for us and discard all the extra baggage. It might be painful to rid ourselves of the stuff that has been such a part of our daily lives, but now we see that  it is time to take a closer look. It’s time to dig up and plant something new that will carry us along with a hope and a feeling of freedom as we continue throwing over board the extra weight (emotional and physical) as we continue on our journey in life.

For my own life I gradually found a way to unpack stuff that had me imprisoned and bound up without hope of ever being free of the shackles. Don’t get me wrong, packing  and unpacking certain areas of our life is not an easy thing to accomplish.  It takes time and work. Today I am still unpacking. With work, time and prayerful reflections on my changed thinking, feeling and behaviors I came to the conclusion that with help I could at least get through one 24 period at a time. And this is the point of my writing this piece today. I am pleased to say that it was when I first was introduced to the 12 spiritual principles of recovery with the tools which these principles provided, I now had a plan, a path, on how to live with hope and serenity.  I feel lighter as I reflected upon what I need to let go of.  I learned what exactly I needed to let go of.

It was after reading the literature of a 12 step program dedicated to help with my addiction that I gradually was  learning   more about me. I found what worked for me.   It was in the  Big Book, as it is called,  and written by Bill W., and Bob S.,the co-founders of AA..  There were questions in this book that helped me unpack those areas of my life that needed to be thrown overboard.

In the past years, when not everyone had the opportunity to join a Depressed Anonymous group in their locality, our Publisher Depressed Anonymous Publications decided to offer a HOME STUDY KIT where a person could begin to learn more about themselves by using the Home Study Kit. This includes the Big Book of our fellowship Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) and the Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) –both published by our publisher (DAP). Starting in November,  I will be offering those persons who want a guide to help them with  the Question and Answer part of the Kit, the DA Workbook, which is coordinated with each  chapter of the companion volume   Depressed Anonymous.

Through the years,  persons who have used this method of recovery, have found it has changed their lives. And this, without a group. When I founded this group in 1985 I knew that each persons depression really was unique even though it had many similarities with others depression experience. So with  our Home Study program your own unique experiences can be examined and reflected upon. This is how the healing can begin for you.

I can take only ten persons initially to start this online Home Study program,  which has been  successful  for those who utilize its process. Soon our program will be published in Spanish, as it has already been published in other languages.  One of the fellowship who lives in another region of the world has just written and shared how she feels the program has changed her for the better. I agreed with her that I have seen a change in her thinking and feelings toward herself as she continues to answer questions from the workbook that has enlightened her about her own life. . It’s as she has had a spiritual awakening. A realization that she is not alone.

So, if anyone is interested in a long distance Home Study approach, by email, then you might find it particularly useful. The whole process will be done via our emails. It will be strictly confidential and I will work with any  person who wants to find a way out of depression.   Basically our work will enable us to clarify our thinking about ourselves and help us formulate strategies for gaining back our freedom to be whom we want to be.

We will start our HS program on November 15th, 2017.  If you are serious about committing yourself to this self study then please contact me here at our website or email me at depanon@netpenny.net.

You may find this individual effort challenging as  I was, but in time and with work and the interaction with a sponsor–you will be happy you did. You will learn how to unpack those areas of your life which have kept you imprisoned.  This time you will be living with hope.

I am looking forward to hearing from you. Reading the Depressed Anonymous  literature, which I might add,  has been written by those persons who have been depressed and are now depression free and in recovery will be a great benefit to you and your daily living.  More information will be coming on this BLOG tomorrow.

Please click onto our literature store and discover more about the Manual and the Workbook which will be used for our Home Study program.  I hope that you will be joining us soon.

With gratitude, for the fellowship,

Hugh S

 

 

 

 

“You don’t have to be like this.”

” As one person told Dorothy Rowe: When I think of all those years I wasted being depressed, I wish I would have listened. I wished I’d realized that all I had to do was to say I’d had enough of being put upon and put down, feeling that there was something wrong with me. I’d like to go up to the hospital  and tell everybody: ‘You don’t have to be like this.’ Up there nobody ever told me that. I’d see those people going on and on being miserable. If I’d seen someone like me now, it would have given me hope.” Page 72 (Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. 2011 )

“…Depression feeds on hurt, pain and self-doubt. When we are depressed we have a need to bash ourselves for our misguided errors and sinfulness.  The fifth step if done genuinely and prayerfully, will in time help restore our sense of freedom  and belief that we are truly forgiven. It is the miracle of the group and its acceptance, love and nurture that helps the depressed person feel secure without recourse to depression.” Page 52 (The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2001) DAP, Louisville.

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For more information on the Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition book and The Depressed Anonymous Workbook –also listed as the HOME STUDY KIT. Please VISIT THE STORE to discover more information about these valuable and helpful study works.

Ordering is available online at our secure Bookstore.