Issue #2

Welcome to the Depressed Anonymous Newsletter Issue #2

This Newsletter is published by those of us who are committed to sharing our journey of hope as we live out the Twelve Steps of recovery. The Newsletter continues the tradition of an earlier Depressed Anonymous Newsletter, the ANTIDEPRESSANT TABLET. Even though our emphasis is the same, offering information on a regular basis about new Depressed Anonymous groups forming, giving hope to the depressed, as well as being an advocate for those who are still suffering from depression. We also have as an essential objective, the “how” of starting a Depressed Anonymous mutual aid group plus sharing the thoughts from the members of our fellowship who are using the Twelve Steps of Depressed Anonymous in their own lives and recovery, Their personal experiences, hope and strengths will be welcomed as an essential feature of our online newsletter.

How to Start a Depressed Anonymous Meeting

If there is a Depressed Anonymous group operating near where you live, you could go to one of their meetings. But if yours will be the first in your area, you might find it helpful to attend one or two other self-help groups just to see how they operate. Most self-help groups, as well as Depressed Anonymous, have literature about their work which you will find helpful. You can click onto the website at www.depresseedanon.com for a full explanation and information about our Depressed Anonymous group.

Once you have three or four people, who, like you, are struggling with depression and who want to set up a Depressed Anonymous  group which will follow the Twelve Step program, you can form, a core group to work out how to contact other people as to where you will meet, and when and how you will all share the work and the responsibility of the group.

To contact other likely members, draw up a notice which states the aims of the group, who the group is for, the time, day, place of meeting, and the name and phone number or email  address of the person whom you can contact for more information about the group, and who will arrange to meet and welcome new members.

When you are depressed, it is often very difficult to go into a room full of strangers, so having someone meet you beforehand can be a great help. Send copies of this notice to all those in your community who would know of persons who might be helped by this Twelve Step program of recovery.

For starters it is recommended that Mental Health Centers are always a good place to start as well as local religious communities.   Many people believe they are the only ones going through  this painful experience that we call depression. When they discover that there is a group of people who feel as you do, this in itself can provide hope.  In time and with regular attendance at Depressed Anonymous meetings, they will no longer feel like victims, but will reach out to others.

If surrender of our wills to the “care of God’ is of the essence of the spiritual life, for anyone who truly desires to free himself/ herself from a  chronic and compulsive behavior such as depression, then the Twelve Steps can be our stepping stones to a path of a hope-filled life.

Resource Corner:
I’ll Do It When I Feel Better, 2nd Edition. (2013, 2015) – By Hugh Smith
Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville

This revised 125 page 2nd edition contains ten chapters. There is an introduction by the author as well as a first chapter giving an overview of the book. The following topics are discussed:

  • Bill W., (co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous) and depression
  • What is Depressed Anonymous
  • The Promises of Depressed Anonymous
  • Compulsions and Choices
  • The Addictive Nature of Depression
  • Hope, Trust, Spirituality and Depression
  • Prayer and Meditation.

These ten chapters provide the reader and  members of Twelve Step fellowship groups  with the author’s own experiences and perspectives which he feels are essential in dealing effectively with all depression symptoms.

The author founded Depressed Anonymous in 1985.

I’ll Do It When I Feel Better, 2nd Edition. (2013, 2015)
Available at Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville


Personal Stories:  A Victim In My Own Mind. Depression Is Something I Grew Up With.

I really had no idea that I had it until my Senior year in college. It started with my parent’s divorce and ended with me totally losing control over everything in my life. I couldn’t decide what career I wanted, but hated every job I could think of. I couldn’t decide what city or state to live in, so I kept moving, hoping that the next place I lived in would make me happy. Eventually, I couldn’t decide whether  I wanted to live or to die.  I cried at the drop of a hat, but still found enough rage inside to push the people I loved as far away from me as possible.

I knew that I needed help. I had been to counselors on three other times in my life, but nothing ever seemed to work or last. This time I had been in counseling for about two months. I was sick and tired of being like this. I wanted a life and I wanted to be happy. Every week, someone would notice a change in me, but I still felt the same. Then one day while watching TV (thinking thoughts at 100mph), it occurred to me that I was making myself miserable.

I had always known that I was hard on myself. I reamed myself every time something bad happened.

“Why can’t I find someone to love me?”

“Why isn’t God looking after me?”

But for some reason, when I realized that I was doing this to myself, it made me realize that maybe all I would have to do is stop doing it. All of a sudden it made sense.  If I tell myself negative thoughts, I feel negative. If I tell myself nothing, I feel nothing. So, if I tell myself positive thoughts, eventually  I’ll have to feel positive.

If you would like to read the rest of her story, and how she freed herself from depression, see the full account in: