Is depression an addiction?

At the weekly Depressed Anonymous meetings there stirs a glimmer of hope for the saddict  as he/she begins to encounter others like themselves at group meetings.  It is a bigger payoff for the saddict  to gradually believe that  the recovering members  of the Depressed Anonymous group are holding out a hope that can be theirs if only they would depend on the serenity of the members of the group rather than depend on the long time comfort of their addiction.

“Whether it is therapy or not, addicts improve when their relationships to work, family, and other aspects of their environment improve. Addicts  have come to count on the regular reward they get from their addictive involvement.  They can give up these rewards when they believe they will find superior gratifications from other activities such as  the DA meetings  in the regular fiber of their lives. Therapy helps this process by focusing on external rewards and assisting addicts in conceptualizing these rewards and obtaining them. What any rewards therapy itself produces must be regarded as intermediate and time limited, as a passage to the stable, environmental rewards that are necessary to create  a non addictive equilibrium in people’s lives. Only when such everyday but potent  reinforcements are firmly in place is an addiction cured. ”  Source: The Meaning of Addiction: Experience and its interpretation. Stanton Peale. Lexington Books. Lexington,  MA, 1988. p,55.

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SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. (2011) Louisville. Appendix  Is depression an addiction?

I GOTTA BE ME! I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR ME.

” The sanity of the Twelve Step program is what will eventually help you change how you look at yourself and your experience of depression. The program shows that just because you have always felt miserable is no reason to remain miserable for the rest of your life. The sanity of placing your trust in a Power greater than yourself opens up great possibilities for your personal happiness  and success. If you have felt that you have  to be in total control of every situation in your life, then coming to believe in a power greater than yourself might be a frightening experience.    What would happen if suddenly you couldn’t control your unhappy situation with the comfort of sadness or self-pity?  Haven’t our sadness and thoughts of unworthiness been our last refuge from having to face ourselves, take charge and accept responsibility for  our own lives?

The escape into feelings of worthlessness and resignation over my depressing feelings is no longer an acceptable way for me to delay the hard choice of being responsible for me.  This statement is not made to make you feel guilty but only to help you see that, with time and by working the Twelve Steps on a daily basis and having the ongoing fellowship and support of the Depressed Anonymous group, you can begin to choose a way out!”

SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 42-43.

EMPOWERMENT AND PREVENTION

Being part of a group gives a sense of empowerment

Depression is a horrible experience. I believe that it is truly a defense, as Dorothy Rowe claims. It is more a defense which we have learned how to use, many of us, since our childhood days. It is more a defense than a disease.  Too often persons depressed come to me  and say that their depression really is a comfort because it protects them from something far worse than what they have.  They would hardly call a disease a comfort. I wonder what goes through a person’s mind when they learn that persons much like themselves are gaining strength from persons just like themselves. I talk with  them about Depressed Anonymous. They seem interested. They tell me that they will attempt to make a meeting.  They are hurting so bad that they are willing to learn – to come and see – to experience first hand how being part of a group may give them a sense of empowerment — a sense that they have it within themselves to gain an exit from the prison of their depression.

EMPOWERMENT AND PREVENTION

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Copyright(c) Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2015) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville Page 112.

SHINING A LIGHT ON THE DARK NIGHT…

Today we have made a big step in that we admitted that you, me,  all of us are here to learn how to brighten up our life and begin to take greater responsibility for the way we feel, think and act. We all know that if we want to have the light and warmth of life then  we will have to risk the unpredictable. We have to face the uncertain future. And as we all know, this is the nature of depression in that it predicts sameness and the unending hell that we have experienced, day after day for months and for many years. And as strange as it may sound –for some, the sameness and the predictability of depression is sort of a comfort.  At least we know what we got.

Today, we will take every advantage for discovering how to begin to take full responsibility for our own lives  and how to become hopeful, and help ourselves out of the prison that we have constructed for ourselves over the years.”

“…By diagnosing the problem, and providing a solution and providing a practical plan for getting out of our depression we now can be free of the depression that has imprisoned us for so long.

As we go about attempting to shed some light on our own personal darkness –on our own symptoms of depression –we will gradually begin  to see that we must now hold some different beliefs about ourselves  – -some immutable beliefs which have hindered our development as hope filled happy people. Now,  once we learn what these are and how they defined us these many years we can become free.

We will learn to take responsibility for our lives and our behavior. ”

Source: Shining a light on the dark night of the soul. (1999) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. Pages 2-3.

Tomorrow 5/25/15 we will list the six immutable beliefs which may have held  us behind the bars of depression.

MORE THAN C0MFORT

When I am feeling depressed, I repeat to myself statements such as these…”Pain is the touchstone of progress.”…”I fear no evil.” …”This, too will pass.” … “This experience can be turned to benefit.”

These fragments of prayer bring far more than mere comfort. They keep me on the track of right acceptance; they break up my compulsive themes of guilt, depression, rebellion, and pride; and sometimes they endow me with the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Bill W., writing in Grapevine, March 1962.

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My mantra, personally,  is the Serenity Prayer.

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