Depressed Anonymous monthly online newsletter premiers Tuesday, September 8. Subscribe today!

The Depressed Anonymous online newsletter premiers tomorrow. Subscribe today and receive our informative newsletter every month in your mailbox. The newsletter will not only give you updates on our mutual aid groups  plus provide information on how to start your own group. Also, there will be information on how to do your own Home Study program if there are no face to face meetings in your locality. All in all,  we hope you take the time and subscribe to this new venture. You’ll be glad that you did.

For more information on the Home Study  program, and its component parts,  the  Depressed Anonymous manual , 3rd edition., and The Depressed Anonymous Workbook, both are available at the Depressed Anonymous bookstore. You will also find other helpful  literature, written by those of us who were depressed, at our Publications store here online.

Be sure to get your copy of the newsletter. Subscribe today!

My depression just came out of the blue

A question from the Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Step Eleven. Page  79.

Question: How do you see your depression as a compulsion?  What are the triggers that cause you to spiral downward back into the dark prison of depression?

When you think of depression do you think of it like one big thing or do you see it for the many parts  that make up a depression experience, namely, the way that we think, behave, or feel.  In other words when we make it to be a thing, that is when we reify it  — it holds power over us — like it came out of the blue  –we talk about depression in medical terms such as I just had a bout of depression — like it came from outside of us like an infectious germ or virus.  In reality, our depression is made up of many parts,  such as particular depression oriented  ways of thinking, behaving and feeling.

Question #11.1   Write down the way that you perceive your depression? Can you distinguish the various parts that go to form what we call the depression experience?

Which of the following illustrations can you best relate to?

11.2  A need to be perfect!

11.3   A need to be successful!

11.4   A need never to get angry!

11.5   A  need to have someone in my life before I feel I am somebody!

11.6    Please write down how one or more of the above keeps you down,  despairing and hopeless? Also, write about where these attitudes come from?

Sources:  Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Note: Both these books make up the Home Study Program combo. See Visit the Store for more literature that  is recommended for our 12 step fellowship.

THE BEGINNING OF MY HEALING IS WITHIN MY GRASP.

“This is the biggest challenge for those of us who are depressd.  I need to get busy with whatever is in front of me. I can panic about the fears that cross my mind and throughout the day. I also know that just as I have had some good days in the past, these are going to be there for me again. I know its irrational to think that this sadness will last forever. When I start to spiral  downward in my own sadness and self-pity I need to reach out and try to call a member of the group or my sponsor. Help is there if I want it.  (Help for most of us is located in Depressed Anonymous, 3rd ed., (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.)

Do I really want to get well?  I will do more for myself by facing the fears that scare and panic  my mind, than to run from them and hide in the comfort of not having to change the way I think, feel and live out my life. Today, I am choosing to accept the fact that I am depressed and my admission of this fact may be the beginning of my healing.”

MEDITATION

God, today let us accept the fact that we have usd our depression to keep from facing our own insecurity and that now, with your help, we will discover new ways to free ourselves from all those bars that imprison us in our depression.”

source: Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for Down Days/June 11.

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One of the best ways to overcome a difficulty is to be part of a group where others like ourselves are facing the pain and sharing ways to escape the prison of depression.   Read the book (Depressed Anonymous) that is being used by many to help release themselves and others from  feeling worthless and unacceptable. By going one step at a time you will learn, what many of us have learned and have utilized, that life only gets better. You have an opportunity to use the Home Study Program if there is no group in your locale. Who knows, you might want to start your own group.

“I NEVER KNEW THAT THERE WAS A TWELVE STEP GROUP FOR DEPRESSION”

What a surprise, for those who search on Google for groups that help people with depression. Just the other day someone mentioned that they came upon our group by accident and were not aware that there was a group focused solely on depression.  There are groups which help all sorts of maladies, including depression, but as far as we know there are not many whose sole focus  centers on depression and who use the suggested spiritual recovery program of the Twelve Steps for  a solution. But, here we are, DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS.

If you would like to learn more about our group please keep on reading the articles/BLOGS which appear on our website menu. It is here that you can find  information about who we are and what we do. Presently, we are trying to help others start their own DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS and if there are no groups in your locale you can use the HOME STUDY PROGRAM which can help you start your own mutual aid group. The HOME STUDY PROGRAM utilizes the DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS MANUAL along with THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS WORKBOOK.  It only takes  yourself and one other person to form a group. If you would like more information about our Twelve Step approach to depression please read more about our DA literature  available at the Website store.

HELP IS ONLY A KEYBOARD CLICK AWAY!

For many of you who are scouring our website for a Depressed Anonymous group in your location, you will find that there are none. This is what made this  WordPress BLOG site so necessary for the formation and development of groups around the globe. Truly, we are only a keyboard click away for those who are seeking help with their own depression or the depression of friend or family member. The beauty of this Twelve Step program deals specifically with the human angst of depression by using the spiritual principles of the  Steps. To date, persons representing over  70 national groups, have visited our website resulting in over 14,000 hits since August of 2014. And the best scenario for getting  started on one’s own recovery is, of course, the face to face group. Those persons who have set up groups in their own location, around the world, are most fortunate to have those persons who take up the challenge of getting a group started. But, not all of us are able to do that. Just the thought of starting a group is overwhelming I know. Just getting out of bed is an almost Hurculean effort for those of us depressed. So, what can we do? You can start your own Depressed Anonymous HOME STUDY PROGRAM. This process of using the DA Manual and Workbook together is a format used by some of our groups at their  face to face meetings.

Depressed Anonymous Publications has offered different ways to get our material. A person can download our combo set of our main Depressed Anonymous plus the Depressed Anonymous Workbook off the website bookstore. This makes it possible to print out these two major works immediately on your home  computer printer. This is also the least expensive. Then you can order the DA Manual and Workbook together off of our own website www.depressedanon.com  or at AMAZON.COM. We also have other pieces of literature written by persons like ourselves, who once were depressed and now, thanks to our recovery program and the Steps, one is  no longer shackled by the isolating prison of depression.

SO, once you do click onto our site, check out all the website Menu offerings, where you can get a true picture of who we are, and what we do. You may like to download the many pages of info about our program onto your own computer and print it out  as you prepare to set up your own group in your own community. Help yourself while helping others.

“TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE.”

“To  thine own self be true.”  is an old axiom that has much merit for those of us who work the spiritual  program of the Twelve Steps.    Often in therapy I ask people to list as many strengths as they can, and for some this is a difficult task when they are depressed and the world appears to be a grey and fearsome dark place.  But this is a n inventory that we must make– we must begin to look at  our strengths and stop wallowing in the self-pity which denies the new directions and progress occurring in our lives through the life of our depression, namely that we can’t seem to see the gracious goodness in ourselves that has been placed there for all time by the Higher Power. This in itself is the attitude that keeps alive our depression, sadness and self-deprecating attitudes.  We need to look at our assets and list our strengths as we gather together time after time in our Depressed Anonymous group or our individual working ( HOME STUDY PROGRAM)  of the Twelve Step program  in our lives.  We  need to remove as quickly as possible all the old excuses and reasons that we cling to which  keep us depressed and out of healthful recovery. Let’s be objective about ourselves and admit that just as we possibly have caused ourselves to be depressed, we likewise can un-depress ourselves in the same way.”

SOURCE: DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS, (3rd Edition, 2011).. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky 40217. (p. 56)

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Only when I had taken a complete inventory of my own life (Step Four) did I realize that certain ways of personal  thinking, feeling and behaviors gradually spiraled me physically into the painful pit of my own personally  manufactured  melancholia. (Some depression experiences can also be the result of physical illness/diseases. That is why it is best to talk to a medical professional before we diagnose ourselves. )  Now here is the part that people can’t quite understand –that we caused ourselves to be depressed. How could that be? Why would I want to cause myself so much pain? Good question. The real issue here is that I discovered over time that because of emotional issues that were mine, mostly unpleasant to reflect upon, such as guilt, shame producing isolation from family, friends and the world, plus the grief over lost employment and relationships. And then, because of this continued mental and emotional beating myself up it all came crashing down  as no longer could I think of anything but disaster, grief  and gloom. I became paralyzed emotionally, physically and spiritually and mentally. My body responded by not responding so that in time it was a battle just to get out of bed. So, there you have it. I caused all this by the way I thought about myself. In Step Four I was able to take each issue by itself and then to see how I might restore myself before my experience with depression. I learned how to un-depress myself. Remember, most of the things that come “out of the blue” are  the rain, snow and lightening. And now that I know where my melancholia originated and why, I am un-depressed today.

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“DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS HAS BEEN THE ULTIMATE KEY….”

Depressed Anonymous has been the ultimate key to a largely successful life for me. Prior to entering the program, I had  no money, no driver’s license, and had dropped  out of college due to poor grades and a nervous breakdown for which I was hospitalized. I had not then worked Step One because I wasn’t aware that I was powerless over depression, that my life was as disorganized as the mess in my closet.

During my first night in the hospital, a member informed me of a support group known as Depressed Anonymous. I decided to give it a try.  By telling me about this wonderful, miraculous, and very spiritual program, this person had not only worked the Twelfth Step (see site Menu for 12 steps), but had also given me a key, a key which would open many doors for me. Walking through these doors was like admitting defeat. I was playing first base in a ball game in which I would eventually win. If I struck out, I was back on Step One. By playing ball with a positive attitude, I was allowing my Higher  Power to walk the Steps to recovery with me. With the help and the positive sense of fellowship that I enjoyed in the group, I began to understand God’s will for me. With the love, support, and true fellowship of three faithful members in the group, I began working on my driver’s license, which had been another step toward independence for me. Within a year, I earned my license when two members of the group took me in for my road test. A new sunnier life had begun for me. The worst  was finally over.”   Lena.

To read the full inspiring account of Lena’s recovery go to Personal Stories in Depressed Anonymous, THIRD EDITION, Depressed  Anonymous Publications, Louisville KY, P.113. If you do not have a Depressed Anonymous group in your area, you can begin your own personal  recovery program by clicking onto Visit The Store here at this site and  order your own HOME STUDY PROGRAM. This program includes a Step by step Workbook and Manual You definitely will be glad that you did.

The great benefit of making use of our literature here at Depressed Anonymous is that ALL our material is written by those of us who actually have been depressed –been there & done that –and now offer you  a tool box filled with our own treasured ways to leave the prison of depression. You can browse through all our literature and find the help and hope you are looking for. You can always give us a call   (VoiceMail 502.569.1989) and get some real life help that you may be seeking.

“WE NEVER APOLOGIZE TO ANYONE FOR DEPENDING UPON OUR CREATOR.”

In an effort to promote a spiritual sixth sense in ourselves as is discussed in Alcoholics Anonymous, we find that what is applicable to one addiction is also applicable to all  addictions. One enlarges their  personal  belief that there is a Force in our universe  which is bigger than ourselves. And as Step Three states in Depressed Anonymous , “We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood God to be.”

“As God’s people we stand on our feet; we don’t crawl  before anyone.” AA Big Book (p.83).

”  We never apologize to anyone for depending upon our creator. We can laugh at those who think spirituality the  way of weakness.  Paradoxically, it is the way of strength. The verdict of the ages is that faith means courage. All men of faith have courage.  They trust their God. We never apologize for God. Instead we let Him demonstrate, though us, what He can do.  We ask Him to remove our fear and direct our attention to what He would have us to be.  At once, we commence  to outgrow fear.”

AA  Big  Book, page 68.

“Joel Goldsmith a spiritual writer contends that the more we gain  this consciousness of God’s presence you have the whole secret of success in every walk of life.” He continues to remind us that  “there is an invisible bond between all of us. We are not on earth to get from one another, but to share those spiritual treasures which are of God.  Our interest in each other is, in truth purely spiritual. Our purpose in life is the unfolding of the spirit within..” (Goldsmith, Joel. The Infinite Way. Pages 145-146).

DEVELOPING THE VITAL SIXTH SENSE

“Much  has already been said about receiving strength, inspiration, and direction from Him who has knowledge and power. If we have carefully followed directions, we have begun to sense the flow of His Spirit into us. To some extent we have became God-conscious. We have begun to develop this vital sixth sense. But we must go further and that means more action.”  AA Big Book (p.85).

“…We now believe that we can tap into this God consciousness and let it unfold its plan, its purpose and mission for our life. It will not plan something small and insignificant but will, by small steps, lead us, cause to unfold in our lives what it has for us to accomplish”  I’ll do it when I feel Better. (p.45).

If we stick to the spiritual plan that God gradually reveals to us in the quiet moments of our reflection and meditation we can grab hold of the power of the Twelve Steps –integrating each one of the Steps into our consciousness –and moving out of the dark into the light. To accomplish this saving process of recovery we recommend the HOME STUDY PROGRAM and/or a Depressed Anonymous in one’s own community.

ARE YOU READY?

That’s right, I am ready for a life turn-around.. I am not a victim.  The First step of Depressed Anonymous says “We admitted that we were powerless over depression and that our lives had become unmanageable. ”  We know and believe how we are no longer victims. Instead, we are learning how to be survivors, and much more. We refuse to be victims.”

Now that I have admitted that I am powerless over my depression and that I don’t do myself any good blaming myself with those daily reminders of how bad and unacceptable I am. I now am conscious of a new path out of my misery.”  BELIEVING IS SEEING: 15 WAYS TO LEAVE THE PRISON OF DEPRESSION.  Smith, Hugh (  2014) DAP, Louisville, Ky  40217 (p.54).

One of the best parts of being a member of Depressed Anonymous (Online or f2f group) is that we don’t have to be alone if we don’t want to be. That might sound strange to some of us but we have to admit that what keeps us depressed is our need to keep apart from others…to remain disconnected and isolated.  We have a need to be by ourselves and to stay apart from human contact.  For to be in contact with others means that we will have to take some risks and to make some  choices. But when I am depressed and alone I don’t have to make many choices or take any action except to keep isolating myself and staying apart.” THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS WORKBOOK. DAP. Louisville, KY  40217. (p.4)

Until I could put a label on the feelings of pain, shame and need to be isolated from others — all I could do was to think how hollow and empty I continued to feel. And, the feelings grew stronger day by day…”  I had to make a decision. I had to do something. I believe that this is where many of us begin our journey out of depression. We know we have to do something. We will not just lie down and die. We will not be a victim.

As it states in our Big Book, DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS, (3rd edition ) 2011. (p31).

” But don’t get me wrong – I do not  believe that you can snap out of your depression or suddenly and dramatically get your life turned around by going to one Depressed Anonymous meeting or reading the Twelve Steps five times an hour. We know it just doesn’t happen that way, especially if you have lived with your depression any length of time…”

So, here we are. Decision time. What to do and where to go to find help. For myself and others, I have found it in a program of recovery that works (HOME STUDY PROGRAM AND/OR DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS MEETINGS)). It works for me. It has provided me with a “tool box ” of  ways where I gradually can loosen up the tight and deadly grip of depression on  my life and begin to live with the belief that I am going to get  better and feel differently. ARE YOU READY?

ALL OR NOTHING.

ALL OR NOTHING

“During acute depression, avoid trying to set your whole life in order all at once.  If you take on assignments so heavy that you are sure to fail in them at the moment, then you  are allowing yourself to be tricked by your unconscious. Thus you will continue to make sure of your failure, and when it comes you will have  another alibi for still more retreat into depression.

“in short, the ‘:all or nothing’ attitude is a most destructive one. It is best to begin with whatever the irreducible minimums of activity are. Then work for an enlargement of these –day by day. Don’t be disconcerted by setbacks – just start over.”  Bill W., As Bill Sees it. (p.308)

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I know  about this “all or nothing ” experience. It was really made manifest in my daily study of the Twelve Steps and writing down my thoughts in my journal. Now I use the HOME STUDY PROGRAM, which lets me go at my own speed and examine my own life in relationship to the Steps as spelled out in the Depressed Anonymous Manual and  with questions asked in the Depressed Anonymous Workbook. Together,  these really have helped me focus on one piece of the puzzle at a time. When I first entered the Twelve Step fellowship I wanted to devour everything there was to know about addictions in one big gulp.  Gradually I learned that if I took my time, read the literature and continued to use Workbook and Manual one day at a time, that my life began to have that promised serenity and a hope that continues to this day.

“I find the insights of Bill W., to be at the cutting edge of whether or not a person depressed gets better or just simply gets., that is,  gets more isolated and disconnected from life.  Many hurting folks come to  Depressed Anonymous with the mistaken belief that they are coming to a class; while there, someone will teach them about how to quickly get out of their depression. They want a quick fix and then get right back to living the way they used to – never realizing that they have to do some work on themselves if they indeed want to stay free of depression…” DEPRESSED ONCE – NOT TWICE.