What are the triggers that spiral you downward into depression?

Question: How do you see your depression as a compulsion? What are the triggers that cause you to spiral downward back into the dark pit 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 comes 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 our  negative ways of thinking, behaviors and feelings.”

The  Depressed Anonymous Workbook,  asks us an assortment of questions which  can  reveal to us the various parts that  form   our depression experience.

The following questions as proposed by the Workbook,  will help you to distinguish  those various parts and ultimately to their dismantling.

Which of the following illustrations can you relate to as being a part of your daily living and thinking?

  1. A need to be perfect?
  2. A need to be successful
  3. A need to please others?
  4. A need to never get angry?
  5. A need to have someone in my life love me before I feel like somebody?
  6. A need to always put myself down and think thoughts that I am worthless, and unacceptable to myself and to others.

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

As we move from one question (from the Depressed Anonymous Workbook) to the next, we will begin to find a way to remove these negatives from our daily behavior.

This week, we will begin to take a deeper  look at some of these parts and how they can cause us to be isolated and depressed. Keep coming back and learn more about yourself and ways to be free!

Hugh

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SOURCES:   (c) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook, Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY. Pgs. 79-80

(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

(c) The Home Study Program of Recovery. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY

  VISIT THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS BOOKSTORE for information on the above publications  plus how to order online.

How can I change if I am depressed?

Has depression distorted us from the truths of life, namely that life is to be lived with hope and serenity.  Nursing along a good habit can in time  wean us from old and debilitating habits of thought and behavior. We want to daily fill our day with the gratitude that we are in deed getting better and that the trust that we have is indeed placed in our Higher Power.

In order for us to change and In order for us to escape depression, we need to begin to be aware of the process of how people change. This process for change is of the nature of a spiral  instead of a straight line. In other words, now that we are willing to risk feeling differently, we have been gearing up to improve our situation. In other words, we are making a very important decision right now about our lives.

1. Awareness stage: We become conscious that we can’t go on feeling the way we do. Something has to give.

2. Motivating stage: I am going to prepare myself for needed changes in my thinking, acting and feeling.

3. Doing stage: I am going to take charge and be responsible for positive changes that have to be  made by me if I am going to feel better and differently.

4. Maintaining stage: I will continue to seek out and sustain my recovery with people, concepts and my personal working the 12 Step program of recovery.

 

I believe that it is when we begin to understand the process of the 12 steps begin the important process of enlarging our awareness of our own depression experience and slowly learn how to apply them  to our daily lives. This awareness will place us directly in a recovery program, using the formula for success in overcoming depression.

We highly recommend that anyone who wants to escape depression   begin to study our program of recovery as outlined in our Manual DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS and begin to question oneself as to how, when  and what began the spiraling downward into despair  of our own depression. Our Workbook, is the greatest tool in unearthing  the ways   that put us in the place that we are today.  We  do this by gradually working our way out of this maze of problems and situations that   shackled and immobilized us day after day.

The more attention that we give to how we got where we are today, the more we will be motivated to continue our quest to use the tools provided by Depressed Anonymous. Once we get busy with the work of understanding how depression works, the more we will find ourselves  motivated to get free of our life of hopelessness.

 

 

 

SOURCE:  The Depressed Anonymous Workbook, (2001, 2017) . DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS. Louisville. PAGE 41.

“I will focus daily on my stars and not my scars.”

The ELEVENTH WAY to leave the prison of depression: An  excerpt from  Believing is seeing: 15 Ways to leave the prison of depression. Depressed Anonymous Publications. (2015) Louisville.

“I will make a daily inventory of all my positive strengths.  I tended to magnify the worst in everything in my life and make mountains out of molehills. I will focus on my stars and not my scars.”

One of the problems of being depressed is that every circumstance and situation is filled with potential hurt and disappointment.  The depressed person has a tendency to think in patterns of despair, hurt and disappointment. It appears to be a proven fact that the more a person keeps the fears and anxious thoughts to themselves, this can cause the mountain to  grow larger. But by sharing these fears and thoughts with others, either by writing them out, as in a daily journal, or group  discussion, we soon discover that our fears are  not as big as we thought. The expression of fear many times  decreases the size of the fear. Now that we are accepting ourselves we can begin to see that we possess strength and a persistence to tackle whatever obstacle lies ahead.”

ACTION PLAN: Take your pen and /or pencil and begin writing your  thoughts  down in response to the questions posed in THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS WORKBOOK. You can find questions that not only help you discover what your strengths are but also how to put these strengths to use in your own personal recovery.

SOURCES:   (c) Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 57-58.

(c) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

For information on ordering publications please VISIT THE STORE here at our site. You’ll be happy that you have found someone who writes about their own journey and struggles with depression.

 

…change always involves uncertainty.

 

   Dorothy Rowe wrote:

“Dangers, perhaps even greater dangers, threaten you if you if you leave your prison of depression for the ordinary world. There you might have to change, and change always involves uncertainty. The good thing about being depressed is that you can make every day be the same. You can be sure of what is going to happen. You can ward off all those people and events that expect a response from  you. Your prison life has a regular routine, and like any long term prisoner, you grow accustomed to the jail security and predictability. The prison of depression may not be comfortable, but at least it is safe.”

In Depressed Anonymous we read that:

“We believe that to be conscious is to have been able first of all to listen to someone or something that expresses God’s desire to free us from our misery as soon as we are willing to turn  our minds and our wills over to it. Somewhere along the way, we were convinced that the only safe way to make this life bearable and predictable was to continually sadden ourselves, withdraw into our little shell  (prison) and make sure that our own small world was completely under our control. It was a perfect little world, this world of ours. It was dark, gloomy and painful, but at least we knew what we had. It is this predictableness that makes life inescapably hell for all of us, even though we’d rather have this than the total surprise of living.”

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COMMENT:  One of the things about this life is that it is hard to predict. We call this the  surprise of living. And for us to really get into living we have to face the fact that it is unpredictable. We must give up trying to control other people in our lives.

I have found that the spirit of mutuality which permeates all mutual aid groups, such as our own Depressed Anonymous fellowship, promotes that feeling of security which enables us to live with all sorts of unpredictability. We look forward to living our life,  with whatever comes. “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” Step Two of Depressed Anonymous.

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SOURCES: #11.19  in The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Page 84.

Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 97. Step Eleven.

NOTE: These two books, The Depressed Anonymous Workbook and Depressed  Anonymous,3rd edition, can be purchased together as the HOME STUDY KIT. Please VISIT THE STORE on how to order.

Tom had a problem.

“Tom asked why we needed Step Four in our recovery which states that “we made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”  He said that he was depressed and didn’t need anything else to make him feel worse – like dredging up things that he might have done in the past. Why, Tom wondered, should he resurrect old ghosts?  Anyway, when we spoke about a moral inventory it reminded him of religion with its “do’s and  “don’ts ” with special emphasis on the “don’ts.”  Tom said he came into Depressed Anonymous to learn about what was making him depressed and that he didn’t need anything else to make him feel guilty or sadder.

Some people think that for a person to dredge up old hurts and wrongs will make them that much more depressed. I guess it depends on what type of stuff we put on our inventory. The following list will help  our sadness persist: our perfectionism, our need to control our fears, guilt, shame or resentments, dishonesty, selfishness, passivity, anger, indecisiveness,  fear of change or finally the inability to live with uncertainty. When we begin to ask God for help in removing these areas from our live, this asking for help  will not make us more depressed – it will in fact make us more hopeful. In Step Three we said we make a decision. This means just that and not just a promise as it says in the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book.  When we begin to surrender our will and our life to the Higher Power and are willing to expose our  effects to others in the group, it is then that our life may be able to take on a peace coupled with new purpose. This really is an essential and necessary step that has to be taken if we want to leave our prison  of depression behind.”  SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 53.

In our Depressed Anonymous Workbook, which coordinates each of the Twelve Steps, with its questions and answers coordinated with the individual Twelve  Step commentaries in the Depressed Anonymous big book, we can  discover who we are and  how we became the way we are.

Here we can deepen our awareness of what makes us who we are by continuing our search by means of those questions put forward in our Depressed Anonymous Workbook. Because of the essential nature of the inventory procedure as outlined in our personal recovery program, an individual will see  that their own openness to the process will provide  them with a wealth of hope and serenity.

Working the 4th Step is like coming home a different  route.  It is a path that is filled with signposts that point us in a  different direction than where we are used to going. And for many of us this is in a different direction than where we are used to going. And for many of us this is the first time that we are really intent upon taking a good hard look at who we are. This taking inventory of ourselves has much to do with our loving ourselves and making ourselves open to a new path and feeling different.” The Depressed Anonymous Workbook, (2002). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.  The 4th Step, Page 24.

–For more information on this Group/Home Study Kit and how to order it, please VISIT THE STORE.  Both Workbook and the Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition, comprise our Study Kit. One can order all literature online.

MORE TOMORROW ABOUT THE 4TH STEP.

Asking the right questions delivers some important answers!

QUESTION #1

”  Now that I have admitted  I am having a difficult time living I want to learn some new avenues that will make my life more enjoyable and much more livable.

Some of the major ways people help build the walls of their depression  are to consider themselves worthless, won’t allow themselves to be angry, they can’t forgive themselves or others, and they believe that  life is hard and death is worse. Also, they believe that since bad things happened to them in the past, bad thigs will happen to them in the future.”

The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) DAP. Page 7. Question 1.2

Respond how you might relate to the statement above. The five immutable beliefs as Dorothy Rowe calls them, are part of so many persons depression and they aren’t even aware that these beliefs  have anything to do with their depression experience.

YOUR ANSWER HERE

QUESTION #2

” What kind of meaning do you need to find which would enable you to master your experience  and so allow you to get on with your life? “The Depression Handbook. Dorothy Rowe. Page 318.

YOUR ANSWER HERE

QUESTION # 3

” What  have you learned from your experience of depression which you feel would be helpful to other people?” Dorothy Rowe, in the Depression Handbook. Page 318.

YOUR ANSWER HERE

To thine own self first be true. Honesty is the best policy.

“If I were asked what in my opinion was the most important factor in being successful in the program besides following the Twelve Steps, I would say  honesty. And the most important person to be honest with is yourself…(Bill W., cofounder of AA )

And now back to our Depressed Anonymous Workbook where we continue to clarify our  thinking about the individual Steps and our relationship to them,. We are presently focusing on Step Eleven. (See: The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville)

   Step  Eleven  states “Sought  through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understand God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry it out.”

The following are some questions that you may like to ask yourselves as you continue walking on the path to freedom. In question 12. 9  We are asked  an answer for the following question:  How  has your honesty with yourself made your life more free and more fulfilled with hopeWrite down the areas of your life where you feel your honesty has paid the richest dividends? How has honesty made your life less needful of pleasing others so that  they will like you more?

  Your response here.

12.10 How does our own honesty help us carry the message to others still hurting?

Your response here.

Stick to the plan!

Stick to the plan!  This is especially relevant for those of us who  try and live one day at a time.  I have found that by doing the same thing everyday, and in the same place everyday, that this in itself will provide the incentive to keep doing   the next right thing.  Doing the next right thing  will be the motivating power to get moving on our own recovery.  For many of us, we have found  that we have an established plan for our recovery in the HOME STUDY PROGRAM. Without a doubt, I have found that once we have felt a strong need to move out of the isolating deadness of depression, we no longer have to wait for something to happen, be that with  a prescribed medication or a twice a month or monthly therapy visit.  What do we do in the meantime with all this pain? What do we do til the medications kick in? Everyone knows that nothing happens over night. But something can happen  when we  do the same thing over and over again, every day,  Once we commit ourselves to the belief that something good can happen, especially with a concrete plan laid out before us, then change can happen. I know. Been there done that.

The Fellowship of Depressed Anonymous has developed an excellent toolkit for those of us who want a daily plan — a way to take our recovery a step at a time. We no longer have to wait to see if something happens, either with a medication or a therapy session. Don’t get me wrong, these are all possible routes to recovery, but why not do something that works in the meantime? There is a way out and the HOME STUDY PROGRAM provides just the right tools to give us insights as to how we got where we are today, namely depressed, and then provides ongoing insights for leaving our depression behind.

The two great resources in our “toolbox” is the Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition manual. This is the book written by those of us who were depressed and who wrote out our own reflections for each one of the 12 Steps. This exercise took 12 weeks of discussion by our  newly formed Depressed Anonymous group –no psychobabble here –just people like you and me sharing how the Steps had freed us from the bondage of isolation and despair.

Because not everyone was able to have a Depressed Anonymous fellowship in their community we saw a critical need for this Depressed Anonymous program of recovery to be used by any and all who were committed to leaving the prison of their depression. It was later that we developed The Depressed Anonymous Workbook that is used in conjunction with the DA Manual. So that is how the HOME STUDY kit  was developed. A person, possibly like yourself, can utilize a daily plan of action not only to help understand the nature of the depression process  but it likewise can help you answer questions about your own experiences. The two works, in combination, will enable you to clarify your own thoughts about how you got where you are today and then using the Steps to get where you want to be — depression free. Let’s be honest here, we all know that if we want to get out of the depression isolation it will take work and time.

To find out more about a program that works please visit the store and find out how to order this “toolkit” of recovery. You might also want to check our website to see if there is a group near you.

Stick to the plan! Do the next right thing. Get involved in your own recovery. You can do it. Just do it!

SOURCES:  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition.(2011) Depressed Anonymous  Publications.  Louisville.

The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2015) Depressed Anonymous

Publications Louisville.

The solution-focused journey out of depression.

Solution-focused is not only a description of a particular type of therapy but is likewise an apt description of the work that is done when one becomes  a member of the Depressed Anonymous fellowship. The Twelve Steps of Depressed Anonymous present to those still “suffering from depression” positive solutions for the overcoming of their own feelings of worthlessness and despair.

By using the Steps you can begin to take the journey that will change your life, your feelings  and your relationship with the world inside yourself as well as the world in which you live.

Step Twelve  tells us that  “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.”

And, that is why we do what we do. Now that we have admitted we had a problem, turned our life over to something bigger than ourselves,  cleared away the rubbish of lives that kept  us imprisoned  (fears, guilt, isolation), we gained a freedom to live everyday in the solution of hope and serenity.

Try the solution! See if our program will work for you. It’s already restored thousands of lives and families.

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VISIT the STORE and check out the HOME STUDY PROGRAM, and order it today.    The solution-focused program consists of The DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS WORKBOOK,(2001), and  DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS, 3rd edition. (2011).Both books  and all our literature is written by those of us who have been depressed and who  now live a daily life of hope.

All we have to lose is our misery!

6 ways to help you through depression.

1) Don’t bottle things up: if you’ve recently had some bad news, or a  major upset in your life, try to tell people close to you about it and how it feels.  It helps re-live the painful experience several times, to have a good cry, and talk things through. This is part of the mind’s natural healing mechanism.

2)  Do something: get out of doors for some exercise, if even for only a long walk. This will enable you to keep physically fit, and you may sleep better…This will help you take your mind off those painful feelings which only make you  more depressed when allowed to sweep over you.

3) Eat a good balanced diet: even though you may not feel like eating. Fresh fruits and vegetables are especially recommended. People with severe depression can lose weight and run low in vitamins, which only makes matters worse.

4) Resist the temptation to drown your sorrows. Alcohol, actually depresses mood, so while it may give you immediate relief, this is very temporary and you may end up more depressed that ever.

5) Don’t get into a state of not sleeping. Listening to the radio or watching TV (it’s on all night now!) while you’re resting your body will still help, even if you are not actually asleep, and you may find that you drop off because you’re no longer worrying about not doing so!

6) Remind yourself that you are suffering from depression –something which many other people have gone through — and that you will eventually come out of it, as they did, even though it does not feel like it at the time. Depression can even be a useful experience, in that some people emerge stronger and better able to cope than before.  Situations and relationships may be seen more clearly, and you may now have the strength and the  wisdom to make important decisions and changes in your life which you were unable to do before.”

Source:  Depression: P.9. Pamphlet published as a service to the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

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I find these 6 ways as very helpful for anyone making a choice to change their behavior, the way they  feel and the way they think. With a fellowship of like minded persons, such as Depressed Anonymous,  there is a greater capacity to make better choices as well as to learn ways to gradually move out of the bondage of depression.

Sources: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition.(2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

  The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2001) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.