12 Steps of Depressed Anonymous

1. We admitted we were powerless over depression —that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. We’re entirely ready to have God remove our shortcomings.

7. Humbly asked him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood him, praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all of our affairs.

© 1998-2011 Depressed Anonymous Publications . For further information, please email info@depressedanon.com.

31 thoughts on “12 Steps of Depressed Anonymous

  1. I’m interested in beginning a Depression Anonymous group in the Richmond/Rosenberg, Texas area. I want to know what I need to do to begin offering a group. I have been helped through participation in and facilitating support groups of various types over the years. I’ve dealt with depression most of my life and feel very fortunate to have been able to live a relatively healthy and productive life, with lots of support.

    • Hi Don
      Thank you for your message. Starting a group in your community would be a great gift to any community. Depression is so rampant, but it’s like who is willing to “bell the cat” so to speak, and get something started.
      By the fact that you have experience depression puts you in the position to help all those who are depressed. Also, you can serve as a moving spirit to help overcome the stigma that is attached to this human malady we call depression/melancholy.
      I do believe our website Menu directory can at least get you started in understanding who we are (DA) and what we are trying to accomplish. We are a mutual aid group and as such help persons depressed use the tools of Depressed Anonymous to gain control over their lives and attain serenity.
      As you well know, from your own experience, it takes one to know one–that is one depressed.
      When I joined another 12 step fellowship back in 1982 –the first thing I did was to read everything that I could on the subject of my being addicted to a substance which controlled my life. I was hungry to find out first of all what my problem was in living and secondly to find out what a spiritual program could do to release me from the prison of depression. And of course the selling point of any program is what happens to those who follow the way of that program. I highly encourage that you find our material listed on our website and start reading our Manual Depressed Anonymous 3rd edition as well as our Workbook–a great place to start. We also have, among other pieces of literature daily Meditational book titled Higher Thoughts for Down Days. Before one advises others to join something you need to read the material yourself before you really get started. But if you are familiar with the step then you are well on your way. Well Don, I hope this helps and not confuse and discourage you –but you seem like a man not easily discouraged and I will be happy to help you in whatever way that I can.
      Hugh Thank you for your concern!

        • Hello Maxine
          There are no DA groups presently in the area. Hopefully in the future. All it takes are two persons who want to study the Steps and by doing that would attract more persons. Thank you so much for your interest. Please keep in touch.
          Hugh

  2. I am interested in joining a similar group as yours. The only difference for me is, I am an atheist, I disbelieve in Christianity and other faiths with supernatural and fictional elements. The higher power that could help me is something that is hard to find a label for. But in the end its the lack of social life and fruitless effort having been on parties very often but failed to find true friends or girlfriends to date. I am well over thirty and my life gets more dull and meaningless every day. The little family I have is no source of comfort, rather they have dumped their crap on me all my life.
    Almost unbearable to me is the lack of prospect. I am recovering from a serious injury that has been causing inflammation and pain for years and yet I commit to so many activities to reach out to people and only watch in pain how others move on in life while I am sidelined. I balance pain and work and life as well as possible, but sometimes I cannot hide that and I cannot radiate happiness when I am taking pain killers during a time when pain levels increase. I desire to have continued doing sports as I used to, but I am dealt a lot of pain putting more than a small dose of effort in any exercise.
    I am European, but I think this problem is universal.
    I heard and read tons of advice, most of it I tried, a lot of it is bullshit. I am going to therapy once a week and it is not getting better, maybe even worse.
    I am very sensitive to rejection right now. I had been shy but I improved in that field. But I got so much rejection that I learned to recognize rejection by taking a look at a girl, if a girl looks away in a fashion that does not seem shy, or she rejected a dance, that’s fine. But I will not approach her another night, begging does not make me attractive nor does it elevate me emotionally.
    And talking about that, I only collect frowny faces when I dance lately. I am being pushed by other to try put with some girls but when I try to hook up without doing ‘too much’ and thus not putting her off I get a cold shoulder best, this is becoming increasingly painful and annoying. ON top of that, I hear crap that I need to be happy myself to generate attraction and bla bla…. Well I do not want my partner to tend to my every need or burden her with my emotional well-being. I am not a fool. This does not work.

    Please share stories with me that show how people like me got out of that. And I do not mean help of God, unless you explain me how God helps those who do not believe in it.

    I am not far from suicidal thoughts. I need something for my mind to grasp on how to change my life and how to get results with girls and people in general.
    Thank you, Sebastian

    • Perhaps your not wanting to believe in God is part of the problems you have. If you give yourself to Him, He will see you through. Please seek God so He can help you. He does exist! I have witnessed way too many things in my life to think otherwise. God does talk to us but we have to learn how to listen for His reply and be patient and trust Him.

      Here is only one example that I will share with you. Years ago when my oldest son was less than a year old he needed to undergo eye surgery or would be blind in one eye. I was scared to death that something bad might happen during the surgery. Having a young brain put under general anesthesia sacred the crap out of me. I could only think of the worst case scenarios. I prayed to God for help and I asked him to help me to be at peace with this. The day before his surgery I went to Sunday Mass, as I typically do. That Sunday the Gospel reading was the story of when Jesus placed mud on a blind man’s eyes. Jesus ordered the man to go wash his eyes. When the man returned he could see! Out of ALL the readings in the Bible that could have been read that day, why was it THAT one? No one knew my son was to have surgery the next day. The readings were determined long prior. I never look ahead to see what the next week’s readings will be. The only answer: God was telling me that it was going to be ok. I felt a huge weight lifted from me and I began to tear up as I could truly feel God was talking to ME!!! I have had MANY experiences like that. They can’t all be just a coincidence!

      I am not a prophet, or a bible thumper, or a holy roller. Just a man that has lived his life talking to God in my mind as if He was/is my best friend. I have been very fortunate so far in my life and I awe much of it to Him. Yes, I am dealing with depression and have been doing so for a long time. I do take meds for it and it helps to a degree. I know that you don’t know me from a hole in the wall. You have NOTHING to loose to give God a try. I hope that I helped you in some way.
      Peace be with you,
      Jim

      • Jim, I couldn’t have said it better. I really believe in synchronicity where certain events come together at the same time. Just a small example, among many in my life, is when I wanted to call a friend of mine with whom I had not talked with for awhile –I picked up the phone intending to call him and the phone rang– it was my friend. Simultaneous occurrences I believe don’t happen by chance even though it appears that way. What you seek, seeks you! I believe that statement is about a believing spirit in humans that produces the reality which one believes in. In other words believing is seeing.
        Orville Wright was an iconoclast–everyone around him said men couldn’t fly. Kitty hawk experience proved them wrong. Again, believing is seeing. “Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
        Hugh

    • Yes. There is one meeting every Thursday nite at Incarnation Church on 2229 Lower Hunters Trace. The meeting starts at 6:30 pm and goes to 7:30 pm. There are no fees or dues and the program is modeled after the Twelve Steps of AA. (Directions: Off of Dixie Hiway -then 2 stop lights and red brick building on right side of road. Please use MapQuest for directions. Hope to see you there.

  3. Best regard. I am writing from Medellin, Colombia. South America. We are very interested in having the opportunity to open a first group of anonymous Depressants in our city. We want to know how you can support us to obtain literature and be able to open a space for the group. Looking forward to your response. Thank you so much.
    Jorge Camero Agudelo

    • Jorge, gracias. So happy you write to us. We will support you as best we can–even thought there is a language problem(I no hable espanol).
      You can download many articles and all menu items from our website here at depressedanon.com or Depressed Anonymous. There is much material at Our Newsletter archives in which you get help on studying group formation.
      I am presently working with an amiga from S. America who is translating our major work, Depressed Anonymous into Spanish.This person lives here in Louisville, Kentucky(which is where I live). Hopefully by Christmas (2018)we will have it printed in Spanish and have it on Amazon.com so others who want to have groups such as you do, can get it to the people who are looking for spiritual help.
      May God be with you and please let me know how we can help with more detail from you and your group?
      Do you know you can also download and buy books from Amazon.com for your own? We make our books available worldwide. We have groups where I talk to them with SKYPE Always need a translator of course.
      Looking forward to your response-hope you get this letter to you. Write in Spanish and I will get it translated by Google.
      All the best and my prayers go with your new efforts for others–so many of us have been or are depressed. Depressed World!!!
      Hugo

  4. Hugo

    Best regard

    Thank you very much for your response, I have been very interested in getting all the information available to be able to open our first group based on the 12 steps of recovery. If there is the possibility that you send us all the information you can to start our group, we will be very grateful. My email is jorgecamero1@hotmail.com
    It is really necessary to have the opportunity to open a group in our city, provide a solution to the depression and be able to fulfill step 12 of taking the message to all those who need it. Here in my country there is a real need and a broad problem with the theme of depression.
    Again I am very grateful for your words and we remain attentive to your response.

    Sincerely,

    Jorge

    • Hi Stuart
      The Depressed Anonymous fellowship is planning to set one up in the near future. We will let you know when this happens. It will be an International approach as there are members globally who have been asking for this group. It will be in English (if not, I would not be able to join).
      Hugh

  5. Just did a 4th step looking at my depression. There is no one I can call, but want to work these steps, so this is my Step 5.
    Tried to be so honest with myself. My scrupulosity is such a big factor in my depression. So hard to care about the physical part of my nature–everything seems selfish. Journaled about this for about 2 hours, so JUST FOR TODAY, I’ll get thru. And that is all I have to do.
    I looked at Step 3 again. Turning my will and my liveS over to the care of God. For me, today, my “lives” are the Spiritual, emotional, as well as the physical–united in one Will that is turned over to the care of God.
    Thanks

    • Hi Charlice
      Thank you for your letter an request. Glad to hear you are on Step 5. I also would like to suggest that you consider the Home Study Kit which we provide for persons without a DA group in their area. Presently I am working with three persons with the Home Study. We include a Workbook and the DA Manual. We organize our work with emails between sponsor and the sponsee.
      The sponsor and the program is free. Your commitment to the program is crucial so that you may find reasons in yourself by using the Workbook in conjunction with the Manual.
      Also, presently I am finding that some of the groups are coming together and all are part of answering each of the questions with other members of the group and by doing that find that all of those depressed have some of the same issues.
      You might want to go to our HOme page at depressedanon.com and review some of the Blogs that have been posted these past years at our website. The most important point here Charlice is that you are not alone. Thank you so much for your willingness to give yourself good care during this difficult time with scrupulosity.
      Hope!
      Hugh

    • Hello
      To find a meeting in your community please go to the main menu at this site and locate Groups in US and outside USA. If you see there is no group listed under your State, please think about a Home Study Program. Also, please read Newsletter Archives for more information, plus all the past Posts listed here at this site. All in all, we thank you for thinking of us as a possible tool for overcoming depression.
      Hugh s.

  6. My husband has been very depressed, even with nightly dose of duloxetine, nortriptyline, clozapine. He also takes wellbutrin in the morning. He feels ok at night but couldn’t do much longer after 1pm. He is frustrated and lost all hopes, often couldn’t believe how deep his depression has become. He has come to conclude that he would never be well. He lies in bed all day and most days, except when he needs to get his blood drawn to for appointments.

  7. I have fought against depression off and on for many years without long term improvement. I finally switched doctors and found one who changed my dosage. He seems willing to listen to me and understand how I got to be where I am. I am better but would like to have a DA group to go as needed.

  8. Hi! I’m trying to reach Hugh Smith. This is Robin A Roth, one of persons who has their story published in his book. I now work with the Homeless people in Louisville and am about to undergo a project to help them with their depression and I’d like to run it by Hugh to see if he had any suggestions, comments, etc. Please have him contact me. Thanks.

    • Thank you for your message. I am happy to hear that you are working with the Homeless here in Louisville. It is no coincidence that you have contacted me–as I have been praying that God would show me a way to use my own experiences with those still suffering from depression, the Homeless in Louisville particularly. . It has been awhile since I have done group work with the Homeless–years ago at Wayside.
      Robin, I would like to learn more of your own work and I will be happy to do anything that will be a positive force for good in this area. We now have our Big BOOK in Spanish so that might be helpful in your work here.
      Hugh

    • Hello. WE have no record of any groups in San Antonio, TX. It would be wonderful but so far no takers to set up a group. If you would like to know how to get a group started–please email me at depanon@netpenny.net and I will be happy to help in any way that I am able. So, thank you for your interest and let’s see what happens from here. Hugh S.

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