I was beginning to feel better, my sad mood was lifting and then my mind’s critic whispered, “Yea, but it won’t last!”

The mind’s inner critic has it all figured out. It had always been this way, especially the past year and a half. Always the negative verdict. No clemency here. I felt that I was doomed, never able to climb out of the hole that swallowed me alive.

When I felt the lightness in my mood it came as a total surprise. I had been walking for over a year and then suddenly I felt that there might be a light at the end of the tunnel. I know I had paid my dues to whatever it was that had me immobilized in fear and fatigue.

The inner critic in my mind made sure to let me know that this short spell of an upward positive mood was to be short-lived. “It isn’t going to last” was a thought like all the other negative thoughts that continually filled my mind. In fact it wasn’t until a few days later, that the positive mood took over completely and has stayed with me to this day.

My life changed from night to day. I could not believe that I was feeling like my old self, hopeful and filed with plans for the future. Instead of every thought spiraling me downward into the abyss, I was looking toward each new day with hope. My positive mood was deepening.

One final word. Then I became a member of Depressed Anonymous where I could share my story of hope and recovery. In fact, many times when I shared my story with the group, some of our members would tell me that it felt like I was telling “THEIR” story.

And now when reading a piece of my own story, I do hope that you join us online where we meet everyday and hear how our program of recovery is filled with solutions – it is a solution focused program – where group members gradually find a way out of depression. Depressed Anonymous has provided me with a key -the 12 Steps- for turning my life around and provided me with a plan. This plan not only works for me, but provides healing for those countless other lives who learn how to make the positive choices to live with hope and be part of a fellowship.

Please click onto our website at https://www.depressedanon.com where you will not only find answers for some of your own life’s challenges, but also be part of a community with those persons who live out recovery in their own daily lives.

For more information please check out the literature offered for our friends at The Depressed Anonymous Publications site. Our manual, Depressed Anonymous, the 3rd edition, is the book that is our guide for personal reflections as well a group discussion recovery guide.
Also, please join an online daily DA group at https://join.skype.com/EfjQ2rGUOEPv Depressed Anonymous Journey of Hope. We hope to see you there.

Dep-Anon: A 12 Step Recovery Program for families and friends of the depressed

Dep-Anon, a new publication from Depressed Anonymous Publications will be available this month and serve as a support group guide for family members who have a loved one whose life is affected by depression.
Here, you will learn how the various symptoms of depression can overtake the mind and feelings of your loved one. The chapter What is Depression? provides examples of behaviors demonstrating how negative symptoms can immobilize and change your loved one.
You will join with others families, no longer feeling alone, using the tools of Dep-Anon. You can learn how the spiritual principles of the 12 Steps, applied to one’s own situation, will accompany you through every chapter of this new work.
A new feeling of hope will begin to take hold as you participate in Dep-Anon meetings. You will learn from other Dep-Anon family members how to take care of yourself. Your focus begins with yourself and not the depressed family member. You will find that you can only change yourself.

To thine own self first be true.

This week stayed tuned to this website https://www.depressedanon.com where you will be able to order your own copy or order one for a family member.
Copyright(c) Dep-Anon A 12 Step recovery program of recovery for families and friends of the depressed.
(2121) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.

The best help for the treatment of the depressed family member is for the family to first take care of themselves

Dep-Anon Is A Twelve Step Program Of Recovery For Families And Friends Of The Depressed

The best help for the the treatment of the depressed family member is to take care of themselves. This is the message of Dep-Anon, a family support group for family members of the depressed.
Dep-Anon’s publication date is set for the middle of March, 2021. Depressed Anonymous Publications is making available a new book, with it’s emphasis on the family who have a family member who is depressed. The family is suggested to first keep its focus on their own lives. This is made possible by gathering families together and their using a group approach, emphasizing the twelve spiritual principles (steps) of AA and by practicing them on a daily basis in their own lives.
The following except from Dep-Anon, directed at the family who are beginning “to see the light”.

Our depressed loved one discovers that we are taking a “hands off” attitude toward them. Armed now with the knowledge about the nature of depression, we have more understanding about life and struggles which torment and vanquish the lives of those who suffer from depression. We realize they are to blame for depression, with all the negative symptom which form that syndrome. They are mentally, physically emotionally unable to turn on and off, like a water faucet, this deepening sadness which has them immobilized and believing ghat there is no way out.
With this being said we are at the starting point in our own recovery.

COPYRIGHT(C) Dep-Anon: A Twelve Step program of recovery for families and friends of the depressed (2021) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY 40241. pg 18.

I was a compulsive overeater

Hi, my name is Linda and I am more than glad to share what Depressed Anonymous has done for me.
I am the child of an alcoholic father and I seem to fit well into the characteristics of the child of an alcoholic parent, guilt, shame, worthlessness, low self-esteem. I abhor alcohol to this day, but my addiction has become food. I am a compulsive overeater, having gained more than one hundred and fifty pounds in ten years. I am petrified by this. I had gotten to the point of withdrawal from everyone, was terribly lonely, and very depressed. I hit bottom. By this time, I was feeling so worthless, hopeless and depressed that the thoughts of suicide was the only relief that I could find. What really scared me was that I almost found pleasure in these thoughts.
After all, there would be no more pain. But deep down inside I really wanted to die. I love life and I want to live life to the fullest. But how? The depression just keeps coming and pushing at me, and a million negative thoughts that seem to completely overwhelm me at times.
Then a friend told me about Depressed Anonymous and I was so depressed that I went to a meeting. To my surprise, these wonderful people accepted me, all of me for myself. They encouraged me right from the start. They were open and honest about their pain and continually reassured me that I could make it. But I would have to work very hard, because you have to really fight depression – negative thoughts replaced by positive thinking. Action to create motivation. Most of all I tried to surrender to God! So I started reading the Twelve Steps. Most of all, I had to surrender to God, quit controlling everything and everyone, including God. Let go and let God. So I started rereading the Twelve Steps. At that time I was really rebellious, so much so that I didn’t go back for two weeks. I was too depressed, but inside I knew the Steps had the key to get me out of this prison. They pointed me to my Higher Power, which unashamedly is Jesus Christ. Now I attend every meeting sharing the things I learned and the times I fell (which are still quite a few) into depression. But it is working and I could not be writing this right now if it was not for the love and the support of these very special people. As a matter of fact, I told them that once a week was not enough for me. The leader suggested that I start another group, which is just what I have done. I now attend the meetings twice a week. – twice is nice.
To sum it up, Depressed Anonymous has pointed to the only hope there is – our Higher Power is the only way out. Our Higher Power is the key, our life and the hope.
And once I have have been able to admit that, everyone in the group has been very loving and supportive. After all, they have all been where I am today.
— Linda, a member of Depressed Anonymous

Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, THIRD EDITION (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. Pages 116-117. Personal Story #6. I was a compulsive overeater.

Keep your stick on the ice!

If you are a hockey player you know how important it is to keep your hockey stick on the ice. In fact this is one of the first lessons I learned when I started playing hockey. The reason was so that when a flying puck bounces around in the court and heads your way, you want to be ready. It might mean making a goal or losing a critical opportunity to score.
In Baseball we were told to “keep your eye on the ball.” Good advice. And in basketball the ball handler knows when he has a “good look” and needs to shoot the ball.
In our Twelve Step group of Depressed Anonymous, we have many short sayings like the ones mentioned that help keep us focused on our game. They are simple, direct and easy to understand. Not only do they help me continue to keep my life on track, but they also serve as “guardrails” reminding me of the various ways I can use them in my recovery. These short and pithy sayings are like my daily vitamins, providing some healthy immunity for fighting off all the negative thoughts that might be floating about in my head. What I am accomplishing by doing this simple activity is replacing a negative feeling with a pleasant one. I am replacing sunspots with darkness.
Here are some of my favorite slogans:

  • Keep It Simple
  • Take It Easy
  • One Day At A Time
  • Think
  • Easy Does It
  • Stick To The Plan
  • Let Go And Let God
  • Have A Nice Day Unless You Have Made Other Plans
  • God Is My Friend
  • All I Have Is These 24 Hours
  • This Too Shall Pass.

My advice to you is to keep your stick on the ice, get a good look, and keep your eye on the ball. You will score every time!
Have a great day!
Hugh S.

A Spiritual Conduit

The more I believe in this Power greater than myself the more that power begins to operate in my life. I am beginning to understand how life works – it is a paradox. The more I let go of my own perspective and turn it over to this greater power, I form a channel, a spiritual conduit by which this power can enter in and slowly and methodically transform my life. By my own life being transformed I find that the lives which I touch on a daily basis –they to begin to be transformed. Dep-Anon helps me focus my attention on what I need do. The attention is no longer on the depressed significant other but on where I am and how I will try and live one day at a time.

(Dep-Anon : A Twelve Step program of recovery for family and friends of the depressed. To be released for publication March 21, 2021.)

The world breaks everyone. Then some become strong at the ‘broken places’. – Ernest Hemingway

In his novel, Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway shares with us a truth that has become our own reality. I am referring to how we can become strong even when our life feels like it is spiraling out of control.

Case in point: when I was depressed for more than a year I felt like a zombie on the loose. Wherever I was I didn’t want to be there.I just wanted to be alone. The best place for me was to just lie down and sleep.

Gradually I began to feel a lift in my spirit as my mood began to spiral upwards instead of sliding down that slippery slope of despair and aloneness.

And then I became strong. I was learning a great deal about living. I admitted that my life had been out of control. It was if someone had turned off the power switch in my brain.
Thanks to the fellowship of the Depressed Anonymous group which I attended regularly, I started to use the tools which were provided me for my own recovery by the members of DA.

I also possessed an understanding of how my life before recovery was responsible for my depression. I found out that it was my thinking with its mistaken beliefs about myself, and my relationships that caused me to suddenly feel helpless and clueless as to what was happening to me. I became totally immobilized. My bed was my “go to” when I felt that I was in lockdown without goals or anything to look forward to. There didn’t appear to be a solution for what was happening to me.

Now, let’s fast-forward to my finding help. Now that I have been depression free for many years now, I can attribute my new way of looking at myself while applying the 12 step spiritual principles of Depressed Anonymous to my everyday life and behaviors. With the support of the DA group my depression experience was closely examined. Now I have these “red flags” that can warn me of my old beliefs and behaviors that gradually and unconsciously forced me down to the ground. Because of recent negative events in my life and/or those of my childhood, which were brought to light by applying the 12 Steps to my life, past and present. Also by my sharing and participating in regular DA meetings, having a sponsor with whom I can share and get support outside of the meeting times.

Basically, I have become strong at my own “broken places” and become stronger every time I read the literature of DA, written by members of our DA fellowship, go to meetings, using all the many tools given to me and sharing with others. We believe that all newcomers at our meetings will also be able to heal their own “broken places” and discover a new life of hope and serenity. That’s a promise!

Hugh, for the fellowship

Everyone is able to order online literature from our website Bookstore at www.depressedanon.com

This group gave me my voice back

There were times when I wanted to talk to someone about what was happening in my life – but I didn’t even have a name for whatever it was that had me totally immobilized. What could I tell my friends – that I felt I was losing my mind. Some mysterious cancer of the brain maybe? I was definitely scared. The more stuff that I read about the symptoms the more confused I became. Whatever it was I knew that I needed help. Go to a doctor? Talk to a counselor? I felt so alienated, from my self, family and friends. I had hit the wall.

Like others with whom I later became became acquainted, it gradually came to me that I must be depressed. I had most of the symptoms: I lost my appetite, I felt shame that I was unable to help myself. I did manage to hold down a job, but my main thing after work was to go home and sleep it off. I lost my ability to concentrate, plus my memory seemed to be on the blink. I didn’t answer my phone, skipped business appointments and just rather not be in touch with anyone and everyone. Most of all I was very angry about something that clearly made my life miserable, hopeless and out of my control. I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning – why, because my life was now without goals, purpose and meaning. My own isolation from everything that I once valued and dear to me was gone. In a sense I had lost my voice to ask for help.

I got a phone call one day – a work buddy asked me to attend a meeting with him. I asked, “What kind of meeting?” He just said something to get you moving again. I agreed, but only for his sake did I agree to go with him. By this time I realized that I was depressed – I knew what I had – or what had me. And if you are presently attending Depressed Anonymous meetings you know what I am talking about.

Not til after a few more meetings did I feel comfortable in this group. But it was only after more meetings was I willing to share my own story. You know, the before (how it was before recovery) and the after (how it is now that I am in recovery, have my own sponsor and go regularly to meetings). I felt I had to speak. I needed to get it out in the open. I told my story how I was a veritable wreck during my struggle and inner battles with depression. And then how I came to this fellowship and became a new person. The key that unlocked my prison was this group of men and women just like myself – and a God of my own understanding who I know loved me and was with me all the time.

With my voice back and no longer all alone I am using it now to encourage others who come to our meetings – to keep coming back and using the tools that we freely offer them. They will be another voice added to the many who are today sharing their hope, strength and experiences. If you are brand new they will be wanting to tell you about it!!

A Depressed Anonymous Member

You Are Here

A few years back I was driving across a deserted stretch of highway in New Mexico. I noticed that my gas gauge showed that I was getting low on fuel. As I had no idea where the next gas station would be I began taking notice of signs, hoping to find a place to get gas. Having never traveled on this stretch of road before I was starting to get anxious. I didn’t want to run out of gas out here in the desert.

It wasn’t long until I could spot a small building a few hundred yards ahead. Lucky for ne, it was a gas station.I knew that I didn’t want to tempt fate, so I filled up my tank. I still had no idea where I was and so I asked the attendant where I was. He turned around and pointed to a large map on the wall. All the map showed was a long horizontal line across the face of the map. In the middle of the map there was a large X placed over the stretch of the road indicating YOU ARE HERE. My only problem was that I didn’t know where “here” was. My attendant was a man of few words and he said the next town was about an hour down the road. The map didn’t tell me much.

Just like many of us who are looking for some kind of support for our own lives, all we know is that a group called Depressed Anonymous was meeting today. This is the reason why you are here. We showed up today because our lives had come to a standstill. We were starting to feel there was no where to go. The man who is lost in the desert and running out of gas with no hope, can be a metaphor for all of our own lives. And at our first meeting of Depressed Anonymous today we don’t know what to expect – only that I am here and you are here. Let our recovery begin.
Hugh, for the fellowship.

Awesome article on PsychologyToday.com

A friend of mine in recovery posted a link to an article on depression that should be read by all those who have depression, or have a loved one with depression.


In it the author, Alison Escalante M.D. discusses how there is current research around depression that posits depression is not a disease per se, but rather a biological adaptive response to adversity and trauma. I will post the first three paragraphs here, but I highly recommend that you read the full article.

Yours in recovery, Bill R

For generations, we have seen depression as an illness, an unnecessary deviation from normal functioning. It’s an idea that makes sense because depression causes suffering and even death. But what if we’ve got it all wrong? What if depression is not an aberration at all, but an important part of our biological defense system?

More and more researchers across specialties are questioning our current definitions of depression. Biological anthropologists have argued that depression is an adaptive response to adversity and not a mental disorder. In October, the British Psychological Society published a new report on depression, stating that “depression is best thought of as an experience, or set of experiences, rather than as a disease.” And neuroscientists are focusing on the role of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) in depression. According to the Polyvagal Theory of the ANS, depression is part of a biological defense strategy meant to help us survive.

The common wisdom is that depression starts in the mind with distorted thinking. That leads to “psychosomatic” symptoms like headaches, stomachaches, or fatigue. Now, models like the Polyvagal Theory suggest that we’ve got it backward. It’s the body that detects danger and initiates a defense strategy meant to help us survive. That biological strategy is called immobilization, and it manifests in the mind and the body with a set of symptoms we call depression.

Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/shouldstorm/202012/we-ve-got-depression-all-wrong-it-s-trying-save-us
Author: Alison Escalante M.D.

We seek to prevent depression through education and by creating a supportive and caring community through support groups that successfully keep individuals from relapsing into depression.

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