Category Archives: Dep-Anon: Family and friends

Dep-Anon 12 Step Family Recovery Program for Families/Friends of the Depressed Launches Today

Today, August 22, 2022, at 2pm ET or 1pm CT the Dep-Anon 12 Step family fellowship will be launched. The following information is given so that you are able to attend this ZOOM ROOM meeting today and every Monday following at 2pm ET.

MEETING ID: 846 6885 1123
PASSWORD: serenity (no caps)
NOTE: This is a recurring meeting.

For link email contact:

I wish my family had a depression support group

If you are reading this blog today, and are a family member who is depressed and wishes they had a family that understood how the disease of depression has taken over our whole life, then this Dep-Anon 12 Step recovery group is for your family.

Starting this Monday, August 22, at 2PM EDT and 1PM CST our first Dep-Anon meeting will LAUNCH with its own group program of recovery. The Dep-Anon manual will be used for all our meetings, either on ZOOM or at face to face meetings.You can read more about the Dep-Anon manual on our website at

To JOIN the meeting, please use MEETING ID: 846 6885 1123 and the password is: serenity (lowercase).
You can also use the link to enter the meeting by emailing us at This link can be used at all recurring meetings.

Over the years i have heard this statement, “I wish my family had a depression support group tp go to,” voiced more times than I can count. Since depression is a family illness, each of us who are or have been depressed, know the importance of a family supporting their depressed significant other. But that is not always the case. Because of a lack of understanding of the illness of depression -the focus of the family is mostly focused on attempting to cure, heal, or change their depressed loved one.

Now, we know, from personal experiences, that the focus needs to be where it belongs–on the person(s) who need to be changed. That would be the family members. Recently, Dep-Anon, a 12 Step recovery program for families and friends of the depressed has been developed. There is nothing new to our approach as we are modeled on the successful Al-Anon program of recovery. Their focus too, is not on their alcoholic family member but is focused on their own need to understand the nature and disease of alcoholism. They learn as families, helping other families, how alcoholism affects not only the alcoholic, but affects the whole family system. It’s a family disease. By putting into use, for their own personal lives, growth and health using the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Dep-Anon, has but one purpose, to help families of the depressed. Here too, the family uses the 12 spiritual principles of Depressed Anonymous–a program geared for family to family support and encouragement. These families gather together, supporting each other, encouraging and sharing their own successes and ways that work for them. They continue to learn about the serious nature of depression. Instead of being critical and frustrated trying to get the depressed to do what we want them to do, for example, trying to get them out of bed, or telling them to get a job, or to “snap out of it.” Family members, many times discover that their methods of helping don’t help, but instead, push the depressed further into isolation.

Dep-Anon can be a key for a family to give the best support that they can to their loved one. This is examen, in a group setting with other family members, learning and discussing with each other what depression is, what it feels like (to the depressed person) and how it effects their total thinking, feeling, and behavior. The Dep-Anon family group will help family learn what depression is and what it is not. We learn how to keep the focus on ourselves, our own self-care, and living in the solution of positive ways to take care of ourselves. Again, we focus on ourselves. In a very real way, it is in taking care of our selves and being provided with a solution focused understanding of what depression is, that we will provide our loved one a positive family environment, where there is respect and which gradually creates harmony and healing among all its members.

What is created here is a symbiotic relationship between the depressed member and the family. What one does positively in helping themselves in recovery (Depressed Anonymous fellowship) will have a positive effect on the other. (families supporting other families).

Remember, Dep-Anon ZOOM meeting Monday at 2PM EDT and 1PM CST.
MEETING ID: 846 6885 1123 Password: serenity (lower case-no Capitals).

Dep-Anon, a 12 Step, online ZOOM meeting, for family and friends of the depressed is now available.

A new book, DEP-ANON: A 12 step recovery program for families and Friends of the depressed (2021) is now available. This new book also serves as a manual, used at all meetings, providing family members and friends of the depressed, important information related to the crippling and isolating nature of the depression experience. It also provides family with practical ways for coming together as a strong support group, much like the 12 Step Al-Anon groups, enabling family members to start focusing on them selves –on their own recovery — and not on their depressed significant other. We need to change ourselves first. Trying to change someone else is usually futile.
Dep-Anon will have a positive symbiotic relationship with the depressed family member’s own recovery program, Depressed Anonymous. Not only will the family group become more alert to their own needs and issues, but will be helped spiritually, physically and emotionally as they work together, using the 12 steps. These twelve spiritual principles, mutually strengthen each other as they share their own their own experiences, hope and strengths.

Note : Please contact us with the zoom Meeting ID:846 6885 1123
password: serenity

>>>>>>>> MONDAY August 22 2PM EST <<<<<<<<<<<

Three Ways To Grow In Life

Our recently published book, Dep-Anon, a 12 Step Recovery Program for Families and Friends of the Depressed, the author quotes Jack Canfield, who shares with us the three ways to grow in life.

  1. Quit doing what you have been doing that doesn’t work;
  2. Start doing more of what does work;
  3. Start doing things that you’ve never done before and see if it works.

© Hugh S., Dep-Anon, a 12 Step Recovery Program for Families and Friends of the depressed. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky. p.94.


Dep-Anon Family Group, a must for families with a depressed loved one

Dep-Anon, a 12 Step recovery program for families and friends of the depressed, has recently had its Manual and program guide published (2021) by Depressed Anonymous Publications.

The Dep-Anon Family group has but one purpose: To help families and friends of the depressed. We do this by practicing the 12 Steps of Depressed Anonymous ourselves: by encouraging and understanding our depressed loved ones, the nature of their depression, plus welcoming and giving group support to families of the depressed.

Families are now equipped to form their own support groups, giving assistance to each other while all the time keeping the focus on their own growth and healing, without trying to fix the depressed member of their family.

You will join with other family members who no longer are alone, using the recovery tools of Dep-Anon. You will 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 begins to take hold as you participate in the Dep-Anon meetings. You will continue to learn from the other Dep-Anon group members how to start to take care of yourself. You will begin with yourself. The focus will reside with you and not on the depressed.

A DA member commented at a Depressed Anonymous meeting, hoped that her own family members would be part of this new movement. She knew that they would learn how to focus on themselves, applying the Steps to their own recovery, learning what depression is and what it is not.

Instead of being critical of the depressed loved one’s behaviors, they would possibly for the first time, have a compassionate understanding of how the various symptoms of depression played their part in immobilizing the depressed.

If there is someone in your family who could be helped by reading and forming a family group, please let them know Dep-Anon is now available.


  • Copyright © Hugh Smith. Dep-Anon, a 12 Step program of recovery for families and friends of the depressed. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY
  • Copyright © Depressed Anonymous, Third Edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications, Louisville, KY

Please visit Depressed Anonymous Literature for a list of all the titles available from Depressed Anonymous Publications. The page includes links for purchasing options.

My family was clueless about depression, until they joined the 12 step Dep-Anon support group for families

Depressed Anonymous and the Dep-Anon family program of recovery are two sides of the same coin. There exists a symbiotic relationship between the two groups. What happens in one of the groups (family) has a positive or negative effect upon the other group. With this symbiosis, there is an excellent benefit for both family and the depressed. The family centers its attention on itself and is not focused on and discontinues the blaming and guilt-producing impact that they are having on the depressed. They discover that their efforts to “fix” their loved one have an opposite effect pushing them further down into isolation and despair. They now use their meetings with other like-minded family members to learn about the nature of depression, realizing that all they can do is cope with the isolating behavior, understand what depression is and what it is not, and take care of their own lives. They learn that by being part of a supportive Dep-Anon recovery group that their lives change positively with the continued use of the 12 Steps in their lives.

The study of the 12 Steps gradually produces a feeling of respect and support for their loved ones. We are seeing that without their continued attitude of blaming, negativity between the two parties begins to be eliminated. The Dep-Anon fellowship will continue to grow in unity with each other while messaging their depressed family member that something positive is happening.


Smith, H. Dep-Anon, a 12 Step Recovery program for Families and Friends of the Depressed. (2021) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky.

This work can be ordered online from the website at the Depressed Anonymous Bookstore.

Family members of the depressed have their own group – Dep-Anon

“It’s compelling to have friends and a support group of like people who you can listen to and try to help. There is something very affirming and powerful and healing about that. It is the very reason that Depressed Anonymous works so well.”

Dep-Anon is a 12 step mutual aid program of recovery for families and friends of the depressed. In a short time, family members will gather in their groups and deal with the intense negative feelings about their loved ones. They will learn about what depression is and what it is not and how it affects the lives of their loved ones. It will also help them realize that they cannot fix the depressed family member, but they need to focus on themselves using the spiritual principles of the 12 steps.

The Dep-Anon manual, organized for those family groups, gathered together for support of each other, will find ample material to begin the work of spending time taking care of their own mental health needs. These gatherings of family groups will discover how their recovery will bring the depressed and themselves back into a healing relationship.


Copyright (C) Smith, Hugh. Dep-Anon, a 12-step recovery program for family and friends of the depressed. Depressed Anonymous Publications. (2021) Louisville, KY.

Copyright (c) Sanford, Debra. A Medley of Depression Stories. Self Published. 2017. p. 74.
Please Visit the STORE for more detailed information about this new release from DAP. One can order it online from this site.

“I’m depressed and my family tells me I’m lazy.” Help is on the way for your family. There is a special group for them.

Dep-Anon, a 12 step Recovery program for Families and Friends of the Depressed, is now being formed here (US) and other places where Depressed Anonymous is active.

Here is a passage from A Medley of Depression Stories where the author, a member of Depressed Anonymous, provides us with positive guidance. She tells us that.

“Depression is not my fault and your depression is not your fault. God knows we have been beaten up enough over being depressed and not being able to “suit up and show up!” Blaming the person with depression is harsh and cruel Would they blame a cancer victim? It has always amazed me that when it comes to mental illnesses, it is so often judged harshly. As though it’s one’s fault that they were sick or had a breakdown. It reminds me of people screaming at an alcoholic who has lost his job, but his family and lost his house! Exactly what good will come from that? Often loved ones think they are helping “pound some truth” j their alcoholic husband or wife’s head! If we just scream enough and say the most hateful and derogatory things then they will stop drinking and ” wake up” to their poor behavior.” Medley, p.73).

Writing Dep-Anon is why I feel a pressing concern, organizing and helping families of the depressed understand the nature of depression, what it is and what it is not. The family of the depressed needs to fix themselves and not try to fix something in their loved one which they knew little or nothing. From reading the above quote, we can feel the anger directed at those who were depressed.

The Dep-Anon family group uses the same 12 steps for family members who gather together, forming their groups helping each other learn the best ways to help themselves and deal with their issues instead of trying to change their depressed loved ones. The Dep-Anon manual provides a forum where family members can share their strengths, experiences with each other.

The Dep-Anon family group and the depressed have a symbiotic relationship in which each group is helped by the need to be addressed so there may be unity and healing. Dep-Anon provides a resource of discussion points and a commentary on the 12 steps for reflection and group discussions.
Support for the Family is indispensable.

“But for us the person is not a mere patient with specific depressive symptoms- he or she is family. They suffer, but they do not know what is happening to them, they make others suffer, and everybody feels abandoned because the DSO (depressed significant other) seems to prefer not to have anything to do with their family. When this occurs, family and friends withdraw, feeling the hurt of rejection. The DSO continues to be sad, unable to define the reason for this.” Dep-Anon. 2021.


Smith, Hugh. Dep-Anon. A 12-step recovery program for families and friends of the depressed, recently published by Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. 2021

This newly published work can be ordered online from the Depressed Anonymous Bookstore at this site. Visit the Store.

A website will be available in the coming month with its email address and information about upcoming Zoom and Skype meetings. We will continue to help you stay connected with info concerning Dep-Annon happenings online and f2f.

Hugh S.

We felt trapped

The following is an excerpt from the recently published work Dep-Anon: A 12 Step Recovery Program for Families and Friends of the Depressed. (2021). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

An obvious fact we have learned is that our depressed loved ones are not as different from us as we would like to believe. When it comes to us, we recognized and admitted to ourselves and others that we were shackled with the same darkness as was our depressed family member. We felt trapped. And what did we do about it? Nothing. We had hit a wall. Amazingly, it is like looking into a mirror, and instead of seeing ourselves. we see our depressed loved one. Do we feel we have lost our very selves in all of the chaos that has been an ongoing part of our lives?

The lesson that family members need to reflect upon, with feedback from their Dep-Anon fellowship, are all the myriad aspects of depression that we discussed in Chapters Six and Seven. Some say that it is like being in an eighty-foot hole with only an eight-foot ladder. Others say that that it is like being in a dark room with no windows and no door and having no way out. But we at Dep-Anon have each other, with a program that works. And we are gradually laying out a path in our life based on the dynamic spiritual principles of the Twelve Steps every day.
Dep-Anon, p.73

The intent of this book is to provide family and friends of the depressed a program that fits the needs for their own lives with an understanding of the nature of depression with its immobilizing effects upon those who experience it.
Dep-Anon will be a source of strength for family members who gather together, just as Depressed Anonymous members gather others like themselves for hope and strength. Basically, and primarily the Dep-Anon fellowship will keep the focus on their own need for healing and “hands off” their depressed loved one –realizing that they can only fix themselves.

If you who are reading this blog today, please know that this book will be a great help for your family and friends in understanding depression and continue to work the Steps for themselves plus keeping the focus on their own recovery.

Hugh S.


VISIT THE STORE ( ) for more information about this new and challenging work.
Copyright (c) Dep-Anon. A 12 Step recovery program for family and friends of the depressed. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Depressed? Here is a way out!

In 1990 the Depressed Anonymous group in Louisville, Kentucky, published the first Depressed Anonymous book, Depressed? Here is a way out! Using the Suggested Twelve Step Program of recovery. The Depressed Anonymous group had formed a year earlier and decided that we needed a written account of the Twelve Steps and their positive effect on our lives. Because depression was the reason for our coming together, just as an alcoholic has the Twelve steps for their recovery, we found the Twelve spiritual principles of the Steps as having the same positive effect. At the time, little did we ever believe that Depressed Anonymous would continue to grow beyond the city limits of Louisville. That was never our intent but only to have something we could use as our own book for study, meetings, and personal reflection. And then, in 1998, the first edition of Depressed Anonymous was published. In 2002 the Depressed Anonymous Workbook was published.

Fast forward to 2021, this June; we have launched our new publication Dep-Anon, a Twelve Step recovery program for families and friends of the depressed. Depressed Anonymous and Dep-Anon are two sides of the same coin. Each group has an integral relationship with the other. Each group member has some effect on the life of the other. Is this not like Al-Anon and Alcoholics Anonymous. Each group is focused on their own lives, using the Twelve Steps as the core for their own recovery. In Al-Anon, they learn that they cannot “fix” the alcoholic family member but only fix themselves. In other words, each needs to “stay in their own lane.”

My critical parent has informed me that this relationship cannot work. Some family members still see us, depressed, as unwilling to go to work, get out of bed – (if you are depressed, you know the drill), etc., etc. Moving my critical parent aside with all their negative thinking, I have decided to develop a Dep=Anon family group manual and put it out there as a published work.

I know it will work as I know Al-Anon works for the family and friends of the alcoholic. Imitation, they say, is the highest form of flattery. So here we are. We hope to have a website, a Dep-Anon family group website, dedicated to the issues faced by depressed family members and providing essential positive information about the nature of depression. No “snap out of it” here. Family members with a depressed loved one will have their own group for support, just as the depressed has Depressed Anonymous.

If you would like to help us in this effort to bring hope to the family and their depressed loved ones, we will be grateful. Also, any thoughts from Depressed Anonymous members or a family with a depressed loved one are most welcome. If you want to help design or develop a website that will be interactive and provide help for all, please let us know at, providing help to the family and the depressed. The Dep-Anon website will be separate from the Depressed Anonymous website, with its own address.

See at the Depressed Anonymous Bookstore. Also, see the Depressed Anonymous literature location on website.

Thank you for the fellowship, Hugh