Category Archives: Dep-Anon: Family and friends

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.

REFERENCE

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

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

“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.

RESOURCES

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.

RESOURCE

VISIT THE STORE (www.depressedanon.com ) 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 depanon@netpenny.net, 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 www.depressedanon.com at the Depressed Anonymous Bookstore. Also, see the Depressed Anonymous literature location on website.

Thank you for the fellowship, Hugh

The Depressed Anonymous group and the Dep-Anon family group – a symbiotic relationship

The dictionary indicates that Symbiosis or symbiotic is the intimate living together of two kinds of organisms, especially if such associations are of mutual advantage. 2. A similar relationship of mutual interdependence.

The Depressed Anonymous fellowship and the Dep-Anon family group fellowship working separately while building families together. These two very essential recovery groups are symbiotic in that they are two kinds of organizations, especially associations of mutual advantage to each other.

Depressed Anonymous is a 12 Step support group for individuals depressed. Dep-Aon is a 12 Step recovery program for families and friends of the depressed. These two recovery groups have an important symbiotic relationship, as they both concern a family member. When one member grows strong, of either group, both groups are influenced in some way, either directly or indirectly by a member’s recovery efforts. A symbiotic relationship can create new healthy areas of relationship in both the Dep-Anon and the Depressed Anonymous fellowship. Our two fellowships will be equally advantaged by having as their central focus the spiritual principles of the Steps as well as the belief in a power greater than themselves.

As the Dep-Anon family group strengthens all the family members, the depressed also find support from their fellowship, Depressed Anonymous, which gradually releases them from the grip of despair and hopelessness. No more is the family concerned about their depressed loved one or try to fix or change their behaviors and thinking. They finally see that the best way for a person to change, especially the depressed is to take a “hands off” attitude while placing their attention on their own problems and begin to fix in themselves what needs to be fixed. The discovery that they cannot cure the depressed loved one, only learn how to cope with it, no longer criticizing the depressed or cajoling them. The family develops a new understanding of the nature of depression and by sharing, discovers their concerns at Dep-Anon meetings while discussing the power of the 12 steps together with their fellowship.

If the group members make the 12 Steps, the spiritual principles a big part of their daily lives and thinking, they will grow. They grow separately, but in the unity of each fellowship, they begin to manifest their strength by their serenity and their willingness to dig deeper into themselves, taking care of their own lives. Family members gather together to help each other and find peace and understanding what depression is all about. The depressed member helps the other members of their group begin to look at how their lives, with their mistaken beliefs about themselves, and how these thoughts and behaviors have kept them isolated from family and friends. The family finds that they have no access to the key that will free their family member out of their emotional and physical lockdown. I believe it is clear how the two groups are entwined together, not only by the fact of a family member’s depression, like the two sides of a coin, but by the fact that this is “family” and all wanting the best outcome for their loved one.

We propose that all those with whom we have a relationship, a sponsor, co-sponsor, or fellow members, encourage us to use the DA Workbook, either as members of the Dep-Anon family or Depressed Anonymous. We take a full look at ourselves and not others. As family members, we see that the only one that we can change is ourselves. To believe that is a lesson well learned.

By now, we realize that we are focused on our own recovery and that we are never alone. We learn who we are by being in the group and sharing our lives. The power of the group is experienced as we go through the Steps, learning not only how depression has crippled countless lives but continues to even threaten and take lives.

It becomes evident that the well-being and growth of either or both groups continue to emerge stronger by having a direct advantage by “by all of us staying in our own lane” and keeping the focus on our own recovery. We continue to learn that the group is our “miracle.” Not just for today, but every day forward.
Copyright@Hugh S.

RESOURCES

  • Copyright(c) Dep-Anon is a 12 Step recovery program for families and friends of the depressed. (2021) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY
  • Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd Edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY

NOTE: Both of these publications can be ordered online at VISIT THE STORE at this site www.depessedanon.com

Dep-Anon’s message to families and friends of the depressed

The following statements are the worst things to say to someone who is depressed.

It’s all in your mind.
Pull yourself up by your bootstraps.
You have so many things to be thankful for; why are you depressed?
You have It so good; why aren’t you happy?
Well, at least it’s not that bad.
There are a lot of people worse off than you.
Hae you got tired of all this “me-me” stuff?
Everybody has a bad day now and then.
You can do anything you want if you just set your mind to it.
You don’t look depressed.

This excerpt is from the recently published book Dep-Anon: A 12 step recovery program for families and friends of the depressed (2021) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. Pages 99-100.

Dep-Anon is a support group for the family and friends of the depressed. This recovery program is much like Al-Anon, promoting health and healing for the family and friends of the depressed. We do this by focusing on ourselves, using all the tools for maintaining our spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical health.

Over the years, I continue my work with the depressed and with the families and friends of the depressed. I see a great need to offer help for the depressed and their families. Many people do not have an accurate understanding of the nature of depression with its debilitating and isolating effect upon the human mind and physical wellness of the depressed.

– Dep-Anon, P.7

We cannot change anyone but ourselves. Our spiritual principles of the 12 Steps will provide us with a spiritual power we recognize as more powerful than ourselves. And we will, invest in this power, promoting a faith that will keep our focus on ourselves and not the futility of our trying to “fix” them.

– Dep-Anon, Pages 4-5

I see the Dep-Anon program as a powerful resource and tool, as families of the depressed come together as a 12 Step fellowship group, supporting each other, discovering the nature of depression and how it affects the mind and life of their loved ones.

If we want the support of our family during our darkest hours, I will hope that this work of Dep-Anon would inspire families to come together, learn how no human being can ever “snap out of depression” having the spiritual principles of the 12 Steps to guide them along the way. The Depressed Anonymous fellowship and the Dep-Anon family group fellowship are two sides of the same coin. Being in one fellowship will, without doubt, strengthen the members in the other fellowship. With both groups finding answers to their lives while making the Steps part of their daily lives, there is no place to go except up and together –as family.


Copyright(c) Dep-Anon is a 12 Step Recovery Program for families and friends of the depressed. (2021) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.

Visit the Literature Section at this site to learn more about our work Dep-Anon. Visit the Store and discover literature pertaining solely to depression and the 12 Steps. All books are available online.

I am depressed. I wish our families had a support group for themselves. – Depressed Anonymous member

Yes, all of us who are depressed or who have been depressed have said the same thing. I agree wholeheartedly. My family doesn’t have a clue as to the deep and hurting feelings that we experience. But how could they? They’ve never been depressed. I would never wish this on them or anyone, but my family needs are an understanding of depression and the power that it exerts over our lives.

As a depressed person myself., I know about the pain, the guilt, and the isolating nature of depression. Even though family members and friends are unaware of the life-threatening nature of our illness, it is a must that they begin to focus on themselves and their recovery. By getting involved in a fellowship with other families of the depressed, they learn of the nature of depression and the prison that keeps us immobilized. They also learn that we refuse to respond to their help, no matter what they say or do. In many cases, it pushes us away.
The Dep-Anon fellowship could be the depressed person’s best friend. The reason is that the family members learn how devastating this sadness keeps us in “lockdown.”

We learn that:

When one of the members of the family is experiencing depression, the family suffers. Attempting to free the depressed person from depression is of little help. They suffer but, they do not know what is happening to them; they make others suffer and, everybody feels betrayed, undefined and, abandoned. The family system is thrown off balance. Family members are conflicted about their loved one’s behavior. Conflicts and anger start to flare up – it is true that the family is the best therapist, but they must know that to be helpful, they must keep focusing on their mental health and wellness.
Dep-Anon, p.81

The point is that family members need to focus on themselves and not on the depressed. They are not able to change us. But what stands out here is that they can change only themselves. Dep=Anon will provide a program of recovery suited for their recovery, focusing on their own defects of character with a need for the support of other families who, like themselves, begin to understand the nature of depression (no more “snap out of it” comments) while gaining new insights into the power of the spiritual principles of the 12 Steps.

I can see how we are like Al-Anon, a group that has an alcoholic in the family, no longer keeping their focus and energy directed to them and their drinking, and efforts to stop their drinking behavior, but keeps the focus on their own lives, enjoying the support of their Al-Anon fellowship. The alcoholic has Alcoholics Anonymous, and I, as a depressed person, support Depressed Anonymous. Both of these 12 Step programs of recovery are on the same recovery page. I thank God for my understanding that now my family has the support of other families like mine. My family is learning so much about me and what I am facing. They are thankful that I have Depressed Anonymous, and I have a family that is focused on themself and not on me and my recovery.

The depressed person’s family plays a vital role in hastening his recovery or recovery. By understanding the nature of depression and offering the person the support he or she needs, the family can help him or her work through the depression. Together they can evolve a sounder system of relationships.

Resources:
(C) Depressed Anonymous, THIRD EDITION, (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville KY.
(C) Dep-Anon: A 12 Step recovery program for the families and friends of the depressed. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky.
(c) The Secret Strength of Depression. Frederic Flach. THIRD REVISED EDITION. 1988. Printed in Canada. Page 192.

The Dep-Anon Family Group and Depressed Anonymous are my best friends

Recently, Dep-Anon the 12 Step recovery program, for family and friends of the depressed was launched. Because I am a member of Depressed Anonymous, I continue to experience the power of that fellowship.

The Dep-Anon manual and discussion guide for family and friends of the depressed is a powerful support group for those of us who are depressed. This new fellowship, like the Depressed Anonymous fellowship, is organized around the spiritual principles of the 12 Steps. It is similar to the Al-Anon fellowship where members keep the focus on themselves and their recovery, using the Steps. Instead of trying to fix the alcoholic, they take care of their own issues and do not try to fix the alcoholic. The fixing must come from the alcoholic. Also, the family members learn about the progressive illness of alcoholism and the negative effect that it has on the whole family. That’s where Al-Anon comes in – taking care of their own lives and feelings.

The alcoholic has AA meetings and a fellowship to support them in their search for sobriety. The Depressed have their own fellowship and support by attending their Depressed Anonymous meetings.

“By our fellowship with other family members, who also may share life with the depressed, we admit that all we can do is to take care of ourselves and admit that from this time forward we commit ourselves to the principle of living and let live. We also espouse the four C’s which state that our beliefs about NOT taking responsibility for our depressed significant other. These four C’S can be a constant reminder of how we are to live each day.

These are basically our four Statements of Belief:
1) I believe that I didn’t cause it. 2) I believe that I can’t control it. 3) I believe that I can’t cure it. 4) I believe all that I can do is to cope with it.

In Step One of our Dep-Anon fellowship, we admit that we are powerless over their depression. By taking responsibility for their every action, our lives gradually become swallowed up by the pain and morose of their lives. We gradually learn that it is by our surrendering the impossible desire to fix and cure, that we begin believing that what we can do is learn to cope with the depression and the isolating behavior of the depressed family member.” (Dep-Anon. Pgs. 15-16).

So, it is at this point where other family members can gather together at their Dep-Anon meetings, using the spiritual principles of the Steps, and continue to focus on their own issues. They learn more about depression by being an active member of Dep-Anon and discover that this is the best way to help their depressed family member.

Resource

(COPYRIGHT) Dep-Anon: A 12 Step recovery program for the families and friends of the depressed. (2021) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville., Ky.

This new publication can be ordered online from VISIT THE STORE @www.depressedanon.com.

Dep-Anon family fellowship keeps the focus on themselves

“By our fellowship with other family members, who also may share life with the depressed, we admit that all we can do is to take care of ourselves. We admit that from this time forward, we are committing ourselves to the principle of living and let live. We also espouse the four C’s which state our beliefs about NOT taking responsibility for our depressed significant other’s depression. These four C’s can be a constant reminder of how to live each day with what we are dealing with.
These are basically our four Statements of belief:
1) I believe that I didn’t cause it.
2) I believe I can’t control it.
3) I believe that I can’t cure it.
4) I believe that all I can do is cope with it.,

In Step One of our Dep-Anon fellowship, we admit that we are powerless over their depression. By taking responsibility for their every action, our lives gradually become swallowed up by the pain and morose of our depressed loved one’s life. We gradually learn that it is by our surrendering the impossible desire to fix and cure, that we begin believing that what we CAN do is learn to cope with the depression and the isolating behavior of our significant other.

We begin the healing journey with other family members, discovering our own path for healing and wholeness. ”


Copyright (c)Dep-Anon: The 12 Step recovery program for families and friends of the depressed. (2021) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. Pgs. 17-18.

Please check out our bookstore at www.depressedanon.com. Ordering online is available.

The Dep-Anon handbook combines issues of both the depressed and family

This recently published handbook (June 24, 2021) combines the issues of both the family and the depressed, providing a common ground for understanding and acceptance.
The Dep-Anon handbook is divided into two sections, each with its own emphasis. Section one is about the need for Dep-Anon, a family group with a depressed member as part of their family.
Section two acquaints us with the nature of depression and how it affects the lives of those depressed who experience it.

“First, Dep-Anon is a necessary recovery program for the family and friends of the depressed. Here they learn about the crippling and life-threatening nature of depression. They will discover that their loved one or friend cannot just will themselves out of the incapacitating physical and mind-shattering problem. All the “snap out of it” and “get on with your life” messages directed at their loved ones are futile. Secondly, family members begin to see the necessity of taking care of themselves. With the Dep-Anon fellowship giving attention to the daily practice of 12 Step living, it becomes clear that this is at the core of our personal and communal recovery.
‘God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. Courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.'”
–An excerpt from the Introduction of Dep-Anon: A 12 Step Recovery program for families and friends of the expressed.

The hope is that the Dep-Anon family fellowship groups will be formed, just as their depressed loved ones have their own fellowship of Depressed Anonymous.

Each of Dep-Anon’s Twelve chapters has a group discussion guide. Also provided is a suggested meeting format for those setting up Dep-Anon mutual aid groups in their communities.

NOTE: Please Visit the Store (Depressed Anonymous Publications) for further information for ordering online.