Category Archives: Dep-Anon: Family and friends

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.

Family members and friends often feel they have

  nowhere to turn for help. They may find themselves reading books on depression and other resources, but still feel lost as to what to do. This is where DEP-ANON can offer assistance. It is a fellowship of persons who come together to share their stories and offer support to one another in the process. Their issues may be different from those suffering from depression, but they are just as valid.”

The DEP-ANON FAMILY GROUP MANUAL

Family members discover they experience many of …

the same feelings as the depressed!  If you checked off more than five of the items below, you might consider the DEP-ANON Family Group.

When family members were asked to prioritize, describe and list which feelings they experienced most often and most intensely, the following are those which they documented: 1) feeling overwhelmed and burdened by a family member’s depression. 2) feeling restricted around the depressed, feelings of something similar to the to the expression of walking on eggshells. 3) Feelings of helplessness. 4) Anxiety about the situation and not knowing what to do about the feelings they were experiencing. 5) Feeling emotionally drained. 6) Feeling inadequate, faced with a loved one’s immobility and lack of motivation. 7) Feeling anger and frustration at the depressed. 8) Being an enabler. 9) Feeling that one was living an unproductive life as one was stymied by the depressed unproductive depression. 10) Having feelings of irritability and impatience, 11)  Feeling inadequate. 12)  Unhappy. 13)  Feeling betrayed in retirement by spouses late life depression. 14) Indecisive and lacking confidence in themselves.

Are you surprised to learn that the depressed experience the same emotions?  You have more in common than you thought!

Quote from the DEP-NON FAMILY GROUP brochure.

Family members of the depressed share some of the same pain as their family member

 

“In my field of counseling, I always tried to get the family of the depressed person into counseling too,  so that I might  help the person see how their depression  was affecting everyone in the family, including the children. The spouse, if the depressed  person was married, always seemed relieved that someone finally could see their viewpoint and understand how they felt and the pain that they  were experiencing. Many times, they would tell how their spouse would never do anything and always put things off until they felt better. But they never feel better!  I found much pain and anger and frustration in these  relationships, as the spouse was beside herself or himself concerning what to do for their sad partner.  They were not only becoming depressed themselves, but they were also feeling guilty about their anger at someone who was supposed to be sick?”

SOURCES: Copyright (c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.  Page 81,

Copyright(c)  I’ll do it when I feel better (2016) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Copyright(c)   Dep-Anon Family Group Manual(2008) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

NOTE:  In my effort to help the whole family unit, I initiated a family Dep-Anon Family Group just like Al-Anon. Al-Anon is there for friends and family of the Alcoholic and helps them to have help  in understanding the  best ways to help the alcoholic.

There were two persons, both family members of a depressed person, who collaborated  and  wrote their own  manual, based on  the 12 Step model, for those others like themselves who also were dealing with a depressed family member or friend.  It was an eye-opener to discover  that these two persons had some of the same feelings which their family member was also experiencing. They were feeling anger, frustration and became more isolated the deeper the depression of their loved one.

What I learned from them, and the feelings they shared,   made it possible for them to write their own manual specifically geared and directed to the family and friend  of a depressed person.