I have found persons who understand me and my problems.

#FOUR/ BELIEVING IS SEEING: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression.  (2017) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.
”  No longer am I alone in my depression. I can now see that it is up to me to form new friendships with others in the fellowship of the Depressed Anonymous Group. I have found persons who understand me  and my problems. I also learn coping skills and new positive behaviors from my fellow group members. ”

Below are listed some of  the advantages of belonging  to the Depressed Anonymous fellowship.

  • Receive acceptance  and support from the fellowship.
  • The fellowship of DA places no judgments  on those who join the group.
  • No longer isolated and alone.
  • No “snap out of it” comments from persons who have not experienced depression.
  • Learn how to gradually remove depression from our lives by utilizing the tools provided by the fellowship.
  • Gain new friends who actually “do know”  how we feel.
  • Learn  skills in taking full responsibility for their feelings, thoughts and behaviors.
  • Learning how to be with others in a mutual aid group while simultaneously  developing our interpersonal and social skills.
  • By being part of the group, with persons like oneself, have an overwhelming BELIEF that since they are all getting better, they tell themselves “so can I.”
  • Depression symptoms grow best in  isolation and the withdrawal from others. Healthy encounters with others like ourselves and by using the spiritual principles of the 12 steps, we begin to feel better and gain   hope for ourselves.

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Ray’s  personal testimony, #20. The Power of Depressed Anonymous  is found in DEPRESSED  ANONYMOUS, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. pgs.133-134.

           “So what is the power of Depressed Anonymous?  For me, it’s just like attending the first meeting. I was a little scared and apprehensive at first, but then I found the Depressed Anonymous meeting was a place to go where there were other depressed persons just like me. They could relate to and understand what I was going through. They didn’t judge me or think of me as crazy. I WAS ACCEPTED.

Ray tells us how “the most important power of Depressed Anonymous is hope.”

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The fellowship makes available a HOME SELF STUDY KIT comprised of the Depressed Anonymous Manual and The Depressed Anonymous Workbook.  Both of these books can be purchased together.  For those who might desire some further support for issues in their recovery  that may arise from the Self Study KIT can contact us at depanon@netpenny.net.

For many, a Depressed Anonymous  group may not be available in your community and so the reason for the Home Study Kit. Depressed persons who feel isolated and with no group available can  profit  from this Home Study and gain insights into their own depression symptoms plus learn  how to deal with them.

Depressed Anonymous. Pollyanna or the real deal ?

Is Depressed Anonymous the real deal or is it just too good to be true. Are we much like the novel character Pollyanna, over optimistic about everything or are we the realists who take life on lives terms and then deal with it the best way that we can. For all of us who are program people we know the answer to that question.

The best way to deal with any problem or life situation  is to face it squarely and deal with it.  Feelings and all have to be felt, looked at and then dealt with. Take it from me and the  many others who come into our program depressed and who discover that we are not the” pie in the sky “people,  the people with the magic potions or the magic wand wafted over  our heads. But, we are the solution focused folks who will help you build a program that will last a lifetime, giving hope, with a fellowship of hopeful people with whom one can always be in contact with.

One of the areas of life that the depressed has not much experience with is to be like  little  Pollyanna of Porter’s  novels.  Most times the gloom that settles in our minds and heart are those feelings of despair and darkness which we are unable to shake off. It’s that feeling of hopelessness, the feeling of being completely helpless as we gradually make our whole existence one of inner pain  and anxiousness. We can’t sleep–or we sleep too much. We eat too little or we overeat.   Our life is lived out in what feels like a prison cell. It’s a prison without bars, granted, but we cannot  leave it just because we will to.  Will power is initially useless. I know, I tried that route. The Depressed Anonymous fellowship is one of the means which provide  us with a key–a way to leave this prison of isolation.

And then here comes this group called Depressed Anonymous.  Why go to a  group of people who are depressed and listen to stories  about their sense of futility and oppression? That would be depressing! That is, unless they are using in their lives the 12 spiritual principles of Depressed Anonymous. This is the  blueprint which build one step at a time the rest of the structure  that, like the Alcoholic, overeater, all build a structure that can  last a life time. Once they are onboard and begin using Steps for their own personal recovery to build a new life of hope, no adversity can force them to go back to their old and addictive behaviors.

The depression experience is what brings them into our fellowship and it is here that hope is gradually restored. But please, we don ‘t have the easy answers or  magic pills, or the magic wand to make our pain go away.  What we do is provide a plan, a blueprint if you will, a daily dose of hope with a lively  fellowship, sponsors and literature.

There is no sugar coating here. No whitewashing the pain of an individual depression experience. But just like the alcoholic who makes a commitment to keep from alcohol one day at a time, we too have the same program. We come in and decide that yes, I have a problem,  and yes  I will do all in my power,  plus with the ever present  God of my understanding,  change what needs to be changed in my life, one  day at a time.  This is the real deal. And so won’t you join us in this program of recovery and make the effort to discover how you too can live a life of hope and happiness.

Hugh

 

 

” We are what we repeatedly do. ” Aristotle

“It is our own real, lived experience which leads us into the prison of depression. It is not a gene, or own hormones, or our dysfunctional and illogical thinking, our lack of faith, or our complexes and inadequacies which have brought depression  upon us, it is what happened to us  and, most importantly, what we have made of what has happened to us: it is the conclusions  we draw from our experiences.

That sort  of conclusions which lead us, finally, into the prison of depression was not drawn illogically or fantastically, or crazily, but were the correct conclusions to draw,  given the information we had at the time.

If, when you were a child, all the adults whom you loved and trusted were telling you that you were bad and that if you  didn’t mend your ways terrible things would happen to you, you wisely and correctly drew the conclusions that you were bad and had to work hard to be good. If, when you were a child, all the people you loved and trusted left you or disappointed or betrayed you, you wisely drew the conclusion that you must be wary of other people and that you should never love anyone completely ever again.  You were not to know that if we grow up believing  that we are intrinsically bad, and that other people are dangerous, we shall become increasingly isolated, the joy will disappear  from our life, and that we shall fall into despair….” SOURCE: Dorothy Rowe. The Depression Handbook. Collins. London.

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I believe that in my own case what Dr. Rowe points out is so true. Our childhood experiences are so important because they set us up for how we think about ourselves as we mature. I remember vividly when I was in the 3rd grade, a teacher shamed me in  front of the whole class because I couldn’t get something right. She told me that I  would never  be like my brother whom was brilliant or my uncle who was also brilliant. For many years after when I thought about that moment in the 3rd grade I could still feel my face getting hot with shame. The worst part is that what she said that day I believed. As I grew into middle age it became important to me that what she said had no bearing on me really, as I was not my brother or my uncle. And that that was OK.