Category Archives: Anger

Protecting Yourself From Toxic People

As a depressive I feel that I am more sensitive than other people. Sometimes I need to determine if it is me being over sensitive orif it is the other person toxic and harming me. Toxic people come in many forms: narcissists, sociopaths, predators, etc. Truly deeply toxic people probably should be avoided completely. How can you recognize toxic people in your life? I found a list of characteristics of “human predators” which can be a proxy for any type of toxic person.

The characteristics of a “human predator”:

  • Human predators are mean.
  • Predators are utterly selfish.
  • Predators pretend friendship and love but they feel absolutely nothing for others.
  • Predators are charming and good at flattery, but they don’t mean a single word of it.
  • Predators brag and boast and make up outrageous lies. When challenged, they blame others.
  • Predators don’t feel anxiety or fear.
  • Predators are impulsive and easily bored. They demand thrills and take dangerous risks. They enjoy pushing others into taking dangerous risks, too.
  • Predators are bullies with explosive tempers.
  • Predators enjoy humiliating people.
  • Predators hate it if anyone else has power or is praised. For the predator, life is a competition and they want to win.
  • Predators weaken people with insults and putdowns.
  • Predators are cunning and manipulative.
  • Predators lie easily and think nothing of breaking a promise.
  • Predators are without conscience: they do not feel remorse or guilt.
  • Predators often boast about the harm they’ve done to other people.
  • Predators are parasites. They are lazy and live off others, giving as little as possible in return.
  • Predators are control freaks, stopping others from taking control of anything if they can
  • Predators force petty rules on others – rules that are impossible to follow.
  • Predators boast about tricking other people.
  • Predators boast about breaking the law.

Jon Atack
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1076831346096293&id=283133205466115

If a person has most of these characteristics – avoid them. You are not being over sensitive, the other person is toxic.

If a person has one or a few of these characteristics they may be able to be managed through clear, firm and mature boundaries. However try not to fall into the trap of hate. Maintain a small amount of love for that person – even if that is just that they are a creation of God. The behavior can be hated but try not to hate the person. It’s been my experience when I hate someone I hurt myself.

If the other person doesn’t have any of the above characteristics I need to be open to the idea that I may be over sensitive regarding this. I need to pray and meditate on it. I need to talk to other mature, serene people who can help me discern my part. I need to own and take responsibility for my part of the problem.

Yours in recovery, Bill R

I’m depressed! Where do I go from here?

NOTICE: Whenever a blog post mentions an online meeting be sure to consult the page Online Depressed Anonymous Meetings for the most up to date and correct information. If the blog post is more than a few days old there is a chance it could be incorrect.

“Now that I have admitted I am having a difficult time living I want to learn some new avenues that will make my life more enjoyable and much more livable.” Depressed Anonymous Workbook, Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY. 2002.
Are the sad feelings of depression causing your life to be lived inside the prison of hopelessness? Have your moods deepened to the extent that you are no longer able to function. By that I mean are you unable to do even the basic things like talking to family or friends, holding onto a job, getting out of bed in the morning, or just to concentrate on any single thought for any length of time. Some of us are unable to sleep when we are depressed. Some of us gain weight because of inactivity and fatty comfort foods. If you say yes to any of the above life changers then you could possibly be suffering from the symptoms of depression.

I know now that at the point that I think my life is at its lowest point…that is when this program of recovery came into my life. I believe with the Psalmist who once stated that we need to commit ourselves to God, trust in him, and that the God of my understanding will act in my behalf.

When we learn to let go+ of those persons, mental images, painful past personal situations and memories the better I am able to let God control my life. I find this letting go a fearsome project but nevertheless I find that I must do it if I want to find hope once again.

“Some of the major ways people help buiild the walls of derpession are to consider themselves worthless, won’t allow themselves to get angry, they can’t forgive themselves or others, and they beleive that life is hard and death is worse. Also, they beleive that since bad things happened to them in the past bad things are bound ti happen to them in the future.”
Depressed Anonymous, Third Edition, Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisvile. KY. 2011. Page 28-38.

And so to answer my question, where do I go from here? I personally suggest that you find a Depressed Anonymous meeting and be part of the conversation. But now with the covid-19 surrounding us, most face to face meetings have paused for safety reasons.

We are now very fortunate to have an online International Depressed Anonymous Skype meeting every day. It is live at 11:30AM CST and at 12:30PM EST. The Depressed Anonymous meeting originates from the USA, and can be accessed by anyone with the Internet.

For more information please go to www.depressedanon.com, click onto Depressed Anonymous HOMEPAGE drop down menu at MEETINGS and it is there you wil find a link to the meeting live.

If there are other questions please contact Depanon@Hotmail.com

For more information about Literature on Depression and the 12 Steps please click onto THE DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS BOOKSTORE for online ordering.

The DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS Third Edition is available as well as the DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS WORKBOOK. Both these can be downloaded as Ebooks from our website.

Anger Worry Fear Guilt

Today I would like to share some thoughts and reflections from the Depressed Anonymous Workbook (the same one used for the Online Depressed Anonymous meetings at SKYPE).

On page 77 @ question 10.18 this question is asked of the participants: “list the various ways that you plan to remove your most frequent unpleasant emotion? Write down your strategy.”

If we are following the work in the Workbook, we have already spent a good amount of time and energy reflecting upon our own anger, worry fear and guilt. We know how all these emotions and moods have a large role to play in our own experiences with depression.

Step 10 states that we “continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.” Our Depressed Anonymous manual speaks to us about taking responsibility for our recovery from depression.

“Responsibility is the name of the game in recovery and it is here that we need to focus our attention. As we get into a discussion with others in the group who are depressed – much like ourselves- we see that they talk about feeling better while at the same time acting on their own behalf. These people who are doing better are also talking about taking charge of their lives and doing things for themselves instead of constantly trying to please others.” (You can find this quote on page 107 in the Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition.)

A potent strategy is suggested in our DA book (Page 110): “Promptly forgive yourselves! Promptly tell a friend, DA group member, coworker, spouse, that you are now trying to live one day at a time, one hour at a time and are depending on the Higher Power to give you the courage to risk thinking hopeful thoughts which have the power to lead yourself back into the community, the family and among friends. Develop a gratitude attitude and thank God for today! This day is all we have. Get involved in your own healing. Start to take on the attitude that if other people can make it so can I. It’s true – you can make it if you follow the program.”

Join with us every day at SKYPE. See Home Page menu items for MEETINGS times and places. You’ll be happy that you did!!

RESOURCES
(C) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd ed.(2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky.
(c) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook(2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY

Depression And Anger

Many times in our lives we can hide our own anger from ourselves. Here is a checklist to help you determine if you are hiding anger from yourself. Any of these may be a sign of anger or some other possible physical causes. If you are concerned about any of these listed it would do you well to speak to a professional.

The list is an attempt to see if any of these issues might be related to your own depression and anger. Also, the list gives you notice on ways to deal with those which you might be dealing with off and on.

  1. Procrastination in delayed working on important matters
  2. Perpetual or habitual lateness
  3. Overly polite
  4. Constant cheerfulness
  5. Attitude of “grin and bear it”
  6. Frequent sighing
  7. Sarcasm, cynicism or flippancy in conversation
  8. Smiling while hurting, always saying “I’m fine”
  9. Frequent or disturbing dreams
  10. Over controlled monotone speaking voice
  11. Difficulty in getting to sleep or sleeping through the night
  12. Boredom
  13. Slowing down of movements
  14. Getting tired more easily than usual
  15. Excessive irritability over trifles
  16. Getting drowsy at inappropriate times
  17. Sleeping more than usual
  18. Waking up tired rather than rested or refreshed
  19. Clenched jaw, usually while sleeping
  20. Habitual fist clenching
  21. Grinding of teeth, especially while sleeping
  22. Chronically stiff neck or shoulder muscles
  23. Anxiety and depression
  24. Swallowing your anger and keeping it pent-up inside
  25. Stomach ulcers/gastrointestinal problems.
  26. Flying off the handle.

Hidden Anger Survey

SWALLOWING MY ANGER

Articles on how anger can affect our lives on a daily basis.

An excerpt from The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. (Fourth Step. Question # 4.41.) Page 33.

“Because you are unaware of being angry does not mean that you are not angry. It is the anger you are unaware of which can do the most damage to you and to your relationships with other people, since it does get expressed, but in inppropriate ways. Freud once likened anger to the smoke in an old fashioned wood burning stove. The normal avenue for discharge of the smoke is up the flue and out the chimney; If the normal avenue is blocked, the smoke will leak out the stove in unintended ways…around the door, through the grate, etc., choking everyone in the room. If all avenues of escape are blocked, the fire goes out and the above ceases to function. Likewise, the normal human expression of anger is gross physical movement and /or loud vocalization: watch a red-faced hungry infant sometime. We learn to be “be nice,” which means(among other things) hiding “bad” feelings. By adulthood, even verbal expression is stifled, and to protect ourselves from the unbearable burden of continually unexpressed “bad” feelings, we go to the next step and convince ourselves that we are not angry, even when we are. Such self-deception is seldom completely successful and the blocked anger “leaks out” in inappropriate ways…”

The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.KY.

Have you swallowed any anger lately?

Anger is a much talked about subject these days. People are anger at this politician or that politician, They are angry at how they are mistreated on their job. Or they are angry at the government  for whatever reason. They are angry at their spouse, or ( choose one) who have done them wrong. Yes, I am angry and  I don’t like it. I don’t like it most times, but sometimes I think, wow, that felt good getting it out of my system. It’s  better than punching a hole in the wall  again, or picking up a gun and shooting someone. I believe that so many of us are angry. We are angry and we think that giving someone the “what for” is going to change them.  But then we see that our anger is pouring gasoline on a fire.

Let’s take a look at the Depressed Anonymous book, which says a lot about anger and what our own anger says about ourselves. Is there a solution here. Yes.

” Many times we hear how depression is anger turned inward. This is one way to explain it. Depression is also a way to keep from assuming our rightful place in the world and society. You must tell others that your very fear of the future and of others is the  very thing that builds  your  prison.  You need to surrender the fears and hurts in your life. You need to give them up to the Higher Power or to God as you understand God. It is with this in mind that you begin to gain more insights and honesty in your life. Others in the DA group will also help you see that you can blame the other people in your life for your problems all you want, but it is only when you no longer see yourself as victim that you can stand up and say that you no longer choose to stay depressed. “I am going to enjoy life and hope for good things to begin to happen to me”, you can say.  I  think sometimes we can say we liked being called a “depressive” as it made us feel as though we couldn’t help being the way we were and, of course, we know this isn’t true. Once we admit our victim stance and no longer consider ourselves as permanent sufferers of depression, then this honesty, can release a new sense of identity for  ourselves. The support of the group will allow me to say that I don’t have to be what I was anymore. I don’t need it.

The fifth immutable belief that builds hopelessness in us is the belief that it is wrong to get angry. We have learned from childhood that not only do little girls not show anger, but little boys likewise were made to believe that any type of outward expressions of one’s unpleasant feelings was not permissible. We believed  that we had no right to be angry. To be always smiling and happy means you are good; to  experience and express the emotion of anger is a sign that you are out of control, and being out of control is bad. But if anything can  cause us to  be depressed it is a lifetime of swallowing our anger. This might have its roots in our childhood when we were abused, physically, emotionally or even sexually by a parent, relative or guardian. The mere thought of this might throw us into a deep sense of personal worthlessness  and rage —  until we were able to get in touch with it. Sometimes this rage is so powerful that we have to numb ourselves  so as not to feel the power   of it and so be afraid that it will  destroy our very selves.”—–More about ANGER  in tomorrows BLOG.

RESOURCES:

(C) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY (See Step Five chapter in DA book, Pages 59-64). ).

(C) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook, (2002 Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY   (Step Four Pages 22-47 contains some excellent ideas on anger which can help us look at our anger and deal with it.)

+Both of these excellent books can be ordered online (depressedanom.com)  at   the DAP Bookstore.

Do you want a new way of living?

AFFIRMATION

I now  have a new way of living!

“But with OUR new way of living and thinking we are going to stay in the now. We know tomorrow produces anxiety and fear. Yesterday is there with all the past hurts and anger. All I have is the now!  If I live in the now I can begin to  try to stay out of yesterday  with all its old wounds  and hurts and resist living in tomorrow with its unknown problems.  Negative thoughts about our past or those about tomorrow can numb our feelings so that we don’t have to feel the pain of whatever it is that isolates us from the world around us. We also admit,  like any one person addicted to a person, thing,  place,  chemical or drug, that our lives are out of control. We have to admit, that by depressing ourselves, we have chosen saddening ourselves as our drug of choice. We medicate ourselves with sadness any time we might have to change the way we live our lives. Sometimes, our depression or sadness arises out of guilt as we continue to turn our personal mistakes into giant catastrophes – this continues to make us feel as if we are nothing and valueless. This all adds to our frustration and the feeling of our being out of control. We know that if we just give up our struggle against depression and admit our powerlessness over it, we can begin to surrender it to our Higher Power and practice letting go of it. I can decide that I want to feel happy and put this constant sadness and hollowness behind me once and for all. I know that no longer will I have to retreat or flee from   those sad feelings and escape with sleep, over activity or drugs.  I know that, whenever my sadness seems unending, I then just admit that I am not helpless and that I can do something about it because I have the tools and I can learn the skills that I didn’t know were available to me before.  Now I am deciding to think, act and behave differently, much to my personal credit and a new-found trust in the Higher Power.  I am a sailor who sees the land, knows the right direction and does the rowing to get where I want to go.  The Twelve Steps are my compass. I also   know that this group of people which we call Depressed Anonymous will help me assume a sense of no longer feeling out of control.”


SOURCE:  Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd ed., Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky. Pages 34-35.

#METOO. Shouting out our anger and rage

THIS SOUNDS RIGHT

Dorothy Smith has shown how women are forced into a secondhand understanding of the world. Women are trained to invalidate their own experiences, understanding, and feelings and to look to men to tell them how to view themselves. Ideas, concepts, images, and vocabularies that women use to think about their experiences have been formulated from the male point of view by universities, churches, and other social institutions.

In Women and Madness Phyllis Chesler  describes  women’s experiences as psychiatric patients. Very few of the women she interviewed appears to have a mental disturbance. Most were unhappy and responding to the oppression in their lives. Seeking help, Chelser  pointed out, is not valued in our society, and women seemed to be punished “for their own good” by the institution for exhibiting such weakness.

Jean Baker Miller looked at the relations between dominant and subordinate groups. She isolated certain characteristics of subordinate groups as typical of any irrationally unequal power  relations based on ascribed status such  as race religion or sex. Those in  a relationship of subordination need to survive, above anything else. Direct response to destructive treatment must be avoided, as it may be met with rejection, punishment, or even death. Women who step out of line Miller noted, can suffer a combination of social ostracism, economic hardship, and psychological isolation. They may even be diagnosed as having a personality disorder if they do not conform to the male-defined norm for a woman.

If conflict cannot be expressed openly, it is turned inward and the ground is fertile for depression. Once depression is identified, the victim is blamed for her illness, and she accepts this responsibility until she is helped to examine her own self-defeating patterns, to see how she allows  herself to be victimized.”

SOURCE:  Melva Steen, Ph.D, RN. Historical Perspectives on Women and mental illness and preventing of depression in women using a feminist perspective. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 12:359-374, 1991.

Appeared in THE ANTIDEPRESSANT TABLET in the Spring  edition  (v.5, #3: 8-9).1994. 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The following is an excerpt from the Basic Text for the fellowship of Depressed Anonymous world wide.

Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition , 2011,2008, 1998. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Ky. Page 82.

“Maybe I need to make amends to my children for  making a clean house the number one priority the number one priority and never allowing them to give expression to their feelings. Or maybe I was the good daughter or son who never told anyone how I really felt because I was afraid of how my parents would react. Now we might be dredging up all the old feelings of anger and resentment that we have submerged under a mask of  kindness ands sweetness over the years. We need to voice our anger for having to act like someone we aren’t. I can think of many women who in therapy begin to get in touch with the times when as little girls, they were conditioned to think that good little girls didn’t get angry, and so they stuffed and sat upon all these powerful and unpleasant emotions. Feelings that are not expressed can accumulate in our bodies and can’t get out until we share them and express them. These stuffed feelings get lodged in our bodies and immobilize us until we feel completely wrung out!

Some have heard all their lives that you shouldn’t get angry as mother won’t love you anymore. This makes it quite difficult suddenly to shout out our rage and anger at a world that has made women in general feel less than second-class citizens. ”

 

Drinking Depression: One Man’s Story Of Recovery From Alcoholism And Depression

 

DRINKING DEPRESSION:  One man’s story of recovery from alcoholism and depression and the parallels between the two. 

By Steve P.

“I have had experiences with alcohol abuse since childhood. I have also struggled since childhood with depression. I quickly learned to rely on both.

I call  this paper “drinking depression” because that’s exactly what I did when I no longer had the alcohol. The following thoughts will express my feelings and the parallels that I have seen between these two addictions.

RELIANCE

There was always an excuse to drink, mostly I was upset with something –I should say angry, for it was anger at the root of my depression that I was trying to suppress in medicating myself with alcohol. Later, I learned to do the same thing with my depression except to be in a depressive state high.  I didn’t even have to leave the house and after awhile I didn’t want to break the cycle of reliance that dependency had begun. Where I was absorbing alcohol into my blood stream  I was now   injecting the depression into my soul and absorbing it like a sponge

FAMILIARITY AND COMFORT

As a recovering alcoholic, I can look back on my drinking and see where I took comfort in being drunk because   eventually   the numbness became the only way I could feel better.  When I was drunk I could retreat into myself and not have to deal with everyday life.

The same escape tool was used in the form of depression. I could ball up like a wooly worm and the outside world was not going to hurt me. However, the more I wallowed in the darkness of my depression the deeper I got stuck  in the mud of despair and hopelessness.

DESPERATION

In order to deal with alcoholism and depression I had to hit rock bottom. I had reached a point in both that I had to call out for help or drown in my addiction.  I called on my Higher Power to help  deliver me from alcohol and he led me to a counselor  to  also help me with my depression. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit I am harnessing my talents now and I am seeing incredible results. My recovery has not been overnight but it is a day by day and step by step recovery process.

THE PHYSICAL

After some time had passed,  the drinking affects the physical body breaking it down. Once I saw a film in which the brain of an alcoholic was compared to the brain of a heroin addict and they were very similar. The depression I  experienced also had physical implications. For over twenty years the way my body would respond from too much emotional stress was to pass out. Instead of blacking out from alcohol I was using depression to numb myself and my brain.

THE SPIRITUAL

When I was drinking I felt alienation and guilt. I felt professing Christians did not drink. The more I drank the more guilty I became. I felt  much more distant from God the more I drank and spiraled further down into a cycle of despair.

In my depression,  I felt God had no time for  me and that I was unworthy of his love. Again,  it was a carousal filled with guilt and anger going round and round so that I couldn’t get off the merry-go-round.

SELF-ESTEEM

When I was drinking,  I was sure that no one cared or could understand what I was going through, so I had many pity parties and I was the guest of honor. Why should I care if no one else cared? This was my way of thinking.

From painful experiences in my childhood I felt  I was of no worth and just taking up space. It has taken therapy and the support of family and friends to finally look in the mirror and begin to like what I saw.

HOPE

I have been sober over two years although I often have the desire to drink I daily call  on my Higher Power to help me and march on one day at a time experiencing serenity and a release from my need to take that first drink.

I have been in therapy for almost a year off and on, although in order to recover one has to stay with it. I have to take my emotional and spiritual healing, like my drinking —one day at a time knowing   I can make it.  It is only by opening the door of the past that   the light of the present can get rid of the darkness  today,  providing  hope for the future.

It is my hope and prayer that this has helped you,  in some small way.  It has helped me by writing about my experiences. May God put walls of protection around you so that the way ahead for you may be crystal clear so that today may be your first step towards recovery.”

God bless.

Steve P.

+This article first appeared in THE ANTIDEPRESSANT TABLET, Spring 1994.

 

 

Valuing yourself is risky business

MY PERSONAL  AFFFIRMATION FOR TODAY

I choose again to read my 12 Step Manual (Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition) on a daily basis and from it find the courage to make decisions that promote my well being and my joy.

“There  are two problems about deciding things for myself. First, it means that you can’t blame anyone else when things turn out badly. (But you can take credit when things turn out well). Second, other people can get very angry with you for not doing what they want. Valuing your self is a risky business. What risk is preferable?  The risk of making your own decisions or the risk of not valuing yourself? ”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT
I  see myself as part of the solution to recovering from my attachment to sadness. I was a sadness addict. Now I am attached to the joy of risking myself so that I can live. That is what I value most now — the desire to live with uncertainty  and be unafraid.

I blame when I no longer want to look inside of myself. I feel that when I admit my former need to sad myself, I no longer blame anyone, but instead, I am putting my energies into sharing how I feel with others.

MEDITATION

God, we trust in you. We commit ourselves to you. We know that you are ready to act in our behalf the more we commit ourselves to you and your will. Give us the courage to keep in contact with you daily. Our time with you is our daily bread. (Personal comments)

Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of  12 Step fellowship groups.  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.