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The Power of Depressed Anonymous

By Ray

What is the power of Depressed Anonymous?
Well, first let me that when I started attending D. A. meetings I went for a couple of months and then stopped. I stopped going because my depression was so bad I didn’t want to leave my apartment. I didn’t want to be around or talk to anyone. I just didn’t want to do anything except crawl in a hole somewhere and isolate myself from everything. Then after about six week of isolation I called the residential treatment facility where I had been a client to see if I had received any mail there and one of the members of the D. A. group where I attend answered the phone. I spent a few minutes talking to her and there was something in her voice that told me that for some reason it was important for me to be at the meeting. I attended the next D. A. meeting. After the meeting was over, I suddenly realized the importance and power of Depressed Anonymous.

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 people 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.

Another power of Depressed Anonymous the group and what each person brings to the group. I have seen our fellowship get stronger and grow. I have developed many friendships that I can depend on for support and understanding, I have watched some of the newcomers that have kept coming back, grow and improve, Even something as simple as a smile when there as not before. The miracle of the group empowers and energizes me.

The most important power of Depressed Anonymous is hope. Hope that we will not be
locked in the prison of depression forever and that there is a way out for each of us. A hope that our Higher Power will work the miracle through us and that we will fwd our own happiness. I have hope that our hearts and minds will know love and peace like we have never known or felt before. The power of Depressed Anonymous works for me. I hope and pray that it works for you. Keep coming back!”

Source: DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS, Harmony House Publishers, 1998, Pages 154-155.

Who Will Make the First Move?

“Who will make the first move?” “We are surprised because we don’t see that beneath the surface of the present there is always the human material for change: the suppressed indignation, the common sense, the need for community, the love of children, the patience to wait for the right moment to act in concert with others. These are the elements that spring to the surface when a movement appears in history.

People are practical. They want change but feel powerless, alone, do not want to be the blade ofgrass that sticks up above the others and is cut down. They wait for a sign from someone else who will make the first move, or the second. And at certain times in his tory, there are intrepid people who take the risk that if they make that first move others will follow quickly enough to prevent their being cut down. And if we understand this, we might make that first move.”

Source: You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train. A Personal History of our times. Howard Zinn, Beacon Press, Boston, Page 10

Strategies for Coping with Anxiety and Panic

1. Remember that although your feelings and symptoms are very frightening, they are not dangerous or harmful.
2. Understand that what you are experiencing is just an exaggeration of your normal bodily reaction to stress.
3. Do not fight your feelings or try to wish them away. The more you are willing to face them, the less intense they will become.
4. Do not add to your panic by thinking about what “might” happen. If you find yourself asking “What if?” Tell yourself. “So what!”
5. Stay in the present. Notice what is really happening to you as opposed to what you think might hap pen.
6. Label your fear level from zero to ten and watch it go up and down. Notice that it does not stay at a very high level for more than a few seconds.
7. When you find yourself thinking about the fear, change your “what if ‘ thinking. Focus on and carry out a simple and manageable task such as counting backwards from 100 by 3’s or snapping a rubber band on your wrist.
8. Notice that when you stop adding frightening thoughts to your fear, it begins to fade.
9. When the fear comes, expect and accept it. Wait and give it time to pass without running away from it. 10. Be proud of yourself for your progress thus far, and think. about how good you will feel when you succeed this time .

Reprinted courtesy of the National Mental Health Association.   Understanding Panic Disorder.

 

New Ways to Stop a Heart Attach

It takes more than diet and exercise to prevent a heart attack. Here’s what you need to know.

By Jeff Meade. Prevention Magazine / February 1999, pages 107-113.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following are some of the seven ways the author outlines as maintaining a healthy heart.

MAKE FRIENDS. He states that “(I)f you don’t have family and friends living near you, you can join a support group. Depressed Anonymous is an international 12step organization that can help you deal with the blues.

GET A PET
MEDITATE
PUT A LITTLE LOVE IN YOUR LIFE
SAY YOUR PRAYERS
GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR NATURAL RHYTHMS
THE FASTEST WA Y TO YOUR HEART IS THROUGH YOUR MIND

Mental Imagery Process fro Overcoming Resentment

MENTAL IMAGERY PROCESS FOR OVERCOMING RESENTMENT

Sit in a comfortable chair, feet flat on the floor , eyes closed.

Create a clear picture in your mind of the person toward who you feel resentment. 3. Picture good things happening to that person. See him or her receive love attention or money, whatever you believe that person would see as a good thing.

Be aware of your own reactions. If you have difficulty seeing good things happening to the person, it is a natural reaction. It will become easier with practice.

Think about the role you may have played in the stressful scene that caused the angry reaction to you in the first place and how you might reinterpret the event and the other person’s behavior. Imagine how the situation might look from the other person ‘s point of view.

Be aware of how much more relaxed, less resentful you feel. Tell yourself you will carry this new understanding with you.

You are now ready to open your eyes and resume your usual activities.

The imagery process usually takes less than five minutes to complete. Use it whenever you become aware of resuming an unpleasant, painful, or angering episode from the past. There may be months when it is unnecessary for you to use it at all, and there may be days when you use it a half dozen times.

Source: Simonton, Carl O., MD. GEITING WELL AGAIN. New York, Bantam Books, 1984, pp. , 178-179.

Signs of the Depressive Experience

• Wanting to isolate and be alone
• Change in appetite Shifts in sleeping patterns (too much/not enough sleep)
• Waking up early in the morning
• Fatigability or lack of energy
• Agitation or increased activity
• Loss of interest in daily activities and/or decreased sex drive
• Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, worth lessness, guilt or self-reproach
• Weeping/Not able to cry
• Lapses of memory
• Hard time making decisions
• Fear of losing one’s mind
• Reluctance to take risks
• Difficulty in smiling or laughing
• Suicidal thoughts

Depressed Anonymous: A Spirtual Program for Personal Recovery and Serenity

One of many questions that arise in a person’s mind as they make that first courageous step into the fellowship of Depressed Anonymous is “How soon and how quick can I be free from the pain and isolation that has imprisoned me for so long?”

This question can only be answered by time and frequent and active participation in the fellowship of the group. It is by reading the text of the Depressed Anonymous manual and attempting to put these principles into effect into one’s daily life. Also, one can begin to feel some improvement in their lives as they slowly gain a belief, a faith if you will, that they too can get better- – with time, patience and sharing they will begin to accept themselves for who they are and try and change what they don’t like in themselves. By the fact that one comes to a meeting is in itself half of the battle in overcoming the depression. It is this interminable isolation that keeps the disease of depression at its height and intensity. It is only when a person can come to a meeting, begin to trust the group and so share some of the pain that has been bottled up for as many years as one can remember.

The program has been built by those who have experienced depression and know about the need to get connected and to be part of others like themselves. This is where the hope begins-when we see and hear others like ourselves sharing their past pain and how sharing how today it is all dif­ ferent because of their willingness, their openness and their honesty about themselves that has forced open the prison door that has till this time kept them imprisoned in their own fears and phobias.

The program is a very simple one -but this doesn’t mean that it is easy. All change is painful and if we are to grow we have to change. We have to get resolved some of those old issues that keep pop­ ping up in our lives and that want our attention but we cram them back in place and don’t want to look at them. The 12 Steps of Depressed Anonymous will help promote your own personal discovery of what it means to force oneself from the despair and self-hatred that normally comes with depression.
If you are new to our fellowship and this is the first that you are reading about a group whose sole purpose is to help ourselves and others escape the prison of depression ­ you might be surprised to learn that we neither discuss medicine nor religion at any of our meetings. But really this makes sense as religion is about certain prescriptions and dogma that various religious bodies demand of their adherents -whereas spirituality is about one’s concept of a God of their understanding – not of someone else’s
understanding of who god is supposed to be for them­ selves and for everyone else.

The first step in getting past our depression is to first get into the door of a Depressed Anonymous meeting -take a seat – keep our ears open and know that we will not be pressured to say a word. Usually they only ask for the first name and leave it at that. Since we want to keep our anonymity we only use our first names at the meetings. There is a phone list for those who would like to keep in touch with fellow members between meetings. At each group meeting a passage is read from our big book or any other book that specifically deals with the spirit of the 12 Steps. Afterr all, we believe that the depression experience is much more than simply a brain disorder or a problem with misbehaving neurotransmitters

Is the Internet a reliable Source?

“As many as 60 million adults used the World Wide Web last year to find information about health care, according to a poll by Louis Harris & Assoc. “Health care is an enormous reason why people go online,” said Humphrey Taylor, Chairman of the polling company, which estimates that 90 million (or 44% of the adult population) use the Internet at home, work or at school.

And amazingly, 91 % said the last time they went online, they found what they
wanted .. .” The most common topics being researched were depression (19 % of searches), allergies or sinus (16%), cancer (15%), bipolar disorder (14%) and arthritis or rheumatism (10%).

According to the Harris survey of more than 1,000 people, which was done online in January, the health sites most often visited online were created either by medical societies or by patients ‘ advocacy or support groups.” Washington Post, 2/16/99, P17.

Vital Spirtual Experience

“This work (birth), when it is perfect, will be due solely to God’s action while you have been passive. If you really forsake your own knowledge and will, then surely and gladly God will enter with his knowledge shining clearly. Where God achieves self-consciousness, your own knowledge is ofno use, nor has it standing. Do not imag­ ine that your own intelligence may rise to it, so that you may know God. Indeed, when God divinely enlightens you, no natural light is required to bring that about. This (natural light) must in fact be completely extinguished before God will shine in with his light, bringing back with God all that you have forsaken and a thousand times more, together with a new form to contain it all.”
– Meister Eckart (c. 1260-1328)

It’s Been a Busy Week

How has your week been?

I hope it has been a good one as you continue to read the Depressed Anonymous Literature and apply it to your everyday life. I read something every morning – especially Higher Thoughts for Down Days – and use the daily reflection on how the daily thought applies to my own efforts at recovery. All in all I find that with a daily meditation and reflection life appears more hopeful. I find this works for me. It’s a plan that has positive results.

We (DA Group) are planning to get together after our weekly DA meeting and discuss one of our week’s Higher Thoughts – one that we find especially applicable to each of our own lives. Each person will be able then to submit this to our BLOG – right here – and this can motivate others to write and share their own thoughts as well.

What do you think? Or you also can just write and tell us how your week is going/went. You might just like to pose a question to the BLOG group and find what others are thinking and how the Steps work for them. Or, you can just read the BLOGS as they appear on our website. Just know that we welcome you whenever you want to write.

Hugh