That very same question is one which I also found myself asking. How long will this pain last? The good news here is that for the 85% of people who become depressed, their sad mood usually has been noted to leave for different periods of time. Some say that normally mild and moderate depressions last for about a year or so. That was pretty much my situation. It was only after a year and a few months that the fog of my depression lifted. Some researchers claim that on average almost 80% to 90 % of persons depressed find the depression gone during this time frame. Some say that depression symptoms are self- limiting. All I know is that I could not fix whatever had taken over my life. But I did know this. I couldn’t continue to stay isolated. Withdrawing from everyone made it so much worse. Instead of a place of safety, it became my depression.
In the Depressed Anonymous book we read how the author shares “that our withdrawal from others has given excessive power to those already entrenched feelings of worthlessness and sadness. It seems that our inactivity and social isolation just help build higher and stronger walls to our prison. This is why we need to hear stories like Bob who was one of the original members of Depressed Anonymous who felt that the Depressed Anonymous meeting was one of the few places where he could be himself. He was with people who understood him and they didn’t consider him crazy or reinforce his own feelings that he might be losing his mind. ”
I believe that Bob, who couldn’t fix himself, discovered that it was only when he broke out of The Closed system of Depression with its syndrome of symptoms, no longer withdrawing from friends and family. Instead, Bob began attending Depressed Anonymous meetings where he began to feel accepted and no longer alone.
Bob learned as we all have, that once we tend to the various symptoms of depression, working their own synergy in creating this syndrome, trapping us in a downward spiraling vortex of hopelessness and despair. It is at this point in our recovery where we take these five symptoms one by one and start to work out a positive recovery strategy for developing our thinking, our feelings, our behaviors and motivating ourselves to use our tools for recovery and putting each of them into practice. Accomplishing this goal, we can find a refreshed spirit, a healthy body and a mind sharpened by being part of the DA community. We are no longer alone now. By being active participants in our own recovery , we gradually find that our lives have become happier and that we now have a renewed and purpose for our lives.
NOTE: The various symptoms which create the closed system include our cognition, feelings, behavior, motivation and what makes up our physiological self. Each of the five symptoms can be negative or they can be positive. The secret is to gradually break into any of these symptoms and by doing so, you will find positive alternative ways to think, instead of being possessed with those continued negative thoughts and ruminations. You will find ways to change negative self talk which is always self critical and start learning how to think ways to love and prize oneself.
(C) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville KY.
(C) The Closed System of Depression. Depressed Anonymous (1987) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.
(C) Tools of Recovery. Go to depressedanon.com Home Page and click onto Tools For Recovery