Welcome to the Depressed Anonymous
Newsletter Issue #4
We seek to prevent depression through education and by creating a
supportive and caring community through support groups that successfully
keep individuals from relapsing into depression .
This Newsletter is published by those of us who are committed to sharing
our journey of hope as we live out the Twelve Steps of Recovery. The
Newsletter continues the tradition of an earlier Depressed Anonymous
Newsletter, the Antidepressant Tablet. Even though our emphasis is the
same, offering information on a regular basis about new Depressed
Anonymous groups forming, giving hope to the depressed, as well as being
an advocate for those who are still suffering from depression.
We also have as an objective the “how” of starting a Depressed Anonymous
mutual aid group, plus sharing the thoughts from the members of the
fellowship who are using the Twelve Steps of Depressed Anonymous in their
own lives and recovery. Their personal experience, hope and strengths will
be welcomed as an essential feature of our online newsletter.
How to Start a Depressed Anonymous Meeting
If there is a Depressed Anonymous group operating near where you live, you could go to one of their meetings. But if yours will be the first in your area, you might find it helpful to attend one or two other self-help groups just to see how they operate. Most self-help groups, as well as Depressed Anonymous, have literature about their work which you will find helpful. You can click onto the website at www.depressedanon.com for a full explanation and information about our Depressed Anonymous group.
Once you have three or four people, who, like you, are struggling with depression and who want to set up a Depressed Anonymous group which will follow the Twelve Step program, you can form, a core group to work out how to contact other people as to where you will meet, and when and how you will all share the work and the responsibility of the group.
To contact other likely members, draw up a notice which states the aims of the group, who the group is for, the time, day, place of meeting, and the name and phone number or email address of the person whom you can contact for more information about the group, and who will arrange to meet and welcome new members.
When you are depressed, it is often very difficult to go into a room full of strangers, so having someone meet you beforehand can be a great help. Send copies of this notice to all those in your community who would know of persons who might be helped by this Twelve Step program of recovery. For starters it is recommended that Mental Health Centers are always a good place to start as well as local religious communities. Many people believe they are the only ones going through this painful experience that we call depression. When they discover that there is a group of people who feel as you do, this in itself can provide hope. In time and with regular attendance at Depressed Anonymous meetings, they will no longer feel like victims, but will reach out to others.
If surrender of our wills to the “care of God” is of the essence of the spiritual life, for anyone who truly desires to free himself/ herself from a chronic and compulsive behavior such as depression, then the Twelve Steps can be our stepping stones to a path of a hope-filled life.
The following is a list of publications produced and made available by Depressed Anonymous Publications.
A total of 12 Books have been published including e-books. For more information about these books, you visit our website and do online ordering of our literature. The following is a complete listing of available books.
* Depressed Anonymous
* The Depressed Anonymous Workbook
* Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 Daily Thoughts and Meditations for Members of 12 Step Fellowship Groups
* Teen Care: Helping Teens Prize Themselves
* How to Find Hope
* Depressed Once-Not twice: An Autobiographical Spiritual Journey of the
* Founder of Depressed Anonymous
* How to Find Hope
* Shining a Light on the Dark Night of the Soul
* The Promises of Depressed Anonymous
* Dep-Anon Family Group Manual
* I’ll Do It When I Feel Better
* Believing Is Seeing: 15 Ways to Leave the Prison of Depression
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Question: Is Depressed Anonymous a class? Does someone teach this class?Answer: Depressed Anonymous is neither a class nor does someone, such as a professional lead the group. We are a mutual aid group where each of us brings our own experience and shares them with each other. We also live our life based on the 12 Steps, the suggested spiritual principles of Depressed Anonymous.
Question: How much does it cost to join the group?
Answer: There are no fees or dues. All a person needs for membership is a sincere desire to keep from saddening themselves.
Question: Can you come to a meeting even if you are not depressed? Like a family member or a friend of someone depressed?
Answer: Yes, in fact we encourage family members participation in the group. The more we attend meetings the more likely we are to get a better understanding of the experience and nature of depression.
Question: What position does Depressed Anonymous take with regard to antidepressant Tablets?
Answer: Depressed Anonymous takes no position on medications. We are asupport group which has as its base a spiritual foundation as laid out in the 12 Steps. We are not professionally led. We do not discuss topics of a religious nature which are specifically oriented to one religious faith or another. One’s personal medication regimen as well as religious preference is solely the responsibility of that individual and is not discussed in the group meeting.
Question: Do I have to give a talk if I attend a meeting?
Answer: No one is asked to say more than their first name at a DA meeting. We have all been where you have been, namely as a newcomer and we respect one’s right to talk only when one feels ready to talk. Every member of the group is given the understanding that when they have a turn to talk they can just say PASS and everyone is OK with that.
Question: How many meetings will it take before I am no longer depressed?Answer: That is a question that we can’t answer. I believe that even though my good days are now more frequent and my bad days less, I stillkeep coming back to meetings so as to help myself and give help to others still suffering. Our program is one that you don’t graduate from.
It is a lifelong fellowship where one continues to learn that to stay well means to keep connected with the group, use the daily spiritual tools that keep us all out of the prison of depression.
Source: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.
THE MIRACLE OF THE GROUP
It’s the Miracle of the Group where I Can Start Loving Myself! I have hope that I can accept myself today and just let fly all the old messages from the old tapes of childhood.
“You desperately wanted people to love you, but you became wary of giving your love to others. You reasoned that the less you loved another person the less it would hurt when the inevitable rejection came.” Dorothy Rowe
CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT
I have been holed up for so long in my own little world of feeling hurt and rejection that to attempt to love someone else like the greatest challenge of my life. I desire so badly to be loved by someone else that this lack of another’s love makes my isolation from others so hurtful.
After having witnessed the miracle of the group in DA, where depressed persons come together with their feelings of being hurt and rejected, I find that others love and nurture challenge me to hope once again, I can share with the group the fact that I haven’t measured up, that I am angry and that I just want to lay down and die.
I am open enough now to let the light of love from others, who like myself, realize that I am not alone and that I am beginning to feel better already now that I no longer need to be perfect.
This means to be willing to affiliate and give of myself for someoneelse’s good. In the program I am starting to love-myself.
We are going to make a mental decision right now to let God, as we understand God, guide us and instruct us on how best to love ourselves.
Source: Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous. Publications. Louisville. March 3rd. (Available on Kindle).
“Depression is Different from Normal Sadness”
Depression cannot be reduced to a single factor. It is the result of the coinciding of different factors. Biological, historical, environmental and psychological factors play a certain role in the beginning and its evolution.
“Many people never reach a state of clinical depression . Such depression, with the feeling of paralysis that it involves, is different from normal sadness. People with clinical depression, in general, demonstrate physical and psychic alterations; people who are not depressed manifest certain mental signs of sadness. In addition, people often confuse depression with unhappiness, and often one can hear the phrase I feel depressed, even though the person concerned only wants to say that he or she is not happy. Until one has really experienced depression one cannot realize the enormous difference that exists between being depressed and being unhappy. When we are unhappy, despite the scale of the tragedy that has afflicted us, we remain incontact with reality. When other people offer us consolation and love w can still feel gratitude for their warmth and support. But when we are depressed we feel like people who are excluded from the rest of the world. The comfort and love offered by other people do not penetrate our barrier and we feel neither consoled or loved. To experience real depression means to feel entrapped in pitch or suffocated by some dense, heavy material or buried alive in a dark tunnel. The depressed person is interested in nothing and nobody, and does not feel any hope.” SOURCE: Jose Saraiva Martins
Comment: If you are a depressed person and are reading this you know the guy who is writing the above material knows what he is talking about. But, if you are a person who has been unhappy but never depressed, it is impossible for you to even begin to fathom what he is talking about.
Yes, you might say, but I don’t see any plaster casts, no sign of physical brokenness and the guy or gal is always happy. You know, the life of the party. There is a night and day difference between being depressed and being unhappy. I know, as I have been depressed. I also have been very unhappy as well. Being depressed is a life threatening illness and for many the trajectory can lead to suicide preceded by thinking that is hopeless and suicidal.
The person who has experienced depression themselves and who seeks help to climb out of the dark pit now has friends in the Depressed Anonymous fellowship of the 12 steps. The new person coming into our group soon learns that the members know about the depression experience. Some have talked about trying to commit suicide. My point is that persons depressed live in a world that they cannot touch, a world which they are viewing from the insides of an enclosed soundproof glass room. They are completely isolated and adrift floating alone in a river of turbulence and dangerous currents. And when the time comes to flee this pain and isolation they run to the people who say they know what depression is. They also have a tool kitwhich they continue to use in their daily lives which helps them to forever stay out of that glass enclosed room. I am one of those persons who never returned to that past time in my life when I felt totally alone, without friends, purpose or meaning in my life. I owe my life to Depressed Anonymous and its powerful focus on hope instead of hopelessness.
THIS MONTH’S BOOK
HIGHER THOUGHTS FOR DOWN DAYS(c)- Publisher: Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.KY. 266 Pages. Author Hugh Smith. Book is available in Paperback and eBook Kindle
366 daily meditations for 12 Step fellowship members and groups. This is the right book for those of us who want to think and reflect on those Higher Thoughts written by persons who know how to use the Steps for their own recovery. Each days Higher Thought contains an Affirmative thought, a Clarification of thought paragraph and a final spiritual meditative paragraph. All in all, one has a positive and solid base on which to reflect upon the coming day.
One of our fellowship groups makes use of the Higher Thought as a Group topic on which members can center their discussion for the meeting. In order to discover more helpful literature please
VISIT THE STORE at WWW.DEPRESSEDANON.COM
Also please contact us with email at [email protected]