Root canals and depression: what they have in common

When I gradually found myself in a mental and physical lockdown, due to a battle with depression, I did what most of us with the symptoms of depression do, I began to isolate. If not physically, at least in my mind.

For those of us who have experienced a root canal, you know what I am speaking of when it comes to suffering pain. Maybe today, the root canal of yesterday is not as bad today because of  advancement in this dental procedure.  But with my own depression I felt a terrible pain and total physical exhaustion.  I just wanted to be left alone. I needed to try and figure out what began as a worry turned into being a  continued ruminating about my own mental abilities.  Because I couldn’t just ask my dentist to drill down and remove the cause of my pain, I chose to hobble away quietly and  begin  to medicate it with sleep and avoidance of everything that I had held dear in my life. I was not dealing with a decaying tooth but with a powerful  mental anguish, sapping me of any positive solution to a life gone sour.

And just as a dental procedure provides a solution  for my tooth, so is there a solution for  finding healing and help for my depression.  I believe that for most people who suffer from depression there is  hope. There is a healing that is available. For many persons their depression lifts of it ‘s own. It’s been said that 85%   of us who have had only one episode of depression in our lives that  this will be the only one we will experience. 

Many seek out medication, some  therapists, some psychologists, and  most a combination of these resources.  But for those who also seek out understanding and who can  find a friend to talk with, these are the ones that gradually find hope and a solution for their misery.

In my own life, I found a group of men and women (  Depressed Anonymous) , of all ages who come together and speak about their isolation   and helplessness and find others   in the same boat  as themselves. It became clear that this is a positive experience and a resource that gradually gave me an anchor to help me survive the storm.  No longer did I feel that the waves of sadness and feeling hopeless would drown me.  It also provided me with a group of people, coming together as a group,  continuing  to provide me with  tools to leave my self constructed prison of depression. Now I am free of living always inside my mind and beating myself up with guilt and shame.

Take charge of your life, piece by piece. Take one small goal at a time. Get busy. Walk everyday. Go to gym. Find that friend to talk with-especially good if they belong to a Depressed Anonymous group and they use a plan  that provides a pathway to hope and help.  Get  a DA Workbook and DA Manual (3rd edition) and follow it’s plan, one day at a time. Learn about the 12 spiritual principles/Steps  of Depressed Anonymous and apply them to your own life.  If you do these simple steps, you will find that just as going to a dentist for help with  your teeth, so will getting involved with people like ourselves provide healing and  focus on taking good care of ourself and our  life without the debilitating pain of depression. That is a Promise!


(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

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

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