I have always believed in the power and the influence of the group -either serving as a power for good or a power designed for destructive ends. But as for our group Depressed Anonymous, I believe that it truly builds, enhances and strengthens any one who gets involved with it on a regular and consistent basis. Those who do interact with our fellowship, gradually come out of the pit of their depression and start feeling hopeful about their lives. They know that they are feeling hope instead of despair. This is actually happening all the time as those involved in the fellowship begin to see personal changes occurring in their lives.
I remember when I first proposed my idea, in 1985, to the Dean of the Psychology Department at the University where I was earning my Master’s degree, that we ought to try and get depressed people together. I mentioned that Alcoholics Anonymous, with a few fellow alcoholics, got its beginning with a peer to peer approach. It takes one to know one, so to speak! The professor looked at me like I was completely out of my mind – that I would suggest that depressed people could even muster up the necessary energy to even climb out of bed in the morning, much less get themselves to a meeting with other depressed individuals like themselves. The idea seemed doomed to failure.
With a begrudging approval from the Dean, we got our peer to peer depression group off the ground. It was a success. Just as one alcoholic helping another alcoholic, so it was true with the depressed person. This peer to peer model of recovery worked. In a few months, following the groups formation, we opened our fellowship to the public . On May 30th, 1985, our brand new mutual aid group, Depressed Anonymous was launched. It is still being launched today, globally.
If you believe you can find hope, plus have a ticket out of depression by going to Depressed Anonymous meetings, then there will be nothing stopping you. I have found that my Higher Power has released me. I am carrying a hope to those hurting from a life of isolation and feeling alone. We have a message of hope for them.”
SOURCE: Copyright(c) Believing is seeing:15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2017) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 64-67. (The 14th Way out of the prison of depression).
For more information about the lives of those individuals who believed in the group power, please read about them in Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. There is a special section in the book where thirty members of DA share their personal stories of healing and hope.
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