Tag Archives: the dis-ease of depression

The Twelve Steps: A powerful means of recovery

 

“The Twelve Steps are the essential beliefs and at the very core of Depressed Anonymous. The Depressed Anonymous recovery program, modeled on Alcoholics Anonymous,  which originally developed to help men and women deal with their addiction to alcohol, one day at a time. The Twelve Steps have ben found to be a potent means of recovery for those who desire to free themselves from their compulsions. The Twelve Steps are basically a program of letting go of our compulsions and handing over our will to the care of God as we understand God. Essentially our program is a step by step way to change not only our addictions but our way of life. Change happens when we choose to change. The fellowship of the group and our desire to make changes in our lives is what provides our life-giving spiritual experience. Many people get organized religion and spirituality mixed up and Depressed Anonymous achieves strength from spirituality without set creed, dogmas or doctrine. All the program asks of a person who comes to the meetings is only to have a sincere desire to stop the compulsion of saddening themselves.

We make no apologies for our faith in a God who can restore one not only to sanity but to serenity and joy as well. “We never apologize for God. Instead we let God demonstrate, through us, what God can do. We ask God to remove our fear and direct our attention to what God would have us be. At once, we commence to outgrow  fear.” (AA).

The God as we understand God is what appeals to more and more persons as we admit our helplessness over our compulsive, depressive thoughts, actions or behaviors. We feel we have lost all control over everything-including our thinking! The depressed person is aware that their unpleasant thinking is a cyclical and spiraling process where there is never a respite.  The obsessiveness driven by one’s feelings of guilt, shame and worthlessness is the fuel that continues our own isolation.  The experience is not so much a psychopathology as it is a way  for our human spirit to comfort itself. The depression then is more a dis-ease of isolation and  being disconnected than it is a biological disorder.” .

SOURCE:  COPYRIGHT(c)  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011). Depressed Anonymous Publications.  Louisville.  Pages  162-163.

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A dis-ease of the spirit

 

In his voluminous work THE ANATOMY OF MELANCHOLIA first published in 1621, the  author traces the historical understanding of melancholia or depression as we know it today.  Already back in the 16th century this alchemist and physician rightly spoke about depression  being a disease of the spirit and that a spiritual solution need be sought for relief.

Paracelsus held the conviction that God has to be part of the healing as melancholia for him was a spiritual disease and so needed a spiritual cure. And now the insight and belief put forward by Paracelsus in the present time is being echoed in our own time by Bill W., co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous and all those who are availing themselves of the spirituality of the Twelve  Steps. All members of Twelve Step fellowships who are acknowledging  the importance of a belief in a power greater than themselves have the guiding star of hope and meaning in their daily lives.”

COMMENT

The experiencing  of those dark symptoms of depression and the hopelessness that they present, can best be understood as a painful dis-ease of the human spirit. The human spirit is filled with anxiety, a hollowness and a lack of purpose or meaning.  It is this dis-ease of the human spirit which  is the impetus   to seek  a remedy that will bring an equilibrium of meaning and purpose back into one’s fragmented life.

How often has David Karp, sociologist at Boston University writes about the  number of participants in his study of depression, who speak about the benefits of a spirituality in their quest for a remedy to their sadness. The author of Speaking of Sadness was surprised at how many of his interviewed  respondents  gave credence to a  spirituality of their own  and how it buoyed their spirits and  was a source of light and hope amidst the darkness.

Bill W., also depended on a Higher Power for help in  bringing sobriety into his own downward spiral of alcoholism  and saving his life.  He makes   no apologies for his belief in a Power greater than himself.   And like Paracelsus, as mentioned above,  saw that  the cure for melancholia, a  spiritual dis-ease,  as that of a faith in a Power greater than oneself.    As  stated in the 3rd Step of Depressed Anonymous  “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand God to be.”

For me personally, it was only after I had hit bottom with no where to go but up, that I admitted my life was out of control and I prayed to God to help me. That is when  I walked into a 12 Step Group meeting and found what I was looking for. Help and wholeness.

Hugh

 

 

SOURCES:   Copyright (c) I’ll do it when  I feel better. Hugh Smith (2016) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. pgs. 84-85.

Copyright (c) Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression (2017) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.