Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Can the 12 Steps Help a Mood Disorder?

I also asked Vivian if a person struggling with a mood disorder can benefit from the 12 steps in his or her recovery. This is what she said …

I think the 12 steps can be used to recover from anything! There are now over 200 12 step programs that address a plethora of different issues. There is a 12-step recovery program called DRA (Dual Recovery Anonymous) that addresses recovering from not only substance abuse but also from an emotional or psychiatric illness.

The Dual Recovery Anonymous™ approach to dual recovery is based on a simple set of ideas and steps. They encourage us to find our own personal recovery, the one that is most meaningful. They are meant to support those of us who wish to bring a spiritual dimension to our dual recovery. The DRA program is worked on a day-by-day basis just like A.A.


Here are the suggestions for dual recovery from

• Today, I will be free of alcohol and other intoxicating drugs.
• Today, I will follow a healthy plan to manage my emotional or psychiatric illness.
• Today, I will practice the Twelve Steps to the best of my ability.

I found The Twelve Steps to Mental Health (below) at

1. Admit you’ve got a problem
2. Take action
3. Trust and cooperate
4. Get the power
5. Use and develop personal resources
6. Begin personal evaluation
7. Cultivate healthy thinking
8. Cultivate healthy behavior
9. Realize that feelings are not facts
10. Get on with your life
11. Give it time
12. Pass it on


Click here to subscribe to Beyond Blue! And click here to follow Therese on Twitter. And click here to join Group Beyond Blue, a depression support group. Now stop clicking.

  • Melissa

    This was very helpful. Thank you. I am in recovery from substances and also suffer from depression. I seem to be struggling lately but things like this bring me back to the basics and it is good.

  • Lisa Clayton

    Hi Everyone!
    Just to let you know, there is an organization for dealing with emotional problems based on the twelve steps called Emotions Anonymous.

  • Leslie

    I have just found this website and Im am very excited to be able
    to have quality, helpful information pertaining to me and my situation. I am a recovering drug addict and I just finished a
    decipliship live in program and I was just diagnosed with Bi-polar
    disorder, my life has been very difficult and unmanageable but this
    program is founded on Jesus Christ, my God and it has made a huge
    difference in me without any medications to control my moods. I would recommend any God based step program, I attend Celebrate Recovery that has a 12 step program that is sensational! Check it out
    at bless and press on, press on!!

  • Rick

    for those looking for a decidedly Christian perspective on recovery, Celebrate Recovery uses the 12 steps for every “hurt, habit, or hang-up” we want to leave in the past after learning from.

Previous Posts

Seven Ways to Get Over an Infatuation
“Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I” wrote US songwriter Lorenz Hart about the feeling of infatuation. It’s blissful and euphoric, as we all know. But it’s also addicting, messy and blinding. Without careful monitoring, its wild ...

posted 12:46:43pm Feb. 19, 2014 | read full post »

When Faith Turns Neurotic
When does reciting scripture become a symptom of neurosis? Or praying the rosary an unhealthy compulsion? Not until I had the Book of Psalms practically memorized as a young girl did I learn that words and acts of faith can morph into desperate ...

posted 10:37:13am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

How to Handle Negative People
One of my mom’s best pieces of advice: “Hang with the winners.” This holds true in support groups (stick with the people who have the most sobriety), in college (find the peeps with good study habits), and in your workplace (stay away from ...

posted 10:32:10am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

8 Coping Strategies for the Holidays
For people prone to depression and anxiety – i.e. human beings – the holidays invite countless possibility to get sucked into negative and catastrophic thinking. You take the basic stressed-out individual and you increase her to-do list by a ...

posted 9:30:12am Nov. 21, 2013 | read full post »

Can I Say I’m a Son or Daughter of Christ and Suffer From Depression?
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we read: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” What if we aren’t glad, we aren’t capable of rejoicing, and even prayer ...

posted 10:56:04am Oct. 29, 2013 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.